Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Duplex Home Building Plans

June 19, 2013

Robert asks…

Legal advice please?

Last weekend I had some drinks with some friends, and came home a little tipsy, but not trashed. I locked my keys in the house, and had to climb through the window. I knocked over the Christmas tree, and soon after, the landlord who lives next door in the same building, (It’s a duplex) calls, and says I’m getting a restraining order on you Tuesday. So I go to her door, and knock on the door to ask her why, and she’s on the phone with the cops saying “he’s coming in”, and slams the door. Needless to say the cops come, and talk to me, and tell me that she’s got a tape recorder, and if she calls again, I’m getting charged with harassment. I tell them my story, and they say I know she’s a bit crazy, but you heard what I said. So, I slammed the door shut. Seconds later the landlord calls and says “Your girlfriend left you didn’t she”, “She’s not coming home”, the cops were still out front talking, so I brought the phone out with her still talking and handed it to the cop, and said listen she’s harassing me. The cop took the phone hung up, and arrested me for Public Intoxication. I plan on taking this to trial. Did I do anything wrong to deserve that?
I swear this is exactly how it went. I didn’t do a thing to her. She has keyed my car and called the police on me for arguing with my girlfriend, but they didn’t do anything because we were just arguing, and I said she was crazy and nosy.

Administrator answers:

First piece of advice – Move.

Why would you stay in a house with a crazy landlord living in the same building? This has already caused you problems (Keyed car) and now even got you in trouble with the law. Get out as soon as possible.

Second piece of advice – beat the charge.

This charge sounds pretty bogus, unless your own words torpedo you. With a lawyer’s help you can probably get this charge dropped, or beat it in a trial. It will cost some money though. If you can afford it, then do.

In 2 years you won’t miss a thousand bucks or 2, but you might regret a criminal conviction.

David asks…

Thinking of selling my house. Would you sell if you were in my position?

my bf and i brought a Mobile home a year ago and its nice and all but were in a location we really don’t like. plus his work has been sooo slow so were are having trouble making the payments and I don’t want to ruin our credit for this trailer that prob wont last us forever. We have a few ideas one sell and buy a house since we prob can get one for the same price and just tough it out at least we would have a house. Two sell the house and rent for awhile get the credit back up and build duplexes live in one a rent the other.. this plan a lil harder cause we have to find land an build.. so it would take a while..then we would have to rent something that is just as expensive as the mobile home?? we are confused.. so what do ya think?
I just wanna add the home 2,000sq ft and on 1.5 ac and has a pool..

Administrator answers:

A mobile home is not like real estate. It depreciates over time instead of appreciating. Also, if you’re having trouble paying on time and it’s affecting your credit, you probably wouldn’t be able to afford a house or property for a duplex for a while, anyway.

Sell it, rent for a while, and fix your credit. The market may go up a bit in the next couple of years. But, it will still be a good time to buy. And, with improved credit and perhaps steady work coming in by then, you’ll be able to afford a better place.

Susan asks…

Is my husband’s best friend correct?

My husband and I live in a large multistory apartment building built around 1980. The plumbing is bad. After you take a shower or bath, there is a weird sludge left in a perfectly spotless bathtub. I have to clean the tub after each shower with bleach and cleansers. So I know the tub is spotless. The baseboard heaters are original equipment. Our last electric bill was almost $300. An average bill during the off winter months are around $70. We only use the baseboard heater in the master bedroom. The second BR is closed off. We use a space heater in the living room to heat it. Our neighbors bill are all around $400 to $500. There is a strange black mold around where the wall and ceiling meet. The stove in the unit is over 30 years old. It says 1975 on the inside of the oven. It still works a little. Can’t use 2 of the top burners. We have noisy neighbors and the landlord will not handle any complaint against them. When we use one of the electrical outlets in the living room, the circuit breaker kicks back almost every time. I’m tired of paying for a run down apartment building. The building was nice when we moved in 2 years ago. The landlord would come and fix the problems fast. Now, he won’t do anything at all. So with all of these problems, my husband and I are planning to move this year to a new rental house or duplex. We don’t want another apartment after this one. My husband makes a decent living. I work part time from home. My husband’s friend says we need our landlord’s reference to get into another rental. He says that breaking a lease is as bad as an eviction. We have never been evicted. I want out before the lease ends in June. My husband wants to tolerate the conditions until then. I want out in April. I’m concerned that the black mold near the ceiling might be toxic mold. Who is right myself or my husband’s friend? Please help! Want out!

Administrator answers:

Hmmm . . .

I think that breaking a lease can be acceptable in certain circumstances, and your situation sounds like one.

It sounds like your apartment is becoming uninhabitable, and if you do have black mold and dangerous electrical wiring, your landlord has an obligation to you as a tenant to make sure that your apartment is safe (unless you somehow caused these problems yourself, which is doubtful). I would start by keeping a journal with the dates and times you have complained to your landlord. Then, I would suggest that you talk to your landlord about letting you out of your lease. If that does’nt work, then find out if your city/county has free legal services or possibly contact your local law school for help.

