Tag Archives: washing machine

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.


Filed under Management of an HMO

Back To School – Yay!!!

I’ve made it through another summer holiday!  Through prioritising, ranking tenant’s calls between “urgent” and “they’re so pissed they don’t know who they’re dialling” I managed to beg, bribe and stall tenants and kids to get the job done.  So, it’s with great relief to us all that school has thrown open their doors ready to impart academic excellence on my children.  Thank you!

Tenant Changes

Only one room abandonment, one case of unacceptable behaviour  and two washing machine leaks in 8 weeks – I must be getting better.  However, it cost me two playmobil toys, several cakes and magazines and a promise that “It’ll just take a minute” – and that’s just to the kids.

Despite my sixth sense telling me that Barnaby was about to do a runner, advising him on claiming housing benefit and listening to why his life had fallen apart, not 24 hours later and…………………..he’d done a runner!  He kindly left me several topless posters, countless filled condoms and a filthy mattress – it was a wonder I didn’t get pregnant taking it to the tip.  By the time Housing Benefit had processed his claim, put the money into his account, then it was left to me to inform them that he’d gone AWOL (Absent Without Leave for non military types).  A clean, a paint and a new mattress and the room was rented out again.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Treated the kids to a trip to London and a show to come back to a call from one of my bigger tenants “There are 2 incoherent blokes in the kitchen and if you don’t get rid of them you’re going to need to wipe blood off the hallway”.  So 12.30am I’m off to confront two scruffy but swaying strangers attempting to intimidate my tenants with slurred threats.  Luckily, no one understood them and they were gracious enough to leave when I asked.  Turns out their “mate” was comatose upstairs oblivious to the fracas they caused.  Pissed? Stoned?  Who could tell, but they were not nice.  Spoke to said tenant in the morning about “being responsible for visitors” and, this not being the first time, suggested he find himself somewhere else to live where he wasn’t going to upset other people who had to get up for work the next day.

These two incidences are typical events in the life of an HMO landlady/landlord.  I’ll be writing more about the Housing Benefit claim flaws and ways to deal with antisocial behaviour (legally) in future blogs.

New Year, New Me!

As the academic year gets underway I have vowed to work harder, smarter and stay two steps ahead of the houses.  I’m helping out a commercial landlord who lets multiple units in two business centres (it’s much the same as HMO just less swearing), been invited into a business deal involving one of my tenants (just checking the legalities) and have a brilliant idea about office sharing.  Stay with me, it could be a fun ride!

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Filed under being a landlord, Management of an HMO