Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Monday, January 2, 2006

Reader's Digest version: I'm moving at the end of the month.

Our lease here is up at the end of January. When I moved in here (temporarily) in Nov 2004, just after the hurricane, the rent was $1100/month. It wasn't too much of a bump as my rent next door was $1050/month. In January 2005 they raised the rent to $1250/month. We both knew that the lease was up, but apparently I was the only one who knew that the rent was going up.

One of our neighbours, Derek, was in the end unit in the other building, and his house was finished and ready to move in, so when he was moving out, he told Wammer that his place was coming up, so Wammer went to talk to the landlords about it, and they told him it was $1450/month (this was back in November) which was $200/month more than it was for the current tenant. They said thank you but no.

At the end of September, when HazMat Jenny got her rent, she also got a letter stating that her lease was up and would not be renewed, so she had to be out by Nov 1st. The reason given was that the owner of the property was bringing in some extra workers to get the other buildings finished off from being repaired after the hurricane (the other buildings across the street lost walls, roofs and were gutted... they should have been knocked down) and didn't want to pay someone else to house them. One month later, Sue, down at the other end of our building got a similar letter saying she had to move out Dec 1st. Later they changed their tune and said while she still had to move out Dec 1st, she could move back in on Jan 1st, and they had another condo (1bd though) that she could stay in for the month, but she would have to remove all her belongings and leave the apartment as if she was moving out for good, only to move back in a month later.

In the end, they changed their mind again and told Sue she didn't have to move out at all and Jenny's apartment has been vacant since she moved out in October.

I saw in the paper about 6 or 7 weeks ago that there was a “major drug bust” at Oceanside Plantation in West Bay and I remember thinking “Waitaminute, that's where I live! I don't remember hearing about this?” There are ten apartments here and everyone knows each other. Turned out it was the buildings across the street. “But there's no one living over there, they're still under construction!”... except for the construction workers who were living (illegally I think, without a occupancy license) in one of the buildings. After that it all fell into place. They had to vacate the building across the street because there was no occupancy license yet, so they were going to put them up here in this building, so they were kicking people out as their leases came up, and then they went and threw a monkey wrench into the works by getting busted for drug possession.

Apparently I forgot to mention the rent increase to Seb, because when he saw the letter on Saturday he got all upset about it. I said “I knew it was coming, I'm sure I told you” and he says I didn't, so maybe I didn't. I would have thought I'd remember to pass on something like that. I asked him what he wanted to do, since his plan was to stay on til April month-to-month and then he'd either be leaving island, or stay and sign a new lease.

I already had an exit strategy in my back pocket, a friend with a spare bedroom said I could move in there for a few months if I needed to, and that would take me through the spring and in the summer my old roommates' Zac & Steph would be looking for a roommate and I could move in there. So I had that plan in the back of my head all along, whether it was moving at the end of January or the end of April. Seb on the other hand, was in a bit of a lurch. He wanted to look for another apartment for the both of us, but I had to tell him that I've been checking the newspaper and a couple websites on pretty much a daily basis for the last year, and even 2bd/2ba apartments out here in West Bay were going for $1900/month, and the closer to town you get the more expensive it gets.

A few hours and a few phone calls later, Seb had found himself a temporary situation that would take him through to April on the same amount of rent that we're paying here now. I had a couple conversations as well and found out that another friend in our group is in need of a roommate. I had thought of her earlier, but because of her location, location, location, I dismissed it as it would have been waaaaay out of my price range, but apparently it isn't. I've called her and I'm going to meet up with her for a cuppa today or tomorrow to get some deets on the place. First and foremost is if they (and her) will accept Tweeter as a roommate, too. A lot of places are freshly reno'd/rebuilt after the hurricane and are saying “no pets. period” which sucks for a LOT of people who have pets already. She's also a smoker, so I'll have to find out if she's an inside smoker or an outside smoker. Other than that, the rest is just details. My rent will be going up about 50% of what I'm paying now, but I'd be looking at that even if I waited and moved in with Zac over the summer, and higher for some of the places I've looked at in the past few months. Hopefully the details will work out and I'll put that plan into action.

In the meantime, I spent the whole day yesterday consolidating and chucking stuff out. I'm SUCH a packrat... I threw out three garbage bags full of stuff just yesterday, and I've still got a ways to go, and then I still have to go through my clothes and make a keep pile and a get rid of pile. The computers and gadgets will take more than the rest of the month to go through, however. :)

Monday, January 2, 2006 10:42:38 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Misc#
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