‘They’ve proven no regret’: My family agreed to lease my condo, however they by no means moved in. I used to be caught paying the lease for two months

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Dear Quentin,

I bought a house in New Jersey where it’s quiet and peaceful.

I have a three bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Rent is $1,900. I had a verbal rental agreement with relatives (couple with three children). They were in financial distress and I wanted to help them in some way.

They agreed to move into my apartment in October. They never did, but their stuff was there. I paid my mortgage and rent for two months which was a financial drain. I feel cheated. You have shown no remorse.

I expressed my feelings to these people and there was no apology. I really don’t see them the same way. I told them to remove their belongings from the apartment. Of course I was seen as the bad guy.

“I paid my mortgage and rent for two months which was a financial drain. I feel cheated. You have shown no remorse.’

Instead, she said she was willing to move at a later date, but I said, “What about the previous rent?” Her response, “Why should I pay if I wasn’t there?” She showed absolutely no consideration.

I’m a single mom with two kids trying to balance my budget. I put the rent money on a credit card and got a second job to pay for it. It has become financially exhausting.

They are definitely at fault and take no responsibility. I didn’t want to give up the apartment as the rent has stabilized and it’s my son’s apartment now, so it really worked out.

I don’t want this to affect our relationship, but it has. I’m seen as a money guzzler.

Financially exhausted

Dear exhausted,

I’ve heard good things about New Jersey.

I agree with you: yes, your relatives wrongly agreed to rent the property and then broke their promise and delayed it for two months. If their things were there and you had an agreement, they should have paid you the rent.

The next part is a bit trickier. The kind of people who would do this are not the kind of people who will readily admit their mistake and apologize for it. You can’t expect people to be anything other than what they are.

Rent-stabilized apartments in New York have strict rules that allow tenants to rent them out if they are not the primary residents. I assume you asked the landlord for permission before making this arrangement.

I commend you for taking a second job to pay that credit card bill.

If this rental agreement has not been approved by your landlord, then you risk losing this rent-stabilized apartment. That would have jeopardized your son’s chances as well. But let’s assume you had permission.

Assuming you still haven’t received the rental agreement in writing. They never asked for or received a deposit and the first month’s rent before moving in. That’s up to you. You are responsible for covering your bases, especially when you are short of liquidity.

I commend you for taking a second job to pay that credit card bill. But you should be less angry with your relatives for playing fast and easy with your money and your trust when you admit they’ve been too lax about your own finances.

If you give people enough rope, they will use it to tie you in knots. For some people, it’s not about what’s right and what’s wrong. You may or may not know the difference. Or they make up all sorts of excuses as to why it’s okay to do what they’re doing.

It’s a hard lesson to learn.

she You can email The Moneyist with financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

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More from Quentin Fottrell:

• I live with my 59-year-old girlfriend who owns multiple homes and has $3 million in savings. I pay for utilities and cables and do a lot of repairs. Is that enough?
• “He’s the most computer illiterate I know”: I was a research analyst, my husband’s supervisor, cook, and housekeeper. Now, after 38 years, he wants a divorce.
• “Our friends have always longed for a relationship like ours”: My husband left me when I was 16 for another man. I don’t want them living on our properties. What can I do?

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