Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Still getting there...

So the road to Quirky in Stirling Court was going to be paved with hideously annoying stones. Unlike with Finn (and yes, this will be a constant forum for comparison because let's face it, other than living for a summer in Spain, this is my only experience living outside of the States)...things were not so straightforward.

Yes I've complained about my "useless portal" of an apartment agent (not Dominic, who was wonderful, but the other one), but everyone here seems to want to nickel and dime you (or in this case, pound and pence you).

And things take forever. I don't know what these British are doing during their work hours but half of it doesn't seem like work. Or it's the grumpy-face work where they are doing things all the time but you really wonder if work is being done or papers are just being pushed around. Responses are being given but rarely are questions actually being answered. Felt like an entire run-around for nothing.

In any case (yes, this is starting to feel like a slightly angry rant), getting to Stirling Court has been anything but a smooth and relaxed process, unlike Oksa.

We were given a goodly timeline of 2 weeks before the move-in date because the apartment agent felt like this was a reasonable date. I was starting to see why.

Even though we had our bid accepted (i.e. we all generally accepted the terms that were given and the price and everything could proceed), it still took several days (days!) to get the Application to Rent drafted up in a version that was good enough for me to sign. And even then, I was told to REDACT sections out because they were still not what we agreed upon. Again I ask - who is doing this work and how is this even being let pass? In the States we would have ordered that another, correct, contract be written so all would be clear (and there would be no sloppy cross outs). No, apparently, Don, you're fine with cross-outs. "I didn't agree to anything on that piece of paper, it was crossed out when I signed it!" Apparently this can stand.

Anyway, not only that, but I was going to be checked like a criminal. I do agree that there are likely lots of shady (or dodgy, as it's called here) folks in this huge city (8.1 million...that's basically one and a half times the population of all of Finland...the entire country put into one city)...but really? I was going to have my employment checked (does she work at this place and have this title with this salary?), my bank accounts checked (does she have money in these banks?), my previous landlords and apartments checked (for the last three years did she live in this place and was she a good tenant and can you prove that?), not to mention potential personal and family references checked for possible character references (is she a good person and would you consider her trustworthy?).

And all through this process, little fees. Lots and lots of little fees. Any time they could think of to charge you another pound for this or another pound for that, boom, written up. Lucky for me I was being sponsored in my relocation so my company picked up all of the appropriate fees but jeebus, this was pretty much guaranteeing that I was never moving anywhere else after this place (and yes, there is a ridiculous 90pound fee for even renewing into a new lease...getting punished! For staying on as a good tenant!).

So my question to you, Don, is: WTF? I thought we were going to start off so well and all you've been showing me is rude, dirty, greedy, and stressful.

I'm still trying to keep an open mind about you and I'm sure things will be a lot better and calmer once I've moved into my beautiful abode (assuming I am indeed smart enough to figure out the electric heating system and not cost myself exorbitant utility bills every month), but jeebus.

This is not what I expected.

Welcome to big city life. Guess I should just be thankful I'm not literally living in a broom cupboard.

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