Yesterday, I shared one of my tamer truth-is-stranger-than-fiction (TSF) experiences about moving to a certain house. Well, today, I’m going to tell you how it came about that I had to leave that particular house.
Whenever I move, I always like to leave the place better than how I found it. This isn’t only because rental property owners don’t usually like to put much money into their houses, and I want a nice place to live; but, it’s also because I want every penny of my security deposit back to help fund my next move. Well, as I shared yesterday, I lost my deposit to the people that scammed me when I moved into the Craigslist House. Keeping that in mind, coming up with another $4,000 to move would be difficult.
I lived at the Craigslist House for a little over two years. Because the owner lived in New Jersey, I paid the rent by depositing cash into her bank account on the first of every month, then I had to email her a scan of the deposit ticket. My rent was always on time, and I never really had a reason to speak to the landlord until about two months before we ended up leaving. One was because the dishwasher stopped working and needed to be replaced. The other reason was we’d suddenly become infested with carpenter ants. The landlord called a pest control company who came right over, and she said she’d get back to me regarding the dishwasher.
A month passed with no further word from the landlord who was at that point avoiding my calls. Finally, she emailed me and said I could purchase a new dishwasher myself and take it out of the following month’s rent. So, that’s what I did. In the meantime, I started getting bills from the pest control company in my name! I called and spoke to them about it and learned that the landlord had used my name and social security number to open up a line of credit with the pest control company, and even though I didn’t authorize it, I was now responsible for the bill. Of course, when I called the landlord to complain, she never took my calls, nor did she respond to my emails.
I had the wonderful idea of withholding the pest control fee out of the following month’s rent along with the new dishwasher, but it was not my landlord who was surprised. A couple of days later, the sheriff knocked on my door and issued a three-day Notice to Vacate which was addressed to the landlord. No, she did not evict me, but rather the bank was evicting her! I read the paperwork and was astonished to discover that for twenty-four of the twenty-six months I’d lived there and paid my rent in a timely manner, she was not paying the mortgage! Worse yet, after talking to one of my attorney buddies, it turned out that she was actually not violating any law because she did provide a place for me to live. So, I learned yet another lesson* from the Craigslist House which was to check with the County Property Appraiser’s office before I move anywhere to be sure the house is not in danger of foreclosure.
(*Since that time, we’ve actually considered moving again, and we had the foresight to look up the house on the Property Appraiser’s website, and guess what? THAT house had been foreclosed upon! What a scam these crooks are running!)
Well, what do you think? Have you ever been conned? Stay tuned for next week when I tell you what bizarre thing(s) happened at the next place I moved. As for tomorrow’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll be sharing a different unlikely anomaly about some places where I’ve lived.