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Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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So &$*#@( ing tired of moving
It's a good thing this state has laws against such things, because I have half a mind to torch my current apartment building to the ground.

I stopped by the apartment management office this morning for an unrelated matter, and I just brought up casually in conversation what I should expect when my lease runs out at the end of August. Get this:

If I want to stay in the apartment I am in, I can only renew my lease for three months, with a rent hike of $30 per month. I have the option of moving into another apartment at my complex that has been renovated (new appliances, floors, light fixtures, door knobs, etc.) with a rent hike of $110 over what I am paying now. Either way, I must move by January 1, with a 19% rent increase, well over the regional average for an annual rent increase.

I asked the person in the management office when they were going to let me know about these changes, and she said, "Oh, we have just been letting folks know the month before their leases expire." Nice. Giving tenants little to no chance to find alternate housing if they wished. Had I not asked about it today, I would have been utterly screwed. Lovely way to run a business.

Ranting aside, I think I have found a fairly decent deal elsewhere, and I wanted to bounce it off people and get their reactions and/or input. It would be simpler just to compare my old place with my potential new place, so here goes:

Old place: 620 square feet, central air, cheap appliances (Gaffers & Sattler and Gibson--names I had never heard before), fairly decent neighborhood, complex built in 1980, washer/dryer hookups only, pitiful fitness center with 2 bikes & 2 treadmill machines, rent to be $110 over current rent, tenants have no choice but to be forcibly moved

New place: 685 square feet, central air, Whirlpool appliances, better neighborhood, complex built in 1986, in-apartment washer/dryer included, fitness center with several weight & cardio machines, rent to be $86 over current rent, tenants given option to remain in current apartment even if renovations take place (yes, I asked; they still have tenants who moved in when the place was new 21 years ago)

To me, it seems like a no-brainer; either stay where I am with minimal, cosmetic improvements for a lot more money, or move to what certainly seems to be a marked improvement for just some more money. Just having a washer and dryer in-house would be heaven for me; no more loading up laundry in 95-degree weather and hauling it to a depressing, boring laundromat.

Any thoughts?

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It is a no brainer. Move to the better one! If your only going to pay a tiny bit more than a whole god lot then the newer one is better. I've moved a lot in my life, with my family and helped in deciding where to move within the budge and in good places nonetheless. Go for the new one! ^^

That is the direction I am leaning, unless I find something even better. Frankly, I had hoped I wouldn't have to move again this soon. I hate moving.

I know! Tell me about it! I've moved like 8 or more times! 1 of the 8 was moving from New York State all the way down to Florida where I currently live now. I hate moving, because of all the heavy lifting. Plus, I'd go for the one with the washer and dryer in it already as for 1. You wouldn't have to go to laundry mats again and pay god loads of money doing your cloths, possible ruining your clothes in the process as sometimes that happens. 2. It's there in the house, so you don't have to walk to a laundry mat, carrying your clothes there and back and maybe getting caught in crappy weather, which will make you have to go back and do your clothes again and 3. It's cheaper! I really hate doing laundry to. I'd rather be a nudist, but nudists have to wear clothes to go shopping in stores, so there is no escaping clothes, unless you move to Africa and join a tribe.

That blows! And the complex had been so good so far. Well, I guess your questions are now answered about that new management company that came in.

Sounds like the new place is a no-brainer assuming the commute isn't considerably worse. Where specifically is it?

It is up on Wells Branch Parkway. As the crow flies, about two miles due north of where I am now. It's much closer to 35, so the commute would be easier, albeit just a trifle longer. Not so much as to make a major difference.

I think you should totally go for it, then, save for finding something even better.

Yeah, I think so, too. I despise the thought of moving again, but the longest I can conceivably stay here is until January. I just figured I may as well go for the new place in August and be done with it--barring anything better popping up.

The only thing I want to suggest is to remember that price is negotiable. They can't raise your rent without agreeing to it -- you always have the right to move out. But if they know you're moving out if they don't do anything about the rent, they're usually more anxious to keep you on the lease. My advice is to make an appointment with the sales manager and let them know you'd like to stay in the apartment you're in, but only if they make a concession in the rent. Let them know you've found another place that's cheaper and offers a better location with better furnishings for a cheaper price, but you're willing to stay in your current place if they can do something about the price. Tell them, for example, that you're willing to pay $20 over your current rent to stay where you're at, and work your way up.

Don't be afraid to negotiate. You're in the optimal spot here -- you're not stuck where you're at, you're -choosing- to live there.

I guess this is a case of my crime of omission; I left some details out so my post wouldn't be unbearably long.

I talked with the manager of my apartment complex on the phone when I visited there this morning. I expressed--diplomatically, but in no uncertain terms--that I was not only displeased with the amount of rent increase, but with the timing and way it was being handled, as well. She was quite pissy and defensive, at one point saying these changes were in line with seeking a "better quality of tenant." I shit you not; apparently I am an undesirable scumbag. She was steadfast and immovable on the numbers.

Even more fun here, too: the pet ownership restriction is being changed from unlimited weight to 45 pounds. There are a lot of folks who have some very big dogs here, and they will have to move or get rid of their family pets. I asked about this, out of curiosity, for example could current tenants with big dogs be allowed to be "grandfathered" in? The answer was no. o(:oP

Give a phone call to your state's attorney general and try to determine what the maximum allowable percentage increase for rent in one year.

I plan to on Monday, but here is the rub: If I move to a renovated unit, it is not considered a rent increase on the same apartment, so they are not held to any legal constraints.

Just a quick update: I did a little research, and the state of Texas has no rent control law--so rent increases can be whatever the landlord desires.

It sounds like the new place is the way to go. Good luck with it. :)

Thanks! I still have some time, and I don't want to jump into this prematurely. But as things stand right now, it looks like my best option.

I've read all replies, and I'd suggest to get the hell outta there! The faster the better.

Yeah, this is a decision I kinda had made up in my mind, anyway, I think...but I wasn't really thinking 100% clearly yesterday. This was quite a bomb I had dropped in my lap, and wanted subjective opinions from folks detached from the situation.

Sounds like a move up to me! :) Congrats!

Thanks! It's not a done deal yet, but I have spent almost two days now going through listings in Austin. The really inexpensive apartments are in pretty nasty and/or high-crime neighborhoods. So while this apartment may seem a little pricey, I think quite a bit of that comes from being in a decent area of town.

So I am trying to strike a balance of affordability and security here; just a decent place where I can sleep well at night. And this looks to be that place.

Sounds to me like you already made the decision. And if you weren't so far away I would offer to help ya lug your stuff around.

Hell, I have half-considered moving back to Columbus if a) I thought I could find a decent job there and b) a decent place to live.

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