Patiently waiting. And getting worried.
24.12.2013. Christmas Eve. That’s the date my landlord got his first letter from Bekijk het! informing him about my started rent reduction procedure. Almost three weeks, later I’m still checking every day whether there’s a certain letter from the landlord. But no reaction.
I know that he has until the beginning of March to respond, but I have to confess that I’m impatiently waiting.
This new situation is somehow messing with my head. I hear the letter slot clapping although not even ads are being pushed through. When I hear a male voice in the hallway, I think it’s the landlord paying me an unannounced visit. Of course it’s just a friend of our downstairs neighbor.
It dawns on me that this procedure will teach me a lesson about patience. But it also taught me a lesson about my family and friends. While I got lots of support from other students living in Groningen, my family was a tough nut to crack.
When I first told my dad about my plans, he immediately asked whether I already have a new apartment in mind. I was confused because I, of course, don’t want to leave the place that I call home. We had one of the many discussions about whether I can get kicked out or not. In the end, he wished me the best of luck hoping that everything goes as I expect.
During my Christmas vacation in Germany, I told my friends that I just signed a contract to possibly sue my landlord if he is not responsive to my rent reduction claims. One of my friends looks at me with wide eyes. She is a law student in Germany and dead certain that my landlord will find a way to get me out of his place. But of course she keeps her fingers crossed.
After these encounters, I realized that to start such a procedure also needs a spark of recklessness and courage. With more life experience, as in the case of my dad, and more insight knowledge, as in the case of my friend, it gets harder and harder to abandon a safe place called home for not yet certain future.
Maybe I look back in a few years’ time and realize that my youthful enthusiasm to stand up for my rights didn’t bring me too far. But then it’s also a lesson that I learned from this experiment.