I was woken this morning to the landlady and the fire inspector having a rather intense discussion in the sprinkler room, which is right next to my bedroom in the basement of This Old House (no Bob Vila). I could very clearly hear every word being said, which means I could make out about 3/4 of what the Eastern European old lady was saying. There was no mistaking what the fire inspector was saying – and he wasn’t taking any guff. He’d been here a couple times, I gathered, the first time in November (and I was present for that). The inspection occurred, and I gather a list was made – a list of required upgrades/services. From the tone of the rousing back and forth this morning, I gather that none of those services – which affects the sprinkler system, the fire alarm, and the obsolete battery-powered smoke alarms – have been made. All that has been made are weak, naive, “oh don’t pick on me I’m just a poor over-burdened old lady with two houses in Shaughnessy” excuses. So the city official doing his job was heard to refer to the safety of residents, the rules are set by the city, yadda yadda, and the ultimatum was issued: make the changes immediately or I will serve you with a court order and you can give your excuses to the judge.
Now I don’t know what Mrs Addled pays for mortgage and property taxes and whatnot around these parts, but it it seems dubious that she wouldn’t be able to pull together the mortgage money, so she says, much less extra money for repairs. I’m extra skeptical because much of her statements to the city inspector I know to be lies (4-5 people living here? Try 7-8. That’s at least $3500/month to her from us). She basically told him that she couldn’t afford to make the changes, and that she’d have to evict everyone, as if that would make the resolute inspector clement. It was an astounding failure.
So as a tenant should I accept that her bullshit was just a ploy for keeping the city hounds at bay, but presently knowing that she has to shell out the cash, she will; or do I believe her when she says she can’t afford the repairs and everyone in the house will be evicted…leaving an empty house providing no source of income to her whatsoever? The former seems more likely, but I wouldn’t want to live in a place run with this amazing degree of sketchiness more suited to a teenager with a drug addiction rather than a 60 year old Estonian woman who should know better.
And luckily for me – I don’t have to!