Hey guys! I just want to start off by saying, I’m so sorry that I’ve been absent from my blog for a month. Hopefully this post will kind of help explain why. But I’m just sorry because I know there were some of you who were checking this site almost daily to see if anything new had been posted. I think this story will be worth the wait though.
It all started as many of you know when we first got a notice from our apartment complex telling us that we needed to be moved out in 2 months time since the building was going to be renovated. So right away we started looking online daily for any new rentals that were being posted. We stressed so much during that time because we were getting closer to our deadline and still were not finding a place. All the ones we wanted were quickly taken and all the other available rentals were either too expensive or in bad neighborhoods. So finally, about 2 weeks before we had to move out, we found this rental. It was a nice neighborhood, a price within our budget, and it was newly renovated. It seemed perfect. We called the landlord, filled out our application, and made sure to make it for the open house. But here’s where things get weird.
I will admit that there were some warning signs that I should’ve seen right from the start. But hindsight is always 50/50. Am I right? One of the major warning signs is that we had to actually convince the landlord to let us rent out the place. It was almost to the point that we were arguing with him. I don’t know about you but normally when I rent a place, I never have to haggle with the owner about letting me rent it out. Usually if the prospective tenants pass the background check and meet the income requirements to afford the place, its there’s. The main concern of our landlord was whether or not we’d be able to afford it. He just looked at how much we were paying for our one bedroom apartment and because it was significantly lower than the price for renting his four bedroom home, he was concerned. Naturally a small apartment is going to be a lot cheaper than renting a big home. I cannot tell you how much this irritated me. He didn’t care that our income was more than enough to afford his place. He just focused so hard on what we were paying for the apartment. I couldn’t believe that we actually had to go back and forth on this issue and over more than one phone call. I tried telling him that we were already planning on moving out. I don’t think you should have to convince someone to let you rent their place. They either want you as a tenant or they don’t. That was red flag number one.
The second thing was that he had literally just bought the house and immediately put it up for rent. Honestly, this wasn’t something I had a problem with before but that’s because I didn’t have experience with this type of situation. Often times, houses need to have work done to them, at least some maintenance and basic wear and tear repairs. Especially if it had been up on the market for quite some time. This one had been up for over a year. He didn’t even take the time to look into the house and see if anything needed repairs, and that’s where all our problems with this house come into play.
On the day that we met up to sign the lease, we did the walk through and my husband immediately noticed that there were many issues.(He told me right from the start that he had a bad feeling about this place and unfortunately I pushed for it anyways. Next time I am totally listening to his gut instincts. But we make mistakes and we learn.) For starters the rugs in the bedrooms were gross, they weren’t even shampooed for us. On top of that the AC wasn’t working and this was during a week of 100 degree temps here in California. The blinds were broken. One of the bedrooms had blue wax stains in the carpet. And the place was pretty dirty with dead bugs in the window, really dirty floors (like your feet turned black just walking on it). What got me so mad though was that the landlord was so oblivious to all of it! Something as simple as the AC not working, he didn’t know about it. That’s something that is so simple that you would think would have been checked before you even bother moving anyone in. But boy does it get worse from here.
So I know what you’re thinking: with all these things happening, why on earth would you sign the lease?! Well even before we signed it, he agreed to get an AC repairman out here and someone to shampoo the carpets. That made us feel better and like he would be on top of things as a landlord. Plus I think we were just desperate to find a place since it was so close to our deadline to move out. And on top of that, I thought the place was gorgeous so I think I was really trying to overlook any problems we had because I really wanted to live there. But back to our story.
It wasn’t long into living in our new home that more problems started arising, one after another. I believe the first thing to go was our washer and dryer. There wasn’t anything wrong with the machines, it was the plumbing. We have a sink right beside them and one day while I was doing laundry, I noticed that it was all wet on the floor. I looked around trying to see what was the cause and when I looked up at the sink, I saw that there was water filled all the way up to the brim. We found out that the sink would over flow like that whenever we would use the washer and dryer so we were told not to use it for now. So for two weeks I had to do our laundry at my in-laws place. I know that in itself is not a big deal, but wait…there’s more.
Our next problem was with our master bathroom. It was connected to the same plumbing line of the overflowing sink so our toilet started to not work. It wouldn’t flush really at all. It had the weakest flush and would only go down once in a while. Fortunately this place came with two bathrooms so we just started to use the second one. But it wasn’t long before we were told that we couldn’t use that one either.
The plumber came out (for about the third time) to check out that second bathroom. He ended up going under the house to see what the problem was and what he found down there was truly horrifying. He said that it was all covered in poop, the whole foundation of the house. The plumbing had backed up and just emptied itself in the base of the house. So now because that second bathroom was directly above all the poop and was the most exposed to it, we weren’t allowed in there because it was now a health hazard. Keep in mind, that was the bathroom where I had been giving my one year old baths. It infuriated me that she was being exposed to all of that. So now we wash her in the kitchen sink. I’m just glad she’s still small enough to fit there because there is no way I’d be able to bathe her in the shower. But our story does not end there. Oh no. Unfortunately there is a lot more to it.
If you want to hear the rest of this story which is filled with squatters, bug infestation, and a sewage backyard, then stay tuned for part two of this series. But for now I’ll stop the story right here because this would be the longest blog post ever if I didn’t. And hopefully when you finish reading part two, you’ll have learned a few things so you can avoid going through the same things that I did.