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Unsinkable - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Unsinkable
My landlord gave my canoe away.

It was an old, heavy beast that I had stored against the fence in the yard since before he bought the house. So far as I was aware, there was no problem with it being there. It wasn’t even remotely in the way and I wasn’t notified that it posed a problem. Rather than consulting with his long-standing tenants to see if they knew anything about the large piece of sporting equipment in the yard, however, he decided that since it was an unwanted item on his property, it was trash with which he could do as he saw fit.

I learned all of this when I asked after its whereabouts. Now to be fair, because it was so heavy, it hadn’t seen a whole lot of recent use. Thick, 1970’s fiberglass made it a two-person carry, and more often than not, I was the sole passenger. I honestly didn’t think it was worth getting into a row over. I had no intention of asking him for compensation, partly because it was a beast on its last days and partly because I’m a tenant at will who’s paying about half of the going rental rate in this area.

Unfortunately, when I expressed that I wished he had asked us about it, what could have remained a misunderstanding turned into a pissing contest over who was most wrong. His contention is that since it is his property, he can do whatever he damn well pleases with it and anything on it. Because there was never any formal agreement between us that I could store the canoe there (never mind that I had had just such an agreement with the previous owner), as soon as he bought the house, the canoe became his to do with as he saw fit.

So, I just wanted an apology, but because he wanted to ensure that he wouldn’t be considered liable and to make it clear to me where he considers decision-making power to reside, he’s created an adversarial relationship with me. It’s apparently too much to ask him to take responsibility for his actions

The bottom line is that he gave away a piece of my property that will cost me hundreds of dollars to replace and won’t admit to any wrongdoing in the face of it.

Current Mood: frustrated frustrated

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Comments
From: bullhead Date: August 4th, 2003 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
i'm sorry to hear about this. frustrating and sad.
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It's probably not the most profound tale of man's inhumanity to man, but it is my story.

I'm guessing that the prospect of getting a sea kayak is right out, too. :\
haloedone From: haloedone Date: August 4th, 2003 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)

*feeble attempt at levity*

Having a row over a canoe. How oddly... appropriate.
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *feeble attempt at levity*

Heh. Would it help if I claimed ignorance over that little pun?
cinemama From: cinemama Date: August 4th, 2003 07:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Outrageous

Sounds like the kind of prick that would suddenly raise the rent and/or give you one month's notice to move.



komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Outrageous

I have to be fair here. My rent has gone up all of $75 in about seven years. It's clear that he's not in it for the money and given everything else that's happened in the past few years, I've been grateful for that at least... hence my lack of intent to pursue reparations for the oversight.

Still, I do get the feeling that he's extremely proud and likely to look at this as a challenge to his authority. I don't know how likely he is to hold a grudge, and given that we don't have a lease, something like the scenario you describe is decidedly a possibility. It has me a little worried.
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: August 4th, 2003 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Technically, if you had an agreement with the old landlord, and you didn't sign a new lease with the new landlord, that agreement is still intact according to landlord tennant law.

Not that you're going to go off and persue it, but you ARE in the right on this one.

What a fucktard. All he had to do was ask. How hard is that?
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
The situation was complicated in that my former landlord died, and his son (executor of L-'s estate), kind of made up stuff when he was in the process of selling the house. Stuff like, "The current tenants have no access to the basement" when we had be given storage space there and "Of course the house has been de-leaded!"
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Which would likely result in his raising the rent by that much the next month and thereafter. It's kind of an unfortunate situation all the way around, if only because I can't afford to rock the boat (heh) that much.
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
We have no lease.

Incidentally, I still have my paddles.
bushidokelt From: bushidokelt Date: August 4th, 2003 09:25 am (UTC) (Link)
there are tenant's rights organizations that you could make an inquiry to. As far as the canoe being his, that is clearly wrong. The underlying fee may be his, but any personal property such as a canoe is clearly not. Moreover, he is not entitled to take any self help measures to remove you or your property, even if they were wrongly there. You could bring an action in small claims for conversion (i assume the value did not exceed $2,000) of the canoe. Your lease would, in the absence of an agreement, be determined as a periodic tenancy based upon the frequency of your rental payments.
I wouldn't be happy with just an apology, but thats just me.
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
And in the absence of a formal lease agreement?

I think that's where it all hinges for me. If I had a lease and could reasonably expect that I wouldn't have to pay in kind for some kind of action against him, it might be another story entirely. It's one of those situations where the tenant-at-will gig has its drawbacks. I pay rock-bottom rent for a relatively nice place and have the threat of devastating change hanging over me.

And yes, the canoe was worth decidedly less than $2k. Probably closer to $200.

Oh, and congrats on the testing... when do you get word?
bushidokelt From: bushidokelt Date: August 4th, 2003 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well keep it on the horizon. I think there's a 3 year statute of limitations on conversion, so if you eventually leave within said 3 years, I'll sue him for ya, provided that I do pass, which I don't find out till late october, early november.
komos From: komos Date: August 5th, 2003 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
You're hired.

Assuming, of course, that I can afford your retainer. ^_^
riverbank From: riverbank Date: August 4th, 2003 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
i'd move and take something of his in return
i'm spiteful that way
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 09:45 am (UTC) (Link)
...like a small child, perhaps? ;P

I'm kidding. Seriously, it's really not my way.
schmi From: schmi Date: August 4th, 2003 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry. :( That's the most rotten luck!
komos From: komos Date: August 4th, 2003 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)
... and all of this happened just as I was about to ask if I could cellar beer at the house.

All around, it's pretty poop-tastic.
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