Sydney property market is cray cray (Part III): The landlord
BECAUSE ULTIMATELY EVERY PROPERTY ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT – for some, it’s a grimey, disgusting bathroom, for me, it’s having The Landlord live 20 metres down the road. Yep, that’s right…we see our Landloud EVERYWHERE! At the shops, getting coffee, doing laundry…he’s always there [cue The Police’s classic ‘Every Breath You Take’].
I should’ve picked it from the moment he asked for an “interview” but our rental agreement had some other “special conditions” imposed…these included:
- Hiring a weekly cleaner at our expense
- Using furniture pads on any item that touches the floor
- No pot plants…[yep not only are we going to deny you of having a pet, we’ll deny you of also having any other life forms that you might substitute for a pet]
One page from our 150,000 page Tenancy Agreement (the Landlord spent about 45,000 pages naming every animal known to humankind and then saying they were not allowed said animal in the unit):
Now all of these seemed pretty harmless and manageable….until the other day. You see I’m a simple person at heart. There are only a few things that make me truly happy….pavlova [oh oops I should probably say my husband and family ahead of pavlova…oh well], and of course a daily hot shower. For example, you know that kinda-creepy Budget Direct ad which involved a naked woman singing “Boojey Boojey” and an old man purporting to be her husband but could be great-grand-father, says “it’s budget love”? All I could think about was how someone could get paid to act in a commercial where they get to be in a (presumably) hot shower? How do I get this job? Why can’t I just get a hot shower to just follow me around and just keep me snuggly and warm?
But the other day, the landlord finally imposed a rule that made me so mad, I started looking in the mirror to begin a ‘Frank Underwood’-esque monologue to camera, to reveal how psychotic I could be .You see, the dumbarse Landlord, had earlier that day installed a fire alarm in the place [pretty sure he was meant to do this earlier…but oh well]. But he installed a visual fire alarm that was triggered by its screen being fogged up by any unknown object, such as smoke – that would make sense, say next to the kitchen, but this idiot Landlord decided to put it up in the worst position ever ….DIRECTLY OUTSIDE THE SHOWER. What. The. Fuck.
Do you want to know what it’s like to have a fire alarm directly outside your shower??? Let me enlighten you. You get in, have a nice hot shower, you’re relaxed and unwinding [and let’s not forget stark naked]…and your hot shower creates STEAM. Steam…not smoke…steam. ie. hot WATER…the opposite of what would be indicative of a fire. Anyway this steam then fogs up your mirrors, windows and of course, your visual fire alarm conveniently located right outside the shower. Next thing, that stupid alarm is sounding, setting off the entire building’s fire alarm, and you’re scrambling for a dry towel to make yourself decent to deal with this situation…and the worst part…you have to cut your Long, Hot Shower short to deal with this mess. There’s nothing worse than an Interrupted, Long Hot Shower. You just can’t transport yourself back to that level of relaxation. The moment’s fucking gone….it’s just gone.
Then if the Interrupted, Long Hot Shower, wasn’t enough, it got worse. Within seconds, I get a phone call from The Landlord…who of course, because he lives 20m away, could hear the whole thing:
Landlord: “Hello, did you just set off the fire alarm?”
Me: “Ah yeah, it was because the steam from the shower fogged up the fire alarm and set it off”
Landlord: [and I kid you not, this is EXACTLY what he said] “You should make sure that you keep the shower door completely closed”
Are you fucking kidding me????
Of course sorry Landlord, I forgot, because I always shower with the doors and windows wide open. Sorry I forgot you were allowed to dictate how I shower. I could almost feel the words he really wanted to say through the phone – “You really shouldn’t have such hot showers” – at which point I’m pretty sure I would’ve cut sick, painted the Scottish flag on my face and yelled down the phone:
“YOU CAN TAKE MY POT PLANT, BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE MY FREEDOM (to hot showers)”.
As if you can dictate how hot my showers are! I’d say about 65% of the reason I continue to live in Australia is because of the free access to relatively cheap hot showers. Hot showers bring meaning to life. On some days, the hot shower is the best part. How dare you even question how hot my showers are?
Anyway needless to say, this Landlord is officially on notice. I ain’t no wallflower and I’m well aware of the ol’ tenant right to quiet enjoyment…[now I want to make a joke about ‘one more false step and the shower will resemble the infamous Shower Scene in ‘Psycho’ but I’m pretty sure that’s taking it too far and potentially illegal…so I’ll just have to leave you with another “to be continued….”]
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