Registered: 1273980131 Posts: 3
Reply with quote #1
I am a single mom that is self-employed and eligible for section 8. I moved on to this bucolic horsefarm where I am rent a old charming farmhouse built in 1870. The landlord raises horses and lives at the top of the hill above me on the farm - supposedly he had a high-powered job in NYC and had a nervous breakdown and now lives out here and does not have a job except the horses. When I had moved in an I had told the landlord's wife that I had cats and two dogs. After a week of living here - the landlord said - I never said that you could have your cats (on the Section 8 Lease application - they filled out that cats and dogs were fine!). So I cried and was very upset and then all of a sudden they called and said don't worry you can keep the cats. A week after that the landlord came into the house on a Saturday - did not give notice - admitted that he went in - looking for some of his belongings that he had left in the house (I had to pack up all of their china and crystal and important paperwork!) he then locked my cats in my bedroom where they could not get to their litterbox and of course - they urinated on the rug in my bedroom! He then called me on a monday and was complaining of a urine smell in the house and then kept calling me names in a harassing manner - I told him that the name calling was inappropriate and that he needed to stop - I then ended the phone call. The landlord was pissed that I would no longer engage him in his bad phone behavior - that he called Section 8 and told them that I had 6 cats and that they were urination all over the rugs and that I was putting holes in the walls! Now at this point - this was only the first month that I was in the house and he had not completed the repairs needed to keep him on the program - had he not called - they probably would not have said anything til' next time they needed to renew the lease - so now he is pissed that he has to get off his lazy, bi-polar ass and fix some things like 3 wires with 220 volt service exposed, wires hanging down from the ceiling in the basement and a soaking wet basement that is filthy, a slapshod drywall job in the bedroom and a plug for the clothes washer - all safety issues - especially with a child in the house! So me being the nice guy (that doesn't want to move again) decided to play into the control freak landlord and remove my cats as a form of a truce and compromise. Well now he wants to kick my dogs (my jack russell goes into her kennel til I get home and my shepard can stay out as he is a good boy - both are shorthair). The landlord tells me the other day that he is going to plexiglass in the entire side porch and the dogs are to stay out there all of the time! (not what I agreed to in my lease and not what my lease says!). Today the landlord's wife tells me that the plexiglass is going in - I play along and say what a great idea but, you have to leave some of the plexiglass off so that the dogs can get air in the summer - otherwise it will be too hot for them (I could hear the dumb blond in her voice when she said "Ohhhhhhhhh"). I then told her that they can go on the porch when I am out but, will come in when I am home. They now want to to sign a piece of paper to the effect that I will be putting the electric back into my name for the second time (they insisted on it being in their name and opened my last bill!) and to the effect that the cats will not come back and then something about the dogs I am sure. I am not comfortable in signing something with them as I have a formal lease with Section 8 that is in effect for a year. I am so unnerved and freaked out. Does anyone remember "The Shining"? My landlord reminds me of Jack Nicholson's character - I am waiting for the axe to come through the farm house door! What are my rights? I am trying to find housing but, it is hard when you have pets and are looking for a certain school district. The kicker is - the landlord is getting $700 a month for me being here - Section 8 pays $284, I pay $316 in a check and then throw him an extra $100 between us as Section 8 will only go to $600 for a 2 bedroom - so I feel that I am working with him and he just won't leave me alone! Should I get an attorney involved? The folks at Section 8 are disquested with my landlord as the inspector has been out twice now and he has not complied. I have a feeling that he will not comply and he will not get paid for June and then I will have an automatic chance to break lease and go!
Registered: 1221627180 Posts: 577
Reply with quote #2
sounds like you need to find another rental. FYI IN MY neighborhood they are very strict that there must be a doghouse & water bowl if a dog is kept outdoors.they fine people for not doing so.ask section 8 to help find another location. but good luck with the pets.having both cats & dogs is not easy to get a LL to accept multiple pets,unfotunately they have probably been given reasons with prior experiences.you must also be honest with the LL regarding the amount of pets, I am a LL and an animal lover but it really ticks me off when I give permission to have pets & then find there are more than I agreed to. If you think your LL has a Bipolar problem than you really should leave.Too bad sounds like a nice place to live.
Registered: 1273980131 Posts: 3
Reply with quote #3
Thank you for your reply. It is a really nice place to live - but, it seems like there is a communication problem with him and I. Everytime I try to talk to him - he talks over me and through me - it is so rude. I just wish he would back off and let me live in peace. I wish he didn't live on the same property that I do - it's just too close for comfort. I am documenting everything that he is doing and I am not going to sign anything without an attorney looking at it first - because of the inconsistancies up to this point - I just don't trust him!
Registered: 1169270040 Posts: 3,787
Reply with quote #4
First, please edit and remove your name for the post. This is an international forum. You don't want people looking you up and contacting you. Who knows who might contact you!
You need to find a new place to live. Forget the animals for a sec, and forget the Shining (your imagination is really running away with you there!) The fact is that S8 only pays for places that pass their inspection. This will be the third inspection that the place does not pass. S8 will automatically stop paying. He will not allow you to stay once that happens. (I'm actually surprised that they gave him a third chance. Here you get the initial inspection and a chance to repair for the second. That's it.) You also cannot pay him any additional money under the table like this. If S8 finds out, he will be banned from the program and have to pay them back the money they have paid. If the LL doesn't agree with the amount, you need to look for a more affordable place. You can get in big trouble for doing this - you could lose your aid. You never should have started this. Only pay exactly what is in the S8 lease to pay. Nothing more. If it states you will be responsible for utilities, you need them in your name. If it says the LL pays them, you have no obligation for them. If the S8 contract lists pets, make sure a page is done to specifically list any pets you will have - and then have NO other pets but the ones listed. If one dies or runs away, do not replace him. A new pet is not listed on the agreement. Your state has no written statute on notice prior to entry. There is no law to require it there. (Actually 18 states have never written this into state law.) You may check local ordinances to see if there is one. But if not, the LL broke no law entering without notice. (Sorry) Make sure a notice requirement is written into your next lease so the LL must give you notice. Sign nothing else. Pay nothing but what is in your contract. Start looking for a new place because they will not give him a 4th chance to pass inspection.
Registered: 1273980131 Posts: 3
Reply with quote #5
Thank you about the name! I had no idea! Wow talk about a blond moment. I am currently looking for a new place to live - but, I have to remain as cibil as I can - I have a son - not just me - and I am not as mobile. Housing is tight here. The landlord said he is going to fix the wall in my bedroom and is doing what section 8 has told him to do. I think that Section 8 is working with me because they know how hard it is to find housing where I live and that I have a child. Keep your fingers crossed for either things to workout here or a new place comes up. Thank you for all of the information - I had no idea of all of the things that you told me about - it has been very enlightening!