Updates Galore!

 So I found a great little apartment in a nice little neighborhood in Vancouver.  The landlord is lovely and the suite is a 2 bedroom with hard wood floors throughout.  The kitty will stay inside and we will have a dedicated craft room!
The suite has laundry just five steps away, a parking spot about 10 steps away from my door, a small storage area for things I want to have in storage (suit case, christmas deco) but not all the way in my big storage.
 
My landlords (existing) are still completely crazy and yesterday after they gave me my reference and I got the apartment and handed over the damage deposit, they called me upstairs to tell me they changed their minds and I didn’t have to move.  Boy was I pissed off!  I told them that it was too late and that in good faith I was making motions to get out of their way as quickly as possible and now that they’d decided that I didn’t have to move they’d put me in a really bad position.  I negotiated with them that I was going to move and due to the miscommunication and the tribulation they put me through this week, I would not be paying April’s rent and that would be the end of it.  They really want me to stay and I think they’re genuinely sorry that they did what they did, but things that have been said/done cannot be unsaid/undone and I no longer feel comfortable living there.  Plus, I had emotionally gotten ready to be moving and started making plans and feeling a new fresh beginning coming on, so I am not willing to give that up.  They asked me to sleep on it and let them know today.
 
Well I got electricity, television, internet and phone service connected for April 26th, changed my address with half a dozen government agencies and my work, my cell phone, the vet and my storage company.  My drivers license is changed and my insurance now reflects my new address.
 
I’ve made plans for people to come and help me move, boxes to pack in and something to do with the cat while the packing/moving transition takes place… so what do you think my answer to them will be tonight?
 
I’M OUTTA HERE!
 
Pictures of the new place just as soon as I can get in there next week… I need to measure for some stuff!

Documentation

Sunday, March 25, 2012
7:21pm (28 seconds)  Mrs. called and asked if I was busy and could they please come down and chat with me.  I preferred them not to come in to the apartment as it agitates the cat so I volunteered to meet them upstairs in their living room.
I arrived two minutes later.
Mr. and Mrs. l stated that because of their daughters pending wedding, they had a lot of out of town guests coming, including Mrs’s mother who was coming from India.  Mrs. mother would be staying for two months for the wedding along with some other relatives and Mr. and Mrs. wanted her to stay with them at their home.
Mr. and Mrs. then stated that because they didn’t have room in their portion of the house, they wanted to give the relatives the suite downstairs, where I pay rent to live.
Before I could say anything, Mr. told me that they had a plan and that they had another property a few minutes away that was vacant at the moment and that they would like me to move there for the two months that their relatives were living downstairs.
They said that once the relatives left, that I could move back.
I questioned them, stating that it would be very difficult and disruptive to me to pack up everything in my home, furniture and contents included and move down the street for two months, only to pack again and move back.  Mr assured me that he would provide his son and nephew to do the physical moving but that I was on my own for packing.  At no time was any monetary compensation offered.
They told me at this time that if I did not take them up on their favor to temporarily move to the move to the more expensive place for the same price, then they would have no choice but to evict me.
At this time I inquired as to what the financial implications were to me and he assured me that I would continue to pay rent on my suite but would not be paying rent on the temporary suite.  He told me that he was doing me a favor because the rent on the temporary suite is market valued at $1000 but that he would not charge me the difference. Again, no monetary compensation was offered.  It was to be status quo with me paying rent, but packing and moving to a different temporary location.
I mentioned that if they were expecting me to move, then I would have to consider just moving entirely as with a full time job and obligations there was little to no way that I could undertake packing a two bedroom apartment and moving and then packing it back up and moving it back.  They said that they wanted me to stay living in their suite and that they were only doing this favor for me because of the long time tenancy, since I have lived there for 11+ years.
When I asked what their proposed timeline was for this, Mr., suggested that I was welcome to move out as soon as April 15.
Mr then suggested that we go and view the suite.
I agreed to go and see the suite.  It was not suitable for me in any way.
When we got home, Mr. and Mrs. asked me to tell them right away if I was going to temporarily move into their other home or move entirely because if I didn’t take the temporary suite they were going to rent it out and they had to know right away.
I told them that I did not have the ability to answer at that moment as I had only been aware of this situation they were putting toward me for an hour.
The next morning I phoned Mrs. at 8:11AM on March 26, 2012 and spoke to her for 44 seconds.
I asked her to please put a copy of my rental agreement (which I have never received) in the mailbox for me for when I got home and also a written statement of what they were asking me to do, complete with dates and financial information (no extra charge for the ‘more expensive’ suite).
Mrs. told me that they were not going to put it in writing because ‘we’re friends, that’s why we had a verbal conversation.  We’re going to do it verbally, not in writing unless you’re mad’.  I said ‘unless I’m what?’ and she responded saying that we’re friends and this was going to be taken care of verbally.
I asked her to please put the rental agreement in the mailbox for me and she said she would and hung up.  As of March 27, 2012 at 3:42pm, I have not received a copy of the rental agreement.

