Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kick in the Butt

As if I was not aware that I need to move out of this apartment, the Universe gave me a monumental kick in the butt this morning.

My landlord (slum lord, to be exact), a religious elderly man, sent one of his goon contractors, an Ultra-Orthodox man, to threaten me; they are trying to illegally hook an apartment into my utilities, so he can rent it out, even though he doesn't have the permission of the city of Jerusalem, or of the Co-op Board of the buidling.  When I stated my objection to having to pay double bills on an illegal apartment for an indefinite amount of time, the goon said that he was speaking on behalf of my land lord, that they had no problem whatsoever kicking me and my daughter out on the street so they could find someone who would be more "cooperative" with their plan.  Then I had to beg to the point of tears, humiliating myself so that we would not be homeless, and you could see the goon jacking off in pleasure at seeing me in such a vulnerable place.

The entire year plus that this construction took place I have put up with many terrible experiences.  There have been long periods of time that I suffered from headaches and Raphaela from panic attacks from the noise of the drills.  There were many days that we had to move out, because the construction beneath us made the living situation unbearable.  One of the cement trucks smashed into my car, and I paid 1600 NIS out of my own pocket to fix it, because my land lord and the goon contractor refused to take responsibilty for the damage.

This tops it all.

On the plus side, legally speaking he cannot actually kick me out tomorrow.  Maybe he will wait until after Raphaela's surgery, though I doubt he cares one way or the other.

On the mystical side, some proof to me that there is a higher power who listens every once in a while, I happened to bump into a patient today, a kind and ethical man who deals in building and real estate.  He told me that he knew of a rennovated apartment in my neighborhood that would be available September 1.  He understood my story and could see the stress in my eyes, and said to me, "If you want it, all you have to do is hire the movers."  Like I said, G-d listens sometimes.


Nicole said...

After you move out, you should definitely notify the iriah about the illegal building your slum lord has done.

Midlife Singlemum said...

I don't know where you are living bbut there are small (3-room) apts for rent in all the shikunim around where I live in Baka. Just get out of there.

Commenter Abbi said...

yes, I agree with MLS. Just get out. It's not hard to find 3 room apartments in Baka/Talpiot/German Colony. I think you're stuck in some kind of inertia. It sounds like this is getting to be a dangerous situation. We are landlords and I have no "goons" under contract to harrass my tenants. When I rented in J-m years ago, it was from a lovely young family who also operated sans goons. So I can't believe it's impossible to find a normal landlord. Say yes to your patient, schedule the movers and call the iriya about your landlords plans.

Doc said...

What bothers me the most is not the fact that he is a crooked thief, a hypocrite and a shameful image to anyone who calls themselves religious.
What does bother me is the fact that here in Israel, if I had a husband, a man to represent me, there is no way that either the land lord or the contractor would have even thought about screwing me over. They are taking advantage of the fact that I am an American and single, with no one to defend me.

Doc said...

And here's another thing: last night I "met" the illegal tennants he is trying to accomodate to move in before the end of the month. It is an Ultra-Orthodox family, which would not be bad in itself per se, except that at 10:30 at night, when they had come just to look around the apartment, I had to go downstairs because they were making so much noise that my bedroom was vibrating. If this is the level of consideration they show before they move in, I can't imagine that they will be any better than the land lord. Whether or not I am paying their bills for them.

Midlife Singlemum said...

I'm going to be very controversial here Doc. Your landlord is not taking advantage of you because you have no husband to defend you. He's taking advantage because you allow him to. No one is making you stay there but by doing so, you are giving the message: treat me like shit and I'll still pay up and live in this hole. Btw, as you have a car, you get even cheaper accommodation in East Talpoit and thre is a very nice anglo community there.

Doc said...

MSM: You are not wrong in saying that until now I have been active enough to search for a better situation. In fact until a few weeks ago, I was actively seeking to move, but then all these doctor visits came up around Raphaela's surgery. I am a single mother, I work six days a week and I have no family in this country to help with last minute baby sitting.

I caved to the land lord this time in particular because as Raphaela's mother, I had to be sure that we would have a home to return to, after her surgery. No matter how much it cost me to be threatened and humiliated.

But have no fear, by September we are out of here, and this bastard (for lack of a more accurate term to describe him) cannot hurt us anymore.

I was abused as a child and teenager (long story, not worth retelling here) and I made a vow that as much as I could control it, I would never let that happen to me again.

Midlife Singlemum said...

I hear you. And I appreciate that you are effectively paralyzed until after the surgery and RR's recovery. You have an extension until September ;). Sending you love and support to get through the next few weeks with no complicatins or surprises.