A quick recap (since the blog post is missing it for some reason)... The insurance company wanted a call before we extended our hotel stay. We figured it was because we had requested a change to another hotel, and they'd want to know more about why we were making the request. Turns out they wanted to cut our hotel funding. The insurance lady said the clean up should have been done by now (we agree), and that they no longer feel it necessary to pay for our hotel stay. Tony explained the house is not currently "livable" as there is no hot water (to say the least). Insurance lady said she needed to confirm with the cleaning people and put Tony on hold while she called the cleaning company to ask about progress.
Insurance lady came back on the line after several minutes and said the cleaning people were claiming that the job wasn't done because we were never available, suggesting we were purposefully avoiding them, and that our availability was not allowing them to get any work done. Of course this is absolute bull. They call every week and ask what Tony's availability is for the following week, he tells them which day he has off and which day he gets off early (he only has one of each every week), and they may or may not show up on one of those days. Almost every time they show up with one (or sometimes two) guys who clean from about 2 or 3pm until they "call it a day" at 4pm. Tony explained as much and reiterated that we don't want to be in a hotel at all. This whole thing has gone on far too long and we just want it to be over. Insurance lady decided we needed to do a conference call between Tony, insurance lady, and cleaning company lady.
Conference call the cleaning lady again tries to blame all the delays on us, saying Tony is never available, they can't get a hold of our landlord (he works out of town Monday through Friday), and even told him he should just drop me off at the house (an uninhabitable house with five young children while they clean out a toxic basement that contains black mold that I am very allergic to)! He then had to explain that I was not able to do so due to health issues (as we had explained before). I shouldn't have to tell complete strangers about my mental and physical health conditions, or my childrens' to avoid being homeless. That's not appropriate at all. Cleaning lady then says they have only been sending one or two guys at a time because they book their jobs two weeks in advance and says we refuse to give availability more than a week in advance. Seriously!? We were never told that they booked two weeks out. Tony knows what days he will be having off every week (it rotates, so we can plan accordingly), so it would have been really easy to schedule a full clean up had they just said so up front! Instead they only asked for our availability one week at a time! So we could have had the basement cleaned out and been back home within two weeks, instead of living out of a duffel bag in a hotel for ten (now going on 11) weeks!? When directly asked why we were never asked to schedule something two weeks out, the woman had no answer but to again tell us it was because we were never available. By now Tony and I are boiling furious. We're looking at having to be out of the hotel *today* and be homeless and couchsurfing with five kids and a dog because of the cleaning delays, and she can't admit that it is her fault, not ours!
So the insurance lady said we had to come up with a date that worked for both of us (us and the cleaning people) to get the job completed with a full crew, sanitized to specifications, and ready for someone to come and replace the water heater. The cleaning lady then said they would pressure wash it once it was cleared out, but "any repairs beyond that are the responsibility of the landlord." OK, so they're going to power wash the walls that are now growing black mold all the way up to the top of the brick walls, and not deal with the fact that the extended amount of time the basement was sitting with wet stuff in it (because the cleaning crew took so long) rotted the sealant off the floor, exposing the cement? No Kilz paint? That's disgusting! Anyway, they went back and forth on dates, the cleaning lady claiming they could only book us on a Monday, and Tony insisting her works every Monday, but was available Tuesdays and Thursdays (alternating weeks)... Eventually Tony gave up and agreed on next Monday - despite the fact that he is already scheduled to work that day. This means he has to find another manager to come in and take his shift, and his paycheck will be one day short.
Now our hotel stay has been extended until Monday, but we have to check out on Monday... Which means we have to be checked out of the hotel before 8am so we can have time to run me and the kids out to my parents' house for the day, and Tony can be back to the house by 8:30 when the cleaning crew is supposed to show up. The insurance people are sending an inspector to verify the clean up job, and we have to find someone to install (and a city inspector to inspect) a new water heater the same afternoon. This means we will still have no washer or dryer, and no heater or air conditioning as the flood waters destroyed all of the above.
I'm telling you, if your house floods, or you have a fire, or something bad happens to your house and you need to hire a cleaner, never hire Service Master in Baxter! Horrible service and lack of accountability!
I sent a text to the real estate agent to ask where we stood on things, what kind of timeline we're looking at, and what it would take to be moving in by next week. She said they've still not gotten a response from the railroad company, despite the fact that they guaranteed we'd have our paperwork "by the end of the month" and they literally just need to sign the paper that gives us permission to use the driveway that already exists and has been being used since 1905. I think she's as tired of waiting on this as we are. She doesn't get her commission until we close on the house, so this is probably feeling like a big waste of her time by now too. She also suggested she could reach out to the sellers to ask if they'd be willing to allow for an early move-in date so we could start moving in next week while we await closing. I know that opens a whole new set of issues - liability and insurance and rights of ownership. We wouldn't be able to modify anything until it was legally our property, and in the meantime, I'm not sure what would happen if we brought stuff in (remember there's no washer or dryer or fridge or stove in the new house) if things fall apart and we end up not getting the house due to issues with the railroad paperwork or something. I'm leery of entering into that kind of agreement, no matter how desperate I am to get out of our current situation. But on the other hand, if the paperwork comes in this week or next, it's pretty much a green light since all of our other paperwork is already in and ready to go.