Little Blog of Calm.

In January, we paid £600 to a roofer to fix the tile, sort the flashing and repointing round the chimney and to clear the gutters out.

We moved out f the house in July, having put it on the market because we had to move back to Southampton. TUrns out, no-one can get a mortgage right now, so after dropping the price on the house and still getting nowhere, we decided to prepare it for renting out.

The house had been empty for a couple of months, so we were expecting it to be a bit cold. We did not expect it to be wet.
There was a massive leak in the bedroom ceiling and the carpet beneath was sodden. We called a different roofer out, one that the estate agent had recommended and he came to look very promptly. He got his ladders out, went up on the roof and told us that none of the work we’d paid for had been done. Moreover, we had a tree growing through the roof.

Now, I’m sure you’re sat there thinking “well why didn’t they go into the attic and check?” Well, the attic is inaccessible until such time as we build stairs up to it, so the only way we could get to it at the moment is via the roof. A previous owner had actually sealed the access point up, you see. Anyway, attempts to contact the previous roofers were fruitless. We had been royally ripped off. I saw them turn up and erect the scaffolding, even made them a cup of tea and gave them some homemade cookies and the bastards just sat there all day and did nothing.

TO add insult to injury, that weekend it decided to piss down like nothing on earth. So much so that the sewers couldn’t handle it – not having been looked after by Yorkshire water – and they burst filling our cellar, and several more up and down the road, with either rainwater, rancid black water or raw sewage, depending on the luck of the draw. Guess which we got?

We called Yorkshire water who came round and sent people scurrying into the sewers. They came back very quickly with high pressure water jets and attempted to clear away the fat, crap and tree trunks that had accumulated in the sewers. Bearing in mind that it was the wettest day of the year, many people were flooded out – I felt particularly sorry for our next door neighbours who had just converted their cellar to a beautiful kitchen – and the main drainage was leaking, we couldn’t work out why, after 30 minutes, they stopped and disappeared. We called Yorkshire Water again and they told us that ‘they had run out of water’. Irony, thou art a heartless bitch.

Now, unfortunately, we had to leave to get back to Southampton but arranged for the carpets to be replaced and the cellar to be cleaned out out. We got back the following weekend and the carpets were laid in the hall and up the stairs . . . a bit bland for my tastes but okay for rental. People who rent don’t do colours, apparently. Anyway, we noticed that one of the grips had been installed incorrectly and instead of it being one sided, they put a two sided one down and left large shards of metal sticking up through the carpet. We contacted the contractor who said he’d get someone to sort it out. No probs, so we set about painting the kitchen floor. We did all but one small space that we couldn’t get to and decided to leave it til the following weekend to finish.

The contractor phoned us on Wednesday to say the job had been finished. We came back the following Friday and didn’t even look at the grip assuming it to be done. Andy finished the painting and we left, settng the alarm. When we got back after seeing friends, we noticed that the alarm was off and got a bit worried. No contractors should have the key and the estate agent wasn’t supposed to go in without informing us.

To our horror, we discovered that there were red foot prints all over the new carpet. It turns out that the carpet fitter had lied to the contractor about finishing the job. He hadn’t given the keys back, despite several requests and didn’t know we were going to being on Saturday. He also hadn’t banked on there being wet paint around.

What absolutely baffles me is that on discovering he’d traipsed red paint through the house, ruining the carpets he laid the previous week, he finished the job. He didn’t stop and call the contractor to say what had happened, he didn’t call us to say what he’d done, he just carried on and finished the job.

It’s not like we wouldn’t have noticed and pretty pointless finishing a job that he’d completely screwed up. It took a number of calls to sort out what had happened, including one frightening one to the estate agent who admitted that they hadn’t a clue where the house keys were – but it has been sorted. The contractor was amazing and was round sorting the problem out in minutes. His sub-contractor faired less well.

The house is now ready to be rented out, but what a farce!

Know anyone who wants to rent in Leeds?


3 thoughts on “Little Blog of Calm.

  1. As an ex-landlord, a word of advice – make sure you're in a Rent Guarantee scheme in case you get a bunch of feckless wankers like we did who had to be evicted owing 4 months rent, which, lucky for us, was covered by the scheme.

  2. We're going through an Estate Agent and part of the fee we pay is rent a guarantee thing. It ensure we get paid every month whatever and any arrears are owed to and chased up by the agents.

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