August 18, 2008
My wife and I live and rent an apartment in Beverly Hills. It is on the top floor and has 1,650 square feet. It has windows on all sides. Because it has only 2 bedrooms, all of the rooms are very large. The living room is 18’ x 23’ and the master bedroom is larger than some living rooms, 16’ x 18’. There is a deck off the master bedroom. I call it “my New York loft in Beverly Hills.” I am not sharing all of this to brag, only to say that we love the space. We are attached. We have lived in this unit for fourteen years.
In April, in anticipation of my mother in law’s visit in May, we commenced with our usual house cleaning (yes one month in advance – some would call me anal for when we are done cleaning you could eat off the tiles on the floor of the shower stall).
In the process of cleaning out the closet in the second bedroom my wife discovered visible mold almost two feet high and about ten feet in length. We had not seen this before because it was obscured by all of the items in the closet.
She went downstairs to our neighbor and exclaimed, “Guess what I discovered?” The neighbor said that one month earlier she had her unit tested for mold and the lab report found high levels of toxic mold in her apartment; we should insist that the management company test our unit too.
The lab report came back and our unit also had extremely high levels of toxic mold in some areas. We called the City of Beverly Hills Code Enforcement and they called the Health Department. The Health Department found some structural issues in one of the bathrooms. The management company called a mold remediation company. The company determined that both of our bathrooms would need to be gutted as well as the ceiling in the dining room, half of the kitchen, the rear dressing room and closet and of course the closet where the visible mold was first seen.
On June 10th we received a letter from the management company that said,
Thirty Day Notice
“This is a thirty day notice in accordance with the Beverly Hills Municipal Code 07-0-2534 Section 1 that we intend to begin work in your apartment on July 20, 2008.
It will be necessary for you to leave the premises during this time period, which we estimate to be six to eight weeks.
Even though the Beverly Hills Municipal Code does not provide for relocation assistance for Chapter 6 tenancies, we have decided to make the following options available to you:
#1 During the work period, your rent will be abated; or
#2 If you wish to vacate we will waive all notice requirements, return your full security deposit and give you $1,000 to help with your moving expenses.
To all of you who are reading this and are renting, imagine that you have just received a letter from your management company or landlord telling you that you have thirty days to get lost and find temporary housing for eight weeks.
We were in shock; we couldn’t believe it. I called the Beverly Hills Code Enforcement Officer who told me that under the Means and Methods Plan for Tenant Protection the offer must be “fair and reasonable.” He told me that from his perspective what would be fair and reasonable would be for us to find a hotel, continue paying our rent and that the management company would pay the difference in cost for the temporary relocation. This person outlined a letter stating that we are already being inconvenienced by the move, why should we be inconvenienced financially. I felt fortunate and drafted the letter.
I researched short term residences within a thirty mile radius and almost all of them including Oakwood and other corporate communities, (which were far cheaper than hotels) were approximately $6,000 per month. There were additional costs for parking. Amazingly, almost all of them were completely booked for the summer.
Our rent is $2,550 per month so in the letter I did the math asking only for the difference in cost.
On June 25th we received a reply from the management company’s attorney. The short succinct version: “At this time my client is not prepared to cover any additional costs unless mandated to do so by the City of Beverly Hills.”
At this juncture we were really distraught. A colleague of my wife offered to rent a guest house to us for $1,500 per month. It was a lifeline of sorts but it was small and in Hollywood.
I was with Baba in San Diego on June 1st. In guiding us through the lemon ritual along with chanting Thiru Neela Kantum He said, “End this inability to attract money.” “End this inability to attract opportunities.” He then said that Subrahmanya (who I feel a very special connection with and pray to daily) interferes in real estate litigations.
My wife has witnessed and experienced many Miracles in the course of my association with Dattatreya Siva Baba but this time I could sense that the letters of June 10th and June 25th and our predicament were not the results we had hoped for after my being with Baba on June 1st. She was gracious enough not to say anything.
The tenant below us went to a doctor and was tested for mold in her system. High levels of mold were found in her body. She and her husband put $10,000 on a credit card and moved out.
Her brother is a real estate lawyer and was in communication with the management company and their attorney. The tenant on the first floor has an uncle who is a high-powered real estate lawyer in Beverly Hills. He too was in communication with the management company’s attorney.
At this juncture my wife and I were silently waiting for the shoe to fall but somehow within I felt that we would be rescued and in a dramatic way. I prayed to Subrahmanya “I do not have representation. YOU be my representative!” I asked that He destroy the Dark Forces at work and the forces of Greed. I asked that he make me fearless.
We then received some more frightening news. The Code Enforcement officer let us know and assured us that no work permits would be issued unless we agreed with a proposal put forth by the management company. At the same time he wanted us to be aware that the management company could give us a 90 day eviction notice for no reason at all.
I wrote another letter to the attorney, again appealing to his sense of fairness and citing the fact that in Los Angeles County when repairs need to be done that are not the fault of the tenant, for a two bedroom apartment the landlord is required to pay $12,000 along with other benefits; that we were not seeking this nor were we contacting an attorney.
The following day the woman who moved out sent me a copy of a letter her brother had written to the management company’s attorney. He had collaborated with the high powered attorney and together they outlined what they wanted. It was an amazing letter. It had a take no prisoners, authoritative quality about it. In reviewing it I noticed that my letter had almost the same exact content. (A former Guru suggested that I was an attorney in a past life).
The neighbor urged us to get a lawyer because the fact that I wrote letters simply did not carry enough weight. I started feeling sorry for myself that they were in the position to receive free legal services. My wife was more than understandably angry when she said, “If you were working we wouldn’t be in this situation. We could just move out of here for good; but you can’t fill out a rent application and say you are not working.”
