Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Frustration and Figures

Here I sit at my desk at work, waiting for another download to happen. There is a lot on my mind and a lot going on right now, but it’s all pretty chaotic, and not ready for posting nor may it ever be ready to be out there in the great wide world.

I am very ready for the chaos in my life to die down to a manageable level, some nice background noise. It has been a very long 6 or 7 months, and hopefully we’re going to see the end of the tunnel sometime soon.

I honestly thought we had seen the end of the tunnel when we finally moved in to the new apartment. Well, we’re still not quite done with that drama. We should be soon. I just have to figure out how to say what I want to say. To make an anguishing story a bit shorter and easier to digest, let me just say that we’ve been in a battle the last 2 to 3 weeks over the deposit on the old apartment. The way we see it is that the lease was terminated on 5/31 when the keys were turned in. This means that according to law, she had 30 days to get us our deposit and/or an itemized list of what the deposit was used for. Well, she didn’t. So, on July 7th, I sent her an email politely asking what was up. Or at least I tried to be polite, but I guess formal comes across as “threatening”. *Sigh* Anyhow, she responded that she was out of the office and she couldn’t find our address (which I’d given her back in April and every email I send has my work mailing address and phone number on it) but would be back in on the 12th. Well, I guess I got a little ticked by the brush-off, especially considering I knew she had my email, my work phone, my work fax, my work address, Gak’s cell phone and his email as well, not to mention that she knows exactly where he works. She could have easily contacted us at any time.

Oh, and by the way, PA law states that if she doesn’t get us the deposit and/or explanation within 30 days, we’re entitled to double the amount no questions asked. Now, let me tell you, that’s a nice chunk of change we’re talking about. So, with a little help, I gathered my understanding of the law and fired off a response that could probably be seen as threatening, or at least very unhappy.

Well, to try and make this a little shorter, she went to her lawyer. Who advised her that the lease doesn’t actually terminate until next May 30th because we didn’t notify her in writing about not renewing before the April 3oth date in the lease, but a week later. Now, mind you Gak had told her we were looking to move back at the beginning of April, so she at least had verbal warning. Yes, we should have gotten her the written notice earlier, but since I hadn’t looked at the lease in about 3 years, I couldn’t remember how much notice we had to give her. There was also a lot of other trumped up and exaggerated statements in the letter from her lawyer, including that we didn’t let her know in a timely manner about the infestation. (I’m sorry, within 3 hours of figuring out why the hell Gak and I were both itching and had been for a few months now wasn’t fast enough???!) The long and the short of it is, she’s willing to give us about $350 for us to shut up and go away.

On the one hand, I’m so ticked at her that I’d love to take her to court and get her to pay out the $1600 she owes us, even if we only see about $500 after lawyer fees and court fees and all that jazz. But, the realist in me sees that it will probably be in everyone’s best interest to take the money and run. Taking her to court won’t make her a better landlady. Yes, the way we read it the law is on our side. But, the way her lawyer reads the lease, the lease is on their side. Yes, some of the things she’s charging us for is downright highway robbery and petty. But, I have to be above that. Being petty, while satisfying in the short run, will not make things better in the long run. Not to mention set a very bad example for my son.

Why do I have to be a grownup? Why can’t I just throw a tantrum and yell and scream loud enough so that I can get what I want?

Because that’s the way life is, for good or ill.

So, I guess I’ve talked myself into taking the money and running, no matter how much I could use the extra cash. Now, to figure out how to word our letter of response to tell her “don’t think you’ve won because of this, but we’ll take your money and be rid of you for good”. Of course, she’ll feel like she “won” and “beat” us, and we’ll feel like crap for being so confrontational and for potentially leaving $1500 on the table. Yeah, it’s a no-win situation at all for us, I’ll just be glad when it’s finally well and truly over. And still, $350 is better than a poke in the eye. Besides, if we went to court there’s always the chance the judge could side with the lawyer in that the lease really doesn’t terminate until next year and make us pay all the rent that would have been due this year. Not a chance I’m really willing to take, as that is way more than $1600.

Well, my download is done. I’ll wrap this up by saying that Amma finished Boo’s curtains and they’re hanging in his room. The look great! She hopes to have ours done this week, which would be awesome.
So, peace to all and may your ordeals not be ulcers on steroids and may calmer heads prevail.

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