Help!! Need your advice & prayers.

We live in a 6-plex. I think it was built to be a double, but sometime they split it into 6 apartments. There are 2 hot water heaters for the whole place–the bottom 2 apartments on 1 heater, and the top 4 apartments on the other. The top hot water heater has broken down at least once in the past week, to the point where there is *no* hot water at all, all day long. Other times, it works, *but* if *anyone* turns on their hot water, you lose yours and you’re stuck with cold water until they shut theirs off.

I’ve complained. I’ve been told that it’s not getting fixed, and “since you’re on a month-to-month lease, you can just move.” Ouch. I pay my rent. I have tried to improve the community. I work tirelessly for my landlord in the church, to the point where I have cried with her in her kitchen after the flood. I’ve tried to help her salvage her ruined photos of her children. I’ve invited her in, dined with her and loaned her books.

Yet, she told my husband to “just move.”

I wanted a lesson in charity, and I think it’s being tested right now. I am trying to be a Christ-like woman. I am striving to allow Him to guide me, and to use me in His service. As the RS President, I have to tread carefully. My landlady is a convert to the church. I am under the microscope. The way I see my options, I can:

1. Research the local landlord laws, and possibly report the substandard water heater. This will cause all sorts of trauma, and possibly make the relationship more strained.

2. Just move. This is costly, and the market here is very tight. It could end up for the best, or it could be a costly choice. Not to mention, I’ve got a 4 month old so packing this house won’t be an easy task. This all comes at a time where we are already tight on money, to the point of me looking for part-time day care work, so both time and money are of the essense.

3. Try to sit her down and talk and try to find some kind of compromise. I don’t think she has the money for another heater, and she is very quick with her emotions, so this will take *alot* of patience and help from Christ. It could entirely backfire and end up with me getting yelled at, or told to just move again. I think if she could fix the hot water situation, she would. I really don’t think she can financially. She’s still got 2 houses ruined in the flood, and numerous other issues in the rentals.

It breaks my heart. I am hurt. I never wanted to hurt her, yet I am seriously sick from not having hot water. We’re not in Romania (or many other countries where hot water is a luxury). Not to mention it is getting quite cold here in PA lately. I’ve been wearing a sweater or long-sleeves for a week or so.

Ideas, anyone?? I’m open to suggestions. I’m also open to prayers.

About jaimeanne

I'm me. Graphic designer extraordinaire, urban master teacher of social studies, former adjunct professor, high school principal, and now most importantly-- Mom to the cutest little girl ever. I try to live by the quote, "Work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching." I believe in Christ, and sometimes I'm just trying to figure out what He wants me to do. This blog chronicles that journey.
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12 Responses to Help!! Need your advice & prayers.

  1. bonnieq says:

    Jaimie, I am reminded of God’s Word wherein we are told, “Why do you not just suffer the injustice, rather than risk offending God and losing your salvation.” Please note that I am paraphrasing.

    Basically, what God is saying is that as His witness, His ambassador, overlook the evil and give good in return: “give good for evil.” Your husband has already talked with the landlord and was given the option to move. So, I would suggest a great deal of prayer for this woman and I’d keep a bit pot of boiling water on the stove.

    Perhaps, you and the other tenants sharing the hot water might get together to determine if there is a way each tenant could have a specific time for using hot water; thereby leaving hot water for the next tenant’s timeframe. If the hotwater heater is electric, there would need to be 2 hours of no use between uses, in order to recover. Well, even a gas waterheater would need recovery time.

    Also, perhaps all four of you tenants could donate to the cost of a new, larger unit. If so, this could be presented to the landlord, because replacement could not be done without her approval.

    In the interim, Jamie, I am praying for you and the others affected. By the way, your little baby is darling; as darling as her mother. 🙂

    Love in Christ,
    Truth Seekers and Speakers, link on blog
    Unicorn Haven, link on blog

    • Patric Johnston says:

      This person is probably the absolute last person you should ever listen to or ask advice from. She spams everyone and then gives them horrible advice. Go to Google and type in “BonnieQ”. Everything that shows up is hilarious. She has been banned from several sites for poor advice, ignorant opinions and constant spamming of anyone who comes in contact with her. She claims she has all this experience, education and “background” yet can not produce any kind of document that shows reliable proof of anything she says. Her blog goes on for months without ever making a point and she has even been banned from Yahoo answers for telling people uneducated answers and then spamming the hell out of them about her nonsense books. The best part is she is one of those bible thumping “THE END IS NEAR” crack jobs. She even calls her readers “Ignorant Goats” and then wonders why no one listens to her. Personally I report her everytime I see one of her posts. I can’t wait until she gets banned from the entire Internet. I am sure it won’t be long ha ha ha!

