Tag Archives: CCTV

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned!

Have you come across the phrase? I’ve never had the energy to take revenge on men who’ve let me down, but can’t help secretly laughing at my tenants’ love lives:

Regular readers will know that Greg, who rents a room, is still in prison and I eagerly anticipate his release in a couple of weeks as his rent hasn’t been paid since the beginning of January.  What you don’t know is how he got there and the story started last year (based on what I’ve picked up, not judicial evidence!).

Greg had a girlfriend, Jess, with whom he fathered a child.  This relationship failed so he started seeing Nicky (leggy, beautiful, smart, high maintenance).  Jess made allegations that Greg had hit her, it went to court and he was unceremoniously banged up in July last year then released on licence with instructions not to go near her or the child.  Nicky stood by him and all was well for the rest of the summer until they fell out after she produced a bag of cocaine after a night out and started to punch Greg so he hit her and she went to the police.  Telling me the story later his version was “I told her you don’t allow drugs in the house, she kept punching me as she was so pissed so I told her if she did it again I’d punch her back.  She did it again, so I punched her – after all, I had warned her”. Yes, but then he went on the run so the local Bobbies took the opportunity to come to my house for a cup of tea and the master room keys.

Greg went to Jess for comfort, Nicky let herself into his room whilst drunk/high, poured oil in the iron and kettle, smeared moisturiser on his clothes and fell asleep outside his bedroom door.  The other tenants nudged her a couple of times to check she was alive then did the sensible thing and left her to it – stepping over her on the way to the bathroom.  My tenants may not be rocket scientists, but they’re clever enough to know when not to get involved.

Greg phoned to say what had happened, Nicky sent me a long apologetic text and I just laughed – after all it wasn’t my clothes or love life.  They kissed and made up – much to Jess’s disapproval.  She went to the police to say that Greg had broken his licence conditions and, before you could say “Show me the evidence”, he’d been rearrested and thrown back into prison.

That’s not the end: Jess called to ask to be let into his room for retrieval of her jogging bottoms and, being the empathetic kind of girl I am, said if she got a signed note from him or was accompanied by the police, I was happy to oblige.  In the meantime, Nicky contacted me to ask if she could “do the room up” as a nice surprise for Greg when he got out – just a feature wall, new lampshade, etc.  He’s given her a key so I don’t think I can technically stop her but did suggest that maybe he’d appreciate a chilled bottle of Asti, soft music and her dressed in Ann Summers instead.

Andrew also fell out with his girlfriend.  Apparently it was down to the fact that she’s a bit posh and likes him for being rough and roguish but in the last year he’s become a bit too sensible by looking for a job and learning to budget.  We bumped into each other outside Sainsburys where he said even though it had been three days, he was really missing her.  The next day she called to say she wanted to get back with him, didn’t know she could trust him so could she see the CCTV footage of the last few days to check he hadn’t had other women in?  I said no on the basis that I promised the tenants the CCTV wasn’t there for spying only for incidences they’d reported.

“Thanks for that” said Andrew “As I did have a couple of girls sleep over and she would’ve flipped her lid”.

“Andrew!  It’s only been a few days – is that how you get over a broken heart?”

“Yeah, what else did you expect me to do?”

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CCTV Babysits While HMO Landlady Goes on Holiday

I’ve just arrived home from a long weekend in Florence.   I could say it was to inspire a new creativity to my writing but , no, it followed an offer I couldn’t refuse.  However, if I’d been a sculptor or painter of Renaissance religious persuasion my mind would be exploding with images of mortals suffering hell and damnation alongside buxom half naked women and lavishly clothed saints displayed on beautiful 400 year old frescoes.

Instead, from day one I was bombarded with texts from Jamie, the potential tenant who seemed to forget what his job was or where he’d been living.  Flattering though it is to boast my very own stalker, it is starting to get a bit creepy.

Jamie: “U ok babe. Come on England” (Think this was a reference to the football?)

Me: “Who are you?” (I don’t tend to keep numbers unless they become a tenant)

Jamie: “4 f**ks sake, its Jamie”

Me: “Go away, I’m on holiday”

Jamie: “It’s a shame, cos ur fit an we could have had a lot of fun lol”

Hmmm, I think the 20ft high statue of the naked Michelangelo’s David holds more appeal even if he was 500 years old and a bit on the quiet side.

Relatively Quiet At Home

Otherwise mostly quiet from the other tenants as I’d put a note under everyone’s door explaining that I’d be unavailable (not away/abroad/on holiday – licence to misbehave) and to let them know that I wouldn’t be there for the usual rent collection so could they please exercise restraint and hold the cash for 48 hours and instructions on what to do in an emergency (call 999 for a fire, ambulance, police or  the builder if they’re locked out or there’s a leak) .   I’ve resorted to notes as they all seem to change their numbers or have multiple phones and I’m always the last to know.

Only Andrew managed to blow his rent between Saturday and Tuesday and another tenant thought I wouldn’t notice or meant I’d be collecting NEXT Tuesday.  Had a chat with Tom who said C.I.D. had popped round looking again for Andrew’s brother as well as several other people as it turns out the HMO address is being widely used by the locals whenever they get arrested.  CID said “I thought the house would be bigger than this considering the amount of names we’ve got registered as living here”.  Tom proudly pointed to the CCTV cameras and said “Not here, mate.  They see that CCTV notice and know not to come here cos if they’re that stupid they’ll find me waiting for them behind the front door.”  “Fair enough” said the copper, “I’ll put a note on the system but can’t make any guarantees you’ll be left alone”.

“Really?”  I said later.  “Do you think the cameras and signs are enough to put these guys off?”

Tom replied “It’s alright Sweetheart.  None of us even get pissed anymore or walk around in our pants in case you look at the recordings”.

I’ve just paid the CCTV installation bill and have decided it’s the best babysitting tool on the market – might even get one for home!

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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.

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