My Unlawful Landlord: Part I

evil-landlordAll that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing~

So, while I may be another person with an awful-landlord story, I refuse to be another victim and suffer in silence.

I have lived in my current place of residence for around a year. It is a small studio basement in a three-story house built by my landlord. He advertised it on craigslist as a 1-bedroom suite that was $50 less than my current rent, but raised it immediately to the current rate after I expressed interest in the suite because, he claimed, of the in-suite laundry. He also decided to keep the bedroom and make it an extension of their own space, making the basement essentially into a very small studio. It was a little bit disturbing to me how he could just retract his set price and room set-up so quickly upon receiving an offer, but as 1) the place was brand new (when I was doing the viewing, the house was in its final construction phase); 2) it has in-suite laundry; 3) I was very busy and in a hurry to move out; and 4) the location was superb, I still consented and signed the lease. After all, this new landlord of mine was a well-known doctor in the community and who had his family and wife with him, so I did not suspect that he would partake in illegal activities.

He promised to sound proof the walls and doors, but never did…

Upon moving in I found out that he has, for some strange reason, chosen to have his bedroom right next to my bathroom. Also, I realized that he has not sound-proofed the structure as he had promised. As my suite originally was supposed to have a bedroom, there is only a door that separates their space from mine, which means that the sounds travel very easily. Now, mind you, this is a brand new, million-dollar, three-story house that he has personally built, so it baffled me why he and his wife would opt to have their bedroom in the basement right next to my suite bathroom. As you can imagine, this made it awkward in certain instances and I have had the unfortunate “privilege” of hearing some rather disturbing sounds coming from them, including him screaming profanities to his own parents and wife and the latter’s sobbing after a heated argument. I also could not have guests over for reasons of my own personal privacy and my friends all know of this and are aware how I could never invite people over. I talked to my landlord about this and while he did somewhat sound proof partially the wall that separated my living space from his entertainment room, it was really not enough to block out all the sounds and I could hear them quite clearly even at the normal sound levels. Obviously, I did not appreciate the sound arrangement, but as I was mostly out in school and they have not been constantly disruptive, I let it go for the sake of keeping peace and harmony, especially since I am a single female living in their basement with a year’s signed lease. Furthermore, I had secretly hoped that they would have the decency to be more private with their own sounds as well – they did not…

There has been a few instances that he insisted suddenly to come inside my suite when I was out at school because he wanted to have access to the wires on my side to re-route them for the building of his entertainment space. I had communicated that I would prefer to have written and adequate notice and that I was present, but he begged and pleaded with me, saying that if I do not allow access, his workers would charge him double as well as that he would have to suffer other inconveniences. I felt badly after hearing this, so consented on those few occasions, despite feeling that my privacy was invaded. There were also a few times that their friends and family would accidentally open the door to my suite. Again, I let it go for the sake of keeping peace and harmony. At that time, I naively thought that it was a brand new house and so their friends and family must not have been aware that there was a separate suite. My landlord seemed to be aware that I, being a private person, was not very settled after having being forced to give consent to them coming into my suite without my presence and the fact that there had been times my privacy got invaded so got me a new microwave. After that, I felt harder to say no, but thankfully, the disturbances had not been frequent.

I thought this was the extent to the inconveniences I would experience and, if so, despite its unpleasant moments, I could bear it out to avoid the hassle of relocating again. However, little did I know that things would exacerbate so very soon…