Tag Archives: money

let sleeping dragons lie Pt IV, rubble

So apparently my email to Linda hit a nerve. I wasn’t originally going to post her reply but… the more I read it, the more it needs to be shared. I think you’ll agree.

I went to bed around midnight last night, and I was done. Done with all of it.

The flicker of lightning woke me up around 3:30, and then I noticed my phone blinking a notification at me. It was an email. From Linda. Time-stamped 3:04 am. Well! That’s quite a time to be sending an email. Let’s see what it says. (Note: I have redacted some details to protect her family, as I don’t have evidence that they were involved in the illegal aspects of this shitshow.)

“You are correct.  I have no experience as a landlord nor have I as a tenant.  My intention for buying was to move in and share with family.  Several of my [family] live in Cincinnati and work at [places] nearby.  My [family] who lives [nearby] found the place.  We bought it very quickly without investigating. Since you had a lease, [family] was recovering from surgery, and my [family] and my place in [other state] hadn’t sold yet, I found that along with having the building,  I was to becoming a landlord by default.  And still did not have my own place in Cincinnati.  It was bad experience.  Thank you for taking the time to educate me.  I’ve learned I don’t want to be a landlord.”

Let’s unpack this gem, shall we?

First off: Who enters a legal contract with another person and goes, “huh, I know nothing about this, I’ll just wing it?” How… how dumb do you have to be?  I mean, the whole situation sounds like poorly thought-through and even more poorly executed mess, but really, winging a legal contract? Really?

Second: That’s a lot of excuses – a lot of excuses – I count five excuses and five irrelevant “life is hard” complaints masquerading as extenuating circumstances, correct me if I’m wrong – with not even an acknowledgement of any responsibility on her part whatsoever.

Third: No apology. Nothing even in the same galaxy as an apology. Not even a half-assed one. Not “Sorry you went through this,” or “Sorry this turned out the way it did.” Nothing.

I cannot even imagine the hubris it took to hit Send. Seriously though, you end up in legal jeopardy due to your own willful neglect, I decline to take you to court over it, you can’t even admit you had any responsibility in the matter, and don’t even attempt to apologize? Wow. I can’t quite decide if she’s too ashamed to let it go without attempting justification or too proud to admit she fucked up big. Could go either way, but judging by the snide and condescending tone, I’d bet on the latter.

But, the moral of the story stands. Don’t rent from Linda Wilson (Wilson Booth LLC). She’s already proven she’s a horrific landlord. She’s just built a pile of evidence against her as a person, as well.

Good riddance.

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let sleeping dragons lie Pt III, burn

Landlord‘s name is Linda Wilson. She is neglectful, uncommunicative, and unfit to be a landlord. Do not rent from her.

Right about when I had enough alcohol to calm me down Linda responded to my email last night, approaching midnight, destroying any chances I had of sleeping. It began:

“Dear Liz,

I assumed you decided to forego your deposit. [Yes, she actually typed that.]  I know you were working at cleaning but with the heat I thought you had given up. I took pictures which I will attach so you can see what all still needed to be done.  I hired someone to help.  She worked for over 15 hours at $20 an hour.  I paid her $300.  I will have a copy of the receipt made for you if you like.”

She then sent me a series of photos. The only actual cause against me were boxes left in the basement and some items on the porch, both of which I verbally cleared with her in the preceding weeks. Every other picture was of dust. Literally. Dusty windowsills, a cobweb in a corner.

She claimed “it was a big job” and offered me $150.

I could drag her into small claims court, dispute every charge she made against my deposit, and win almost all of them. And boy is that tempting, after all the shit she’s tried to pull. But the thought of dealing with her for that much longer… I couldn’t abide it. I accepted the offer, and I drafted an email laying out my case against her and why she is unfit to be a landlord. She dropped off the check this afternoon, and as soon as I deposited it, I sent the email.

