Saturday, December 28, 2013

B is for Betrayal

So a little while ago, something pretty huge happened that made my living situation complicated, and my blood boil.  It upset me so much that I actually lost sleep.  I wrote this blog and kept from posting it, hoping that things would change and get better.  Well they didn’t, so really there is nothing to keep me from posting this.  So here it goes...

The deepest circle of hell is reserved for betrayers.  I wish I could end that with “and mutineers,” but unfortunately this post does not include pirates.  With the exception of this intro.

It has recently come to my attention that I’ve been lied to.  Not about something trivial but about money.  My money and how much I’m paying for my living situation. As someone who just had to get a second job to afford life once student loans come due, I’m pretty furious.  Which is why I’m awake at 3:30 am writing this post, because I couldn’t fall back asleep since I was thinking about it.

When I moved down to Birmingham last summer, I moved into a house with five other girls, which was purchased by one of them.  We shall call them Leaseholder and Roomies hereafter.  We (the roomies) made it clear that Leaseholder would use our rent to pay the mortgage, minus insurance and taxes.  Not an unreasonable position to make, since you can get in trouble for paying someone else’s taxes.  We were told that the mortgage (minus insurance and taxes) was X amount.

In reality, it’s X minus 600 dollars.  Leaseholder lied.  To her own friends.

Not that big of a deal when you consider splitting it by 6.  But two roomies moved out and the amount was still X, which was now being split by 4.  When we moved in, our rent was just under 200 dollars, plus utilities.  When the first roomie moved out, it went to 225 (for one roomie and myself who lived in the basement without an egress window...EEK) and 250 for those roomies who had their own room.  And when the second roomie left, it went to 250 for everyone, plus utilities.  Still looking at basic numbers isn’t bad when you consider what apartments, especially in a city like Birmingham cost.  But power and electricity for a house is a crap ton more than an apartment, especially heating and A/C.

Since this information has recently come about confirming the actual cost of the mortgage, new information has also arisen.  So the remaining roomies pay 250 bucks each per month, and the additional amount due is supposed to be paid by Leaseholder.  But since the actual price is significantly less, so she pays a fraction and puts money away for “household expenses.”  Based on the entire situation over time, Leaseholder has a bank account with approximately $3000.  But any household expenses we’ve needed taken care of were done by her dad or a friend of her dad for no cost.  And serious fixes have gone untouched, including frayed wires on the side of the house currently covered by a thing of Tupperware and eaves that are overflowing and could cause roof damage.

One roomie discovered the lie and crunched the numbers.  After asking for a meeting, Leaseholder sat down with that roomie, but not with everyone else.  She admitted that she lied, but showed zero remorse.  The night before Leaseholder typed up a written letter (instead of actually talking face to face with everyone) justifying her actions.  Unbeknownst to me, but other roomies were aware, that Leaseholder can actually afford the mortgage payment herself.  I was lead to believe if the roomies moved out she would be unable to afford it.

Writing this all now, I see her point.  Houses are expensive.  But here’s my problem: lying to your friends.  If Leaseholder had come up to us from the beginning and said she wanted to pay less but put some money aside for expenses, I would have obviously agreed.  That way I wouldn’t be responsible for having to chip in if something happened.  But the fact that she lied, and then continued to facilitate the lie absolutely pisses me off.

We asked for the house to be sprayed to deal with bugs and for the Tupperware cover to be dealt with repeatedly.  Leaseholder kept saying she didn’t have the money to take care of it.  Which we now know is complete crap.

Granted, I didn’t know Leaseholder before I moved down here, but I’m incredibly hurt.  I’ve been overcharged and lied to about it, and she has showed no remorse nor offered to pay back the money owed, which is at least a few hundred dollars. I don’t have the crunched numbers in front of me.  

And here’s the absolutely shiny cherry on the sundae of crap.  I don’t (so far) qualify for student loan deferment.  I need to talk to the loan agency, but if I can’t get a higher paying job in a few months, my savings will be obliterated and I’ll have to move home.  But I really can’t afford to move out so I’m stuck living here.

I have created a life here in Birmingham.  I have a boyfriend, and friends, and volunteer at an amazing organization.  And I could have to leave that all behind. Now I’ve been lied to as well.  Things aren’t so good for me right now, and it’s pretty upsetting.  Which is why I’m awake at 4 am writing about it.

So yeah, that’s the skinny.  In reality, if things had been open and honest, it would be a completely different story.  Things have continued to be an unpleasant living situation, which I am currently trying to remedy.  Something good to close this, since it’s kind of a suckfest, I was able to get a lower payment on my student loans that is very affordable.  So that’s something I guess.  Now to handle the rest of the crappy stuff….

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