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2009-10-14 - 10:36 a.m.

...landlady update continues...

A fluke in my schedule allows me to take a day at home today, to spend with parents and baby. It also gives me the opportunity to update on the whole landlady fiasco.

Not surprisingly, K was extremely angry about the email from our OCD painting landlady. There are so so so many things to tell about this saga. Safe to say, the remark about charging us mileage to take a shelf to dump was the kicker. K made a very quick reply to the effect of:

Some of those charges seem reasonable to us. But if we are going to put a price tag on everything small thing, perhaps you might consider the additional 800 dollars in rent we paid for the two weeks during which we had moved out, but still allowed you in to renovate the flat. Also we were put in a position of being forced to watch your cat for 8 days when you went off to France and left us as the caretakers of the building for your French tenants. We pay $25/day for such service.

Needless to say, OCD landlady was pissed off, and we received another long email from her with another long explanation about how she was intending to give us a "gift basket" from France to compensate us for our help. (uh huh, we've gotten these gift baskets before. this I still find amazing. We give them gifts every year for Christmas and when we return from holidays as an indicator of a professional relationship. We get three homemade biscotti and a cup of pate for two years of annoyance for putting up with the roof...and serving as landlords for their guests.). Anyway, it when on from there.

The upshot was that K had a meeting with Landlord at a nearby coffee shop. In the interest of making this discussion a one-on-one rather than a two-on-one exchange, I stayed out of this. Before the meeting, K prepared a looong list of complaints to demonstrate that this was the straw that broke the back of the proverbial camel (a proverb which unfortunately equates K with a camel). He started off by telling Landlord that HE (Landlord) is perhaps the best landlord K has ever had. But unfortunately, OCD landlady is perhaps the 2nd worst, and currently is in strong competition as the worst.

They went through nearly everything - the laundry schedule, the broken laundry machine and OCD landlady's 9-month email exchange telling us that we just didn't understand about "lint-givers and lint-takers", the broken toilet, the wall-painting, and the topper: the Christmas present of cleaning the carpet when I was 9-months pregnant. And then the fact that K had actually offered to go back and clean all of those places that took her 20 hours to clean, but she said, "no don't worry about it" before she decided to charge us for the cleaning. K basically conveyed all of his frustrations about how difficult it has been to communicate with this woman. He made sure that Landlord saw the exact text of that email, right down to the mileage for shelf removal.

It was a very very good meeting. K was there with him for over two hours. They talked about these problems but about other things, too. Landlord is a businessman - he knows how to deal with this kind of stuff. Landlord had actually advised OCD landlady not to send these last two email masterpieces of miscommunication (she obviously mailed them anyway). His comment, "OCD, these are good people, and people we like. It would be a mistake to lose friends over $100 here or there."

That was our feeling as well. Now they've left it for K to come up with a figure that he feels is reasonable for us to cover, and then he and Landlord will reach an agreement together.

Overall, it was cathartic for K to convey his frustration with OCD Landlady. Nevertheless, I still wonder if Landlord is oblivious to the fact that we only brought the expensive bottles of wine downstairs to share with him when she was away on one of her holidays with their son....

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