A lot of people have been asking how my landlord situation has been going, so I knew I had to post this blog as soon as I could. I should have known that something would go wrong once I started to relax! I made cupcakes on Wednesday and then everything seemed to go downhill from there. On Thursday at lunch, I received a message from my landladies (which I don’t even want to call landLADIES anymore, since neither of them have acted very ladylike whatsoever. I think I will refer to them as landpeople from this point onwards…), which said,
“Hi girls unfortunately I am having to give u 2 weeks notice. We have decided to go a different way with the property so will need u both to vacate by the 12th of May, we will inspect the room then & return your bond if all is in order. Leanne & Jo.”
By that point, we hadn’t even been in the house for three weeks. I was actually quite emotionless when I received the message because I didn’t know any other way to take it. Since the next day was my birthday, Gabi and I both made an agreement that we’d only let ourselves be upset that day, and then we wouldn’t talk about it for the next couple of days.
After work, I had asked my other flatmates if they had received a message from the landpeople and they all said no. However, I soon discovered that everyone else had already been planning to leave within the next two weeks on their own accord – some to move to a different city, and some just to move into a new house. Therefore, how convenient was it for the landpeople to only evict me and Gabi? I was pretty sure that they weren’t allowed to kick us out only because they “wanted to go a different way with the property,” and I wasn’t planning to go down without a fight. I was determined to make their lives at least a tiny bit difficult because they were doing the same to us. Had we known we would have to leave after one month of living in the place, we never would have moved there – especially since we had to buy new bedding for our rooms, as well as rent a car in order to move everything. I decided to phone Consumer Affairs Victoria to get advice about the situation, and the lady seemed just as surprised as I was. She said that I should write the landpeople and request an official “Notice to Vacate to Resident of Rooming House.” She said that on the form, the landpeople have to give a specific reason about why they want us to leave the property and she also said that “wanting to go a different way” didn’t seem like a valid reason. Therefore, if there was no specified reason, it would give us a 120-day period to move out, which would be perfect since we’d be leaving in July anyway. I sent the landpeople a message, which said,
“Dear Jo and Leanne,
I have just gotten off of the phone with Consumer Affairs Victoria and I have given them the information about the house and the contract in order to get advice about what we could do. They have informed me that you need to provide us with the form “Notice to Vacate to Resident of a Rooming House,” which is found online. Until then, we can continue paying rent and living here as per usual. Thank you,
I sent this message shortly after 5pm, which is when the Consumer Affairs Victoria office closed. Less than 20 minutes later, I received a call from Leanne and she was livid. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a fight with someone on the phone before, but this person was not being reasonable and she was acting like WE were the bad guys. She said she wasn’t able to get through to Consumer Affairs, but the contract said that either party could give two weeks’ notice (which was actually true, but it wasn’t a proper contract – it was a ‘Flatmate Agreement’ that was found online). She said that I had signed it so I agreed to the two weeks’ notice. I tried to explain that yes, I signed it but we never expected that we’d be given two weeks’ notice after living in the place for only two weeks. She kept repeating that circumstances have changed and implied that they were doing us a favour by giving us two weeks to move out. She said that there wasn’t any point in fighting against it because I had agreed to the two weeks’ notice. I explained that Consumer Affairs said that she has to have a valid reason to evict us, and she said she wants to repossess the house and it’s listed under Consumer Affairs. Then she went on to say (and by say, I mean yell) that I’d be leaving in June anyway (and I tried to say July, but she was just going on and on) and I’d be giving two weeks notice when I leave, so why do I get to give two weeks notice and they can’t? I yelled back, “You’re running a business!! That’s what happens when you rent out rooms – people come and go; it’s a normal thing!!” She continues, “Well I don’t understand why you’re making this so difficult on us. I didn’t think we had to be so formal to ask you to leave. If you want it in writing, I can write it on a piece of paper for you and bring it over.” “No, I don’t want it written on a piece of paper. I want the OFFICIAL FORM.” “What official form?” “The one that I wrote in the message. You can find it online. It HAS to be provided.” She kept going on and on about how hard I was making it, and why couldn’t I see things from their point of view… Seriously?! I went, “Why can’t you see things from OUR point of view?! We bought new bedding for the house, we rented a car to move here, you know how difficult housing is to find in Warragul and we thought we finally found a place, and it hasn’t even been THREE WEEKS and now we have to start looking for a new place again! What was even the point of letting us all move in if you were just going to kick us out after two weeks?” She kept saying circumstances have changed, and she thought that in Consumer Affairs, it said that we could get 28 days to vacate and if I wanted 28 days, she could give it to me, but I’d be moving out regardless. I said that 28 days would be better, and we ended the phonecall with a 28-day agreement, and that she’d send me the official notice to vacate.
By that point, I was all heated up and pissed off because the conversation was like talking to one of my high school students. I couldn’t believe how irrational this person was being, and how she was putting all of the blame on me (similar to Ali’s way of dealing with things, so I don’t know if this is how all Warragul landlords are, or if I’ve just been really unlucky). About a half hour later, one of my flatmates came into the kitchen and said that Leanne was at the door. Surprisingly, she was actually more pleasant to deal with in person and she apologized that she had made a mistake with the two weeks, and that we’d have 28 days to find a new place. She repeated that circumstances had changed, and that she wasn’t going to get into it, and that we probably really hated her (which was pretty spot on). She also said we could take the bed if we wanted, but since we don’t have anyway of moving a massive bunkbed (which she knows), it was a pointless offer. Anyway, we now have the official notice to vacate and we have until May 25th to find a new place. It takes a bit of the stress off, knowing that we have an extra two weeks to look, plus I think quite a few people will be leaving the tomato farm in May. The searching will start soon, and hopefully we’ll find something decent! That’s all for now, but I’ll keep everyone updated with whatever happens next! 🙂 Love always
Bad Thing – The Mowgli’s