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Roommate is trying to force me out of my room

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Roommate is trying to force me out of my room

Postby Nandi » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:18 pm

Hi,
I've got a roommate situation and was wondering if anyone could shed some light on it.

I rent a room in a three bedroom apartment in a private house. There is no lease or anything, I pay month to month. The roommate who's been there the longest, D. collects our money and then writes the landlord a check for the full amount (1500). The agreed upon rent was 500 per room. My room is that largest and D. wanted to trade rooms but I said no. Now D. has decided to change the rent for the rooms. He's lowered his own rent and raised mine (the apartment total is still the same), giving me a month's notice. He said he spoke to the landlord about it and that she agreed (I have not spoken to her yet so I don't know if this is true). I know he's doing to this to force me out of my room so he can take it. Do I have any recourse here?

I definitely plan to move out, this situation has shown me his true colors, but I don't want to do it until the end of the semester (May). I'm in nursing school and the apartment is so close to the hospital. He knows I can't afford the new rent.

Can anyone give me any advice? What should I do? What rights do I have?
Nandi
 
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Postby Emeraldstar » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:32 pm

Hi All
Since May is only 3 months away, why not change rooms & pay D's reduced rate? Use the savings towards your move.
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Postby ronin » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:11 am

Well, this one is easy.

I would pay what was agreed originally. If he wants to change rents on you then he will have to give you the proper notices. In addition, he has to go through the entire eviction process just as if he was the LL.

That means you must receive a 30-notice regarding the end of your month to month tenancy, and then he has to follow through and file in court against you.

Since you want to move anyway, another thing you can do is write him in April and say you are not paying April's rent at all because you need to save money for your move and you will live out your security deposit until the end of May. Not one hundred percent by the book, but fair given the sleazy way he changed the rent on you (even if it is not totally unreasonable to charge more for a bigger room, he can't switch the deal on you midstream like that with such little notice).

Good luck!
ronin
 
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The plot thickens...

Postby Nandi » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:27 pm

Thanks guys! There is a whole other element to this story that I didn't mention earlier because I just wanted clarification on the rent change situation.

The reason D. wants the bigger room is that he is getting his girlfriend to move in. He wanted the biggest room for them to share and wanted to make the other small room into their own private living room.

I spoke to him and said 1) I'm not going to pay more than was agreed on and 2) I don't want your girlfriend to move in here (one reason being that they have always been in a long distance relationship and they are moving in together for the first time = disaster waiting to happen).

He said that I have no say in the matter because he's lived there longer so he gets to decide how it's going to be.

So now we're planning a sit down with the landlord to figure out what next. I just want to know that I've got the law (not just common sense and decency) on my side. The landlord seems to think I'm being unreasonable. Btw, my rent went from 500 to 600 - a 20% increase - that can't be legal!

EmeraldStar: I'm so pissed off by this that I've decided to be as big of a pain in the ass as I can and force HIM out. I don't want to live with him but I'm not giving up that apartment.
Nandi
 
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Postby Emeraldstar » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:47 pm

Hi All
Read carefully what ronin posted. Ronin has considerable expertise on the law. Stand firm on the rent & room since the gf issue puts a whole different light on D's motivation. If you decide for the short term to take the smaller room see if you can get a reduction. D appears to be taking in another source of income so let them cover the difference if it works. My guess since the LL thinks your unreasonable I'm suspecting some sort LL likeing for D, expect to get an eviction notice after the 30 day written notice. Eviction is a pain in the butt because it gets you blacklisted & can affect your ability to rent an apt. in the future. Search the forum on blacklisting.
Another option may be to get D to cover your search, moving, maybe even rent for the inconvience. I'm not sure but if you do end up in court it may be worth asking for. As for making their lives hell I suggest you focuse on your needs & leave them to sweat it out.
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Re: The plot thickens...

Postby Cranky Tenant » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:06 pm

Nandi wrote:So now we're planning a sit down with the landlord to figure out what next. I just want to know that I've got the law (not just common sense and decency) on my side. The landlord seems to think I'm being unreasonable. Btw, my rent went from 500 to 600 - a 20% increase - that can't be legal!

EmeraldStar: I'm so pissed off by this that I've decided to be as big of a pain in the ass as I can and force HIM out. I don't want to live with him but I'm not giving up that apartment.


Situations like this are best worked out between roommates with as little landlord involvement as possible. Just because he owns the property doesn't mean his opinion has anything to do with the law. If he receives rent from "D" he's much more likely to take "D's" side. If it becomes too much of a headache the landlord could just issue everyone a 30 day notice.

You could counter "D's" proposal by offering to pay 1/4 of the rent since there will be four people sharing the apartment. Let him negotiate his way up from that.
I'm a cranky tenant NOT a cranky lawyer.
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Postby ronin » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:37 am

The girlfriend issue does add a little to the scenario, but it really boils down to an unfair change in the conditions you agreed to.

I strongly agree that the LL should have very little role in your negotiations, but you originally wanted to leave the apartment. I have to agree with you that her moving in has the potential to turn your situation into a living hell. Close quarters combat between the two of them is a real possibility. Even just adding one other roommate makes a big difference, but when coupled with her relationship with "the main tenant" is asking for it. Just imagine needing to shave before you go to work and she's in the bathroom for 3 hours having claimed it as the queen of the apartment- consort of the LL's anointed ruler....

Do you really want to deal with that when your position is so limited?
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