Hello everyone :)
So, this is a tad risky.
There’s a terribly good chance my tenant is in the process of Googling his rights in order to build a defence for the D.I.Y disaster we’re currently grappling with, so the buffoon might Google the relative keywords and land up on this page, and then put two and two together- realising he’s been thrown under the spotlight, and he’s the buffoon I’m actually referring to.
I sincerely hope that’s not how this all unravels, but if it does… GET OVER YOURSELF, I COULD BE TALKING ABOUT ANYONE! Why do you make everything about you?!?
The tale of… the weird shit on the walls!
*Ring* *Ring* *Ring* *Ring*
Urgh! Bollocks! It’s my tenant (who I’m going to refer to as Travis for today). My stomach starts to sink…
Should I? Shouldn’t? I shouldn’t!
I, reluctantly, do…
Hi Travis, what’s up? [please don’t ruin my day]
Hi Landlord, there’s something wron…
…g with the walls
WHAT? What do you mean? What’s wrong with the walls?
Initial thoughts? I hope that whatever shit he’s done, please don’t let it be as stupid as I’m imagining right now.
I painted the walls and now there are bubbles everywhere. It looks like the house is suffering from a chicken-pox epidemic, and so far the casualties are the hallway and two of the bedrooms!
It’s officially stupider.
Hmm… strange. It sounds like the walls weren’t properly prepared. Who painted the walls?”
My dad’s friend, he’s a professional painter and decorator, so everything was done properly. He thinks it’s the actual walls that is causing the problem.
I don’t know him, but I hate him with a passion. Your dad, too.
Okay. I’ll pop by tomorrow to see it with my own petrified peepers.
*Knock* *Knock* *Knock* *Knock*
Hi Travis. Ok, let’s see the dam-ag…OOOOH, fuck me sideways and call me Sally! That looks worse than the acne on your mum’s face [and the colour you have chosen is bloody awful, you tasteless goofball].
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about (not an actual pic from the scene of the crime):
Imagine that crap smothering the hallway and two of the bedrooms :(
My friend’s dad said there is something wrong with the lining on the walls.
I doubt it, because the walls don’t have any lining [this “professional” of yours… don’t ‘spose you found him in a dumpster?]…
Are you sure it’s not due to the [shit] paint you used? Or [manky] paint rollers? Or something related to the preparation (or lack thereof)? Or perhaps, limited ventilation after applying the paint? I’ve painted this entire house 3 times, top-to-bottom, side-to-side, hip-to-torso, ass-to-toe, and the walls have never contracted this weird anal-disease I see before me.
I used good quality paint. My dad’s mate (‘the pro’) said it was either the lining [which doesn’t exist] or a dampness issue.
*I touch and sniff the wall*
Err… there doesn’t seem to be any dampness. In any case, the walls were fine before you painted them, right?
Yes, they were.
For the lack of better words… Fuckity-fuck!!
At least with something like a broken toilet you largely know what you’re dealing with, but bubbling walls (also known as ‘blistering’), it’s just… I don’t know… messy.
What’s more annoying is that I had the entire house freshly painted before the turnip moved in. Why do people have to disrupt neutral colours?
The whole ‘making a property into a home’ malarkey is just a recipe for disaster when it’s more than psychological conditioning i.e. just allowing your mind and body to adapt to the new environment.
Who’s responsible for this D.I.Y disaster?
Firstly, before anyone crawls into my dazzling afro and gets uppity about the superficial disdain I’m showing towards my shit-for-brains tenant, I just want to say that I like my tenant. He’s a good guy; I’ve never had any issues with him. And I still don’t. Whatever sickness is man-handling the walls is just ‘one of those things‘, albeit a highly unwanted and irritable little booger (which I’m confident my tenant is responsible for, and the reason for why my life is currently ruined). But despite my dramatised prima donna dialogue, I don’t really blame my tenant, entirely.
100 x *deep breathes*
Secondly, it wasn’t difficult to detect the fact the work wasn’t done by a professional. The remains of the workmanship (if you can call it that) could have only been left behind by someone superbly under qualified; patchy application of paint and clumsy spillages on the skirting boards, just to name a few of the tell-tale signs. Not to mention the shambolic misdiagnosis of the problem. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was looking at the result of the local nursery’s half-term art project.
My unprofessional diagnosis? When I walked into the house, the one thing that hit me like a tonne of vegetarian farts was a man-made heatwave. The house was heated up like an iguana tank. I suspect Travis, the buffoon, had painted the walls and allowed them to dry in his Mediterranean sweatbox, and that’s what caused the blistering. Or at least, it was one of the contributing variables. The heat certainly couldn’t have helped matters.
