I’ve Been Had – Again

I’ve just finished writing an article for Property 118 (www.property118.com) which will hopefully be published under Recent Guest Columns in the next couple of days, entitled “I Should Have Known Better”.  In short it’s a sorry tale of me, cowboy builders and taking my eye off the ball – albeit for valid reasons.

And This Is What Happened

The reason I’ve linked specifically to this article is to show the photos of the damage caused by some hairy looking blokes calling themselves Roofers and offering to rebuild my chimney on my ex-HMO which I now call home.  Whilst they were there, my second chimney was “unacceptably dangerous” and would have to pulled down.  Whilst I thought that would be the end of it, it now appears that the ceiling stains on my landing are due to willful damage to the flashing on my gully and a, frankly, crap job of taking off the “dangerous” chimney stack.  My regular builder who was sadly unavailable before Christmas due to a nervous breakdown, made me climb the second lot of scaffolding this week to personally inspect the work that had been done and here are the results:  (possibly dull, but a good lesson if you’re too scared to get up a scaffold – and I was!  However, I was in my dog walking trousers which have a hole in the bottom so that may have cheered him up as I descended).  BTW, he assures me that I hadn’t driven him to lose his grip on reality.

And It’s Not The First Time

The last time I felt this daft was when I offered “Tony” a room – he was to be the first tenant in a new HMO and, quite frankly, I was desperate to get the cash in.  On the face of it he was a model tenant, buying bin bags and cleaning products, fussing around and welcoming the other new tenants and helping to get the house settled.  Within a month, he’d borrowed Mark’s car keys, broken into everyone’s room to steal anything of value and made off with a car full of CDs, tellies, computer equipment but not the microwave.  It was only when talking to the police that I realised I’d made a stupid mistake – I didn’t have a tenant information form for him!  Turns out that, not only was he not called “Tony”, but he made his living trawling the south coast ripping people off.  To his credit, his rent was at least up to date.

So, I’m left with a couple of damp patches, an even greater fear of heights and having paid for the same work twice and want to report the little/big blighters to Trading Standards – except I’ve lost their business card.

2 Comments

Filed under being a landlord

2 responses to “I’ve Been Had – Again

  1. Martin O'Neill

    Hi. As a construction engineer I see photographs like this from people quite often. These are pretty bad, to be honest. The best advice I can give is always get at least two quotes, ask for a reference, CHECK the reference and trust your gut instinct. I imagine yours is highly attuned by now bearing in mind the experiences you recount here! You have my sympathies.
    If you get really stuck e-mail me as I know many good tradesmen around the country who won’t rip you off and I may just know someone near you if I’ve worked nearby.

    • Thanks, Martin. All resolved now and I found the original invoice with the address of the trades person. If I had the guts I’d go round and show him the photos, but it’s not a battle I’m willing to go into as this happened a few months ago. Thank you for reading and commenting, though.

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