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Old 01-10-2012, 05:58 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,941 times
Reputation: 31

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Hello. I'm a 61-year-old single woman on disability, I'm on a very small fixed income, I live in Central Virginia and I've been renting a one-room cottage on my landlady's property for 10 years. I have always paid my rent on time, have kept the cottage in good condition and haven't done anything wrong (I'm extremely quiet, I very rarely have a visitor, I never have parties). Ten days ago, my landlady came in with a letter saying I had to vacate within 30 days. This was completely unexpected. Turns out she is having huge financial problems since the death of her husband 6 months ago, and wants to sell her property as quickly as possible, so she wants to get it ready for showing starting on March 1st. I talked her into letting me stay for 60 days, as with my disability and my financial situation, there's no way I could be out in 30 days. She had previously told me about a month before that she was thinking of MAYBE putting the property on the market at the end of summer, so it was a shock to hear I had to be out so soon.
The biggest problem (aside from my lack of adequate finances) is that I won't be eligible for senior/disabled housing, which I will be able to afford, until I turn 62, which will be four months after she wants me out. I have literally begged her to let me stay until then. But she wants total access to the cottage to be able to completely renovate it.
Oh - one other thing - the entire time I was here, she did no maintenance on my cottage. It was only painted once, 8 years ago, and even then the job wasn't done well. The shower wall behind the shower fixture (which is too high for me to reach) is warped, the shower fixture is sagging, and the bathroom sink is hanging precariously to the wall. Both of my sinks are leaking badly. She knows about these things and has not fixed them. Until a few weeks ago, I had no heat. (When I told her the heater in the main room wasn't working she acted annoyed, and took three weeks to get it fixed, and when she came in with the heater-fixit guy, she handed me the notice to vacate letter!) The built-in bathroom heater is still broken, which she's known about for a few months now, and she's come in to look at it but hasn't done anything to get it fixed. And it gets COLD in there, especially when the temperature outside is below freezing!
But all that is actually neither here nor there. I was just happy to have a peaceful, quiet place to live, and a decent roof over my head.
My friend told me that there might be a way I can stay here until I'm 62 - some legal way. Does anyone know if and how that can be done?
I'm really upset about having to move so quickly, without having anywhere to go. I have no family, and no financial resources. It looks as though my only option would be to stay at the Y until I turn 62, but living there would be very bad for my physical and mental health. I went to visit the place yesterday and literally felt sick...
I do have agencies working with me but so far their only viable option, until I turn 62, is the Y...
So, to repeat the question I asked earlier in this post, is there any way I can legally stay here until I turn 62?
Thank you.

Last edited by judyariel; 01-10-2012 at 05:59 AM.. Reason: misspelling
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:45 AM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,175 posts, read 7,006,187 times
Reputation: 6498
Please ask the Mods to move your question to the Real Estate Forum, Renting sub-forum. There will likely be more useful information there.

What does your lease state? Is it year to year or month to month? Have you read up on the tenant rights of your state?
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,268 posts, read 11,146,441 times
Reputation: 14071
This sounds very bad, and I feel for you.

One thing I would do is investigate whether it is really accurate that you can't get into elderly and disabled housing before you turn 62. If you have a disability that you can document right now, and it is the basis for receiving Social Security disability, you probably qualify. Under most, if not all, federal housing programs, old people and disabiled people are treated the same, and most projects that are thought of as elderly housing have lots of younger (forties, thirties, even twenties) people with disabilities living there.

Of course, whether they have vacancies for you is another matter entirely.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Beautiful TN!
5,453 posts, read 7,334,119 times
Reputation: 5652
Have you looked into senior counsel? Most legal aids have a program for people over 60 and the services are free. You need to have someone tell you the legal aspects for renting and notice to vacate, call your states Legal Aid office immediately and ask for the senior services.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:48 AM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,360 posts, read 61,612,533 times
Reputation: 31885
If you have a lease... then you have rights to remain THROUGH the end of that lease period.
If you do NOT have a lease... then you don't have many options but to comply.

That said... talk to the landlady and try to work something out to remain...
(a new buyer might appreciate having an established tenant)
...or to remain longer than 30 days in order to find a new place and pack etc.

If asking nice doesn't get you time... then take the time you need in order to find and pack etc.
But be prepared for some animosity as you work diligently to a resolution.
---

Odds are she has spoken with an attorney and learned what rights/responsibilities she has.
Part of that is complying with the notice laws... which leads to the MINIMUM notice of 30 days.

But 30 days notice after 10 years of tenancy is outrageous...
even if the Sheriff is ready to cart her off tomorrow.

Good luck.

Last edited by MrRational; 01-10-2012 at 08:08 AM..
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
6,770 posts, read 11,030,635 times
Reputation: 6729
There are programs such as this one Multifamily Housing - Program Description - HUD that help with rents for the elderly and disabled. Do immediately contact your local elderly housing office. They should also be able to assist with temporary shelter if required.

Having said that, please do not try to visit your problems on your landlord. She has bad troubles of her own and has every right to try to sell her property. Do you think that making her life harder will be good karma for you?

