I gave myself a headache yelling this morning. →
Our fuckhead landlord raised our rent $200 a month at once, a 15% increase, from $1300 to $1500, starting in November. It's only the second increase in five years, but still. 15% at once? And he lives here for free with his mother. If only my salary went up 15% at once. (Even stretched over five years, the rent increases have now outpaced my union salary increases. Just when you thought you might get a little ahead.)
This is the same landlord who tried to charge us for fixing the lock on our front door that jammed because HE PUT THE CYLYINDER IN CROOKED. At least, that's what his friend said when he helped him FIX IT AGAIN last week, with Jon again climbing a three-story ladder to get in via the porch. Needless to say, we did not pay that bill.
We can afford the increase (sort of), and I know heating and water costs are up, but it galls me to pay it to them. The door is only the beginning. Our microwave is in the living room because it blows the fuse if it's in the kitchen. The closet doors fall on me. The inner back door blows open in any kind of wind, and we have to block it with a bookcase. For three years, I lived with a stove with no oven. The walls are cracking in several spots under the landlord's shitty paint job. None of the light fixtures will stay up. And his octogenerian mother hears "ghost water" (water running when it isn't) and once threatened to call the cops on me because I was doing dishes. The son is also constantly yelling at the mother (in English and Greek) and slamming doors. And then there are the mouse holes and mouse poop on top of the fridge. (There's more, but that'll do for now.)
The only thing that made it worth staying here, in addition to the nice porch, was that the rent was underpriced for the area. At $1300 a month, I could live with mice and the microwave in the living room, but at $1500, I don't know. Based on our previous research, I think we could get another place in Astoria for that. The real estate agent said so, too. It's a hassle to move, but it might be worth it, for sanity's sake. (As some of you may recall, they've also threatened to make us move a couple times before, for the "ghost water" or lock or whatever.)
I happen to think we're excellent tennants who always pay our rent on time, take good care of the place, and only complain when we're desperate (like being able to get in the front door). It would be nice to have some peace. At least we have until November to decide. (That is, if he didn't hear me yelling fuckhead through the walls this morning after Jon went to work. They are thick walls.)