Friday, May 27, 2011

R E S P E C T, Find out what it means to me

You are not going to believe this:

Back story - I found a rental on over a yr ago for a house in the perfect location for us. Everything was just lining up the way we needed it. Then, the more interaction w the landlords, I started senses flags. Not enough to blow the deal but noticed that she has some issues. Then, I thought, well who doesn't have issues ... Let's work it through. I mean, how bad can it get ..... It is a remodeled historical home in a great neighborhood.

We ended up finding out that the owners attend the same church I have been going to since I was born. I was baptized, went to preschool, youth groups and was married there. They just relocated a few yrs ago and since I have had children, we have not been regular attenders as I would like to be. So we only knew each others faces. The wife is a licensed counselor/psychologist. The house was her grandfathers. We are only the 3rd family ( 2nd renters that they ever had ever)

We signed/paid everything and started to move in. For the first week, her and her husband would be here for hours "fixing things" and watching us move in and "offering their help" ... {Ok Whatev, just grab a box} ... Then they wanted to tell me how I could place my furniture... WHAT .....{We'll move it when they are gone} ...... Then, they started seeing things "they did not want in the house". Luckily, it was most things I could live w/o and there are 2 attached porches, SO we can use them out there. We worked around then for 16 days. They would stop by and "check in" {AKA SPY}... walk around the place and comment on where things were placed .. on the Function/Flow/Order of how we were doing it. What they suggested being a better solution, I kept repeating "We are getting a great deal", I will put up w/ this for a while and the newness will wear off and they will go away ........ (we have had a few other issues with them but have been renting a long enough time to know that there are always some renter/tenant problems everywhere - so figured we give it a go because it was mostly all Pros on the pro/con list)

Months passed, the daily visits become daily drive bys, they will pull out and put back my trash cans on trash days. Weekly, they stopped in to mow the grass. It became more bareable. But, As we always were able to remain friendly, the cordialness was strained, . We paid rent every month on the 1st w/o fail. We were never late. We have never broken anything, never needed anything repaired. never complained of anything, Had no issues. BUT, you could tell that Something was not right. They were not happy w/ us. The Wife has made MANY MANY MANY attempts to offer to come over and help me sort clothes, get organized, scrub floors, rearrange closets, clean porches, set up the house differently because she thinks the Flow I have is not the best option ... etc... I have laughed it off. It just seemed invasive and Judgy and I wanted to avoid that. Plus, It slightly offended me.

She asked us in March if we were going renew our lease. After a brief discussions and I found out that our old lease/rent would stay the same, We agreed to renew in June.

3 Days ago, She sends me an text message requesting a meeting to discuss her expectations for the upcoming yr. Told me to check my email there was a syllables and notes that we would be going over and She wanted me to prepare and take notes also. Asked if my children had a place to go so the adults come talk. I sent her an email back stating that I had an hr window on Thursday and the kids would be here

Yesterday, the meeting happened, She came in w a notepad and a pen. Her pen was out of ink so She asked if I had one. She told me that she was a Social Worker for yrs and a Counselor and she was coming in to give us a meeting, Like a Life Coach ..... W T F ...........

She also brought a photo album to help portray her blood, sweat, and tears that she poured into this house 5 yrs ago. She continued on reciting each and every job/task that has been done to the remodel including the price of each task (she has told us this before ....over and over again in the beginning) She kept interjecting the words respectful, and how we were not being respectful and gracious of her hard work... because in my words, My house was not museum ready. We Live In it. I have 2 children Under 3, a husband that works nights, Low priorities of keeping an outside porch swept off, and ALL toys picked up constantly.

She continued to explain how she has offered several times to organize and clean for me, but I do not take her help... And that is disrespectful..... She knows that I do clean, but in her standards, It is not the b est job that could be done. And long term, it needs to be done better. She went on and on about how she holds this house to higher standards than her own house. She needs to make sure the fan blades, porches, baseboards, are vacuumed and kept clean ...Dustfree .. (did I mention I live in Fl - the Hot, Swampy, Humid Dust bowl of a state) The grout needs to be kept ed white and mildew free at all times .....

I took a lot of her crap yesterday. I did communicate that she was out of line and if I was not the person that I am, I would have walked out and moved out on her yesterday because She was SO OVER the line and completely rude. But, I like the place, I love the remodels she has done, I pay for a service from her (rent). I Respect her by keeping the agreement in my rental agreement. I respect her every day when I keep toys that they would not allow in the house and I have to take me kids outside to play with them, I respect her every day by only using the requested products/namebrands to clean with that she only allows me to clean with. I respect t her daily by making sure no one wears shoes in our redone 1942 hardwood floors per her request. We do not roll anything over the floors, except a small ball here and there. I respect her by turning off the water and power to the washer/dryer every time I do a load of laundry per my lease. I respect her by dealing with a faulty water softener that she can not afford to get fixed every time I turn on the water ...etc... I could go on and on. and believe me, I did ..... I was very respectful. There was no yelling, a lot of tears and high levels of anxiety to drown out her screaming neurosis .. But I remained calm, respectful and composed.
My husband chimed in when she was getting out of hand and when I was about to blow a gasket and would help lighten the situation and we managed a very calm meeting. Bottom line, I told her that We do respect the nature of our agreement and There is NO filth, It may not look perfect and ordered BUT it was NOT filth, It was not hoarding, it was cluttered I have 2 toddlers and working husband and I am doing my best cleaning job.....

