Part 2 – moving (this one is a long one, sorry)
So if you read the post from yesterday, you’d know that as a house unit, the upstairs tenants, myself, and the landlords, are moving ahead with an eviction notice for the person who rents the other room in the basement where I currently live and that as long as that was going forward, I had decided to stay living in this location for a while longer until the pandemic had settled more and I could look for a new place to live.
So that was the end of July.
Then rolls around August 2nd: here in Toronto, we had a day of heavy rain. And Monday the 3rd as well.
One of the (many) things that I hate about where I live is that every time it rains, the basement leaks. There is a room which is under the stairs leading to the front door of the house, and whenever it rains, the water drips in there. This has been going on for at least three years but nothing has been done to fix it.
Well on this particular night, I noticed that the hall light was on right outside my bedroom. Strange. I go out to do some stuff and as I’m coming back around into my room, I notice that with the hall light on I can see a PUDDLE IN THE HALL.
And that was the end for me.
THANKFULLY, due to the grooves in the floor or whatever, it had come down the hall and veered off to the other side of the hall, which is the laundry room not the wall that goes into my room. The water had already seeped through that wall a bit, I have no idea how long it had been sitting there but the roommate had walked past it a few times and did nothing.
So, being the only adult who lives down here (aside from the 50 year old man who causes all these problems for everyone else), I took a photo and sent it to my landlord and then grabbed my mop and bucket and cleaned it up like a rational person.
This was the very last straw for me. No wonder I have been so sick all year with crazy allergies! I immediately go into my room, open up kijiji and start looking for places. I found four places that were within my price range and in various different degrees of good locations.
3 were basement apartments (one literally a 2 minute walk from where I am now) and one was a proper bedroom in a house on their top floor. That location was also renting a room in the basement for $120 less than the above ground room.
I sent messages to all 4. One got back to me almost immediately, so I sent another question and never heard back. The above ground room said to call the person so I saved her number and the next day I called. Her voicemail was full but I left a call back number. She messaged me on kijiji that same day and said she would call and when she did I set up a viewing for the NEXT DAY.
Okies, keeping track? August 3rd I had enough. 7pm on August 5th I was viewing a place.
Now, since I have been working so hard on my faith and relationship with God, I prayed HARD about this. As soon as I sent the messages I prayed that if any of these places were the place where God needed me to be, that I would know. And this viewing was the only one that actually came through. So God’s got my attention.
Then on August 4th, I come home from a park meeting with work friends, and my room has a funky smell. I thought it was the bucket from when I mopped up the puddle in the hall, so I took it out of my room, bleached out the mop and left it in the laundry room instead of my bedroom. The next morning, the smell was worse so I went investigating. And ya know what had happened?! The rain from the leak at the front had traveled under the concrete walls INTO MY CLOSET. So now the carpet was wet and my room smelled like mould. Ok, God. I get it. You want me out of here.
THANKFULLY my landlord responded immediately and his dad was over within an hour or so. He removed the carpet and used some lysol wipes to clean out the area. The smell had started to leave a little so he left. A few hours later, I was getting ready to see this new place.
I go to this viewing. I did some googling before hand and it is a 15-minute walk to my work. Which means I don’t need to buy a monthly bus pass ($156) BUT the rent is $150 more than where I am now. So it evens out. Which means I know that it works within my budget.
I get almost there and the landlord calls saying she is stuck in traffic for at least 40 more minutes but the door is open and to go right in, call her, and she’ll talk me through the house. I asked her to alert the other tenants, who I had just assumed were girls from our conversations.
She calls back and says that one tenant just got home from work and that HE would be ok to show me around. I get there, HE is in the shower so I’m just a strange woman walking around the house. Which is BIG and bright and hardwood floors. And when he came out, I notice that he is gorgeous! I got off the phone with the landlord and asked him about the other tenants and the landlord. He says that they are all quiet and respectful, basically just everyone goes to work and comes home and keeps to themselves. And the landlord is top notch and if you need anything fixed she’s there for you.
The laundry room door was a little hard to get into, he had to pull it open with his big strong arms, and I didn’t go down, but when speaking with the landlord, she said she knows about it and is working on getting it fixed. It is coin laundry, which is kind of a lame move on the landlord’s part but whatever man. I do like one load a week and I have a drying rack.
While is it just a bedroom again, and I will be sharing with 3 other people upstairs (I wanted to view the downstairs but the door was locked and no one was home and for a super bright evening it looked really dark so no thanks), it is also a BRIGHT room, with NO CARPET which means I might be able to get my allergies under control. It’s in a great neighbourhood, close to all the shops I ever need to go to and the main highway. It is a 15 minute walk from work, it is a 25 minute bus ride to the new church I want to attend, more on that later. The roommate is nice, he’s already invited me to go to his church whenever I want to, and it fits in my budget! God was checking off all the boxes, my heart felt at ease, and I jumped on it.
August 6th I have a letter of reference from the upstairs tenant and my principal is working on my employment letter. I wake up and it smells SO DISGUSTING in my room. The closet wasn’t the problem anymore. The landlord comes over to check it out again in the afternoon, but by lunch the smell was so bad for me that I was dizzy and felt like I was going to throw up and I had a massive headache (which had started on Monday, and it was now Thursday). I spend the entire afternoon in the backyard trying to get fresh air. I am allergic to mould which just added to the already glaring health issues.
Friday I discover that the carpet in the corner of the room, along the same wall as the closet, is also wet and that is where the smell is coming from. The landlord was at the house on Saturday “fixing” the leak out front, and I told him I needed a dehumidifier. He brought one on Sunday and thankfully, since then, no smell. I keep it running literally all the time and sleep with earplugs, but at least I can breathe down here. I probably shouldn’t because of all the mould in the walls and carpet but it’s at least livable for the short little while that I am going to be living here.
I gave my notice to my landlord on August 13th. I said I would be out of the room by September 30th and that he needed to clean and fix the mould problem before he rented to anyone else. If it got to the point where it was smelling and reached my room, then it’s a whole house problem. And if it seeps over a few more inches to the far wall, it’s going to probably affect the electrical work in that wall and there will be a fire.
I get my keys on September first, and I am hoping to be fully moved over by the end of day on the 7th because school starts on the 8th and I don’t want to be here anymore.