Sticking it to the Man

I’ve got this friend who grew up in South Carolina. She’s hilarious. Probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever known; my sides ache when she tells her stories, they are so funny. Maybe it’s the accent, maybe it’s her laugh, I don’t know, but I enjoy it nevertheless.

Her landlord (which used to also be my landlord before I moved out in February) raised the rent $110 and only gave us 27 days notice. I had already planned to move out for other reasons; I also had a strong feeling he would raise the rent because I knew what my old landlord was asking for the building. I began looking for new places in January and just in time for the rent increase he planned for March. I was no longer under a lease, so it was not a problem when I moved out, but my friend still was. The landlord agreed to her moving out a month early because May is an easier month to rent out. College kids are usually moving after classes are over and he had another apartment open at the same time, so it saved him putting two separate ads in the newspaper. Seemed like a good thing, right?

Well, he didn’t rent the place in time for June. So he’s threatening to sue.

So here’s the confusing thing to me: It was okay for her to move out if he had the place rented but if he didn’t it wasn’t okay? Legally, he could sue her for June’s rent and her deposit because she broke the lease, but he wouldn’t be threatening this if he had it rented. So I don’t understand where this guy is coming from. Raising the rent that much is something he had to do, but not giving proper notice is completely illegal. No one in the building fought him on it (it affected five of the six people living there because our leases all ran out years ago) because we all just chose to move out. My friend is the last one remaining and she is, I believe, just catching him at the worst time possible. He’s stressed out over having that many empty apartments all at once and I have no doubt it’s strapped him financially. But I cannot feel sympathy for a guy who lied to us (in writing) about the average rent in this town, a guy who took a week to fix my neighbor’s heater in the month of December , a guy who enters the apartments without notice and looks around enough to notice mail you have on your desk, a guy who rents a two bedroom to four college girls in a building that doesn’t have enough parking spaces for their cars, doesn’t tell them that so their neighbors continually come home and have no place to park (Man, I’m glad I moved out when I did, just writing about it is making me mad and I fortunally didn’t have to endure any of it.)

I just won’t feel sorry for this guy. I believe you reap what you sow. This guy had six responsible renters – all but one of whom had lived there no less than three years – who took care of their apartment, paid their rent on time, and didn’t cause trouble. We were almost all all career professional and now he gets to rent to college kids (the apartment is close to the University) and have them move out every year or so. He is getting what comes to him. I’m sooooo glad we all moved out.

What I’m listening to: Grant Lee Phillips’s Mobilize

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