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Tuesday, October 03, 2006


So, as mentioned, I decided to move out finally....last week AFTER the incident - definitely more set to make my BIG move.
I was pretty busy looking for houses, contacting owners and went house viewing.
Well, due to time constraints and the fact that I wanted to shift immediately, I was pretty anxious as well. Anyway, a friend offered a relative's place to stay in the meantime while I am waiting for my ex-manager who is offering someone to care for his place while he is relocated to US for the next 6-9 months.
He will be leaving by the end of this week so in the meantime, I need to talk to my landlady to inform her of my decision.

I went with a friend last Friday; 29th September to inform her and ask whether it is possible for a deposit refund, knowing it is impossible since it is late notice.
Anyway, I just went to try my luck and related my story to the landlady who initially tried to tell me that she has changed the padlock and that the guy will not harm us.
However, since I was pretty firm, she didn't say much and so I asked her whether we can have a refund of the deposit.
She said yes, provided I need to move out by 30th and then return her the keys. She will refund the deposit upon the return of the keys.
So, I felt that she was nice and considerate of the situation and called mum and dad to inform her that there were no issues and I can move out by tomorrow to temporarily locate in my friend's relative's house.
I wasted no time in finalizing my packing and the boxes for all my stuffs....hehe...amazingly lots of stuffs and I have to admit, I really did not like the notion of shifting with the amount of stuffs I have :(
I spent the whole night and by dawn, I was ready to deport all my stuffs to my car and my friend's who helped me to move to the new place.
(I also spent some time talking to my housemate G, who was remotely depressed as she realized she will be the only one left with S and me leaving - we are both moving out on the same day. She was petrified at the thought that she will have to stay alone and I consoled her)
Then I packed....

I moved out the next day....hoooo....took 2-3 hours to get things done and then there comes the unpacking and cleaning in the house. Apparently that was a furnished vacation apartment that belonged to my friend's aunt and I felt grateful for the temporary accommodation.
So, after that, I went back to my landlady's to return the keys; made 3 trips back since she was not around.

Then about 5pm, I caught her at home and returned her the keys; expecting the deposit refund.
To my utmost shock, she refused to return the deposit
"No, I cannot return you the deposit"
"But you said yesterday that you will return once I move out on 30th and return you the keys???)
"Ohhh, that was an accidental hasty reply. I talked to my son last night and he said No, I was stupid to return deposit for such late notice"
I argued that my case was different, I felt threatened to continue my stay in her place since the locks were not changed. Also, I reminded her that previously we did object and raised our concern before she rented out the place to that couple which went unheeded and thus this incident forced the sudden move.
"You need to give me 1 month's notice before moving out"
(Do you honestly think I can actually predict the guy will commit suicide last month???)

