A Knight’s Tale (136: An Eventful Move)

With Jessica’s death from multiple myeloma now a matter of time, Lindum House was sold in December 2006 and I began a return to London.

Using Chestertons, a national estate agent of renown, I had rented a one-bedroomed flat in this salubrious area of Central London.  It was being refurbished.  Despite my misgivings, during the six weeks prior to my occupation I was constantly assured that the work would be finished.  It wasn’t.  I arrived in the evening to be told I couldn’t take up residence because there was no gas certificate.  Remaining firm I advised the agent to obtain one immediately because I wasn’t leaving.  This meant a fitter making a hectic trip across London.  A document was eventually produced.  My furniture was to arrive in the middle of the night.  I stayed put.  There were no curtains or blinds.  The shower and bedroom were full of builder’s rubble.  A cupboard still contained a defunct boiler which I had been assured would be removed.  Only half the new power points worked.  A live wire was hanging loosely from a wall.  I sat on one of the loos and was horrified to find a pool of water surrounding it when I got off.  Neither of the WCs had been fixed to the floor.  I decided to have a bath, turned on the hot tap and walked away.  On my return the bath was full of cold water.  The taps had been put on the wrong way round.  To drain the bath took an age. Goodness knows why. The gas cooker was subsequently declared unsafe.  I could have blown myself up.  There was no splashback to the kitchen sink, and the kickboard fell off when I was nowhere near it.  I could go on.  However, you’ve got the picture.

Most of these problems emerged during the three weeks I was there.  I would visit the agent with a supplementary list almost daily.  On one occasion, when I said I’d had enough, the agent said she’d see if the landlord would release me from my contract.  ‘Landlord release me!’, I screamed.  I went into a high-pitched rant.  When I’d finally finished there wasn’t another client in this vast open plan office just off Marble Arch.  I’d cleared it.

There just has to be a washing machine in this story.  Except there wasn’t.  There should have been.  But it never arrived.  When I’d accumulated several bags of washing I gave the agent a choice.  She could either pay for a visit to the laundrette or I would bring her my laundry and drop it in the middle of her office.  She took the payment option.

The Newark removal firm had asked to arrive in the middle of the night because of anticipated parking problems. I left warning notes for the other tenants and waited up. The removers didn’t arrive until early in the morning when it was pouring with rain.

I then developed only my second bout of bronchitis. The first had been when I moved out of Amity Grove thirty five years before.

I eventually received a total refund and a very nice three-bedroomed mews house off Bayswater Road for the same price.


      1. WordPress tech support advised to me refresh Firefox which fixed my ongoing problem with trying to like or comment on your blog.l I feel like huge dark cloud has been lifted from the daily blog routine. It did not affect all of the blogs I follow, but enough of them to feel burdensome. Have a great Saturday.

  1. Wow, Derrick, I’m sorry that you had to go through all of that nonsense! That’s what happens when workers are lazy and don’t want to get the job done. London sounds like a fascinating place to see.

  2. If it was a Benny Hill sketch we’d all be laughing at the improbability of such things happening in real life. I hope that the landlord finally ended up with a lettable flat, but his pain was nothing in comparison to yours!

  3. And I have had the entrenched notion that shoddiness and subterfuge of landlords was an exclusively Indian phenomenon! I am glad it worked out well for you in the end, which hints at the possibility of redemption available in your society, probably a luxury by our standards.

  4. Aw, I’m so sorry to hear about all that you had to go through. 🙁
    Moving in or out of a place is always stressful, but this sounds like you had the ultimate in “What will go wrong next?!”
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…There is an old Tom Hanks comedy movie about renovating a house called “The Money Pit”…I can laugh at the movie because it’s not happening to me. 😉

  5. Oh, what a story. I cannot imagine going through any of that at all, certainly not while going through a personal crisis as well. Those things are hard enough to handle when we are at peak form. I’m so sorry for that. I am impressed that you had the gumption to fight back. Good for you!

Leave a Reply