I rang our site supervisor and asked him if we could have the handover on Wednesday afternoon as I have the flooring people booked on Thursday at 8am. He said, the cleaners were going to come on Thursday morning. He also asked if we were going to be ready by then? I asked what he meant and he said, "Don't you need that occupation certificate to give to your bank for them to release the final payment?" I did't think it was such an issue because I had emailed our CSO on Monday about it already, telling her that possible handover was in about a week, and she is usually very good with our requests and questions. My immediate reaction was to postpone the flooring until Friday and my flooring guy was soooo understanding despite this being the second time I've changed dates on him.
Next step was to follow-up our CSO (I really hadn't thought about following her up before this because I just had so much confidence in her efficiency - it didn't occur to me that she hadn't replied to my email from Tuesday). I phoned her and got a message that she was on leave until the 11th! (A little panic) Then, I phoned our broker who said the bank usually take 48 hours to process final payments after receiving the certificate but he cannot guarantee anything at the moment as it is very busy. (More panic) Then, I remembered that Monday is a public holiday. (I was starting to feel sick)
I rang Clarendon and someone put me through to another CSO. Got her voicemail at just after 12.30pm. Left a message. By 1.45pm, still no reply, so I rang back. She picked up the phone and said she was just taking my message down. She said the certifier only issued Occupation Certificates which were only issued after all the driveway and landscaping had been done. Well, luckily, our bank understands this and only wants an INTERIM Occupation Certificate. However, this CSO said that the certifier didn't do that and that they only issued a letter to say that the house is suitable for habitation. I said I would check with my broker to see if this was enough and I'd get back to her. Meanwhile, would she find out if she could try and get an Interim Certificate somehow.
I rang my broker and he was pretty sure that the letter isn't enough. I rang the CSO back and got her voicemail. I left her the message and asked to be phoned back about what she had found out. That was around 1.55pm. By 2.55pm, still no reply again. I rang and her voicemail message said she was at a meeting until 3pm. I rang again and again until I got her around 3.25pm. She said she coudn't locate my file and didn't know what stage we were at with regards to the certifier. She said she had tried to speak with the team leader but she couldn't. I'm thinking, "what the....?!?!" How is it possible that I've given her our job number and she couldn't find our file? She said she couldn't do anything until she found our file. I was getting really frustrated and said in resignation, "Well, what can I do" She heard this and basically said there is nothing I can do.
Then, I thought, surely other banks have asked for this interim certificate! Surely, we're not the only ones that aren't getting our driveway done by Clarendon! What the heck are they doing with a certifier that wouldn't issue a proper interim certificate of occupation!?!? Maybe our bank has accepted this kind of letter before in lieu of the Interim Certificate?!?!
So, I told her, I will contact my broker again and double check whether we can get away with the letter because it will be signed by the actual certifier anyway. She said she will ring me before she finishes at 4.30pm to let me know what's happening. I tried to be nice because after all, we are giving her extra work, since we aren't her clients.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get hold of our broker on his mobile or in his office. I got home from picking up the kids from school and went through my paperwork from the bank to see if I can get hold of someone directly. By 4.25pm, I had spent so much time on hold and being caught up in red tape that when the CSO rang, I hadn't gotten a response yet. She said, she had found our file and had emailed to the certifier all the paperwork they needed and as soon as she hears from them on Tuesday, she will let me know. I asked her to request for that letter anyway. She said she doesn't think she'll get that on Tuesday. Most likely, Wednesday.
Finally, I got onto someone at the bank. She said she thinks the letter may be ok. Send it through and the construction department will make a decision on it. That's not really what I wanted to hear. I told her I didn't want to waste time and energy asking for something that would be insufficient anyway. She put me on hold for a while. Then she told me she had emailed the construction department to ask this as no one can attend to me anymore because it was nearly 5pm by then. I asked when I could expect to hear back from her. She said, Tuesday.
I felt so helpless. I rang our flooring people and he said if he cannot start on the Friday, we'd have to wait until the following Friday before he can start. I was getting dizzy from thinking and from trying to solve the problem. My shoulders were so painful that I was starting to feel the pain in my back. To top it all off, my youngest son has been so attached lately that I have been feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. So, I decided to stop stressing. I accepted that there was nothing I could do for now. I had a long weekend to enjoy. God always works things out for me. If we cannot move in for another week or two, well, so be it. I felt a little better. My husband and my three boys visited my in-laws and I went to a good friend's house for a scrapbooking/card-making party. I had to be happy because no one likes being around miserable people. So, I snapped myself out of it! I'll handle it on Tuesday.