Firstly, what's wrong with this exchange? To me, I think it's the blatant expectation that Nick would be the one to deal with the cleaning and scrubbing and weeding, when there were three other people living in the house at the time! Sheesh! Secondly, despite my request for them to buy the supplies, nobody bothered. FFS.
So I got home and the place was a mess (see post below on the dirtiness of the place). I cleaned it all up, and all seemed fine... but then one of the housemates asked me how much I would charge to do all the cleaning for the upcoming inspection. I don't know why, but that really rubbed me the wrong way. Despite the fact that there was money being offered (or maybe because of the fact that there was money being offered), I felt that it was blatantly crossing a line into "taking advantage of", i.e. the fact that Nick doesn't mind cleaning. Why should one person have to do tasks that four people could take care of?? It didn't make sense to me. Suffice it to say, I wasn't happy.
Meanwhile, the landlady had messaged to say that New Housemate hadn't yet paid his bond (turns out he'd been careless and entered the wrong bank details in doing the transfer); and because of that, if the amount of $700 wasn't received by her in a timely fashion, the lease would not be renewed and we would all basically be asked to move out. So all of a sudden three of the housemates had to figure out how to get a share of $175 each to cover New Housemate's bond, because he'd insisted he wasn't going to send her the full amount a second time. He kept saying she was "an impatient c*nt", which was wrong and ridiculous: this was in early March. New Housemate had moved in at the end of December. Landlady had been waiting for the bond for over three months. New Housemate should have been more responsible in ensuring the right bank details were entered; in making sure Landlady had received the money; in chasing it up with the bank to make sure his money was recovered, etc. Instead, there was a whole bunch of whingeing about how unreasonable she was. Go figure. Ugh.
At the same time, the housemate who'd messaged me about the weeding (who just got back from Japan) began to display an inexplicably dark mood and was generally a bit of a bitch to live with: game raging at his computer, yelling rudely about the internet "lag", and even at one point disconnecting the ethernet connection to my Mac because it interfered with his gaming at 9:30 in the morning. Coupled with the whole "taking advantage of" thingy above, and the frustrating bond situation that had required me to transfer money from Malaysia to Australia unnecessarily as New Housemate decided to re-transfer Landlady the full amount after all, I suddenly realised: I don't really wanna live with this anymore. Two out of three housemates are really bugging me.
And then I also realised: The lease on the house is due for renewal. If I wanted to get out, I had to speak up now.
So I did. I emailed Landlady and gave her a head's up that I wasn't going to renew the lease. I also messaged the housemates on Whatsapp to let them know of my decision. She asked me to reconsider, have a chat with Problematic Housemate and see what happened. So I tried, and that spurred off a whole barrage of incensed exchanges from Problematic Housemate and myself, where he refused to even discuss why I wanted to move out, saying, "What's there to discuss? You've made up your mind" (an argument that's only as valid as the employer who says, "Okay, I guess there's nothing to talk about" when a frustrated employee declares, "I quit!").
Here's the series of increasingly inane chats that we had:
Amazing. I rebutted:
So long story short, there was a whole period of time where I started looking into finding a new place to live, and Problematic Housemate declared that "because of Nick all of us have to move out" - another incredulous argument: just because I moved out, it didn't mean that everyone else had to; we legally would have 30 days to find a replacement fourth housemate. Between the four of us, surely something could've worked out?? Instead, Problematic Housemate decided to shut it all down and made the decision that there was no point in renewing the lease. What's even more befuddling was that last year, when Other Nick was an issue and we wanted him out, we'd even discussed the possibility of us splitting the amount of the rent ($322 per fortnight) among the three of us. It would mean everyone would have to pay $107 a fortnight extra, but we actually considered it. So why, pray, was it not an option this time around??
In the meantime, the Landlady was still going to come over for house inspection on the Tuesday, and as of Sunday, the place was a mess; both Problematic Housemate and New Housemate weren't doing a single thing to help out:
In frustration, I had to print out the complete list of chores for the guys, which duly went ignored. I swear, it was like living with children. Heck, most children are even more disciplined and helpful than they were!! Click on these for bigger views:
Meanwhile, the cleaning and gardening still had to be done, so guess who had to do the bulk of the work? No prizes. So I spent hours in the yards tidying up the place, and thankfully of the three housemates in the house, I was still on very good terms with one of them, Plant Lover Housemate (who's always been my favourite housemate). He was pretty much on my side for the bulk of the conflict, though he's a quiet chap who didn't want to appear to take sides too obviously. Still, he was helpful with the inspection work, cleaning up the mounds of debris and crap that was left over after I'd toiled in the garden:
|Plant Lover, toiling away even though he was unwell.|
So how did this all end? Surprisingly abruptly: Problematic Housemate and I had a heated discussion face-to-face about two weeks after it all began, and we suddenly realised we'd reached an impasse where we both had vastly different personalities and approaches to things, and so we called a truce. Here's what amazes me about some straight boys: almost immediately he was talking to me normally again, joking about and laughing, while I'm still reeling from the shock of the whole thing... it's like the entire fight never happened for him. Now, I dunno about you, but I think that dwelling on a matter for too long is completely unhealthy, but I also think that not dwelling at all can't be good for you either; perhaps there should be some middle ground? LOL. All I know is, we're back on talking and jokey terms, and this whole affair has been buried along with the hatchet.
BUT: what this mean in terms of the house and the lease? Well, we're all still moving out. Turns out, when Problematic Housemate had to start looking up new rental properties, he realised how expensive our house really is compared to other places out there, and really we aren't being given a good price. So it makes more sense for all of us to get out. In a way, it's almost as if this whole thing was a blessing in disguise; perhaps we had all settled into a comfort-zone kinda thing and this was the slap in the face/kick in the ass that we needed to consider getting ourselves out.
The best part, for me, is that Plant Lover Housemate and myself have agreed to live together as we both get along swimmingly, and I'm more than happy to keep my friendship alive with this guy! So last week we took a look at a smaller, older villa round the corner from here, and we both went, "Oooo we likey!" On Wednesday night we put in an application for it, and wouldn't you know, on Thursday the Agent called to say, "Good news! The owner is happy with you guys and is offering you the place!" (What's kinda funny is that apparently none of our references were contacted; could the owner have looked at our documentation and gone, "Yup I'm happy with them?" I mean, Plant Lover works at an established telcomm company and has been for over 10 years; I'm a PhD researcher on scholarship from Murdoch Uni... surely those things look good on paper??)
So that's the story. In about two weeks or less, we've got to get all our stuff out of this house and into the new. Plant Lover and I will be signing the lease tomorrow.... and then there's all the loose ends with this house to be tied up: cleaning, minor repairs, hopefully getting as much of our bond money back as possible, etc. But all in all, I'd say the past month or so has been eventful... quite eventful indeed!! And I'm hoping that with the end of this chapter and the start of a new one with just PL Housemate, things will be looking up from here on out.
One can only hope, cautiously optimistically.