'Just stay put'
Three small words uttered by the overpaid cheap suited pen-pusher at Tunbridge Wells Housing Benefits team (TWHB) to TenantScum. Her in the picture quaffing the overpriced cocktails from some neon-lit hellhole in Maidstone, who hadn't paid a penny to me in rent since January.
Roll back the clock to January 2009. For reasons I don't need to go into, I had become an accidental landlord. Stuck with a newly renovated and immaculate house I couldn't sell due to the total absence of a housing market, I had no option but to rent it out while starting my new life in elsewhere with Mrs AB2B. Then out of blue, when it was looking particularly financially gloomy TenantScum appeared waving a cash deposit, looking for somewhere to live for 12 months.
Paperwork done TenantScum moved in. Months 1-3 spent anxiously waiting for the rent to arrive passed without incident. Months 4-8 a couple of days late, but who's counting? Months 9-12 sporadic payments - a couple of hundred here, a couple of hundred there but paid up.
Alarm bells were ringing. But the tenancy rolled on unofficially.
January 2010. Nothing. Not a penny.
It soon became apparent that TenantScum was receiving Housing Benefit. And thanks to a combination of incompetence from TWHB and the 'I-know-my-rights-and-I'm-playing-the-game-and-the-system' attitude of TenantScum, her benefit claim was on hold. And with it, her payments. She knew the game all too well. I was screwed.
And she didn't give a shit.
Frantic phonecalls to TWHB because TenantScum wouldn't respond as she 'didn't have credit for her phone', presumably having spunked her portion of my rent on those overpriced cocktails being quaffed above, resulted in some back payments being made to me. A massive relief having covered two mortgage payments for 6 months.
TenantScum, it turned out, was entitled to just £240 a month. Less than a third of her monthly rent, the remainder supposedly being paid by her. In other words two thirds wasn't being paid, yet TenantScum still had a roof over her head. Mine.
To cut a long story very short, a week ago TWHB found TenantScum some other sucker to put a roof over her head literally just before I went to the expense of evicting her via the Courts. A small and shallow victory.
So, this past week I've been at the house undoing the damage TenantScum did. It's quite an extensive list including such joys as repainting the sitting room in beige from battleship grey and repairing the paint overspill on the ceiling, sockets and skirting, ripping up the filthy dog urine soaked carpets and underlay (this is no exaggeration), replacing the dishwasher with it's smashed panel, and the broken fridge. Replacing the architrave in the kid's bedroom where they had poked their fingers through and scratched their names in it. Not to mention the sofa, smashed wardrobe, ripped mattress, rabbit hutch, bike, box of car parts, broken mirror, picture frame and table strewn across the garden and left behind for me to dispose of, at my expense. And the broken shed window. And the patio, covered in paint. And so on ...
Here's a little video taster:
TenantScum - For the record, you are an animal. And leaving an SD Card behind was an error.
I guess the point of this blog post is not only to share my anger, but also to question why 'Just stay put' is acceptable in today's Britain. There is no protection for the landlord in any way, shape or form. Politically correct 'Benefits Britain' has created a culture that supports those who expect everything for nothing. And get it.
In AngryBritain's Britain it would be far simpler. It's my house. Don't pay your rent or treat it with respect, you're out - today. No long drawn out processes, notices here, letters there, court orders, bailiffs and expense. Just a very simple boot up the arse and a two-fingered goodbye.
And 'your stuff is in the road'.
If you happen to be reading this in Kent and have just rented your house out to a young mum. Good luck. I'll pray for you.
And if you happen to be in the market for a newly decorated 2 bed house with new kitchen, bathroom, garage and parking for two cars, in a quiet close, 50 yards from the village green in a lovely rural Kentish village surrounded by hop fields, and just 10 minutes drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells drop me an email. It's on sale now.
Tenants need not apply.