Monday, May 28, 2007

pulling rank

middlenamehat: It's funny when folks pull rank and what they pull rank about. I like my landlady...when we came to view the apartment she looked at moodmagicbarb and said "I know you"...turns out she is best friends with the girls father's best friend. I told her immediately that she needed to follow the proper procedure and if I got the apartment it would be on my merits and not because we know folks in common...needless to say, my credit is perfect (it really is...I work hard on it), and I don't have a criminal record.
So as time went on, we became friends...there are times when she has confided in me and vice versa. We had a nutty neighbor (our apartment is in a house...we have the upstairs which is a three bedroom duplex, and the downstairs is a small one bedroom with a VERY small bathroom that only has a shower, but it has a backyard that needs alot of work) who we were finally able to get rid of...
Choclahontas and pita were going to take the apartment, meaning we would have the whole house. the former tenant was paying 750, and the couple were willing to pay that and even a little more.
I have never been late with me rent, though in the beginning I paid in in two installments, the first half on the first, the second on the fifteenth. When I hit on bad times and owed her about four hundred dollars, that was made up immediately.
She had an issue renting to the couple...she wanted them to pay the rent for the year, she claimed that since they don't have credit they would be a risk...and raised the rent to 850...lets remember the apartment doesn't even have a tub.
Since that time I've felt that she has been a little snippy. We are so over them not getting the apartment...the couple and I are doing fine, and as I stated before I need them here anyway to help with the rent.
Landlady works someplace else and commutes back and forth. She is not really around. She does handle emergencies and we always have good heat and hot water.
Because I have my own issues, I can't live in a dirty environment. I sweep and mop the downstairs hallway and I sweep the outside as well as the sidewalk. Even when crazy was here I did that. I shovel snow and planted some plants in the front.
So yesterday she called and told me to take the stroller out of the hallway...she has a realtor showing the apartment...that's not an outrages request, its just that the stroller has been behind the door for over a year, and she never said anything...I said "well, is it okay behind the door where it's been?" and she was "well, the realtor is coming" yada, yada, yada...and "I want the hallway to be clear and clean"...WHAT...what I wanted to say was "bitch, I CLEAN that hallway once a week, I PLANTED THE FUCKEN FLOWERS outside, how about a thank you for maintaining YOUR property and watch over work being done while you are away"...but I said "yeah, OK" and went on to ask her how she was doing...
We have had discussions about living on the two sides of the divide, and I told her in one conversation that though she feels she straddles the fence, in reality she does not. I told her that I understand the argument between landlord and tenant, but the reality is as rents go up, salaries are not...she has told me that the rent will go up next year because she is remortgaging the house...I asked "how much" she replied "I don't know"...I get the feeling that she is angry because the house does not pay for itself...its not that type of house...it was originally a one family that she converted to two. I also know that she wants to rent to another culture, one that is dominant financially...she does not understand that this neighborhood will not "turn". It's one block of row houses facing a highway...we have a community crack house, and a few rooming houses...surprisingly it's a very quiet block and in the year I've been here we've had no drama or police action.
I told her that if she were to raise the rent substantially now, I would not be able to pay and would have to move, I posed the question "is it better to rent for slightly below your cost, or have a empty house that produces no income?" she did not like the question and would not answer directly...
I told her that with the water going up 11%, I would voluntarily add fifty more dollars to my rent to offset the cost starting in October (when I start getting my teachers check again) as I have a washing machine that I MUST HAVE.

Clinicianhat: I know from conversations that landlady is in her mid thirties, has no children, and is very successful in her work. She longs for a family but is very conflicted about sharing herself with a spouse and/or child. She will not have a child out of wedlock and wants to live the perfect middle class life.
landlady has certain structures that are derived from living on the other side of the divide. The power is in home ownership. Play the financial game so your child can go to a good college which you can pay for. Everyone can succeed, you just have to get off your ass and do it.
Landlady presents with issue dealing with power and control. I surmise that she would not rent the apartment to the couple as the family would then have total control of the whole house, thus conspiring and cutting her out.
The phone call was made to show her out of town friends/family that she does have control over a situation in which she really has no control...she needed to prove to herself and others that she is above the tenant and can tell them what to do. There is no need to compliment or thank as they should be happy that they have been chosen to live in her property. Landlady could possibly be angry when the tenant decided that an additional monies would be paid to offeset the raising water cost, thus, in her mind, stripping her of control. Keeping the tenant of edge about the impending rent hike is also a ploy to maintain control.
She built a structure about the house and neighborhood and she is going to a reality, even though it is not reality-based. The neighborhood is not up and coming...it's been a certain way for many years and will remain that way, sans a few improvements here and there.
Landlady might also have feelings about the family which is very close. Although it's at times hectic and chaotic, it works. Bringing to mind what she longs for but is lacking in her life, a sense of connectedness. She overcompensates by being very successful in her career, knowing and engaging with the "right" people, staying away from those that "call her out".
In all Landlady needs to bring to the forefront the issues that are are hampering her interpersonal relationships. She needs to relinquish control and learn to delegate. She also needs to understand that she needs to let go of the preconceived notions of the "perfect life". By doing so she will develop more meaningful and reciprocal relationships.

1 comment:

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