—————

Linda,

Thank you for dropping off the check. Speaking as your now former tenant, I advise you to brush up on Ohio’s laws regarding the landlord-tenant relationship before leasing out the apartment again. I don’t know if you’ve ever been a landlord before but it’s painfully clear you don’t know what you’re doing. The only reason I haven’t taken you to small claims court is that I sincerely never want to deal with you again. But I could have, and was sorely tempted to. Here’s why.

According to statute in every state, the security deposit cannot be used to cover anything that is considered “normal wear and tear,” including dust. You had a legitimate case with the boxes. The bathroom would have been arguable. None of the other photos indicated any “damage” or excessive dirt that would have been considered neglectful on my part. These would not stand up in small claims court.

Relatedly, you seemed to think the boxes in the driveway were somehow something you could charge me for, on no grounds whatsoever. They were trash, as should have been patently obvious by the fact that they were sitting next to four full trash bins. They go out with those bins on the next trash day. There’s no legal basis to charge a tenant for something because you’re annoyed trash day happens after they turned in the keys.

Most importantly, I could take you to court solely on the basis of your email’s first line: “I assumed you decided to forego your deposit.” Again, I don’t know on what planet you think that’s legal or even reasonable. I gave you my forwarding address when I moved out, therefore within 30 days you had to either 1. return it to me or 2. provide me with an itemized list of why you were not. Those are your only options. You don’t get to decide to keep the deposit and not tell the tenant. That’s both incredibly slimy and ILLEGAL.

FURTHERMORE – and this is important – the only reason I’m forced to settle is because I contacted you yesterday, 7/26, instead of today, 7/27, which prompted you to send me your complaints. I have heard not a single word from you since I handed in my keys 30 days ago. Had I waited until Wednesday, the 30th day, you would legally owe me the entire deposit, plus interest, plus the prorated days, simply because you did not contact me. Read that again: Had I waited until Wednesday, the 30th day, you would legally owe me the entire deposit, plus interest, plus the prorated days, simply because you did not contact me. The only reason you get to keep ANY of my deposit is because I contacted you 24 hours too early.

I am kicking myself for that, but I am absolutely furious with you. You have failed to communicate with me at every stage. I thought you would have learned after you called me at the airport to yell at me for not being able to read your mind, but I was apparently mistaken. I wonder if you would have figured it out if you legally owed me the entire deposit because of your own neglect to contact me. You also seem to think you can charge a tenant because you’re annoyed at them, on no legal ground whatsoever. For your sake, I hope you get your act together before your next tenant has grounds to sue you. I am not optimistic. I am telling all my friends not to rent from you.

Good riddance.

Liz Remizowski

—————

Her name is Linda Wilson. Do not rent from her.

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let sleeping dragons lie Pt I

If we’ve met, you know it takes quite a bit to anger me. I am very understanding and pretty tolerant. Mistakes happen; rectify it and we’re good. However, every once in a while, someone or something crosses the line and rouses the dragon.

This is one of those times.

Relevant backstory: Landlord* bought our old house last year. I had hopes she would be a better landlord than Pete, but I soon discovered my hopes were ill-founded. Suddenly in late May, she decided to evict my neighbor and me so she and her husband could move in. We had until June 30. Profoundly annoying, but legal. (This saga deserves a entire series of its own posts. However, in the interest of brevity, this is the story in a nutshell.) Over the course of that month she declined to grant me a moving extension, then angrily called me while I was waiting for a flight at the airport berating me for leaving my car in the driveway while I was gone, because she needed access to the driveway but didn’t tell me because apparently I was supposed to read her mind. (This will be its very own post one day, oh yes it will.) When I returned from my trip she took a tour of the place to see what condition it was in and what repairs she’d have to make since she never walked through before she bought it, offered me an undefined extension four days before the movers came, informed me she eventually wanted to rent out my apartment to someone else, and bought my spare furniture from me so she could rent out the apartment furnished. But she didn’t think of this beforehand – she kept half my furniture but not me. And every time I spoke with her she was entirely condescending.

