Damien and I lived in the flat she owns for almost 13 years, in fact, it is 13 years at the end of September (the end of my two month notice period) as I moved into the place as of October 1st 1995. Granted, I haven’t spent much time there in the last 8 months and we haven’t spent the night there at all in 2 months, its still 13 years.
The place has been painted once, about 3 years after I moved in, and she took out the shitty carpets that used to cover the beautiful and easy to clean stone tiled floor in the living room (but left the equally shitty carpets in the bedrooms and passage- covering up equally pretty flooring there).
That’s all she’s done.
Her excuse was that if she did more she’d have to put my rent up, which I said she couldn’t do since she’s only allowed to increase it by 10% a year.
She wasn’t going to make extra money off me so she did nothing. She put in new built-in cupboards and an exquisite new kitchen in the flat next door between tenants… but nothing in mine.
Ooh I lie- she put up a new security gate on my front door once. And then she lectured me for 20 minutes over the phone over what to do with the spare key.
What she did do was promise for years to enclose mine and my neighbour’s parking spaces with gates (she owns both flats) but she never did.
So lemme telly you, the kitchen is bloody dreadful; I have never had any working space and the stove is about 30 years old with only 2 working stove plates. The other two plates trip the power if I switch them on. She’s had electricians out to look at it once or twice- but it would have been better to replace it long ago. I go through light-bulbs like cookies because the wiring in the place is the same as was put in when the block was built 30+ years ago. The bathroom can so be organised with a shower as mine is the only flat where the bath has a wall on three sides instead of being directly under the window, and the plumbing needs regular tweaking as its also 30+ years old!
A few years back the owners of the flats put up new security gates all around the place, with remote controls for the parking lots which was awesome for keeping our cars safe- but it also limited access all over the fucking place. From then on I could not get to the garden or newly constructed braai-area unless I BOUGHT a key for those gates! The stairwell outside my front door is supposed to be an emergency exit as well as being conveniently close to the door for me, but I don’t have a key to the gate that locks the entrance at the bottom of the stairs. The fact that I had to buy keys for all these gates drove my bat-shit! And for a while I did have a key to the gate at the foot of the stairs outside my door- but they kept changing the fucking padlock!
I never once- not one single time- paid my rent late or missed a payment. One year I increased my stop order a month late but that’s been the only discrepancy ever. I was behind on my electricity payments once or twice, but not so much it got cut off.
Granted, there’s some “damage” (for lack of a better word) that Damien and I have inflicted over the last 13 years- paint chips and a couple of cracked windows- and Damien destroyed his cupboard door, but I flat refused to fix it. At one stage the logic behind my argument for that made sense but I can’t remember it anymore.
And now I’m not going to bother because I already told her to keep the deposit I gave her when I moved in.
She really bugged me very little in the last 13 years. She wasn’t constantly hammering on my door to check on me and she didn’t have a key to the place. But every time my phone rang and her name showed on the caller ID I sighed in exasperation.
What it boils down to is that she treated me like a teenager. The spare-key-new-gate discussion being a perfect example. And most recently, when I reminded her that the wiring in the flat is old and may need work, she phoned me the next day (I missed her call thank goodness ‘coz I may have lost it) and left a message that I must please switch off the geyser to save electricity and switch off the mains switch so there won’t be a fire.
WTF woman!!?!?!??? I’ve lived there for 13 years and there’s never been an electrical fire! And I’m still paying the forking electricity until the end of September so whether I want to save electricity is my prerogative!!!
I am so looking forward to never speaking to her again…