Wednesday 10:00. I receive a call from Tony at Mann Countrywide Haslemere – the estate agent who sold my flat back in May. Tony helpfully informs me that my solicitor has swanned off to the Costa Del Whatever for a holiday without having the courtesy to tell me. Usually I wouldn’t mind, we’re not close personal friends and I’m not Passport Control, but given that I’m supposed to exchange contracts this week with a view to completing at the end of next week, this is not welcome news. I call Potter Owtram and Peck and they confirm. He’s sipping cocktails by the pool and the person assigned to my conveyancing in his absence is out of the office until tomorrow. Unamused, I suggest that they might want to locate my file and update me on the current status of the conveyancing. They promise to keep an eye out for it, but I hear nothing.
Tuesday 09:00. I call Helen at POP; she is back in the office and helpfully starts our conversation by asking me whether they have received a response to an outstanding query from HydeMartlet, the housing association who own the lease on my current flat. I patiently point out that it was her effing job to tell me that. I then point out that I had in fact done her job and chased up with HydeMartlet and that it had been sent 11/11 directly to my buyer's solicitors; Blake Lapthorn. I gently suggested that she contact them to confirm receipt and to ensure that they have signed paperwork and are on schedule for exchange.
She then informs me that we couldn't exchange without my mortgage offer paperwork which still hasn't come through. I respectfully request that she call Chelsea Building Society to chase up the docs. Not filled with confidence, I also called the Guildford branch of CBS and actually managed to get through, which made a nice change. I was then informed that Claire, the woman who has been dealing with my application has moved to the Southampton branch. It was at this point that I started to wonder whether a nefarious Bond villain was screwing with me behind the scenes, or possibly that Al Qaeda desperately want that particular flat to construct pipe bombs and are hell bent on not letting me buy it.
I ensured that the chap was aware of the urgency of the situation - that it was the only thing holding up the process and exchange is due NOW. He is going to get Claire to call me back. Have heard nothing as yet.
BREAKING NEWS 10:53
Mann just called me again. Apparently HydeMartlet have not sent through the info. On the 11th they sent a memo saying that they were processing the query and have had nothing since. Have chased HM again. Someone hates me.
On the upside I have booked a removal van for next Friday from the MVH in Rake. That was disturbingly easy, so no doubt I will show up on Friday and there will be a wheelbarrow waiting for me.
MORE BREAKING NEWS 11:06
I have dealt with HydeMartlet for over eight years. During this time they have demonstrated time and again a propensity towards bureaucracy and incompetence, however two weeks ago I stumbled upon the lone helpful and efficient employee there. I can’t imagine she will last long, but hoorah for Michelle Tant, I will name my first born for you. She has tirelessly liaised with the rest of the eejits there and it seems that for once it is not HydeMartlet throwing a spanner in the works. Bravo to Julia Morey who did actually send out the information on the 11th November and forwarded on the email that she sent to the solicitors to prove it. It does contain the answers to the queries. Have forwarded this on to all solicitors and copied in Tony so that he can push through.
Have got delivery failure message from Blake Lapthorn email. So maybe they didn't receive the original email after all.
Spoke to Tony at Mann - they confirmed that HydeMartlet ARE in fact useless tossers who used an incorrect email address. I sent it to the correct one.... and got a ruddy out of office! Thankfully there was a contact listed on it so forwarded the email on AGAIN marked URGENT. Mann is also going to call up to confirm receipt and to ensure that papers are signed ASAP.
I'm tired and it’s not even lunchtime.