I just broke my lease!

I just broke my lease and it feels amazing!  Mostly because I’m actually getting out of it without owing anything to my landlord, despite there being eight months remaining on the lease.  Am I magic?  Maybe.  Is my girlfriend a kick-ass attorney in addition to being a badass cook?  Absolutely.  I know this ventures off the normal path I go down but this is something that has been occupying my time for quite a while.

When the girlfriend and I moved into our new place, we really expected it to be a good solid apartment.  While it wasn’t in the best neighborhood of LA, it was a fairly well maintained building, had responsive management, and was fairly cheap for what we were getting.  Despite some of the downsides, we were really excited.  Then the rainy season started here in LA.

Waking up in the middle of the night to dripping, your first thought is usually that it’s a sink.  So you get up out of bed, walk with your eyes closed to the nearest sink and try to fix the faucet.  You then walk back to bed assuming you’ve done the job.  It was at the walking to the sink part that I realized the water was in the bedroom.  And there was a lot of it.  The girlfriend and I quickly woke up and turned into disaster experts.  By this I mean we grabbed all the plastic bins and towels we could find and hastily arranged them under where we thought the leak was.  At this point, we figured we had done the best we could and went back to sleep.

In the morning we alerted our landlord about the problem, who quickly dispatched the handyman (once the rain was going) to fix the problem.  At this point, things were OK in the apartment.  It was still fairly musty, suggesting some not so friendly mold, but there wasn’t any water anymore.  That is, until the 22nd of December.

Once again, the leak struck at night.  This time it was in a smaller area but way more water was coming down.  I decided that in order to keep it from spreading and to focus it on one spot, I’d drill a hole in the ceiling and then put a screw next to it, giving the water a path down to the bucket.  Holy cow!  An actual stream of water came out and went on four just under thirty seconds.  After another day, the leak had finally stopped.  Over five gallons of water had leaked from our ceiling.

At this point, we were livid.  It obviously wasn’t fixed and there was a whole lot of water that had been up in our ceiling.  That meant one thing: mold.  Ugh.

After a few weeks of going back and forth with the management company trying to get a mold inspection we finally gave up and told them we would like to be let out of our lease.  Now I’m not a landlord like Mr. Money Mustache but this is not something that ever happens.  And truth be told, I think it’s mostly the result of a bad situation combined with a great good cop bad cop routine (I will let you guess which one I was).

So, there you have it.  I’ll write in more detail later as to the process we went through with management in order to help other people out with this but in general, try to not get mad at management!  They’re just employee’s typically and will try reasonably hard (by law) to help you out.