Fireplace update…and yet another whinge session.

16 August, 2006 at 6:56 pm | Posted in General Stuff | 9 Comments

Today I had a “rental inspection”, where (for those who don’t know), the landlord or their agents come into the house you are renting, and “inspect” the condition of the house, and look for things like holes in the walls, or hidden hydroponic marijuana set-ups, or maybe some lost children.

 Having none of the above to worry about, I was concerned when the real estate agent turns up this morning wielding a digital camera and a hang-dog (ie. I’m really sorry about this but I gotta do it) expression on her face.

I met her and her colleague at the gate, and welcomed them in to my cold, crappy and generally horrible abode (the fact that I like it may be indicative of a larger problem, but I never did finish my Psychology degree (and yes, I did actually start one)). 

 I was summarily told that the main (if not only) reason for their visit was to check out my heating arrangements-the landlord knows I have a woodfired heater in my house, (I’ll get to how she knows in a little while) and she has evidently instructed the agents to come out and have a look.

So Karen (the real estate property manager) who was conducting the inspection, took a couple of photos of the heater, asking who put it in (me), if it made a difference (you’ve seen the -3degree shot of my bedroom, since I put the heater in, I have actually cracked 30 (thirty) degrees celcius in my lounge room, and around 18 degrees in the bedroom, so I guess the answer is yes, it has made a difference), and how the smoke got out the back of it. I guessed where that particular question was coming from; the landlord (Jude M) asked me the same question when she found out about my wood heater. I told Karen the same thing I told Jude: The heater has a flue outlet at the rear of the unit. It goes through a sheet of Colourbond, which is jammed hard up against the opening of the original fireplace, with all holes blocked. Therefore, by definition, the entire fireplace and chimney is, in fact, the flue. Tell me I’m wrong.

 Karen tells me she thinks it’s fine, and that she doesn’t think that Jude can do anything about it.

I’m not so sure.

My rent could miraculously be increased by 50% (she’d have a hard time with the rental tribunal over that one, I think), or they could all of a sudden decide one of their family members absolutely must live in this house (They own three farms, all in excess of 6000 acres (2428 Hectares, for you young’n’s), all with more than 5 houses on each) or something. Anything, really.

Now for the things that have already happened, and piss me off no end (for those of you not interested in listening to me whinge and carry on, you’d better leave now and check out one of my blogroll links or something… 🙂 ).

I was working from home on this particular day, around a month ago, and I had Anthony with me. I had gone into town to do some shopping (during my lunch break, of course), and returned to see Judes RAV4 heading towards me, from the cluster of three houses, one of which is mine. She stopped the car, and rolled down her window, so I stopped and did the same.

“I’ve just dropped off the electricity bill for you” she says, looking straight ahead.

 “Oh, OK, thanks for that,” I reply.

“I see you’ve got a wood heater now”, she says in an accusatory tone.

I play dumb and say, “Yeah, it’s great, the house is reasonably comfortable now, and it’s not minus 3 in my bedroom any more.” I could tell by the way she was looking forward, and her tone of voice that (for whatever reason) she was not happy. I couldn’t understand it; this particular issue had been discussed several times over the preceding month, where I asked them for assistance.

As an example, there is a slow combustion wood heater that is sitting in a workshed, doing nothing. I have looked at it, and there is nothing wrong with it (that I could see, and they are, after all, fairly basic things).  I had asked Jude to allow me to use the wood heater, and I understood a flue kit was required to make it useable. I had priced flue kits, and one to suit would cost $300. I asked them to pay for the flue kit, I would install the heater (it fits in the existing open fire place), and pay an additional $10 per week rent. To me this was a generous offer. They pay $300 up front, and get $500 additional rent in one year. But no, the wood heater was “a fire risk, it’s buggered”. Hmmmm, more of a fire risk than an open fire…(they think I’m dumb).

Anyway, Jude tells me she has to keep moving, and drives off.

 My brain starts ticking over….how the frig does she know I have a wood heater? The door was closed, and she can’t just walk into my house-it’s illegal.

Sure enough, I get to the house, open the door, and the electricity bill is sitting on my lounge suite in the the middle of the lounge room.

RED….ALL I CAN SEE IS RED….RED EVERYWHERE (for those of you who have known me more than, say, five years, would recognise this reaction, for those of you who haven’t known me that long, I once had an anger management issue. I am now divorced (BTW-that’s a joke)).

I walk through the house, looking to see if there has been any further impingement upon my personal space, but I couldn’t detect anything amiss.

I pick up the phone, and ring the real estate agents, and speak to Karen. “Hi Karen, it’s Grant here, I have an issue. I know it’s not your fault, and I don’t want you to think that I am angry at you, but can you please call Jude and tell her she is NOT TO COME INTO MY FUCKING HOUSE WHEN I AM NOT FUCKING HOME!!!!!!!”


Then “……Oh no…..”. I could tell by the tone of voice that Karen couldn’t believe Jude would be so stupid as to walk inside one of the houses that she was renting out. “Oh, Grant, I am so sorry, I’ll call Jude and have a chat to her, please try not to let it get to you…”, and other placatory statements. She knew the sort of shit Jude could be in if I pushed the issue. Being a self-acknowledge prick, and holding grudges for at least 4.2 seconds, I contemplated what sort of trouble Jude could be in… Could she be charged with trespass on property she owns, but has leased out? How soon could I get my hands on a .22 rifle (JOKE), were fox traps legal (another joke) etc. etc. etc.

I calmed down, and tried not to think about things. Didn’t work (typical). I waited until Anthony had been picked up, then turned up my amp REALLY loud, and abused my guitar for a while. That worked…

I got a call the next day from Karen, who again apologised on Judes behalf, and said that Jude was sorry, and “didn’t think that it would be a problem….” WTF???????????????

Sure. No worries. It’s obvious that if you have money, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have brains (she has heaps of one, and not many of the other).

So today I had a rental inspection.

And now I wait.



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  1. I’d be onto the tribunal already. Just so they have a good record of things in case anything goes pear-shaped.

  2. good idea, Mr Giz, altho I don’t want to end up in a shit fight and having to move out….But I appreciate what you are saying about them having a record.

    Thanks, mate.


  3. I hope it all goes well Grunter! You’re not asking a lot… just to be warm in winter. Sheesh!

  4. Yikes, what a debacle. Of course she shouldn’t be going in to your place, that’s a given. However more important is what could happen as a result of this inspection? Is this landlord woman truly vindictive, or just a dickhead?

  5. Coops, I think for the most part, I’d select option two. Then again, who knows. As an FYI, I rang Karen today to check on things, and she told me not to stress about it, that her colleague and her were happy with the condition of the house, and had no problems with my heating arrangements. So I shall leave it at that, for the moment. Have no fear, another rant will be in the offing should things change…
    Seebs; Logic isn’t something that applies to this woman; she has married into an extremely wealthy family, and I think she sees herself as a bit of a legend. Leg-end. That’d be a foot. And a foot, like this woman, is never wrong (but I think a foot would be smarter).

  6. Grunter, I can fully understand your anger – that’s very invasive. Did you check to see if she’d used your toilet? Were your undies still neatly folded?

    Good to hear that the agent is on your side. Does this woman’s wealth mean she doesn’t work? Sounds like she has way too much time on her hands

  7. Antman; here’s the really scary part. My undies WERE neatly folded. After she left.

    They weren’t before that….(Twighlight Zone theme)….

  8. You’d better throw your toothbrush out then…

  9. Seebs…um what????

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