Although there is no correlation between this article in the Herald today Paritai P Lab and my old humble abode above, I thought that I would share a few stories about my year and 1/2 at #3 Paritai Drive, Orakei.
The house was owned by a Chinese family from HK. The husband spent most of his time out of NZ, and his wife was in control of the properties they owned in NZ.
Daniel F King, who was trying to give the P.M a run for her money as the ACT candidate in Mt Albert, and I decided that it was a good idea to get a flat together (separate rooms before you ask), as we got on well and both were (are) very keen ACT supporters. We figured that we could come up with a plan to have ACT as the second largest party in NZ, and that would start with Daniel taking Mt Albert by storm.... HA.
Daniel wanted to spend up large, or at least look like it, so we decided to target Paritai Drive. We went to visit Mr John Boscawen who lived on the Drive, and Daniel bluntly asked where we could move too in the area. John suggested that that # 3 was available and he informed us as to where the owner lived.
We rushed home and got dressed up. I picked up a rental agreement from my office, and we went directly to the owners place.......... Before long we had viewed the house which had 6 rooms, a swimming pool, and views to DIE for. We struck up a fair deal with the owner, and her translator who was there as a back up. She wanted $800 per week, but happily shook and signed on $750 per week if we took if for a year and paid the deposit right away. I asked that we were allowed a cat, and the right for another year renewal, and it was signed off. We were to move in in two weeks............
The next morning at 6am the lady owner called me and said that it was not a deal unless we agreed to pay $800 p.w. I told her that we had a deal and it was binding. She then started getting mad. *Let me note that the house was on the rental market for a long time, and she was delighted that we wanted to rent that place the day before... it was a DUMP of a house but acceptable for a group of bachelors*.
I told Daniel that we had some trouble on the horizon, and was concerned that she may not give us the keys in 2 weeks time.... I called the tenancy tribunal and asked if we had done anything wrong..... They said we had a binding agreement and it seemed fair, so I stuck to my guns. I would get a call from the owner every second day and they got weirder and weirder..... I was getting more concerned.
The HAPPY day arrived, Daniel and I were going to be big shots with a Paritai address and neighbours like Mr Kirkpatrick, The Hujlich's, Mrs Gibbs, The Staisny's and some guy with a Lamborghini next door. Problem was is when we arrived to inspect the property and get the key, the front gate was locked...... (It had not been locked for about 5 years prior). This is when all the fun began......
Dan and I went to the owners place, and I knocked on the door. It opened and the rental agreement was pushed out side of the door with the figures changed.... to $800. We pushed them back in politely and said that we were here for the keys. The door was slammed. We knocked again....... Door opened, bottle of champange was waived out of the front door... For us when we agreed to pay $800..... We said NO to champagne. Door slammed. Knocked again and this time I jokingly said to Daniel that this was about the time that I expected a shotgun blast through the door. Daniel took note and stood behind me.
The bloody door swung opened only to be stopped by the chain catch.... The owner was waiving a meat cleaver at us wildly and madly. We both instantly decided to RETREAT. Daniel nearly leaped a 9 ft fence in a single bound, and I made it to the car quicker than the neighbor could have in his Lamborghini. It was back to the drawing board.
Unfortunately we had to lay a complaint with the local police. We were legally entitled to live in the house and the owner was in the wrong. The police visited her and the next day the front gates were unlocked after she rang to apologise. We collected the keys and were delighted to see the owner had had a change of heart and left a nice note saying "Everything is beautiful, do not worry, good lucky!" along with the champagne. Phew, best we get a dead lock installed........... Gary Probsting moved in as well, and it was down to getting the place filled up so as it didn't bankrupt us.......
End of part 1