I’m sure that this type of thing happens a lot, and if your apartment is threatening your health, then your new landlord should not hold that against you.

I live in Sacrament Ca, so here’s a link to our “landlord-tenant” court. Check your counties website for a service like this:

Paul asks…

How do I answer parents who want me to live with them in a senior apartment complex?

We are selling the family home. It is a two family with me living on one side of the house and my mother and stepfather living on the other side of the house.
I left my full time job a few years ago due to stress. Now I work on call in sales in a department store. I am interested in working there full time but I have been discouraged by the recession to ask a manager about stepping up my work situation to permanent at the store. I continue to go on job interviews for jobs that are posted on Career Builder and on line job services. I have worked temp jobs but after a day or a couple of months the assignment ends with me being let go for one reason or another.
Last year the snow was really bad in my area so I finally convinced my parents to sell the house. But within a month of putting the house on the market, we have a sale pending and are expected to move out in the middle of October.
I have gone to a couple of real estate agencies looking at apartments. But I haven’t submitted a single application because I am afraid that my application will not be accepted because I am not working full time. I have only made about four thousand dollars this year at the store. The rest of my income consists of taking money out of my IRA and supplementing my income with unemployment payments. My health insurance is covered by the state.
Yesterday, I was looking at apartments with my parents. I found one that is about a thousand a month. I am currently paying my mother a reduced rent of two hundred a month. But living in the duplex, I carry all the expenses of one side of the house from the cable bill to oil heat, and there is no family discount on my utilities. I have been hustling for work over the past few years since I left my full time job. I work in the store. I substitute teach. I work temp jobs. Sometimes I am working as much as 60 hours a week. Then the next week there is no work. And the week after that, I might only get to work one full day.
I have gotten into an argument with my mother. She asked one of the agents that works on site at the apartment complex for senior citizens. Persons must be 58 years of age or older to rent there. I am 49 years old. She asked the agent if she can have visitors stay the night. The agent didn’t seem to have a problem with that. However, my mother failed to give further details that she intends to have me live there until I can find a full time job and move out to my own apartment. In a sense, she is trying to treat her new senior citizens apartment as if it’s still her private home where she can make and adjust the rules.
I have a couple of ideas.
I want to see if my stepfather, who is retired, can co-sign my lease.
I want to see if any of the landlords, particularly for apartments in owner occupied private homes, would be willing to take me as I am given my current economic status. It’s not like I don’t work at all. Last year, my income was $26,000 when I filed my income taxes. One third was from working at the store. One third was from unemployment. One third was from early withdrawals from my IRA.
I still have about $30,000 left in my IRA. When I take the money out, I have the taxes withheld and I plan for the cost of the penalties.
One of my aunts passed away and left my mother some money. She has given me about $5,000 of that money this year to help pay my expenses.
I believe that through my work, and from other sources, I can pay for my own apartment. It’s just trying to express that on a standardized rental application. I have some debt on several credit cards but nothing is past due and I make the payments every month. My credit score from Equifax is excellent.
What do I say to my mother when she offers to have me live with her at the senior citizens apartment? I wanted to check with the agents at the building myself, but she is acting like I am being a squealer, which leads me to believe she is trying to convince me to live there on the sly.
Many of the residents there are very nosey. One of the neighbors asked her “Have you sold your house yet?” I can only imagine what it will be like when my parents move in, and I move in with them. She already asked me about transferring ownership of my car to her so that I can park my car there and it will be in her name and not mine.

Administrator answers:

No you can not live there. Spending the night is no more then 14 days a year.

Where you work, what you make, it is all irrelevant. You can not live there, the entire place would lose its status if you did. Your parents will not just be evicted, but sued for the remainder of the lease.

Do not argue with mom. Simply do not live there. You are a full grown man, you should not be any where near mommies apron strings anyway.

Helen asks…

What is more important when I want to do a video chat with a webcam? GHz or RAM?

I want to do video chat using my laptop. My laptop has a build-in webcam but the webcam sucks. I am planning on purchasing the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000.
Here are the system requirements for this webcam:

Windows Vista or Windows 7:

Pentium P4 (or compatible) processor, 2.4 GHz (2.8 GHz recommended)
512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
200 MB available hard disk space
16-bit color display adapter
Windows-compatible sound card and speakers (full-duplex sound card recommended)
USB port
CD-ROM drive

The GHz on my laptop is very low. It is 1.3 GHz. However, my laptop has 4GB RAM DDR3. My question is that will my laptop lag or freeze if I decided to purchase this webcam and use it? With my laptop specs, will this work smoothly?

Here is a little more information about my laptop (if it helps):
*1.3 GHz
*Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
*Intel Pentium SU4100
*500 GB Hard Drive

Thank you!

Administrator answers:

It’ll be fine.

Your CPU is dual core, where the minimum specs are not.
Also, it is based on Pentium 4 architecture.
Yours is much more efficient.

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