With less than 2 months to go, I suspect this is the start of things getting busy!
This past week, I have finally chosen the company who will be storing my good and shackles when I am in India. This is a really expensive business! To give you an idea, the average contents of a 3 bed semi requires storage of about 1000 cu ft at a cost of £35-40 per week for long term storage. And all this over and above the normal removals fees for them packing up my goods and taking them away and delivering them back to me.
I decided to go and see the companies quoting me and to have a look at the conditions under which my worldly possessions will be kept. Of course, you want them to be secure, but you also want them to be dry, clean and vermin free. I was actually reasonably pleased with both companies, but have made a decision on the basis of an intuitive feel that one was better organised in their office on the day I visited and had a slight edge in tidiness within their purpose built storage facility.
Also, I have organised an agency to manage the letting of my house. Their fee for this means that I should have no worries about finding and vetting tenants, how the house is being looked after, whether they pay their rent on time etc. Fingers crossed. In addition, I have had to arrange a gardener to take care of the garden when I am away. Luckily the letting agent’s management fee covers them managing his work. It also covers me authorising them to arrange minor repair work to the house up to pre-agreed value, and a friend of mine has agreed to come and look over any work of a higher value that needs to be done, as I won’t be able to just pop back to check these sort of things out! I have rented out a previous house when I lived and worked in the US some years back and I am hopefully for a similar hassle free experience.
To get this all happening means I have to have various things done by law. For example, I have to get an Energy Performance evaluation for the house – so that man came this morning to draw up a floor plan, ascertain the volume of the house, what the walls are made or, how much double glazing and other insulation there is etc – this goes through some calculation to give a standard description of the energy efficiency of the house.
In addition, there is a fair size list of tasks to work through. The worse part is getting in contact with contractors and getting them to come and do the work. My oil fired boiler and Rayburn need to be serviced, luckily my chimneys have just been swept recently and my wood burner checked out. All the electrics and electrical goods need to be PAT Tested. This means finding an electrician who is authorised to do this type of work. I've got my boiler service booked in for later this month but I’ve never been that lucky at finding a good electrician locally. My in person book club buddies have recommended one they have used and I have been in contact with him to see if he can do this, but so far have only got voice messages – typical. I keep telling myself to be more patient as I suspect things in India will move even more slowly!