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The Impossible Landlord

April 15, 2013

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Q: I live in an appartment which has faulty heating. I am afraid if I complain the landlord will kick me out but I have been so cold this winter I must do something.

Munjiji: it is a matter of wisdom and how wonderful life presents such a specific situation. Clearly this is a tricky situation that you need to understand deeply, therefore ask yourself the question: what do I value most? Do you value the apartment and its convenience etc. or do you value standing up to the landlord and saying this is not acceptable? If you are clear that you can lose your place then you know your position but the complexity is when you are posed with a situation that you want to go exactly as you want it to go. So you want to change the landlord so that he is not bullying you and you also want him to do the work that is necessary without him asking you to leave.

Wouldn’t it be more exciting to think that you are still in charge of your life and existence and it is not in his hands so much that you are under threat or risking losing your home? Instead it is your discrimination and your choice to operate around the ignorance of individuals that operate in that way. So you have to say clearly that his behaviour is unacceptable but in doing that you may lose your occupation of the apartment but you’re ready for that because you feel so congruent about this truth.

Q: I feel I’m losing my dignity. However I have complained to the local authority about this. However I feel I’m being pushed through life.

M: Life always pushes!

Q: but I am wondering if the lesson for me is to just accept the situation of no heating for over two weeks and surrender?

M: surrendering to a landlord is not a good idea! It’s a bit of a joke but sincerely it is a beautiful question because you all do it very often you just surrender to the lost cause. Obviously this landlord in his capacity to maintain an apartment is a lost cause. Clearly he is unable to do anything and although we can look at this with humour it is very unpleasant to be in a cold environment.

Now what is your dignity asking? Is it asking you to set some limitations on the situation or is everything really being moved by your fear? If everything is moved by your fear you are surrendering to the landlord’s will. You need either dignity or fear, there is no room for both as they do not get on together!

Dignity calls for taking risks and operating in accordance with what you respect and value. Really what the other person is doing is relative. You need to act in accordance with your integrity and what you value and also identify the trembling element that makes you feel smaller, that makes you ineffective; that is the fear. As we said at the beginning you may want it as you want it but there is another person involved and human beings are complicated. Your landlord is not going to do what you expect because maybe he’s never done it before and he’s not going to do it now. So in whatever way you interact with him and whatever decision you take you have to take into account that you can operate with dignity if you are willing to risk it all. To lose the apartment. But if you’re not able to do this we are not suggesting that you invite a risk that you’re not capable to do that’s why we are asking: what is your integrity? If you feel that you cannot face the risk then the only thing to do is to soldier on and battle with it and make plans to either make the best of the situation or to move on. The key element here is that what usually stops people leaving a situation is the hope that it will get better without making strong changes. So there is always the hope that the other person will change and suddenly become very caring and sorting out everything, but that does not happen. So you have to look straight at what the situation is because then it is less complicated.

Fear Weakens Intention

If you act from the position of the fear of losing something then it will weaken you, it is inevitable. As soon as there is fear there is a weakening of your intention. It’s a law. Once you are clear that you’re standing in your dignity and that you are congruent with that watch out for the fear which makes you only act halfway so that you’re neither here nor there, then you’re not staying with integrity. This is because you are fearing an outcome that is coming anyway. So you see how blinding fear is.

Fear Fosters Victimisation

Often it paralyses people for fearing an outcome that is coming anyway. If they could see through their fear they could change it and not be a victim because fear fosters victimisation. Don’t give in to fear. This is a fine dilemma to strengthen your spiritual muscle. It is giving you a kind of puzzle, one of those cubes, to unravel which you could call the impossible landlord and no matter which part of the puzzle you pull it seems to affect another part that doesn’t work properly, it’s like a game isn’t it.

Once you are clear you’re ready for anything and in any case there are always other possibilities. Believe in yourself, believe in your integrity and other opportunities. Don’t look at what the landlord is doing instead look at what you are doing. Redirect your gaze and strengthen your way of operating.

Editor’s note: the questioner sent us this update :

Dear Richard and Letizia, 

it’s such a coincidence that just now you are posting “the impossible landlord” . That’s why I am writing about the further development:
 
First i decided to take that risk of loosing the flat.
I said yes to the man from the council to call the landlord.
I took the time, pushed away the fear and looked closely at my financial situation –  and decided to accept the offer
to rent the flat next door and a downgrading of the living space.
Now I am waiting for have the contract in hand and to deliver my notice.
 
Deep gratitude for your help.

From → Pain & Confusion

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