For the last three weeks, my life´s been kind of uprooted. Not long after I came back from the break at my uncle´s apartment, workers were busy installing scaffolding around the house. I checked my mail and it said “by the way, today construction work on your house is starting. We expect your full cooperation”.

Now I´ve had trouble with the landlord earlier. It took three months of verbal tug-of-war before she finally conceded that the price was too high and lowered the rent (whoo). Relieved as I was that this conflict had finally worked out, living amidst a construction site without prior notice took me by surprise.

After an inquiry as to what happened, I got an email from one of the other landlords, telling me “the workers had given her a time-frame in which they would work… but the message to confirm this time-frame had been flagged as spam, so she didn´t read it until just now…”. She said she was sorry it had worked out the way it had, but to deal with it.

Given the circumstances (recovering from a breakdown), you´d be able to say that I wasn´t prepared to live surrounded by noise and construction workers. Hence, in the first week I stayed with a friend and the second week I rented a B&B. I also went to a legal adviser.

Unfortunately, according to the legal adviser, I couldn´t reduce the rent this month because it concerned “urgent repairs”. He said I could go to a lawyer and claim damage restitution, but it would cost me. The other option was to demand the landlord pay back the excess rent I´ve been charged for three years.

By now, the construction has been going on for three weeks and will probably take another week, if not more. Luckily I can borrow a place, where there´s no internet but at least a clean shower and a view of the street, which is more than can be said for the state our house is in.


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