In any case, from my point of view, which I also believe is supported by law, is that my tenant is obligated to:
- Repair or pay for any damage caused by them, their family or friends
- Return the property in the same condition as it was received (minus wear and tear)
With that in mind, I’m inclined to believe that it’s my tenant’s responsibility to pulverise those ghastly boils into an oblivion, and not mine. I did articulate my position to Travis, and judging by his response, I think he felt his choices were limited. (IF YOU’RE READING THIS TRAVIS, THEY ARE LIMITED! So stop researching for escape routes!)
But that didn’t stop him from taking one last swipe before toppling over; he made the point that the problem could have been with the coat of paint which he painted over. Reluctant as I am to believe that steaming bullshit- sure, it could have been. But I highly doubted it.
I admired Madam’s fighting spirit nonetheless. Either way, his fearless efforts didn’t negate the fact that the property didn’t come infected with diseased walls, and the problem was given birth to after his interference.
Side note: please God!! I sincerely hope I don’t get swamped by ‘Painting & Decorating’ boffins with erections, foaming around the mouth, ready to give me a full blown analysis on what caused the bubbles. I honestly don’t think I can take that!
Very interesting fact: the last time I talked about penises/erections in one of my blog posts, a very disgruntled reader unsubscribed from my blog, with the following comment, “stupid use of the word pecker and penis in the last blog – not necessary – goodbye”
I’m not too fond of losing subscribers, but I thought that was hilarious. Oh, and speaking of which, if you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, and you’re the type of person that wouldn’t mind receiving occasional reading material on landlord stuff and peckers- both flaccid and stiff- then feel free to sign up.
The reality is, Travis and I could have played the pointing game and surrendered to our primal instincts by slinging our own faeces at one another all day long. We could have even conducted some tests to determine where the truth lies. But it all seemed like a terrible waste of time. I just wanted to amicably resolve the problem as quickly as possible so I could return to picking my nose and procrastinating, and fortunately Travis felt the same.
I genuinely hate prolonging repairs, especially when they’re inevitable. I also feel uneasy knowing that my tenants are living in an environment which makes them feel uncomfortable, because that makes me feel iffy.
Resolving the problem
I feel it would have been effortless to stand firm and simply demand the old boy to shut his pie-hole and resolve the problem himself. The beauty with that game plan is that I’m not sure he would have had any recall (for the reasons mentioned). I’m also confident that many of the
less wimpy hard-nosed landlords would have chosen that path. No judgement from me, I’m just saying.
Ultimately, I believe Travis was responsible for repairing the walls, so if he had refused responsibility, I would have felt comfortable deducting the costs from his deposit without facing too many problems. However, I took the following into consideration:
- He’s a good tenant; he pays rent on time, he’s courteous, and generally doesn’t climb up my ass and cause a commotion.
- I’d like to keep him as a long-term tenant.
- The potential cost of throwing salt over the situation (which is trivial in the grand scheme of things), probably wouldn’t have been worth it.
- It’s easy to build a defence from both sides, even if one case was remarkably more floppy than the other. But, it wasn’t a black and white scenario, like fist holes through the walls.
- I’m a team player, so I prefer working together to resolve problems.
- I’m a nice chap :) Yes, really.
That was enough for me to be compromising, or at least, not utilise the full force I felt I had available at my disposal.
I ended up getting a few quotes from local handymen to determine how much it would be cost to remedy the widespread infection, because I’d be damned if I left it in the incapable hands of the local nursery and their stupid initiative arty-farty schemes again.
The general consensus was that the walls needed scraping and sanding down, cleaned with sugar soap, and then primed with latex, before a new coat could be applied. (Also, it was *most likely* my tenant’s fault).
Yup, a real slog of a job.
After gathering the quotes, I approached Travis with what I felt to be a fair proposition, which was to handle it like a modern day date: to split the bill. At least that way no one walks away feeling like they should have got laid after paying for both covers. A feeling I never wish to experience again.
Travis seemed happy to proceed (probably because he conceded to the fact that he’s lucky he didn’t have to foot the entire bill), and more importantly, I feel like we managed to keep our healthy and flourishing relationship intact. Although, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the Devil on his shoulder convinces him to feel like an underappreciated employee, and consequently piss in the kitchen sink from now on, and steal the bog-roll holder on the way out. Time will tell.
Final word on the matter
I guess, if my experience highlights one thing – other than the fact my doofus tenant is a liability – it’s that it’s always worth looking beyond the legal rights, because there are usually other practical factors in play that are more important.
From my point of view, the law rarely equates to ‘fair’ (regardless of which side you stand), and sometimes it’s wiser to be fair compared to getting away with what you can, legally speaking. But then again, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if some of you ghastly rascals find my route to resolution completely absurd, and perhaps unfair.
Of course, each situation should be assessed by its own set of circumstances; sometimes it’s perfectly reasonable to make the tenant pay through their eyeballs to cover the cost of their own bumbling stupidity, and other times it’s just cool to work together.
What would you have done?
I’m hoping to open the comical floodgates with my next question: have you got any decorating disasters worth sharing? If so, what happened and how did you deal with it?
Love & Peace ya’ll xoxo
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.