I. Don’t. Believe. It.

I don’t mind admitting that the last six months have been tough. With a heavy workload, endless trips to the vets, the stress of moving house and the unexpected building work that accompanied it, illness and hospitalisation I have been through the inevitable phases of questioning my personal karma and wondering what else the universe is going to throw at The Bloke and I. I was hoping that the next few months would be an opportunity to recover both emotionally and financially, and after finally unpacking the last box a little while ago I had started to feel a little more settled.

However, something out there has other plans for us.

We received a phonecall from our landlady two days ago. It turns out that after only six months, she wants to sell the house, which means that we are going to have to move… Again. I was speechless. I tried to explain our poor financial situation and asked for just a few months to get everything together, but she is adamant that she wants to sell as soon as possible.

We were angry. Furious. Clearly, our landlady knew that this was what she she planned to do when we signed the initial contract and now it has become obvious that she gave us the tenancy in order to ensure that the mortgage was paid while she paid for the building work that needed doing.

After two days of stewing, ranting and raving and seeking legal advice we got our act together and decided to sort it out. Consequently, we have been lucky enough to find another house on the next road. It isn’t as nice as the one that we are currently in, but it is warm, dry, the same price and the landlord doesn’t mind us having a pet. If we had the money I would hire a solicitors and drag her through the courts, but after I had calmed down I realised that the extra stress would only result in a small(ish) settlement and most of that would have to be spent on solicitors fees, so we’ve decided to take the high road, chalk it up to being a bad experience and move on with our lives. With only moving six months ago we still have the contacts from the removal firm and know how to get things done in a more efficient manner this time, so at least the process is not likely to be as stressful as it was last time. There’s also the added incentive in that the quicker we move out, the longer the evil woman will have to be responsible for the mortgage herself, which I know that she will struggle with, and hopefully with the poor housing market it may take a while to sell it.

However, one of the positive things about the last few days is that, yet again, our amazing family and friends have rallied round with offers of help and support. Some have even offered to lend money, which almost made me cry. I’m so lucky to have such a fabulous support network, and I know that The Bloke and I are blessed to have each other and these wonderful people around us.

So, I’m going to have to take it extremely easy as I am still weak, but pack a little bit at a time and tick everything off as I go along. Ultimately, I know that I’m a strong person, and I’m not going to let this bring me down any further. Things happen for a reason, and hopefully this will mean a positive step into the future…

What about you guys? Have you had any bad experiences when renting properties?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

70 thoughts on “I. Don’t. Believe. It.

  1. Don’t overdo the packing while recovering, Suzie. Take your friends and family up on their offer to help! Good luck on the move. Karma will be good for you and The Bloke and bad for the evil houseowner.

  2. I am glad you have a support system with your friends and family. Also glad you found a new place nearby, though the entire situation bites.

    (side note: I am having a bad day and seeing VIctor reminded me I haven’t watched “One Foot in the Grave” in years…I definitely need to find a way to watch it today and get a laugh 🙂 )

    • I actually said this to the landlady when she rang and instantly thought of Victor Meldrew… I’m sorry you’re having a bad day – I hope everything gets better soon…

  3. Oh man that’s awful! We’ve had some really, really bad experiences like that when we rented one of our last places in the states. It’s the kind of stuff that just makes you sick because there’s no way to “win” despite being wronged. Sorry you’re going through that, but glad you have a great support system!

  4. So sorry to hear about your predicament! Thankfully, you did find a place quickly. Definitely take some deep breathes if you feel stressed, remember you have lots of love flowing your way and days ahead will only get better. Feel well!

  5. I had a bad landlord in Uni. He was not my original landlord on the property – he was a real estate tycoon who bought up a bunch of land and three 4-plex apartment blocks, tore up the land behind the apt blocks and built student townhouses. Not so bad except he never notified us of the work and all our services were disrupted – telephone, mail delivery, cable for two months…we settled with him and I eventually moved, but I got my first taste of big corp money vs the little guy.

  6. Bad rentals have taught me and my husband many valuable lessons. Our first apartment experience was, quite frankly, awful. Our landlord gave us such a long, complicated and technical contract that we couldn’t understand half of it. And initially, we asked for a one year lease. The landlord talked us into a 2 year lease with a clause that we could move after 18 months without penalty, but the lease we signed (which was not the same as the original “sample” contract we read), was a 4 year lease.

    We wanted to leave after 15 months (which is why originally we wanted a 1 year lease), but the landlord said he could charge us almost $100,000 for the 3 more years. According to them, our studio could be rented for $3,000, even though we were paying $900 per month, so they counted $900 as a discounted rate. But if you tried to leave early, you had to pay the full $3,000 per month for the rest of the contract unless you worked out some kind of deal. Thankfully, we did have the 18 month clause so we waited around and left when the clause allowed us, but that really taught us a valuable lesson about using caution when renting.

    I wish you luck with your move and hope that your new landlord is kind and thoughtful.

