Dilemma- to move or not? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 12-08-2010, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Short background-  we used to live at a nice trailer park.  Rent was 517, bills low(ish, etc...) until we moved.  All was well, until winter.  We have winterized-  it is still a battle to get the living room to 52 degrees after running a space heater all day.  Added to this, my husband is out of his main job(he is still in the army reserve, so income from that, plus my job at a church nursery.)

 

If we moved back to the trailer park, we would have $1030 a month in expenses.  If we stayed here(house built in 1911) we would have $1130 in expenses.  What this $100 difference is not taking into account is the drastically increased electric bill from running space heaters 24/7 just to keep the house at 55. 

 

A big factor in all this is the heat issue-  we have a 21 month old, and I am 6 months pregnant.  Even touring the trailer, with nothing turned on at all, it was 10 degrees warmer than in the house with heaters(4 of them) going.

 

The landlord at the park would be willing to work with us as per the security deposit, which is excellent(i.e, pay it in installments, etc.)

 

The landlord at the house is inexperienced at best.  Most of the bigger problems *seem* to have been dealt with. 

 

The breakdown with the bills works as:

trailer:

no water bill

$600 rent

$150 on average electric bill

all other monthly bills the same

 

house:

$650 rent

$40 h20

$160-300 electric(with heaters, etc...)

 

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#2 of 12 Old 12-08-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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It seems obvious to me to move back into the trailer park - less money and better (safer?) standard of living - is there some negative to it that isn't in your post?


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#3 of 12 Old 12-08-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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I wouldn't stay anywhere, especially with kids, where it is 55 degrees.  That sounds miserable. 


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#4 of 12 Old 12-08-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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I would not stay in a house that only got to 55F while running the heat full blast.  At minimum, call and demand your current landlord fix the situation immediately.  It would definitely make a house here considered uninhabitable to not be able to bring it up to a reasonable room temperature.

 

I don't know the landlord/tenant laws where you live, so make sure you're doing what you need to to avoid being on the hook for rent at both places.

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#5 of 12 Old 12-08-2010, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At this point, we are going to to and contact the landlord first to see what he can do about insulation in the attic(main source of the problem).  I do not want to rush into another move, as we have only lived here 5 months and have just gotton other issues(medicaid, wic, etc...settled.)

 

That is not to say at all that we will not do what Elias needs, as per heat-  whether it is moving or space heaters well placed. 

 

In the short term, it would be easier to move, yes.  But long term, for future residents and the landlord himself?  I feel that it would be a disservice to all parties involved to cut and run and leave others to pick up the pieces.

 

 

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#6 of 12 Old 12-09-2010, 08:03 AM
 
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But it's the landlord's responsibility to pick up those pieces - it's not like you own it and are letting yourself off the hook.  I think moving because there is no heat will send the landlord a firm message that he needs to get serious about heat before the next tenant moves in.

 

You've got to be warm.

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#7 of 12 Old 12-09-2010, 08:19 AM
 
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I don't see a dilemma personally. Cheaper housing and most of all warmer housing.

You owe no loyality to a landlord that can not provide basic living condiditions.

 

What I don't understand is that you are running space heaters for heat? Why does this house not have a furance to heat the house? If the furnace is running and you are running space heaters, then this is definately not the place for you to live.

 

I guess I also don't unbderstand why being on Medicaid and Wic would have any effect on where you live? I mean if your housing expenses drop dramatically and then you don't quailify for this government assistance that might be a reason, but the difference is what $100 - $200 a month, is that going to disquailfy you for aid? Can't you just change your address with these agencies and be done with it? not certain why this is a consideration on why you wouldn't move?

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#8 of 12 Old 12-09-2010, 08:21 AM
 
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I really like to consider others and don't value making every choice about mememe. That said, girl, you should move and not look back.

 

The landlord is providing shelter to you in exchange for money. The shelter is inadequate. In fact, the landlord is crazy to let this continue - winter hasn't even technically begun yet and it will get COLDER. When you struggle that hard to heat it to 52 or 55, that means that if you turn off/down the heat for a little while (even a weekend away) the pipes will freeze and burst. It's not SAFE to run room heaters when you're not in the house, so his house is at risk of very expensive destruction. He is obviously very new at this or he would be crazy to trust you to make sure his pipes don't freeze (at YOUR cost).

 

No, these are his pieces to pick up. Don't be a sucker, just move. It's only going to get colder.


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#9 of 12 Old 12-09-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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I would definitely move. We rented a house in the woods last  year and at first we loved it. Then winter came adn we had the heater set on 80, they were baseboard heaters, and it never got warmer than 50*. We got a couple of space heaters because it was only a 700 sq ft house, but all winter long we could never get it warmer than 55*. We stayed because we didn't have any other options we didn't have the money to move back into town and the landlord's daughter who was handling the property for him while he was out of the country visiting his dying brother kept promising to get it fixed. It never happened though. I just bundled up the boys &  I when at home and spent most of our days in town at the Science Center, library or other places with reliable heat. The house also had severe electrical wiring issues which is why we ultimately broke our lease in April. We could have taken it to court and been awarded part of our rent for the time we did live there plus our last month and deposit back, but we were just glad to be out of that house and not deal with the landlord anymore. It really sucked for me though because prior to this all the landlord had been my favorite professor from when I was in graduate school.

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#10 of 12 Old 12-10-2010, 06:37 AM
 
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It's unlikely that every inhabitant in that house for the past 100 years just froze their butts off all winter long.  There's probably something actually wrong with the heating system, and it's your landlord's responsibility to get it fixed.  Look up your state laws and local ordinances, and send him a letter to back up your next phone call, in which you should also mention the danger of pipes freezing.

 

For the short term, can you close off parts of the house, and direct what little heat you are getting to a smaller area?

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#11 of 12 Old 12-12-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I just moved recently.  I moved into a new house that was 100sq ft smaller than the house I WAS living in.  My new house had the same amt of bedrooms, same amt of bathrooms, same rent per month.  Seems funny to move into a smaller place for the same amt of money right?  Problem was, my old house had mold and my landlord wouldn't fix it.  He knew.  He didn't care.  My old house had very very bad windows that would pop out of the frames if you leaned on them, hence heating that house was a nightmare.  My new home is mold-free with a bone dry basement and no gross carpets infused with mold(actually it has hardwoods) and heating it is a dream come true.  Nice tight new windows.  Sure, there are quirks in the new place and yes it's smaller.  But it's safer and better for my kids.  It was a necessary and successful move.  I LOVE my new home.  My daughter hasn't needed her asthma meds since we moved here and my headaches have all but disappeared.  It's a beautiful thing.  I'd say your health is being compromised by the heating issue, same as mine was with the mold.  You owe your current landlord nothing.  Yeah it's gonna be a pain to move again but so what?  Stay where you are and run heaters constantly and freeze?  That's not a feasible solution.  I get what you are saying about medicaid and wic.  We are on those plus food stamps and liheap and we might get shut out of heating assistance this year since we moved counties.  But it was worth it.  And actually, medicaid and wic aren't hard to fix from county to county.  It's heating assistance and food stamps that suck to fix. 


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#12 of 12 Old 12-13-2010, 04:18 AM
 
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I would move.You have to pay rent wherever you live,so I would pay for a warm place.Kids deserve that.Winter is not the time to start insulating a home.Landlords loss.He SHOULD lose your money for not properly prepping the home.No one will rent it in this cold.I would report it to the city to protect future renters.Around here you have to register rented homes,and pass a checklist of basic items.

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