Friday, May 25, 2012

No wonder lawyers are the butt of jokes

On Monday, I sent an email on behalf of my parents to their (now former) landlord, requesting the return of their deposit.

I receive an angry email chain written by him and his lawyer describing our request as being ludicrous since he had to pay the bailiff to shut us out and he's lost income during this half-month ordeal.

So basically, the landlord increased my parents' rent by 40-percent (which is illegal, I hear), then locked them out with no prior written warning, then threatened to take us to court. When I called his lawyer to confirm all this, he said he'd throw us a lifeline: 

"We keep your deposit, you pay me a thousand dollars, and [my client] will agree to forget about the whole thing."

I was taken aback: That's blackmail! My mom says if he wanted to sue us, why hasn't he gone ahead and done it? He keeps threatening to do it.  When I initially spoke to his lawyer, I brought up that my parents aren't the most tactful because they're immigrants who have trouble with the language, so they can come off cruder than intended. He says, "I'm Hungarian and Hungarians like to bicker. But this is Canada, you have to do it by the standards of this culture."

I know the landlord already treated my parents like crap because they're "stupid immigrants," but they're fighters and don't take things sitting down. 

Initially, I was sympathetic to the landlord because I know how frustrating it is to deal with my parents. But the more I understood the situation, the more I saw it as someone who felt entitled to being a bully and wanted to beat my parents into submission. I don't care how crazy my parents can be, they don't deserve to be treated like this: they know their rights and their way around a courtroom. 

My parents retained a lawyer and plan to sue the shit out of them. "Who does he think he is?" my mom said. "A Chinese loan shark?"

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