My Year – part 2

April 2010

Chris and I decided we would dig up the 23 oleanders on the perimeter of K5 house. Now for those of you who have never attempted to dig up oleanders that have been growing quite happily for three years, and really did not want to move, my advice is, don’t do it. Each oleander took hours to move with their roots still attached. First we cut them down in height, then we teased their roots out. Perhaps teased is too gentle a term, maybe crow barred would be more apt. They fought back, hissed, screamed scratched and kicked and leaked a white milky substance all over us. Every part of an oleander is poisonous, so we had to be sure to keep it away from our eyes and mouth. Very difficult when you are having obscenities screamed at you by these noxious plants and you are screaming them back. Eventually we moved 22, the 23rd situated behind a date palm who was far too big to take on was left behind. You will be pleased to know they are all planted in their new home and showing no signs of having suffered from their ordeal. We also moved several other trees, these came more willingly.

By this time our builder was doing more or less as he pleased and any attempt to talk with him was futile. He started to make decisions and change things and when questioned, said it was necessary because I had asked for changes. In fact the addition of a grey water tank suggested by the Chartered Surveyor was his reason for the sewer pipes being laid like spaghetti and having all sorts of weird connections at angles that were just inviting future problems of blockages with no inspection chambers, in fact the builder seemed to think inspection chambers were not important. Many times when we arrived unexpectedly we would find his men asleep on my bedroom floor and having a cosy tea party on our patio. Of course I expected the men to have breaks, but not as many as they had. On one occasion I found their stove on my new work surface in the kitchen with the lighted stove burning under my new cupboards and when I asked them to move it, they looked surprised, another few minutes would have seen it igniting my kitchen cabinets. Of course, with hindsight I realise I should have got rid of him at that point. But with the stress from knowing that living at K5 was damaging my lungs and the build up intimidation going on by Akfinans, I was just so keen to move into my new house. I also kept thinking that my friend (Chartered surveyor) would no have recommended a bad builder. I had made my displeasure in the quality of work known to both and meeting after meeting took place to try to resolve these differences.

May 2010

One very significant thing happened this month. We went to Kibtek and got normal price electricity arranged. Now to most people, this would appear to be normal. Not to us, our new house was on normal tariff electricity, a cause for celebration. Of course Kibtek inspected the house and I have to say the electrician was one of the few competent workmen that took part in the building of our house. We had not been made aware that the ‘jack of all trades’, the driver of the JCB and the lorry would also the ‘plumber’, joiner, bricklayer, plasterer etc etc. The toilets appeared one day, plumbed in sitting proudly so well away from the wall that you could walk round it, if you stepped over the two pipes at the back. The taps in the shower looked like a chimpanzee had fitted them. They did move the toilets back a bit but of course, this meant having to remove tiles and refit them. The taps in the shower, we eventually bought good quality ones and Chris had to fit them (he is not a plumber and suffers from the fact that he only has four functioning fingers on two hands) he did however do a far superior job to the ‘jack of all trades’. Every time the ‘jack of all trades did some work involving the JCB, he would chip a little bit out of a wall here and little out of step there. By this time my nerves were stretched to breaking point. Whenever I pointed all this out to our Chartered Surveyor, he would shrug, hold out his hands and say ‘this is Cyprus’. Strangely, he never behaved this way when he was urging me to buy the house, recommending the builder and really pushing me to pay a deposit of £2000 to secure the house because there was someone else interested in the plot over the way owned by the same vendor and he only intended to sell one plot. Also strangely, some 14 months on, the plot over the way remains unsold, my mysterious competitor seemed to disappear like magic. I did not pay just the deposit, I paid all the money for the land and the part build on completion. I make no allegations just reporting the facts as they happened.

The Contract with the builder had a completion date of the 23rd May 2010 and we had made it clear that we intended to move in around that time. There was a two month leeway for the fact that the weather might stop them meeting the completion on the due date. Also at this time the builder had taken on a job for the Chartered Surveyors neighbour and the men seemed to spend more time there than on our job. Many days no-one turned up at all. One thing is for certain, there had been a lot of rain during that winter but not two months worth. Chris arranged for the sheds to be transported and on the 25th May whilst he was assembling the sheds, the builder arrived. I showed him how badly the surround on the pool had been fitted. He went ballistic, said he had enough of my complaining and he would call the Government Inspector into see the work, I was glad to hear that as I was sure the work would not pass muster. He stormed off. When I eventually contacted my former friend the Surveyor, he informed me that the builder had said he would no longer take instructions from him or me and that I would have to employ another professional to liaise with the builder. He also informed me that whilst the Government Inspector was being waited for, no further work would be allowed on my home.

Please bear in mind that whilst all this was going on, we had received the Auction date for Kulaksiz 5 – 6th June 2010.

Tomorrow I will tell you more about the Government Inspector who was never contacted (how could he?) and the dreaded Auction.

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