Yesterday I worried about my security deposit. (For those of you who haven’t rented since the 1970s and are not landlords yourselves, this used to be called the “damage deposit.”)
I’ve caused no wear and tear to my current apartment that could be described as anything but “normal,” and I’ve always got my security deposits back in full from places I’ve rented in the past (although I’ve also always worried about whether I would or not). But in this case, something happened between the time I signed the first lease and when I signed the second: the ownership of the building changed, and the new owners decided that they didn’t want people putting nails in walls to hang their pictures on, and they didn’t want people putting adhesive things on the walls to hang their pictures from. This seems to be a trend of some sort, as a correspondent from Toronto who is a renter mentioned the other day that they aren’t allowed to hang pictures on their walls.
This floors me. (Walls me?) I have no idea how you can possibly consider any dwelling a home if you can’t hang pictures. Those hanging on my walls now include some that have been in the rooms where I’ve lived since childhood, others that were gifts, a few that I purchased myself. All are as vested with memories as are any of the books on my shelves. I can’t imagine what I’ll do if the place in Toronto has a similar restriction — but the penalty for contravention is hefty. It involves paying to repaint the entire apartment at a cost that is is even greater than the amount of the damage deposit–which is almost a full month’s rent.
Before I signed the second lease, I pointed out that since i had moved in under the previous lease and therefore had already put lots of holes in the walls so I could hang my pictures, I could not comply with the new clause in the new lease. I crossed it out. I initialled it. Yesterday I noticed that despite a verbal agreement to do so, the landlord’s agent did not initial that clause before mailing me my copy. Hence the worry. Since I’m already at odds with the landlord’s agent because my air conditioner hasn’t worked all summer, and am requesting a discount on my October rent as a result, I am a bit tentative about raising another issue before the first one has been decided. But I guess I’ll need to follow up on that.
On a more constructive note, yesterday I booked a rental car for one day this weekend so I can start accumulating boxes and do a few other errands in preparation for The Pack.