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firefly

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 

I am between a rock and a hard place. I requested help from legal aid and was denied because they said they do not have enough resources to help everyone--but to contact them again if I receive papers from the landlord about raising rent or eviction.

I moved in this one bedroom apartment November 1st 2016, with a one year lease through Section 8. Upstairs neighbors (4-6 people) moved in June 11th--and my electric bills kept going higher. A few weeks ago I finally called my electric company, got an electrician out here with landlords approval and he confirmed that I am paying for the upstairs use of the (one) water heater, an air conditioner in their back window, and their furnace (a boiler). Letter from the company was sent to landlord and me about a week ago. My electric bills have doubled, then tripled. In three months, for June, July, and August, I have paid 329.00 in electricity bills. My usage should have been 50.00 x 3=150.00 or less.

Because I am on Section 8 I only have a 48.00 allowance for utilities. I mailed the letter from the electrician to the section 8 authority last week and have not heard back yet from them, or the landlord.

We just renewed the rental agreement, on a month-to-month basis a couple of weeks ago. The Housing Council told me that I could not move out until December 1st. I am thinking that cannot be right because my lease should be up on November 1st. Any thoughts on that??

I do not know what to do about trying to get reimbursed for paying for the upstairs electricity usage. I was told by legal aid to hire a 'private practice' attorney but I cannot afford to do that.

To make matters worse, I sent the housing council a letter the first week of August to report my income was lowered because my work load was cut in half. I sent them check stubs dating back from August 11th up to October 6th, sent them the letters from unemployment when I filed for that (the waiting week). Instead of lowering my rent, they actually increased it stating that the previously calculated amount was wrong. Prior to that they had helped with 27.00 of rent. Now as of November they said they will only help with 1.00, and state that I am making double the amount of gross income that I actually am, even though I have sent them two months worth of check stubs to prove it, as well as my approved unemployment claim.

I am waiting to see if the landlord is going to try to increase my rent (and I will have to move if that is the case), or if he is going to cover electricity costs, or whatever. 

 

 

LLinVA

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Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #2 
How much money do you actually bring home each month from working? How much money is Section 8 providing in addition to this? What is your rent? What does your lease say about utilities? 

I am going to take a wild guess and say that, like so many other government functions, Section 8 is full of people too dumb to get real jobs and they are just screwing up everything because there is no incentive for them to perform well. They aren't accurately tracking your income, lease dates, etc. That all is probably just a matter of a bunch of phone calls and eventually reaching someone who cares and actually corrects things. 

It sounds like this is all just a symptom of an income problem. Where do you work? What other types of work have you done before? Can you get a second job? There is always a way to bring in some more money, and that could make all of this a moot point. 
firefly

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
I don't know what you are trying to help with exactly. It sounds like you are saying that I should just try and make more money to keep on paying for the upstairs neighbors electricity usage.
firefly

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 

"How much money do actually bring home each month from working?" --Doesn't matter.

"How much money is Section 8 providing in addition to this?"--I stated that already and so you obviously didn't read all that was written or maybe you just did not understand it.

"What is your rent?" --again, doesn't matter.

"What does your lease say about utilities?" --sure doesn't say I am responsible for other people's (upstair's neighbors) electricity usage, and nor would HUD had approved for me to rent this unit if they had known.

"I am going to take a wild guess and say that, like so many other government functions, Section 8 is full of people too dumb to get real jobs and they are just screwing up everything because there is no incentive for them to perform well." -- You can try to insult me all you want but it's just a waste of my time and not helpful, or understanding. I have a 'real job' and work more than full time on call 24/7, and have only had one day off in well over one year.

"They aren't accurately tracking your income, lease dates, etc. That all is probably just a matter of a bunch of phone calls and eventually reaching someone who cares and actually corrects things." -- There is only one person who handles the Section 8 stuff in my area, and I've called, but they just say to 'put it all in writing', so I have.

"It sounds like this is all just a symptom of an income problem." -- Ending up finding out that you are paying for your upstairs neighbors electricity usage is NOT 'just a symptom of an income problem.'

"Where do you work?"---It doesn't matter where I work.

"What types of other work have you done before?" --It doesn't matter what types of work I have done before.

"Can you get a second job?" --No I cannot get a second job because, as I said a few sentences ago, I work on call 24/7 right now.

"There is always a way to bring in some more money, and that could make all this a moot point."---Yeah, I do not know if you are purposely trying to misinterpret, ignore, or simply negate 'all this'--(the issues that I'm dealing with), but you seem to just be focused on trying to denigrate me for qualifying for Section 8 rental assistance.

So I come here for some advice and the first person who responds gives me the most worthless advice I've ever heard [thumb]

Am hoping someone else has been through this experience of finding out they are paying for another apartments electricity usage and can provide some real, unbiased advice.

LLinVA

Registered:
Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #5 
I am trying to help you. Someone mentioning that income is a factor is not insulting you, it is trying to get a clear picture and address all relevant factors. 

If this job prohibits you from getting a second job, yet doesn't pay enough, then you should find a better job and leave this one. You are not legally obligated to work for this place unless you have an employment contract saying so, which is only typical of higher-end jobs that would pay way too much to qualify for Section 8, so that is obviously not the case here. I am not saying this would be easy or happen overnight, but better income would free you from the government assistance, which seems to be relevant since they can't or won't help you with a problem with housing they approved.

I wasn't insulting you, I was saying that all the people that WORK AT Section 8 are dumb and lazy, not anyone on its assistance. 

I asked what you lease says because that is very relevant. Why aren't you taking this up with the landlord? They should either make things clear to all tenants how utilities are to be paid, or they should be doing it themselves and just billing the tenants. 

How did the respond when you submitted everything in writing? 
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