love the free stuff

I was looking round my little house the other day, and it occurred to Me that virtually all the stuff in there …

*quick digress – theres not a lot of stuff – I like things minimal … and there’d actually be less stuff, but the partner is a fucking hoarder LOL … FML! – end digression*

… Is free.

As in, it was given to us, or we found it, or ‘inherited’ it, or made it, or re-cycled it … or it was out the front of someones house, marked “FREE” 🙂

No shit!

I think the only thing Me and the partner have bought as a ‘couple’ is a mortar and pestle … oh, and my coffee grinder.

Yup, thats it. LOL.

safe at last

Another ‘eureka’ moment whilst taking a dump …

All of my kids lives, my greatest driving force for them as a mother, was to protect them and to keep them safe.

It wasn’t nurturing them or making sure they got adequate education or socialisation.

It was protection.

My ‘protection’ button may have been set a little too high, but it is what drove me to stay alive … to do better … to leave them.

Did I always succeed? Hell No. And that devastated me more than half the shit that ever happened to me.

But recently, my girl and her family have moved to a new house. And my ‘eureka moment’ was in the realisation that she is safe. Finally.

That her location, her state of mind, are all about healing and happiness. And she will replicate that for her family.

All that I ever wanted for her, but couldn’t give her, she now has. And that is her doing! Which makes me prouder and happier than I can express.

That finally, she has what I always wanted for her.

Peace.

Contentment.

Safety!

365 reasons to smile ~ 221.

221. So, we did my girls big move yesterday … and the house they’re in, is waaayyyy more than I expected for them … I mean I knew it was going to be big, and they probably wouldn’t know themselves … but … well when i saw it . ..

Its HUGE!

Their old home – which I must say, has done them proud for the past five years – was a small 2 bedroom place; it was damp and cold. But the new house is about 4x the size of the old one! Each of the bedrooms is bigger than the 2 old bedrooms put together! Its massive! And its just perfect for their growing family.

The best bit, is its further out of town than I realised. Its about 7-8ks off the main route at the foot of the ranges. Its kind of elevated and they have a long view of their old town and about 3 towns over. Its quiet, except for the sound of the sheep and a little brook just down from them. It’s gorgeous!

The inside is warm! No damp. No cold. Its north facing so they get sunshine all day.

When we left them last night, they were all huddled up in one of the lounges, on their mattresses 🙂 Made me laugh – they so used to being all crammed up, they feel and look a little lost in that big house. But they’ll get used to it.

I’m so happy for them. And my beautiful mokos look happy, and that makes me happy! My youngest girl and moko number 4 will be moving in with them in the next few months too, and it just makes my heart warm, to know that all the mokos and their parents (my girls) will be warm and happy and healthy … that they finally have a ‘home’.

What more could a mama slash nanny ask for really.

xoxo

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disclosure ~ latch / sam smith

Latch – Disclosure ft Sam Smith, 2012

Response to Property Management Services in NZ

As we have found out during our journey, there are no governing bodies which oversee a ‘Property Managements’ actions in this country. Which means there are no avenues to go down to lay an official complaint re rental properties. And that does not just apply to a renter, but also the ‘owners’ of those rental properties with a Property Management Service. This doesn’t apply to Licensed Realtors who deal with selling properties, who also have a rental section within them, as a formal complaint can be laid with the business.

I have always taken care of my rented homes, like they are my own. I have never, ever defaulted on rent payments or failed to inform the landlord of faults or wear and tear situations. When I leave a house I’ve been renting I leave it in better condition than I found it. When I am looking for and applying for a home to rent I provide all necessary documents, references and monies and am always open to being asked questions.

I expect the same courtesy from those I rent from.

From a long time, renter’s perspective, I understand that there are some unsavory tenants and I do believe that there should be measures in place to filter out those who are not going to take care of a property or pay their rent.

I also think however, after my recent experiences with what was supposed to be our ‘recovery’ move, and the Property Management Service that we had the displeasure of dealing with; that there should be a system whereby potential tenants are able to ‘vet’ a Property Management or landlord before they rent from them.

