Well - it took sixteen days. Slightly longer than last year, which I suppose is to be encouraged. Sixteen days for our shiny new year to turn into a crock of sh*te once more. A letter from our landlords (a housing association; frequently referenced in the local press for general ineptitude, such as not getting broken heating fixed, etc.) dropped through our letterbox yesterday morning. In perfect innocence, my partner opened it and quickly gave a gasp of horror.
The letter informs us that we have "unpaid rent arrears" amounting to a little under £400; that we are in breach of our tenancy agreement; and that we have seven days to resolve the matter.
I need not describe to you my partner's distress. She has always striven to be a good tenant and has ALWAYS (however else we might be financially incommoded) paid her rent in full and on time, in accordance with the terms in our tenancy contract. Being likewise sensible in retaining all paperwork relative to such important matters, last evening she and I looked through all communications received from our landlords since we moved into our house. NEVER - at any time - did we receive a letter from them stating that our rent had been increased (which is what has happened; the rent increased back in April 2009, no-one informed my partner, and the £400 is the accrued debt). We received a letter on one occasion about another matter, when we were already beginning to be in arrears, and not once was it alluded to. You would think, would you not, that SOMEONE would have noticed my partner's regular payments and contacted her to say "Miss ********, we notice that your regular rent payments seem to be coming in for the old amount. Were you aware that your rent has increased?" Rather than waiting until almost a year later and then springing it on us just after Christmas... Grrrowl.
My partner is going to contact the agency tomorrow to discuss the matter. I have said that the simplest way to resolve our problem would be for her to drive me to their offices in the nearest city, open the car door, and gently unclip my lead... However, she doesn't think unleashing a savage bloodbath is a solution to ANY problem.
I am SO angry that I cannot even bring myself to post the next instalment of my life-story. My partner says that I will have to do it tomorrow, when I can keep a civil tongue in my head.
I must apologise for the angry and bitter tone of this posting. One day - perhaps - things will start to go right for us. At least we have each other.