One Month Free!

Feb 20, 2014 by

          Let’s recall one of my favourite happiness tips: Ask, and thou shall receive. I am about to prove again how amazingly effective it is. As you know, by consequence of water damage to my apartment, I am living in concrete without all furniture except for my bed. (My life is always a hilarious adventure, and I love it that way.) Considering the circumstances, I felt that I deserved to be compensated. After all, when I moved in, I paid my last month’s rent with the expectation that I’d be living with floors during it. Since my floors were removed at the beginning of February and would not be replaced until after my tenancy ended, I felt it fair that I be fully reimbursed my last month’s rent.

          Before approaching my landlords about it, I did my research. I wanted to know my rights as a tenant. I didn’t think it was unreasonable to request full reimbursement, but I wanted to know whether or not I was entitled to it. I called the Landlord and Tenant Board to inquire, which was useless. They can’t provide any information or advice, because they aren’t lawyers. You may be wondering what their purpose is if they can’t advise landlords and tenants. So am I. They told me where I could go for free legal advice, but I didn’t feel it was necessary to talk to a lawyer at that point. I hadn’t even discussed what I wanted with my landlords yet.

          Next, I called my insurance company. I had scanned the policy, which stated that rental value was covered if repairs made a unit unfit to lease. My insurance company clarified that only landlords – not tenants – can claim rental value, because the rental unit is their property and severe damages could result in lost rental income. As a tenant, I would only be able to claim compensation for damages to my own property (luckily, nothing of mine was damaged) or costs I incurred as a result of damages to the apartment (fortunately, I didn’t incur any costs). That was all the information I needed. I was ready to talk to my landlords, who I have a great relationship with.

          I most typically communicate with them by text and email, so I sent an email in which I politely explained why I felt that I deserved to be compensated. My reasoning was essentially that I was living in conditions that I didn’t agree to upon signing the lease and that would generally be considered unfit. I told them that, although I can’t claim rental value through insurance as a tenant, they can do so as property owners. Given this, I asked them to please consider reimbursing me for my last month’s rent. As a result, they had their insurance company inspecting the place within days. The inspector warned them that they didn’t have a strong case for rental value because the apartment still had heat and running water, but he assured that he would argue in favour of reimbursement.

          Today, I got a text from my landlords that their insurance company has confirmed reimbursement of rental value until the floors are replaced. Thus, upon returning my keys to my landlords in – deep breath – just over a week, I will be getting a cheque for the value of my last month’s rent! Since I paid the entire first and last month’s rent when Olivia and I moved in, and I am the only one who has been living here without floors, that cheque is 100 percent mine. Not only did I get my month of solo living, I got it for free (minus floorboards, of course). I feel on top of the world right now! Ask, and thou shall receive, friends! Ask, and thou shall receive.

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