One would think that with a household comprised of two sick adults and one sick toddler that we would have woken up this morning in a bit of a foul mood. Not so! The toddler was ecstatic because today the truck came to deliver his toys to the new apartment. The adults were happy because today we got keys to the new apartment. Or so we thought…
Moving day started quite well, with our relocation liaison arriving promptly and taking us to our new place. Our first walk through had been rather hurried and we had forgotten to check many details. This second look showed some cosmetic defects; but overall it was an excellent choice. The movers even arrived a bit early; leaving hope that we could all eat a meal together before my husband needed to go to Stockholm for business.
Alas, that meal was not to be.
Halfway through the unloading, cursing was heard from the stairwell! I thought to myself that nothing was really so large as to warrant cursing and peeked out towards the doorway. There was a man there and he said rather abruptly that he was the owner and we had no right to be there. Thinking he was joking, I laughingly greeted him and said we were his new renters. He adamantly denied it. At this point I realized he wasn’t joking. Thankfully, our relocation liaison came out and conversed with him in Svenska (Swedish). It wasn’t a pretty sight. He seemed bent on intimidating the woman. Finally, he stormed away. She made many phone calls and spoke with him again. He left. She made more phone calls. Eventually, we had the movers reload everything for return to the warehouse.
What happened here? Well, in Göteborg there is a housing shortage. As such, there is a long wait list to be eligible for first hand rentals (renting directly from the owner). Most new arrivals need to obtain a second hand rental; or sublet. This is perfectly legal and accepted. Prior to seeking renters, the lessee contacts the housing board and gets permission to rent out the unit. Once that is obtained, they advertise for tenants; the tenants sign a lease with the original lessee, and everyone goes about their business.
So, what went wrong? According to the lessee, there was a verbal agreement with the landlord. At the time of the incident, the landlord denied any knowledge of new tenants. It’s difficult to know which version is accurate, but something definitely went wrong. While we waited, the lessee did contact the housing board to get written permission, and the landlord has since given his permission directly to the relocation company for us to move in.
Will we? No. While housing is scarce in this city; it’s never good to move into a situation with an unpredictable landlord. More so one who was comfortable being very loud and inappropriate in front of a small child. Don’t worry, my husband did quickly remove our son from the building; but there were a few moments when the man was inadvertently blocking the doorway and leaving was not an option.
Where do we go from here? The relocation company is having our temporary accommodations extended and our storage will also be extended. This week we restart our house hunt! Thankfully, my wonderful friend called the charity shop that was going to deliver the “new to us” couch on Thursday and asked them to delay that delivery. Hopefully not for too long…
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and am thankful that something so calamitous happened when the truck was still half full and the relocation liaison was still present. Hopefully this means something even better is on the horizon.
Until next time…