Active Duty military due to move early next year. We had an electrical cord short in the middle of the night and cause a small burn mark on the carpet. I notified the landlord of the cause and that we would need to discuss the replacement of the >10 year old builder grade carpet. The landlord brought over an electrician to test everything and told me I was responsible for the bill without asking me beforehand whether I would pay or whether I wanted another electrician, etc. I disagreed and returned her bill with a letter explaining that the electrician charge was a landlord requested investigation and not a "tenant caused maintenance" (her words) item.
The only reponse was a 60-day termination of lease, normal mail, not certified, to vacate no later than 30Sep13. The following info applies:
- She is not returning my calls
- There is very little housing available commercially in the area, especially with pets (Two 15-lb dogs, very good behavior)
- 3-6 month waiting period for military housing
- I have full documentation of all of the above.
- My best case scenario would be to avoid two moves within the next 8 months.
- My wife is currently out of the area dealing with a severely injured family member who may or may not die in the next 45 days. She may not be back in sufficient time to assist moving.
A few questions:
1) This appears to be retaliatory eviction/termination. Is it worth pursuing and can I pursue without black marks (so that I can rent at my next duty station?)
2) I know I have the ability to petition for a stay of eviction under the SCRA, but that requires an eviction to be filed. I would prefer to avoid an actual eviction.
3) Would it be worth hiring a lawyer to negotiate an extension?
4) Do I need to pay rent until 30Sept if I move earlier than this date?
Any other tips or advice?