I saw a man in a pair of tan-colored khakis, tossing my son in the air. My son giggling wildly as the man started to give him a tickle. The man turned around and placed my Son in my arms. Then he put his hand on my shoulder and said,
“Don’t worry. It will be OK.”
The man smiled and I woke up from my dream. I was almost certain it was my husbands biological Father, trying to tell me something. I thought maybe one of my magazine submissions had gotten accepted, or something positive like that However, I was not prepared for what was about to occur next.
I told my Husband about my dream, and then put it out of my mind for two or three days. I was so busy writing, the dream I had about Mikes Dad was completely forgotten.
On February 8, we were going to sign our new lease agreement for the apartment my Husband and I have been renting for the last five years, after they left a message on my phone saying that the new lease had been prepared. My Husband went to the rental office to sign the lease. The apartment manager said,
“You can’t sign that, you are over occupancy.”
“What?! That’s just great!”
My Husband was furious. We did some research and although the apartment was a one bathroom one bedroom apartment, it was rather spacious because it was a studio apartment. My Mother helped us get in contact with a lady from the department of fair housing, and she said according to the city ordinance we were well within our rights to be there. 200 square feet a person was all that was needed. For our family that ment that 600 square feet was needed. Our apartment exceeded that by 220 square feet. Legally if we wanted we could have four people living in the apartment.
While I was doing research and getting free consultations from attorneys, the apartment manager told me she was going to talk to corporate and see what she could do since there were no two bedroom apartments available. I gave her more than enough time.
As luck would have it, my Mother happened to find an ad in the paper for a house for rent, that was less than our monthly rent on our apartment! Shortly there after on February 16, we gave our notice to vacate and here it is:
Tenant’s Notice to Landlord:
February 1, 2016 I, ********* ****** called to have the lease prepared. The office staff told me it would take a couple of days. On February 8, 2016 the office staff informed us our lease was ready to sign. My Husband went to sign the lease and they informed him we may be over occupancy. They had to check with corporate before signing our lease, and that they had no two bedroom apartments available currently. Currently residing in the 820 square foot 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment are my Husband, and I and our two-and-a-half year old son.
On February 10, 2016 I spoke to ***** on the phone, I asked her who my husband had spoken with on Monday, February 8, 2016. She informed me it was *****, and I asked if she had a chance to check with corporate. She assured me ***** would be meeting with regional tomorrow, (February 11, 2016) and that someone would get back to me.
It is now February 16, 2016 and we have not yet received a response. Under the current circumstances, with no lease secured yet, we felt that it was best to make other housing arrangements, as the current terms of our lease will expire on February 29, 2016.
We are giving notice of our intention to vacate the premises of **** *********** *** **** *** ********* *** *****, no later than February 29, 2016.
******* and ********* ******
Tenant February 16, 2016
The apartment manager looked shocked and said,
“No one from corporate has tried to contact you?”
“Nope, not at all. And since we have a small child we had to make other arrangements quickly, especially because it is the middle of winter and we can’t be left without you guaranteeing we are legally allowed to be there.” (Yes. I played stupid.)
“We were discussing offering you a month to month lease. Is that something you would be interested in?”
“No that is one-hundred dollars more, and one-hundred more than we can afford.”
“We could let you stay in the current apartment at the current market rent until a two bedroom becomes available.”
“No we already made other living arrangements.”
Her eyes began to twitch as someone does when they are nervous, as she looked over our notice to vacate. Did she ever really talk to corporate? I don’t know. We signed the papers needed to give us leave of the apartment, and began the process of packing and moving our things.
After cleaning the apartment we walked through it with the apartment manager. She saw a chunk was missing out of the enamel top on the stove and began to say,
“Well I don’t–”
“That was like that when they moved in here. My daughter asked them to replace the stove and they absolutely refused.”
“I asked them twice and they still refused,” I said, “and the mold. Just let me show you the black mold problem we have in here that I have asked maintenance to take care of and they never have.”
“Didnt maintenance fix your bathroom fan?”
“Yes and I asked them about the mold. The guy just said, ‘Yea that happens. these apartments don’t get very good ventilation,’ but he never did anything to resolve the situation.”
“Oh my gosh, I had known it would have been fixed and you would have had a new stove. I’m sorry you had to go through all of this.”
“Well they had every right to be there according to the department of housing.” my Mother said.
“Oh really? That’s interesting because corporate told us only two people per bedroom.”
“Well not according to the city ordinance.”
“Well cooperate drills that into our heads.”
“Well has corporate ever been to a zoning meeting?”
“I didn’t think so.”
“The attorneys said corporate could enforce a rule that they thought was needed for safety like no more than two people per bedroom, but it would have to be in writing in our lease. No where in our lease did it say that,” I said.
“Wow. That is interesting. I will have to look into that myself.”
“I just don’t want this to happen to any future tenants. Especially people with such young children.”
I gave her the keys and did not look back.
The whole situation was very stressful on my family, but I am counting my blessings. My Mom just happened to look in the paper the same day the landlord refused to renew our lease. A couple of days prior Mikes Dad who passed away comes to me in a dream and tells me “It will be Ok.” I’m counting my blessings we have angels looking out for my family and I. A parents love is unconditional, in this life and in the next.