Headlines for Tuesday:

  1. For the win! (605 words)



1. For the win!: 13:30

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.


  1. E-mail to Clair Ching