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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.

I could have got AIDS from my tenant.
16 March 2014 @ 16:01

A week after the attempted suicide by Peter, I was relating the story to our friend Ian when he said: ‘So you’re not worried about AIDS?’

I hadn’t even thought of it. We don't work in that field and we're not trained in the latest health and safety precautions. It’s another reason why we don’t want these sorts of tenants; to think we could get AIDS from their mess. I was picking up bloody, broken glass and could have got cut in the process. Ian thought that Peter’s friend had maybe been reluctant to help because of the possibility of Peter having AIDS, whereas we just assumed he hadn’t wanted to get blood on his nice t-shirt.

'Christ,' I replied. 'Who knows if he's bloody got it? He's mad and unbalanced enough to do anything or take anything offered to him, including a syringe full of heroin.'

'So now I've got to read up on AIDS,' I moaned to Adrian on the 'phone (he was working in Spain that week). 'l'll have to, to put my mind at rest.'

'Or get yourself more worried,' was Adrian's reply.

'Well, I'm pretty sure I didn’t cut myself and neither did you,' I said, 'and neither of us had any open wounds.' So I was 90% confident, but being 10% worried you might have contracted AIDS is still not good. My internet trawl did the trick and I couldn't see how we got have got infected. I slept okay that night.

The next day I went to Argos to buy the cheapest vacuum cleaner for Hill View that was humanly possible (the place was a money pit). Apparently it had been deliberately broken in an act of sabotage by Jason, because he's been given his notice. We suspected that more damage would follow during the statutory couple of months notice that we'd had to give him. The new vacuum cleaner would stay in Okie ’s room as Adrian said he was the only person who vacuumed.

Despite the sabotage, Jason was still trying to turn on the charm.

Jason (14 August): Thanks for all youve done for me. Please send me thebill and i will setle up. Im not a problem in this house. Ask Okinawa.

Jason (4.26pm): im in hospital with seriouse condition so I wont be there for a while. I started on the back ill do the attic when I get out. Jason.

Adrian (4.27pm): Jason. Sorry to hear that. Hope u are better soon. Adrian.

Jason (4.35pm) Ive been in n out of hospital for a couple of weeks now for ingections but my i.n.r. has droped so they gona operate so i dont have to come to hospital 5 days a week for the rest of my life.

Thanks. I got a hereditry condition called factor 5 laiden. Same thing my father died of. They want to operate n put n umbrella in me so the blood clot doesnt travel to my heart n lungs n kill me.

We then heard from Peter that he was going on a drug whereby if he drank alcohol he would be violently sick. We were praying he would keep a bucket near him (pity our carpet and mattress).

Jason also admitted now that he'd broken the hoover. Adrian went up to see both of them. The house was in a state once more. Adrian had taken up a cheap hoover but it was cutting out after ten minutes’ use; we didn’t want to get our usual, good £100 one while Jason and Peter were still there. I suggested Okie might deign to use a dustpan and brush to supplement the cheap hoover, although God knew how often he did this alleged cleaning; there was no evidence of it.


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