CCTV Installed, But There’s Trouble

The week started well with the French accountant duly moved in.  It was a bit complicated trying to explain the digital switchover to him and the availability of a link up to the satellite dish but he listened politely until he said “Is not a problem, I ‘ave ze laptop”.    The next issue came when we were going through the AST and I apologised for not being able to insert the accents on his surname of Désiré (Deziray) so it had come out Desire which, after last week’s post, I felt this was becoming a recurring theme!  “Zat is not my name, it is my middle name” he said “My last name is Durand”.  It pays not to rush through a Tenant Information Form.

CCTV has been installed in the other house and there’s been a few feathers ruffled.  The main issue seems to be that the boys thought I’d have the system linked to my home computer and would spend a girls’ night in watching them walking up and down the hallways in their pants.  They’ve been assured that there are easier and more pleasurable ways to search the internet for men in pants and the footage is only stored on the recorder locked in the cellar.  However, capturing one of them trying to get in the house after a night out then falling asleep on the stairs may just be worth a post on YouTube……

Huddled in the cellar,  the engineer was showing me how to operate the monitor and recorder.  Tom had obviously forgotten the role of the cameras and heard us talking  – the cameras duly picked him up sitting down with his ear to the stair tread trying to listen to our conversation.  A very, very funny moment.

Call came in today from one of the rooms saying that the recorder has been beeping all night so I waited till darkness fell and went to investigate.  Turns out that, when it’s pitch black, the camera’s infra-red lights kick in and make a continuous and annoyingly loud beep.   We’ve rigged up a light to stay on all night and I’ll get in touch with the engineer, even though he said he’d “Never, ever heard of such a thing”.  Well, in that case, he can sit in the dark cellar after hours with strange men theorising the problem and experience the issue for himself.

George, my bedsit tenant is £400 in arrears after Housing Benefit allegedly “messed up the claim” or you can translate it as “I lost my job, didn’t have any money for six weeks and, when it came in, I took the decision that paying you is last on my To Do list”.  I’ve given him a credit limit and told him that as soon as the arrears go over it, I’ll regretfully issue a Section 21 notice.  This gives him time to sort out any issues with Housing Benefit or elect to throw some cash my way to keep him under the threshold.  After all, I’ve got a misbehaving CCTV system to pay for.


Filed under Management of an HMO, Rent

5 responses to “CCTV Installed, But There’s Trouble

  1. Ben Reeve-Lewis

    We used to use CCTV to catch landlords harassing people and we lent it to another team in the council who wanted to try it out to monitor a block of flats for drug dealers in the entry halls and the idiots placed the recording machine, in its big aluminium flight-case in the entrance hall. Of course it didnt last an hour before ending up in ‘Crack-Converters’ haha

  2. alarmsbirmi

    Useful information You provide about CCTV Camera,
    Please Keep it up.
    Thanks All Safe Alarms

  3. I want to have similar set up but am struggling to ring the right camera. I want to capture all movement and store the images so whenever something goes wrong I can look up the movement history and identify the cause. I don’t have a cellar! Any recommendations/solutions please?

    • Hi Andy. The system I installed includes cameras at the back and front doors and one on each landing. The footage goes to a recording box which overwrites itself every 7 days so, like you, I only check it if an issue has been reported. This system was installed around 5 years ago so I’m sure technology has come on leaps and bounds since then! Some people have it linked to their mobiles via the internet but I decided the last thing I wanted was to be alerted on a Saturday night to a drunken incident. The only reason for locking it in the cellar was to prevent any tampering but, to be honest, it’s so complicated that they need the instruction manual first. You could always lock something away in a cupboard or put up dummy CCTV cameras – prevention rather than cure?! Email me at if you have any other questions.

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