The internet has called 2016 a “dumpster fire” of a year, and I have to agree. I don’t even want to get into all of the heartbreaking instances of just… I mean… yeah, I don’t.
And then there was this: on Election Night, I met with my new landlord, who apparently had some issues with my old landlord (I was not at all a part of any of this, and in fact I didn’t know for sure that the building was being sold until late September). My new landlord went on about how nice and chill she was, and that she wanted to have a hangout lounge in the attic, and gardens in the backyard, and we would all be best friends, and I would get a new bathroom…
It all seemed fine, new landlord would be living in the building, and would see that I am a good, clean, quiet tenant, and would want to keep me. Awesome, right? WELL.
About a week after our little meeting, I got a text from new landlord, telling me that my rent would be going up $100 a month in March, and that I needed to let her know if I planned on sticking around by the end of November. Uh… I asked why the rent was going up so much, and received a snotty response that she could actually get a lot more for my apartment. She then said that her son wanted my apartment, but she was giving me the first shot at keeping it. Before I could even wrap my mind around all of this fuckery I was receiving over TEXT MESSAGE, she said, you know what, never mind, I am "going to make it easy for everyone" (her exact words) and not renew your lease in March, and if you really want to help me out, you can move out before your bathroom gets gutted in February.
I got all of this over text message, over an hour and a half, on a Monday afternoon while I was at work. Needless to say, I was upset.
Even better, a week later new landlord texted me: “I’m sorry this is happening to you. I’m sorry I’m causing you distress. I wish things were different.” Um, this woman tried to price me out of the apartment that she knew I loved, and then kicked me out when I wanted to think about the significant price raise, AFTER she said she’d give me three whole weeks to think about it. And there she was, spewing her bullshit feelings all over me after screwing me over!
So much of my sense of well-being is wrapped up in having a stable home life, which for me means living alone in a cozy, clean, quiet little self-made cave with my two kitties. I loved my little jewel box of an apartment, which felt like it was made for me, and I told new landlord how much I hate to move when we had our "best friends" meeting. And now I get to move in the middle of winter, and it’s not my choice!!
I also have the anxiety of trying to find a place, no landlords are getting back to me, and I have to save up enough money for this move on my single lady, non-profit salary, and the place has to be cool with cats, and I am flipping my shit on a regular basis. The other night I went to see an apartment that was in my price range, and in a great neighborhood. It was tiny, dingy with decades of dirt, and stinky, and it depressed me. It was not a livable space. I’m going to see another place on Sunday, but I don’t understand why I don’t have two or three more apartments to see – why won’t people get back to me so that I can just have one thing decided?!?
The worst part, for me – besides losing my lovely apartment to my mean landlord’s son - is that I won’t be able to buy presents for Christmas. Buying thoughtful presents for my loved ones is honestly one of my favorite things about the holidays, but it’s not happening this year, and it breaks my heart. I know that everyone will understand, but it breaks my heart.
I’m sure that, come mid- to late January, I’ll be settled into a new place, one that I will make my cozy cave. I’ll be away from new landlord and from CAN, with his panoply of mental health issues, and all of this stress and anxiety will be a semi-distant memory. But right now, I’m having a hard time, and I’m sharing it with the world.
In short: Mean landlord kicked me out and ruined Christmas.