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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.

Talking to a person when they're off their head.
02 April 2014 @ 15:01

On 11 September we went back up the house at 7pm, to find  Jason hoovering in the hall. He had clearly only just started as the powder was everywhere, so we didn’t speak to him. We couldn’t anyway, with the noise of the vacuum cleaner and some irritating music blaring from his open room through the entire house. He watched as I took photos of the powder everywhere. I had already taken photos of a broken and discarded fire extinguisher next to the bin opposite the house and then found another one broken in the back garden and I took photos of that, too. I then photographed where the door had once been and there was now just the piece of wood and also the bits of the door and glass which had been thrown in the garden. 
After he'd been ignored for a while, he switched off the hoover and said he'd ‘dismantled’ the door as a ‘favour’ to Peter (who had said he was going to install a new one for us, after he'd smashed his head into the glass of the door twice).  Adrian said: ‘No you didn’t. Only the glass was smashed before and then you smashed the rest of it. And switch that music off. Have some consideration!’ 
The dialogue then went like this: 
‘Well you know we want you out today. Have you arranged somewhere to stay?’ 
He made some sounds with his mouth that were incomprehensible.  Adrian deduced he was ‘on’ something. 
‘I can’t understand what you’re saying,’ I said and I proceeded to try and persuade him to go.

‘Do you think  Adrian has been a good landlord?’ I asked. 
He paused, then uttered: ‘Yes.’ 
‘Has he always been patient about the rent?’ 
‘Has he always been good when you’ve smashed bits of the house, broken doors, broken the window in the loft?’ 
‘Do you think it would now be the right thing for you to go?’ 
‘So are you going to go then?’ 
‘I’ve got nowhere to go.’ 
‘What about your girlfriend’s?’ 
‘She’s up her Mam’s.’ 
‘What about your cousin’s?’ 
‘What cousin?’ 
‘Any of your cousins.’ 
‘I can’t.’
‘Well what about staying with one of your friends?’ 
‘What friends?’ 
‘The ones who you invited in to wreck our house.’ 
‘I don’t know where they live.’ 
‘Great friends then.’ 
‘Exactly,’ etc. etc. 
Adrian then got angry. ‘You’re not going to go, are you? Well, we’ll get the police.’ 
‘What for?’ 
‘For criminal damage, threats to Okie, carrying a dangerous weapon.’ 
‘A dangerous weapon?’ He laughed now. ‘Are you kidding? I've never carried a knife. And I can’t move because I’m not supposed to do anything for 12 hours. I’m on medication. Look at this,’ he said, lifting his t-shirt to show us what looked like a couple of brown bruises on his stomach. 
‘Well, you’re walking around and vacuuming now, so you can walk down the road,’ I said. 
‘Walk down the road?’ he repeated, incredulous. ‘Where to?’ and he giggled. 
‘Don’t start that,’  Adrian fumed, ‘I don’t want to hear about your problems. You don’t know anything about mine.’ 
‘Yes, we’ve got problems at the moment,’ I said and  Adrian joined in: 
‘And did you know my mother died? No, you didn’t, did you? Because it’s all about you. And I’m sick of it. You’re going to sweat it out, aren’t you? You’re going to make us involve the police and go to court, aren’t you? And you’re driving the other tenants out of the house. You’re selfish.’ 
I tried the more placatory approach: ‘Look  Jason, this is a chance to do the right thing. Look at the effect you’re having on  Adrian. I never see him like this. Just do the decent thing and go.’ He just looked blank.

As we drove off,  Adrian said: ‘Well it was a total waste of time talking to him. He was off his head.’



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