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Getting Back to Oregon?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sorry if you are reading this and it seems like a jumbled mess. I got up really early this morning and just needed to vent and get this news out there. Yesterday was SO STRESSFUL. There are going to be many stressful days and weeks to follow so i probably won't be around much. So much has happened this past week I don't even really know how to process it. My husband and I got some really great news, followed by some not great news and we are now in an even worse, more precarious situation than the last time we moved, which I didn't think was possible!

My husband has been applying for jobs in other areas because right now there seemed to be a glut of them in the areas we were looking to get to and these opportunities in his field don't come up very often. He applied in Las Vegas, and Spokane, Washington and never got called. he applied in Seattle which is a big deal, and didn't get an offer, or even a callback. He had a phone interview with a station on Monday and got a job offer Thursday. The station is in Southern Oregon, we had previously lived in the Portland, Or area but I think Southern Oregon is as close as we are going to get right now. The job is not a huge bump up career or salary wise but it is going to be only a 6-7 hour drive to see his family as opposed to an all day travel nightmare that we can only afford to undertake for Thanksgiving. It is more of a managerial role than he has ever had before so that will be good. Plus it is in a place where hopefully we can settle down for a few years instead of living the way we have been where we are always unstable, always looking for the next better thing. Eastern Idaho is not a terrible place to live, it has just not been a great fit for us because the culture here is quite different than what we are used to.

We of course feel like we have to accept the offer, we are definitely going to, the only real problem with it is that they want him as soon as possible which is problematic because we have SO MUCH STUFF to do before we can move. Yes we put our selves into the situation by applying, I accept that 100%. My husband works in the TV news business so at least we have the excuse that it is "sweeps" right now so they are giving us a little leeway because having an employee up and leave during sweeps is I guess, verboten. He is not under contract so technically he could leave whenever, but we have so much to do in order to move, we need as much time as we can get.

So we contacted our apartment manager to tell her that we need to find out how to give notice that we are moving and all that. We live in Income assisted apartments which has been all that we can afford. When we first moved here the acting manager went over our lease and told us that the only stipulation to breaking the lease would be that we would have to pay an extra month of rent past our move-out date, and give 30 days notice of course. Apparently this policy has changed with our 2nd year lease. When we signed our 2nd year lease, management had changed more than once, we are never notifed when there is a new manager so I can't say how many times. Apparently there was NO manager for a few months and we were never aware. We pay our rent and other than yearly recertification we haven't really had to deal with the managers all that much.

We were supposed to sign a new year long lease in May 2011. That did not happen. We went to the office and expressed interest and nothing was done until August 2011. We had tried to find another place to live closer to his work with no luck and we wanted to stay. We always knew that we would be getting out early as soon as we could find a job because we didn't want to be moving during the hottest part of Summer. When we resigned, literally the manager came over and brought papers and said "Have these back to me tomorrow so I can start processing them." She never offered to go over it with us. I don't know if she is required to. If I had known about the policy change we NEVER would have re-signed. It is not like a normal complex where you just re-sign a lease, we have to be re-approved through our financial records that we are still eligible to live here, which took about 2 months to be completed before we could move in in the first place in 2010. There were extenuating circumstances in that, but still it was pretty ridiculous.

Anyhow to get to the main problem: the new policy is that if we are going to break our lease WE have to find a new tenant or else pay the remaining part of the lease. Which normally would just mean paying through May since that would have been our year mark, but since the management dropped the ball, it means paying through to AUGUST. her excuse is that the previous manager left during that period and when she came into the job she had 65 people to re-certify. That's not really my problem. I feel like we should not be held to that since we should have been re-signed in May regardless. But we did sign the lease, so we are held to that. I don't see that there is anything we can do. I called her yesterday and had words with her and was essentially out-bitched. She is not very professional and not very bright honestly, (she admitted that if I emailed her her response might not make any sense...How did you get this job??)but good at talking over people just repeating her point until you can see that nothing else matters and nothing is going to get through. I ended up getting frustrated and 'angry crying' which I guess is better than screaming and yelling, but far more embarrassing. Now we have less than a month to do countless moving related errands, find a place in the new city to live (sight unseen), advertise and find a new tenant, and wrap up all loose ends here.

My husband and I are excited about the opportunity, but it has just been a crap storm finding out about this lease thing, and how soon we need to move. I know we should have known about it and we are liable since we signed, but that doesn't make it suck any less. So we have put an ad on craigslist and any potential renters are supposed to contact our manager. I have heard nothing but bad things about her, so I am trying to be really optimistic that she will do her job properly. She says the complex is at 100% capacity so ours is the only vacancy available. I'm hoping that is a good thing. We need to get to contacting potential apartments in the new city too and this is just feeling way too familiar from the crap we went through when we moved here originally.

