Monday, July 12, 2010

Don't Try This At Home

AliBlahBlah - making your life seem like a chuffing picnic.

Running an apartment building can be a full time job - a round the clock job when you're transitioning between tenants.

The trouble is, we already have full time jobs, plus two small and very demanding children. The last two weeks have been pretty harrowing. It would have put a huge strain on our marriage, except we've not been awake and in the same location as one another for more than two minutes at a time so we've only been able to bicker by text - and predictive text doesn't let you swear in British, so I've had to be restrained.

We gutted and renovated a three bedroom two bath apartment in four days with a budget made from fairy wings and pixie dust. LK worked til 2:30am every morning and was up to start his day job at 7am. I single-parented it for a week and definitely got the better end of the deal. I was sorely tempted to use the baby monitor and help him remove 10 years of rotten grout from the filthiest bathrooms of all time but somehow even though we were just next door to the sleeping kids, it didn't seem right. The two apartments combined (ours shares a wall with the one we were renovating) are probably equal to the square footage of your average American home, but even though we were only feet away from the kids, the fact that we were at a different physical postal address made us both freak out about using the baby monitor.

It was awful. At the time, the issues seemed insurmountable. Still, we did it, and we pulled it off by ourselves. It took the existing hoarders four days to move out - that's four days longer than we had anticipated them being there. Every day we would text 'are you guys going to be out today' and they would reply 'no', and we would try not to panic about the carpet that was being delivered in a matter of hours.

Meanwhile, next door chez K, our slab leak was gushing water and we still had yet to locate it. Our plumber called a specialty plumber, who detected it via sonar, and left detailed instructions for the plumber to fix it. The whole process took an absurdly long time, especially when you consider we could hear a continuous 'pshhhhhh' as water poured out of the building. Yes, it would have been prudent to turn off the water, except there is only one water shut off for the entire building....Nice.

Still, I'm always trying to scratch around for the positive or the humorous side to things, (believe it or not). Did you know that you can get a one-time 'extraordinary water charge' adjustment on your water bill? We do now. Plus, on a very positive note, in a tough rental market we had prospective tenants volunteering themselves for the place - we didn't even have to advertise, and we got to increase the rent. They rented it sight unseen (and a bloody good job too.....).We also had people notice the UHaul in our drive and knock on our door wanting to know if there was a place to rent. Form an orderly queue people.

The new tenants are three college girls. I know. LK laughably thinks their presence will persuade me to 'get my game on'. All I can think about is on-site babysitting. Besides, I'm sure to them he must seem about 120 years old.

Or perhaps I'd better just go out for a quick jog......


Nimble said...

This sounds near to impossible. I am glad you have renters contacting you though and got it filled quick.

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