Sometimes I really hate renting!
We have been in this home for a whole two months and now the landlord is selling this house. We have a one year contract. When we were signing for this place we made it very clear that we would only sign if we would be able to stay for at least 3-5 years until the children had finished uni studies and were financially ready to move out; at which time we would be looking for a small place for just the two of us.
We needed this assurance as the last two places we rented were sold out from under us. We were assured that this place was a long term proposition. We would not have even considered signing if there had been any doubt.
We were told that the fence which encloses the back courtyard would be replaced before we moved in. It was not and still has not been. We have had to tie the fence and gate up with tie wire to prevent it falling over. This means the gate is sealed shut and we have no access to the back yard from the outside.
There is no garage or garden shed so we have the contents of the large garage we had at the previous house stored in the rumpus room. We have not been able to unpack properly and can only use a corner of the rumpus room. A friend was going to sell us a shed; but do we need it now?
Very shortly after we moved in the real estate agent came to value the house. We were told not to worry – the landlord just wanted to know how much the place was worth. Then agents from another real estate firm came to value the house. When I queried it with the rental department they claimed to not even know that the sales department of their own company had come.
Two days later on a Sunday afternoon the lady from sales phoned and said that our landlord wanted to sell and the whole sales team would be coming to inspect the place on Tuesday. She said that as the landlord was the one breaking the contract he would pay for our relocation.
A phone call to the rental department on the Monday morning dispelled that reassurance. The head of rentals told me very sternly that we could not be put out until next July and in the meantime we just had to sit put and cope with all the Open for Inspections etc., that if we moved earlier we would be the ones breaking the contract and liable for extra expenses. When I told her we had signed on the understanding that we would be there more than one year, she said “Tenants only have the right to expect exactly what the contract says – no more!”
Since then we have been on a roller coaster of tears, glimpses of hope, frustration and insecurity. We were 2/3 of the way to being unpacked. Should we keep unpacking or start repacking? Where will we be for Christmas?
There are two possible scenarios which would be OK for us
1. Another investor buys the property who is prepared to make the required repairs, appreciates having excellent long term tenants and we stay on happily for several years
2. The house is sold very quickly and we are given notice to leave and therefore relocated to a property of similar size and rental rate at the owner’s expense.
The worst case scenario is that it takes a long time to sell, taking us right up to the end of our one year contract and we are forced to move at our own expense, having put up with countless instances of Open for Inspections and private showings. We really cannot afford to move at our own expense at this time (or even in a year for that matter)
The advertisement has gone up on the Internet with no mention of the house being suitable for an investor and having long term tenants installed.
So far in our two months here there have been evaluation inspections, a full sales team inspection, a photo session, a private showing and one Saturday afternoon Open for Inspection. On each occasion I have done extra cleaning and moving of furniture and fittings.
And we have ensured that someone was home as we are not prepared to have our home entered while we are not here. Does this constitute quiet enjoyment of our home? I think not!
So please pray that this can be speedily and amicably settled.