I moved out of my old place June 27. Handed Landlord my keys, gave her my forwarding address, didn’t swear at her, and drove off. I haven’t heard anything from her since.

I texted her this afternoon (the most reliable way of getting a response) asking if she sent out the security deposit yet. Three hours later, she replied: “I had to hire professional cleaners for 15 hours at $20 per hour. There were also some damages”

Furious. I am furious. It was clean, there was no damage, and WHO THE FUCK THINKS IT’S OKAY OR LEGAL TO EAT A TENANT’S SECURITY DEPOSIT WITHOUT TELLING THEM?

Fuming, I texted her back asking what exactly were the damages. Then I called her and (surprise!) left a voicemail. Then I looked up Ohio state code. AND GUESS WHAT! According to code, she had 30 days to give me written notification and an itemized list if she was keeping any part of it. So I sent her an email both linking and quoting the code:

“(B) … Any deduction from the security deposit shall be itemized and identified by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant together with the amount due, within thirty days after termination of the rental agreement and delivery of possession. The tenant shall provide the landlord in writing with a forwarding address or new address to which the written notice and amount due from the landlord may be sent…

(C) If the landlord fails to comply with division (B) of this section, the tenant may recover the property and money due him, together with damages in an amount equal to the amount wrongfully withheld, and reasonable attorneys fees.”

and followed it up with:

“Since tomorrow is the 30th day since I turned in my key, and I have not received written notification of any kind since I moved out, including itemization with proof of damages in any form, as of tomorrow you are in violation of state law. If this is not rectified and I have not received my security deposit back by this Friday (July 29, 2016) I will contact the appropriate authorities.”

I then texted her, telling her to check that email account. I got no response. I don’t expect one.

Though she legally owes me my deposit by tomorrow, I will give her until Friday so to avoid legal issues, since clearly the law is on my side. Even if she were asked, she cannot prove any of the “damages” were caused by me (which they were not), and I am sure the old Property Management Company still has records on file from when I moved in four years ago. And even if I had all that against me, she has already abdicated her legal claim to my security deposit since she has provided me with absolutely no written communication whatsoever since I moved out 30 days ago.

I have been warned it will be an uphill battle to get my money back. To which I say: this is a battle I will not lose. This is illegal. She has been nothing but miserable, condescending, and uncommunicative to me. I have put up with her shit for that long, but this is a step too far. This is illegal.

You woke the dragon; I will raze your village.

Stay tuned for further developments. I am not optimistic but I am prepared for war.

*I am assigning her the moniker of “Landlord” for the time being in the interests of not being a jerk (even though I’d be completely justified). If this does not reach a peaceful resolution, I will give you her full name.

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really expensive lemonade

After recording a song for a documentary this past Sunday, my friend Kate and I decided it was time for food. So we went with her fiance across the street to Keystone for some grub and also possibly a beverage. I ordered a water to start and was contemplating a beer when Kate said, “I’ll have one of those blackberry lemonades.” And I thought to myself, that sounds awesome. A lot of places make fruit lemonades but I haven’t seen blackberry yet. I make my own in the summer and it sounded really refreshing after two hours under bright lights and pressure. So I ordered one for myself.

It was the best blackberry lemonade I’ve ever had. Sweet but not too sweet and the blackberry was perfectly tart. It was awesome. No beer needed. So halfway through my dinner, when the waitress asked me if I’d like another? Of course I would. Bring it on.

So I was feeling pleased until the bill came and I saw the breakdown: 1/3 order of appetizer fries, $2ish. Mac and cheese, $11. 2 blackberry lemonades: $15.

$15. “Holy crap, $7.50 each?”

Did they grow their own proprietary lemons or something? To which Kate replied, “Yeah I was impressed when you ordered another, I’m a lightweight, I couldn’t do that.”

Then I started putting it together. $7.50 each. “I’m a lightweight.”

“Wait, did those have alcohol?”

