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to not be bothered about chalk on the concrete

(54 Posts)
MakeHayWhileTheChalkDries Sun 09-Aug-15 21:32:59

A couple of days ago my dcs and a friend spent a glorious couple of hours colouring the flagstones in the driveway at the front of our house in coloured chalk. They were so pleased with it and I think it looks pretty.

My LLs came to inspect yesterday and they raised it as a concern. While here, Mrs LL stated that the chalk looked bad, and in a text afterwards their comment was "The outside feel of the home was very poor and doesn't reflect good [sic] on our investment". Because of this, they want to send a new contract which "can be terminated at one months notice from either party" (not, I understand, lawful anyway as they have to give me two months' notice. In the interests of fairness, there were also a few weeds that took very little time to sort out today and genuinely were not more than most other houses on the street. Merely a matter of slightly differing standards and certainly not unkempt).

Anyway, AIBU not to be bothered about colouring with chalk on the ground, given that it washes off as soon as it rains, and in fact to actively encourage it because it's a lovely activity that the dcs really enjoy and is good for their motor development? Would you judge someone with a chalky driveway? And if you are a LL, would this bother you?

Wolfiefan Sun 09-Aug-15 21:35:43

Wow! My 5 year old likes to write in chalk all over the patio. It's in the back garden and the bank we own the house.
It's not like they tagged the garage with graffiti! grin
On a more serious note you don't think LL wants you out?

EnjoyTheSimpleThingsInLife Sun 09-Aug-15 21:36:51

Chalk doesn't bother me, (unless it's teenagers using it to draw knobs outside my house hmm )

I let my DD's use it in the garden. Like you said, it washes off so I don't know what your LL problem is.

afreshstartplease Sun 09-Aug-15 21:37:17

Can a landlord really complain about shit like this!

Thancred Sun 09-Aug-15 21:37:31

I wouldn't judge a chalky driveway, I often have one myself. I could understand it if they'd painted it or were sitting cracking the flags with a hammer but given that it was washable chalk I think your LL is being a dick.

mileend2bermondsey Sun 09-Aug-15 21:38:02

I wouldn't do it the day my LL's were coming round, but I cant really see why it is a problem.
If the weeds etc were so quick and easy to sort, why not do it before they came?
Just don't sign the new contract?

Saz12 Sun 09-Aug-15 21:38:02

The only thing I'd think of a house with a chalked driveway/path/etc is that the kids play out and have fun.
LL is maybe worried about interest rates, money, etc., and is just a stress-bunny.

SaucyJack Sun 09-Aug-15 21:42:25

Was it a planned inspection? I don't think leaving the chalk there was excellent judgement on your part if you knew the LL was coming tbh.

Unfortunately plenty of LLs can't get their heads around the fact that it's your home- not theirs and do get the hump if you don't treat their "investment" like a museum.

Zillie77 Sun 09-Aug-15 21:42:27

I think it is lovely to see children's drawings on driveways and sidewalks! Your LL is a grump.

Backforthis Sun 09-Aug-15 21:46:43

Were the windows clean? Was any garden tidy?

cal28xx Sun 09-Aug-15 21:48:13

i was a ll id smile at the drawings on the pavement. my 5 year old dd is always doing it and i really dont see a problem. it makes children happy and can easily be rinsed away. im with zillie your ll is a grump.

cal28xx Sun 09-Aug-15 21:48:54

i was a ll id smile at the drawings on the pavement. my 5 year old dd is always doing it and i really dont see a problem. it makes children happy and can easily be rinsed away. im with zillie your ll is a grump.

tipp2chicago Sun 09-Aug-15 21:53:09

My crazy NDN wanted to call the council to complain the kids who were drawing on our street with chalk. I would love to know what reaction he would get from the environment dept.

So, I would probably put your LL in the same bracket. In need of sectioning

southeastastra Sun 09-Aug-15 21:55:24

that's mad how crackers people are, it washes away with rain!

children need to play i would suggest ll doesn't put anything up for rent if they're that controlling

tootsietoo Sun 09-Aug-15 21:56:44

I am a landlord, a managing agent and a tenant. Your landlord is being completely, totally ridiculous. They need to worry about things that matter like whether you are paying your rent on time and not damaging the house in material ways that cost money to fix. And I wouldn't have much time for being told what to do by someone who wrote that your children's drawings didn't "reflect good" on their investment. Sorry for being a grammar snob.

I am not a lawyer but I'm sure you're right about the fact you can't have an AST contact terminable on one month's notice by the LL. I always write to my tenants two months before the expiry date to confirm either termination or renewal.

