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When the builders have gone...Lessons Learned

(39 Posts)
Gozogozo Mon 08-Dec-14 19:02:25

So we have had a kitchens-lessons-learned, bathrooms-lessons-learned, and most recently a renovations-lessons-learned, and they have all made me realise how much I didn't know but needed to, so incredibly helpful.

Soon the builders will move out and we will move back in - any tips on the actual move, what I can expect builders to clean up and what the post builders clean should involve would be helpful. Should the builders come back and touch up cracking plaster, for example

We simultaneously have to leave a rental flat, first time for that too, and I know there will be all sorts of things that I haven't considered....

So, come on and share your hard won knowledge! Thanks!

PigletJohn Mon 08-Dec-14 20:51:06

hide your vacuum cleaner. Hide its hoses and its attachments in different places, for example in the boot of your car so the builders won't find them when they rummage through your cupboards and drawers.

Issue them with one mug each, and tell them they can have another tea if they bring it back. Give them a large plastic tray with a Value kettle, teapot, large jar of sugarlumps (yes), teabags and instant coffee. Buy a pack of cheap teaspoons from the pound shop and put them in a jar.

If you want to wash up their mugs, do it only once a day after they have finished, and only if they have put the mugs on your tray. Do not let them go through your kitchen looking for biscuits, milk and clean mugs. Buy no biscuits.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Dec-14 20:56:42

Oh God yes - the broken vaccuum cleaners.
Why would anyone think it is ok to hoover up lumps of cement and plaster?

The man who fitted a carpet in a previous house did an enormous smelly poo, and had a cigarette, in my upstairs bathroom. I had to wash all the towels and fumigate the place.

My friend discovered one of the builders had done a wee all over her bathroom carpet. shock

Justtoobad Mon 08-Dec-14 21:18:45

Do not even go down the path of offering a bacon sandwich - one offer and then, well, it's piglet buying for ever more.

Gozogozo Mon 08-Dec-14 21:27:37

Yup - I had some cheeky feckers demand hot meat samosas and kebabs for lunch, so that they could get on with installing windows more quickly. I pointed them in the direction of the nearest sandwich shop (utterly fed up with them by that point, and veggie, not that that's the point)

Amethyst24 Mon 08-Dec-14 21:42:16

Pigletjohn Why sugar lumps?

Am imagining the conversation around the plastic tray.

Builder 1: Shall I pour out?
Builder 2: Yes, go on, mate, don't mind if you do.
Builder 1: Woychik, one lump or two?
Builder 3: No, thanks, I don't take sugar.
Builder 1: Oh. It's not fucking Earl Grey, is it?
Builder 3: Well, so much for that. Back to work.
ALL: Grumbling sounds
Builder 2: Actually, I fancy take a long, leisurely dump. I may be gone some time.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Dec-14 21:47:29

Actually I think sugar lumps are a good idea because I hate washing up sugar encrusted spoons, and dealing with bags or bowls of sugar full of lumpy, tea coloured bits, the sugar spilled everywhere so it crunches under your feet and the stickiness of work tops covered in scattered sugar and spilled tea.

But maybe I am a bit fussy.

Amethyst24 Mon 08-Dec-14 21:50:25

frogs I'm sure you're right. Just couldn't resist a bit of random comedy.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Dec-14 21:53:22

My post was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek - I should have added a grin

Gozogozo Mon 08-Dec-14 21:56:10

So how about when you've got rid of them (my current builders are lovely btw so we will actually miss them a teensy bit - till we see them again for snagging)
How long did it take you to get everything put away?
How long till you stop needing to wet dust?
What else am I missing?

GreenEyedMonster14 Mon 08-Dec-14 21:57:01

DP used to be a builder and he agrees that you should hide the hover.

Gozogozo Wed 10-Dec-14 12:07:19

gentle bump for more great ideas

CQ Wed 10-Dec-14 12:15:35

If you can afford to, have a few days between moving out of the rental house and being checked out. This gives you a chance to have it industrially cleaned, tidy up the garden etc so that you maximise your returned deposit. There will always be something you get penalised for.

