Office hours don’t always suit the move in times for tenants coming from far away. One particularly diabolical Saturday night I had two sets of tenants arriving from Nottingham and the weather had decided to bucket it down with rain and added in a bit of wind to make it fun driving in the tiny Smart Car.
The arrangement for each tenant was to call from the nearby town of Keswick – and I would have enough time to meet each one at their respective properties. The couple moving into Bridgefoot arrived first: 7pm. Off I went into the rain to meet couple + families + moving van and sign documents, take money and hand over keys.
We finished just in time for the phone to ring with Saturday night move in number 2.
I don’t think that I had any particular expectations of what would happen when a Nigerian engineer moved to Cumbria. What I got was a request to meet him at the train station at 9 pm. When I arrived, I was met by a moving van driven by a friend and another car with the tenant and his wife. But why the train station? The last train arrived and a strange man, known to my tenant, but not to me, ducked out of the rain and sat beside me in the 2-seater Smart car. The convoy of moving van, car and Smart car then headed up the hill to the tenant’s new home. The person next to me gave me a quick update on how this small Nigerian band had arrived in Cumbria. All the men had been to school together back in Nigeria. All ended up in UK Universities and now were all settling into their first jobs spread around the UK. Now they had all come together to move my tenant into his house. This man had arrived on the train from Aberdeen to help out his friend – and I was the transport to the house as there was no other room for him.
However, the real reason for the friends arriving en masse to help out was a small one. Yes, tucked in the back of the tenant’s car was the wife holding a two week old infant in her lap. Once the convoy arrived at the house, I wasn’t sure how long it would take to un-tuck the mother, but the weather didn’t allow the door to be open for too long on a sleeping infant. I quickly bundled the baby up from the mother’s lap, tucked it under my coat and, with the rain driving down and water squelching in my nice blue pumps, ran for the front door. Baby safe and dry, we could get down to business: Contract, Money… Keys….and much later – home.