Good luck to you in this difficult situation.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Asheville
1,162 posts, read 3,680,022 times
Reputation: 1200
You can rent a room in a home where they rent rooms to tenants, sometimes they'll share the kitchen and a bath, sometimes you'll have your own stuff, look in advertising for "Rooms for Rent." You can have your stuff stored somewhere handy while you stay in the room. Also, contact your state Department of Social Services, talk to a counselor down there, they will know the low-down on disabled people and what housing is available in your area for that stuff. Also, the federal Department of Social Security might can help you with the same thing, but try state Social Services first.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,473 posts, read 13,877,178 times
Reputation: 6427
Quote:
Originally Posted by judyariel View Post
Hello. I'm a 61-year-old single woman on disability, I'm on a very small fixed income, I live in Central Virginia and I've been renting a one-room cottage on my landlady's property for 10 years. I have always paid my rent on time, have kept the cottage in good condition and haven't done anything wrong (I'm extremely quiet, I very rarely have a visitor, I never have parties). Ten days ago, my landlady came in with a letter saying I had to vacate within 30 days. This was completely unexpected. Turns out she is having huge financial problems since the death of her husband 6 months ago, and wants to sell her property as quickly as possible, so she wants to get it ready for showing starting on March 1st. I talked her into letting me stay for 60 days, as with my disability and my financial situation, there's no way I could be out in 30 days. She had previously told me about a month before that she was thinking of MAYBE putting the property on the market at the end of summer, so it was a shock to hear I had to be out so soon.
The biggest problem (aside from my lack of adequate finances) is that I won't be eligible for senior/disabled housing, which I will be able to afford, until I turn 62, which will be four months after she wants me out. I have literally begged her to let me stay until then. But she wants total access to the cottage to be able to completely renovate it.
Oh - one other thing - the entire time I was here, she did no maintenance on my cottage. It was only painted once, 8 years ago, and even then the job wasn't done well. The shower wall behind the shower fixture (which is too high for me to reach) is warped, the shower fixture is sagging, and the bathroom sink is hanging precariously to the wall. Both of my sinks are leaking badly. She knows about these things and has not fixed them. Until a few weeks ago, I had no heat. (When I told her the heater in the main room wasn't working she acted annoyed, and took three weeks to get it fixed, and when she came in with the heater-fixit guy, she handed me the notice to vacate letter!) The built-in bathroom heater is still broken, which she's known about for a few months now, and she's come in to look at it but hasn't done anything to get it fixed. And it gets COLD in there, especially when the temperature outside is below freezing!
But all that is actually neither here nor there. I was just happy to have a peaceful, quiet place to live, and a decent roof over my head.
My friend told me that there might be a way I can stay here until I'm 62 - some legal way. Does anyone know if and how that can be done?
I'm really upset about having to move so quickly, without having anywhere to go. I have no family, and no financial resources. It looks as though my only option would be to stay at the Y until I turn 62, but living there would be very bad for my physical and mental health. I went to visit the place yesterday and literally felt sick...
I do have agencies working with me but so far their only viable option, until I turn 62, is the Y...
So, to repeat the question I asked earlier in this post, is there any way I can legally stay here until I turn 62?
Thank you.
The entire post reeks of danger to me as a landlord, and which is why I won't rent to low-income renters. No offense to the OP since her situation is dire, but the landlord is now at risk of all types of litigation because the tenant can't find a new place for financial reasons.

I am also going to take the opportunity to add that thanks to the Federal Government's tax rules, it is even more difficult for the OP to find a safe, decent place to live.

I am in MD and I would love an older woman to come and live in the house, since I currently have room. I may charge her $200 or so rent, as long as she cleans the house in return. Sounds like a win-win situation to me, but by Federal law, she would be my employee and I would be breaking the law if I didn't pay her minimum wage and withhold taxes and social security etc...

The IRS has also made it illegal to hire a live-in housekeeper in return for partial room and board even if the housekeeper/maid is a "contract" worker and not an employee. How many women and families are doing the same for older female relatives?

Well, guess what guys, you had better get a second job to pay them a salary, because you're currently breaking the law.

In this case, I would think the best option is to be a live-in housekeeper for a singleton or something...but that's not possible under our current tax code. And with increased taxation and regulation by our government it is also increasingly difficult to locate affordable housing.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,480 posts, read 4,467,100 times
Reputation: 1429
If you're month-to-month without a lease, 30 days notice is typically all that's required. If you were local, I'd offer to help you move. That's a lousy situation and I wish you the best.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:03 PM
 
9,650 posts, read 15,760,611 times
Reputation: 15951
You said she handed you the notice to vacate? did she back it up with a mailed notice, certified? Or, was there a witness to her giving you the notice to vacate?

If you wanted a technicality to buy you more time, you could perhaps claim you have not yet been notified. Did you sign anything? Most leases state how landlord/tennant will be notified, usually by USPS at a stated address.

Oh, I do fee for you. I am disabled, but dh has decent job. we moved 2 years ago, I did all the managing, hired a moving company, got $5000 reimbursement from employer. We barely made it. All the more reason to own your own home, if possible.
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