She received a call from her landlord, telling her and her son to move out in two weeks. She’s a teacher in Florida who doesn’t make that much money, so where would she go now?
A Two-Week Notice
On the seventh day of August 2023, the night before a school open house, OP (Original Poster), Jen, got a phone call from her property manager at around five o’clock in the afternoon. Her landlord said that the house had been sold and that she only had two weeks to move out.
It was sudden and shocking news, especially given her and her son’s current situation.
OP is a teacher, and her son is a senior in high school. Both of them will start school on August 10, so being forced to move out on such short notice is really a huge trouble.
Living in Florida With a Purpose
She has lived in Florida since 2016 and moved there specifically to teach. She had been renting a single-wide mobile home for $1,000 a month since she started living there.
A Responsible Tenant
OP has never been late or missed a rent payment. In all of the years Jen has been renting, she has already paid a total of $72,000 in rent.
She said, “Renting is not the issue, but when you rent, that means all the money you put toward rental is just kind of going down the drain, and rentals are very hard to come by in South Florida, especially right now.”
OP quickly searched Zillow for a three-bedroom apartment and found that the cheapest was $1,500 monthly, and the second cheapest was $1,950.
She added, “The description from Zillow for the one that’s $1,950 a month reads, ‘A 12-month lease, lawn care is included in the rent, the tenant pays all the utilities, this is not an offer to rent, prospective tenants must have an application with additional information for review and approval, a minimum credit score of 650, and the minimum income is 3 times the rent.’”
All of that would mean that OP should make at least $70,000 a year—only to meet the minimum requirements for the apartment. However, as a high school English teacher in South Florida, $70,000 a year is a far-off dream!
Opting for an Alternative
So, she decided to try another option: buying a house on a teacher’s salary. However, the cards are stacked against her.
A Problem That Begs for Solutions
The cost of housing in Florida is extremely high, and OP could only afford $1,000 to $1,200 at most every month for a house payment. Now, she asks, “What does a teacher teaching in South Florida do?”
OP added, “I’m not low-income, but I’m middle-income. So, how do we address the teacher shortage and the housing shortage when you need qualified teachers to teach in South Florida, and you’re a single mom?”
In Every Way She Can
OP is looking into any and every program that she could go through. But for now, there’s nothing else she can do but to be strong.
What TikTokers Have to Say
People on TikTok sympathized with OP’s situation and hoped things would improve for her in this economy.
Someone said, “You are strong. This situation with the economy is awful. I am a single mom, and I empathize. I’ve been in a precarious situation like you.”
That’s Not How It’s Done!
Some people pointed out that what OP’s landlord did was wrong, and she should have been given at least 30 days to prepare to move out.
A TikToker wrote, “If you have a lease, they have to give you more notice. And even without a lease, I think they are required to give 30 days’ notice.”
“I feel you. I do make more than a teacher, but the landlord sold the house. I can’t afford to rent in Destin,” said another.
A Problem in Every Place
Some people also pointed out that this kind of problem doesn’t just happen where OP lives but almost everywhere.
A commenter said, “In Iowa, rentals and home prices are like that, too, with the same stipulations. Unless you want to live in a tiny town.”
Another person wrote, “I’m in Palm Beach, and I feel this. There’s not enough of anything for teachers.”
A Helpful Tip
There are also TikTokers who gave suggestions on what OP should do.
One wrote, “You need to look into workforce housing. It’s housing for teachers, nurses, police, firemen, and firewomen.”
Problems With the Law
Others pointed out that OP’s landlord probably did something illegal, and she should fight for her rights.
“Landlord here. I am not sure that it’s legal for them to give you only two weeks, especially if you have children in the home,” commented one woman.
Another person remarked, “How can he give you two weeks? Did you look at the terms of your lease? Usually, they have to give you 30 days.”
Buy Your Own!
Some even blamed OP for her situation, saying she should have bought a house before to prevent this from happening.
“Their property, so they have the right to sell. But if you had bought a house years ago, your money would not have gone down the drain,” a commenter wrote.
What do you think of OP’s situation? Do you have any suggestions for her?
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This post first appeared as A Single Mom Teacher and Her Son Were Mercilessly Evicted and Given Two Weeks to Move Out, Only Days Before School Starts! Now They’re on the Verge of Homelessness! on Quote Ambition.