Sometimes I wonder if I live in a world that is somewhere in that sparkly gray area between reality and the way I think things should be.
In America, I rented most of the places I lived. I usually answered an ad in the paper, met the landlord, checked out the property and then decided if I wanted to rent it. It was a simple transaction. There were no people in between--no agents, no nothing. I was of the opinion that you only needed an agent if you had large properties to maintain or sell.
That's not how it works here. Everybody has a 'land agent'. I'm not sure what the advantages are for the owners, but we found out this weekend that it's definitely not an advantage for the renter--at least, not if you have a problem over the weekend. Or, at least, not our particular agent.
We had no hot water over the weekend and the agent was NO help at all!
Now, you have to keep in mind that the power companies hook up water heaters on a separate line because they can legally turn them off for 4 hours at a time if the need arises for electricity--like during the summer when A/C's are running. We did consider that option when we notice the hot water wasn't so hot around midday on Saturday. So we waited.
And still no hot water, so we called our agent and left a message on her mobile. Nothing. We called several times and left messages and I even called her office and left a message, all this time, waiting for an acknowledgement that she knew we had a problem. Nothing.
We fumed and fussed and finally decided that we would go to the landlord (who lives just down the street) if she didn't call us back before 9:30AM on Monday.
Well, she calls about 8:45AM Monday all cheery, saying that she doesn't get her messages until Monday morning. Since I hadn't had a shower in 2 days, I was not in the mood to be cheery and said something to the effect of 'I thought you had died' or something like that.
She then replied something cutesy about she needs a day off like everybody else, I think, but I was too busy trying not to say, 'Why do you have a &(^%$ mobile phone if you don't take it home with you, you moron!' or 'It's your #^%$% job to be available for tenants 24/7, that's what the landlord pays you for, you freaking rude Taranaki redneck!' You'll be pleased to know that I was controlled and didn't say either one.
Come to find out, the fuse (that is a very old system) had burned out the holder, which shut off the power to the hot water cylinder. He fixed the fuse and we are waiting for the electric company's 'ripple' to turn it back on.
Knowing that we will have hot water soon is a soothing notion so we are calming down. We are still considering sending a letter to the landlord to formally ask if we can call him if we have a weekend situation again.
I guess being a land agent is a pretty cushy 9-5 M-F job,after all, just showing homes and looking around every few months. If I every feel the need to work outside the home, that's what I want to do!