_______________________________

March 27, 2012 9pm.
I went upstairs to talk to Mr. and Mrs. as previously arranged.  Mrs was not present but Mr. said that we could talk anyway.
I told him that I was very offended by the suggestion that I move out for two months after I had made my home here and he acknowledged that he knew I was upset and offended.
I said that I didn’t think it was reasonable for them to expect me to pack up my apartment for two months and continue paying rent as a favor to them.
I told him about Section 49 and that they were required to give me two months’ notice before I had to move and that they had to pay the last month of rent.  Then I said that since two months from April 1 is passed the wedding date, that I would move out for May 1 but I wanted some incentive as legally I am entitled to stay until May 31.
Nav (daughter) entered the discussion and said that she didn’t think it was necessary to be discussing ‘legal’ things and that we should just figure this out as friends.  She said that they wanted me to do this as a favor to them and that there shouldn’t need to be an incentive to move out for two months when they were asking so nicely.
I told Mr. what my offer was to move out prior to the legal entitlement.
Two months rent, my existing damage deposit and the damage deposit for the new apartment and moving costs, all totaling $3200.
Mr. suggested that they just give me one month of rent.  I told him that I was already legally entitled to that month of rent but should be technically living there for May also, and that if he wanted me to move sooner, he would have to give me the May rent to which I am legally entitled AND an agreed upon incentive for the quicker move out.
Nav seemed to understand my position but said that she didn’t think it was fair.
She also said that her interpretation of the RTA was that if they gave two months notice, they didn’t have to pay last months rent.
Nav also said that if they hadn’t ‘accidentally’ told me that they wanted me to move for relatives, then they could have evicted me with only one months notice, no monetary incentive and just cancelled my residency in the suite.
I referred her to Section 49 of the RTA and she said that she would look it up herself because she read it earlier in the day and inferred that as landlords they were under no legal obligation to pay anything.
The conversation ended with Nav agreeing to explain the situation to her parents in their native tongue and that they would get back to me with their offer.
I said that unless the offer was mutually acceptable that I wouldn’t leave until May 31 and that they would still be required to pay the last month’s rent and the damage deposit.

Pros, Cons and why I have a stomach ache

 
Well, as per the post below… I’m moving.
 
I’m in a much better headspace now, but don’t get me wrong, I’m still furious.  But I went and looked at and put an application in at an apartment that I could see myself living in for a while and it’s given me a little bit of clarity that I’m going to be okay.
 
This whole thing has been a bit difficult to process… It’s only been about 36 hours since I found out, so it’s not that surprising that I’m having a few brain gliches.  In that case, a list or two…
 
Pros
 
No longer in a basement suite (I didn’t mind it but I’d like to look out the window and not be eye level with the sidewalk)
The wind won’t howl through the gap in the door making the house sound haunted (that used to REALLY creep me out)
No more carpet which means no more vacuuming.  Swiffer all the way baby!
Dedicated craft room (if I get a two bedroom)
Laundry in the building (just steps from ‘my’ apartment… I can do laundry in the middle of the night if I want!)
There is common area carpet between outside and my door… no more tracking outside right in!
The cat stays inside so I don’t have to worry about him getting in fights or getting run over
It’s a 9 min walk to a pretty nice shopping area with lots of cafes and one of my fave sushi places
The furniture i have in storage will all fit
There is no bad memories or reminders… it’s a completely fresh start
No one will know where I live unless I tell them
I can likely get a small deep freeze
 
