Thursday, February 28, 2008

What would you do?

Seriously, if you were in my shoes, what would you do?

I called the shop landlord this morning to see if I could arrange to pick up the keys for the space tomorrow. I have a check all made out to him for my first month's rent and all I need are the keys so I can get in there and start painting/papering/setting up. I was notified this morning that he doesn't know what's going on but the (almost) new landlord completely demolished the space and he has no idea when the work will be done. At this point the space is completely unusable and there's no indication as to when it will be ready. I asked the landlord to call the new guy and find out what the time table is for this whole thing. Keep in mind I was promised three weeks ago that the work would be done by March 1st and I'd have the keys in my hand.

The landlord called the new guy and the new guy told him that his contractor wouldn't put the new floor in unless they ripped up the sub-flooring and so not only is the floor completely ripped out, but his tiles aren't going to be in stock for a while. When I asked how long "a while" is, I couldn't get an answer. I told the landlord I'd be down tomorrow morning to talk to him in person and he was fine with it.

Fast forward to about an hour ago when I came home and had a message from the (almost) new landlord wondering if I'm even interested in doing this anymore. WTF??? This is a totally random call from someone who was told not to speak to me anymore by the current landlord. He mentioned that IF I am interested, they need to know where I want the walls put back up, where the outlets should go, etc. He also mentioned that the tiles are on back order, along with the "historically accurate" lighting fixtures he ordered for the space. According to this message, it will be "several weeks" before the work is done.

Now, three weeks ago when I signed the lease I was told that the work is started and it would be done no later than March 1st. NOW this guy wants to know if I'm even interested in going through with it anymore. Am I the only one who gets the impression that this is happening intentionally to get me to back out? He made it clear from the beginning that it's not worth his while to have me in that space, and I made it clear that I wasn't going to take his shit and eventually decided to stick it out and deal with it. And now this happens. Makes me wonder if he's planning to make my life a living hell if my answer is, in fact, yes, I do want to go through with it.

The current landlord is being played royally. He's really old and wants out of this building and he knows that this new guy will buy him out and keep the place alive. But at what cost? I get the impression that the new guys are telling him what he wants to hear just to keep him calm, but in reality, the story is completely different.

So, if you were me, what would you do? I'm meeting with the current landlord tomorrow to drop off floor plans showing where the walls go and where I need outlets. I have free reign to say/do whatever I want. I'm tired of being dicked around here and at this point I'm ready to throw in the towel. I need advice. Anyone feel like playing doctor this evening?

7 comments:

letitiah said...

I can't ell you want to do, but it doesn't sound like this jerk hole want you to want to leave. Who the hell doesn't honour a contract like that? These are some serious warning bells...

good luck with whatever you decide ....

Banana-head Pancake said...

OHMYHEADACHE!

it does sound suspiciously like you are being edged out. what do think this guy's motives are other than being a moron?

Do you have alternative's for a location?

I'll send you good wishes -ready? they are on their little way....

Persimmons Gal said...

Oh Kate that just doesn't sound good. Honestly I wouldn't do it. I am sure you could find another location! You really need to listen to your gut on this and I think you know what that gut is telling you.
Good luck to you!

Kate said...

Thank you so much, ladies! I really don't know what to do here. It seems like everyone has the same reaction that I'm having and that's to get the hell out of there and FAST! That's what my gut is telling me now, and that's what my gut was telling me back when I had these problems with him initially. Instead I decided to play the tough guy and stick with it. I really worry about long term issues with this guy.

Lauren, I think his motives are to get me to back out so he can raise the rent by a tremendous amount and actually make money off of this space. The first thing he told me when I initially met him was that he wasn't making any money off of my $1200 rent and it wasn't worth his while to have me there. I should have known then that he'd try something like this.

As far as another space goes, I don't have one in mind, but I look at it this way: I haven't invested a cent in this space so I'm not out any money, and seeing as how it will be several weeks before I can get into this space, I could use that time to find a different one, you know?

Thanks for your help, guys. You're the best. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Banana-head Pancake said...

I think you'll find a new awesome location. I'm pretty sure of it. And then I'll come visit when I in my hometown in MA - I think you are only like 45 minutes from there.
SO, cheers to a great store!

Good Girls Studio said...

That sucks Kate! I am soo sorry this is happening! I would run fast! IF you do take the space he will make your life hell for as long as you're there!

Sarah said...

what a freakin' nightmare! i am so sorry you're dealing with this asshat, but seriously it might be a blessing in disguise to have an opportunity to get out of this without losing any money. the worst thing that could happen is that you end up moving in, painting, papering putting in sweat equity and real money into a space that may end up just being a complete nightmare to be in because of the landlord. you really don't want to have to have anxiety over your store becuase of him. it should be a happy place with positive energy. unfortunately it sounds like he does not want you there. you should, and will, find a landlord who wants and deserves you as a tenant. mr. asshat does NOT deserve you.