Daily I kept praying to Baba and Subrahmanya and at times Subrahmanya’s image started to glow; it really seemed to come alive.
On July 11th we received the following letter from the attorney:
1. Payment for a 2 bedroom suite at Hilgard House & Suites and 2 parking places;
2. Abatement of rent during the relocation period;
3. $1,000 moving expenses;
4. H.E.P.A. vacuum cleaning of possessions;
5. The owner will take full responsibility for property left in the unit with the exception of cash and jewelry;
6. Reimbursement for utilities, telephone and mail service upon tender of proper receipts;
I am not being overly dramatic when I tell you that I felt as if the Red Sea had parted and we were being led to safety. In the Bible, in describing the children of Israel’s rescue from the Egyptians it says God rescued them with “an outstretched arm” meaning a Divine Intervention.
The monthly rental for this place in Westwood is $6,000 per month. It has two full bedrooms and 2 baths, a full kitchen and dining room and is on the top floor. It is almost the same size of our apartment. It comes with Continental breakfast daily and housekeeping three times per week!
By July 21st the unit was not paid for and there was only suite available. It was officially paid for four days before the end of the month.
A new challenge: The demolition in our apartment was scheduled for Monday, August 4th. The contractor told us that although rooms would be sealed off, absolutely everything in the apartment other than furniture had to be boxed and sealed.
Since the closets were being gutted as well as the kitchen every box in the apartment had to be gone through and every cabinet; every drawer.
Imagine having to go through fourteen years of accumulated stuff in seven days?! My wife has her south node in Cancer and it is in the 4th house of home so she tends to hold on to things. Remarkably her Sun in Scopio and Mercury in Scorpio kicked in and the elimination began. We worked round the clock and we both acknowledged that we were being forced to go through this process and had it not happened even if we were moving to a permanent residence we would never have done it; make a decision about every single item in the household. For there were only so many boxes available so decisions had to be made as to what was precious enough to merit saving.
Baba has used often used the word “effortlessly.” This move happened so fast it almost felt surreal; little things such as finding a rechargeable battery that has been discontinued became major things. We do not own cell phones so we created a message center whereby calls could come in and we could retrieve them required the land line phone in the house to work. The re-chargeable batteries decided to die; we went looking and were told “we don’t have these but try across the street” and boom they had two. We do not have a lap top, only a desktop and have used dial up. The hotel has free wireless. I was afraid that I would be without our computer. The hotel office manager told us “go buy this Dynex wireless adaptor, you put it in your USB port and you will have access to our high speed wireless service.” We bought the device and the night we moved in it worked. Baba has said, “And how will things happen? Very quickly!” So I am now writing this and the connection is 54Mbps. One of the rooms has a table that was perfect for an altar and an alcove which had a desk where the computer now sits. It seems like the place was made for us; everything fits perfectly.
At a party I was so elated that I told a friend. “It was a Miracle.” He replied, “It wasn’t a Miracle, something must have scared them.” I was so saddened by his response. For this all came about not as a result of anything I did. If “something must have scared them” then perhaps God put the fear of God in them. I am inclined to believe that God melted the heart of the opposing counsel for although the content of my letter was the same as the content written by the attorneys it was not oooomphy. It was precisely because it was NOT from an attorney; it was written as an appeal.
When we got the letter although my wife was delighted she said, “We got it on the coat tails of the attorneys” meaning she thought everyone received the same blanket offer; she was not yet ready to acknowledge the letter/offer a Miracle.
Four days after we moved in, my wife received a letter from her mother. In the envelope was a check for $10,000, a gift from my wife’s aunt.
In the Bible there is the word RUACH. It means wind. The word RUACH also has another meaning and that is “Spirit.” It is frequently used in a sentence such as “The Spirit of God was upon him.” So I would like to declare that the word “windfall” itself means it fell to you or is given to you by God. The next time you receive a windfall remember that the definition itself means it comes from God.
So how else do I know that this is a Miracle beyond the myriad things that have happened so effortlessly?
What happened to the tenant on the first floor whose uncle is a high powered real estate attorney (and whose mother is the former mayor of Beverly Hills)?
She did not receive any offer or counter offer at all. She is still living in what is now a vacant building.
And the demolition that was supposed to start on August 4th? Today is August 19th and no work has started so it appears we may be rent free for three months (not two); $7,650 after tax dollars that we do not need to pay.
Thank you so much Baba. We as devotees say “We are under Baba’s protection” but it is only when you are almost faced with being put out on the street that that point is brought home in a very dramatic way. Subrahmanya is a “protector of spiritual aspirants.” I have prayed to Baba to “make me the proof of the Work” and this He has done yet again.
I grew up in Brooklyn also known as The Borough of Churches. Next door to our new temporary residence is a church and real church bells ring EVERY HOUR; how is that for an hourly reminder?!
Yesterday in San Diego after the session Baba allowed me to share this Miracle story (succinctly) and asked me to write it up. “It will inspire others” He said.
I hate recapitulating but I will do so here; one day you receive a letter that tells you you must move in 30 days with no assistance; you appeal and get denied again; fifteen days after that you receive a letter granting all of your wishes and more.
In my experience that too, the “and more”, is another Signature of Baba’s Intervention. Each and every time I have been a recipient of a Miracle it has always been far more than what I imagined for myself. I believe it is to make it undeniably clear that it is the Divine Hand at work “see you wanted this, but you are getting abundantly more” and how did this come to you?