Previously published in Associated Content
It was a long time in coming but I finally moved.
First of all, we will start with why I wanted to move for those of you who may not be familiar with the story.
When I became disabled and stopped working in 2005, I could not physically go up three flights of stairs anymore. I wanted a bottom flat badly and so I choose the place I would move in on the basis that it was a bottom.
Don't get me wrong I loved that place, that is in the beginning. I did not have to go up those slippery and treacherous outside stairs anymore. Remember, I live in Canada and the stairs would often accumulate with ice. It was as pure heaven not to have to worry about the stairs anymore.
However, as the years moved on the house became more rundown and progressively worse. The house was as cold as a barn, having only an unheated cellar under us and the windows were very drafty. I heated to the maximum and paid exorbitant heating bills and we were never warm. In the winter my hands were frozen as I sat at the computer to type.
I was living at that place for 5 years and the building changed owners 4 times. It was ridiculous. None of the owners wanted to repair the place, just sell as quickly as they could, once they realized what a dud they had purchased.
Before I left the ceiling in the kitchen was about to fall down, the toilet and shower didn't work. The electricity in the whole building was a fire about to happen. I couldn't wait to get out of there.
The current landlord of the building is stripping all the flats and starting from scratch. He is making condos out of the old building and he is going to rent the new condos at double or triple of what I was paying. He had already started on the next door flat and when they ripped the walls down, it caused a big gaping hole in my kitchen and we could see right through into the next flat, which of course, also meant that the contractors could see right into our place as well.
I wanted to get out of there so badly. In fact I have been wanting to get out of there for the past two years and I was unable to find a place. Since I am on a fixed income, I had to look for the cheapest places that I can find.
That presented two problems for me. The places I could barely afford were either dumps, or when I did see something reasonable and wanted it I didn't get the place.
Again, there were three reasons for that as well.
Montreal landlords don't want to rent to people who do not have a job.
The other reason is that I could never pass the credit check. Landlords look to see if your income is high enough to support the rent and they don't consider that mine is. Reluctantly, I have to admit they are right. Unfortunately poor people have to have a place to live whether they can afford it or not right?
Hand in hand with the assessment of my ability to pay, is the credit check. One landlord told me I was refused because my electricity bill is always behind. I fail to see how that would affect his rent because my rent is always paid. It is the first thing I pay when I get my pension cheque. Since he doesn't pay electricity it should not be his concern of whether or not I pay my electricity (that is what we heat with) I could not get him to see reason. He told me he rented the place to another couple who were both working.
So for two years we looked and looked and found nothing. The current landlord where we were living was anxious for us to get out so that he could renovate the place and he offered to get someone to take me around by car to find a place and I jumped on his offer.
That my friends is how I got my new place. I had to offer to pay two months rent in advance, but I got the place which of course is the main thing. I signed the lease and then my adult son who lives with me was upset. He told me where I was moving us to was a bad area of town.
He had gone to the place to take some dishes over and as he was coming back he saw police cars on the next street and the officers were taking two men out in handcuffs. My son was livid, he was afraid that his son, my grandson, would never visit us again because of the neighbourhood. He was afraid his son's mother would not let my grandson come over to visit since he had to walk the streets, mind you my son always walks him home but he felt the mother would be too nervous to have her son walk home in a bad neighbourhood, after all anything could happen.
When he had gone to house he left a brand new set of dishes on the balcony of our new place because he could not get the key to fit. He was convinced the dishes would be stolen.
The next problem was the move itself. The old landlord promised to pay our move. We were to move on the first of August, but my stepfather could only rent the U Haul for 7 am in the morning and my son could not get his friends to come at that hour of the morning. They would have to leave their homes at 5 am and travel by bus to get to our place and they just would not do it. So the move was postponed for the following Saturday when it was set for noon.
Now when the old landlord heard that, he began to think we were just fooling around and had no intention of moving. He wanted to take the money over to the new house and I did not like that idea. I felt he may not pay. Once we were out of the house and had given back the keys we had no guarantee that he would pay us so I said he would have to come to his own building to pay me.
He refused to pay for the moving up front until he saw the truck packed with furniture. He came and the first load had left already, so he said he would come back the second time. He came back a hour later and the guys still had not returned So he told me to call him when the last load was loaded and he could actually see it in the truck.
I called him and then he didn't want to come back. He said he already came twice and he had people coming over for supper. My son is screaming at me saying “this guy is fooling around. We did everything he asked of of us and he is just not going to pay us.” I told the landlord that the guys wanted their money for moving and I didn't have any money to pay them. So he did agree to come back and paid me for the moving.
Other stressors included thinking we had lost our cat, that he somehow got out of the house during the move, but he was just scared and hiding in the house.
Now that we are in the new house there is a lot things that was supposed to be fixed before we moved in and they were not. The house is so small, granted it was the best I could find. We had to get rid of a lot of furniture. My son has to replace his Queen sized bed because he has no room in his bedroom to turn around twice so to speak. We had to get rid of our sofa (it was old and torn anyway) because it was too big for the living room. We will eventually get a futon for the living room and my son will get one for his bedroom as well. Our kitchen is too small to put in any table or chairs and we don't have any other place in the house to put them. My bedroom is so small that I cannot have a computer desk. I am currently using the clothes dresser for my computer. I am sitting on a hard chair that is killing my butt and my back. Eventually I will get a computer chair, but who knows when that will be.
The main thing is I am moved and the next move will probably be the last move as I have applied for a low rental. I will be lucky if I get a place in 5 years time. I am on the waiting list though. In five years I will also qualify for a seniors residence, so we will see how that all pans out in the end.
Montreal really does not have any help for pensioners who are moving. I was thoroughly disgusted. I called every charity and service in Montreal and when each organization said they couldn't help I asked for any additional organization who might be able to, the result, nothing, nothing, nothing. Thank God the guys came through for us in the end.
Right now I am just thankful that the stress is over, the move is done and I thank God for coming through for us.
Source: Personal experience
by Carol Roach
June 15, 2006
The Move From Hell
August 12, 2010 11:10 PM UTCviews: 0 10 people recommend this comments: 50
Previously published in Associated Content
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