26 Jul Just put a deposit down to rent a home. I think I just screwed myself.
I've been living in a one bed apartment at the same community for the last 3 years. First place on my own. I've been dating my girlfriend for 8 months now. A one bedroom isn't working anymore. She has a kid, and due to certain circumstances had to move back in with her Dad prior to us dating. They stay here most of the time, but its getting too cramped and my rent has gone up each year and I'm at the point where I can't really justify paying 1k a month for this place. Staff is great, location is nice, but apartment living just isn't really for me. We agreed to move in together at a new place and she would split rent and bills while I continued to save towards a down payment and other misc costs that go into the first year or two of buying a home.
So this leads me into my current situation. I'm dumb. I didn't do my research. My lease renewal for this place comes at the end of July every year(I moved in Sept 15), and they told me they would need a 30 day notice if I intended to terminate. My dumb ass had thought this whole time that my lease was up at the end of August. I went with the girlfriend to look at a few houses in the next town over that are really close to where we work. We found a house we fell in love with, excellent location, huge yard. My rent for the apartment was likely going to raise to 1000 a month(I pay 940 atm). The house we looked at has 3 beds and theyre asking 1100 a month. I rushed to get a deposit down because the property manager had me convinced that it would be gone in a day or two if I didn't.
I went to talk to the leasing department at my apartment shortly after all of this to talk about my 30 day notice. This is when they told me that my lease is up in September and not August. They told me that since I had been there for 3 years with a good record, that I could still give them 30 days notice to terminate my lease and there won't be any additional fees. They will try and find a tenant for my apartment and if they don't, then I have to pay rent for September.
I decided since I already put the money down for a non refundable hold(1st months rent) that I'd rather get into the new house sooner rather than later and get the apartment life behind me. I decided to close on the house in early August. I still haven't given my apartment the 30 day notice. I have to transfer my utilities before I can close on the house.
I feel like between deposits, fees, holding, and still renting my 1 bedroom, I would have been better off just putting everything towards a down payment. I'm looking at this rental as sort of "training wheels" for home ownership. Get a feel for bills, routine work, etc.
I haven't put my 30 day notice in yet. Is it OK to move out prior to the notice, transferring utilities even if I pay them rent for August? How likely is it in these situations that a tenant is found before the next months rent is due?
My other situation is the property management company. They have over 40 reviews. I didn't even think to check reviews until I looked their number up online. Most of them are terrible. Talks of hidden fees, issues with security deposits, unprofessional staff, maintenance issues. This company also has their own maintenance team and people are making claims(Both owners and tenants) that there are charges for things like fixing heat in the middle of the winter and charging the tenant 600 bucks when it could have been fixed for a quarter of that. The thing is, I live outside a fairly scummy city. People from the city come out this way to relocate for work all the time and this company also manages properties in the city. By all accounts, it looks like a lot of the negative feedback is from scammers that got scammed or people that were way overdue on rent. One person said they had a 900 dollar water bill because of a leaking toilet that never got fixed. The owner of the company responds to most of the negative reviews in a slightly unprofessional and condescending manner. I tried talking to the manager for the house I put a deposit down on about some of my concerns and he claims the fees are bullshit, their maintenance team won't charge extra to fix certain critical utilities, and they have a process before I close where we both go through the property for the checklist, I take pictures of all the rooms along with concerns and I'm supposed to forward them to the property manager before I move in. He told me it's always in my best interest to keep all the original copies of the pictures on file, told me they were going to install new carpet and replace some drywall before we moved in at no additional cost. Guy i dealt with seemed like a pretty decent guy and so far a lot of the negative feedback I've seen looks like BS.
Was this whole situation really as dumb as I'm making it out to be?