Here's bittersweet news. Usually, it's easy to vilify those who think they are above the law and use their power and influence to fleece the public in order to line their pockets. Former Gov. Ryan doesn't quite fit the stereotype. Did he cheat the public? Did he fail his constituents? Did forget the oaths he took? Yes, yes and yes. Is he as easy to define as Tom DeLay or Scooter Libby or Katherine Harris or any of a large number of Republican politicians who have fallen into legal disarray because of their cheating ways? Not so much. Ryan won some admiration from me when he abolished the death penalty in Illinois, because he was troubled by the number of inmates being freed by new DNA tests and declared that he could not allow another execution to happen if the state could not say without a doubt that the inmate was guilty. He took a moral and lrgal stance that was and is at odds with his political party. He suffered recriminations, slings and arrows from that core group who voted him in. And he stood fast. I applauded that. I still do. Unfortunately, his sense of personal ethics stopped at the door of greed. Like muddy boots, he cast his humanity aside to enter into the den of iniquity and smoke from the communal pipe of greed. We can only hope that someone placed coins on his palm to pay the ferryman to take him to the other side. For he is now without clothes or coin. Oh, wait a minute. There are those millions of dollars that the Republican party put up for his defense. Wonder if there's some left over. He could ride the Styx in style.
So, today I took the first step toward severing my lease. Insofar as I understand it I am on solid ground legally and would win in Small Claims Court. Do I want to come back in order to attend SCC? No. So, I am trying to win this one in a "friendly". The agent actually admitted on the phone today that sometimes typos happen on contracts. She asked me to email my concerns to her and she would contact her broker. On this I'm confused. A rental agent for a house she doesn't own has a broker to cover the legalities of a lease? This agent signed the lease and signed the owners of the house on it by proxy. Oh well. She did restate that the lease began on January 1 as has always been the case in her career. Funny. All of the local rental agencies I called had never heard of not starting a lease on the day of move-in. Anyhoo:
"Thanks for calling back today. I'll try to be succinct with my concerns regarding my lease for 1735 N. Cambrian Avenue, Bremerton, Washington 98312. First, you've stated twice now in recent weeks that the lease did not begin until January 1, 2006. However, the lease clearly reads as starting on December 1, 2005. It, also, reads that it is an approximate lease and ends June 30, 2006. I understand that I initialed this. But my concern is about how to actually regard this. In all of our phone conversations leading up to my committing to the lease there was never an inference to "approximate" or that it was in actuality a seven month lease. I've spoken with several rental agencies locally and none of them have ever heard of a lease not starting on the day of move-in. I do notice that in the lease the first month is pro-rated, but it is done so at the full monthly value. So, that cannot be considered a partial month's rent.
Second, the lease states that the entire amount due for the term of the lease is $4,950. Dividing that by $825 (which is my monthly rent) equals 6. So, when I come in to pay my rent for May I will have met my financial obligation for the term of the lease. In effect, this would make June a free month's living at this address for me.
I will be moving out on May 17th, 2006. This gives you ample time to put the house back on the market and try to rent it again by June 1, 2006. You will have a good portion of May in which to show it unoccupied.
I, also, ask that you not withhold the refunding of my security deposit ($1,050) through June so long as I leave it as I found it minus normal wear and tear. While a few certain issues were not addressed during my tenure here (i.e. annual servicing of the gas fireplace, circuit breaker, broken doorbell) I am confident we will have no disagreement concerning the condition I will leave it in.
Finally, I look forward to meeting with you and discussing these issues. I believe that we can find common ground concerning these legal issues and reach a conclusion beneficial to both of us. Please call me to make such an appointment at your earliest convenience. As well, you may consider this my notice of intent to vacate by midnight on May 17th, 2006. I will hand-deliver written notification of this as well."
So, whaddya think? Well done? Or self-immolation?