I had inadvertently packed the window keys from the rental house into one of the boxes going to the new house. The rental agents wouldn't return ANY of my deposit until they had been found. I tried to question the reasonableness of this, said ok, just withhold £100 or whatever in case you have to replace them all. She would not budge. It took nearly 6 weeks to get our deposit back. Utterly unreasonable. I cannot believe the amount of rage and frustration it gave me in a time of stress and financial strain.

Can't advise on the cleaning really as we keep having other jobs done so I seem to live in perpetual dust. Try not to be too house proud is my best advice!

CurlsLDN Wed 10-Dec-14 12:31:25

Agree that when leaving rental you should expect them to keep some of your deposit for one reason or another - bonus if they don't!
It's worth checking with the landlord about deep cleaning. Many property companies will do a deep clean and charge you (over the odds) for it whether you've already paid for cleaning or not, so it's worth checking and pre-agreeing rather than pay twice

PigletJohn Wed 10-Dec-14 14:43:38

"you should expect them to keep some of your deposit "

No, perhaps you should expect them to try but the law, thank goodness, has been tightened up to prevent light-fingered landlords (yes, they do exist) from helping themselves to your money without good justification.

I understand that in the old days, some dishonest landlords used to look on the deposit as a bit of extra income.

specialsubject Wed 10-Dec-14 15:45:41

no, you should not expect 'them' to keep any of your deposit unless you have broken something beyond normal wear and tear. The onus is on the landlord to prove that the tenant has damaged something otherwise the deposit (which is the tenant's money) goes back to the tenant.

get all your stuff out, leave it as you found it less wear and tear, comply with any checkout instructions and that's it.

our landlord haters have been asleep for years - Rachmann has been dead for decades and the deposit protection scheme has existed since 2007. Still, why let facts get in the way of spewing bile?

there are bad landlords. There are also bad tenants. Unfortunately there is no matching service.

CQ Wed 10-Dec-14 16:47:53

Yes but while you dispute what is being deducted, they are hanging onto your substantial deposit which you need for all the expenses of moving into a new place.

In the end I lost the will to fight and accepted their deductions.

PigletJohn Wed 10-Dec-14 16:55:09

how long ago did that happen?

Which deposit protection scheme was it?

PigletJohn Wed 10-Dec-14 16:58:03

(Rachman may be dead, but van Hoogstraten isn't. Tenants still need protection.)

CQ Wed 10-Dec-14 17:01:20

It was a year and a half ago, PJ - I can't remember the deposit protection scheme but it was a kosher one.

Just all so terribly wearing trying to go through the process when everything else is going on and you don't have internet at the new house and have moved out of the old one etc etc.

I have moved on now smile but will never do business with that agent again. It wasn't just the fact of the deposit deductions, but the way it was handled - calls never returned, emails unanswered, being treated like shit basically.

CQ Wed 10-Dec-14 17:02:10

Off to google van Hoogstraten…….

specialsubject Wed 10-Dec-14 17:49:15

that is a shit agent, not (necessarily) a shit landlord. It's no consolation, but as a landlord I've had agents like that; big ones too. Seems to be a job for the family fool. I also have firms I will never use again, the current lot have idiots in the main office but the branch are very helpful and sort stuff out.

agents are completely unregulated, anyone can set up as one with no qualifications or financial protection. No-one seems to notice.

your deposit should have come back in 10 days.

van Hoogstraten (who is indeed a serious crook) evicted tenants by sending the boys round. This is illegal and has been for years. The protection is there.

now, can we have some bad tenant stories please? Wrecked properties? Deliberate playing of the system? Drugs dens?

CQ Wed 10-Dec-14 17:55:49

Yes, the landlord was fine mostly - I had direct access to him via email as the next door neighbours kept in touch with him. He was as exasperated as I was with the agent.

I have been a landlord too for many years so I know the ropes. It's still hell when you're on the receiving end of it.

I had some lovely tenants over the years, only minor problems on the whole, so no stories to share on that front. Mostly my gripes were with the agents - we had to use one as we were overseas landlords.

Pinkje Wed 10-Dec-14 18:16:01

Would be interested in the answer to your original OP as we have builders due to leave soon. We're being charged for a builders' clean too. I'm expecting them to at least clean the plaster off the new £8k windows!

SquidgyMaltLoaf Sat 13-Dec-14 09:47:54

Hang on Pinkje - the builders are charging you to clean up after themselves? Have I got that right??

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