For the win!

I *like* this feeling. Rowr!

I called up the property management building for the apartment I’m
renting starting March. I wanted to set an appointment for Friday and
repeat my request for a sample contract that I could review before
signing it (read: go over very very carefully with a copy of the
Tenant Protection Act and a red pen!). I’ve been asking for a sample
contract since the day after I found the place, way before I submitted
the security deposit.

Sandra refused to e-mail or fax a sample contract to me. “It’s not our
policy,” she said. I grumbled a bit and headed to the Internet to find
out more about the Tenant Protection Act to see if I could do
something about that and what my rights were.

I called the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494. A counsellor told me that
if they accepted the deposit I gave them, then we already had a
tenancy agreement and the lease-signing would be just a formality. He
also answered my questions about some of the things I noted. They
can’t disallow pets. They can’t require postdated checks. The deposit
shouldn’t be more than one month’s rent. I can’t give up any of my
rights through a contract.

So I called them up again and refused to take no for an answer. Sandra
told me that it wasn’t their policy to e-mail or fax sample contracts,
and that I couldn’t take the contract home. I asked her why not. She
said it was the policy. I asked her why it was the policy. She said it
was the policy. I asked her why it was the policy. She said that they
manage 24 buildings and have never had a case like this. I told her
that I like reading things very carefully before I sign them. She said
it wasn’t the policy set by her manager. I asked her if I could ask
her manager why it wasn’t the policy. She gave up and forwarded me to
her manager.

For the win!

I got the manager to agree that I should be able to read the lease. It
turns out that they don’t have electronic copies of these contracts
available (what?!). The manager said that they could fax me the
document, though, so I gave them the fax number at IBM.

Ideally I’d have liked to be on really good terms with the property
management, but if the law has to protect us from each other, then
fine, that’s okay with me. I really don’t have to be giving Cromwell
this much grief over a sample contract, as the contract can’t deprive
me of any of the rights I have under the Tenant Protection Act. I’d
rather read through it and highlight things I need to ask about before
I sign it, as that’s a more efficient use of time.

I *would* like the paperwork I sign to be up to date and to reflect my
understanding of the situation, and to make sure that *they*
understand it too, and that they know that I know (…that they know
that I know…). I understand that the contract only formalizes things
and perhaps clarifies some of the gray areas. The Tenant Hotline
counsellor assured me that I could hand-write clarifications into the
contract and we’ll all initial the changes.

In that case, I might even start the process of moving in this
weekend! I need to buy a twin bed from somewhere.

Lesson learned: “No” doesn’t always mean “no.” You should always be
able to ask why.

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-article-strip-all-blank-lines – Command: Strip all blank lines.