As you can read here we emigrated with our children to the small village of Lourmarin in january 2011. Unfortunately we had some bad luck with the house that we rented there, which resulted in us leaving the village a year later.
We rented the house out of hell through one of the real estate agencies in the village. It all looked really cute. The house was on the edge of the village opposite of the tennis courts and one could park the car in the garage and walk in a few minutes to the centre of the village and to the school. The house had a very small but private and cute little garden as well.
The lady from the agency Sud Durance Immobilier, seemed friendly and helpful. A few months later when the house averred to be unhealthy and uninhabitable and the owner did not react to any calls, e-mails and letters, the agency lady was not half as friendly and helpful as she looked at first.
I liked the adress, jardin des fleurs, which means The garden of flowers and we were really eager of starting our new life in the cute village Lourmarin. The house was far from perfect but we could never have expected at that point what we would discover under a few layers of paint. It averred that the house had a big humidity and ventilation problem that had been existing for years. After the first rain we got, the walls of kitchen were soaked until half way the wall. As if you had put a sponge in a bucket of water. After a few weeks all the windows, doors, parts of the walls and ceilings were full of mold and mushrooms because of the moisture, high humidity and lack of ventilation.
There actually was no ventilation at all in the whole house because the ventilation holes that existed had been closed/blocked from the inside with some kind of building material by some guy that rented the house before us to protect himself from the cold (!). There was no ventilation at all in the kitchen, toilet and bathroom. Actually the main problem came from a crawl space under the house that was filled with water and every time it rained that space got wetter and wetter and worse that space had no ventilation either. So the water would come up through the walls of the house.
Anyway all the new furniture we had bought when we rented the house was full with mould, the kitchen could not be used for over two months time because of the wet walls (even the heating that was hanging on the wall fell off, that’s how wet the walls were), the kids had strange headaches and allergy symptoms and the owner did not answer, not once. Not even when we said we could not stay there and would be leaving because the situation was unhealthy and uninhabitable.
What I thought was the worst is that the owner and the agency already knew about the situation but when the other people that rented left, they painted all over all the mould so we did not realise the problem until a few months later when it started getting cold and raining. How can you rent a place that unhealthy to a family with three small kids???
Friends of ours paid the same rent as us and had a nice modern house, clean and well equipped and when there was any small problem they would ring the owner and it would be solved very fast. So we just really had bad luck with our rental, the agency and the owner I’m afraid.
So if ever you want to move to Lourmarin, I would not recommend renting 6, jardin des fleurs :)