The last day of Juneathon! I found some extra energy and ran faster for my ultimate 2 miles than I have done in the previous 29 days. I ran after my main meal of the day following a round trip of 256 miles to collect my daughter from Brighton. She and her uni friends vacated their rented house and decanted their belongings into parents’ cars or transferred to another house.
It was an interesting afternoon. The girls had cleaned for several days and awaited an inspection from the landlords with a view to having their full deposits returned. It didn’t go well. The landlords prided themselves on providing accommodation to a high standard of cleanliness and presentation. They expected it to be signed off in the same condition. They did not employ professional cleaners. The onus was firmly on the outgoing tenants. In theory this doesn’t sound unreasonable.
The reality was rather different. The landlords employed the role of firm but fair parents who took the moral high ground in dealing with insufficiently responsible tenants who needed to buckle down and really do some proper cleaning. They didn’t employ a professional cleaning service because tenants should return the property in the same condition they found it. They were exacting in checking everything and put a money value on scratches, scrapes and small areas of damage. Where there was dust identified they cited the need for a” mini-clean” at £10. Of course they had everyone over a barrel! The deposits needed to be returned and any significant dispute would mean possibly prolonged delay and arbitration.
The other parent, myself and the girls then undertook an intensive 2 hour plus cleaning to get the house up to an “acceptable” level.
I have known a number of landlords,some good, some bad and I have been a landlord myself. My father rented a number of properties. But I have never met such a greedy, grasping, sanctimonious couple who dressed up their appalling behaviour by a patronising, lecturing manner designed to assist the girls to act more responsibly. Their real motive,of course, was to screw out every penny they could from them and this scenario is probably played out each time there is a change of tenancy. I found it extremely difficult to keep my temper but it was necessary not to make the situation more problematic. I’m grateful to the other parent for remaining calmer and getting things in a more positive perspective. The girls took it in their stride and were sensible and mature.
I resisted the urge to get my needles out and fashion a couple of voodoo dolls out of clay when I got home.