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Email to Dad about letter from ex-landlord


In late August, 2009, the ex-landlord from my place in Kilkenny, Ireland sent me an email threatening to tell my parents about some money that he still wanted from me — money that he's not going to get.

I deleted the email, because it sickened me.

This is the email that I sent to my father in order to pre-empt any stress that John's contact might put upon himself and Mom.

If you get a letter from John Costelloe in Galway, or from the business where he works (Aquafact,) do not open it. Get rid of it. I'll explain. It's okay. I just don't want you to take even a minor bit of stress upon yourselves, because it's not necessary. Anyway, I'll tell you the tale.

The story begins, rather conveniently, back in the spring of 2007, and centers around the time I spent in America.

A friend and I had put in a bid to do some painting at 8 City Wall. The place needed it, and still does, along with some other work, none of which ever got done either. Anyhow, the landlady acted as if she was taking our bid seriously, but immediately before my visit home, she put in a counter-bid that was no good. There was no way we could accept it -- and she probably knew that.

That was just business hardball, and typical Irish landlord stinginess. Anyhow, I didn't really need the money for my trip. We let it drop.

Now, fast-forward to when I got back from America. Here's what I found: first of all, going up the stairs, odd-sized pieces of carpet tacked over the worn spots. Really tacky. Then, in my bedroom, something had changed. My computer speakers were upside-down. Freaky. What's going on. Then, when I restarted the laptop, it crashed. I think that part of it was just a coincidence, but it got me thinking strange thoughts.

Anyhow, I got a note from the landlady telling me, amongst other business, that she had entered my room to clean the curtains, "as we had discussed." We had not.

I was terribly upset with her and I wrote her a letter. Not a nice letter, as you can imagine. I don't remember anything about it specifically, but it was not friendly.

Quickly after this, John, her son, took over as landlord. He has hated me since we met. He has threatened me on any pretense, from the beginning of our contact.

Since December, there was an empty room in the house. This was not my responsibility, because (on good free legal advice) I had opted not to renew the lease in the summer of 2007. It was not necessary, did not offer me significant protection, and obligated me to care for all of the rent. But John would never accept that I was legally entitled to stay, without signing a lease.

John threatened me with eviction, illegally, since the summer of '07, and stepped it up in a nasty way in December of 2008.

I knew that I was not going to get any part of my deposit back [in summer 2009, when I was planning to leave.] It was unacceptable for me to give him a chance to keep it. (Okay, we kept a bit of the electricity bill, as well, because John had foolishly taken it into his name at one point when he thought he was being clever.)

In any case, there is a potential argument that I owe John money. I'm not going to give it to him.

He's threatening now to contact you. It's a miserable thing to do, over a minuscule amount of money. I'd like to wring his neck, of course. But I won't — as long as you don't open that letter.

So don't do that. Burn it, throw it away, or some such thing. Give it to Jeff or Doug [my brothers,] if you want to. Let them read it and decide whether or not there's anything in there that you need to know. I guarantee there's not — but they can corroborate.

Just don't open it, and don't worry about it. We can talk about this more if you'd like to -- and I'll assure you that there's nothing here that you need to concern yourselves with.

Okay, that's all. Thanks.