Bakery Day 162 – A year in review: The landlord

I thought about this entry many times.. many many times… and even as I write it, I think to myself, Dave, it is better to just focus on what you have and forget about the troubles. But, that only serves me. It does not help anyone who may want to start their own business, and help them see things that could potentially happen.

As you may recall.. things did not get off to a good start with the owner of my space. Before I opened, one day I went in to the bakery to do some work and found a leg of a lamb he decided to hand in my refrigerator. Without even telling me he was entering the building.  He did this again two weeks later with the freezer in the basement mind you.

Over time, we have had some problems with the building and some he addressed, but many he did not.  The two biggest being the water in the basement, and the repairs from the three times we were broken in to.

I sat down with him many times, trying to have an adult conversation. Trying to make lemonade, and he either gets angry, or just yeses me to death and does nothing. Many times when Sandy speaks with him alone he is rude to her and raises his voice.

The culmination for me was just over 6 weeks ago. I sat him down with Sandy and told him the following. I love the space and love being there. I put a lot of my own personal money in to making it a nice place, and removing the horrible stench, and dirty nature that it was before. But the problems of the water and the doors must be addressed. They are foundation problems so my insurance does not cover them. I found out, he does not have insurance like he is supposed to for the building space so any time there is a problem, it is money out of his pocket. (Let me side note here: my insurance for the year is under 400 euros and even covers income for us in the event we cannot execute the business for whatever reason. It is ridiculous to me he does not have insurance).

Anyway… I told him in one week I wanted a plan to have these issues resolved and he yessed me again. A week passed.. nothing. Another week passed.. nothing. Then the third week I asked Sandy to talk to him.  So, she sat him down and calmly addressed yet again the issues. I was not with them and did not know what he said, but he got very angry with her and said, and I quote, “if you do not like it, just leave.” In short, he does not care if we maintain the space or he takes it back over. Of course, now that it looks nice, he knows he can rent it for even more money to someone else and just does not care.

As a side note, in the past four years or so, he has had five tenants. Why on earth could this be?

The water in the basement is causing mold. That mold is coming up the steps and ruining all of our storage stuff, including bags we use for customer purchases. I cannot use bags that even have a remote change of being moldy, under any circumstance. Also, many of the things I put in the basement in storage are ruined from the water, and yet again, he does not care.

The doors are still broken. Almost every night I wake up stressed and worried someone will break in so I log in and look at the cameras. He just does not care.

A little over a week ago, I saw him and we had a huge fight because of this, but mostly because of how flippant he was and told Sandy we can just leave. He kept raising his voice (especially with her) and tapping her with his hand, like she is one of the boys.  No respect for women whatsoever!!! Finally, I told him he was not a good person and he was no longer welcome in the bakery and to leave. He screamed at me and I shut the door and turned my back.

I forgot, he said if I do not pay the rent he will turn off the electric. It turns out there is a main switch for my electric outside of my space that he has control of. “I did it before and I will do it again.”  The good news is, I found out that I can go to Guardia Civil and immediately file a complaint. They take this very serious and he cannot violate my rights. If he does, they have made it clear they can arrest him. Or anyone who violates this agreement.  Oh I hope it never comes to this.

Here is the thing.. I do not want problems with him. I love the bakery. I love the space, and I love building something that I deem to be special.  It hurts my feelings to have to fight with him over dumb stuff. Moreso, dumb stuff HE is responsible for.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why he would not want his renter to be happy so he can have a long relationship and not worry about month to month problems. Before we opened to the public he said he wanted to fix up the basement for us, but he did not. He said he would paint it, fix the walls, the circulation, etc. He did none of it.

And finally, I know one of his family members has been reading the blog posts, so I address this directly to that person.  Try to read my words with an open mind and speak with him. Explain to him the things as I explained them above. Help turn something bad in to something positive. He owes us an apology. He owes us support. And I think, if he cares at all about integrity, he will solve this without me continuing to get my lawyer involved (which he said he would ignore and did not care).

That is my stress with my landlord. I really wish and hope he changes one day soon so we can put all of this in the past and I can focus on the business. Not him. Not foundation problems.

Thank you for yet again reading along <3


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