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Husband sides with landlady over own wife during rental dispute. AITA?

Husband sides with landlady over own wife during rental dispute. AITA?


When this man is annoyed with his wife, he asks Reddit:

"AITA for siding with my landlady over my wife in a rental dispute?"

My wife and I (46f and 42m)are in the process of moving. The landlady that the dispute is with rented to us for 3 years. Yesterday she delivered us a 48 hour pay or evict notice. We haven't paid our rent in 2 months. We've been in the process of moving, and the money for rent went as part of our down payment.

We did expect to be gone a month ago, but we are a family of six, I work full-time, our kids are with my mom for the move, and my wife is physically disabled, so packing has been extremely slow.

We were at the last stage of the move, where all we had to do is move one last load and do a deep clean, but after we got the notice, we just loaded up and drove off to avoid conflict.

Inside the house there's a bunch of busted up cheap furniture (ours, not the landlady's), floors that haven't been vacuumed since we started packing, a couple of small holes in the drywall from kids rough housing, whatever monsters my kids left in the corners of their closets, and just some assorted mess from packing materials. I've seen deposits withheld for far less.

The reason we're moving right now is because in the 3 years we've lived here, the landlady has only done repairs to the property once. Soon after we moved in, the roof was damaged in a storm, and developed a major leak.

It took her two years to get a roofing crew, due to the pandemic and etc. My wife and I would have done it, but I'm not handy and she's disabled. Plus, money has been extremely tight.

It wasn't until a minor ceiling collapse in the master bathroom and floors that started sagging that the landlady decided to fix anything, and she only fixed the hole on the roof. She did not fix the sagging floor or the busted ceiling. We got tired of dealing with it, so we did what we had to do to find a permanent home.

We don't really have the money to pay the landlady. My wife thinks that we shouldn't pay her at all due to her neglect of the property.

However, I look at the mess that we left, plus the fact that it took us a lot longer than was supposed to to move, and I don't like our chances if we get taken to court. The state we live in does not have very favorable rental laws for tenants. Maybe if we had cleaned up before we left, but we were not able to.

We cannot afford to have a ruling against us in court. That would completely devastate our finances and we might lose the house that we just bought. We are already on a shoestring budget.

I told my wife that I believe I can convince the property manager to just let things go if we pay one month of back rent in installments over a few months, which we can afford, but barely. They can keep the deposit to cover the other month of back rent, and just eat the cost of the cleanup due to their neglect.

My wife disagrees and thinks we can win in court. She says I'd be an asshole for paying up instead of countersuing, which is what she wants to do. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

sparearticle writes:

YTA for not paying rent. What you should have done is put it in an escrow account until the needed repairs were done. Also, if you needed the rent money for the downpayment, and your shit is so tight that you can’t pay a lot, HTF did you get approved for a mortgage?

Or when you say you ‘bought’ the house, does it mean you’re under contract and have not finalized yet? Because I can sure as sh&^ tell you that if this hasn’t gone through underwriting and you don’t have a clear to close, you are HOSED if this gets reported to the credit bureau or the landlord has actually filed docs with the court.

lxpen writes:

NTA. Since you only owe for 2 months would the cost of taking you to court even be worth it for your landlord? You should call an attorney, you can usually get a free consultation.

And if you decide to pay the landlord you can probably offer her about half the amount you owe as a settlement amount. (Since you only owe for 2 months it would probably be more worth it for the landlord to accept a settlement amount rather than pay to take you to court for the whole amount.)

But definitely check with an attorney before you make up your mind about anything.

Jury's out. Is OP TA? NTA? What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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