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Old 08-19-2010, 12:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 8,348 times
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Hi All,

I have a question I would like to bounce off folks here. My fiance and I live in MA and are renting a condo. We came here from another state and were looking for apartments when we found this place. It seemed like a great place to be. We came down and took a tour with someone representing it (who turned out to be co-landlord). Unfortunately the previous tenants were still living there so it was hard to do a thorough inspection but what we did see we pointed out. At each example we were told that the current tenants would be cleaning the apartment through and through so that it would be very clean. In the lease it also states the carpets were to be professionally cleaned which, according to the person showing us the apartment was being done. Actually, we had to be careful walking around because the carpets had just been "cleaned", even though none of the current tenants' possessions were gone or had even been moved out of the way. We also saw the garage and found it to be a complete mess; dirt, cobwebs, leaves, dust, etc were everywhere in the garage (keep in mind, a live in garage due to the presence of washer/dryer. We specifically asked if that would be cleaned and we were told yes. My fiance and I agreed, with the agreements made by the landlord showing us the place, that it would be acceptable to move into.

A few days later I sat down with the other landlord (husband/wife team) to sign paperwork and had a discussion with him regarding a few of the areas we wanted cleaned before we moved in. These included the entire house (we were also assuming the current tenants would clean it before they moved out) and the garage specifically. I asked him to check on the garage to make sure it was clean before we got there. He verbally agreed, more than once that the entire house would be cleaned before we arrived (another 3 current-tenant free weeks away). Not only did he verbally agree but the lease specifically stated that the carpets were to be professionally cleaned, paid for by the tenant and the entire house (with specifics named, windows, walls etc) was to be cleaned by the tenants themselves.

Fast forward a month and we are moving into the apartment. Turns out the garage was never cleaned, it was worse than when we saw it on the tour. We then found numerous issues with the condo when all the previous tenants possessions were gone. The place had definitely not been cleaned by either the previous tenants, or the landlords (whose responsibility I believe it falls to if the tenants did nothing). The walls, windows, cabinetry, refrigerator and others had not been cleaned. The carpets somehow were dirty, even though they were "professionally cleaned" and had numerous stains in them. The bathroom was a mess with dirt from previous people still sitting in the shower needing to be scrubbed out. We called the landlord immediately to alert him of the situation. When he arrived the next day he felt that it was not in need of cleaning and showed great disinterest in our concerns. He did not offer to have it cleaned for us, and he did not offer to reimburse us for any cleaning we did.

We feel we were misled and lied to about the condition of the apartment. We specifically mentioned and received confirmation that the entire apartment would be cleaned thoroughly before we arrived. We arrived to a disheveled condo that looked like no one had cleaned it in a year. We feel the lease was breached on the part of the landlord before we even moved in by them not cleaning it (or in the case of the garage, not even checking on it before we moved in as promised). We are completely disgusted with the apartment, even after trying our best to clean it ourselves, and want to terminate the lease and move out. We explained our situation to them and asked them to modify our lease so we could leave within a few months but they flatly refused and threatened suing us if we stopped paying rent/walked out.

Does anyone have any kind of advice on a situation like this?

Thanks
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,457 posts, read 16,540,959 times
Reputation: 2592
I agree with your stance on the unit. It should have been cleaned. "professional cleaning" of the carpet was obviously not done, and you have it documented with pictures and or video. If you have documentation, you can file in the appropriate court for your state to have the lease voided. Present the evidence and accept the judges decision.
The alternative is to have the carpet cleaned, clean the place to your satisfaction and present a bill to the LL. Do not deduct the cost from the rent, that causes non-payment of rent and you can be evicted.
At the end of the lease you can deduct the cost of move-in cleaning from the last month's rent, if it has not been resolved prior. Do not expect your deposit returned. The LL probably did not return the deposit to the last tenant and charged them for the cleanig that did not happen.
I always have people inspect a unit prior to lease signing and make sure things are correct. In the future, do not sign a lease until the unit is ready and you are ready to take possesion. That will prevent this kind of problem in the future.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:53 PM
 
20 posts, read 121,488 times
Reputation: 20
That sounds great, but since we were victims of another non cleaning LL, if you don't sign the lease, you don't have a place to live 2 or 3 weeks in the future, so what can a renter do? Don't tell me looking for another place, in our case there were no other places.

In fact, it happened to us again. Not the cleaning, this place is kind of clean, but the details (paint, sink, removal of old W/D and so) that were mentioned when the lease was signed are just being done now, when we already have possession of the house. They had 2 weeks to do it, but didn't. The place was empty.

It amazes me how some LL's expect everything from the tenant, but don't apply the same rules to themselves.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:08 PM
 
2,159 posts, read 3,711,111 times
Reputation: 2136
This is why I recommend never signing a lease PRIOR to move in day.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:19 PM
 
25,597 posts, read 49,197,279 times
Reputation: 19054
Never sign until the unit is ready for your occupancy...