  7. Oh Suzie, that is awful and I feel for you as one thing I hate is moving! I do hope that you manage to move really quickly and that karma works against the landlady. Good luck and I’m so glad you have a great support system.

  8. Take a lot of pictures of the condition of the property after you move out. That way, she can’t come back at you and say that you caused damages. She sounds money hungry enough to try to keep your security deposit if you gave her one. Good luck with your new place! I’m rooting for you.

  9. You certainly have the right attitude about this. Well done. Renting can be a real nightmare. I once rented a flat that had rats…we didn’t get any money off the rent, even though the managing agent refused to set foot in the house because of the rats. We even had to buy our own poison!! The real sticking point was when the landlady withheld our deposit. At that point, I went straight to the small claims court. Got our money within days, along with a snotty letter. The letter went straight in the bin…if she had a case she would have contested it. My next rental was a dream, so there are positive stories to be had.

  10. Owning a house can be a real pain in the bum at times, but I so like not having a landlord any longer. I don’t have to worry about any nonsense like you’re facing. Sorry you have to deal with this…

    • Haha! Normally I don’t like to wish harm on anyone, but may her crotch be infested with the fleas of a thousand camels, and may her arms be too short to scratch…

  11. “Clearly, our landlady knew that this was what she she planned to do when we signed the initial contract and now it has become obvious that she gave us the tenancy in order to ensure that the mortgage was paid while she paid for the building work that needed doing.”

    How do you know this for sure? You are making suppositions about your landlord because it pains you to move out, and nothing more.

    “If we had the money I would hire a solicitors and drag her through the courts.” Meannie!

    Are you that bitter and mean that you would consider such a thing? Why is it that in every instance, as soon as we’re not happy about something, we need to take some kind of legal action, because it will “show them…?” This whole situation saddens me.

    Why is this a bad experience? The landlord asked you to move out, which she/he has every right to do. They own it!

    Let’s suppose you owned a house, and you rented it out, and then through some kind of unexpected financial crisis, you needed to sell it and sell it quickly. Would you like to be dragged into court and sued for every penny you’ve got, because the tenant felt slighted or treated badly because of this? Think about it.

    Forgive me.

    When renting, isn’t it common knowledge that the “landlord” has every right to give you ample time (usually 4 weeks notice) to move out? They have that right you know.

    One day, you and your DH will buy your own place, and it might happen that you’ll rent it out because your work takes you elsewhere for a while, and then it might happen that you need to return home, but, wait, your place is rented. It costs too much to rent back home, but now you’re in a predicament, you’ll need to ask the tenant to move out.

    See. Lots of variables.

    They don’t need to give the tenant an explanation. It is their business why they are now in this situation, and it may very well be urgent.

    Have a good day.

    • Ouch Gina! This seems to have struck a nerve with you – are you a landlord?

      The landlord rented the property to us knowing that the house needed major building repair work. She had also tried to sell the house before we moved in and we discovered that she had done the exact same thing to the previous tenants… She rented the house to them, telling them it would be a long term thing and then 6 months later told them she wanted to sell. While she has every legal right to do what she wants, painting over a metre high amount of rising damp during the viewings was dishonest, and treating her Tennants’s in this way is harsh. I’m entitled to be mad about it and in 32 years of being wronged by lots of people I’ve never considered legal action on anything!

      I’ve valued you as a follower for a long time and have always appreciated your comments, even when you have disagreed with me, but I thought your comment was harsh and it surprised me…

      • I’m sorry. I didn’t intend for this to sound so harsh. Although not an excuse, I read this immediately on waking from my iPhone first thing this morning. I’ll make a note to reserve my comments for when I’m more alert next time.

        I’ve only ever let out my house once in my entire life. I was married then. My husband and I had to move to Sydney for work, and at that time, we thought it would be for at least 12 months or longer. It didn’t pan out that way. Suddenly, we had no income and had no option but to ask our tenants to move out. They were excellent tenants. Couldn’t have asked for better. However, I was married to a very impatient man and he wanted to move in a.s.a.p because we couldn’t afford our rental any more (I honestly didn’t like how he handled the whole situation, it was a shit time in my life, and he put pressure on our agent to have the tenants to move out a.s.a.p., and I had no say in it.) They had 4 weeks in which to move out, legally, and that’s exactly what happened, in the end.

        However, it’s not so much tenancy issue that annoys me, it’s more the fact that as soon as something happens around any issue it seems that people are too quick to want to sue someone in the hopes of making a big buck out of it. It’s as if they come from a place of “entitlement.” Very annoying. So in my half alert response, I was defending the “landlord’ and annoyed at the system of “let’s sue them for every penny they’ve got…”

        I honestly wasn’t having a go at you. I’m sorry if that’s how my comments read.

