Monday, October 30, 2006

A hiccup

Many of you have been contacting us, interested in the lack of blogs lately. We have had a little "hiccup" in our time here and have been sorting it out. The night we arrived home from Washington DC, we received notice from our sublessor to leave our apartment and return the key by 6pm. We didn't arrive home until 8pm! John and I were broken. What were we to do? Return to Canberra where we had friends and family? Move into a hotel for a couple of nights? Camp out on the floor of friends' places? Having Colby with us made our problem so much bigger as 'dog friendly' places are harder to come by at short notice. The sublessor wanted us out and was refusing to return the three months rent she had (last month plus two-month security deposit). We were VERY concerned about a financial loss like that. We wondered whether it would be better to count our losses and head home, or to stick it out and take another risk on New York City. We managed to convince the sublessor to give us a week to find somewhere new (also to buy us time to find out what our legal rights are).
The next day at work, everyone was great. We had people praying for us, people on the phone to lawyers connected with the school, and people calling their landlords to find vacant apartments.
Legal advice told us that we did not have to vacate the apartment until the landlord had a court order. We also realised that the sublessor was actually in the wrong as she had not followed legal requirements in the terms of the contract. We were told that we should be able to have our money returned if we were to take it to Small Claims Court.
One of my friends from work had an apartment available in her building. It was being renovated, but they said they could have it ready for us. They were okay with us having a dog (it even has a small backyard for him). We said we'd take the apartment, even though it is in a different part of town and is smaller than what we originally wanted. We're really just glad to have a roof over our heads. While we could have stayed in the other place, we didn't want the court order! We thought we'd have a better case for getting our money back (and getting a new apartment) if we did all we could on our side.
After meeting with the sublessor again, she agreed to return 2 months rent and the third month after 30 days, minus any cleaning/repairs costs we incurred.
We are amazed yet again by how God has taken care of our situation. We have even had furniture provided by a number of people in response to our need.
We now live in the yuppie part of town - The Upper East Side which is a pretty area with shiny, expensive shops and happy families walking dogs. I'm sure I'll grow to love it, but I do miss the people of the Lower East Side - real people with real problems making the most of life in New York City.
So, we've come out the other side now. Things are back on track. Work's going well. Halloween is around the corner. And John has work on a film in Maryland. I still love this city!


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