Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm trying to not be angry, but I am. Anger is not such a bad thing really. It's just how you deal with it that can make it a bad thing. How do I deal with my anger? Well in this case since there's been no confrontation I tend to hold grudges. Maybe this isn't the best way to deal with my anger, but in some cases it seems like the only way.

Of course this is all related to us having to move. We were screwed over. I understand that her business has taken off and she wants to keep working at home and needs to hire staff. I also understand that they feel they need to hire a nanny which also requires more space. I get it. Having worked in some of the wealthier homes for the wealthier families in Toronto I've seen the lifestyle and I sensed that we were living in a home on borrowed time. I didn't know they knew this day would come as much as I suspected it would as well.

After they had their second child I thought they would need the space for sure. They said "no, we want you guys to stay as long as you want." That sounded great because we weren't ready to buy and we're still not ready to buy even with the low interest rates and dropping house prices (too bad). Well, of course they wanted us to stay as long as possible, because if you're planning renovations it's a big cost so it's better to have that extra income as long as possible.

When we met in the fall to discuss the lease that had always been a year lease, they said, "if you guys are okay with it then we won't bother doing up the papers." They made it seem like we were all in agreement and that we could stay as long as we needed. So we agreed to just live on a month-to-month agreement so we could move out whenever. That should have been the first warning sign. I'm usually pretty good at detecting when something is amiss and know how to negotiate around such problems. However, everything had always gone so well with them. We had free run of the garden and could do what we like with our space. We seemed to be happily co-existing.

I really want to believe that they were being honest with us in the fall. I really want to believe that they couldn't have foreseen her business taking off...but...I can't let myself believe that.

They said they were so sorry that we had to move and they wished there was another solution. Blah, blah, blah. The night they told us we had to move was all done so very nicely. There was wine (well not for me I'm doing a detox) and chit-chat. We wouldn't be charged for our last months rent and our damage deposit would be returned with interest (as laid out in the initial rental agreement, but really we don't have any agreement now so they don't have to do that. Is it a guilt payment?). It was all so civil as it should be. But over the next few days as the shock wore off I became angry. Since then I can't shake it so I thought blogging might help me gain perspective.

I mean I don't care in a way because we found a new place easily and I'm really looking forward to those big fat windows in our living room, something we lack here. I'm looking forward to living next to such a large park where we can hike and see more wildlife, hear more birds etc etc. I'm looking forward to the quiet street and homeowners that don't have kids running around (not that the kids really bothered us), crying at all hours. However, I do care because I'm angry that they didn't tell us upfront that there's a chance they'd be asking us to move in the spring. Then I'd be prepared a little more and I wouldn't feel screwed over. Surely they knew in the fall that her business was already picking up and that they were already feeling overwhelmed looking after their kids and working full time and sometimes on weekends.

Within a week of them telling us, we'd found a place and now they're ready to go with renovations. Seems like they might have been planning for a while, no?

So I'm pissed off for having been foolish enough to let my guard down. And I'm angry with them because I'm wondering about all the points I've raised and now I can't see them without having those thoughts in the back of my mind. We're not friends with them and once we're gone we'll probably never see them again (well at least until June when I come back and take my bulbs out of the garden) so there's no point in putting up a fuss because we've got no grounds to do so. We got treated shabbily and I'm just angry that's all. I've said I'm looking forward. We've got a new place to make our own and are working to buy our own place in the future. We've also got new homeowners whose attitude is "if there's anything at all that comes up we can talk about it." Their attitude is very open and communicative. They seem like good people and I had my guard up when I met them so I think that's a good sign.

I'm not really going to hold a grudge in this case, but I am going to remember to always keep our best interests in mind when negotiating anything.


Wandering Coyote said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, sp.

I learned to always have a written rental agreement - there is one available online via the BC landlord & tenancy act people. It's not a lease, but a written agreement about everything.

But even without a rental agreement, it is illegal for them to coerce you to move out just so they can renovate.

I don't know if you want to pursue this at all, but maybe arming yourself with all the info you can will help you feel better about the next place.

sp said...

I didn't want to fight it. I wouldn't want to live with them if things were sour. I know a lease is necessary and we've signed one in our new place.

When I lived in Montreal leases were such a big deal and there's a strong agency that works to maintains renters rights. It's very well organized so I learned a lot living there. But you know, after living with my sister for 7 years I never had to worry about rental agreements. I guess I was a little rusty.