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Sunday, February 14, 2010

got myself a threatening demand over sms

It has been a hot and really humid week. Early this week my air-con ran out of refrigerant. We got someone to top up the R22 and then the air-con worked. Later that night the air-con conked out again. We thought, jialat, must be pipe leaking. This was Thursday early morning. We couldn't get the contractor again to come on Thursday itself - checking for leaks means it has to be daytime, and they were already booked for Friday afternoon, the eve of the eve of Chinese New Year, when most contractors have already closed business since Thursday. My tenant, W, when I informed her that we are getting the air-con fixed again on Saturday. She said, "Why cannot come today? Another two more nights of suffering." I told her that no choice.

So Saturday it was that J got someone to come but the person couldn't make it in the end. When J called me - I was already here in JB by then - at the same time, my tenant got home and J rushed off the phone to go tell her that the air-con was not fixed.

She got upset and started complaining to J. J called me back to say so and that she would be calling me to talk about it.

She didn't call me. She sent this SMS instead:

I am very upset that the aircon is still not fixed today. My room is very humid and stuffy and I can't sleep and it is CNY! I will find hotel stay and deduct from rent this 15th.
I got really upset - what kind of a threat is this? She didn't call me to discuss her grievances and instead decided to demand me to reimburse her hotel stay over an SMS. I called her back and she didn't answer, she had taken sedatives and gone to sleep.

Since she didn't call me in the morning either, I SMSed her back - her preferred form of discussion so it seems - and so I wrote that she doesn't have to pay rental this month, her deposit (which is a hundred dollars short of the actual rent) shall be used for this month's rental and she should move out by March 15th.

She SMSed back, asking for more time. I wrote, no, I have already put up my room for rental on the internet for $600 (fully furnished, bed size of your choosing, internet inclusive).

She finally relented and called me. She said that usually I tell her once the air-con is fixed or not. I replied saying that I had only just found out when J called me and he immediately rushed off to tell her when she came home. She said she needed more time to move out, I said that one-month notice is very fair. She asked me to talk to her nicely, I got even more upset and shouted back at her, "Why should I talk to you nicely if you choose to send me demands over SMS? You gave me no chance to discuss the issue, instead you choose to send me demands. So if you want to demand things from me, likewise I will demand from you. If you need time to move out, then fine, pay me $500 for this month's rental (the rent is actually $450) and the next month until you move out."

Am I right to get upset? Her SMS quoted above is verbatim. I have never shouted at her before. But I think in this case I am justified to get angry.