Sadly, as I know from experience, it doesn't matter if they are unreasonable, ignorant idiots, you still have to deal with them if you want to stay in the house, so you have to remain on reasonable terms. Are you on a statutory periodic tenancy at the moment or do you still have a fixed term contract? Are they twitchy because they think they can get more rent for the property if they got it back and relet it?

Boofy27 Sun 09-Aug-15 21:57:42

I think you need to have a chat with Shelter before you agree to any changes to your tenancy agreement.

I love seeing chalk on the pavement. It just shows that kids have been playing outside / been creative etc. Lovely.

Anomaly Sun 09-Aug-15 21:59:53

Currently looks like various murders have taken place on our drive. It keeps them busy and does no harm. I think the landlord is being ridiculous!

MakeHayWhileTheChalkDries Sun 09-Aug-15 22:06:40

Phew, I'm glad I'm not BU. Yes, I probably shouldn't have done it the day before they came but by the time I realised what they were doing some of it was there and they were having such fun I let them continue, I genuinely didn't think it would be an issue. The weeds neither - I think it is a simple case of differing standards; there were very few, it didn't look unkempt and I hardly noticed them. When they mentioned it I realised that their standards were clearly far higher than mine so I pulled them out this afternoon.

Sadly I suspect that they do want me out - I think they are planning on selling, but are waiting to have the free boiler put in first (I qualify for this because I am in receipt of certain benefits), so are not telling me. However, I suspect their problem with the front of the house and the fact that it is "cluttered" suggests that they want to take photos. FWIW, yes, it's cluttered but with books, children's toys and things on shelves. It is not massively untidy (certainly wasn't yesterday, as my children were on pain of death to get anything out! grin ) and there is no damage - I look after it. Lawn is mown, plants are mostly cared for but at least neat. I'd even washed the bloody windows, so yes, they were clean! I'm a good tenant despite what they expected when they originally refused to rent to me because I am on HB

MakeHayWhileTheChalkDries Sun 09-Aug-15 22:06:40

Phew, I'm glad I'm not BU. Yes, I probably shouldn't have done it the day before they came but by the time I realised what they were doing some of it was there and they were having such fun I let them continue, I genuinely didn't think it would be an issue. The weeds neither - I think it is a simple case of differing standards; there were very few, it didn't look unkempt and I hardly noticed them. When they mentioned it I realised that their standards were clearly far higher than mine so I pulled them out this afternoon.

Sadly I suspect that they do want me out - I think they are planning on selling, but are waiting to have the free boiler put in first (I qualify for this because I am in receipt of certain benefits), so are not telling me. However, I suspect their problem with the front of the house and the fact that it is "cluttered" suggests that they want to take photos. FWIW, yes, it's cluttered but with books, children's toys and things on shelves. It is not massively untidy (certainly wasn't yesterday, as my children were on pain of death to get anything out! grin ) and there is no damage - I look after it. Lawn is mown, plants are mostly cared for but at least neat. I'd even washed the bloody windows, so yes, they were clean! I'm a good tenant despite what they expected when they originally refused to rent to me because I am on HB

MakeHayWhileTheChalkDries Sun 09-Aug-15 22:08:32

oh whoops, double post blush

MakeHayWhileTheChalkDries Sun 09-Aug-15 22:10:40

tootsie I'm on a rolling contract now, but have asked them for a new fixed term because I'm so worried about them selling up. The fact that they have refused (under the guise of thinking I am not looking after the house) sort of tells me what I need to know, I think.

Phoning Shelter in the morning and hitting Rightmove. And delaying the boiler installation...I can't refuse it, but I sure as heck can delay.

Wolfiefan Sun 09-Aug-15 22:10:58

At least you didn't write it in chalk?!
grin

Charlesroi Sun 09-Aug-15 22:23:42

It's very unreasonable to get het up about chalk and a few weeds so I think your instincts are correct OP. Hit Rightmove, delay the boiler (assume you have to be living there when it's fitted to trigger payment?) and don't sign the new contract just to be on the safe side.
I hope you have better luck with your next landlord.

MammaTJ Sun 09-Aug-15 22:36:46

I would be inclined to point out you suspect they want you out, delay the boiler because of it and look for reassurance to the contrary (in form of longer term contract, not shorter) before instigating it again!

They need to learn just because they are landlords, they cannot treat people like this!

I know there are good landlords out there, these just are not them! that is poor grammar but I am cross

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