Kate cracked up. Understandably. I had just drunk probably 4 shots worth of whatever and not even noticed. Didn’t affect me whatsoever, couldn’t taste it. It was just the best blackberry lemonade ever. I could drink a lot of those. But really I probably shouldn’t.

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drone strike parenting

Drone-Strike Parenting: the step beyond Helicopter Parenting. Hover, hover, hover, quietly, out of sight, then swoop in and cause massive collateral damage and mayhem. Retreat. Hover, hover, hover. Repeat as desired.

————————————————————————————————

A young teenage girl, maybe 12 or 13 years old, started lessons with me earlier this fall. I put her in the beginner level of a series I hadn’t used before, wanting to try something different. It quickly became clear that this method was pedagogically questionable – illogical ordering of concepts, requiring technique way beyond the capabilities of a beginner, learning note names indirectly. It also became clear this method was geared toward very young students and my teenager was probably bored, maybe explaining why she obviously wasn’t practicing. I planned to switch her into a different method’s adult book, figuring to address all problems simultaneously.

Meantime, her father was two weeks late in paying tuition, and was giving my employer grief about charging him a late fee. This was not the first time he paid tuition late. The girl at the desk had already warned me about him, having spoken to him on the phone. (She looked terrified.) So when he came in, brandishing a check and proclaiming “and what’s this about new music for my daughter? How much will that cost? And let’s discuss my daughter’s progress, and possibly longer lessons,” everyone except my employer pretended to not exist.

While he was giving her yet more grief about the late payment, I sized him up pretty quickly. Self-important, self-proclaimed Big Deal. He was the Boss. Ready to take action, negotiate, bargain, whatever he needed to Get His Way. I put on my “Don’t you even TRY to BS me” armor, cloaked myself with a Disarming Smile, introduced myself as his daughter’s teacher and invited them both into my studio so I could clear up any questions he had regarding her progress.

He found this satisfactory. I led them back to my room; he very obviously sized up the room to see if it was professional enough for his standards. Upon seeing my Beethoven Sonatas score laying on the piano, he smirked at me. “Ah, Beethoven.” Like he knew something. Like now he knew the lay of the land. Like now we were speaking the same language. Part of the same club. Dude, it’s Beethoven. Please.

Father: (back to business) So, about my daughter’s progress. Where should she be by now? Is she going as quickly as she should? (ugh)
Me: Well, each student moves at their own pace. There are no benchmarks; I work to develop skill and build concepts. When they are ready to move on, we move on. Some are faster than others, some need more time. It’s very much dependent on each individual student’s capabilities and how much they practice.
Father: Right. I’m just thinking, you know, I know a bit about music (oh do you now?), I played guitar when I was younger (I’m sure), maybe I just forgot about the boring learning part before you get to the fun stuff, right? Heh heh. (smirk again)
Me: (wow, way to disparage your daughter!) Sure. Also, I am switching her into Adult books. I originally began her in a series more aimed for children, which I also discovered is not up to my personal standards pedagogically. This is entirely my fault – hopefully this new book will be more interesting and she will be able to progress a little faster.
(Meanwhile Daughter is standing next to him staring at her feet. I feel so bad for her.)
Father: (finding this acceptable) Fine. And how long should she be practicing? Right now she’s barely practicing at all, are you sweetie? Maybe 20 minutes twice a week.
Me: Yeah, I know. Again, hopefully this new book will be more interesting. However, I do ask that all my beginning students practice 20-30 minutes a day, six days a week.
Father: (with another smirk and a side look at Daughter) Ah, is this the old “if you want a puppy ask for a pony” trick?
Me: (for the love of…) No, sir, I don’t negotiate with my students. I don’t ask for an hour expecting 30 minutes; I ask for 30 minutes and expect them to do it.
Father: Fine, fine, good. So, I was wondering if it would be helpful to increase her to 45-minute lessons? Would that help her out?
Me: I only recommend students go to a longer lesson when they master what I’ve assigned them within a few days, long before the next lesson. Because a longer lesson gives me the chance to introduce more stuff and give them more to work on. Lessons are not supervised practicing. You’ve already confirmed with  me that your daughter doesn’t practice as it is; let’s see how this new book works out. If she starts progressing quicker than I assign pieces, we can certainly consider it then.
Father: (doubting me) So you don’t think it would help?
Me: No, I don’t. Not until she outpaces my lessons. Again, let’s see how this new book works out first before we go changing anything else.
Father: Fine, thank you, that’s what I wanted to know.

