Monday, January 23, 2006

Tenants - the continuing saga

So after seeing the tenants briefly Saturday… Since then… Nothing.

All day Sunday (the final deadline for payment), we did not see them at all. I had told them that if we had not received payment by Sunday, then I expect them to move out on Sunday, but there was no sign of any removal van either.

It occurred to me that I have access (without needing to go into the flat) to the water supply for the flat, and I was tempted to turn this off. Roz, however, thought that this was unethical and her pals on Mumsnet only agreed with her. I didn’t turn it off in the end, but I’m still tempted.

Anyway, after putting Elliot to bed, around 8:00ish, we heard the toilet flush from the flat (something that is quite definitely audible from our maisonette). I went downstairs, but could see no lights on, I knocked on the door several times, but there was no response. So I walked around the back of our building to the garden, again checking for lights. By the bathroom window, I could feel that the extractor fan was still on, clearly indicating again, that someone was in the flat.

After knocking again and trying their home phone to no response I went back upstairs. I tried our tenants mobile number and managed to get through to her.

She explained (clearly drunk, her words slurred) that she had split up with her partner and that she wasn’t going to pay us. I insisted that she moves out straight away and she said that she will move out as soon as possible. I asked when and she said on Monday. I explained that if her possessions were still in the flat after 7 days, I was within my rights, according to the lease to sell on her possessions, and would do so. I finally asked if she was downstairs and she told me that she wasn’t.

It then occurred to Roz and I that if she wasn’t downstairs and she had spilt up with her partner, that it could very well be her children downstairs. Perhaps she had told them not to turn on the lights and not to answer the door under any circumstances.

Roz, infuriated at the thought, phoned up the police, and shortly afterwards a policeman arrived on the scene. Again he tried knocking and had no response. He phoned up our tenant and asked where her children where and she informed him that they were with babysitters and with that, left the scene.

After this we were both still on edge and Roz said that she didn’t think that she’d b able to sleep not knowing what was happening downstairs. She also started to think that she could smell smoke.

With this in mind, I decided to go down myself.

Before entering the flat I announced that I was about to enter. I opened the door and turned on the lights. Then before entering each room I announced that I was about to enter and then turned on the lights…There was no one down there. Apart from the creepy sensation of walking around, thinking that there was an enraged baseball bat wielding ex-boyfriend around every corner, that was it!

The thing is, later on I thought I heard further noises downstairs… Does this mean that someone snuck out and then snuck back in again or was there someone perhaps hiding in a cupboard?

All in all, it was a very odd evening…

Roz has now been to the Sheriff’s Office this morning to arrange for a notice for them to quite the property. It’ll be interesting to see if they move their possessions out today, although I very much doubt it.


Sameranda said...

Oh My GOD that is horrendous!

They are obviously cheating little thieves, change the locks when they're gone. I hope you manage to get them out OK.

steve said...

Jeez, I can't believe the luck. I guess that explains why they were in such a rush to move in, perhaps they did the exact same thing to the last landlord.