Life in Between

Goodbye Slum Lord!

Well, the rumors are true. We knew this was going to happen, and it did. Our rent is increasing $500 per month! No, sadly that isn’t a typo. Our little two bedroom apartment will soon cost us an extra $6,000 a year.

Last night as I approached the house, shielding Landon from the bitter cold, I could see a white piece of paper peeking out from our door frame flapping in the wind. As I slid my key into the lock the paper slipped to the ground revealing my land lord’s signature. My heart sunk…I knew what the letter was regarding.

Dear Diana,
Please be advised that effective May 1st we will rob you blind for this mediocre apartment you rent from us.
Your slum lord

image from 3.b.blogspot

We assumed this day was coming as our downstairs neighbors moved out a few months ago when they received notice of the rent increase, but a small portion of me was hopeful it wouldn’t happen to us.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not sad to move out of our apartment, in fact I am excited about the possibility of what we can have! If you followed my blog from the beginning you may remember I cried for two weeks straight when we moved in (see blog post here). Leaving our beautiful brand new condo in Maryland for a 100 year old house in Boston was difficult. After two years I have grown to tolerate and even appreciate some aspects of our home, however it is in no way worth an additional $500 per month. Not. Even. Close.

If you have ever lived in Boston you know the rental market is a complete nightmare (more so than NYC).
•It is extremely aggressive! If you see an apartment you like, you have to act on it immediately. If you don’t someone else will take it from you within the hour. Really!

image from

•You have to pay a broker fee to the relator who shows you the apartment (typically a full month’s rent) and all of the properties go through realtors

• It is not uncommon for a realtor to send you pictures of a potential apartment, arrive at the rental for a tour and is NOTHING like the pictures you were sent. When you question the real estate agent they will say something like “oh those pictures are what this place could look like if they remodel” honest to god a broker told us that once. You waste hours looking at apartments you are not interested in

•Each apartment requires first month’s rent, last months’ rent, the broker fee, and even some a security deposit…typically you will drop $6,000 to $8,000 before even stepping foot into your new apartment

image from

•Almost all of the apartments are extremely old and to find a lead free apartment is nearly impossible. That’s why in the State of Massachusetts all children are required to have a yearly lead blood test. I have to find a lead free home for LD which will decrease our options.

When I first read the landlord’s letter I immediately felt overwhelmed. Having your monthly expenses increase $2,500 a month (daycare and new rent) without a pay raise can make you feel like you are drowning. However, after some quick research yesterday I learned that for less than the price our landlord wants to charge we can have a BRAND new two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a full size washer and dryer, central air-conditioning (this is unusual in Boston) a swimming pool and fitness center! Now I am feeling optimistic.

I made an appointment to see the place on Saturday—Let the apartment hunting begin!

Image from


4 thoughts on “Goodbye Slum Lord!

  1. What a great way to turn something stressful into something positive! Have fun with the apartment hunting . . . It sounds like you have some great possibilities in front of you 🙂

  2. Pingback: You have children? Well, then you can’t live in Boston! | Moms Living Leaner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s