I shake his hand, give him my business card, walk him to the door and let his daughter get composed and situated at the piano. I come back in, apologize to her that that was so awkward. She just shrugged. I started her on the new book and she found it much more to her liking.

Maybe two months pass and it’s clear she’s still not practicing. Enjoying the books more, sure, but not actually practicing. She only remembers concepts that stick the first time and she’s clearly not doing much of anything outside lessons. I start playing reinforcement games with her, like flashcards and finger number games. She’s a bright kid, maybe she just needs a little more engagement. I teach her practicing games to play at home. No improvement. Eventually I flat out ask her if she likes piano. “Yeah, I like it” with a smile – that smile you give someone when you want to say yes to please them, that smile that’s eager but not earnest, the smile that says “I like it for you, but on my own I probably wouldn’t.” I tell her, “It’s okay to say no! I won’t be offended!” She reassures me she does in fact like piano.

Time comes for semester re-enrollment. I ask her if she’s coming back next semester, because we have to get the paperwork in and square our schedules. “I don’t know, my dad is taking care of it.” That’s all I could get out of her for three weeks; it was pretty obvious she had no say in it.

One day my employer pulls me aside between lessons. She apparently contacted the father as the re-enrollment deadline (to secure your current teacher and time) was a week away. He informed her that he would let us know in one week; in the meantime he was auditioning a different teacher.

Auditioning a different teacher.

Part of me really wanted to be offended. But the better part of me thought that was the funniest thing I’d heard in a long time. Your daughter isn’t practicing! She has told me as much! There’s nothing I can do about that; I don’t live with her. But you do! You can do something about that! I even told you, to your face, what I expected from her! You’re going to pay money for lessons but not make sure she’s getting the most out of it, when I laid out exactly what to do? Please. And now you’re hoping that a different teacher will magically make her better? I openly acknowledge that not every teacher and student make a great pair, and sometimes a different teacher helps. But that’s not the case here! Your daughter just doesn’t care enough about piano. This is the equivalent of replacing your weekly personal trainer because you’re not losing weight but you still eat McDonald’s every day. You’re a fool. Please. Get out.

No, they didn’t re-enroll.

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all the possible expletives Pt II / lack of communication Pt I

In our last episode, we’ll recall that someone’s supervisor at RPM was handling my rent situation – talking with the Water Company to confirm I paid what I did so they could reduce my rent.

The next day I hadn’t heard anything, so I called them up in the afternoon. It was confirmed my rent was reduced, and I’d only have to pay $86.96 in rent. Good! It worked! So I paid it in full on August 1, as one does with rent. End of story, right?

BUT THEN…

So today as I’m putting in the maintenance request for my broken hot water tank, I notice a balance on my account. Of $95.66. Including a late fee of $8.70. Neither of which seem legitimate, because I paid in full and on time. So I call them up (and I think this was the same lady I got last time):