  2. That is against the law!!! Call your local housing authority. If you submit in writing and mail a request that they have to sign for that you want it fixed they HAVE TO FIX IT! It doesn’t matter if you are on a month to month or not. If they kick you out complain to the housing authority. Let them know you complained to the housing authority and better business bureau. Document everything, phone calls, letters…. Keep copies and a log of when you called, wrote, who you talked to… If you have to go to Legal Aide and complain. Legally you can call for it to get fixed yourself and send them the bill!! Yes you can!

  3. redhatmandan says:

    I think we’re going to go ahead and move out. That’s what is probably for the best in this situation. We’re going to look at places that are a little closer to work for me.

    Oh, and about Romania. Yeah, I went on my mission to Romania and during the summers, in a way to conserve….well, i don’t know what they were trying to conserve, but, during the summers, they would completely shut off the hot water for a month and a half or so! Yeah, those morning showers were quite envigorating! 🙂

  4. jaimeanne says:

    Kathleen Marie– Thanks for your advice. I’ve done that before in NYC when I didn’t have heat in the winter of 2000. We did the whole withholding the rent, to escrow it, before we went to court and all. It was messy. I’d do it if I have to, but I’m trying to be less confrontational in this situation especially because she is a member of my congregation. I don’t want rifts to occur within the congregation.

    Bonnie– Thanks for your advice too. I like how you think out of the box. I’d propose it to the other tenants, but one of those other tenants is the landlady. She doesn’t care if she has cold showers or not. The other two tenants are very close friends of hers. They don’t have the $$, and I don’t think they’d do it anyways because they would see it is stabbing the landlady in the back.

    I went and looked at 3 apartments today. I’m hoping for one. We’ll see what happens. I also heard from a friend that the job I applied for is debating between hiring me and another person–so I may be a workin’ woman soon too which will help.

  5. bonnieq says:

    Keep the faith, Jaimie; where one door shuts, God is already opening another. Be assured that God’s timing is perfect, while ours is flawed. So, do not believe what you see with your own eyes or hear with your own ears.

    There is a testimonial poem on my blog, “One Amazing Day,” which reflects just how perfect is God’s timing. I feel that if you read it, it will really encourage and lift your faith to heights you might not have even imagined. I think I posted it this month, but it could have been last month. LOL! I’m recovering from a broken back, so there are times when my blond, dyslexic brain does not engage due to pain. LOL!

    Much love and prayers in Christ,

    • Johnny Philips says:

      Ignore bonnieq. Do the right thing and complain. The law is on your side. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or you will fall for advice that people like bonnieq give. Bad advice. People like bonnieq have no right to say anything when they are that ignorant. Wow, bonnieq you need to clue in because all of those people can’t take showers at 2 hour intervals all day when they have to be at work at the same time. Get a life loser.

  6. jaimeanne says:

    It was one amazing poem. Thanks for sharing it. Mom–click on Bonnie’s wordpress site above. I think you’d really enjoy it. You both have a lot in common.

    I know another door is going to open. Just today I found the one apartment I like, is for sale in a price range we can afford, along with the other 2 apts. in the building. In essense, if we bought the property, the other 2 apartments will pay our mortgage if we can keep them rented. That would solve 2 problems at once. Tomorrow we call the realtor, so we’ll see what happens.

  7. bonnieq says:

    Oh, Jaime, how exciting! God always comes up with more than we even ask. He is so awesome.

    And, thank you so much for sharing “One Amazing Day” with your mom. Satan has been trying his best to kill me since I was 6 years old. I’m reminded of when I went down last year with a brain aneurysm and this year with a broken back: each time, I went down saying, “You aren’t winning this round either, Satan.” Then, I’m immediately talking with our Lord. Your mom might want to read “Blessings in Disguise,” about that brain aneurysm last year. 🙂

    Jaime, I have a really good feeling about the apartments. If it is God’s will, everything will go off without a hitch!

    Love in Christ,

    • Patric Johnston says:

      “Satan has been tring to kill me”

      Now that sounds like a stable, well educated and adjusted individual.

  8. Nettie says:

    I think you made the right choice. I hope you find the blessings you are looking for!

  9. jaimeanne says:

    Thank you all so much. We spoke with the realtor and the mortgage broker. I’m not so sure. Things are a lot shakier because it’s a multi-family home, which means no fixed interest rate which scares the beejeezes out of me.

    So we continue looking for the next open door. I think this is going to be (yet another) test of my patience.

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