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// she's only happy in the sun.
Oct 11

did i mention that our ex-landlord is the bane of our existence?

so, we have finally moved out of our first little apartment in california. and it was traumatic. partially because i’m carrying a ‘large heirloom tomato’ in my womb (this is the description that my iphone pregnancy app gave me for ‘nori’s’ current size last week), and partially because we really loved our place and how it was always littered with rainbows, and partially because moving is such a headache, but mostly because our landlord made sure that our final breaths in that apartment would be spent in a yelling match with him.

first of all, i spent hours cleaning the apartment once our stuff was gone. it was cleaner than the way we received it. isn’t that a boy scout motto or something? leave something in better condition than how you found it? well the boy scouts would be so proud of me. i deserve a badge. or at least some cookies. wait, that’s the girl scouts. wait, what do the boy scouts sell? how do they make money? do the girl scouts share their money with the boy scouts? i’m getting derailed.

the point was, we left the place spotless. i even deep cleaned the refrigerator and scrubbed the walls. in my pregnant state no less where every smell, even that of a fresh rose bud with a droplet of dew on it, leaves me feeling nauseous.

sidenote: wasn’t the nausea supposed to be over by now? also, when does that whole pregnancy glow thing start. because i’m not feeling that either.

anyway, because i’m a naive little sprite, i was actually in a pretty hopeful mood about the walk through. there was nothing that i could see that our maniacal landlord could accuse us of. you know, except for breathing. and looking him in the eye. (which, i should add, is difficult on the best of days, since he has one cross-eyed glass eye that needs cleaning.)

but of course our walk through experience with our ex-landlord was atrocious. he told us flat out that he is keeping our security deposit and using it to refinish the floorboards in the dining room and bedroom because somehow we ‘wore them down’…you know, with our walking and whatnot. he even bought along two of his cronies as backup and they all stood around tsking at the sight of the floors while dev and i stood wide-eyed and incredulous, because the floors have always been in this shape. we don’t have pets. we barely wear shoes. dev did all of 3 days of p90x before deciding it was torture. there is no way we made this damage. but you can’t reason with a crazy man.

he then told us that we couldn’t take our lights with us. (when we moved into the apartment we replaced the ugly light fixtures in the kitchen/bedroom with ikea lights that i’m quite fond of). but since we are not ‘licensed electricians’ he wouldn’t let us remove them.

and that’s when we lost our cool. and we probably should have taken the ‘high road’ but next thing i knew dev was up on the counter in the kitchen with a screwdriver, eyes flashing with anger as he started removing the fixtures and yelling at our landlord. and i’m standing there hoping dev doesn’t electrocute himself and then half-laughing because of course our landlord would make our final moments as hellish as he could.

so, the lesson here is 1. don’t sign a lease with a three page addendum of CRAZY things that you agree to because you are so smitten with the apartment. 2. don’t ever live in the same building as your landlord. oh, 3. and take photos of your rental property when you first move in.

anyway. we are now staying at my uncle’s guest apartment in los feliz. it’s sweet and cozy and we’re so grateful that he’s letting us crash here but i’ve made finding our next abode my fulltime job and i’m hopeful that we can figure it out by the end of this month. because the burgeoning mama in me wants to carve out a space for a nursery, and fold tiny baby clothes and hang mobiles made of felt balls.

and i know all of this is manageable. and i realize how lucky we are to actually have options. and i’m sorry to come off sounding like such a whinypants the past few days. but it’s been a pretty big upheaval at a time in my life when i feel a bit  less agile, energetic and adept at dealing with stress so THANK YOU to all the people who sent me sweet comments and emails and to melody and ash for  letting us stay on your couch this weekend.

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4 comments on “did i mention that our ex-landlord is the bane of our existence?”

  1. Katie Says:

    What a tool, this guy! I’m glad you got your light fixtures and got the heck out of there. This sounds absolutely overwhelming and I have no doubt that if I were in this situation, I would be running around sobbing and yelling at unwitting people, all the while apologizing to everyone for being crazy. So, in comparison, it sounds like you’re doing pretty well. Also, have you had Clif protein bars? I’m pretty sure that was the only thing I ate while pregnant. Stay strong, stay silly!

  2. Suze H Says:

    Ok, while I am very sorry for the trouble, for the nausea, try magnesium suppliment or magnesium-rich foods. And…Congratulations! Muah! xoxo

  3. Suze H Says:

    I’m back. And you can BET your landlord has done this to others before. Google him/the address, etc. Your advice is saving others from the heartache. It’s all nonsense except for your lil heirloom tomato & Dev… You’ll keep your cool with that perspective. Trust you will be recompensed for your loss at your old apt. The world is rich with stuff. :-)

    The fortune cookie must rest now. She is depleted…

  4. Talia Says:

    This brought back memories of moving when I was at about the same stage of pregnancy. I didn’t do most of the cleaning, but I “helped” and was over-whelmed by the fumes. Safa was determined to get our full security deposit back, so he cleaned the place until it shined, though we had never seen it in that condition, since our friend was living there when we moved in and there was a different owner at the time. Anyway, we had never seen the place empty.

    I called the landlord while Safa was cleaning because I wanted Safa to stop breaking his back cleaning the ancient grime off of everything. Since we had never moved out of anywhere before, I wanted to know just how “clean” he needed it to be for us to get our money back. I burst into tears because I just wanted to leave and go to our new place and be done with it, but the cleaning seemed endless. The landlord didn’t seem very sympathetic and just said it needed to be really clean and move-in ready or something.

    He ended up charging us 25 or 50 bucks for having to “dispose of” 2 brand new cinder blocks that we left in the back yard. Really? Then he ended up painting the whole dang place anyway afterwards. The whole thing, mixed with all of my pregnancy hormones and emotions was not a good memory.

    But, your conman landlord sounds WAY worse. Hope you are enjoying your new digs. And, yes what he was doing was, obviously, ILLEGAL.

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