Friday, 3 July 2009

The Tree

Over the last few days it has become a symbol of my guilt.

A tamarisk. Its fronds change through green, pink, mauve and deep red before finally seeding as a cotton wool fluff that gets everywhere and makes me sneeze for an entire month.

I had been battling with it for a few years and finally made the decision to chop it down last year.

We all loved this beautiful tree and no-one wanted it destroyed, but it had come to the point where my life was a misery for the whole of June. I remember at the time that I wondered if it was an incredibly selfish action on my part since I might not be living in the house in five years time.

And, of course, so it has proved.

There are so many instances like this. As I walk around the house and touch all the old, familiar things, clean rooms and furniture that have received the same treatment each week for the last two decades, I hear my inner voice. It reminds me that, in a month's time, this will no longer be my home.

That's when I get the nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I have paid the deposit and the flat will be my rented property for six months from the end of July.

If there is any sage advice that bitter experience compels you to impart to this virgin lessee in the weeks leading up to taking possession, I would be very grateful.


Fat Controller said...

You NEVER get your deposit back, no matter what. The landlord always finds some pretext to withhold it, so when you terminate the lease, simply withhold the last month's (or two as appropriate) rent!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Actually there's a new scheme to prevent that kind of deposit problem, it's run by your local authority. Basically when you hand over your deposit ensure the landlords are members of this scheme. It means that the deposit is held by the scheme and in the event of any dispute they will arbitrate. Phone the local authority about it
Also, apply for single person council tax discount immediately (it'll save you 25%), check if you're entitled to any benefits as you may be on a low wage (some apply even if they are only passports to things like free prescriptions-you need an HC1 form from pharmacy for that)
Photograph the property in it's original state before any of your possessions go in, that way you'll have a documented record of any existing damage if their is later dispute.
Good luck! BG xx

TROLL Y2K said...

Get proof they changed the locks.

Midnight Princess said...

I have a friend who rents a number of properties out. He's made it his rule that no-one gets their deposit back regardless of how well kept the house is. As soon as the money is handed over, it's his. I have been stung by this on a few occasions and the deposit holding scheme that held my money for one property collapsed and I still haven't had my money back. I agree with Fat controller, withhold your last month's rent, some landlords are mercenary!

Kevin Musgrove said...

Mentally write the deposit off. If you get it back it's a nice surprise and you can treat yourself.

Put a chain on the door. It doesn't stop the really determined idiot but gives you five seconds grace.

Make a note of all the make, model number and serial numbers of all your electrical appliances, cameras, etc. and keep the note safe in writing somewhere you'll find it easily and which isn't portable.

And buy a shredder for the old bank statements, etc.


nitebyrd said...

The regret will pass quickly once you realize how profound your happiness will be.

Lady in red said...

Don't look at it as the end of your old life (you were not happy anyway) but the start of a new life where you are free to come and go as you like.

You might be entitled to housing benefit and or council tax benefit.