I lived in Kensington Market. I wasn’t allowed to talk on my cell phone indoors after 7 p.m. I wasn’t allowed to have guests over after a certain hour and I definitely wasn’t allowed to have sleepovers or watch movies late at night. I was not allowed to cook fish or eat canned fish products on the premises. All cell phone calls were to take place on the front porch after 7 p.m. – no matter the outdoor temperature. That last one was ostensibly made as a provision to his work hours but a lot of times I didn’t even know when he was home. His shifts varied so much that speaking on your phone at three in the afternoon could warrant a response. These rules were added on a month after I moved in - right when raising first and last for another place was just fresh out of reach. I went ahead and broke all these rules four months later. He broke down, knocked on my door and made more rules. Each new rule was punctuated with the phrase, “If you don’t like it move out!” “You are not allowed to use the kitchen.” “If you don’t like it move out!” It was all hard to keep up with. I used to just crave speaking on a phone indoors and eating fish. So I moved out. (J.P.)
I was literally handing my signed application to my future landlord. She looked me in the eyes and said; “You know, im an honest person, and I just think you should know that the tenant across from you shits in the hallway sometimes. But, it’s okay, you don’t have to clean it up.” (Annie M.)
We had rather eclectic landlords who lived directly below us. They were nice but pretty laid-back when it came to repairs. The toilet ran incessantly. The heaters often made alarming high pitch water pressure screams. A family of starlings moved into the oven fan and their solution was to tell us to ‘run the fan, all the time.’ That only cooled the birds off and they ended up reproducing quickly, filling our kitchen with baby birds. When the landlords decided to go away for a few weeks their instructions were: “So make sure you jiggle the handle to keep the toilet from running. And if anything breaks or anything — call the cops.”
“We’re here to see about a broken toilet ma’am…”
For a year I lived on a second floor apartment above my landlord’s 80-year-old Greek mother. We shared an entrance and my apartment was accessible to anyone who felt like climbing the stairs. Granny could barely walk let alone climb, so I never had to worry about her; it was her large extended family. More than a few times I was startled to find a son/daughter/aunt/cousin looking for extra towels in my linen closet, or going through my dvds. When Granny had all her old friends over for lunch, a very confused old man wandered into my room loudly complaining that the back garden was impossible to find. Why he thought that climbing UP was the best way to get outside is beyond me. He wandered back upstairs two more times before I personally led him outside and told granny to keep her friends in check or on a leash.
Luckily I was able to move out of that shithole. Although the rent was dirt cheap, it wasn’t worth being hollered at to take out the garbage or pick some tomatoes by my landlord’s 80-year-old mother. (Veronika S.)
Hopefully she’s still alive because I’d be a huge bitch for saying these things about a dead lady.
I was in a bridal store with my friends, as she was picking out a wedding dress. As I am trying on a hilarious over sized wedding dress to make my friend laugh, my cell phone rings. It was my landlord and the conversation went like this:
“Rhiannon, – Hi Steve…”
“I am calling to let you know there is a honkin’ huge ice spike, icicle thingy hanging off the roof outside and if it falls on you, it will kill you.”
“Umm ok. Thank you. But why don’t you take it down?”
“Ha! I said it’s on the roof! I would throw something at it but my arm isn’t what it used to be. I used to play baseball and I was good but now in my age I couldn’t dare make it, so just watch out ’cause it will kill you.”
“Okay… well don’t you have a ladder you could knock it down with?”
“Nope, the wife won’t let me go on ladders anymore cause she doesn’t want to be alone. I kinda like the thrill of a ladder if you know what I mean. But yes just keep an eye out, ’cause it’s going to kill you.”
“Well ok. Thank you Steve”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you haha…. All kidding aside, it will kill you and I cannot have that soooo… look out!”
“Ok thank you.”
“ Byeeeeee.” (Rhiannon Archer)
He was okay, I guess. He showed up to one of our parties, and just kind of weirded people out. He had some wife in Cuba that came to see him once. She seemed to hate him and just smoked on the porch the whole time. We got a deal because we helped him finish renovating the house. He was a bit weird but generally a decent guy. One night me and Double M and my other roomate Jordan were walking home from a bar at like 2 am. We saw a guy standing in our front flower bed. As we got closer we noticed he was peeing into it. We started to holler at him and then as we came up on him we noticed he was laughing. It turned out to be our landlord (who lived upstairs), he was three sheets to the wind taking a piss in his own front garden. We just came up to him and we were like “Dean?”.
He mumbled something, I think, about being glad we were protecting the house and then stumbled inside. (Joel MacDonald)
Tiffy Thompson is a writer and illustrator for the Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter at @tiffyjthompson.