The new apartment worked until new neighbors moved in and harassed her and complained to the management because they had to walk past her apartment to get to their stairs and sometimes she sat on her porch. They complained because she put a blanket on the lawn and lay there to read. Okay, we moved her to a house we were renovating.
Eight years ago we moved her into an apartment building we owned. About four years ago we sold our interest in the building. After we sold the building, she started telling us how her unit needed repairs because it didn’t pass its Section 8 inspection. We would thank God that we sold the building and watch to see that the repairs were made.
I pay the rent quarterly so it is always paid in advance. A couple years ago the rent was raised and nobody told me. I thought I got the problem solved, but was still confused about how the amount they told me I owed equaled the raise in rent. I thought we still had a credit balance from when we paid a deposit for her to have a dog, and the dog didn’t work out.
Once, I took the rent check in three weeks early and was told in no uncertain terms, “Well this will have to be marked as past due.”
I answered, “This is her third quarter rent. The third quarter doesn’t start for three weeks yet.”
Several other tenants were standing around and heard this exchange. They made a big deal over the transaction-making jokes about the third quarter. The manager conceded that the rent wasn’t late.
Several months ago the carpet started getting wet. After several walk-throughs, maintenance came in, extracted the water, and pronounced the carpet dry. I’m glad they told Jamie the carpet was dry because she wouldn’t have figured that out from her own inspection.
A couple weeks ago, she complained to me about the carpet being wet again. I told her to call maintenance. She said they agreed to come in. I expected the Section 8 inspectors to be out within a week for their annual inspection which was a little overdue.
This brings us up to the weekend when another former foster daughter’s daughter got married out of town. We got Jamie a hotel room next to ours, and we had a lovely time at the wedding.
After being gone for 24 hours, we returned Jamie to her home, and I went up to the apartment to be sure everything was acceptable for her part of the Section 8 inspection. I walked into the apartment wearing my dress-shoes and long dress. Water in the carpet splashed on my legs, and hem, and soaked my good shoes.
This was Saturday night and Jamie was tired, she said she could step over the puddle, and she just wanted to fix dinner and go to bed. I let her stay there. The next day, maintenance walked through and said they’d do something about it Monday.
By Tuesday nothing had been done and Jamie wasn’t feeling well. The floor was spongy wet the whole length of the apartment. I called her renter’s insurance company, and they agreed to set her up in a hotel. I called our contractor to look at the problem. By the time our contractor got there, the floor was damp but not spongey wet. The insurance company called the apartment manager, and she told them nothing was wrong with the apartment and that Jamie had just slopped water on the floor because she shakes.
So the insurance company wasn’t happy with me and refused to pay the hotel bill and the floor in the apartment was still wet despite the fact that Jamie wasn’t staying there. The management manager shrugged and said there are no leaky pipes in her unit, but she can have a unit on the second floor while they find out what is wrong with this unit.
I started talking to the housing authority. We have to terminate our lease on the first floor to get the unit on the second floor. Fine. Now, that the housing authority is involved, the manager says, “Oh I was going to tell you. You have a $2,000 credit balance, because there was a billing error.”
We started the paperwork for making the move, which involved an initiation of terminating her lease. Can she now move into the apartment upstairs? No. They’ve agreed to terminate her lease, but not sign a new lease and any complaints we make about the unit being unlivable are because she spilled water. As the situation stands, the rent is paid through June 30. The apartment owner has a $2000 of her money and no obligation to provide her with housing. The apartment manager won’t return the $2000 because she says Jamie was the one to break the lease.
The local housing authority that was supposed to have inspected the first apartment weeks ago told me they didn’t inspect because they are underfunded and don’t have the staff to inspect every unit every year..
Folks, there are three sane people with master’s degrees working to keep Jamie in an apartment, and we got duped, thinking people were telling us the truth. We trusted the housing authority, which is probably under pressure to reduce their case load so they didn’t do inspections. Now, after telling us to get a signed termination notice and they would give us a same day appointment, they are not returning calls. We trusted the apartment manager to tell the truth about letting Jamie rent the second floor apartment.
The inability of the housing authority to do its job is what the majority of the people in this country voted for. This level of duplicity from the apartment management is what has become the norm, profits before people.
This is why people who can’t defend themselves become homeless and are judged as having made poor life choices. It isn’t the tenant. Our daughter doesn't have any choices. Currently, she is sofa surfing because we don’t have an empty bedroom for her.