[Journal] A not so short update.

I’ll be honest with you all. I have actually been avoiding my blog lately because I feel that, in order to post anything else, I owe a update of what’s been happening for me to be so quiet since my last post. To put things bluntly, all hell has broken lose on our end and I feel like I’m clutching at straws trying to deal with it all.

It started with the move from our old place to this one. For a bit of context, Manthing and I now live in a block of 10 town houses. They’re basically built on top of each other and, even though ours is one of two fee-standing ones, I can still hear my neighbours picking their nose at 3am. Anyway. Naturally we organise it all and the weather goes full retard. Torrential rain, flash flooding and weather warnings now bring up memories of moving house for me. The guys we hired worked well enough, though they decided to make snarky remarks at the new house about how tight we were, making them do their job by taking a few light shelves and boxes upstairs.

Manthing made his own snippy comment about how I had a disability and that’s why we hired them, otherwise we’d be doing it ourselves, and the eldest asked what it was. Manthing simply said it was like Arthritis. Of course, the mover couldn’t shut his mouth, so he said that he had Arthritis in his knee and took Prednisone and that fixed him right up, that I should try it. Manthing said I did and not only did it not help, that it made things worse. That shut them up. It really upset me, though, and for two reasons. One, we were paying their wages. The least they could do was keep their asshole opinions to themselves, or hold their tongues until we were out of earshot. Mostly, it was the fact that everyone seems entitled to comment on MY health lately. These guys moved my mobility gear. They shifted my scooter and my wheelchair and asked who it belonged to. They knew it was mine and yet still decided to act like my health was somehow their problem. Like I wasn’t affected enough to pay someone to help us make our lives a little easier. I could go on, but if I get bogged down in this, I won’t get to the rest of the update.

After that fiasco came the Unpackening. Living out of cardboard boxes is not what I’d call fun. It’s like trying to use the bathroom and knowing the toilet paper is in one of sixteen boxes. You really need to pee, but you can’t until you go through and hope to god you find the bog roll in time. Every square inch of the garage was filled by boxes and property. The lounge room, the bedroom, the office. All boxes. There’s standing room for maybe three adults (with no concept of personal space) in my office. Everywhere I look, cardboard boxes are grinning at me and we can’t do a god damn thing about it (see: I’ll get to that bit of the story).

We had been in the new place two nights when a friend came over to visit. He mentioned that it looked like someone had put mud on my car. Turns out some shitbags had not only covered my bonnet in coffee grounds, but either they, or some other assholes, had also broken into my car.  They had gone through the glove box, thrown shit around, tried to take the radio…  Two nights and my car (which had been parked on the street under a street light right near the driveway to our complex) had already been broken into and vandalised. Straight after that, I got an alarm fitted to my car. In the two weeks we’ve been here, it’s been set off three times. One of which was by a very loud truck driving past and another by one of the residents here reversing into me and driving off like the spineless fuck they are.

At this point I’ve got that “I’m done with this shit” feeling. We hadn’t even made it to our first week and already had shit going wrong. I didn’t want to see where we stood by Friday if this was how things were going. That week, we found out that the previous tenants had sanded the walls here rather than washing them. I learned this the hard way. When we moved in, I simply thought my allergies were due to some external force. We had actually picked this place due to the tiles and low-pile carpets being brilliant for my allergies because they didn’t hold onto dust well. In fact, the whole property is pretty damn new and that all worked in our favour. Anyway, I was unpacking and hanging up stuff in the wardrobe. I had changed my mind about where a hanging rack was going and moved some clothing, only to find white all over the raised crinkles in a skirt. I thought WTF. I remember throwing this in the wash. Another dress had the same issue. They had been touching the walls. I touched the wall myself and my hand came away covered in stupidly fine white powder. I touched another wall. The same thing. I went through the house, rubbing my hand on all the walls and found that for 80% of them, it was the same story. We were living in a house filled with micro particles of paint dust. They were in the carpet, on the wall, in my clothing and in the bedding. You couldn’t walk without kicking them up. I tried to vacuum them, but even my HEPA filter couldn’t cope and I had an asthma attack on the stairs. We decide for our own safety, we’re not going to unpack anything else. We’re already going to have to clean a fuckload of stuff once the issue gets fixed.

We report this to the real estate. Two weeks it took them. Two weeks with me crawling up their arse every few days. “Oh, can you send us some photos?” they said almost a week after I reported it. “Oh, we’ll get back to you” the following Monday. By this point, I’m having to take antihistamines every night to just sleep in my own bed. I’m waking up with nose bleeds. I’ve got all the signs of a sinus infection and I’ve got a serious cough. I’m fed up with their inaction. I walk into the office and the woman sees me. Gives me the “Oh fuck you’re actually here” look and proceeds to tell me that she was just about to call us, honest. The landlord has decided he’s “unwilling” to take any action on the issue. The agent looks at us and says there’s nothing she can do. I look at her utterly dumbfounded. I’m almost CERTAIN my rights as a tenant are being shat on here, but I’m not 100%. She says we’ll need to get it done ourselves. We walk out before I hit rage mode.

