So I’m buying the house that I’ve been renting for the last year. At least, that’s been the plan for the last few months. But then, a few days before we were supposed to close, the septic inspection came back. Guess what doesn’t work? Oh, the septic system. I guess that explains the lingering poop smell in the spare bathroom, huh? I figured my husband just had particularly stubborn butt fumes. (Sorry honey, I’m just kidding, your butt smells like milk and honey and the laughter of blond-headed children!)
So, obviously, the seller/landlord has to fix this. Not only can he not sell the house in this condition, he can’t RENT the house out in this condition. It’s a little thing called the “warranty of habitability.” In short, the house has to be habitable – working heat, electricity, water, no rodent or zombie infestations, and …drumroll… a septic system that doesn’t just spew shit (literally) into the neighborhood water supply.
So, it’s been over a month since we discovered that teeny little problem. Guess how much has been accomplished? He picked a contractor. At least, he SAYS he did. But, they can’t afford to fix the septic (despite owning $3m worth of rental homes – yes, three MILLION dollars worth of rental homes – they apparently don’t have $5,000 in the bank to fix things that break at one of the 29 rental properties they bought in the LAST YEAR). So, they have to find a guy to do it who will wait until closing to be paid. Guess what they haven’t even asked this guy they picked yet?
So, I’m desperate to close this stupid deal. It’s a long story, but let’s say continuing to rent is eating me alive financially at this point.
Our happy mortgage broker, who is a total “get the deal done” kinda salesman guy, says hey, we can close right away, but you guys are going to have to figure out the septic outside of closing. Hey, that’s actually no problem. As long as seller/landlord’s bank will agree to put some of the $$ from closing into a mutual escrow account, we can just hold that dinero until the septic is done, pay the septic guy, everybody’s happy. Right?
Well, turns out, seller/landlord isn’t so happy about that.
He’s horribly, horribly offended.
See, he said he could just have the bank hold it in HIS escrow. You know, the escrow in HIS name that HE and HIS banker have total control over. And he says he PROMISES that he’ll take care of the septic system, EVEN if we close on the house first (when it legally becomes my problem), and EVEN if it goes dramatically over the quote in price.
To which I respond, I’m sorry, dude. It’s nothing personal. It’s business. And I need to make sure my family’s interests are protected. We should start a mutual escrow with an unbiased escrow agent so that neither of us can just be withdrawing money all willy-nilly like.
And he is horribly, horribly offended that I would even suggest such a thing. I own THREE MILLION DOLLARS worth of properties. (he boasts) This deal is PEANUTS to me. I gave you my WORD that I would take care of it…and now you’re saying I’m going to take ADVANTAGE of you!? And you know what? (he says, his voice rising like the poo water in my failed septic system) I’m offended at that letter you left me telling me what needs to be done around the house! (See, when we found out the septic was failed, he was all floundering around clueless about what had to be done. So, since I’m kind-of in a hurry for my excrement to NOT end up in my living room, I did all the research for him, figured out what steps needed to be taken in what order, talked to the Health Department, talked to a soil scientist, and even estimated how long it would take for each step. Which is obviously highly offensive. Except for that Captain Landlord STILL doesn’t have the foggiest fucking clue what needs to be done.) This conversation is OVER, Krista, and I suggest that you spend some time THINKING about this and we can talk again LATER!
As my husband brilliantly pointed out (yes, the husband with the pleasantly-scented arse), I should be offended that he asked me to sign a lease to rent his property. I mean, I said I was going to pay rent every month! I told him I wouldn’t let rabid badgers loose in here and allow them to ruin the ugly-ass berber carpet and incredibly fragile single coat of non-washable paint! I promised I wouldn’t burn the place down to collect a big renter’s insurance payoff! WHY DOESN’T HE JUST TRUST MY WORD!?!