Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back Online

We're all settled in to our new digs in East Vancouver. Only 15 km or so from the old place, but a much better situation altogether. Our moving day was an interesting contrast in generosity and pettiness. On one hand, we received much excellent help from friends and family, which made the process quite painless. On the other, our old landlord, hellbent on finding something wrong with the state we left the place in, has deducted $12.50 from our $550 damage deposit for the half hour it took him to sweep up 2 square inches of dirt in a 900 square foot apartment. He has been considerably less than friendly ever since we gave notice that we were looking for a new place to live and would be assigning the balance of our lease to other tenants. At first he tried to tell us that we couldn't do that--altho the law's quite clear that we can--and that he'd take us to arbitration if we did. I pointed out to him that he could only reject tenants of our choosing if he had reasonable grounds for doing so, and that it's the tenants, not the landlord, who would have recourse to arbitration should the landlord reject an assignment. So we had an open house, collected applications, checked references and sent him a shortlist of four excellent candidates. He went with our top pick, and decided to release us from our lease and sign a new 12 month lease with the new tenants. Which is what I'd've done right away, were I in his position and wanted to have total control over who lived in my property. Especially in the Vancouver area, with it being such an excellent market for landlords, with next to no vacancy. At any rate, instead of having tenants for a guaranteed 12 months, he now has tenants for a guaranteed 18 months. So we've done him a favour, in any rational analysis of the situation. But he was obviously still pissy about the whole situation on Saturday, saying that it was we who had "taken this to the letter of the law" so we couldn't really complain if he did so as well. In fact, I'd've been glad not to take it to the letter of the law had he been reasonable about our reasonable proposal in the first place.

I expect part of the reason he's in a snit is he's made a bad property investment and is taking out some of his frustration on us. Since we've lived in the place, there have been two major plumbing incidents in our apartment, bookending our stay there. The latest one resulted in five holes in the bedroom wall and damage to the laminate flooring in the kitchen and living room. (And laminate being what is, all interlocked and floating, damage to one section probably means tearing the whole works up.) I ran into my next-door neighbour who said that the permanent solution to these leaks will involve replumbing the whole building--both plumbers who dealt with the leaks said the same thing--which will cost each unit-owner about $30,000.00. Maybe our landlord will be putting our $12.50 towards that expense!

Anyway, we can more readily spare the hit after the news we received today: Rachel and I were both successful in our applications for Canada Council creation grants. One of the few occasions in which it's of material benefit to have two writers in one household! Good news after a tough winter. Things are generally looking up. We really like the new digs. It's a basement suite, but spacious and very well laid-out; great neighbourhood with great neighbours. It should be a good first home for our forthcoming addition.

1 comment:

Alex said...

The Canada Council is paying people now for blogging and having babies? Damn!

Good to see you're back. Now get with the updates.