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home : columns : dear harriette October 26, 2020

8/31/2020 8:28:00 AM
Couple ready to move out of shared space

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I currently live with another couple in a home that we rent. We have been here for 15 months. While being quarantined the past three months, we've had a lot of overlap with the other couple. We have issues with our home; we contacted the landlord about them, but he didn't do much to fix or help with the issues during the quarantine.

Now my boyfriend and I have decided to get our own place because we are tired of the home not being up to our standards, and we have just outgrown the space with the other couple. The problem is, we just renewed our lease three months ago. I'm hopeful that the landlord will take the two of us off the lease if the other couple remains, but how do we approach the conversation with the other couple that we plan on leaving and sticking them with the lease on their own? I don't want them to feel like we are abandoning them. -- No Stepping on Toes

DEAR NO STEPPING ON TOES: You should speak directly with the other couple and let them know where you stand. In order to get out of the lease, you have to get them to agree, get someone else to take over your part of the lease (with the landlord's blessing) or get the landlord to agree to remove you from the lease. This is a legal matter.

You may want to speak to the landlord first to explain your situation, review your concerns about the state of your home and ask to be taken off the lease. You will likely need an attorney to help you work through the paperwork. Coordinating with your co-renters may help ease the burden on all -- if they are willing to take over the lease or have others in mind who may want to split the rent.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My workplace was closed down for quarantine. We were all notified of the temporary closing until further notice. After three months, I still hadn't gotten a call or email from my company regarding reopening. I spoke to a co-worker who said that our store was open and she had been working for the past two weeks. I gave my manager a call, and she told me that they are operating at 50% capacity -- understandable.

Another two weeks have gone by, and I still have not gotten a call to return to work. The retail store I work for has a team of eight people in total. I'm sure even if hours are minimal, I still should have been called in to work some short shifts by now. Are they trying to push me out of the company quietly? I don't know if I should continue to be patient or contact corporate and figure out where my job stands. -- No Job

DEAR NO JOB: Many companies have reopened at limited capacity. You can contact corporate to find out if there will be a place for you at this location or somewhere else. Plead your case, making it clear that you are ready to work. Be prepared to talk about your reputation prior to COVID-19, especially if it is good, to encourage them to take you back.





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