My flat is trying to kill me
I love living in London and I would honestly recommend it to anyone who wants to do the same. This blog is a great place for me to write about all the amazing things you can do in the city, but not everything is all sunshine and rainbows. So here goes, a cautionary tale about how I chose to live in a flat that's been trying to kill me.
It started off like your typical horror film; small, annoying things began happening at first – the odd bit of condensation here, a little patch of mould there, but after letting the property managers know about our problems, we slowly realised that our concerns were falling on deaf ears and being met with nothing but lame excuses.
In retrospect, the first indication that we were living in a murderous flat, was when the electrician told us he was surprised we hadn't been electrocuted to death by the incredibly faulty shower. We probably should have gotten out then.
If you're a regular reader, you'll remember a post I wrote a while ago about how we were too poor to have the heating on all the time and how nice it was to snuggle up with a hot water bottle and a blanket. I wasn't lying, it has been really cosy curling up and I could even deal with the draughty living room window that regularly lets in blasts of freezing cold air, because some absolute genius decided to leave only the largest window in the flat without double glazing.
But what I couldn't handle was opening up my wardrobe one day to find there had been some sort of shoe massacre and 70% of my lovely, gorgeous, faithful heels - and even my SUITCASE - had been taken by the evil mould monsters.
These mould monsters are merciless, they don't care what they ruin, whether it's clothes or sentimental items - they will make your festival bumbag look like a dead grey guinea pig without a second thought. Even coat hangers couldn't escape... Coat hangers.
But then, something terrible happened that I have never seen or heard of before in my life, when a few weeks ago I walked into the bathroom to find a new breed of mould had taken over - there were mushrooms growing next to the shower. Actual, real life mushrooms had sprouted and sat lazily against the walls, acting like they owned the place. We ended up treating them like an awkward houseguest, we knew they were there, but if we didn't acknowledge them, maybe they would get the hint and leave.
Disappointingly, they didn't. And even though the property managers are still promising to evict them, they remain sat there making me feel nervous every time I use the bathroom.
Gross right? Yeah, try living with it. We've tried to get rid of them ourselves, but they just grow back a few days later. Sometimes I worry that one day I'll wake up to find they have packed our bags, kicked us out and taken over the entire property, because I really wouldn't put it past them.
Anyway, it turned out that it wasn't just sinister looking mushrooms we had to deal with. It was our light fittings too.
I asked for someone to come and take a look at the light in my room as the bulb had gone and I'd been told before that it was strange as these particular bulbs were permanent. After some poking about, the handyman and I were startled when the light fitting fell from the ceiling, to reveal a hideous, burnt hole underneath.
The electrician, like me, was mortified. He said that at some point, the light had over heated and the ceiling had caught fire. It's pretty unnerving learning that the flat attempted to set itself alight and the response I received from my lovely, caring property managers was that it was my fault for not letting them know the ceiling under the fitting was in that state before. Umm, what?
After coming to the conclusion that the bloodthirsty flat and property managers are clearly in cahoots with one another, Lucy and I have handed in our notice - we're moving out at the end of January, THANK GOD!
I'd like to offer some advice on how to make sure your potential London home is mould, damp and mushroom free before you sign the contract, but to be honest, I don't really have any.
When we viewed this place, we asked if there were any mould problems and were told there wasn't. We were also assured our property managers were fantastic at solving any problems that might arise. It just shows how scary the rental market in London is these days, so it's always best to know your rights in case you get into a sticky situation like us.
With a bit of luck, the next place we rent will be much less sinister, but I think in the end it does just come down to a little bit of luck!
Let's just hope we make it until the end of January!