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Old 09-24-2011, 12:00 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 24,160,872 times
Reputation: 8998

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I've got a dysfunctional soap-opera living situation. When I moved in, I was renting a room from Joe. Joe doesn't own the house, he is renting the entire house and apparently had some sort of arrangement with the landlord to act as property agent.

This works out to: Joe pays rent to the landlord and rents out extra rooms to others, pocketing the "subrents" and effectively living in the house for free.

Jane moved in with Joe and they soon started fighting a lot, making life hell for the rest of us. We had no way to contact the landlord. (Property records list this address for landlord, so all mail to landlord comes here and Joe contacts landlord.)

Then Joe and another tenant started fighting and the other tenant (Jill) got a restraining order against Joe, which really messed things up...Joe was effectively banned from the house. The landlord shows up and informally evicts Joe.

At this point, the whole landlord/tenant relationship changes: we now pay the landlord, who says he will come by monthly to collect rent. Rent remains the same as what Joe was paying, which means under full occupancy a rent reduction for the rest of us since we are now no longer subsidizing Joe.

Since the house rent is fixed, the monthly individual rent varies depending on how many people are paying rent, so now I have an intense desire to keep all rooms rented.

Joe contested the restraining order and at a hearing it was thrown out. Joe took that apparently as some sort of validation and he was back in the house that same evening. (Jane never left the house, and helped Joe move back in.

Upon Joe's return, Jill moved out. So now there's a vacant room, which I want occupied ASAP. But I have no way to contact the landlord, and Joe and Jane are evasive. Joe and Jane basically want the whole house to themselves (they drink and party all day and I gave up even using the kitchen months ago), and are not going to lift a finger to get the empty room rented.

I'm angry and don't think I should have to pay "extra" rent to cover a vacancy that I am powerless to fill, or even to alert the landlord. It's bad enough that I paid (extra) rent based on Joe's not living here, and Joe moved back and is paying no rent this month.

Any suggestions?
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,487 posts, read 70,335,045 times
Reputation: 37748
Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Any suggestions?
Aside from the LL evicting everyone and starting over with a far better set of policies?
Nope; not really.
---
Housemating, which I suspect is your preferred description for what you have, requires some relationship between the parties aside from just splitting rent. Things like all being students at the local uni sorta qualify.
That doesn't appear to be the case now if it ever was.

Operating a rooming house, where relative strangers come and go, is a whole other can of worms both legally and operationally. Like it or not that more closely describes what you have now.

Check the laws where you are to see where the line is drawn.
Then decide which side of that line you want to be on.

hth
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,373,668 times
Reputation: 26605
OP, don't you have the same issue going on in your recent thread, viz:

Add person, change rent?

You certainly received much good advice on that thread so why do you feel compelled to start another thread on the same subject?
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 7,702,716 times
Reputation: 3703
Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
we now pay the landlord, who says he will come by monthly to collect rent.
Good, then you don't have a problem! You just have to wait until rent is due, and talk to the landlord, and depending on whether you like what he says or not, you can decide to stay or go.

No one is going to be able to tell you what is going to happen - except for the landlord - and you have a date with him already, the next time your rent is due. Just be patient for now - the answers are coming soon!

Oh, and get the landlord's contact info this time!
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:20 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 24,160,872 times
Reputation: 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
OP, don't you have the same issue going on in your recent thread, viz:

Add person, change rent?

You certainly received much good advice on that thread so why do you feel compelled to start another thread on the same subject?

Same house, different issue. (And thanks for the tip, that thread had a number of replies I had not seen.)

This issue isn't "someone is living in the house and not paying rent" but rather "the person not currently paying rent will start paying rent next month, but he caused another tenant to leave, and is blocking my efforts to contact landlord or to find another paying tenant".
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:24 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 24,160,872 times
Reputation: 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by bouncethelight View Post
Good, then you don't have a problem! You just have to wait until rent is due, and talk to the landlord, and depending on whether you like what he says or not, you can decide to stay or go.

No one is going to be able to tell you what is going to happen - except for the landlord - and you have a date with him already, the next time your rent is due. Just be patient for now - the answers are coming soon!

Oh, and get the landlord's contact info this time!

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE

No, my problem is that by the time the landlord shows up, it will be TOO LATE to find a paying tenant for October, which means I will have to pay considerably more rent than if a paying tenant had been found for October.

Why should I have to pay extra rent because a room is vacant, I have no way to contact the landlord and no way to fill the vacancy, and the only tenant who CAN contact the landlord is evasive and stonewalling my efforts?
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,274 posts, read 6,107,686 times
Reputation: 2540
Why was it that you can't move again? Like, NOW?
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:44 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 24,160,872 times
Reputation: 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawmom View Post
Why was it that you can't move again? Like, NOW?

Like, no money. Unless there's a place into which I can move in with no up front cash NOW.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,274 posts, read 6,107,686 times
Reputation: 2540
I really don't know what you could do. It seems to be a hopeless situation and the only thing you could try to do would be get another job and save up money for another place or beg family for a loan.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Downtown Harrisburg
1,434 posts, read 3,599,927 times
Reputation: 1015
Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Why should I have to pay extra rent because a room is vacant, I have no way to contact the landlord and no way to fill the vacancy, and the only tenant who CAN contact the landlord is evasive and stonewalling my efforts?
Because this was the deal you signed up for and have been living with for the past xx months.

TL/DR: You want another housemate. You can't find one. What are your options?

Holy disaster. Here are your three choices. I understand that one or more of these may be difficult, but these are your only options. You have chosen to live in a bad situation, so you're going to have to live with bad choices:

1 - Move
2 - Find another housemate yourself
3 - Find out if your living arrangement is illegal; if so, report the landlord

Option #1 is the best. You have posted a lot about your living situation, and despite the outstanding advice you've already been given, you keep asking for more and more help. This is obviously more than you can handle, and you need to leave.

Option #2 means you're bringing another person into this nightmare living situation so that you can save a few bucks every month. What if they move in and are fed up a week later? You're right back where you started.

Option #3 may or may not be a valid choice. Your landlord may be doing everything by the book. If he isn't, and you can bring a complaint against him, you may find yourself homeless and doing option #1 anyway.

You need to move. If you can't afford to move, then you need to relocate to another town or another part of the country. Just start walking. Or buy a tent and live in that. If you can't live in a tent, move to a bigger city that has support infrastructure for homeless people. Lots of people do that, and it will give you a few months to get back on your feet. Hell, I lived in a trailer for a few years because I dumped most of my paycheck into paying down loans. Cost for that was around $272 a month plus utilities. I hated every second of it, but it was what I had to do.
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