Take notice

7 Jun

So I’ve been put into a rather perplexing situation.

Several years ago I made the decision to move out of my house. I say several years ago, because I asked for a divorce a number of years ago and then spent the next several years trying to find a place where I could afford to live. And the next stumbling block after that was finding a landlord who would agree to rent to me since my credit has been trashed.

Finally last spring I found a great place and begged and pleaded for them to give me a chance so I could get out of that house I felt trapped in. And they did (after requiring a co-signor and three months rent in advance!). And the year has gone swimmingly. Rent always paid on the first of the month, house clean, I planted lilac bushes and perennials, fixed the storm door, changed the shower head, painted two rooms – I’m clean, quiet, don’t drink, don’t make a whole lot of noise…basically if you don’t see me you’d never know I was here.

At the end of April they asked if I was planning on staying. They said they were happy having me in the home and would like to offer me an extension or another year’s lease. I said great! I’d love to stay! Kids like it here and I sure don’t want to move again. It has worked out great (except for some plumbing issues, but I deal with them).

So imagine my surprise when I got an email last week stating that the rent would now be increased by $50 per month! $50? Cripes, again…might as well be a million! Now I’m in that place that I really don’t like to be in. Confrontation. I really think it is lousy that they asked me about staying two months ago, with no mention of a rent increase, and then drop this little bomb on me with less than 30 days to go until I need to re-sign. Now what am I supposed to do? It took me years to find this place and begging and pleading before they agreed to rent to me.

And besides the obvious discomfort that additional rent cost is going to cause, I am emotionally upset over this. More so than I initially thought. Not just at the fact that I feel kind of taken advantage of – since I did a lot of repairs and extra work around here, but I’m finding myself back in the self doubting mode. My initial joy back in late April of “they like me!” has been replaced with self doubts of “I’m not good enough, I must have done something wrong.” That there must be some deep dark reason that even though I thought I was doing all the right things, bending over backwards to make the place look great, staying out of everyone’s hair, never ever once calling for an issue, yet still it isn’t good enough. Still, even knowing “my story” and the situation I am in, they chose to request more money for the rent. $600 extra.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do now. I haven’t responded back yet. Emotions still a bit too raw to put anything into writing as far as a response. I’m angry and hurt, and angry and hurt at myself for feeling bad about it. It is my immediate defense to assume I did something wrong. That I’m asking for it. I shouldn’t have to feel like that. But I do.

I guess what surprises and saddens me the most is that I had hoped that they noticed what a good renter I was. I think that is a deep seated issue for me. Hoping someone would notice. I’m not good at “tooting my own horn.” I am the behind the scenes girl. Always doing good and just hoping and wishing that someone will notice. I’m saddened that so few people ever do.

Do me a favor, would you? Take notice of someone tomorrow. It could mean the world to them.

3 Responses to “Take notice”

  1. Linda:-) June 7, 2011 at 9:19 AM #

    {{{{Lulu}}}}} You are a wonderful good person. I completely understand where you are coming from as I think I’m much the same personality type in being quiet and behind the scenes and hoping someone might notice the things I do without having to seek out approval. How unfair of your landlords to do that to you. It appears they are taking advantage of your situation. It’s almost like they baited you by getting you to say you’d stay then raising the rent. Especially knowing they had you between a rock and hard place since you went through so much to get there in the first place. I can’t offer much in assistance but I will keep you and the kids in my prayers and hope that something good happens so you can have a place without the stress. Really wish I could do more!! Hang in there!!

  2. Janna June 8, 2011 at 6:44 AM #

    So sorry this is happening to you. You are a good person. Maybe the hike in rent has nothing to do with liking you. My house insurance went up $75.00 a month and my property taxes went up $40.00 a month. My water went up $10.00 a month. If I rented my house to you, I would certainly have to go up on you. No way I could absorb the cost. I know it does not take the $50 away for you but maybe you can see it is not personnel. Love you……..

  3. Shelley June 8, 2011 at 4:50 PM #

    I am a landlord but I’m also very sensitive to this issue. First, what does the rental agreement say? Does it mention an automatic increase? If so, then you have to swallow and say oops, I didn’t read the fine print. If not, I would talk to them. Approach but don’t confront. Say, “Gee, I didn’t realize when we talked about my staying on that there was going to be a rent increase. I really like living here and my kids are comfortable here. A $50 increase may not seem overly burdensome to you but that’s quite a bit for someone in my situation. Is there a possibility of reducing the increase?” Now, of course, you won’t want to pay anymore but what you need to get the landlord to understand is that your income is not increasing or as much as the rent increase. Stress to them that you want to stay but you would like to negotiate a situation that is workable for both parties. Landlords don’t like empty rentals and if they have any sense, they will not do anything to drive away a good tenant. If they are unbending, you have a dilemma. Do you stay with people who are willing to risk an easy tenant for the unknown or do you walk? Feel them out first because you don’t know if you have a dilemma or not.

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