No more renting
I really don’t know how it’s come to this but I’m pretty sure the landlords and/or estate agents are trying to force us out.
I can’t remember how much detail I went into when the landlords came to visit us in December, but basically, they were pretty annoyed that the estate agents lied to them about a bunch of stuff being sorted, e.g. the curtains the last tenants tore down, the gas fire being shut off, bits of wall missing in the family bathroom.
They said they were going to give the agency a bollocking, but didn’t seem to have any issue with us at all. As I’ve learned from watching numerous programmes about problem tenants, landlords generally give no shits as long as you pay rent and don’t trash the place.
We didn’t hear anything from the agents so assumed the landlords hadn’t got round to calling them (it was Christmas after all) or that maybe they were silently sorting stuff out.
Well, then we had to tell them when the central heating stopped working. They said they’d have to tell the landlords about it; this is, as mentioned before, fruitless because they live abroad and have hired the agency to deal with stuff on their behalf. But anyway, this seems to be when there was definitely contact between the landlords and the agents.
Because, later that day, Will got a phone call saying the landlords were unhappy about us having pets and a stairlift. They didn’t seem to care about either of those things when they were physically here, and we guessed that the guy had finally got a bollocking about all the stuff that was broken and missing when we moved in, and he was trying to unload some of it onto us.
They knew during our tenant referencing that we had pets, we met the previous tenants’ dog, when we were talking about whether the animals would enjoy the house, the guy from the agency literally went and pointed to the cat flap in the utility room door. Why the hell did these landlords install a cat flap if they don’t want pets? They never lived here themselves and it was a model home when they bought it. We were assured that this was a pet-friendly rental so this sudden attitude is absolutely bizarre.
They also knew I was disabled, I drove around the ground floor in my chair at the viewing, and we again told them very plainly that we would have to rent a stairlift.
Then there was that whole clusterfuck with the heating. Today, one of the agents comes round, to look at a bunch of things that were broken before we moved in, and he berated my mother-in-law about “how unhappy the landlords are.” I didn’t hear everything from where I was but soundbites include: “There were not any problems before, and animals just cause problems.” Except for the heating dying, everything was from before we moved in and had nothing to do with animals. “If they let you stay you’ll probably have to get rid of the animals.”
Ok, so, they don’t want us to stay then, and they expect our animals to disappear. He also said he couldn’t find anything about us being allowed pets, but after he left it took us 60 seconds to find it in the tenancy agreement. They are literally ignoring the evidence of their eyes and ears so they can pretend we’ve done something wrong.
Oh and apparently they are concerned the stairlift is “not safe,” whatever that means. Do they think I’ll fall off? Why do they give a shit? The law definitely isn’t on their side with that one anyway.
Looks like they’ll take us to court to try and get rid of Freya, Ozzy, and the cats but we’re prepared to fight it very aggressively because it’s complete bullshit.
When my MIL came into the lounge she said we were done with renting and in that same moment, I realised we definitely were.
I lamented about not being able to buy a house, and she brought up shared-ownership. I hadn’t previously wanted to do that due to the rent and stuff you still pay on the other share and the fact that you can’t adjust the outside without permission, and also, I’ve never seen a shared-ownership home that would fit us.
But then we did some Googling and sure enough, there is a 4-bed shared-ownership house. Will’s work would give us the deposit so we could actually just move there. The downside is he wouldn’t be able to change job for a while on account of them doing that, but on the other hand, we would actually own a house.
We could paint it and not deal with inspections and landlords breathing down our neck and threatening to pull the rug out from under us about previously agreed things.
We wouldn’t have a spare bedroom or extra downstairs space, or a garage, there’s probably a covenant forbidding backyard poultry, we’d have to streamline our furniture and it would be difficult for Will’s pool table to find a place to live. But it would be preferable to the way we currently live.
It probably means leaving town, too, which is kind of sad but also inevitable. I was so lonely here for so long, I finally met people who I thought could be good friends but they said weird stuff and nobody listened to me about it. So maybe we’ll leave town and not look back.
If we manage to buy a shared-ownership house we can get released from this contract and get out of here.
We’re good tenants. We’ve never not paid our rent. We’ve loved every place we’ve lived in like it was our own. But they’ve turned on us, because we were honest about stuff that was broken on the inventory? Because they didn’t tell the landlords about any of it and then they got told off? I guess they’re trying to hit us where it hurts with pets and disability aids. It’s constructive eviction.
But hopefully we’ll buy a house and get out of here. I keep saying I just want to own a home and paint a living room purple. So maybe God is like, here’s an opportunity.
Sure, it involves an uncomfortable exit from a rental house I loved, and my husband being unable to change career, and other things I would change if I were a millionaire, but it is, technically, what I asked for. And I’ll take it.
This is a lovely house and I would have loved to stay here while we saved up for a deposit. But I feel unwanted and very abruptly, when I heard the agent talking earlier, all my ambitions for this place disappeared. I had loads of ideas for planting in both the front and back gardens. Projects on my mind. Things to host and do. But now there’s no point. We need to get out of this lifestyle. We’re done with renting.
And for the heating, the guy did somehow turn up with the part in the morning. I was in bed and too awkward to do anything so I just tried to stay very still. He was right outside our bedroom door in the cupboard. He started soldering a bit of pipe in though and I had to breathe it all in while also pretending I wasn’t there. But then he saw me in the end anyway because he had to go around and bleed all the radiators. Super awkward. I looked in the cupboard and the only bit with a different colour of pipe around it is an entirely normal looking valve so I’m still confused about the whole thing.