I’m finished pretty much all the edits, and I’m on lesson 21 of Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course, which has been great, review to come when I’m finished. I have to take a break from the revision though, not for another project this time – this time for life interrupting.
Our building owners, Sussex, want to raise our rent by 40%, and there’s no way we can afford it. This news came less than twenty four hours after settling with the insurance company over my husband’s disability benefits, so we have some money we had hoped to use to put a down payment on a house, but I’m stuck working part time, and we’d never get approved for any house worth living in. We’d end up in the north end, best case scenario, and probably end up paying two or three times what the house will be worth in a couple years when the housing bubble pops.
Crazy hard to find an apartment that’s affordable in this city these days, let alone one that will let us keep our cats, and we’re not getting rid of our babies.
But this apartment is not worth what they want for it, and they want more than we can pay without whittling away at our nest egg. So we’ve looked at all our options and the best one seems to be moving in with my mother in law.
Who is an awesome woman, by the way. Combining our household incomes will help her as well as us keep our finances stable and secure, and I could keep working part time rather than scramble to try to get a full time position or a second job. If I had to get a second job, that would be tantamount to having to give up writing. I wouldn’t have time. Working part time, while we’ve been strapped for cash, I’ve been able to get a ton of work done on the revision, and even a couple of short stories. I’ve used the time I have. I remember working full time and commuting an hour both ways, and while I pushed myself to write and revise a novel doing that, it was wrecking me.
And I’d choose writing over money, because, well, I just can’t not do it. If I don’t have time to write for too long a period of time, I start to get really grumpy, and depressed.
*le sigh* We were supposed to have a bit of time to sit back and breath after the insurance thing was over. Instead, the next day we started the stress of having to figure out where we’re going to live. Life does not want to give me and mine a frelling break. I’m blaming this on the Harper Government, btw. I voted for the other guys.
So yeah, it does feel a little bit like taking a step backwards, moving back in with parents, but with the Husband’s health what it is, it’s the best option for us. We’ll pull together as an extended family and support each other, and it will let me continue chasing my dreams of being a pro author.
A POX on your rotten landlords! You’ve a lot happening in your life now, but you sound strong and you guys have a plan. Keep us informed. A lot of us can relate to what you’re going through.
Thanks – a while ago I realized I was suffering from the isolation that comes with the shame associated with being broke, mainly because of the whole OWS movement and others opening up about their own situations. I decided I should be more vocal about it, since I like to explore these themes in my writing. Opening up about it more has invited lots of comments like yours, and it’s comforting to know that we’re not alone.
Linds: 40% rent increase?? Can’t be done unless there are specific conditions that apply.
Rent increase guideline for this year is 1.0 per cent, effective Jan. 1, 2012 as per the Residential Tenancies Act (provincial)
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants must be given proper written notice at least three months before the rent increase takes effect. A notice to increase rent must meet the requirements of The Residential Tenancies Act The branch provides rent increase forms for landlords to use. In most circumstances, rents can only be increased once a year. The guideline applies to rented residential apartments, single rooms, houses and duplexes.
There are some exceptions to the guideline. Give me a shout if you feel the landlord is legally screwing you guys over.
Property Manager (Believe it or not)
They did give us the three months notice, and the 40% is apparently legal, once they get approval from whoever approves these things, because they’ve done “renovations.” They’ve replaced the roof and the windows, and painted the walls in the hallway. They’ve done nothing besides the windows that impacts our apartment.
Speaking to friends who have been in the same situation, we’re hearing that even if we point out what a shit hole our apartment is, they’ll come back and say that they need the increase in rent to pay for the renovations that need to be done, and get it approved that way (and likely come back the next year and point at their renovations and ask for another increase to be approved.)
Dealing with Sussex has just been one load of horseshit after another, and we don’t want to deal with them anymore. We just don’t have the energy to fight it, with my husband being chronically ill. We’ve been in rough shape financially for a long time, and were considering this as an option even before the rent increase – we just were hoping to have more time to work out the details.
But thanks very much for the offer, we appreciate it. (unless you’re the building management for a building on Cockburn – no, no, I’m pretty sure our building manager’s name is Curtis.)