RPM: Hi, how can I help you?
Me: Yeah, there’s a late fee and a balance on my account, but I don’t understand why they’re there.
RPM: (pulls up my account info) Okay, the late fee is there because… wait, I don’t see why… I’ll have someone look at that.
Me: So we can agree that I don’t owe a late fee?
RPM: Yes.
Me: Okay, good. So what about the other fee?
RPM: Well, you had your rent reduced from the water bill, right? So that’s the amount…
Me: I already paid that last month, I don’t understand why there’s still a balance.
RPM: That will go away once the funds clear and everything is processed.
Me: How long does that take?
RPM: One to five business days.
Me: It’s been six. It would have cleared by now, yes?
RPM: Uh… (says something to give me the impression she thinks this will all clear up on its own. I know better. Time for some hand-holding.)
Me: Wait, can you see all the transactions on my account? You can see the ledger with each individual transaction?
RPM: Yes… (she’s wondering what I’m getting at, wondering if I’m implying that I can do her job better than she can, which I kind of am at this point)
Me: Okay. It says August 1, I paid 86.96 in rent, the reduced amount.
RPM: Right.
Me: Then it shows the $4 transaction fee.
RPM: Yes.
Me: Which then cancels out the balance.
RPM: (starting to see where I’m going with this) Right…
Me: So why on that line does it state that I still owe $95.66, which doesn’t match any agreed-upon amount with or without a $4 transaction fee, with a late fee appearing on August 4?
RPM: (lightbulb goes on!) I’m not sure. I’ll have the account manager take a look at that.
Me: Thanks. So when should that get resolved?
RPM: Uh, I’d check back later.
Me: And if it doesn’t?
RPM: (clearly wanting me off the phone now) Then call us back. Anything else I can help you with today?
Me: No, I just wanted to clear that up…
RPM: Have a nice day. *end call*

Thanks, I guess. And yes, all the fees and balances are gone. Everything is settled. This should be the end of this saga. We will see.

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all the possible expletives

First, let me introduce you to the major players in this story. There’s my landlord – we’ll call him Pete because that’s his first name. (Heads up: You know it’s about to hit the fan when I’m not using monikers like “Landlord” and I’m actually using real names.) There’s the property management company, Real Property Management Midwest (RPM), who are sometimes nice and efficient and sometimes just bloody awful. And there’s me (you know me, we’ve met).

I’ve lived in this apartment for two years. I’ve never met Pete – I think he lives in Boston. He uses RPM to handle things. Sometimes this works fine (getting the exterminator to take care of carpenter ants). Sometimes it takes two months to get someone to fix my leaking roof. RPM tells me they often have trouble getting in touch with Pete to authorize maintenance and repairs. Pete has been wanting to sell this place for a while, but won’t bother to do some major fixes on the place that would warrant his asking price, then wonders why nobody will even put an offer on it. I got his email address from the realtor (who also has issues contacting him).

Several times the City of Cincinnati has taped a note to our building stating that the water bill was due last month, and if it’s not paid the water will be shut off. The very first time this happened, I contacted RPM immediately – they informed me that it was not their responsibility to pay the water bill, but Pete’s, and they would contact him. I did this each of the 3 or 4 times (!) it’s happened. The water’s never been shut off – until July 1 this year.

AND SO…

July 1, I wake up to find the water’s off. No hot, cold, muddy, nothing. Just air. So I contact RPM and they put me on hold. Something nagging in the back of my mind tells me I should contact the Greater Cincinnati Water Works instead, given all those past notifications. I call them. I ask the woman why the water’s off – is there maintenance in the area, or did the landlord not pay the bill? She informed me that there was an outstanding bill from April to the tune of $383, so they shut off service. APRIL! I am afraid the poor woman on the other end heard me say some choice words about Pete. I then asked what my options were. She gave me one: the outstanding balance had to be paid before 3pm to get the water turned back on that day. And it would not be turned back on until it did. So I paid the bill on my credit card, because what choice did I have, and got a copy of the bill emailed to me. I then let my neighbor know what was up, told her the water would be back on that afternoon, and emailed Pete:

“Pete,

This morning our water was turned off for an outstanding bill from APRIL. I just paid the outstanding amount of $383.35 plus $4.69 processing to get it turned back on this afternoon. As soon as I get the email receipt, I will forward it to you. I will expect a refund or a credit to my rent.

There is an upcoming bill for $370.47 due July 16, Thought I’d mention it.

