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‘Well maybe I won’t install them then until you move out’. His words stunned me. I stood there holding the garage remote he handed me, the one which worked, and wondered what just happened. I went from being seconds away from having the house keys in my hand to losing the place. Just like that.

The lease agreement stated a move-in date of March 1. This was a week ago. However, the landlord let me know a week prior to the first that he could use an extra week. He assured me he could get everything completed in time. For some reason he also let me know that the cop neighbour begged him to rent the house to his friends who were moving down from Dallas. I wondered why that was relevant.

Sunday he sent an email informing me of more work to be done. I asked how much more. I heard nothing back until five minutes before midnight last night. Even then, my question was left unanswered. Until this morning.

As I walked through the house this morning I noted there were several items to be completed. I said the place was not move-in ready and he disagreed. The towel bar in the master bath needed to be purchased and installed as did the pantry door wire organiser which he forgot in his haste. In addition, he just informed me the fireplace was not functioning and he would not be repairing it as he did not wish to incur any further expenditures.

The garage he planned on painting as well. I looked about the garage and wondered where I would put my boxes as his tools took up one of the bays. At one point when we were in the kitchen, I explained to him that all of my belongings have been in boxes for the past two years. ‘Well maybe it’s time to get rid of your stuff’, came his reply.

I accepted the fact that the backyard fence would be completed after move-in. Something which would take close to two weeks. I did not expect him to have to return inside to install the bathroom cabinet doors, something he ordered online and which would not arrive until next week and would only be installed after his spring break vacation.

However, I expected the inside to be complete. To be truly move-in ready. He said it was. Which is when he rudely replied with his then not installing the bathroom cabinets at all. As he left the garage, I wondered what to do. Then I simply got in my car and drove off.

As soon as I returned home, I started to write him an email but then he sent me one twenty minutes later starting with ‘What do you want?’ and that I either accept the house as is today or he will cancel the lease and refund me all of the money.

I waited to respond as I was unsure what to do. In the meantime I spoke with the children’s father and looked online at a townhouse in the area I used to live last year. I scheduled to meet with the agent. It has no yard. It has no trees. There are three bedrooms but no office albeit the bedrooms are quite a bit larger than the ones at the house and can easily fit the children’s furniture with room to play. I filled out an application online but there are no guarantees as I am unemployed.

In one of the email exchanges to the landlord, I explained I was not happy with his reply and that I did not deserve such a response from him. I also said if he had simply answered my email and been honest about needing more time, I would have been willing to move in later. He replied later letting me know we simply were not compatible and he would issue me a refund then.

What to do now, I wondered. My children will be terribly disappointed although we will have access to the pool. As a mother I failed them. I let them down. With two weeks left until my lease expires, I wonder what other options I have other than putting everything in storage, having my children live with their father, and finding a room at Motel6 until I am able to find another home for us. Today was not a good day.