Our decision to move from our remote West Highland of Scotland to town life was a huge step to take. There were many reasons that were important to us when we made the decision. My husband was offered employment in Glasgow so it was imperative that we looked for accommodation as soon as possible.
We decided on private rent in order that we could move quickly and after searching the internet we found what appeared to be a lovely little bungalow situated in my husband’s home town of Kilmarnock. We called up the letting agent and made an appointment to view the property.
When we saw it the property had a few repairs that needed to be done both inside and outside. The kitchen although usable is outdated and some decorating wouldn’t go wrong. The front main window was broken and none of the doors inside the property would close, apparently due to the wood swelling up. An over the bed wardrobe unit took up a lot of space in the small double bedroom and the room that was deemed as a single turned out to be a box room. However, despite all this I liked the character of the property.
We discussed the property at length over the next couple of days. We were both uncertain because of the repairs. However, my husband’s start date for his new job came through and that meant we would have to move quickly or I would have to stay in the remote location by myself and as I don’t drive due to a visual impairment this would have been a problem.
My husband phoned the letting agents and asked about the repairs. He was told that most of the repairs would be done by the time we moved in and would we mind if the repair men came around to finish the repairs that were left to do. Another discussion and we both agreed to go ahead and move into the property. It was all systems go after that.
We decided to take the Fast Move In option that the letting agent advertised. That would mean that Gas, Electricity, Council Tax, Telephone and Television would be all set up on our behalf. We opted out of the Telephone and Television preferring instead to stay with our own providers. Everything was set, we were ready to go.
Here is where the list of fails begins.
On our arrival in Kilmarnock I was dropped off at my mother in laws while my husband went to the property to meet up with the van that had brought our household contents from Argyll. I was exhausted so it was nice to have a rest. A few hours later my husband telephoned to say that it would be best if we stayed at his mum’s house as there was no heating in the property. Fail 1. When my husband came to his mum’s place he told me that no repairs had been done and apart from the removal of the over the bed wardrobe units and a new carpet laid in the small double room. Fail 2.
The heating was put on the following day. I went to our new home and we began the process of cleaning and unpacking. Because we were moving to a smaller house we had given some of our household items away but kept our wardrobes. However, they would not fit into the small double room and we placed them into the single/box room. Now a single bed would only fit at a push, so if our families chose to visit there would be nowhere for them to sleep over. We ordered sofa beds for the living room, problem solved. The delivery date is set for the 21st December. I had the sofa and chair picked up by collection!! I thought that it would have been express delivery. My Fail 1.
We started putting our stuff in position around the house. We were assured that the repairs would be done so we didn’t worry too much for the first couple of days. We received a phone call telling us that the window would be repaired on the Tuesday and the doors on the Wednesday. That was great, things had started to fall into place. Nope!!
Another phone call and this time we were told that the home owner was coming to lay carpets in the living room on the Tuesday. However, when the Tuesday arrived no one turned up!! Fail 3
The doors were sorted on the Wednesday and we were then informed that the window would get done the following Monday and that the owner would be up on the following Tuesday. The window was repaired on the Monday. Result! However, the owner did not arrive to fit the carpet and now we have been informed that the carpet will be fitted between Christmas and New Year. Fail 4
My first wash in the washing machine resulted in the kitchen floor being flooded. Someone put the wrong hose on the washing machine and it hadn’t been held into place properly. The washing machine belongs to the property. This obviously had never been checked when the last tenant moved out. Fail 5 However, the repairman was quick to come and sort it out.
The electric oven in the cooker doesn’t work properly, it takes ages to heat up if it heats up at all sometimes and it can only be set to the maximum setting. Fail 6 This has yet to be reported and fixed as I thought it was me not working the oven properly.
We also discovered that the shower in the washroom did not work properly. When it was turned to the penultimate highest setting it went from freezing cold to scolding then back again. Fail 7 However, again the repairman was quick to come out and fix it. Obviously this was something else that had not been checked before we moved in.
The house had been sitting empty for quite a while, one of the nieghbours mentioned it to us. We cannot understand why these repairs had not been carried out ages ago. Moving house is stressful enough but when you have all of this to deal with and try and get ready for Christmas too it’s no joke. Nothing in the property had been checked before our move and this includes the security lights outside, one doesn’t work at all and the other one flickers all the time. Fail 8
This run of fails is bound to end soon!!
I have probably made the house sound like it is very run down, it isn’t. It was clean and tidy when we viewed it and although the kitchen is out of date it was clean too. Once it is decorated and all the problems are fixed then it will look more like a home. If checks had been made properly before we were offered the tenancy then I am sure that the work would have all been done while the property was empty.
In retrospect we failed too by rushing into it without waiting to make sure the repairs were done. In our defense it is a three hour drive to where we stayed in Argyll and my husband was working up to the day we left there. But still fail 2 for us.
Despite all of this we are looking forward to Christmas we won’t allow these mishaps to spoil our lives. It will be interesting to see how long the rest of the repairs will take and if the carpet will indeed get fitted between Christmas and New Year. I won’t hold my breath for that one!!!