Just when we thought we were in a place that’s comfortable and affordable, our creepy landlord gives us a sixty-day notice to vacate with no reason stated. Apparently, he can do that. Last year he tried to kick us out but we talked him out of it. Then, he put us on a month to month and raised our rent 10%. Once you’re on a month to month, in the city of Los Angeles, a landlord isn’t obligated to give a reason. So now, we have to pack up and move out. Facing upheaval like moving, now that we’re in our sixties, isn’t as easy as it was when we were in our twenties.
The rumor is, our mobile home park, located in the hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley, is going to be converted into “condos.” It’s been affecting both the homeowners and the renters who live here. The homeowners get charged a hefty land rent that sucks out all of their equity. Rents frequently get jacked up because the park isn’t in a rent control zone.
Facing Upheaval – We’ve been through it before
We moved here after the 2008 housing crisis. Our large, expensive, and high-maintenance home was foreclosed so we left and moved into a less expensive and low-maintenance mobile home in a gated community. Despite the trauma of our downsize, our life after the move has been much less stressful and easier to deal with.
We both receive Social Security. Me, as a surviving spouse and he, because he’s over 65. We also receive pensions. He worked for 40 years in the motion picture industry so his pension is fairly substantial. I get a token actor’s pension. He’s retired but I work as a blogger, voice over actor, and website consultant. We’ve been doing okay but Los Angeles is not the cheapest place to live, by a long shot.
We’ve always paid our rent on time. We pick up all our doggie poop even though other tenants leave it lying in piles on the grass. And we haven’t caused any trouble with the exception of one time when we complained about having our mailboxes moved 2 years ago. For all intensive purposes, we’ve been ideal tenants.
Why does greed have to be the new normal?
Now we’re frantically looking for an apartment on the valley floor. I gave up renting houses. In the past, the owner always ended up selling it and then we had to move. Apartments are a safer bet because managers want to keep them full, but aren’t the best solution when you have pets. We love our mobile home because it’s more like a house and has a yard, even though we have to keep our dogs on leashes because we have coyotes.
We’d love to move somewhere else (like Spain) but all our connections are here. Doug’s undergoing treatment for a non-aggressive lymphoma and all of his doctors are right down the road. The fact that he has cancer hasn’t fazed our landlord. After sending several pleading emails, he wrote, “sorry for the inconvenience, but make plans to leave anyway.” Thanks, a lot Mr. Grabby Grabowski. (That’s actually his name)
Now, we’re hoping to get approved to rent a cheesy apartment but that means paying deposits and moving fees. I wish I could say my credit is perfect but after my foreclosure and bankruptcy, it’s still on my credit report.
I’ve moved many times in my life and swear there I must have Gypsy in my ancestry. It was never a big deal before and I always thought of it as a new adventure. But, now that I’m in my sixties facing upheaval like moving is more of a pain in the ass. The only consolation is that we’ll get better internet in the valley than we do up here in the hills.
It’s SAD that being reliable tenants with fixed incomes doesn’t matter to people when they think they can make a few extra bucks. And, although we’re facing upheaval, we’ll get through it. It’ll just suck for a while as we go through the process. Wish us luck!
Have you been uprooted against your will? Please leave a comment below.