Several months ago, I moved house. I should say now, that main reason for
doing this was to move in with the other half; I only mention this because she
was irritated that she got so few mentions when I was talking about our
holiday. My explanation was this blog is called "An exercise in irrelevance"
because it has nothing important in it and that she has her own blog so why
should she want to appear on mine. Impeccable logic I thought; she didn't.
Anyway, coming back from the social melodrama, a few months ago, we moved
house. It's quite a nice place; it's unfurnished so has required a lot of work
buying furniture, screwing it to together and standing it upright (having, of
course, carefully hoovered underneath first). Although it's left me tired and
drained, I've enjoyed it. The flat, however, it turning out to be a bit of a
The letting agents, Countrywide Residential, have been fairly poor from the
start. Obviously, this is all my misunderstanding, and is not what happened at
all, but they appeared to phone me up the day before the lease at 4pm, say we
were required to have contents insurance and then offer to sell us the same
for 3 time the market average. My mistake, but it appeared to be a filibuster.
Obviously, this is not what they did say, because the lease does not require
insurance; probably, they were just trying to be kind and help us with some
organising. No doubt, their deal was different from the ones we found on the
internet and were no way comparable, hence the price.
We've now had the plumbers out three times to the heating system; once because
the timer has broken, once because it was leaking and now, it's no longer
leaking but it ain't working either. So, no hot water. Not too much of a
disaster for me as I am going to Stockholm for a conference, but a pain for my
other half (two mentions in one post!).
Still, this seems to be getting sorted now. But we got home last night to find
that the Royal Bank of Scotland (my bank incidentally) is taking the landlord
to court for repossession. For foreign readers of this blog of whom there are
none, in most sane countries tenants have pretty strong rights; if you pay the
rent, you stay in the property. In the UK, we have very few rights; you can
get kicked out for little reason. One of the few rights we do have is an
initial 6 month rental period; in that time, it's hard to get rid of a tenant.
Unless the landlord doesn't pay his mortgage and gets repossessed. Under these
circumstances, you are out. So, potentially in a months time, having not quite
moved in yet, we'll be putting everything into boxes and moving again; in the
middle of teaching term also.
As a society, I think that we have to learn that rising house prices does not
constitute a boom and that falling house prices a recession. Both of them are
a disaster. Steady, reasonably priced, affordable houses are the only way
forward. It's about time that we grew up from our free market childishness and
realised that a house is not an investment, it's something to live in.
For us, the worst case outcome is not a disaster; it's an inconvienience, a
cost and a lot of hassle, so I'm not depressed, just irritated. I know for
many others, the situation is much, much worse.