Unsanitary Living Conditions

For the past few days we have been up to our eyballs in bullshit (literally and figuratively). As some of you know, the plumbing in our apartment is crap and has been since the minute we got here. Always plumbers in and out of this place probably more than ten times and we’ve only been here for a year and two months. Do the math, that’s a LOT. What’s going on is that sewage (as in human waste) is backing up into our bath tub. I’ll just let you settle on that for a minute. Yes I have pictures. No I won’t post them here because I am not abusive.

The long and the short of what happened yesterday is that sewage keeps coming up in our tub and our landlady keeps blaming it on us, saying that we are causing the damage. Recently she said she was going to go after us for all the money she’s “lost because of us”. (Mind you every plumber who’s come through here has told us that the pipes are made of clay, are cracked and old and have roots growing into them. There will keep being backups until she actually fixes the system rather than just doing a patch job and snaking it out).

So when it happened again mid-last week and then all day Monday and yesterday, we finally wisened up and called the city. Kristyn’s parents have been urging us to stand up for ourselves forever but we naively “didn’t want to make trouble for her”. Stupid. We finally called the city and they cited her for a number of things (some that we didn’t even point out and turned out were health violations). So she came here ranting and screaming and telling us karma boomerangs right back at you. Yeah blahblahblah lady, had you fixed this the first time, we wouldn’t have been harrassed by this and you screaming at us for the past year. Seriously every time this happens she screams at us to the point that we are scared to even call her. And she blows off any other repairs but this because in LA (and probably everywhere) a non-working bathroom renders the apartment uninhabitable. So she sends someone out but makes sure to make our life miserable over it going so far as to tell us we can’t use toilet paper in the toilet.

The bottom line is that we are within our rights to call the city and if she had nothing to worry about then why is she yelling at us? We fell on SERIOUS hard times last month for the first time since we’ve been here and went to her for advice. We were honest with her and wanted to sit down and talk it over with her to find out what happens next and what our options are. Instead she served us with an eviction notice and then said, “Coleen this is a business. The people on the corner are moving out this month and I have to get my money from somewhere so I am going to go after you.” So, let me get this straight. We’ve always paid our rent, kept the unit clean, never had a party, don’t make any noise, don’t complain about our neightbors, never enforce that you fix things that are broken and put up with your broken plumbing month after month without reporting you to the city but we come to you with a problem and the FIRST thing you do is try to take us to court? And it gets funny because yesterday she had the balls to say to me, “Coleen we are supposed to work together. You called the city on me and that was unneccessary. I fix it when you call me. Karma will come back to you.” I said, “Well we weren’t talking karma and working together when you went for the throat last month. Then it was a business. You had no problem going after us in court or putting us on the street.” And she said, “Well I am going through financial difficulties…” and I just cut her off right there. I said, “Listen, I’ve done enough crying for your financial difficulties which is why we tried to handle this between me and you. From where I stand you’re not doing so bad if you own these five apartments, your own house, a restaurant and a surf resort while I’m struggling to pay bills and am on welfare.” Guess who didn’t have a “poor me” retort then?

So yeah IDK. I don’t want her money, I don’t even want to look at her. She told us we “just want to stay here so that we can make trouble” for her. She knows we would LOVE to move. We are DYING to move. We just can’t afford it. And so she is just going to have to keep this place clean, keep the plumbing working, accept our rent and we will give her proper notice when we do go. I’m not going through her anymore. She tried to tell me that the tree roots are the city’s problem. I said, “So then how about this? You argue with the city about YOUR property and as the tenant I will keep paying my rent like I always do. I cannot see how that 50 year old tree is a problem that falls on our shoulders at ALL.”

I seriously hate renting. I am not built for urban dwelling. I have never wanted to own a house before in my LIFE. I don’t like the idea of “settling” anywhere and for some reason I have it in my head that once you buy a house you have to live in that house forever. And I’ve never found a place to live where I can say that I never want to live anywhere else, not even here.

I wrote more but I don’t want to add it here so I will put it in another post. I don’t want that information and this information touching. This post was for “ANGER!” while the other one is for “Dreaming…ahh…” Haha.

6 thoughts on “Unsanitary Living Conditions

  1. You need to find out if there is a legal way to withhold the rent from her until ALL of the problems outlined by the city are fixed and pass a city re-inspection. My thinking here is that either a. she will fix everything properly in order to get that rent $ or b. she’ll continue to put it off and put it off and they you and Kristyn will be able to move out.

    You guys are in muh prayers!

    • Haha thanks Crystal! Nah there is no way to withold rent. I talked to the City’s Tenant Rights department yesterday and they said that there are ways to withold rent until the problem is fixed but if you do that it opens you up to eviction proceedings, etc. He said our best bet is to keep documenting stuff, paying the rent and calling the city with the problems so that she will fix it. And I am fine with that. I have never wanted to do anything put pay the rent and be left alone. I don’t even want to deal with her. I used to like her as a person but at this point she’s just proven that she will smile in your face to get her way and to gain your trust and then stab you just as quick when she needs to. I DO believe that her businesses are suffering (because all businesses are suffering) but I also think it’s the ol’ “9/11” one-two-two where businesses started crying poverty and slashing wages and workforces after 9/11 to benefit their bottom line. I think she’s using the economy as leverage for us to feel bad for her. But she doesn’t feel bad for us for the same reasons. So if her first move is to go to the city, mine has to be to or I’ll end up in court being sued by her so she can squeeze money out of US to pay for HER existing plumbing problems. And we ain’t goin down like that. The Health Inspector has given her three weeks to resolve a bunch of problems and I will keep track. I’m just going to make sure to comply with the city and be our own advocate. I am not going to screw her but at the same time I’m not going to let her screw us.

      • That kind of stinks, here in NJ as long as you have an acct. with each months rent payment in it and you have proof that you’ve given the landlord written (reg mail and cert.) then you can withhold. The city going in and deeming all that stuff wrong would be enough here too. They can take you to court and TRY to evict u but no judge in their right mind would allow it.

      • It’s just taking too big a risk because we don’t have any money in the bank. If we had a leg to stand on financially then we could take the risk and fight it. But being that we don’t have the money to fight back financially, our best bet is to just pay the rent and get her off our backs. I mean it’s unlikely that a judge would side with her but if he did, it would mean that we’d be truly homeless which is NOT something I want to experience haha.

  2. I’m thinking 2 things…..a:) clearly Jersey is calling you guys back!!! DDDUUUHHHH!!!!! lol and b:) oh what was b???? I think that as long as you can make it work with your crackhead landlord……uuuuhhhh…….no….I think i just want you guys to come back to Jersey….cuz we’re SOOOOOOO honest here….no landlord would f u over……like ever…..it’s unheard of…. :P

    • Haha yeah I know that things aren’t necessarily any better or more honest in NJ. It’s just that we will likely end up back there at some point. When we wanna have kids I’m sure we won’t want to have them here. If we do come back, we have to kind of reimagine the east coast. We’d have to do something different there. We def wouldn’t move back to Kearny or any of the surrounding towns. Most of our family has moved out of there anyway so that’s not a huge draw either. We DO have close relatives there but we can visit and don’t have to live there. So if we did live in NJ we’d want to live somewhere cute and safe like Montclair or Ridgewood or somewhere Montclair or Ridgewood-ish. OR we can just move somewhere in NY that is residential.

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