Running Rampant

2011 is off to a rough start for me. If this is any indication of how this year is going to go I think I will skip it and go straight on to 2012, even if it is supposed to be the end of the world it would probably be less stress than the last few days have been for me.

Let me update you on the dramas and dilemmas I have been facing over the last few days…

For starters I will tell you that in July of 2010 I moved into a cute little apartment on a whim, I don’t think I put much thought into what I was doing (which is not abnormal for me) and I was desperate to find a home in my desired area, within my desired (non-existent) budget. I found an apartment that consisted of two bedrooms in the upper half of a house, the ad boasted a large backyard, a great porch, a clean family friendly environment, all at a very reasonable inclusive price…. Though it was rather small (some would call it cozy) I thought it would suit the needs of my little family just fine, and decided to snatch it up while I could as apartments go quickly in the city I live in (especially at such a low price)

What did the ad leave out???

Well,  let me tell you that this is another situation where if it looks too good to be true it probably is… The ad failed to state that there were some major issues with this apartment, one issue that I discovered right off the bat was a large crack in the bedroom I would be using for my children. A crack wasn’t so bad, I could deal with a crack it’s no big deal, what was a big deal was the fact that less than a month after I moved in this ‘crack’ became a big “hole” in the window when all the glass amazingly decided to fall out.

Why is this a big deal you ask? Normally it wouldn’t be, under any normal circumstance this problem would be easily fixed with a replacement piece of glass, happily installed by the properties landlord… but do I have such luck? No, of course not….

I mentioned the issue to the landlord, and he agreed to fix the issue, but as I type this post a piece of cardboard currently covers the hole in the window secured in place by a large amount of duct tape….

Sure, this is not a huge issue in itself, and if that was all I had to bitch about I would not be wasting your time posting it here, no there is more…. all of which has come to an escalation over the past few days…

One day a few weeks ago during a cleaning frenzy I opened a rarely used cupboard to discover evidence (in the form of droppings) of mice in my home. Now generally speaking I have no issue with mice, when they are in a pet store, or safely secured in a cage, but running rampant in my home??? That is a problem…

I started a thorough inspection of the area and found no more evidence or indication of an infestation, so I chalked the droppings up to an old issue and thought nothing of it….I cleaned and sanitized this unused cupboard and carried on with life…. until….

The other evening at around 10 pm the bf and I decided we were hungry and went to the kitchen in search of snacks. Flicking on the light as we entered the room we were shocked to find a tiny, grey, terrified little mouse staring at us in shock from on top of the KITCHEN COUNTER!!! Being the big strong man my bf is, he panicked!! Granted he gathered himself together quickly and managed to catch this intruder with a juice jug. I then proceeded to release the animal out into the wild unharmed, for fear that the bf would have brutally murdered it upon removing him from the house… at this point I felt that the life of this little rodent was more important that the utter disgust of finding prowling around on my kitchen counter….

The next morning I immediately informed my landlord of the obvious infestation, and he arrived a day later with two mouse traps in hand. Yes, two mouse traps!!! I am finding mice crawling around on the counter where I prepare meals for my children, and his resolution is two frigging mouse traps…WTF???

Irregardless the bf set the traps, complete with a peanut butter treats, and within 3 minutes we caught our first culprit! This pattern continued throughout the night, we caught 7 mice in all the first few hours! That is a lot of freaking mice to have running wild in your home… I was/am pissed!!

But that is not even my biggest issue, believe it or not… No my real issue is the fact that with many issues, which include, but are not limited to; a broken front door, (which the maintenance man came to fix and ended up making worse) a broken window, lack of screens on the windows, improper sealing around the kitchen sink which is not only a) causing the counter top to rot b) causing the sink to leak to the cupboard below and c) black mould forming around and under the sink where the said leak is causing trapped moisture, carpets that are fraying at the edges, kitchen cabinets that wont close, and many more issues that could be added to this list… I decided to give my notice (in the form of a letter giving 60 days notice to vacate this property) and what was my landlords response???

He told me NO! That I couldn’t move until the end of my one-year lease, and if I didn’t like that option I could sublet my apartment, which is all fine and well until you take into account the $100 application fee that you DO NOT get back if the renter is not approved!! Ummmm…. no thanks!!

So what did I do? Well first I tried to discuss things rationally with him (not something I am generally known for) but this man actually lied right to my face, first about what he originally said regarding giving 60 days written notice to get out of the lease, then about the broken window, saying that ‘this was the first he had heard of this issue’ and that ‘I had never mentioned it before!’ ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Yeah, cause I have been living 6 months with a big hole in my daughters window without mentioning that it was an issue???? I highly doubt it!!!

So what now? Well I explained as calmly as possible to this man, that if he thinks that he is going to try to force me to stay in this house until the end of a year, (which is not until July 1st, 2011) or force me to sublet than he will have to fix all the issues I listed and any others that I may come across before I would give him another red cent! (It was at that point that he lied to me saying I had never brought these issues to his attention before)

His lying to my face is what has now sent me over the edge, and I am to the point of not caring about consequence any longer… as far as I am concerned he better start the eviction process now because I am not paying another dime to him for this property… there are other major issues that I could easily bring to the attention of the cities safety board if he wants to try to play dirty (e.g. the fact that I am in a second floor apartment with no fire exit besides my front door, something that was apparently an issue in the past and has yet to be dealt with in itself!)

I don’t want to have to be this way, it was never my intention to be one of those tenants that fights with their landlord and has to go through a process of court in order to get what I want, but he is leaving me with little choice for any other option.

Truthfully it would be much easier, and cheaper for him in the long run to just let me leave, these issues alone are going to cost him more than I pay in rent over the next six months, and if they don’t get fixed, he wont get rent… I am past the point of caring about the law, morals, or landlord rights… I have tenant rights and I am pretty sure one of those rights is a safe and clean environment for me and my children… it is far from safe when the floor my daughter crawls on is covered in invisible mouse urine and I am finding rodents climbing on my counter tops….

So 2011 may get a bit dramatic for me, but I am sick of standing by while people get away with this crap.. I am not going to sit here another moment and be cheated out of my basic right to a healthy home… mice and mould alone are enough of a health issue for me to want to leave, and I will one way or another… I just wish that it could have been the easy way!!!!

Judge me if you want to, but put yourself in my shoes and imagine how quickly you would want to run away, how angry you would feel being made out to be a liar, and how disgusted you would be to see a rodent running rampant in your home…. think about what you would do, and realize that just like you, I am wishing I could pack up and leave right now!!!!


5 thoughts on “Running Rampant

  1. Good for you! I would do the same thing. Look at it this way, it may be a hassle but ultimately a better place to live is a great way to start the 2011!

    Sometimes you have to play dirty, especially when you are a parent. He was given ample opportunity. Screw it! He either lets you leave or you take him to court.

    Keep me posted and good luck!

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  4. It’s so hard sometimes… but you’re doing the right thing. In the future, if you have any complaints about something, submit them in writing to the landlord by registered mail. It costs a few dollars but then you have proof that you brought the issues up to the landlord which will help you in court if it ever got there!

    Good Luck!

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