• Our house, in the middle of our street

    (Again…points if you can pick the song lyric!)

    Sometimes the lack of space at home really gets on my nerves. This is especially true in the kitchen. The sound factor also bugs me; we live below a family, and the floors fail to block out most of their noises.

    But you know what? It beats living with flatmates by a sextillion miles. (That is a real number. Look it up.)

    I’ve had flatmates who have loud sex, leave food rotting below the sink, throw out your dishes, leave pots festering on the stove, use your body wash, puke over the balcony, don’t pay bills, let their pets run amok, don’t clean the bathroom, and break your stuff.

    No thanks; I’m over and done with all that bullshit. Peace and privacy is priceless.

    [Photo]

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  • The honeymoon is over

    It could only last so long. Once a haven, our house is now a den of what I’ll just call ACK.

    The living room hasn’t been vacuumed in as long as I can remember, the hardwood floors haven’t been swept, and is it so hard to put empty toilet rolls in the plastic bin rather than drop them on the floor?

    Did I mention that everyone barring T and myself has turned into complete and total alkies, drinking virtually every night? I marvel to him about how much we’ve spent on food, and he’ll reply by saying that they outspend us on alcohol alone. There are boxes lying on the ground outside, cans scattered both inside and out, 10 Jagermeister bottles forming a proud display on the dining table, bottles on the kitchen windowsill and worst of all, nasty, icky, sticky plastic twister shot glasses – you know, the prepackaged kinds you buy for $2 a pop – lining the counter. I’d had enough this week and cleaned up the counter side of the kitchen, but not again.

    Did I also mention that our head flatmate (the one who followed us over from our last place) not only failed to get the rent out the other week but racked up overdraft charges in the process, and didn’t pay the water bill on time? And one of the other guys, who’s in charge of the Sky TV account, didn’t pay at all and racked up massive fees? (Thankfully, I don’t give a flying rat’s, seeing as I don’t watch or pay for it).

    As much of a mess as they’re making – literally and figuratively – it’s SO very good to have a break from having all the responsibility. All I gotta worry about is food, keeping the bathroom hygienic, and paying our rent and share of the bills. It’s still nowhere near what our heinous ex-flatmate put me through.

    Friday’s outfit:


    Saturday’s outfit:

  • Fed up

    I am done, done, done with landlords. I’m never taking on a tenancy again.

    I will live with other people if it means not dealing with bullshit like this.

    Our run of good luck is up. Not that I  thought this would be simple, don’t get me wrong! No matter how many times T assured me moving out would be fine and how the LL wouldn’t make things a hassle, I knew it would be. He needs to trust my instincts!!

    So this week has brought the worst weather all year. Storm warnings were issued and although Auckland never really gets the worst of anything, we still got hit hard by wind, rain, thunder and lightning. I’m talking torrential downpours, beating down on my laundry line and leaving me out of clean underwear for days.

    Anyhow, the roof at the old house finally gave way and sprung a leak, soaking the carpet in the living room. It’s been a long time coming. In June the ceiling started bubbling up, which we mentioned to him. I even took a photo of the bubbling paint, so we can prove it. Back then, he said not to worry and that some of the roof tiles had been replaced. Whether they did or not, or whether they did a crap job, something went wrong this last week, and the house is now about as far from watertight as you can get.

    This prompted the LL  to send me a shitty text, saying one of us must have cracked the tiles while up on the roof. Can you say RIDICULOUS? Why on earth would anyone be up on the roof? Certainly not to remove the aerial, like he suggested – it came with the house, and that’s where it’s going to stay. And, what’s more, it’s OBVIOUSLY STILL THERE. And how much of a coincidence is it that the roof caved in the exact spot where the paint began bubbling months ago, where the tiles were allegedly replaced?

    Roof aside, the whole house is incredibly damp and always had had a problem with damp. Every time I’ve been back since we moved, my sinuses flare up and my nose starts running (or dripping, sometimes). Not surprisingly really; breathing in mould spores can’t be good for anyone. That place is turning into a health hazard.

    T walked the LL around, and did all the talking, explaining that we’d warned him about the ceiling months ago and that we had done nothing to cause damage to the roof (something he’s refusing to admit. He’s going to get a builder’s opinion, which I am more than confident will reflect the truth – that there’s four months of water damage in the ceiling, if not more.)