If you feel you must... do not pay the entire amount in advance...

Your position weakens substantially once the money has changed hands.

Many will rent in an extended stay hotel for a couple of weeks... if needed.

If the situation is truly as described... this was the only place... then, you did the best you could do under the circumstances and now have to make the best of it.

Clean is often subjective... that is why I use a punch list for any items that remain to be done and both parties sign... makes it real simply should court enter the picture.

I avoid appliance cleaning problems because we no longer supply any free standing appliances...
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:23 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,460 times
Reputation: 10
Hi I need some help. I signed my lease where i am living in December 2011. In the lease stated that the tenant has the first rights to buy the property within 2 years. Technically we should be signing another lease for another year at the end of this month. Instead my landlord started pressuring me 6 months ago to move, saying that she wanted to sell the house now and she didn't think we could afford it and it was becoming a burden on her. So the first year's lease is coming to an end and my family and I have nowhere to go and she has sold the house. We have to be out by december 1st when we should be signing another lease. I don't think she can do this. Pretty sure it's illegal since it's written on paper and signed by myself, my fiance, and my landlord. I need some feedback please.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:41 PM
 
10,842 posts, read 40,746,477 times
Reputation: 13935
Quote:
Originally Posted by jame22875 View Post
Hi I need some help. I signed my lease where i am living in December 2011. In the lease stated that the tenant has the first rights to buy the property within 2 years. Technically we should be signing another lease for another year at the end of this month. Instead my landlord started pressuring me 6 months ago to move, saying that she wanted to sell the house now and she didn't think we could afford it and it was becoming a burden on her. So the first year's lease is coming to an end and my family and I have nowhere to go and she has sold the house. We have to be out by december 1st when we should be signing another lease. I don't think she can do this. Pretty sure it's illegal since it's written on paper and signed by myself, my fiance, and my landlord. I need some feedback please.
The exact language of your "first rights to buy the property" in your contract is what you need to have reviewed by legal counsel. Keep in mind that "illegal" is not the same as a non-compliance with the terms of a civil contract; ie, what the seller is doing may be a civil matter affecting your contract but is not a violation of criminal statutes. Nor is your interpretation of motive, morals, or any such indignation or inconvenience on the part of the seller a criminal act.

Typically, the "first rights" in a rental/lease contract extend to a "first right of refusal", which means that if the owner decides to sell the place and has a price in mind, you have the first position to pay that price to the exclusion of other qualified buyers. If you cannot or decide not to pay that price, then the owner is free to sell the place at that price. If they can't get that price from another buyer, but negotiate a lower price, then it may present that you have the "first right of refusal" again to either purchase or decline to buy the place at that new price. If you can't do the deal, then you've refused it and the seller can go ahead with their other buyer.

Generally, a "first right" of refusal is not an obligation on the part of the seller to hold the property for your possible purchase during the stated time frame even if a purchase price is mentioned in the rental contract. They have the option to sell as they see fit; the protection you have with that first right is that you can force the owner to sell to you at the time of your choosing at the given price.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
10,106 posts, read 13,893,484 times
Reputation: 8602
Quote:
Originally Posted by jame22875 View Post
Hi I need some help. I signed my lease where i am living in December 2011. In the lease stated that the tenant has the first rights to buy the property within 2 years. Technically we should be signing another lease for another year at the end of this month. Instead my landlord started pressuring me 6 months ago to move, saying that she wanted to sell the house now and she didn't think we could afford it and it was becoming a burden on her. So the first year's lease is coming to an end and my family and I have nowhere to go and she has sold the house. We have to be out by december 1st when we should be signing another lease. I don't think she can do this. Pretty sure it's illegal since it's written on paper and signed by myself, my fiance, and my landlord. I need some feedback please.

Is this a one-year lease, or a two year lease renewable at the end of first year?

Do you have the first right of refusal or some similar wording in writing and signed by the landlord?

How did they sell the house without you allowing to show the place? Why didn't you know the place was for sale? Did the landlord give you written notice that you have to move by a certain date?

If you have nothing in writing, you have no recourse. Find another place and put this behind you.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:28 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,460 times
Reputation: 10
We have in writing " the tenant has the first rights to purchase the property within 2 yrs". My point is she didn't even give us 6 months before pressuring us to buy. I never gave here a yes or no answer. And we have the rights to renew our lease after the first year's lease ends.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Florida
18,025 posts, read 18,275,056 times
Reputation: 20532
For a valid contract, there must be some consideration.
Did you put any money down on your option to be first?
That beside the point....it said "within 2 years"...not at the end of.
According to you , she did present you with the option within the 2 year period and you did not excercise it.
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