Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Pleasures of Renting Part II

In the previous installment, an insulation expert was declaiming in horror over the built state of our house.
            It's taken some serious time, but the owners have finally acknowledged the general decrepitude of their two-year-old rental property, and all of a sudden (now that summer is over and we are no longer screaming for window screens and roof insulation on a bi-weekly basis) they are absolutely horrified, and have been galvanizing the original contractors to action right, left and center.   
            The front door frame is slumping sideways and skirting boards are popping loose from the walls all over the house and there's a hollow spot in the concrete pad under the living room floor and wardrobe frames are peeling off the bedroom walls and splitting apart the drywall (that was last Tuesday) - and as none of it is relevant to the comfort of the tenants, something must be done!

A man from the building firm came up last Thursday.  To my profound regret, I was in Adelaide during his visitation and had to deputize his supervision to the rental agent.
            I called her Thursday afternoon for a recap.
            "Oh it's fine."  She said breezily.  "Everything's fixed."
            "Oh yeah.  The front door just didn't have enough nails in it, that's all, and the skirting boards -  that's all just cosmetic. The builders hadn't used strong enough glue.  He back-filled the cavities with silicone and now it looks fine."
            "But some of those skirting boards were standing out almost half an inch!  That's not cosmetic - that's shifting.  Subsistence.  Something wrong with the foundations!"
            "Yeah, okay, fine."  She heaved a sigh.  " Basically, what's happened is that when they put in the foundations, they didn't drain the ground around them properly and now they're drying out and making the house move.  After I talk to you I have to talk to the owners about putting in a drip-feed system all around the outside of the house to keep the concrete at a constant humidity.  They really need to get on to that."
            I would give money to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.  And for the subsequent high-volume arguement that our landlord is going to be having with the construction firm's regional representative. What goes around comes around. 

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