    I’m just irritated because this is the last thing I need. I do not need the stress!  Sounds like this is going to drag out forever and who knows when we’ll get our bond money back. Thankfully, T is happy to deal with this. I hate conflict, and he’s much more confident and knowledgable in matters like these. He says the LL was pretty quiet, unusually, and simply walked around the house looking mopey because he knows the house is falling apart. Our old room? So damp you can see the outline of the rafters coming through, the ceiling is getting soft, and did I mention how I could see my breath in front of me in there during winter?
    As if that’s not enough, heinous flatmate only turned up at the last hour this morning to clean. Then asked if he would be getting some bond back. Hello, you never actually paid any! This is partly my fault. When we first moved in, our other two flatmates shifted in two weeks before we did and paid the full rent for the house (ie, double). So I wasn’t too strict about chasing up bond in addition to that; I was just grateful they were willing to cover for us. When the heinous flatmate started “paying off” his bond, he was so far behind on bills, I put every payment towards bills. There was never any money left over to go towards a bond. Not, of course, that he keeps track of anything enough to know this.

    Kudos to you if you’ve read this far! /end rant

  • Being head of the house sucks

    You get all the responsibility of, well EVERYTHING, with none of the fun.

    Jessie‘s post on getting rent out of her roommate really got me inspired to write another post ragging on my flatmates. As if we haven’t had enough of those! (Still, looking back through my archives shows it’s been a while, so I don’t feel TOO bad…)

    One of my flatmates pays his rent in cash. Don’t ask. Don’t even go there. He’s a friend of T’s, so I now relegate any rent chasing to him. I completely, absolutely loathe dealing with cash and do everything electronically. Keeping track of cash is nothing but a huge pain, and over time we’ve gone from receiving rent at the start of the week, to the end of the week. Initially he was pretty good with staying on tops of bills, but he’s fallen behind.

    The other one at least pays every week, but never pays bills. He also never, ever cleans anything. I’ve bitched about this countless times before. Also, he’s the worst drunk ever. Gets angry, violent, and hungry. The kitchen is always a disaster zone the night after a boozy one…

    Financially, it’s terrible for my bottom line,but I don’t have the time, energy or patience to chase money. Worst comes to worst, I will call it all in when it comes time to move.

    And frankly, seeing as I’m the only one in this house with a paying job, it’s like getting blood out of a stone. The totally heinous one plans to look for a job again now that he’s had his eye surgery, but the odds of that are dire.

    Money issues aside, nothing is safe! We are down to TWO spoons in this entire house. Cutlery disappears on an alarmingly regular basis. I was forced to bring a fork to uni to eat my yoghurt with the other week. If it weren’t for me, the oven would be coated in at least an inch of grease. The flatmates go through ridiculous amounts of sugar (don’t know how much goes in each coffee, but it must be a hell of a lot more than one) and don’t rinse their cups, resulting in an angry me every morning when I come out to find ants crawling all over the bench and unwashed dishes.

  • Why living with other people, quite frankly, blows

    I thought today I’d share some of the more memorable moments in my 3.5 years of flatting. Honestly, some of the people out there are unbelievable! How anyone can be so impervious as to basic courtesies, I just don’t know.

    Flatmates getting crunk on a cask of red wine, and spewing over the balcony onto lower neighbour’s balcony.

    Finding remnants of fish (meat and bones) in a pot under the sink, and finally understanding where that rank smell in the kitchen had been coming from.

    Flatmate throwing dishes and cutlery in the bin if they remained unwashed for more than a few hours.

    Having my phone stolen off the living room coffee table on the day I moved into my first place.

    Flatmate’s cats running all over the place, leaving dirty pawprints in the bathroom/bathtub (left for me to clean up).

    Flatmate’s cat biscuits ending up all along the border of the kitchen floor (also left for me to clean up).

    Flatmates leaving lights on all night.

    Running out of toilet paper because nobody ever wants to cough up for any. And empty toilet rolls left all over the floor because apparently placing them in the bin by the toilet is just too hard.

    Flatmates filling up ashtrays outside, then simply dropping butts on the ground because they can’t be bothered emptying the containers.

    Flatmates spewing out windows and leaving vestiges of vomit on windowsill (leaving for others to clean).

