Friday, 25 January 2013

landlady from hell

I hate my land lady. 

Usually you meet landladies/lords when you move in and then you don't see them again until you move out and give the keys back. But I've seen this woman more than I've seen my own Nan this year.

She seemed nice enough when we moved in, made boring chit chat as she came in to fix some broken plug and remove the wardrobe she'd left in a flat listed as 'unfurnished'. I thought that would be pretty much the last I'd see of her.

Oh BOY was I wrong!

We've had her in for countless problems with the boiler and the washing machine. Both of these were things she claimed she 'knew what to do' and fixed them herself within 15 mins -which basically proved to me that she'd known of these problems before and never properly dealt with them. I let that go, as far as I cared the problems were sorted and I could wash my clothes again and not live in a freezing cold flat. The washing machine problem continued as it was stored in a hot cupboard, secured in so tightly you couldn't even remove the washing powder drawer to clean it - needless to say that thing was full of mould! 

She was constantly parked outside the flat looking in. She even got her other tennant to spy on us and feed back information. This was a little old lady she had clearly manipulated over the years. God knows how much money she was robbing off her! A couple of times she came in unannounced so her kids could use our toilet! When I was looking after a newborn this was really not convenient at all.

Not long after our son was born we noticed some mould growing on the walls. We washed it off but it kept coming back. We called her and she said it was probably because we were drying our clothes inside on a clothes horse and we should use the dodgy tumble dryer setting on the washing machine that made our clothes smell of rubber when ever we used it -never mind the money it would cost us to have that running! She also said to put the heating on more- during a heatwave. Now I get that drying clothes indoors can cause a bit of moisture in the air but this was something else. There was only mine and my partner's clothes along with the tiny wardrobe of a month old - hardly like a laundrette. This mould was a much bigger problem. We took pictures off the wall, they were ruined beasue of the build up of mould behind them. Hundreds of pounds worth of clothes and shoes  were ruined due to the mould in the bedroom. I dread to think what it did to our lungs,

9a-Kendor-Avenue-Epsom-surrey-mould


I did as I was told and also sent out a big majority of my washing for a week to see if it made a difference. Not surprisingly it made no difference at all. We told her it was still bad and she fobbed us off a bit more until she decided she'd send someone round to look at the loft. A guy came round and said that the loft needed more insulation as it was far too thin and they would be sorting that.... That's the last we heard about that one. 

As we moved into the colder months we noticed more and more mould growing. It was on every external wall so it was clear the problem was in the walls, though the crap loft insulation can't be helping. We called her again and she gave us the same crap about drying clothes and that 'the guy who lived there before washed his football teams clothes and he had the same problem' '...right, so you knew there was a problem? You didn't think 'strange this is happening again, I better look into it?' We asked her for a reduction in the rent as it wasn't the living conditions we were happy paying £850 a month for, plus it was now a worry having a new born baby in an environment with potentially poisonous mould. She said no and that she was going to sort it, along with something to do with the heating and the garden fence. We waited a bit longer and after being at my parent's house one day we came back to the place absolutely stinking of damp and now the mould was spreading to behind the kitchen cabinets and high up on the ceiling where we couldn't reach to clean it. I decided to take matters into my own hands and called environmental health to have a look. They tested the humidity in the air and the dampness in the walls an they said that there was a huge problem with the wall insulation and that water was leaking through. They got on to her to sort it. She then sent round 'her' people for 2nd, 3rd 4th opinions and tried to tell environmental health that it was just condensation. They told her she was wrong and that she had to sort it. The windows don't have little vents on them like they should have (she claimed that this was because they are very old windows but I've been told by the little old lady downstairs that she had those fitted a couple of years ago. And there's no extractor fan in the bathroom and that the walls are basically f*cked. 

I was seriously worried about our newborn babies health. I tried to make sure I went out as much as possible but while suffering from post natal depression it was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to be in a safe little bubble with my family. 

Never mind us - surely she wanted this problem fixed so it didnt cause any long term damage?! We were only renting, she owns the dump.

 We told her we wanted to leave so she could fix it and she gave us notice.

She's got nasty since. I've heard her slagging us off on our own doorstep and she's clearly annoyed that we've made her sort it out. But it's in her own interest! Her house will fall apart eventually if she leaves it like this! She had the cheek to loudly call me a 'lazy bitch' when I couldn't answer the door to the postman due to being in the middle of breastfeeding. 
She's made life a living nightmare, a time that should be a wonderful memory, enjoying the start of our little family life. 

She's trying to claim some of our deposit for some plumbing problem the flat downstairs had because the main drain was blocked with baby wipes. The plumber didn't even see us, we haven't signed a thing and he hasn't even entered the flat. Not to mention that our changing table is in a complete different room to the toilet so it would actually be inconvenient to flush the wipes and WHO FLUSHES BABYWIPES?!! 

She also wants the awful 10 year old carpet professionally cleaned and the garden to be sorted out . A garden that she has just covered in gravel rather than cut her grass, so of course grass is growing through it. It's all covered in snow at the moment so I don't know what she expects us to do. Never mind the fact that she never even told us we had access to the garden in the first place!



9a-Kendor-Avenue-Epsom-surrey-mould
look at it LOOK AT IT!

So we're leaving the flat from hell on Monday, well Sunday night as she says she wants us all moved out by 9am on Monday morning which isn't exactly possible with everyone at work. We're moving to my mums for a bit while we find somewhere more permanent to live. I can't wait to get out of here! I've had so many of my clothes and shoes ruined (Even some from this post!)  because of her and we haven't threatened to sue or not paid rent or even been nasty. But I reckon when we hand over the keys she's going to really fight for that deposit. I just want this over. 

9a-Kendor-Avenue-Epsom-surrey-mould
my poor babies :(


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