I spent all of yesterday assessing our packing situation and forcing things that we don't need on our very nice next door neighbor. Said neighbor offered to call the corporate office of our apartment complex anonymously but was never able to get through to anybody. Her and I have never been best friends, but she was really there for me yesterday and I think I would have been a useless puddle on the floor literally (very emotional) and figuratively if I hadn't had her to talk through it with and be indignant with, so that was nice at least. Plus I got rid of some stuff, Woo!

I know we brought the situation on ourselves by applying for a job when we didn't know all that moving would entail. We are lucky in a sense because when we moved here we kept 2 closets worth of stuff that we never unpacked because we knew we were in a temporary situation here. Mostly wall hangings and picture frames and keepsakes that are fragile and had been very carefully packed in very sturdy boxes. I went through some of these yesterday and realized maybe they were a little TOO carefully packed and fit a couple more things into some boxes. I am hoping we can downgrade a little of our stuff so that we don't need the absolute biggest U-haul in existence for our 15+ hour commute to the new city. Not to mention I don't think we will find an apartment quite as big as this one in our budget, so I don't want to live like hoarders in a smaller place with wall-to-wall crap.

So that is what is going on in my world right now. if you are my sparkfriend do not be alarmed if there is no word from me for a while, or if I leave some very cryptic frustrated status updates. The gym that i joined recently has a branch in the new city, so I have every intention of keeping up with that, but packing and settling the moving situation is all that is in my forseeable future.

To end with some positive vibes:
Yay Oregon!!
Much closer to family!
Real weather and normal seasons!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Man, there's just so much frustration about that lease agreement. My aunt was hit with a similar agreement when she left her last apartment. She offered to pay them for the 30 days, +30 days, and they refused to take it. So, she declined to pay them for any of it; which had apparently become the standard response from the complex's frustrated former tenants. When she left, they had 8 vacancies that other tenants hadn't been able to fill for them when leaving, either.

    Still, to put a clause like that into a low-income housing complex seems ludicrous. I'd talk to the state about it, as that is obviously at odds with the financial conditions for the people residing there. Maybe talk to your case worker? (There are always people looking for low-income housing who can't get onto Section 8 because of the waiting lists... so, maybe you'll get lucky.)

    I know it is all horribly stressful, but, stay mindful of your feed and enthusiastic about the opportunity. The more positives you can find in this experience, the less stressful it will be for you and your DH. You're an amazing woman, and I know that it won't be easy, but, it is do-able and you and your family will be much stronger and happier with your feet planted in firmer ground.

    I'm here if you need me, as always. - hugs -
    2256 days ago
  • CHEEKY1000
    I'm jealous! Oregon is beautiful! I'm in Arizona, so anything with seasons other than Hot and Hottest is vastly appealing. lol

    What a terrible policy! I can't even believe that's legal. I could see being responsible for a month's rent or something while THEY find someone (especially because you didn't just change your mind--you're moving out of state for a job). That's their job, and it sounds like your apartment complex is in high demand.

    Best wishes!!
    2256 days ago
  • BETTA13
    Hope things go well for you. I was raised in Portland. I am excited for you. It is awesome to live close to family.
    I have a good feeling things will work out for you...just thinking out loud.
    Hugs...hope to see you back on SP soon.
    emoticon emoticon
    2258 days ago
    I agree with IRISHBEANERGAL. Go above the management. This is from a manager that I am.

    Good luck and my prayers are there for you.

    Lots of

    2258 days ago
    I may soon be in a similar position except about the lease as mine is literally up this month, but I also believe mine was pay a month's rent. Here's what I would do. Read the lease if you haven't already. Don't take her word for what it says. Then, go over her head and contact the management company directly.

    Then, take a deep breath and let it all go. If this is it, this is it and you can't change. What you can do is find the tenant and look forward to this return to Oregon. I know it seems impossible right now, but it all comes out in the wash and in the end you'll be someplace you want to be and your husband will have a great new job opportunity.

    Hang in there! And, feel free to vent anytime.
    2258 days ago
    I'm so sorry you're in this situation.

    What the management company told you -- that it is your responsibility to find a tenant -- doesn't sound right to me. Usually what happens if a tenant terminates a lease early is that the tenant can be required to pay damages, meaning that the tenant can be required to pay the rent for the time the apartment is empty. BUT usually the law puts the burden on the management company to find a replacement tenant.

    Idaho Legal Aid ( may be able to help you deal with the landlord; it's worth a call to them to find out what the law actually says and whether a lawyer who knows landlord-tenant law in Idaho can think of other ways to fix this situation.

    I'll be thinking of you.
    2258 days ago
    Congratulations on the new job for your husband. It sounds very exciting. And just plug along and do your best. I will work out. And do your best to work out your stress in healthy ways.

    I'm sending you a SparkMail about your lease situation. I'm not sure if anything will help, but it may be something.
    2258 days ago
    I would go over the head of the manager to the management company and plead your case. Limited income housing is at a premium (usually) so there have to be people looking. Perhaps they (the management company) will meet you half way.

    Congrats on the good news about Oregon.

    2258 days ago
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