Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More updates...

Surgery is over...for the first eye. Some discomfort but nothing to complain about, and when I remove the bandage to put in the prescription eye drops, the difference in the vision between the two eyes is amazing! My left eye looks like I am peering through a brownish-yellow filter, the right eye looks like somebody has over-used the "brightness," "contrast," and "sharpen" filters!!

Here's another installment of the Saga of the Move from Hell House:

Day 3: Moving in

Ah, things just cannot go smoothly for me…why do I keep expecting each problem to be the last? Poor Hubby woke up this morning with his left foot swollen and tender and gouty…now that is a truly painful condition, akin to my broken foot (but more easily resolved). So, he spent the morning in bed and the rest of the day hobbling about dealing with the horde of workmen who descended on the place.

The news is not good: the pool problem is major, serious, and very, very expensive to fix; the electrical problems are potentially a problem, and one of those toilets not only needs to be replaced, the seller knew it was a problem and concealed it from us by trying to glue together the crack in the toilet base!! The good news is, we’ve reported it to the law firm that handled the transfer of the deed and they apparently will be addressing the problem with the seller.

The pool has a “suction leak” which, to fix, necessitates taking up some of the brickwork around the pool and then digging a trench in the lawn back to the pool pump, and replacing the hose that runs from the pump to the pool. This is neither a cheap nor an easy fix, but it must be done. Did the seller really think he could get away with this? In this country, houses are sold voetstoots (FOOT stu its) or “as is.” What some sellers do not seem to understand is that the voetstoots door swings both ways…not only is the buyer obligated to accept the house in the same condition it was in at the time of sale (i.e., the condition it was in at the time the buyer viewed the house), the seller is obligated to deliver the house to the buyer in that same condition. The only exception to the voetstoots is intentionally concealed defects (like a cracked toilet glued together so it didn’t leak during the showing) and electrical faults.

At the time we viewed the house, none of the toilets were leaking…I suspect the seller turned off the water inlets to the toilets because they all leak noisily…had the water inlets been open, only a deaf person could have missed the sound. The pool was pristine and a pure crystalline blue…it is now not only green, but it has a nasty white foam floating on the top of it, a far cry from the beautiful pool we signed up for. But the electrical is a whole other ball of wax, and this one may come back to bite the seller in the butt.

Before transfer can be effected, the seller of a house must provide an electrical clearance certificate. It is a standardized form and a real, bona fide electrician must inspect the electrical system and certify it compliant with the law and codes. Anything that is not compliant must be replaced or repaired before the certificate is issued and transfer is delayed until the certificate is presented to the conveyancing attorneys. The seller of this house held off on getting the certificate until the last possible minute…we suspected it was because he didn’t want to pay occupational rent (once the certificate was in, transfer occurred within 48 hours, and he became our tenant) but now I am wondering if there was more to it than just that.

Yesterday we had a contractor come in to look at the plumbing and electrical problems. He was the one who discovered the glued toilet but more importantly, he says there is a problem with the electrical certificate: the electrician who issued the certificate obviously did not do what the law requires him to do and he certified the electrical system in this house without knowing if it is in proper operating condition or not. How do we know this? More than half of the light switches in the house do nothing and more than half of the light bulbs in the house are either burnt out or missing…how do you certify the electrical system operational if you flip a switch and it does nothing? How can you certify the electrical system operational if you cannot get a light to turn on?

While the contractor was here, Hubby called the conveyancing attorney and put him on the phone with her. She is not happy with what she heard and told Hubby that the seller was going to have to pay for the fix both to the pool and the electricals. We’ve had to sue a seller after purchase for this kind of shenanigan before and it was neither cheap nor pretty…I guess we’ll have to see what comes up with this one, eh?

The kitchen is almost unpacked. Thandiswe worked her butt off and has done a great job of getting it set up. Tomorrow we go to Makro for the monthly stocking up and we’re going to stop and get some vinyl flooring for her room and some paint so she can put it together. She’s staying in the guest room right now, I can’t expect her to live in a room with a bare cement floor, dirty walls and a leaking toilet…but we’ve got to get her space ready so that the guest room is available at the end of the month when my MIL comes to stay with us while I recuperate from the eye surgery. So, tired as we are, work continues apace…only Thandiswe gets the weekend off!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear the surgery went well. Glad to know, too, you are aware of the recourse you have re the sneaky sellers. No wonder they didn't want you on the premises. They must have had the devil's own time keeping everything looking good during their listing time. Just plane creeps. N.


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