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Landlord Blues: Renting out the house from hell

I am using this blog to publish extracts from my third book on the subject of dealing with tenants from hell. The aim of the book and blog is to give people an insight into what the life of a landlord can be like and to provide tips for making landlords’ lives easier. This is done by describing real experiences of our worst-case scenarios. This should help you avoid getting into the same fixes.

Feeling sorry for a paedophile
17 February 2014 @ 19:40

Just as I was starting to think Peter could die on the doorstep, and thirty minutes after the first call, the ambulance turned into the street. Two female paramedics emerged and looked at Peter.

‘I think we’ve seen you a couple of times already this week, haven’t we?’ one of them said kindly, as she took him into her capable hands, got him into the vehicle and started bandaging his head.

‘Can you come with me to the hospital?’ Peter pleaded with Adrian. Dezzer, whom Peter had described as his best mate, had, in the meantime, made no attempt to help stem the blood loss and didn’t offer to go with him. He had a very smart t-shirt on and I couldn't help but think that he probably didn’t want to get blood on it.

Even when Adrian ‘phoned Peter’s mum later, she was unfazed by all that had happened and made no indication that she would be going to see him in hospital.  A man in his 40s and it had come to this. When we told our teenage daughter, Avril about it later, she burst into tears. No-one else was crying over him. Although he did have a 14-year old daughter, apparently, who had been coming to visit him recently and his nerves had got the better of him and he’d got drunk before she arrived.

 Jason had been on the ‘phone a couple of days earlier, talking about Peter being a paedophile.

‘Yes, I know all about the incident in question,’ I answered, ‘and it didn’t seem that bad to me. I don’t think he’s a danger to anyone.’ And certainly not a danger to Jason’s alleged girlfriend as she was an adult.

‘Huh, you only know his version,’ Jason retorted.

‘Well, whatever. It’s Peter’s business and not something I'll discuss with you.’

Maybe there was more to it. It would explain a lot. When we first visited Peter at his mother’s house to sign the tenancy agreement, his sister had moved her children in to stay with their grandmother, while Peter stayed at her house, after splitting with a ‘partner.’ She had obviously felt that he should not be in the same house as her children.

It would also explain his mental anguish. He didn’t strike me as the archetypal paedophile who never showed remorse and abused whenever he had the opportunity. I had never previously felt sorry for a paedophile and wouldn’t have felt any sympathy if he'd done anything to my children, but he was clearly in the throes of extreme mental torment, when he was sat on the doorstep, bleeding and crying out: 'I want to die!' Maybe with the shame of who he was or believed himself to be.

We would now have to evict him. He had been at the house for 16 months; probably a record for him and that was only because we were unaware of what he might have been getting up to (we didn’t know he threatened to throw himself off a bridge the previous week, for instance, as the paramedics whispered to us). But now he would have to go. He had smashed our door, gouged holes in the walls, was out-of-control with his drink and mental illness and the other tenants couldn’t be expected to live with this.  Jason would also be on his way out. He’d damaged windows and doors in the past, too. We couldn’t carry on footing the bill for all the damage these men were doing.


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