Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Not So Quick Takes- The Legal Edition

1) It's been one hellava week.  Sunday I noticed HB had caught a cold.  Monday was a sorta normal day, but the start to issues with the property manager of our current rental.  I tried to contact her but then the office closed so I composed a letter with the intention of bringing it to her in the next morning.  Basically what was at issue was 60 days notice.  In our lease agreement it says that you need to give 60 days notice if you want your deposit back.  Our deposit is non-refundable so that doesn't matter.  Then it says that in order to terminate your contract (terminate means break your lease) you need 60 days notice and to pay a buy out fee.  If you don't give 60 days you get stuck with 2 grand.  The crazy thing is it says for all terminations.  That's illegal.  In our state if you can prove that you are leaving because of domestic violence (court order protection) then you can break your lease and your landlord has to suck eggs.  So the language itself in our lease is bad.  But here's the item of despute, it says at the end of our 1 year agreement if we have not signed a new lease it rolls over to a month to month or than we need to give 60 days notice.  The problem is that our lease's natural term is August 9th.  We plan on paying up to that point even though we have to travel sooner.  We plan on vacating long before it rolls into a month to month.  And even if it did legally you only need 30 days notice.  So we could just simply leave before August 9th without any notice really, remove our stuff, hand over the keys, and legally tell the property manager to suck eggs.

boxes in shower

2) On Tuesday, Hubby goes and gets some free moving boxes which we've stuffed temporarily into our shower.  I go to explain to her that we're actually being nice and giving her more than 30 days notice and plan to leave and pay up to August 9th.  I'm speaking to her subordinate and handing him a check and the letter explaining things.  And she starts coming round the corner acting hostile waving the lease around spouting off about how it's a legal and binding contract.  "Yes, I know.  But state law supersedes any contract."  She starts ratcheting it up another notch and tries to show me the section on refunds.  "If you look at the title, it's referring to refunds.  Which doesn't apply to us because our refund is non-refundable."  At this point I'm shaking, and she's still trying to argue with me.  "Well, if you read the lease..." she continues.  "I have multiple times."  I try to explain to her.  "We're not lawyers.  So I'm not going to argue with you about this."  "Okay.  We're still leaving."  "Fine.  It'll be 2,000 dollars than."  "I'm sorry, but you're wrong.  We won't be paying that."  "We do this sort of thing all the time.  You'll just end up in collections."  "Okay.  Well I meant this letter for your superiors attention anyway.  Please pass it up to them."  And then I walk out.  Yeah, she totally wasn't trying to argue with me.  Ha!  And as I was leaving I was thinking "so what?  Collections has no jurisdiction in Canada.  Good luck with all that red tape." 

I come back to Hubby and explain that she's just arguing with me and not hearing me out.  I'm so shaken about her hostility that I'm crying and angry.  Hubby is worried about our credit score.  My concern is that we live in an area of low renters and government assistance people.  A lot of people are also foreign.  How many have been screwed by her and the incredibly wonky and in places illegal language of the lease?  I decide to call a lawyer to doubly make sure I understand things correctly and seek his advice.  He tells me to send a certified letter and not to roll over on the issue because the language is so poorly worded.  He tells me the worst is that they file suit and we pay.  I call my mom to ask her if she'll be a US contact for the group that owns the property. 

3)  You have to understand my parents live and breathe legal.  They are retired government workers.  My mother was also a union rep and has dealt with contracts and disputes herself.  In addition, they've had to file a lawsuit in the past against an insurance company when they were in an accident.  My mother will tell me like it is and if she think I'm right, she is not going to back down about it.  My mom's a pit bull when it comes to law.  My mom assures me that the property manager is an idiot and has no idea what she's talking about and to ignore her.  She tells me that even if it goes on our credit score that you can write a letter to the crediting agencies and explain that it's actually a tenant/landlord dispute.  She then tells me not to worry.  She'll help if there's suit but she doubts it.  The language is murky and it would cost them more in retaining an attorney than it would to simply eat the 2 grand.  Not worth it to an investment company.

4) On Wednesday I spend the day praying and simultaneously distracting myself with other legal issues.  I watch as the Supreme Court hands down judgements and listen to the fall out.  Great.  Not only am I moving to a country where my ability to preach the Gospel and speak out against homosexual behavior is truncated, I will return 2 years later to my home country to find a similar situation brewing.  No help from SCOTUS and POTUS will certainly seal the fates of all Christians.  I'm hoping that next year SCOTUS will hear the HHS Mandate crap and we can make strides to protect our freedoms.  I mail the new letter.  I try to sleep and eat, but I'm just so stressed out.

5)  This doesn't help that for the past few days I've been woken up by small children who themselves are dealing with a cold.  This culminates on Wednesday evening when we can't get the children to sleep.  What's unusual is Knee is not laying down.  Every time he whimpers and moans.  Instinct tells me something is up.  My husband is pushing for crying it out.  I try to make him comfortable but it's obvious that he's not.  I try to give him liquid Tylenol which in his exhausted yet obviously painful state he won't accept.  I end up laying in bed with him and spending most of the morning dealing with him writhing.

6)  Thursday morning we end up deciding against going to get driver's records from the DMV because I'm exhausted and really shouldn't drive and Knee has a fever.  He does take a chewable that are meant for his brother.  Hubby stays home that morning and leaves for work in the afternoon.  I spend the entire day giving him a tablet every 4 hours and eventually his demeanor improves.  We were able to get them both to sleep and Knee only woke up at 4 this morning, which was nice.  He did fall back asleep except Hubby let HB come and wake us up.  We've had a discussion about how that's not appropriate.  I doubt Hubby will remember.  Yesterday, Hubby got a call back from them asking us to sign something so we'll look at that tomorrow.  And we spent a half day getting the necessary documents.  Our goal for tomorrow: square stuff out with crazy property manager, start packing non-essentials, and send off documents. 

7) Next week I'll share tips about moving to a foreign country and I hope that your week turned out considerably better than mine.

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