Saturday, May 19, 2012

How my Apartment Complex Pushed Me to the Edge

As a student, I live in a complex nearby campus to minimize my need for a car (I actually drive a scooter back and forth to conserve gas). Last year I moved in to Mill Creek apartments off Kerr Ave, so I could get settled in before school started in the fall. For over a year, I've been sure to be on time with my rent, typically early paying 2-4 months of rent at a time so I wouldn't have to worry about not getting it in on time.

Then the cancer struck.

I had depleted my savings account after several months of not being able to work due to my illness and am dependent on financial aid to make it through the year. I budget it out well normally so I can keep everything paid through the year, on top of the little bit I earn working a call center job. I still end up below the poverty line, but as a contract worker am ineligible for unemployment benefits so I had nothing but my savings to hold me up.

This month, for the first time since I'd moved there, I was running a little short until I got paid for summer aid and my job. I contacted the apartment office, to let them know, as I had previously told them about my cancer diagnoses. I let them know I was about 10 days behind, but could pay this months and next months rent on that day. As the staff had always been kind and sensitive to my condition I had hoped for a little understanding...

I was instead met with being served an eviction filing and $200 in fees if I wanted to avoid being evicted and left homeless.

I could have understood being charged a reasonable late fee but this? I had been a model tenant, everything always paid early, kind to the neighbors, never bothering anyone with loud music or parties and in spite of it all, for asking a little compassion, this is what I was met with.

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