 
Cons
 
there’s no outdoor space so no more bbq or patio chairs
The cat has to stay inside (I’m worried about him becoming really miserable)
Litter box!
It’s more expensive
There’s not a lot of visitor parking
It’s farther away from my peeps
It would be more than a seven minute drive to Hardeep’s
 
 
Worries (or why I have a stomach ache)
 
Packing the fridge/freezer
Making a new neighborhood ‘my’ neighborhood
The cat being upset
That I probably can’t take or reuse the vinyl decals on my walls
That I might not be able to take my crystal chandelier with me
That I have to put the kitty in the cat hotel and then power pack because he might run away when he sees packing boxes
Confronting my landlords for money ** more on this below
That my landlords will not give me a good reference because they’re mad at me
 
 
So I’ve decided that since my landlords illegally told me I had to move and are being inconsiderate (asking someone to move for two months, continue paying rent and then move back, all with no monetary compensation), I’m going to make them a deal.  Either pay me a significant amount of money (three months rent) and I’ll move out for May 1… OR… I’ll take the two months I”m legally entitled to, they’ll still owe me one month rent and my damage deposit and I’ll move on May 26th, which is their daughters wedding day and they’re having the party in the back yard.  I’ll make full use of my outside area to stage moving ahead of time, when they’re having all their pre-parties and I’m pretty sure it will be a disruptive and unpleasant looking mess.  Plus, they won’t be able to use the suite for the time prior to the wedding for their out of town guests.
Either way… fine by me 😉 (but not really because I don’t like confrontation… I want them to give me what I want…. and they need to decide asap because I need to make arrangements for the kitty hotel)
 
I’m super stressed… punctuated by times of feeling excited by this new living adventure…
 
Any advice on my cons or more pros you can think of would be much appreciated.

Just not a good time

Maybe this time of year just isn’t a good time for me… 

I rec’d a call at 7 tonight asking me to come upstairs and talk to my landlords.  I knew EXACTLY what it was they were going to tell me and I was right.
I’m kicked out.  They’re having a wedding in May and about three thousand people from India are coming for the wedding and they want my apartment to let some of them live there for three months.
That’s right.  May.  It’s March 25 right now.  I had planned to move this year, when my tax debt was paid off… but no… I’m now required to move asap… as in, in the next month.

I spoke to Sam, who was more calm than I was and it turns out that the Landlords are not playing fair, they owe me a lot of money based on this and technically they can’t make me leave till June 1st.  I’m going to file a complaint with RTA, but I’m not going to stay here through the wedding… I may as well just get going.

I’ve cried a lot tonight… being kicked out of your home doesn’t feel nice.  Nope.

Long Overdue

Long overdue for a little show and tell…

I’m wearing my very first hand knit sweater today.  It’s actually the second day I’ve worn it.

I didn’t do an excellent job of blocking it, so it needs to be redone, but for now, it’s just fine!

For anyone interested, I knit it out of Alafosslopi (3.1 skeins) on US 10.5 needles and I modified the pattern to include sleeves.  It’s Shalom on Ravelry.  The button is from a woodworker on Vancouver Island.

Tax Related Saga

Last night I was having a killer craving for Coke Zero.  I only ever drink water with an occassional coffee on the weekends thrown in.  So when a craving such as that comes up, I have no choice but to succumb.  When I got my beverage home I realized that there’s no ice in the freezer and the pop was warm from sitting on the grocery shelf.  So I did what any right minded person would do and I used Citrus Vodka that lives in the freezer to cool my drink… yes… I used enough ice cold vodka to make an entire can of coke cold… twice!

After successfully knitting for a bit and then taking an allergy pill, apparently instead of going to bed like I had planned, I did (read as ‘fooled around with’) my taxes.

