If you are following my travel stories then this post may or may not be of interest to you. I write it mainly incase anyone with the prospect of coming to Koh Tao long term is looking for a place to stay and has stumbled across my blog by chance, maybe by typing in the right search terms. Gotta love Google. It's still a good story though.

As you may recall, the past six months we've been renting a beautiful three bedroom villa just out of Sairee. We found the place via a management company on the island called BUA.

BUA is the first on my list for people not to rent from on the island. They are a management company comprised of Bua, the Thai wife, and her Dutch husband who is actually a nice guy.

We had been moved in for only a week or two when we decided to throw a house warming party / snorkel test. Nothing too out of hand, just the whole gang from Dive Shop A having a barbecue, drinking some beers, and celebrating our two French DMTs completing their divemaster training. There is a lot of spilt alcohol that goes along with a snorkel test so when the festivities were over, we splashed a couple of buckets over the stone floor of the porch so that nothing would be sticky. All the excess water went cascading over the side of the house and onto the road below the house.

A few minutes later Bua's husband was at our door with a noise complaint. He informed us that:
a) we owed a 10,000 baht fine.
b) we had to sign a new contract stating that if there were any more parties we would have to pay a 20,000 baht fine.
c) the guy who had made the complaint was the Israeli owner of the road. He owned the road and all the other properties on it except for our house, which he had sold to his friend who was no longer his friend. He had sold the house but not the rights to the road or water rights. So he could tell us not to park on the road if he wanted and he could turn off our water supply whenever he wished.

That definitely cast a dark shadow over our lovely new home. We began to live in constant fear that this road owner who we began to call Water Nazi would make our lives a living hell just because we were living in his no-longer-friend's house.

Then began our problems with Bua. When we moved in, they had promised to do little maintenance things, replace lightbulbs, get us extra sheets, provide a list of things in the house that would have to be returned with the house (all houses come furnished here), etc. None of those things ever got done.

In July our hot water stopped working. We informed Bua after a couple of days and they sent someone over to look at the hot water heater but nothing got fixed. We reminded them again and they removed the hot water heater. Several weeks passed and they still hadn't replaced anything. We sent them emails every day saying we still had no hot water. Two months of persistent reminders and they finally just stopped responding. You may be thinking oh it's Thailand, you're living in the tropics, you can deal with a cold shower... when you spend two to three hours a day in the water diving you lose a lot of body heat. A cold shower at the end of the day is like going home from work and sitting in the freezer. It's just not very relaxing. Plus considering you can go into town and find a cheap-ass hostel for 300 baht per night that has hot water, 55,000 baht per month is way too much to be paying to not have hot water.

Our lease is up at the end of October so we eagerly started looking for a new place to live, someplace not rented out by Bua, and stumbled across a brand new management company in Mae Haad called Cocoon. I contacted them while Fletch was back in the states on a work trip and the guy running the office showed me three different villas that were available. He seemed like a really nice guy, super friendly and easy going. The three bedroom villa in Sairee that he showed me was exactly what we were looking for so I dropped off the deposit before leaving for Cambodia, and Fletch deposited the rest of our two month's rent when he got home. A couple days later someone posted a picture of the guy on Facebook asking Has anyone seen this man? A couple days after that we got an email from the owner that said I was going through Denis's emails and noticed you made a fake booking for the villa in Sairee. The guy from Cocoon turned out to be a swindler. We met with the owner and discussed whether or not he had had an agreement with this guy, Denis, to rent out his villas. He did have an agreement, and we had receipts from Denis for all the money we had given him. Fletch told the owner that if he had agreed to let Denis rent out his villa, then Denis had carried out his end of the agreement as far as we were concerned, we had paid, and so he owed us either our money back or a place to stay for two months. He refused to give us either. I don't think Cocoon exists anymore, but if they do then obviously don't rent from them either.

So back to the place where we are currently living; Fletch and I were asleep in our downstairs room the other night when Summer came and knocked on our door. I was half asleep but heard her say, Bua just came by. She said we were making too much noise and have 24 hours to leave. Summer and a few friends had been up in the jacuzzi. It's been raining a lot here lately so the water level was overflowing by the time everyone got in, and the water flowed over the side of the porch and down onto the road. Water Nazi's road. Water Nazi drives up and down that road on his big fancy bike all day long. He was probably passing and was the one to call Bua, because Fletch and I were sleeping downstairs so there really couldn't have been that much noise.

So there you have it. Bua is a terrible business person. She doesn't hold up her end or do what she's supposed to as a manager, but if you're a bad tenant she'll kick you out.

The story does have a happy ending though, don't worry. We found a nice place to stay in Mae Haad called Viking House for the next two months, and the name of our unit is Livslust, which is Swedish for "lust for life."