We started viewing properties around the Horowhenua beach districts in early 2013 and had viewed multiple properties by early 2014.

Early 2014 we found what appeared to be a suitable property to rent, through Rentables Property Management Ltd, Levin. We moved in March of 2014.

Our first ‘red flag’ presented itself a few days before we were due to move. We had paid our deposit and went to sign the papers and bond forms. We had also agreed to clean the property inside, and be reimbursed for doing so. We made it clear that we wouldn’t be officially moving in for another week as that is when our current tenancy expired. Rent payments would start the week after, as we had paid a week in advance. The tenancy agreement was signed by one party and what appeared to be a receipt was included in the document. It appeared that the monies we had paid them were paid to the Bond, meaning the refund of the current bond would go to them to pay for rent in advance and letting fee.

Upon entering the property that day, to clean, it was noticed that the water was running a rusty-brown color. We rang the Property Management and let them know, stating that as we hadn’t been told of this, and didn’t know, we were not prepared to move in until it was fixed, or alternately, withdraw our application. They stated that we could have free rent until it was resolved. This was a verbal agreement not a written one. So we moved.

We also moved with the understanding that the property would be tidied up outside and rubbish dumped and all cosmetic flaws would be remedied within the first month. It wasn’t cleaned when we came to move.

Cutting an already long story short; we spent close to $500 to clean up the property. Fix cosmetic flaws/damages and dump rubbish. We were never reimbursed for this even though we had sent emails to say what we had cleaned and a running tally of the hours.

After only a few months of being there, we were given a 90-day eviction notice after informing the Property Management on several occasions that the water tank was leaking and had not been fixed properly; the roofs in all buildings were leaking causing further damage to walls and wiring, and a retaining wall was giving way.

We also had a longstanding ‘disagreement’ with the amount of bond money lodged. When I tried to remedy this on numerous occasions we were told that we owed rent money. The ‘free rent’ verbal agreement and the ‘receipt’ in the tenancy agreement had come back to bite us on the ass. We paid what we didn’t really owe, in the hopes that this would settle the situation.

Eventually we took the Property Management to the Tenancy Tribunal for failing to lodge the bond in its entirety, and being evicted in retaliation to requesting repairs. We won with regards to the bond and eviction with the eviction being revoked. It was noted at the hearing that it was illegal to re-rent a property that was technically uninhabitable, if the owners/Property Management were not willing to fix it. It was also illegal to give notice to tenants who were doing what was required of them by law – to report faults.

What we didn’t notice at the time of the hearing, was that the Property Management Service, had changed our ‘move in’ date as mentioned in a ‘minutes of meeting’, which I didn’t attend and my partner didn’t realize was a ‘meeting’. This came back to bite us on the ass as well, when we finally moved from the property. Technically however, the Property Management lied in the Tribunal, but because we didn’t notice it till later, all the proof we had, made no difference.

About a month after our victory of sorts, we were then given a 42-day notice as the owners had then decided to sell.

As we looked for a new property to rent we were shown some filthy and severely damaged homes, to be rented out at $250 plus per week. None of them looked like they were presented on-line.

We finally found a modest, inexpensive home, through Property Brokers Foxton. We were deeply grateful for the honesty and professionalism that was shown to us by them. It went some way to restoring our faith in people!

We prepared to move and had the first house immaculately clean and tidy due for inspection. We were then told that the Property Management Service wouldn’t release our bond because we owed rent. We asked why we hadn’t been informed of this prior to the inspection and were told to check our dates.

We did and found the lie that had been presented to the Tribunal. But we couldn’t do anything about it as the dates were noted on that official/legal document. We ended up having to pay nearly $200 in ‘arrears’.

We decided to let it go after we tried to lay a complaint with Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment re this Property Management service. It was then that we were told about the no governing body situation, and that there was no place to lay a formal complaint. I stated that this was ludicrous as in you could lay an official complaint about virtually anything from a bank to rude customer service. Apparently the situation was ‘being looked into’, but as it stood at the end of 2015, legislation remained the same regarding Property Management Services.

