Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Revenge.....good, bad or ugly?

Remember I had mentioned that a lawyer had once suggested that since he couldn't do anything for me regarding a very vindictive landlady, there was one thing that I could do for myself.........revenge!

In a post a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that a very prominent lawyer in town had mentioned that "revenge can be good for the soul." And he proved to be correct......

You see, we, and a half dozen other tenants, were evicted from this building because we had officially complained about a rent increase. It was doubled when the building was sold and run by a very unscrupulous person.

We had every right to complain but we found out that she had every right to 'jack up' the rent as well.

To add insult to injury she started making up stories that all of us were destroying her building and the property around it. She even accused Ron and I of slashing her friend's car tires just because it was parked next to ours!

She also claimed that our dog at the time had 'attacked' a friend of hers. This dog, Regan, was a very docile creature who wouldn't hurt a flea.

So the games began when she took over the building. A few of us went to lawyers and we had our meeting/hearing with the Residential Tenancy Board. It was quite an eye-opener of an experience.

At the 'hearing' said landlady presented herself as this caring, thoughtful, good-natured human being. She explained why she had to raise the rent. They listened and agreed with her. And she was within her rights to evict us. We had three months to leave the premises.

So, Mr.Lawyer told me that there wasn't anything he could do except give me some advice which would 'help me heal' the disappointment of losing to this person.

He said that since the building was in terrible shape to start with, I could call every municipal building inspector that was available and lodge a formal complaint. So I did!

I contacted electrical, safety, water, and the fire marshal. They all condemned portions of the building and ordered immediate repairs to be made.

This of course infuriated 'landlady dearest' and she proceeded to do all she could to get us out of there ASAP! And because she did make us miserable, we found another place and moved.

So, did I feel better doing what I did? A resounding YES I DID! You see she knew she was pushing the limits of the law and was barely within it. But I guess that didn't matter to her.

Thinking back on this incident I kind of admire the courage we all had in confronting this situation. We were younger (it was 1977), energetic and were out to 'make the world right'! We tried....and learned a lot in the process.

And coincidentally, last Saturday morning I was listening to a CBC radio program called Strange Animal and they were talking about 'revenge'....is it good or does it have dire consequences for the avenger? 

One interesting point was the fact that men are generally better at revenge than are women. It is mentioned that historically men were always in the position to have to do this to protect their 'group'. 

Women did the nurturing of the family unit and left the confronting to the men.

If you are interested in this radio broadcast and want to learn a lot more about revenge, you can listen to it here.

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