How the 5 years have flown since the first HMO inspectorate spent hours poking around the rooms, pulling me up on the lack of a banister for two outside steps and writing secret messages on their clipboards. Since then, the house has experienced over thirty tenants moving in and out, a hostage situation, several drunken fights and more police visits than a brothel.
Being the responsible, on the ball kind of landlord I am, I thought I’d make sure the fire alarm checks were up to date. Manual in hand, dogged determination that I can finally conquer the grey box on the wall that seems to hate me, I set aside a morning to get to grips with the b****y thing.
Inserting the key into the call point, I duly set off the alarm, couldn’t stop it with the code, put the code in again, alarm brought the entire street out to see what was happening so I resorted to the age old method of punching the alarm code even harder plus several other numbers for good effect. No joy, so I called the engineer whose exact words were “You’ve been near that alarm again. I told you before, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED NEAR THE ALARM! I’ll be over in a minute”.
He turned up, laughed loudly and said “I do the fire alarm inspection, that’s what you pay me for. I said last time you called me out not to touch it” Oh. That said, after half an hour of driving everyone mad, he silenced the alarm and spent another ten minutes trying to unravel the set of codes I’d put in which had sent the whole thing into such a spin.
Thanks to the wonders of CCTV, here’s some video footage of me creating the situation then trying to sort it out, aided unhelpfully by Tom and finally flinging the manual on the floor before calling the engineer. What you can’t hear (luckily) is the swearing and the incessant noise of the siren, but there is a little cuddle from Tom trying to appease me.
I now await my inspection, the council have set the renewal fee rate at a reasonable £567 and, providing they don’t get put off by the peeling paint on the outside, I hope the house passes with flying colours! (The paint’s peeling due to the terrible weather, not because of neglect!)