What is there to say about this week? My biggest win was definitely getting our ex-landlord to back down from the extortionate deposit deductions he’d suggested we owed him after we moved out of our old place. I went forensic; our second rebuttal was over a thousand words long and included links, screenshots, quotes and calculations to make it clear that we were not fucking around. He was trying to charge us £108 to clean a single dusty blind and one tiny spot on a chair, among other outrageous requests. I think not.
I don’t actually think the landlord capitulated because he thinks we were right – I think he gave in because we made clear that, if were unable to resolve it during this round of negotiations, we would take it to the official dispute service to be looked at by an independent adjudicator. Clearly, he figured the hours it was going take to resolve this through the dispute service was not worth his time – which was exactly the point! He doesn’t really care about the hundreds of pounds he’s trying to charge us. We know he doesn’t need to care, because over the past two years of renting his house we have paid him a mid five-figure sum in rent. Yes, some of that goes to agents’ fees and maintenance, but much of it will be pure income and so it was so irritating that he was charging us £30 to replace three £1 light bulbs. Absolutely and categorically, fuck off. Also, the agents accused me of lying about something I put in the counteroffer, and when I forwarded them the email proving that I was telling the truth, they didn’t even apologise! Renting, man.
It was made all the more frustrating because our landlord took over three weeks to send us his initial proposed deductions, even though I was emailing our estate agents every day to ask for them. Moving is a crisis of cash flows; typically, as was the case for us, you have to put down your deposit on the next place before you get your previous deposit back. We are lucky that we have enough money to cover this, but many people don’t, and we could have had a short-term loan on which we were paying extortionate interest while we waited for our landlord – who owns at least two properties in London! – to deign to charge us for a single dusty blind that he couldn’t be bothered to clean. Ugh.
I am down in Cornwall for the weekend, the autumn light is gorgeous, the rain a little less so. We were stuck inside for most of Saturday as the wind and rain whipped against the house, so I plonked Jake down by the window and forced him to model for me. We also braved a walk in the rain and cold, most of which I spent with my jumper zipped up to my face and shivering.
I have been loving using my macro lens recently. I think the images tend to be sharper and better set against the background. I also think the way my lens picks up the light is gorgeous: soft, blue and gentle. This hasn’t been my most photogenic weekend in Cornwall, but I think I’ve still picked up a few good pictures for this week’s blog post. In general, I have been reading, writing, working and seeing my friends and family, as I tend to be doing every week. Can you believe it’s November?!