Soot on the Wall

Sunrise/sunset: 11:16/12:37 Daylength: 1hr21min

You will hopefully be amused to hear that I had a bizarre new update this week in my dispute with my ex landlord.

(Related posts for anyone who wants all the lowdown: Cows in the Field , How Much?, Don’t Try This at Home, Mixed Emotions).

The time for sending in evidence is long past, so when a letter pinged into my Digibox account (in Norway, secure letters are generally sent electronically) from Husleietvistutvalget (HLTU) I assumed that here, finally, was the judgment. I was out at work when the letter came in, but I waited until I was home to open it, and when I did, I discovered it was not the judgement at all.

As background, I was copied in to a letter, a while back, which HTLU had sent to the ex landlord. He had been sent my last statement (submitted before the deadline) and HTLU wanted confirmation that he had received it.

Instead of sending confirmation of receipt, the ex landlord had sent another “evidence statement”. This, HLTU confirmed, had been sent after the deadline and therefore would not be considered when the evidence was examined, but they still wanted him to confirm that he had received my statement. Later the same day, I was copied into another letter, which indicated he had called HLTU and no longer had to send confirmation as they would accept the fact that his opening of the letter in Digibox was indication enough.

The new letter, which I received on Wednesday, had a short explanation at the top, which roughly translated said:

Ex landlord has informed us that his pleading of 24th November has not been sent over for information. We apologise. Attached is ex landlord’s pleading of 24th November, for information. The case remains in the queue for a decision.

I am beginning to be quite fascinated by this. There was little new evidence sent. In his previous statement, he had claimed the ancient cooker in the flat had been bought in 2018. He had sent a receipt for a cooker as proof, but unfortunately for him, I was able to demonstrate that the Gram cooker in his receipt was not the Zanussi cooker that was visible in one of my photographs of the flat. In his new pleading, he “explains” that he had been so excited by finding the receipt, that he had sent it, not realising it was the wrong one. He claims the cooker in the flat had, nevertheless, been bought in 2017 or 2018. He had asked both the electrical appliance shops in Finnsnes if they could find a receipt, without success. He therefore thought the cooker must have been bought from a shop in Finnsnes that had since closed down. Honest guv….

At the end of my previous response, I had commented that I was pleased he had stated he hadn’t actually bought a replacement vacuum cleaner. My understanding was that in Norwegian law (case law, I think, found on a solicitor’s website) the landlord in such a case had to show actual financial outlay. If there was no financial outlay, therefore my belief is that he can’t claim any money for that object. He said he wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Given that he has been preening himself throughout for being Norwegian and therefore having superior knowledge of how everything works in Norway, I found this rather ironic.

But my very favourite “evidence” was his response to my comment that, if I had set the cooker on fire, as he claimed, there would be soot on the wall behind it. He had previously sent a picture of an electrician mending the electrical contact behind the cooker and the wall was (in my opinion) very clean for a wall behind a cooker that I supposedly left dirty and which should have been fire damaged.

So he sent a picture of the soot. It was difficult, he acknowledged, to show it in a picture. The picture at the top of the page shows part of the photograph he sent, but for the avoidance of doubt, I will show you the unclipped picture.

All in all, though I am slightly worried about his state of mind and where he might take all this, if he doesn’t get his way, I can’t help feeling that, with every new move, he is shooting himself in the foot more. Indeed I will be sad if they don’t take his evidence into account, especially as he has now insisted that procedure be followed and they must send this to me. What possible reason could he have for such an insistence that I must be sent this? I think I acknowledged earlier to HLTU that I felt sick every time I got a letter from them. If he has that information, the only reason I can imagine he wanted an additional letter sending was to cause further distress. I do know, however, that if I was dealing with this case at work (I don’t deal with this type of case, but assessment of animal welfare cases is part of my job) I would probably have drawn quite significant conclusions about who was likely telling the truth and who was an arsehole.

Anyway, other than that, it’s been a pleasant enough week. Officially, the sun came up yesterday and will come up again today, but I have barely been outside during daylight hours and therefore haven’t taken any photos. I thought I would look back at some photos I took last year and the year before, to compare this winter with those. I was surprised to see that in January 2020, there was almost no snow. Quite the contrast with this year.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope you have a good week.

1 thought on “Soot on the Wall

  1. I know people like that. They are not happy unless they are causing someone else misery. When we moved to our ranch in 2011, we had one neighbor after the other sue us over the water, that we had absolute rights to, guaranteed sine 1957. But we still had to go to court with each one. We learned all about Colorado water law, and defended ourselves, because each time, we did not have $50,000 to hand over to an attorney. It was gut wrenching, but we won every single case! So I understand your feelings entirely!

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