Read Answers to Questions: Housing

Can landlord break lease with tenant to sell the home?

August 30, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I just received a certified letter stating that my family and I need to move out of our rented home in 60 days. The landlord wants to sell the home, but I have a signed lease that doesn’t expire for another six months. We have been good tenants the whole time we’ve been here: quiet, pay rent on time, have never had a problem. Is the landlord allowed to force us to leave before our lease is up?

Landlord overcharging for damages upon move-out

June 20, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I moved into an apartment and paid a pet fee since I have a small dog. When it was time to move out, there were a few carpet stains, but they were confined to one room.  I was charged $200 for an overall cleaning of the apartment, plus $1,000 to replace all the carpet in the apartment. Can the apartment complex do that?  When I spoke with them, they said that their carpet is five years old, and when they replace it, they replace all of it, but that I was given a break and charged a discounted rate.  This doesn’t sound right to me. What do you think?

Timeshare Resale Scams

May 3, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  I own a timeshare in Mexico. A company in Georgia said they could help me sell it for a fee. I’m a little leery about this. How do I know it’s not a scam?  

Beware of roofers scamming storm victims

January 23, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  My roof was damaged during a recent storm.  A roofer came to my door and, after looking at my roof, offered to replace it for $20,000. He said the company would pay my insurance deductible if I agreed to let them put a sign in my yard with their company name on it. The price seems high, but they said my insurance would cover all of it.  Do you think this is on the level?

Can a utility company charge me for a previous tenant’s bills?

November 2, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed: Can a utility company charge me for a previous tenant’s utility bills? I am a new tenant in a rental home. The owner passed away last year, and apparently after the medical bills were paid, there was no money left in the estate. I am now being told that I cannot get electricity or water service until these bills are paid. Who is legally responsible – me or the estate that is financially broke at this point?

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