Saturday, May 9, 2009

It was the Busiest of Times... It was the best of times???

I guess it has been absolutely nuts for me and my family over the past month. I cannot recall ever being so busy in my life... And believe me that is saying a lot considering that I was assigned to a fighter squadron in the U.S. Air Force for almost 4 years.

Between preparing and then attending the CELTA course in Solihull 3 times a week I have also revamped the inside of my business and moved into a new home. The latter was probably the most stressful though as my former landlord decided he was going to be too cool for school.

I decided to take a house in Small Heath area of Birmingham back in the first week of April and of course after putting down a £400 deposit I attempted to call the landlord of the flat I was in immediately to give him my 30 day notice. As the apartment I was in was in good condition my intention was to try to find someone I knew who may be looking for a decent flat to move in. This way I wouldn't have had to pay the full 30 day notice until the 6th or 7th of May and the landlord would not lose out on any income.

So on the night of the 6th I rang his personal mobile number 2 times about 20 minutes apart. No answer.

Again the next evening I tried to call him again 2 times and again no answer. Even worse in my opinion was that I never had a returned call from the 4 times I tried to ring him.

So a couple day later I went down to the shop under the flat and asked if they had seen the landlord and if they could verify that I had the right number for him. They told me that I did but that they thought he was out of the country as he hadn't been by the shop to collect the rent from them when he was supposed to.

With that I kind of put the whole affair to the back of my head as I had so much other stuff to focus on. I tried calling him again on Monday the 13th of April and again no answer so I decided to send him a text message. I basically just wrote that I had found another place and that I would be moving out on the 1st of May. I still had no response but I did get a delivered message and again but it to the back of my mind.

I tried calling him again on the following Monday the 20th and he finally answers his phone. I tell him that I have been trying to contact him and that I will be moving out on the 1st of May. He took issue with that. He told me that he would take my 30 day notice from today (the 20th of April) and that if I find someone suitable to move in the flat that he would reimburse me the amount for whatever days I would be owed.

So I told the landlord that I didn't agree with him because I had in all earnest tried to contact him. At that time, after hanging up the phone with him I thought the easiest way out of this was to get someone willing to take the flat on the 1st of May or earlier.

When I got home I told my wife of the conversation and we both tried over the next two days to find a suitable individual. We found a couple people interested but come the evening of the 22nd we made a crucial decision. As we felt that the landlord was being unfair with us and our rent was due again on the next day (the 23rd) we decided that it was in our best interest to "do a runner."

We packed up all out things that night and moved out belongings that would not be needed for a week to a friends home and then with the other things and the kids we drove to my wife's sister's home. We cleaned the apartment to a good standard and left the key with the caretaker of the building.

Of course the landlord was not pleased when he came to realize this. He and I played phone tag for a few days and then had a conversation where he relayed to me what he thought he was owed. He had now changed his mind and decided that he would only take a payment for rent up to the 9th of May and not the 19th of May. I told him that I would never agree to that as I felt it was 100% his fault that he did not receive my notice. I called him 4 times on the 6th and 7th of April and he did not answer his phone nor did he return any of the 4 calls I made to him.

On top of that I felt aggravated that I was put into a position where I had to move in the middle of the night like a bunch of Carnies with my kids. I had been made to be uncomfortable and leave my home before I had desired to because of his unjust stance. And of course he lost 2 weeks rent I would have paid him because of his audacious stance.

Anyway we are in our new place and getting comfortable with that. The house we have moved into is an old 4 bedroom Victorian home. For the area of Birmingham I am living in it is in excellent condition. I really only have three complaints and they are bearable really.

1) The water pressure is very poor.
2) The parking is very difficult particularly at night. When I come home from my CELTA course on Mondays and Thursdays I will not find any parking nearby the house.
3) The bottom floor toilet is only accessible by... Going out the back door into the garden. But we of course do have a full bathroom on the middle floor of the house.

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