Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend
Ed. Note: Info from the office of the tenant advocate can be found here
Here’s the deal:
1) I paid two months advance rent and a security deposit, all totalling 6400, to occupy a single family home with an illegal basement unit.The landlord did not have an active license at the time he rented the unit but acquired roughly two months later, after I called the matter to his attention. However, I signed a one year lease which began in August 2014.
2) At the time of renting the place, the landlord said that he intended to rent the basement, and there was an ad for the unit on Craigslist at the same time my apartment was on the market. The landlord said that he would charge me $200 in rent per month to cover my half of the utilities. However, I discovered and brought to his attention that he only had license to rent the unit as a single family home per zoning restrictions for the area.
3) I was in the process of selling my primary residence and so I spent several evenings preparing at my old place, preparing it for sale. Also, the chemicals used to clean the carpet exacerbated by allergies and caused rash breakouts for my 3 year old daughter. While I was away, the landlord entered the property several times without any notice – once to clean the carpet, once to turn out the lights.
4) My house did not close on the scheduled date, and I was a little hard on cash, so I was unable to pay November rent. Just before Thanksgiving, I noticed that the landlord shifted my daughters toys and cleaned the carpet – again wihtout notice.
5) Two days after Thanksgiving, the landlord sent a text message to tell me that he had moved my things to the basement of the apartment. I texted back asking why. He phoned back and told me that he needed to move my things because he had rented the place to another person. He said I could arrange to meet him at the basement to retrieve my furniture and personal belongings.
6) I am scheduled to close on my house on December 5th, and I now have no place to stay because the landlord has moved my things and rented my place to someone else.
And so now…. I am freaked out trying to find another place. I wonder if I have any recourse or what steps I can take against the landlord. I have never been in this situation before, and I would greatly appreciate receiving any help or advice that Popvillians can offer.