My Ocean of Problems : #1. Renting From A Slumlord Who Thinks I’m Retarded

Not quite this bad, but well on its way. The Blue House is making me blue.
Not quite this bad, but well on its way. The Blue House is making me blue.

It is 3:04am and I find myself awake, slightly unhappy, and in need of a good rant.

I find myself in an ocean of problems that each one alone would be considered more of a mild annoyance. Taken all together, though, I feel like I am being crushed by them. So, I am going to take a minute to vent and complain about some of these situations, get them off my mind and out of my soul, and continue my life, problem-pocked as it is.

First up, Slumlord Billionaire. This is what I call the woman I rent this house from. While I am genuinely glad to be living with Rebekkah in a house with a yard for the dogs, I am often surprised and offended by what this woman thinks I am going to stand for. When we moved in, all the utilities were still on except the water. Maybe this should have caught my attention and given me reason to be suspicious, but it didn’t. Long story short, the pipes under the house were busted, and I was unable to reach her for 3 entire days. I knew she owned a ton of ghetto houses in the area, and I called around to plumbers until I found the one she used, had them come fix the water heater and the pipes, and then had the bill sent to her. Boy, wasn’t she surprised!

Bird – 1  Slumlord – 0

Then there was the toilet. From what I have been able to piece together, the pipe problem had kept this house empty for about a year. In that time, people continued to use a non-working toilet, and their disgusting remains were still there the day I collected the keys. I had been assured the house would be thoroughly cleaned before we moved in. It was not.

We haggled back and forth about who was going to clean out that toilet. I was willing to get a refund and walk away from this trash heap if they didn’t clean it. Convinced I meant what I said, I watched a man in a tie and the slumlord lady in a fancy pantsuit shovel out the most disgusting stuff I’ve ever seen in my life, and scrub the porcelain throne to a high shine.

Bird – 2 Slumlord – 0

Next came the pet deposit. From the moment we met to look at the house, the dollar amount for a pet deposit for Ella steadily increased with time. $200 turned into $300 because she was a big dog, to $500 because the carpets were new, all the way up to $700. She even tried to convince me that it had been $700 all along. One cool thing about being so drastically poor is you literally have nothing to lose. I gave her $300 and told her that was all I was paying, so deal with it. She tried to push it again one other time, but by that time the awning in the back had crashed to the ground, pulling a termite ruined chunk of the house with it, the electrical outlets in the garage all wouldn’t work, and we had discovered we were not alone. There was a major bug problem that had to be addressed swiftly and decisively, for both Rebekkah and my sanity. I told her not to bring up the pet deposit again or I might flip the hell out and hurt someone. She hasn’t.

Bird 3 Slumlord – 0

Lastly, the problem with being late with our rent. Since we moved in here, we have paid our rent on time. Having a roof over our heads takes first priority and no matter what, we pay it first. However, last month someone actually stole half of my rent money. Every cent I make has somewhere to go, and there simply is nothing left over to cover a problem like this. It was a severe blow to an already suffering household economy. Rebekkah generally handles paying our bills, and she contacted Slumlord to tell her what had happened, give her a date we’d be caught up with our rent by, and to find out how much our late fees would be at that time. In a very distressingly inaccurate conversation with her, Rebekkah apologized for the inconvenience, set the date, agreed to one of the late fee amounts, and then, in a show of good faith, showed Slumlord that the next month’s rent would also be late, although only by a day or two. Again, everything was explained, agreed to, and we thought, solved.

When the next month’s rent came due, Rebekkah reminded her that we had a deal about being late, that we had not forgotten, and the money might be delayed due to a delay in processing her school financial loan. All hell broke loose. While Bekkie was in class, Slumlord was literally blowing up her phone — calls and texts — threatening to file an eviction on us if we didn’t produce the rent by 2 pm that day. Poor Rebekkah was freaked out. The next day, I kept Bekkie’s phone, and when Slumlord started up again, I handled it myself. I would only text to her, which she hated with a purple passion. I wanted a record of this ridiculous conversation. I won’t bore you with the details. Needless to say, judges don’t evict people who are less than a week late with rent, have written proof they notified the landlord, and HAVE WRITTEN PROOF THE LANDLORD AGREED IT COULD BE PAID LATE. Plus, I outlined my plan for how I would collect the deposits I would need on the next home by squatting about 3 months in this rental house and gathering all the evidence I need to show the court this place shouldn’t be inhabited. And just like that, she changed her tune, blaming her poor grip on the English language for our “misunderstandings”. She really does think I’m retarded. When I took her the money that caught us back up, she hugged me and apologized.

Bird – 4 Slumlord – 0

Two days ago, our refriderator quit working. I tried contacting the landlord and she was no where to be found. Today, she tried to convince me that because I use the refridgerator, and she doesn’t, I have to pay to have it fixed. When that didn’t work, she then tried to convince me that the house was not rented with a fridge, so I had to have brought it with me, and maybe had just forgot. I told her to cut it out. That was ridiculous, even coming from her. Lastly, she gave me the broken fridge saying I can take it with me if I ever move, and immediately changed the rental terms for The Blue House to not include appliances, and as such, will not pay to repair them.

Hm. I think I am now the proud owner of a refriderator that doesn’t get cold and has a sealing issue when you close the door.

Bird – 4  Slumlord – 1

~ Bird aka The Slumlord-Slayer, Wounded but not Dead

 

 

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Author: Catherine aka "Bird"

Marketing Specialist Recruiter Freelance Writer Blogger

9 thoughts on “My Ocean of Problems : #1. Renting From A Slumlord Who Thinks I’m Retarded”

  1. I don’t know how it works in the U.S. Bird, but here the Local Authority could be called in to look at the problems with the house and force the Landlord to correct them on public health grounds.
    Maybe a lawyers letter to say you’re withholding rent until all the issues have been dealt with, the rent money can be held by an arbiter.
    You shouldn’t have to put up with this situation, I wouldn’t house a dog in those conditions.
    Make it Bird 5 – Slumlord 0

    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, these are some of the problems that befall the poor. Others are the “poverty violations” such as not having money to renew your car insurance, or pay an exhorbitant fine for some traffic violation, money to fight such violations; the list goes on. The poor don’t have money to toss at “problems” Our own recourse and resource is the LORD. All we have is Jesus who has chosen the poor to be rich in faith.
    Yes, we can and do get discouraged at times…a lot of times. This is the battle we’re in. We still know that no matter what, Jesus is the answer to all problems. We come out stronger and walking taller in the end. Us 100% Satan-0 plus a ticket to the Lake of Fire

    Keep on Praying and Praising no matter what it looks like.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a number of relatives who are renting from various shades of slumlords, and yes, these issues do seem to be par for the course for them as well. I agree with some of what Scarlett said above, particularly about the poor not having money to throw at problems and that they are persecuted financially FOR BEING POOR, like being poor is not persecution enough.

    If you do decide to move, I would not count on getting any deposits returned. From my family’s long experience with slumlords, maintaining the deposit is their most favorite dirty trick of all. My sister completely redecorated a slum lodging (at her own expense) – it looked like something out of House Beautiful, no kidding, and was highly rentable after her term was up. Deposit was held on account of her having installed a shelf. And new curtain rails. Landlord deemed the screw holes “destruction of property” that would cost all of her $500 deposit to put right. Seriously? Seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

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