I’m sure I don’t need to say how irresponsible this is of you, and how livid I am. Not to mention paying money that I don’t have for something that’s your responsibility.

Please see to it this doesn’t happen again.”

JULY 7 (July 7! Six days later!!) he finally responded:

“Hi Liz,

I called them as soon as I saw this & paid July.  This won’t happen again.  It may be easier for me to send you a check for April, rather than you reducing your rent payment (I think RPM may struggle with that scenario).  Please confirm you have not already sent a reduced rent check & I will send a check tonight.

Thanks,
Pete”

I responded with a single line: “Thank you. I paid rent in full for this month, so a check would be fine.” I didn’t see how he was in any position to question RPM’s bookkeeping and processing abilities given the current situation. I waited for a check for two weeks. I emailed him again on July 23:

“Pete,

As of today I have not received any check. Should I be expecting one before 8/1, or should I arrange reduced rent payment with RPM for August?”

Six days later (today), no reply. Seeing as rent is due in three days, I called RPM this morning. Here’s how that went:

RPM rep: Hi, how can I help you?
Me: Yeah, hi, I live at [address]. I paid our water bill last month, and the landlord was supposed to cut me a check for that amount, but he hasn’t yet. I’m calling to get my rent reduced by that amount, as per Ohio law.
RPM: Okay, let me get your name and address. … Okay, that would be Pete as your landlord?
Me: Yes.
RPM: Okay, we’ll contact him, (me thinking: good luck with that) and get it authorized, because it has to come out of his account.
Me: I already paid the bill.
RPM: Sure, but it takes 30 days to close the account, then cut you the check…
Me: What closing the account?
RPM: Closing the account and squaring everything away so we can cut you the check from the balance.
Me: WHAT CLOSING THE ACCOUNT? NOBODY’S MOVING. I JUST NEED MY RENT CREDITED.
RPM: Wait, what is your address again? … OH I was looking at a different file! I’m so sorry!
Me: … [fuming]…
RPM: So okay I have your account open now. Yeah, we’ll contact him and cut you a check…
Me: Wait wait wait hold up. I don’t need you to cut me a check. This was an outstanding bill from April that I ALREADY PAID to get the water turned back on. I need this month’s rent to be reduced by that amount. (is this really that difficult to understand?)
RPM: OH! Okay… um…
(literally 20 seconds of silence)
Me: Would it be easier if I just came in to your office with the water bill this afternoon?
RPM: Yes, that would work fine I think…
Me: Okay. Thank you. [end call]

Deep breaths. Deeep breaths.

So I went in this afternoon. I presented the lady at the desk with the water bill. I explained to her that I paid the overdue portion of the bill and he paid the rest for July. And could I please have what I paid credited to my rent for this month, because that’s Ohio law. So she went back to talk to her supervisor. After ten minutes she came back and said, yes, we’ll contact Pete and see if he’s okay with that arrangement.

At this point I was about to lose it. Apparently it IS that difficult to understand.

“No, see, I paid this water bill from APRIL. Our water got turned off because he. never. paid. it. I paid the overdue amount in full, on July 1, to get the water turned back on. He said he would cut me a check for the amount I paid. He never did. I’m coming to YOU now because BY OHIO LAW, my rent now gets reduced by that amount.”

“Ah! I’m sorry. I get it. Okay. One second.”

Goes to talk to the supervisor again.

“Okay, sorry about that. My supervisor will take care of this. She’s going to contact GCWW to confirm that you did pay the bill, and you will hear from her no later than tomorrow evening letting you know what’s going on. And in the meantime, here’s the email for our support staff, for when stuff like this comes up again, just contact them.”

Good. Glad after two years I finally know how to contact the people who get paid to deal with this shit. I also know that I need to use words of one syllable, because otherwise nobody gets it. Then I had her print off a copy of my original lease agreement for me. In the event I need to reference it again. Which I will. No doubt.

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