Having not prepared for such an event, I used the only pencil in my house, which has no eraser and a VERY dull lead.
About an hour later I had done them three times… each time coming up with a different alarming number for what I owed.

I came to work this morning and immediately got on Turbo Tax and did a ‘test’ to see how accurate I was.  Apparently not so much… because I actually get a refund… which is a departure from the outcome of my first attempt, which said I owed $2900.

Moral:  Don’t use freezer vodka to make your warm coke cool… it doesn’t lead anywhere good.

MORAL: At least drink enough to not be able to hold the pencil…

Good Monday Morning!

I was told today at 7:45 that I seemed like I was in an awfully good mood… I told the guy that said it that no one had given me bad news yet today so I was holding on to my positive energy for as long as I could… It’s now 10:45 and still no bad news…  (work related bad news has already seeped in to my day and ruined it by 8am almost every day)
 
This weekend was quite fun… also quite restful.  I think I’m coming down with something or fighting something off because I slept a LOT this weekend.
 
On Friday Sam and I usually have Friday night dinner, but he was and I quote ‘dead busy’ doing school work and I was so tired my eyes were watering at 3pm, so we cancelled dinner.  I went home with the intention of having a short (operative word was short) nap and then off to do some errands… At 10pm I woke up to send a quick text to Glenda to find out when we were meeting the next morning and then fell back asleep. With all the lights on… weird!
 
On Saturday morning we got together for a nice breakfast at Roots Cafe and then we made the epic trek out to Abbotsford to check out Fibres West.  It was bigger than last year.. all of our favorites were still there, plus some new vendors.
 
It was a lot of fun and we both got some goodies… I found a button for my new sweater…it’s cherry and walnut and handcrafted by a man on Vancouver Island.  He himself actually helped me pick out the perfect button for my sweater. 
 
 
All in all, my sweater cost me $23 in yarn and $6 for a button.  The pattern was free.  I’d say that’s a pretty good deal, wouldn’t you?
 
I also bought some AMAZING alpaca for my next sweater… it’s going to cost substantially more than $29 from start to finish, but I don’t care… The yarn is a gorgeous gray and brown natural mix and soft as a cloud!   
 
The only problem with this yarn is that it’s not the right guage for the sweater I’m making so apparently I’ll have to do some math… I did a guage swatch tho… I’m told that should help…
 
The last thing I bought was some vintage rayon seam binding to use to try and fix my Cedar Trees scarf that just won’t lay flat…
 
After we left the festival (with a quick stop at the vending machine for Cheezies (My sweet American Friends… you should do whatever you can to convince your Canadian friends to send these to you!), we headed out on our own little Yarn Crawl… not often either of us get out to the Valley, so we decided to make it worth our while…
 
 
We stopped at one yarn store where we learned all the things that we’re not crazy about in yarn stores… and we didn’t buy a thing… the whole trip there was summed up for me by the sight of a staff member spending inordinate amounts of time untangling a ball of pastel blue fun fur… My personal thought on it was ‘I wouldn’t pay you to stand there and do that… throw it out!…
This store had samples that were knit 7-8 years ago (the woman actually told us this!), white wire shelving and  a really loud, sort of manic vibe.
 
After that we went to a gorgeous store in Port Moody.  It’s everything that a yarn store should be.  Very friendly creative staff, samples straight off the needles of gorgeous and currently popular items and a lovely set up with beautiful wood shelves and interesting manequins and display items. It was a pleasure to just be in the store, looking, touching, chatting…
I bought buttons… shocking, I know!
 
 
Finally we headed back into town and stopped at one last store on Hastings.  It’s quite a different vibe… very young and hip and trendy with friendly, very easy going staff.  They had samples of garments that were designed by their employees and great display shelving and unique packaging of fibre.
 
That was the end of Saturday and Sunday was spent in my jammies… then I had a shower and changed into fresh jammies… Exciting ya?
 
No big plans for this week… work is kind of crazy and now I have sweater worth of yarn to knit with… Waahooo!