    Flatmates never, ever cleaning the toilet.

    Flatmates leaving fruit peels, cutlery, mail, in fact almost anything, outside indefinitely on makeshift table of tyres and wooden plank.

    Finding cutlery, rubbish, food scraps and socks behind and under lounge furniture.

    Flatmates buying fruit and veg, then leaving in fridge for months to rot.

    Ditto for beetroot. Except far, far worse, because beetroot somehow ALWAYS drips out of the can and stains everything around it.

    Flatmates cooking in the oven, then leaving the tray covered in a inch of solid grease.

    Flatmates being happy to utilise the stove, yet not once in months wiping up oil/food scrap buildup on it.

    Flatmates breaking your prized (and supposedly unbreakable) special edition drinking glasses. Hiding them in the bin for you to find and blow up about.

    Okay, gonna stop there! Or I will seriously never be able to bring myself to live with others again. The less I dwell on the bad, the better, right?

  • All I want for Christmas

    is hot running water.

    And at this rate I’ll be lucky to get it by then!

    Plumber came today, spoke to BF and informed him there’s a leak under the house, and the mains needs to be moved up to the roof. But first someone needs to come with sonic equipment to detect the leak’s location, then fix it.

    Oddly enough, LL hasn’t been spotted much this week….

    Oh, and he then told him to not call him again as he wants nothing to do with this job, it’s just that “horrible”.

    WHOOPEE!

    Think LL is finally realising that buying a rental property was not the answer to his problem, but far from it.

    I doubt he has the cash to fix this, and I feel sorry for him, but that’s part of your undertaking when you become a LL. You need cash reserves for situations like this.

    Not to mention the lack of insulation, the damp and mould in our room, the windows that don’t quite close…

    Like I said, three more months.

  • Friday night, and I’m sitting here blogging (Yeah, I’m cool!)

    Figured I should make up a list of things to do and buy.

    Tonight

    Topup my trademe account and relist all the crap I haven’t sold.
    And take photos of my latest pieces and create listings for them.
    Do some more shorthand homework.
    Tidy my desk and empty my bin.
    Put all my clothes away.
    Take photos of all my shoes, because I feel like posting up photos of my collection online.

    Slightly longer term

    Go into DTR and get my $60 credit back!
    Go into Pak n Save and exchange that freaking light bulb that cost $6 and didn’t work!

    Things to buy

    Kitchen sponge
    Toilet brush
    Lightbulbs!
    Tampons

    It’s so wonderful to be able to relax a little at home and not spend my time running around madly emptying bins, wiping surfaces and washing dishes when I get home.

    HF seems to have finally clicked that it’s not on to carry on living the way he has been. Now he actually does pick up after himself..his room is cleaner and he tidies up in the kitchen and does the dishes once or twice a week. Every so often the rubbish even gets taken out! Also, BF is not a big dishwasher (I generally do them most of the time, it’s an arrangement we worked out and are happy with). But being at home, and with our new flatmate, I think he’s been driven to do more! The other night he forbade me from washing up and insisted he would do them. A few days ago I called him at lunch and he was busy washing up a load…wonders will never cease.

    And new flatmate actually buys things for the house…things like toilet paper, mop heads, cooking oil, cleaning products…We go through TP so fast it’s not funny. A roll a day. It’s really irritating having to remember to pick some up every week or running out halfway through the week. Plus it means other things we need to buy, don’t get bought (like some of the stuff on my list, and shampoo, and toothpaste, and bleach, etc…). New flatmate takes the pressure off.

  • Is it too much to ask…

    that when a flatmate uses one of of YOUR pots, creates some disgusting concoction involving ingredients that should never, ever be combined, and stinks up the house to the point that you can smell it from outside as you’re coming home, said flatmate should RINSE the pot once finished??

    And then WASH the pot, instead of leaving it covered in remnants of disgusting concoction, to fester on the stove??!!!

    Preferably within a day, rather than ….oh, the THREE ENTIRE DAYS it has been to date???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I want to win Lotto. I want to buy a place of my own to live with BF, where we can do whatever the hell we want, live with whoever we want (ie, NOBODY), and know our dishes and food are safe from others.

    I can’t stand this.