The result of the meeting - she thought that my "lack of deep cleaning" and clutter was being disrespectful to her grandfathers house and her/her husbands hard remodeling work and she Needs to come in 2 -3 times a month and make sure things are being clean. And if I want to renew, I HAVE to agree to this. (keep in mind June 1 is my renewal date - she is dropping this on me or i get out in 5 day) .. 5 days ... AND i have a planned birthday party in 8 days that I have planned HERE ..... I was pissed off... I was using all I had to remain professional and not let my emotions get the best of me.

I cried, I was back in a corner, I had to agree. I told her she was low balling and that what she just did was a dirty move but I would forgive her, I would move on and just co-exist. I requested that she give me atleast 24 hr notice when she was coming to clean ... I would agree to disagree, I know that she has a good heart. She says she sees me struggle to keep things clean, and keep things organized and she is good at that And that is the way she wants to help me - Even though I did not ask for help .....

She is right. I do struggle, No one likes to be called out, We could benefit from it ..Is it invasive? OMG yes. Do I deserve to be treated this way, Absolutely Not. Does she care, No..... Will it benefit me, Maybe. I pay rent AND get a cleaning lady ....... WOW WTF

So, that is where we left it. I was pissed off, She heard me explain why I was mad, She said she was ok with me being upset because this house is Hers and the house trumps my feelings .... And I am educated enough to know that If she is ok with that resolution, That is all I can say/do. This morning, I received a text that she wanted to come and power wash and clean our inside porch TODAY... I was Mad because she was NOT as all adhering to the 24 hr notice we agreed to. I wasn't even home. I was in swim class when I received the message, SO I didn't know she was coming over and by the time i got the message, she was already there. When I got there, I went out on the porch and bursted into flames .... And tears. I let her have a message about respect and overstepping her rights. I explained to her that I am NOT a normal renter. I respect my stuff. I do have pride in the things I have, and that we had an agreement that she would give me 24 hr notices. Since she wants respect, she needs to be displaying respect to me and my family. I was not a push over and she was not going to steam roll me. I made her cry. I THINK We have come to an agreement and she understand that I take pride in this house. I love talking about this house, I enjoy having people over to see the beauty of this house. I do not disrespect things. I am not a disrespectful human. Integrity means more to me than Anything in the world.

I had to go feed my children lunch and wait for her to finish up taking 4 hours cleaning my porch, moving around our toys, scrubbing the porch windows and concrete porch floor ........While I had to delay my children's naps until she could leave .... Oh the yr is going to be a ride!


alison said...

I'm totally not a lawyer, but I've rented enough to be pretty confident that she's overstepping landlord/tenant laws. Is this 24 hour agreement thing in writing? Yes landlords have the perogative to stop by, but 3 times a month is extreme, and she HAS to give you notice. What a nutball. Ugh..

HereWeGoAJen said...

OH MY GOODNESS, Farah! When we rented in Idaho, we had owners that I thought were overstepping their bounds- by asking our property manager if we got another dog (because our in-laws were over with their dog in our backyard, which meant that they were checking the house and saw her). This situation is ridiculous. I'd check the laws in the state. I'm not sure that they can come over whenever they want without notice, even if they do own it.

I'm sorry this is where you've found yourself stuck. It's too bad moving is such a big deal or I'd say GET OUT NOW. I'll evict our renters in Lakeland when their lease is up if you want to rent our house. ;)

maresi said...

Holy crap, Farah. This is SO not right!!! Man, I thought I had it bad when our landlady would ask us to straighten the blinds in the front sliding glass door so it looked nicer. She is INSANE. INSANE!!!!! I agree - it's too bad you don't have more notice. No awesome house/deal is worth walking on eggshells. You need to feel safe and confident in your sacred living space (no matter how much clutter there is).

White Picket Fences said...

I wish I could tell you how many laws she is violating. If you want to press it, you can not only easily get out of the next year's lease, but would also have significant financial recourse. There is NO way - and I mean NO way - that I would allow her into my house like that. Look up the renter/tenant laws in your state. You're a lot more protected than you think. She also can NOT make you vacate the house within five days...signed lease or not. I'd be setting some major - and I mean MAJOR boundaries. There are other beautiful homes out there - with landlords that aren't psychotic. Good luck.

Suzy, Not a Fertile Myrtle said... This woman is batshit crazy! My IL's have several properties they rent and they don't do any of that crap.

I'm really hoping and praying that the next year goes quickly and you can find a new place next June 1!

Holy drama rama. So sorry for that crap.

Barb said...

Oh sweets. Wow. Not job. I'm so sorry.

niobe said...

I am, um, speechless.

This is so insane, I don't even have the words for it. This woman sounds really, really crazy. I would be scared to have her around. In fact, it sounds like some kind of bizarre horror movie.

Get. Out. Now. (or as soon as you possibly can).

Searching said...

I agree with everyone else. Way freaking insane. I don't know how you have managed to live like that! or how you got through the meeting without killing anyone!!!

andrea said...

I finally just read this.. OMG. Insanity.

Anonymous said...

Totally INSANE! I hope you get out stat. I couldn't imagine doing that for a whole year.

heartincharge said...

super late, but had to say this is on the list of craziest things I have ever heard.

Once you pay rent, she is trespassing if she shows up uninvited. But other people have already talked about the laws involved here.

You are a saint.

She will realize this when you move out and she has new tenants who laugh at her.

Anonymous said...

I am finally working my wait through the posts I have missed and WOWZA! I didn't realize she was THIS wackadoodle! Geez. I am so sorry you had to go through all this. :(