I spend the next two days calling up the tenancy advice line, fair trading and the works. I find out that not only am I in the right for asking the landlord to clean the house, but it’s is his legal obligation. Inaction on his part is a breach of both the tenancy agreement and our lease in three different places, and that our real estate are utterly spineless.

At this point we have three options.
1. We foot the roughly $400 cleaning bill to get the carpets wet/dry vac’d and shampoo’d and stay quiet, good little tenants.
2. We take the landlord before the tribunal so they can force him to clean the place. That’s going to take weeks at best, and all the while I’m living in what is effectively a toxic environment.
3. We give them a termination notice which states that the landlord has broken the lease in these places so we’re free to break the contract ourselves without having to pay the two thousand dollar fee.

We were advised by another real estate run by a friend’s parents that number three is our best option. If the landlord has already broken lease in the two weeks we’ve been here, imagine what shit will go down over the year we signed up for (which is another no-no on the part of our present real estate!). I have to agree. The complex is filthy. The bins are constantly trashed with rotten food thrown everywhere, nobody seems to care. In the lease we’re entitled to a quiet and clean place to live.  I’ll get to that point in a moment. But yes, three seems like the good option, even if it means we have to move again so soon. The problem is that it’s not quite that simple. You see, if we put in our notice of termination, the landlord HAS to agree to it. If he doesn’t want to clean the property he’s legally obliged to clean, I can’t imagine he’s going to want to have his source of rent leave. Which, by the way is $430 a WEEK. Yeah, that’s about the average house price here these days.

If he doesn’t agree, the matter STILL has to go before the tribunal and then they allocate the 14 day in which we have to leave (all the while still living in this dust nightmare). But guess what. We need somewhere to live lined up in those 14 days. Most places here take a week to process your application and then another week to actually sign you up for the lease, and nobody is going to accept someone still in a legally-binding clusterfuck like this one. So, basically we’re screwed if we do and we’re screwed if we don’t.

In between this mess, I’ve been organising a competition to help raise money for a charity that works for people with depression. Amusingly enough, my depression hit again the night before the event. The day was a complete and utter fuckup. As one discerning gentleman put it, it was a “blender in a brothel”. The woman that was supposed to organise it didn’t, I got flamed for 45 minutes from the organisers of the event we were at because our tiny little costumers group didn’t have fucking tanks and an airship. Where the fuck were we going to get them!? The whole thing was a nightmare. We got rained out by a freak storm, chased out of the mountains by a fire and then came home to more bullshit.

Yesterday after the fiasco I had to call the local police station about the kids next door. I won’t go into specifics, but there have been 4 families moving into the four units at the front, and one next to us. Each house has something like 4-5 children. Yesterday they ALL decided to play in the backyard of the place next to us. Now this isn’t an issue for me. What caused an issue was when they started throwing rocks at our corrugated steel fence, across the driveway at the neighbours house and at their god damn car. I mean, who the fuck does that? Anyway, I was out hanging up washing in the backyard when I heard the rocks being thrown. It was fucking loud. I asked the kids not to do that. Naturally the little fuckers didn’t. At some point they had thrown a ball into my backyard so I took it around to the front door to return it and also speak to the mother. Four doorbells later, she gets her arse out of the garage (where they had loud music blaring) and answers the door. I try to explain to her (because English isn’t her first language) that her little darlings have been little arseholes and are about to smash someone’s window and piss off the neighbours. She denies the whole thing, even when I show her the rocks in the driveway and under the car. The kids, all 7 of them, pile out into the driveway and deny everything. I go back inside, defeated. Not five minutes later the rock throwing starts again with rocks being pelted at the fence and at my back window, as well as the other targets. They also start screaming like blue murder, bring out recorders and blowing them until they screech and generally carrying on like feral animals in a backyard that’s less than 3m from my own. I put in a formal noise complaint but don’t ask the police to show up because they’ll know it’s me and I’m honestly afraid of retribution.

So right now I’m tired, fucking angry and stuck between a rock and a hard place with all of this. I have no idea what we’re going to do and, given that it’s Sunday here, I’m stuck with a day of inactivity where I can’t sort anything out because our agent doesn’t come into work until Tuesday. This isn’t including the fucking horrid pain flare I’ve had through the lot of it.

I need a hug.

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4 thoughts on “[Journal] A not so short update.

    • The bit I’m having trouble explaining to a lot of people (and I know you’ll appreciate this) is that it’s not just the stress of having to find somewhere else, but your entire life goes into these little boxes, you can’t find a damn thing, it’s a MASSIVE effort to not only get it in there, but also get it out again and instead of being able to settle down and make the new place ‘home’, you’re busy dealing with idiots either in Real Estate itself, or just the carry on with applying for a new place. You have a massive amount of hugs from me and I do hope you manage to find something soon.

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