I argued in a civilized manner; in fact, VERY politely with her that I fulfilled whatever she told me and she should do the same.
"No, you ask every owner - you need 1 month's notice"
"Yes, I understand that rule BUT the thing is...now, this is different. I asked you ahead and if you said No, of course I won't argue now. BUT, please bear in mind that YOU told me it's okay and that I need to move out ASAP by 30th; which is today and uponn returning the keys, you will refund the deposit"
Then I motioned to my friend who was in the car with a shake of my head and he came in as well to see the situation.
Then my landlady (she's an old lady by the way) started shouting at us...I tell you, she was shouting the same thing again and again...
"I told you, 1 month's notice!!! Where got such thing???"
My friend argued with her and she told him to shut up
"Nothing to do with you; you better 'diam diam'..this is between me and her"
She shouted at the top of her voice and refused to let us reason out with her......in fact, she denied all my grounds....UN-reasonable.
At this point, I was on the verge of tears since she was screaming and I was still trying to calm her down that I am not picking a fight; just that for my rights - and I do not have a place to stay
"Ah yee (aunty in Hokkien), if you cannot return the deposit, then you should have told me so to stay for another month. Now you forced me to move out in a day and refused to return my deposit....I don't know what to do!!"
"My son said NO"
"YOU said YES, and we always liaise with you. If your whole house has more than 10 people having their say, who do you expect us to listen to?"
"My son said NO yesterday..."
"Then you should've told me instantly so I do not have to move out...."
"I tried looking for you last night but you were not in and even this morning, you already moved out"
(LIAR....I was packing the whole night and was at home. I even chatted with G at night)
My friend chipped in "SHE was at home the whole night and this morning, we paced back and forth until about 10.30a.m; nobody came to tell us anything"
She kept saying she tried to tell me since last night....YEAH, right....
Then I kept telling her my case was different, this guy is dangerous and threatening. We lived in fear and in the dark on when he will appear in the house.
"Don't lie lar; simply make up stories...he won't do anything to you wan...his target is only his girlriend"
"NO....he's out of his mind....he's always scaring the whole house and the noise and commotion caused disturbed the entire household!"
"Don't simply say lar....you are okay until now...not injured or hurt by him at all; proves that he didn't do anything to you mar"
My friend snapped at her immediately...
"EXCUSE ME...of COURSE she is unhurt now...if anything happened to her, will we still be here calmly talking to you?I'd see you in the police station or court"
"Did you know she did not sleep for the whole week? She has been living in fear since the incident...and they never had peace since they moved in!!! That's your responsibility to bear"
"DON't LIE lar...." (denying every single thing we said)
"NO refund, no refund.....I have no time to talk to you anymore, don't waste my time..."
and she walked away.
I stood there in the compound, and waited while she was still screaming at the top of her voice at the back of her house.
Her daughter then came back (she's a teacher who teaches in the house I rented every weekend).
She smiled and heard her mom screaming.
I told her the whole story and she calmly said that we need a month's notice to refund the deposit.
I told her my situation and she understood; she even asked her mom in Hokkien
"Mom, did you miscommunicate to this young lady??"
Screams again!
Then she told me to contact her brother who is actually the owner of the house and I did, almost immediately.
Now, when I called him and told him my identity,
"In that case, I'd said NO. No 1 month's notice, NO refund"
"But Mr Ooi, please listen to my situation. I know the 1 month rule BUT I asked her yesterday and she commanded me to move out in order to refund which I did AND now, she's turning back on her word..."
"I'd still say NO; the house belongs to me"
"Mr Ooi, I think the situation here is , we as tenants do not know for a fact whom the house belongs to..all I know is, for the past 1 year I stayed here, we were told to contact the landlady for anything and OF course, to us, she's the owner. If she cannot make the decision, she should have told me so yesterday. I am just a tenant who has to move out immediately and frankly, I don't even have a place to stay yet!!
"I said, no refund....I have a meeting to go to now...my decision is final "

He hung up on ME!

Like mother like son....
At this point, I stood there in the porch helplessly and my friend told me to request for the keys in return since she refused to return the deposit.
So, I asked the grandson whether she can return me the keys.

She rushed out and demanded
"Why you want the keys back???"
I am LOST....
"Ah yee, you don't want to return my deposit, so now I need/forced to stay for another month. I need my keys back, don't I?"
"You moved out already, what for you need the keys?"
"I haven't found a place to stay yet and am staying at a friend's place. Instead of bothering people and since I still have a room here, I can pack some clothes to stay for another month"
"What for? You already moved out!!"
"Ah yee, I really don't know what to do now....you refused to refund me and insisted 1 month's notice and now I don't want the refund and continued to fulfill my term in the remaining month and you also refused?"
She grumbled and muttered...
"I will return you half month's deposit and you leave...that's all"
I just took the money from her grandson while hearing her screams as I left the place.....

I felt guilty and upset that the landlady got so worked up....it was the last thing I ever wanted- to create such a situation upon leaving.
However, I have my rights to defend and I am now alone in the BIG world, I cannot always give in to everything; I need to stand up on my own as well.
You may think I am wrong but I think that my landlady's the one being very unreasonable and confused.
I am a victim there and I just hoped for some empathy....she cannot see the situation or fear we went through as she is rich and her daughters are staying with her.
If her daughter is in my situation, guess she will not say it so freely that "nothing will happen, the guy's only after his girlfriend"

SIGH....how I missed my home in KL.....I am really exhausted by all this turns and events.....and last thing was for old people getting upset and shouting at me....
I swear, I definitely used a soft tone throughout the entire conversation with her....BUT....SIGHHHH....

Anyway, now I have officially moved out and G will be moving out by the end of this week (she managed to find a place too...)
Practically the whole house is now empty - no one is renting the rooms despite the location which is pretty near to USM.
As G mentioned, it is an off-season as all the students have settled in their accommodations....well, what we really think is, this is not a place worth staying...(not judgmental on my case); ask all my previous housemates and they'd tell you the same thing about the landlady's behavior which I now finally believe....
So if you want a hassle free environment, really, just stay away......