Archive for November 6th, 2008

Letting headaches

When we upped sticks and moved ourselves and the assorted animals to south Wales, we found a home for the pigs and chickens with very little difficulty (I sent a text to a friend asking if he knew of anyone with land to rent, he replied offering his own field. Sorted!) but finding a home for ourselves was a lot more tricky. No, I take that back, a home for just us would have been very easy but the cats and dogs made things virtually impossible. We focussed on Cardiff itself rather than the surrounding area to make life easier for B with work (this morning, for example, she has to be in for 7.30) and there are very few houses in Cardiff that allow pets. Which is why, despite all the period wonderful houses or the brand new apartments with sea views, we’re in a grotty area in an overpriced and could-be-great-if-the-landlord-wasn’t-doing-things-on-the-cheap flat as it was the only property we could find within our budget that allowed pets.

And jow it turns out that the letting agents who manage the flat on behalf of the cheapskate landlord are worse than incompetent. They’re idiots. Complete fools. Utter buffoons. Really couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag. If they organised a piss up in a brewery, everybody would go home sober. Our main contact within this gaggle of nincompoops is a woman I shall refer to as Muppet.

/and breathe……

Seriously, they’re hopeless. Owing to someone equally incompetent at the bank, our first month’s rent failed to leave the account but the letting agents didn’t actually notice this for a few weeks. Cue a frantic phone call from Muppet, demanding their money. Yes, we should also have spotted this error, but didn’t, and being blissfully unaware, spent the cash instead! Both our faults, non? So we arranged to pay the arrears over the following two months. No problem, thought we.

Ha ha ha ha!

Both due dates for the arrears have passed and we’ve paid the balance off. It’s been tough and we’ve skimped on lots of things, but job done. Paid off. Great. Will always double check from now on.

But then, the day after the last instalment was paid, the Muppet left a message on my voice mail asking me to ring urgently to discuss our outstanding rent arrears.


I didn’t get the message until after the office closed for the day, so B rang the following day. Muppet was out of the office so B left a message asking her to ring back ASAP. The day passed, no phone call. And a letter arrived on the following day, hand delivered, informing us that if we didn’t pay our outstanding arrears for two months’ rent, we’d face legal action and eviction. Any further correspondence from them would result in a £10 fee for each letter and a £5 fee for each phone call!

We rang them as soon as we found it (note – B was actually at home at the time it was delivered) but although it was two minutes to five, the office was already closed for the day. So B left yet another message on their answer phone (the observant amongst you will have noticed that Muppet failed to ring us back before delivering the letter) and we waited, worrying. By half past ten the following morning, they still hadn’t returned our phone call so B rang them, once more.

According to them, we were two months in arrears because we’d failed to pay both this month’s rent and that first month. After some prompting from B, they found the transaction details for the first half instalment but it took them some time to understand that the reason this month’s hadn’t yet been paid was because the first of the month fell on a Saturday so the banks didn’t process the transaction until the first working day of the month. If they cared to check the account on the following day, they’d find both this month’s rent and the final instalment. Apparently, even the people who work in the finance department of said Useless Lettings were unable to grasp the concept of banks not processing transactions at the weekend.

They then got pissy about our rent being paid on the first of each month and demanded we pay at a different time! There were a few other things they found to moan about, all equally pathetic and insignificant but they were forced to backtrack when B pointed out that despite repeat requests on our part since we picked up the keys at the end of July, we still haven’t received the inventory…

Useless doesn’t quite cover it:

  • Main Entry: useless
  • Part of Speech: adjective
  • Definition: not working; not valuable
  • Synonyms: abortive, bootless, counterproductive, disadvantageous, dysfunctional, expendable, feckless, fruitless, futile, good-for-nothing, hopeless, idle, impracticable, impractical, incompetent, ineffective, ineffectual, inept, inoperative, inutile, meaningless, no good, nonfunctional, of no use, pointless, profitless, purposeless, scrap, stupid, unavailable, unavailing, unfunctional, unproductive, unprofitable, unpurposed, unusuable, unworkable, vain, valueless, waste, weak, worthless

There, that’s more like it!