Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Losing Our Home

Sunday we received a phone call from our landlord. My wife and I have rented since we met, because my career has caused us to move around quite a bit (since leaving the Army ten years ago, I've worked in eight cities over three states), and I felt it best not to purchase until I knew we would be stable for a while. So we've rented, and only recently decided that we plan to settle down where we now live, and make my career accomodate us, instead of the other way around.

We've been renting the same house for 2-1/2 years. We signed a two-year lease when we moved in, and didn't bother re-signing when it ended in May because we thought we might like to buy some time before the next lease would end. I guess I was foolish to think that was a wise choice. I should have realized then that the lease is more protection for the renter than the owner.

So the landlord called us on Sunday morning. She said that she would like to show the house to a potential buyer, and wondered if she could bring her by that very day. I was livid! "You told us when we moved in here that you wouldn't even consider selling as long as we were living here," I protested. She fed me a sob story that she had purchased a house that she probably shouldn't have that had put her into a financial bind and she needed to sell one of her other houses to bring down the payments on the new house. She claimed that she would be showing this "prospective buyer" each of her four 3-bedroom homes.

I argued it out unsuccessfully with her at least an hour. She's such a scatter-brained person that it's impossible to carry on a two-party intelligent conversation with her. She can carry her end of the two-party conversation, but the intelligent part completely escapes her. She's a fifty-something peroxide blonde who dresses like she's a twenty-something street-walker.

In the end, I told her that she could not come into the house when we weren't home, and that we would not be home on the day she called. "How about tomorrow?" she asked.

"I won't be off again until Wednesday," I said.

"What time would be a good time on Wednesday?" she asked.

"None," I answered, but we agreed on 6:00 pm anyway. "Don't be early, and don't be late," I said, and hung up the phone.

Two days later, which was Tuesday (which is actually the day I'm writing this, though I'm writing it and dating it for Wednesday posting), the landlords bumbling servant boyfriend showed up to install the storm windows we had been requesting for two years. Of course, now that they were hoping to sell the place, it made sense to install storm windows. Apparantly it didn't make much sense while we were paying outrageous heating and cooling bills over the past two years. Next, he continued to trim the hedges in the front yard down to a box-like nothing that both looks unattractive and destroyed the flowers that were growing in the area.

Needless to say, I'm infuriated! My wife is terribly upset and concerned about where we'll go if this "prospective buyer" becomes more than just prospective. Of course, we'll step up our attempts to purchase a home and hopefully find something before we have to vacate this place. It is my sincere hope and prayer that we never have to rent another home as long as we live.

It just isn't right that hard-working, reliable renters be at the mercy of uncaring, money-hungry landlords. It isn't right that we could very possibly be forced out of what we have called home for more than two years -- in fact the only home my son has ever known.

That's my gripe, my rant, whatever you want to call it. If you're reading this today and you have any secrets we might be able to use to either prevent the house from being shown tonight, or to prevent the landlord from selling out from under us, please -- PLEASE -- email me at The clock is ticking and may run out at 6:00 pm Central Time.

Thanks for your help!


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