This is pretty horrible. I haven’t posted since October. I hadn’t realized it had been so bad around my end for that long. Ouch. WordPress is completely different! I’ll have to explore the new updates. Took me awhile to figure out how to write a new post!
But! My computer is FINALLY out of boxes and somewhat hooked up. In a relative’s basement. I also finally made my writer’s club meeting last Saturday after months away (as many as I’ve been away from here). And with this post, I’ve at last gotten back to writing. Can’t really wait for a house anymore.
I’m in the midst of a housing crisis. In February of 2014, I rented what seemed like a good house offered by a rental company that has been buying up foreclosures and fixing them up. It was my first time not renting from a private person. Thought that maybe it would be a good change. The house had been recently rehabbed and my kids and I would be the first to live in it. That seemed pretty amazing!
You know, I would really like the drama to stay in my books, and not in my life. Really, I would. I can make crap up all on my own. I don’t feel the need to experience it first hand. It does nothing for my work but delay it.
Since I moved in, there had been nothing but issues. They lied about the garage being locked with contractors’ tools inside. They also lied about fixing the fence, and installing an air conditioner. They didn’t get around to placing screens in the windows (that I couldn’t open in the summer) until September. They were also ignoring the roof that was leaking. All throughout my kids’ room with new leaks appearing throughout the rest of the house.
I complained to the BBB, and landlord responded that they take great pride in their homes, and that the issues I was citing did not exist. So, I made them this great little video as they seem to lose or maybe not get the pictures I had emailed to their corporate office in Georgia:
Illinois Attorney General responded that ‘protecting consumers is their priority’, but the conditions of the house, the lease that I was given that also stated the landlord’s responsibilities, none of it warranted their time.
Essentially: if you are a renter in Illinois, you are completely screwed. Illinois, land of my birth, doesn’t really care about the majority of its citizens.
I think I might still be upset about the whole thing.
My lease ended in February and I fled. While dismanteling my bed, I discovered that the underside of it was covered in mold. Would explain why I’ve been so nauseous in the morning. Why I had been getting sick so often since moving in. Several of my books on a new open-back book shelf were also covered in mold and needed to be tossed. That wall was black with mold. There was water stains where water was pouring down from the eaves of the house to the inside. The house was literally cracking down the center. There were new leaks. The landlord sent out a roofer when I refused to pay rent in January. The assessment was that the entire roof needed to be torn down and replaced. Will that happen? No. The bastards will patch up the holes and put it back up for rent. And then someone else will go through the exact same crap I did. The town came by to do an annual inspection, and yet they absolutely refused to look up into the crawlspace and see the roof. What good is their inspection, then? That is what I’d trusted when deciding to rent the house. It had been inspected by the town. There won’t be a thing wrong with it.
It took them two months to respond to my notice of moving out. I had to complain to the collections people they sent me to. She finally got someone’s attention. I met with the new woman to do a walk-through, and she was amazed that I’d cleaned the house. Just because you people don’t care about your houses doesn’t mean the people stuck living there don’t either. It was supposed to be my family’s home. Will that get me my deposit back? Highly doubtful. Do they have any legal reason to keep my deposit? No. Do I have any outlet to force them to return my money? Nope again. I can sue them in small claims ($400 just to file). The judgement can be set in my favor. But then it would still be completely on me to get the money I’d been awarded. How’s that for justice and feeling safe and protected?
I want to say: ‘Illinois, you have failed your cities!’ Cause it makes perfect sense in my head. Your city is your people. And my state is not taking care of its people.
Then I got scammed by my movers.
Yea. That was awesome! If two kids from Indiana show up on your door from a ‘moving company’, SEND THEM AWAY. Do not even let them in the door. Don’t think back to the reviews you’d read and decide to give them a chance. Why? Because they write them themselves. By hacking into our phones, finding their approval code, getting into our accounts, getting themselves paid, and then writing themselves a stellar five star review before dissappearing. This all happens, of course, after they claim they hurt themselves on your property moving their first load of boxes. They rely on our fear of being sued and willingness to keep quiet about the whole thing. We are left with a household to move, and they get paid for nothing.
I got massively pissed. Already going through the scam from my landlords. Got the police involved. got the bank involved, called the moving referral company, let UHaul know. The new movers arrived when the police were there. It was loads of fun. Too much fun. I would absolutely not recommend anyone repeating this process on their moving day.
But my replacement movers were awesome. (big sigh)
I’m now essentially homeless and luckily able to stay with family. I put an offer on a house and unfortunately had some aggravating sellers, and the sale was canceled. Why? Mold on the new roof! No. No. And no. Given my current frustration with the land of Lincoln, I’ve stomped across the border and am house hunting in Indiana. This is not the direction most Illinois people go. Despite our hatred for the Packers, we love Wisconsin. Wisconsin had been my goal when leaving Colorado. (remind me again- but don’t- why I thought returning to Illinois was a good idea). I told my sister and she made a face and exclaimed ‘Ew! Indiana smells!’ (I laughed. It doesn’t.) I was citing the positives to co-workers (significantly lower property taxes than Illinois. Compare $1200 to $4000). And the retort was ‘Yea. But then you’d have to live in Indiana.’ A little bit of stigmatism exists.
Anyway. We’ll see. I’ve vented. Had a big sigh. Can relax into my situation, no matter how un-ideal it is. I’ve written! And now I can get back to some real writing. We drove to Indiana to look at a house yesterday, and the whole way there and back, Booger #2 was typing away on his laptop, working on his story. I really need to do that, too. Oh, I miss them.
Hope the last few months have been better for everyone else! May 2015 bring us all the change and happiness we are praying for.