  • Landlord dramas

    Got my driver’s licence in the mail today. I look….incredibly dorky. But it’s still a better photo than the one on my learner’s, and after four years it’s about time!

    Anyway, what I wanted to write about today is our landlord. He’s driving us insane! Where to start? His excessive drinking. Which I wouldn’t care about, except he and his friends drink SO MUCH that our bins fill up within a day and because recycling is only collected every fortnight, we just can’t keep up. Bottles and cans fester for weeks. By the time the bins are emptied, and we go to fill it up with all the backlog, it’s full again. It’s DISGUSTING. There are boxes, papers, bottles, all sortsof recycling materials piled up in front of our house because our bin is full. There’s no end in sight. He would literally have to quit drinking for a month or two.

    He’s becoming insanely nosy, whiney and bossy. That, and he never does anything he says he will (mow the lawn – he now has a lawnmower; fix our windows that don’t shut properly, change blown lights).

    He still hasn’t got our water meter checked out. I gave him printouts from the council site showing what to do and the form for refunds of leaks. I’m sure we have a leak – I’ve done overnight checks two or three times and everytime there has been movement while we sleep. He maintains that our bills are in line with our household. I don’t think he gets how little we use – one of our flatmates is never here, we don’t have a washing machine, and (slightly gross) not everyone has a shower every single day.

    The other day, apparently he came around in a grump, told one of our friends to shut up (he was telling a story about someone who cut him off on the road), and then last week came around complaining about guests “talking in high pitched voices”. WTF? Seriously. We don’t have parties. We’re fairly quiet I’d say for a bunch of 20yearolds. Whatever happened to privacy? I get that it’s his house. But we don’t pay to have a parental figure yell at us for stupid things like that. We’re paying his mortgage.

    It wasn’t so bad, because all of last year he was rarely here. (Thankfully. Our dodgy agent didn’t even inform us that he lived in the back flat.) Now he’s here fulltime, WITH his mother and sister who are moving here and haven’t found a place yet. He promised they wouldn’t be here long; it’s a temporary thing. Yeah. We’ll see. Ever since, it’s been unbearable, his – and their – constant presence. There’s NEVER any hot water – at its hottest, it’s comfortably, mildly warm – not scalding as it should be. They’ve taken over the backyard – we have a full section which is really why our rent is so high. But now we can’t enjoy it because they’ve taken it over, dumping their junk everywhere, plus their flat opens out onto it and we would feel strange about hanging out there. And this week, a cage of DUCKS appeared out back. Poor things scurry around in a pack, huddled in the safety of the herd. He reckons he’s going to sell the creatures.

    Our house needs a ton of work. He’s been laid off as far as I know. Hence always being around, not having had the windows fixed, etc. BF says he told him “I thought once I had a house, I had it made, and I’d be set for life.” Nuh uh. He wants to landscape around the place, tidy it up, and ‘get a loan’ for it. I assume he means borrowing against his equity (which surely can’t be much? He bought start of last year before the huge crash).

    Sigh. Okay, end rant.

  • Live alone, or with others?

    In order to be prepared, I figured it’s time to start thinking about our future living situation.

    I’m not going to head up a flat again. So that leaves moving into an established house, or setting up on our own again.

    I am leaning towards the former, but of course there are pitfalls. I think I’m a decent flatty. I’m clean and fairly quiet although I do have my antisocial spells. BF on the other hand can alienate some people – whereas I can’t help but be courteous to others in general, even if I dislike them, he won’t do that; he’s too honest. He gets dirty from work which might annoy flatmates, and is not as tidy as me – although it’s hard to tell to what extent, considering how we live at the moment (but I think I can guess how much of the mess around here is caused by him).

    Cons of living with others:
    Can be kicked out at their whim
    Cooking times can be awkward
    Cleaning can always be an issue even in the smoothest running households
    Risk of having psycho flatmates
    Issues with having friends over
    Issues with their friends
    Conflicting morning routines
    Paying for others’ power/internet guzzling
    Limited fridge space

    Cons of living by ourselves:
    Can be isolated (although I’m pretty introverted)
    More expensive ?
    Expensive bond, totally responsible for condition of house
    Less space (although less to clean)
    Nobody wants to rent to a couple of 20 year olds, esp. with one of them still studying, no matter how good of a job they may have.