One Mad Czech and a Washing Machine!

It’s been a week of washing machine malfunctions – whoever said Landlording was glamorous?  The first washing machine to fall foul of its duties was in HMO number 1 but I’d been very organised and taken out a repair warranty on it.  As most of my tenants in that house are occupationally challenged they waited with eager anticipation for the washing machine repair engineer – it really was the highlight of their day and they were glad to be doing something useful.  Unfortunately, it turned out that the engineer was deaf and so the machine’s problems were communicated via sign language.  He came back the following day only to condemn the machine and issue a ticket for a brand new, sparkly one free of charge under the terms of the guarantee.  My tenants are very, very excited to get to learn something new.

The next misbehaving washing machine was in HMO number 2.  I received a text saying “Water on kitchen floor – please sort” so I trotted over to inspect said water.  Yep, it was on the kitchen floor so I took the executive decision to call a plumber.  You see, I’ve tried several times to send myself on a light maintenance course but can’t find any and have given up trying to diagnose any problems so instead refer to my little black book of maintenance men.  Left instructions for tenants not to use washing machine.  An hour later I received the following text from Zitomir – a Czech security guard with dreams of being a porn star or, failing that, the opportunity to have sex with any willing female – “Just got in to see your note.  It wasn’t me.  It was that bastard Robert, I know it him.  I said hello and he ignore me and put washing on.  He ignore you.  Next time I hit him”.  I’ve learnt not to rush round to put myself between two testosterone fuelled Europeans (they’re ALWAYS greeting me with a kiss, very un-British) and left them to it.  Half an hour later another text “It’s OK, it not his washing in machine.  I not hit him.”  See?  Some things are just best left to sort themselves out.

Tomorrow I shall be heading off to a long weekend break in Europe with some girlfriends.  I’ve left the receipt book, kids and keys with Mr HMOlandlady but haven’t told the tenants as they’d probably either suffer separation anxiety or do something naughty.  The last time I went away, a tenant did a midnight flit and the time before that, there was a fight.  Nope, I’m not telling them.

4 Comments

Filed under Management of an HMO

4 responses to “One Mad Czech and a Washing Machine!

  1. Ben reeve-Lewis

    Washing machines, like central heating are one of the big bug bears of HMO lettings. I have seen arguments break out when 1 tenant manages to persuade the other tenants that they take money for using them and then pass it on to the landlord. Why they believe them is beyond me.
    People in HMOs rarely ask question at all I find, nor ask for receipts for rent and half the time, when I interview them about complaints they dont even know their landlord’s name.
    I have a regular complainant that comes in every 6 months from a new HMO. He is in his mid 40s, has a mohican whose perkiness has long given up the ghost and has “Eat Shit” tattooed on his forehead, known to everyone, curiously enough as “Eat shit Steve”.
    Our conversion is always the same:
    “Alright Steve, what’s your address?”
    “I dunno…..somewhere in Berwick Rd, dunno the number”
    “Ok. What’s your landlord’s name?”
    “I dunno”

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