Sunrise/sunset: 05:26/18:23 Daylength: 12hr56min
I have lost my case against Mr Abusive. This despite the fact that, in his evidence, he made false claims and even sent in the receipt for a completely different oven from the one in the flat. Ignoring the fact that I could demonstrate he was lying about some things (which should surely have cast doubt on everything else he presented) they have taken his word for everything. I will get my overpaid rent back, but they still want me to pay him about two thousand pounds.
I am reeling and I don’t really understand how we ended up here. I knew that there was some fairly damning evidence against me in one or two aspects of the case. A vacuum cleaner had been damaged when it was in the store room and we had patched and used it, then stupidly left it behind. That was probably the worst as there’s a definite implication I hadn’t looked after things properly, or replaced them when perhaps I should have. The cooker had also been hard used and there was soot on the fan (burning fat from grilling spitting burgers being the most likely culprit) though there certainly hadn’t been a fire inside it, as he claimed. Also, there were some large items (the shower cabinet being one) which we hadn’t moved out to clean. If you move out items that haven’t been cleaned under for two years, with a dog in the house, inevitably it will be messy. But I think they have taken that as evidence that I had been negligent and have extrapolated that to everything else, rather than considering each claim on its own merits. They don’t seem to have taken into account the fact that he lied into account at all, even though there was undeniable evidence of it.
It is at moments like these that I feel most isolated. I have John and Andrew here, but there’s very little they can do. I have also friends and they will offer comfort and advice, but practically there’s not much they can do either. If I take the case to court and lose again, I will be faced with lawyer’s fees on top of the two thousand pounds I have to pay him. It’s also unlikely, given that he does have some evidence against me, that I would end up with a clear-cut result, where I win and he has to pay costs.
To pay up without objections feels awful though. I know that he has lied. I suspect that some of his evidence was contrived. He showed pictures of dirt where I know there was none, and unfortunately I left him a vacuum cleaner and enough dust and dog hair under the seats on the sofa that he had plenty of “evidence” to plant. He has shown pictures of garden seats that were not in my garden and removed the leg of a table that was standing fine when I left it, but of course I have no proof of these things. If they have decided to take his word over mine, there isn’t much I can do to undo it. I took some photos after cleaning the flat, but they appear to count for nothing. They are not mentioned once in the judgement. I will put them on the bottom of the post so that you can get an idea of what a flat in Norway looks like that needs a thousand pounds worth of cleaning doing and which contains damaged furniture and other things that were in such a bad stated that it warrants two thousand pounds worth of compensation. Click on them and zoom in all you will. It certainly wasn’t trashed.
So how do I move forward? I spoke to my mum, who has advised me to pay, basically to get it over with. I am fairly sure that is what I will end up doing, but it rankles. In books, the bullies never win, but in real life, it seems they do, all too often and I don’t really know what to do with that conclusion. There are too many complicated things going on with my life at the moment and part of me wants to run away, but for a number of reasons, that isn’t practical and wherever I went, I would still be there and there’s a risk I’d end up somewhere similar again.
So it looks like I am going to have to swallow this bitter pill. In the country where tenants rights are supposed to be strongly upheld, where the landlord’s power and relative richness and ability to pay are supposed to be muted, I still find myself here. Having been shouted at and lied about, having paid large sums of money for renting out his basement (enough that it probably covered a good percentage of his mortgage payment for the whole house) having been bullied to the point where it has affected my health and happiness, I am now being asked to pay him more money. Sometimes, life is just shit.