Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Father Busted For Having An Illegal Apartment
I need to make a list of things that I am to talk about with my psychologist, and in my current state of anger at my father, I feel this is the perfect time.
What happened. In general, my father does not think before he acts, and then he gets his ass kicked by the law. He gets into trouble thinking he is smarter and above the law. This time, he illegally rented his main floor out to tenants -- a smart move, but I told him to check with the local law before he does so to make sure he is allowed to do it. "Don't worry," he told me, "if they catch me, I'll just remove my kitchen stove because that is all that is required -- you can't have more than one kitchen in a one-family house." When I asked him if he was sure about it, he said, "Of course I'm sure."
Well, today he got a summons for having an illegal apartment among other municipal violations, which when I checked it out are misdemeanors and can cause the mortgage to be accelerated by the bank, the water to be shut off by the municipality causing the house to be condemned and held unfit for living. In other words, my dad could lose the house.
When I approached him about the summons, he shrugged and asked me to research the law and to find out what his options were. I immediately got upset and I asked him, "Didn't you check this out before you rented it out?? Didn't you check it out before you decided to buy the house from your brother who you knew would report you to the authorities for having an illegal apartment??" I knew his brother would report him all along, and I told him to be prepared for it.
My dad shrugged and told me, "I took a risk."
HE TOOK A RISK?!? HE WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN PREPARED FOR THIS HAPPENING. I KNEW IT WAS IMMINENT AND SO DID HE. WHY DIDN'T HE LISTEN TO ME WHEN I TOLD HIM TO GET LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT THE DOWNSTAIRS APARTMENT BEFORE RUSHING TO BUY HIS BROTHER OUT IN THEIR LAWSUIT??
What bothers me is that I know that my father is SO DISORGANIZED with his finances that he could never afford this house on his own paycheck. Now he has a legal battle on his hands, not to mention the tenant can sue him for return of all of the rent, not to mention that we might be forced to move out, not to mention that the tenant will likely take advantage of the situation and refuse to move out.
My solution to this mess is for my father and me to vacate the premises and rent an apartment somewhere else, that way only one family is legally living in the house, and my dad will continue receiving rent for the apartment so that he can cover his mortgage payments. Then when the year is up, he should rent out the whole house as a HOUSE rather than as an illegal main-floor apartment. During the interim, I'll go and get an apartment of my own that I've wanted to get for some time now, and my dad will go and get an apartment of his own. We'll each pay our own way, and the problem will be solved. That is if the house won't be shut down and condemned and the water shut off and the mortgage accelerated. In that case, my dad will be forced to sell the house at a loss.