This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Hey, remember when we were all like "Hey LAist peeps! We're moving to Hollywood! In only thirty days! YEAH BABY!" and everything was going great and we got some good tips on movers (Delancey Street) and neighborhoods? And if you'd asked me if thought I was going to be able to make it by July 1st I'd be all like "YOU KNOW IT!!!"
Yeah, well, as of eleven o'clock this morning, that was how I was feeling too. I had turned in my 30-days notice. We had found a potential subletter, an Italian professor on sabbatical who didn't seem too frightening and apparently had fairly deep pockets. My boyfriend had even gone out to scout new apartment locations. We had recently gone over our apartment priorities and decided that a 2 bedroom in the Valley had a certain advantage over a 1 bedroom in Hollywood (he works in Studio City, I'm on Sunset & Vine). North Hollywood and Toluca Lake both offer a wide range of services, activities, and (most importantly) restaurants. Even if we weren't living south of "The Boulevard" (ick), there were still lots of couple-friendly neighborhoods that were even well within our price range.
Then I got two phone calls, in quick succession: one, from the boyfriend. "Well, honey, I've looked at a bunch of places all morning over here in the Valley, and I've called to find out prices, and it all looks pretty good. I turned in my 30-days notice, though, and there's a problem - apparently me AND my roommate have to turn in notice at the same time, because her annual earnings aren't enough to cover three times the rent. Or something. She doesn't want to move. I don't know what to do." Huh? I'm not even sure what's actually going on.
Then my current roommate: "So our landlady has a problem with the wording of our notice and says we can't sublet. We have to reassign to a new tenant, until our lease is up in two months. And she's further upset because apparently she doesn't like it that our otherwise quiet and respectable male guests come over at odd hours of the night. Why is she bringing this up now, three years after we've lived here?" Um. WHAT? Now I'm even more confused.
I'm in a bit of a panic here. All I ever hear about is how people manage to get kicked out of their apartments. One of the reasons my boyfriend needs to move is because his next door neighbor is a bit of a crazy old cat lady who complains about his roommate's "loud talking on the phone during the day" and "loud door-shutting", enough times that the manager has actually had to deliver a "cease and desist or we'll evict you" notice to two otherwise reliable and non-disruptive tenants. (Okay, so his roommate is kind of a loud talker, but they never have parties and they're otherwise fairly quiet. It's a tad ridiculous.)
So why is it so freakin' hard to break a lease, if you're providing your landlord with a new, creditable tenant? And why is the lingo so difficult to understand? I know breaking a lease is a bad thing, even though I'm not sure exactly how the law works. But I've been living in the same place and paying rent and not breaking anything and keeping the paint and carpets relatively intact, for three years. My roommate's staying on, and she's on the lease, and we have a tenant all ready to go. Yes, her boyfriend comes over at odd hours, but only because he works late and together, they are possibly the nicest, quietest, cutest couple ever.
So how do I work this here? I wanted to be out by July 1st; that plan might have to change. Should I invite my man friends over at odd hours and talk really loud and hope I get evicted? Or should I suck it up and wait THREE MORE MONTHS to get into a new place where I can walk around naked and eat anything that's in the fridge and get drunk on a Tuesday night and hump in the kitchen if I want to? Or...do I try to find somebody to talk to about my legal options and maybe work with everybody concerned to see what's feasible and what's reasonable? The mighty forces here at LAist have put in a few calls to their legal resources, and now we await The Word of The Voice of the Law....
Stay tuned for more updates - I'm still hoping for July 1st. Can we make it?
Photo of Sherman Oaks by Zach Behrens, tincanorange via flickr