Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life in a big city

I joke that the reason I keep up with real estate news in Houston is because I want to know when the bulldozers come my way. Today I noticed that may very well be a reality soon.
I came home from the gym and found a Post-It note frrom my landlord stuck to my door. On it was his phone number and a note asking me to call him. I hated these little note from him.
Monday before last he came around with memos informing us fire insurance inspections would be Wednesday. I scrambled to tidy up, but I was too busy working to do anything major.
The inspection went ok I guess. Then last Monday I was informed that my apartment
failed its inspection. This time I had more free time to clean the place up.
The inspectors returned Friday armed with a camera and a clipboard. Rumors swirled that my landlord planned to sell the place. I figured as much, but I wanted confirmation before I jumped to conclusions.
I called my landlord this afternoon to see what he wanted. Normally I would have waited, but I needed to talk to him. My window unit has leaked all over and it no longer cools the apartment.
I'll admit I'm not the best at keeping house, but I try my damndest to keep this place tidy. My landlord and I have been at odds over the cleanliness of the apartment. That was, at least to him, part of the reason the inspection failed.
My landlord informed me that he planned to sell the building. According to him the new owner had some concerns about the unit. Mainly the mildew and mold in my bathroom. As much as tried to keep my calm, but I lost it.
I explained that I couldn't afford to rent a Rug Doctor or that I couldn't afford a can of Killz to paint over the mold. In so many words I told him that I have done my part by keeping the place neat and clean. I told him it was his turn to do his part.
We also discussed how long I had before I had to get out. My landlord said that I should stay put because it would be a while before he closed the deal on the property. He also openly admitted in a round about way he was taking advantage of my paying weekly.
Since I started getting paid weekly, I made an arrangement to send a rent check weekly. In hindsight I realize what a bad idea this was. My landlord thinks this will look good to the new owner so that I can go on staying here. After seven years, I think maybe it's time to go.
I moved in here in July of 2005 after looking at some less desirable locations. My job at the time afforded me the luxury of an efficiency apartment. Commuting from my parents' house was no longer feasible and the location was ideal. I  could walk to the light rail platform and several bus stops were in close proximity.
Having shops, clubs, and restaurants in walking distance was an added bonus. I love my apartment don't get me wrong, but living inside The Loop has its drawbacks. There are dozens of apartments like mine and they all have their problems. Some nowhere near as bad as mine.
My air conditioner has leaked every summer. The first I knew of it was when my downstairs neighbor complained to the landlord. Each time the weather gets really cold, my closets sweat. The bathroom and living areas do too, but not as bad as the closets. Damp Rid has helped alleviate this problem somewhat.
My landlord asked me to clean the bathroom ceiling, but it hasn't worked in the past. Bleach can only do so much. Getting a new floor sounds like something that may not happen for a while or not at all. My problem now is where do I go?
Rent inside The Loop has crept up considerably since I've moved here. My job is currently walking distance from home, but I know if I want to change careers I'll need transportation.
It's so frustrating not knowing what's going to happen next. Honestly I don't want to stick around to find out. Ideally I'd like to get out of here, but I don't know that I can afford a new place.
My goal was to get a vehicle, change careers, and find another place. That may have to change though if I want to move out. I hate change, but if it's for my personal well being, I have to start soon. Follow up: I came home from work Thursday afternoon to find a note taped to my door that I had 30 days to vacate my apartment.

1 comment:

Carol said...

that sucks Jose, unfortunately it seems to be a problem occurring more and more. My sister had to scramble to find a new place and I helped her move quicker than she wanted because she got a similar, though I think 60 day, notice back in the spring. I'm pretty sure the church across the street will buy her small complex - she lived near the Galleria area.

Do you have a place figured out to go? I can come up with a couple of small complexes in the area if you need help.