My concerns have recently been re-raised after we had a situation with an older family member being declined an application by a Property Management in this area. Apparently the ‘owner’ didn’t want to ‘clean up’ the property as was requested by the applicant. Instead ‘they’ chose to roll with another applicant who was happy to have the property, as is, where is, so to speak.

My concern, after experiencing trying to rent a property in this area, basically comes down to these points:

  1. If a ‘owner’ pays a rather hefty fee for a Property Management Service to maintain their property, select and filter the right tenant, do house inspections quarterly; how is any property left in a mess or damaged? We met the ‘selling owner’ of our previous house when they came to pick up their property. They were aghast at the ‘decline’ of the house, realizing that this had been a long-term steady decline. If I was that owner, I would’ve been wondering where and what my annual fee had exactly been spent on, because it was surely not maintenance, repairs or general up keep! And then on top of the owner’s annual fee, the tenant pays a rather hefty bond to get into that property. Why are we being asked, or left with an obligation to tidy or clean up a house and its premises if we want to rent it?
  2. It would appear that while renting in the city requires references, monies and an inclination to stay long-term or sign a short-term lease; there is no such courtesy here. Yes, an owner is well within their rights to sell their properties when they see fit; but if they know that their properties are possibly not suitable for habitation, why are they renting them out in the first place?
  3. It would be good to have a ‘list’ of reputable and undesirable Property Management Services, nationwide, so renters can ‘vet’ their services before choosing one. As new comers to an area, we relied heavily on a Property Service that knew the area. We didn’t know anyone to ask about suitable property services and would have appreciated some kind of filtering system to roll with a good one.

All of this caused enormous stress on the both of us and while we had to deal with it; it did make me wonder, if we had have been elderly or our disabilities had not been manageable; what would this type of stress have done to us and what would our options have been?

waaaay different we is;

Me and the partner are, on a good day, like a yin and yang 🙂 On any other day we are from entirely different planets … one evil, one not … guess which ones whose!

And while I’ve learnt to laugh at some of the differences and live with the rest, as I’m sure he’s had too as well; some times I find myself pulling at my greying hair, mumbling something along the lines of … “fucking hell, the kids were easier than this!” Because they were!

And the things that I haven’t got used to aren’t things like the toilet seat being up, farting or dirty washing everywhere … and although these piss me off, I have my ingenious ways of dealing with them … mwahahaha.

Basically though its this:

Me : Minimal

Him : Hoarder; messy bastard!

You see the essence of minimal is just that. Little amount of furniture; tidy lines; NO CLUTTER! And my love of all things minimal comes from a few ‘reasons’ … less stuff means less to clean up, less to pack up and move, less to fix, less to clean round. It’s less thinking, less worry, which evokes more peace, more calm.

Minimal also means functional, well for me it does anyways. If it doesn’t have a specific purpose, then get rid of the bastard! My idea of ‘ornaments’ is something thats still functional. As in, it holds something; gets used at christmas time; has memories attached to it.

And yes, my wardrobe is also the same!! If I don’t wear it I get rid of it.

Now, my mother says this is a ‘gift’, being organised and shit. And I like to think that it is lol … but the universe saw fit to pair me up with a partner … THAT IS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE!!!

Today I’ve done about 5 laps of the house, inside and out, mumbling to myself all the while – “how the fuck … what the fuck … ReallY???”

Out the front door we have a wonderful pile of wood that the partner went into the forest to get yesterday. Wonderful. I appreciate it no end. ….. However:

It’s wet, the wood that is. It’s winter. It won’t dry enough to burn this fucking winter!

And before you think, what an ungrateful bitch … heres the scenario that occurs with virtually everything… I say it, he ignores, we suffer for it, he has a brilliant idea (which was mine originally), he does it, we don’t suffer. This could all take approximately a year and a half for any given ‘thing’.

(end of spring LAST year) ‘Dear, we should get some more wood now so that it drys over summer, ready for next winter’ … ‘Yeah yeah, I’m on it’.

