My Problem

Last week, I referred to getting some distressing news. Some of you are probably wondering what happened to put me in such a depressed state. Last Friday (yes, on New Year’s Eve), my landlord sent me an email saying he wants me to move out by the end of May 2022. 

This came about due to a disagreement we have been having for approximately six months. He and his wife are absolute clean freaks. They came into my apartment this past July to change the batteries in my smoke detectors. They claimed they saw cat hair on the baseboards (Isabella barely sheds); they said they could smell the litter box (I have a self-cleaning litterbox that has no smell to it). So… they decided they would come back in two weeks and do their “annual inspection” (something they have never done with my neighbor below). I scrubbed down my apartment, yet they still found things to complain about: the drip pans on my stove needed replacing; my oven needed cleaning (which had only one spill the size of a quarter); there was a dirty place under the refrigerator (I had never noticed that when I spilled something it had gone under the refrigerator); etc. 

Each time they returned to do another inspection, they found one issue after another to nitpick and complain about. They were all minor issues—something I may have overlooked, but I had no way of knowing they were going to go over the place with a fine-tooth comb. 

In early December, my landlord came to replace the tiles under the refrigerator claiming the refrigerator was leaking although it had only been a small spill that was easily cleaned up and was not continuously happening. He came in while I was at work. Apparently, he did another close inspection of the entire apartment without me being there, and decided I was unable to keep up with the terms of the lease which states I should maintain a clean and healthy living space. He then waited three weeks to say anything. 

My apartment is clean and healthy, but I am not obsessively compulsive about cleaning. I keep the apartment at a level of cleanliness that the average person would not have an issue with. They, on the other hand, want things to look the same as when I moved in which was not sparkling then either. If I had not had a lot of health problems this past year, I might have met their excessive requirements, but I don’t think anything would have satisfied them. I’ve explained about my illnesses, but they don’t seem to care or want to understand. Their solution was, I should hire a maid. How was I ever going to afford that?

I have always paid my rent on time. I am quiet and do my best not to disturb anyone. I am always nice and polite to everyone that lives there including the landlords. I have had a few guests, i.e., hookups, over, but they claim to be LGBTQ+ friendly. However, I feel they are watching me all the time. I honestly don’t know what the issue is. I can’t understand why I am being treated this way. After each of their visits, they kept saying they wanted me to live there for a long time; they wanted me as a resident. Yet, that feels farthest from the truth. They want me gone. 

So, since receiving last Friday’s email, I’ve been looking for a new place to live. It is exceedingly difficult in Vermont to find a rental property that allows pets. Also, most require a reference from your last landlord. I have no idea what he is going to say when asked for one. I want to be out of my current apartment—soon. I want to wash my hands of my current landlords. I just hope they are not going to obstruct me getting a new apartment. 

I am absolutely horrified and embarrassed I have been treated this way; it has been wearing on me over these past six months. I had thought I would be able to satisfy them, but apparently, that was never going to happen. 

There is some good news, though. This Friday, I will be looking at an apartment, and I have another one I want to inquire about. I’m mostly happy in the small town where I live because my museum is here, but I also wouldn’t mind moving to one of the other towns around me. I just hope I can find somewhere that will accept Isabella and doesn’t cost a fortune. 🤞 *fingers crossed* 🤞

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

6 responses to “My Problem

  • Steve

    What a hassle! So sorry you’re having do deal with someone who’s being so difficult. I hope you’re able to secure something even better!

  • Robert

    I kind of get the idea that maybe the landlord doesn’t want an LGBT person and or one that has others over. They may have been talking with their friends where the topic came up and decided they don’t want to rent to an LGBT person any longer. They probably will never want to admit to being anti LGBT or changing their mind… Why do they have to have a reference from your last landlord to rent a new place? What if you just got out of college and wanted to rent, moved into the area or sold a house and needed to live in a new area and had no landlord to give a reference? I’ve only been told if I want to rent out properties to have a lawyer go over the agreements and put in the terms that I will need to run credit checks for certain credit scores….of course you can still get a bad person I suppose one might want to do references but I would not always trust references as they could tell their friends and family to say good things. But if one wants to remove a person they would have to find problems with their living and cleanliness assuming they had no payment problems to pick about. It sounds sketchy and I hope you will be able to find another place without too much trouble that will accept your cat. I love all my animals and couldn’t be without them.

  • Wes

    So blatantly unfair but it can’t feel like home if you are watched all the time to see if you “slip up”. Hope you find a new place easily.


  • britt69isme

    I’m sorry that this is happening to you. Those bastards don’t deserve you as a renter. Karma will get them, rest assured.

  • Beau

    I wish you well in your hunt for a new home with Isabella. It is very difficult to find rental property in small town New England. I once had a land lady like your charming folks. After scolding me for putting up paintings and antique prints on the walls she said, “I should have taken my meds for OCD this week.” Her ex husband lived in the front part of the farm house, where she stayed when in town, and his side was always a real wreck. My cat was criticized too. Best of luck!

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