Royal Oaks Apartments / Scam
In May, my kids and I moved home to Lancaster, PA because we were told my husband would be sent to Iraq, and I had a job offer. My husband went into the apartment office in September to renew our lease. We wanted to do a month-to -month lease, but the person who did the lease told him that we shouldn't do that because we would have to pay $60 more a month for rent. He told her we would be moving out in November.
She told him to do a 6 month lease and when he received his military orders to leave in November, to bring them in and they would terminate the lease. He specifically asked if they would be able to do it if he didn't get the orders until a week or two before we would move out of the apartment, and she said yes. She didn't tell him that we would need to give a 30-day written notice. So, that is what we did. I called October 26th, and spoke to one of the agents. I told her that we would be moving out November 26th, and we needed to schedule a walk through. I was told that we had to wait to give notice until we received his orders. I told her that we did not get them yet, and that we may not get them until right before we have to move out.
She said it wouldn't be any problem to terminate the lease as soon as we got them, and again, said nothing about a 30-day written notice. My husband received his orders yesterday, (This can be verified through his unit) and took them right into the office. At that time, he was told that we would have to pay rent for next month because we didn't give a written 30-day notice. Needless to say, I was furious. I called and spoke to the manager, and she was very rude. I told her that was why we had wanted a month-to-month lease, as then we wouldn't have this issue, and that the agent didn't give us correct information. She replied that we would still have the problem, because we would have still had to give a 30-day written notice. However, my argument is that we would not have had to wait for his orders, had we done that, and when I called in October to give 30 days notice, I should have been instructed to submit it in writing, which I could have done. Even if we would have paid $60 extra a month, it would have been less than a full month of rent. The manager then told me (I don't even know her name, because she didn't introduce herself) that the Soldier and Sailor's Act states we have to give a written 30-day notice, and that we signed a military clause in our rental contract.
The Soldier and Sailor's act does state that, however, it does not require that we present you with the military orders at the time of giving notice. The military clause we signed, was for our first lease agreement. My name should not even be on the current lease, as I did not sign it, nor does my husband have a power of attorney. She said it still applies, as it is an addendum, however, in the paperwork for the current lease, the clause is not included in the addendums, so legally it does not apply either. We gave sufficient notice (in September and October) and we were given incorrect information as to terminating our lease. This was not our error, this was the error of the incompetent staff at that office.
Even when my husband first went in, he was told by one of the staff members that it shouldn't be an issue to terminate our lease with such little notice due to us being good tenants. When he brought that statement to the attention of the manager, she told him that the other girl didn't know what she was talking about, that she is new. That is not a valid excuse for wrong information. To be frank, it's not our responsibility to make sure that their staff is adequately trained. But there is a commitment from Morgan Properties to give excellent customer service and correct information to their tenants. My lease should be terminated without having to pay an additional 30 days rent.