So, as I said we are moving to a bigger home.
But, we have to tie up the inevitable loose ends at our current abode before we move in to the new house in a fortnight.Easy peasy right?
Our Landlords can only be described as dodgy-in fact I would hazard a guess that when John Sullivan wrote the character of Del Boy, he must have met our landlord. Its just our Landlord drives around in a something a little better than a Reliant Robin.
When we moved in, we moved in a hurry, as the lease had run out on our old home, and Edward the Littler was in SCBU and so our mind was not on thoroughly house hunting. It basically involved me, a phone, the newspaper and ringing round what was on the list. And our current house was the only one not taken that week. We phoned on the Wednesday, had a look on the Friday, and moved in on the Saturday.
Now the house had not been done up in years. The carpet was, to coin a phrase popularised by the late Jade Goody "Minging". It was very obvious that the last tenant had had pets but were not so great at training them to pee outside. It had once been a cream carpet (a cheapo one usually found in rented properties), but now it was more of a dirty grey. The kitchen had grease stains all over the paintwork (what colour it had been only became clear after I spent a morning with a bucket of soapy water and a sponge).
The thing is, when you're sleeping in the bottom bunk of your (10 year old) nephews bedroom, with your partner and 2 year old daughter, after having a Cesarean 3 days beforehand and with another child ill in hospital, details like carpet pale into insignificance, as it was really a case of "has it four walls and a roof?, yes, that'll do".
The landlord did promise to clean it. Never happened though.
Our Neonatal nurse took one look at the carpet and got very angry indeed. She pointed out that any possibility of infection needed to be removed as it could spell a relapse in Edward's health.
So we asked if they would replace it.
This is when alarm bells started to ring.
The answer was a curt "no" as they had spent their contingency fund repairing our opposite neighbours roof.
So we asked if we could remove the carpet as there was floorboards underneath.
They didn't have a problem with that as long as we put it down again when we left.
So we dutifully (oh, OK, my other half and his brother removed while I laughed from the upstairs) removed it and stuck it up in the attic.
Now we get to when we had the snow.
And our boiler broke down.
And we had no heating.
For four days.
We rang the landlord 6 times. We had got to the stage where Edward was wrapped in four layers of clothes and a duvet, and we couldn't let Chrissy play out in the snow.
They didn't even bring any electric heaters over until the afternoon that the boiler repair man came round.
He even told us that the last time the boiler had broke down, he had recommended they pay for a new one, as it was so old it was costing us and previous tenants a fortune in gas bills.
At this point, the landlords wife phoned about the boiler, on the pretext of checking it was still working. But then she delivered a fatal blow to us ever wanting to renew our contract. She told us that the owner of the house, her son in law, was effectively skint, and that if we had to ring about any repairs to the house again, we would have to move out. Yes, move out.
So now we have electrics that constantly blow fuses, a washing machine that mysteriously only washes clothes properly if the boiler is turned on and right up, and a front door that you could blow on and it would open.
So when they gave us a two months notice letter we really didn't shed any tears. I cannot wait to move, in fact that the packing is more or less done.
But now, they don't want to give us our deposit back.
First they said that provided the house was in the same condition it was when we moved in (so must remember to throw fat up the walls of the kitchen and allow Chrissy to run around nappiless) we could have half of it back, as the other half was our first months rent. Now we have to claim housing benefit due to Edward the Littlest, so that had been paid by the council. But for weeks since we got the eviction notice, despite the fact we showed him the documents saying he'd been paid it by us and the council, he called us liars.
We literally had to drag him with us to a meeting with a lady from the council before he'd believe it, and even then he tried to question her!
The next thing is the sodding carpet. Grrr.
As I said, they refused to replace it, even though it was disgusting, and said we could put it upstairs and then put it back when we moved.
Now, they are demanding we replace it with new carpet! And they want to take half our deposit again for that! Even though we've rang up carpet right and it will cost with fitting 280 quid to replace. Not 875 quid!
Edward the Elder would prefer to just do as they've asked, but there's no bloody way I'm paying for it all. After all, I've seen dog blankets with less dirt than that carpet!
So instead I'm getting my Mummy Mouth on! I'm telling them what for, pointy finger an' all!
I will offer to either pay for half the carpet, or they can take a hike! I'll even get a letter from my nurse who told us to get rid in the first place.
So, let my experience be a lesson to you- never do stuff over the phone-ALWAYS get it in writing!
I'll keep you posted.