Now, I used to just organise shit and pay for shit all the time … but since getting all PTSDy and shit, the organising is sweet, but the ringing and talking is hard and the paying for stuff is non existent. So, I rely on him. I prompt, then wait.

But as the years have gone on, I’ve realised he can outlast me on the waiting! And eventually he gets it … but in the meantime we are going to have Yet another winter freezing our asses off!

And that is just the wood scenario.

Walk round the corner, west of the wood pile, and the lawns are now nearly knee high … Why???

‘Dear, the lawn mower needs fixing … or better yet, maybe we should get a new one?’ … ‘Yeah yeah, I’m on it’. 2 months ago!

Turn south of the lawns and theres 2 piles of ‘important things’ dwelling on our outside shelf. The piles getting larger each day and 1 of them has cobwebs now.

Head in doors … to the left is a pile of clothes … to be put away …

a dresser with another larger pile of clothes gathering dust …

a pile of ‘to be’ folded washing …

a trail of clothing after yesterdays wood gathering display of manliness, that goes from the lounge through to the kitchen, back down the wall into the bedroom ….

a huge pile of dishes from last night ,…. after manly wood gathering … that apparently couldn’t be done just yet …

………

and it goes on.

And on most days I walk around it, because “I’m not your fucking mother; pick up your own shit!” … but this cunning fucker has worked out, that I can only handle it for so long …. being the Queen of Minimalism, I will eventually Fix it!

But this time, I’m thinking …

One very large SKIP BIN!!!!

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365 reasons to smile ~ 59.

59. Oh I is grasping at a little tinsy winsy straw today … as the entity that resides with me is being an absolute twot … this is the only thing that has given me half a grin today …

My ‘eclectic’ playlist 🙂

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I can’t do it to them!

happy daisies

happy daisies

There’s an overwhelming, unseen expectation to mow your lawns before Christmas day arrives…BUT

I just can’t do it!

I can’t chop their happy little heads off!

Soooo…they live to see another day 🙂

2 weeks later…

Well, not having the internet is…a bitch to say the least! 1st world problems ay…

But I’ve missed blogging I must say…being able to have a voice…somewhere…anywhere…is way more important than I realised!

And talking to the cat or the partner…well that has not been cutting it…at all!

So my fortnight in summary…goes a little sum-thin like this…hit it:

  • we moved out of our little house
  • we moved into the shithole house
  • I breathed…lots
  • then I forgot to breath
  • I panicked
  • I remembered to breath again
  • I cleaned the shithole house
  • twice
  • I unpacked, while the partner did his disappearing routine
  • I continued to unpack
  • and forgot to breath
  • and panicked
  • and remembered to breath again
  • the power didn’t come on
  • the net didn’t come on
  • I continued to unpack
  • the power came on
  • I did shitloads of washing
  • I tried to arrange the house so it was comfortable
  • I kept cleaning
  • I panicked
  • I rearranged the house
  • I breathed

and, 2 weeks later

  • i’m slowly settling down
  • the net came on

day before d day

And there’s tears.

I thought I was angry at first…then just frustrated because I sliced my finger open yesterday.

And then I felt my shoulders tighten…and my stomach is lurching…feels like it’s in knots. My legs have tightened and I feel dizzy.

Then…oh brilliant one…I realised I’m anxious. This is what it feels like pre panic attack.

So, I’m breathing.

And I’m calming the fuck down.

And I’m going through all the reasons I’ve been telling myself over the last few weeks. And I’m trying to focus on the positive that may come out of this.

And the fact that I’m still at the beach.

I’m trying to relax my arms. My head.

And then the tears come…I’m afraid…of the change…of being out of my safe place…

But more than that…I’m sad.

And I’m not good with sadness.

But I think this is a normal process. One I usually skip…I go straight to cold hard bitch that hardens up and gets the fuck on with it…

Not this time…I’m trying to sit with the uncomfortable and not suck up the tears…

We’ll be alright…

I’ll be alright…

Fuck I hate ptsd…I hate change…

I hate ptsd more…

And breathe…and breathe some more.