The Joy of Renting
About a week before I was due to go on holiday I received a phone call.
“Hello Sue, my name is Nadia and I’d like to arrange a meeting to talk to you about selling the house”. After 2 years of renting, this was how we found out that the landlady had decided to put the house up for auction!
Since that call we have had nothing but trouble. Nadia did not turn up for the initial meeting (which I left work early for), correction she did turn up, put a ‘For Auction’ sign up on the fence, got in the car and drove off without even a knock on the door tell us what she was doing or to cancel the meeting. When I rang to complain she tried to tell me that I’d got the date wrong then tried to rearranged the meeting for the bank holiday Monday.
“You do realise that Monday is a public holiday?” I asked
“Oh” she twittered ” I wondered why I had no appointments that day” !!!!!!!!!!!
We finally met, discussed and agreed viewing times (every week for a month and 2 x a month Saturday and Sunday), the auction date and a 10.00am meeting the day after we came back from Tasmania, for someone to measure the property and make a floor plan. I figured that if they came early I could unpack the car, wash the tent, do laundry, shop for food etc etc later in the day.
“When you come back we will organise the auction board and photographs” she said and tottered off in her high heels marking the wooden floor boards as she went.
After the holiday in Tassie with no internet access or phone coverage I checked my emails – she had only confirmed the date of the first viewing and a 1.00 appointment for the photographer to come around that day. I rang her up.
“We agreed 10.ooam not 1.00pm – and I thought it was a person measuring for a plan.” I said – She emailed me back saying she had rearranged for the next day but could not give me a time. Now we had plans for both days as it was my birthday and had taken holiday to enjoy ourselves not wait around for photographers, measureres etc. I emailed her back – ” Sorry this is inconvenient, but we are available on Thursday and Friday after work at 4.30″.
What followed next was a string of abusive emails from her telling me that I was being obstructive. I emailed back and told her she had every right to give me 24 hours notice, use keys she could get from the landlady and come into the house. The return email threatened me with legal action and changing the locks. Then I received a phone call from our letting manager
“Why are you not allowing her access?” she asked. I sent her the emails, and all the agreed dates with a detailed explanation. I then told her that if this behaviour continued I would request a rent reduction, or get a restraining order if Nadia even thought of coming into the house without giving 24 hour notice in writing or call the police if she attempted to change the locks without following the correct procedures through the court (as you can probably tell I had taken legal advice by then).
Things calmed down until the first viewing went ahead. Guarding our possessions, because they don’t provide extra staff to do that as people walk around, we happened to check the internet advert for the house.
“I see you have changed the viewing time for next week” Mitch said to Nadia At this point she more or less called him a liar. He showed her the screen and there was the advert stating that viewing time for the next week was 1.5 hours long at 12.00.
“That’s wrong” she said and started making phone calls.
Then we read the auction board again and realised that she had also changed the auction time – I’m not quite sure how we missed this as it dwarfs the property. The board also showed any would be burglars our possessions and any nosey neighbours how much rent we pay (how considerate of them). But that is not all, according to the blurb I currently live in a 3 bedroom house with a car parking space (the equivalent of gold dust in this area). Amazing, for 2 years I have resided in a house and not realised that the car would fit into the half meter wide side entrance and that I have an invisible room – just like Hogwarts in Harry Potter series (the room of necessity). Of course I realise that I wouldn’t know about it until I was in real need and obviously the amount of times I’ve cursed about the lack of space/storage was not cause enough to make it appear. Still I hope that it will show up when we are given notice to leave as at that point I may well need somewhere to live.