      • Ah, I figured something like that… I’m not quick to sue – I’ve never considered it ever before but this woman has wronged me and did so deliberately… I spoke to a solicitor friend who said that there are lots of cases to do with housing that wouldn’t be taken on because it was more of a case of the Tennant was being irrational, but I have quite a substantial case if I wished… However, I do see your point about the quick to sue thing…

  12. What a hassle! Maybe the next house will turn out to be fabulous in some way that’s not obvious right now…perhaps a huge stash of money is hidden in the attic or magical ponies roam the back yard in the evenings. 😀 Sorry you have to deal with more stress. 😦

  13. Let me use my American frankness: what a b$&@$!! So sorry this happened, but kudos on how you rose above. I hope you are feeling better and hope things look up! My boyfriend and I ended up living in an Extended Stay hotel for about 4 months last year because we couldn’t find an apartment that would take our Great Dane. Worth it though, because we love where we are now! Sometimes these things happen for a reason. Glad to know you are taking the positive route! Keep it up!

  14. Oh shit Suzi, I am sorry to hear that, I know what private landlords are like, I have had quite a few over the years and have never found a good one yet, I am now a tenant of a housing association and they are really good. We used to have our own place in the 80’s but lost it when interest reached 14% and had my accident and swore never to buy again. I pay £350 a month but have the luxury of being able to get a plumber within 48 hours for a dripping tap.
    I really hope that the sunshines on you both and fortune spreads honey on you both. I have my two beautiful granddaughters here with me until Thursday so I am in 7th heaven.
    Give my best to the bloke and hopefully this is the last of the trials for you.
    Take care
    Pete 🙂

  15. What goes around comes around. I truly believe in karma and you are no way at fault. I find it therapeutic to write it down and send my grievance into cyber space. Hope it helped you to know we are on your side. In England we don’t tend to sue though I can name one time I would have liked to. Margaret

  16. Hi Suzie! On the bright side though like you said, I am sure it has brought you closer to your amazing friends and family! And that this ordeal has made you stronger as a person. I suppose going through experiences like this, is when you get to know how strong you really are. I wish you a speedy recovery and best of luck with the move!

  17. Ugh. For what it’s worth, I find it useful to believe in karma in situations like this.

    On your end – here’s hoping it means you ultimately end up in a better living situation/nicer apartment etc…

    As for me – apart from my first landlord tending somewhat towards the creepy end of the spectrum – we’ve never really had any problems. I hope yours are sorted with as little additional stress as possible.

  18. For us, 2013 was not the best year we have ever had, with Herself’s illness and then a minor accident for me, but it finished not too badly. So far 2014 has been reasonable for us and I wish I could say that for everyone I know. Floods in England, storms in the USA, fires in Australia. Sometimes I am thankful we live in an unremarkable small town in an unremarkable corner of the Commonwealth. With moving and sickness and now this, 2104 has not started well for you and the Bloke, but I agree with the comments thus far. I don’t wish any ill-will on the landlord, – who knows what her troubles are – but I do believe that this too will pass and since I also believe you are an optimistic person, things will improve. Time and patience – patience and time.

  19. We bought our house because of the amazing view across the road. We stood in the living room at time of sale telling the sales bitch this. Turns out they are building a school across the road and she knew this all the time. Raging!

      • Doubt it. It’s been planned for years. Perhaps we should have researched but she could have at least told us. That’s what annoys me most. It’s still the same house at the end of the day and the campus they are building looks really cool so will hopefully add value to the house. I still want to f***ing kill the sales girl though!

  20. Oh, Suzie. This sucks. But we never know the reasons why.
    My brother returned home from work one night to find the door to his rented flat chained and a notice saying it had been repossessed. Everything he owned was inside it. Turns out the landlord hadn’t been paying the mortgage although renting out the property.
    He, em, found a way in to get his laptop, clothes and transportable personal possessions but had to leave bits and pieces of furniture and start again in a new place.
    Agencies I think give you a bit more protection than private landlords being dealt with directly.
    Hope all goes well in the new place. Take all offers of help for the packing and the move. People want to help. It’s good to let them. Take care of you. x

    • Hi lovely! I’m so sorry, I was wondering where you had gone and then realised I must have accidentally unfollowed you by mistake! Glad ai found you,again – I’ve missed your posts!

      Thanks! The removal firm is booked so at least that makes me feel better!

  21. So very sorry about this awful experience. An owner does NOT have the right to treat you like a package of misplaced frozen vegetables. Yes, you should sue, and because won’t or can’t, this kind of garbage will happen again to another innocent person. I am sick and tired of wealthy people who behave as if they own people, and I’m sick and tired of people who treat their renters as if the money they pay is a favor to the renter! It’s a horrible attitude to assume that because someone owns something, they have the right to be manipulative and dishonest about it.

    Your landlord should have been grateful for a decent relationship with good tenants who paid on time. I hope that all her future tenants give her the grief she deserves. Because you know that she’s going to turn her profit from the sale of this place into a bigger place to rent out for more money. You may not know about it when it happens, but karma is going to bite her in the butt. I hope the doctor is out of sutures when that happens.

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