Why not have a gripe about my landlady-from-hell?
I have mentioned my insecure housing situation, once or twice . It’s never far from, my mind, indeed , but I haven’t gone into details, The fact is I shall be very glad to rid of the demented, money grubbing bitch …but at the cost of homelessness? well, I’m not so sure about that. And she is presently doing her level best to ensure that I have nowhere to go, i.e. by decidding to kick me out a few months before my 60th birthday, which event will vastly improve my chances of getting into Social Housing , if I can only make it that far.
I had already looked around for alternative accomodation , and decided , indeed, to wait for that event having discovered that out local landlodrs cater almost exlusively for students, these days, and certainly not for people on housing benefits. So Social housing, looked like the only alernative, if I could only get high enough priority, But getting high enough priority ain’t easy. The housing stocks have been reduced to the point that not even imminent homelessnesss gets you quite high enough priority , My bids thus far are clearly doomed to failure (the system helpfully telsl you how many applicants for said property have priority ovwer you you, That figure was 70,and growing, last I looked!)
But let’s re-wind a bit. This is a gripe about my landlady, after all, not about the housing shortage. It’s very lucky that she rents through an agent ., because when, a few years back, I 'd had more than enough of her increasingly mad, intrusive behavious, I was able to have a word with the Agent about it, and, I don’t know what they said, but she stopped. And I’ve managed to only ever communicate with her via said Agent, ever since. This has lulled me into a bit of a false sense of security, and allowed me to hope that she’s got over her psychotic episode, or whatever it was.
By intruasive behavious I mean, for example:
phoning me up, repeatedly, just to lecture me for an hour or more about the importance of answering my phone ( having failed to get though on a previousd occasion) . This had the opposite to the desired effect, of course. I pretty much stopped answering to her, then i stopped answering to “private numbers” , after she got wise to that, and masked her number… I had sincerely tried to be polite, and to humour her. up til then, and had even returned missed calls, notmally. , but , after 2-3 years of increasingy long,increasing frequent and increasonly irrational calls, this wound up totally fraying my nerves.
Randomly letting herself in at the back, to nose around the back garden, sometimes peering through the back window, for good measure.
Harassing me about my “digging holes in [her] beautiful lawn” AKA gardening. Said “beautiful lawn” had existed perhaps, in the distant past, long before I moved in, but had reverted to clumps of course grass, poking through the intrsive bindweed. I’d dug out every bit of bindwood root, removed all the buried household refuse, conditioned the soil with quantities compost and grit, and replanted it in cottage garden style- all with her (unfortunately verbal, therfore off-the-record ) permission. Thera fter she kept demanding that I “put it back the way it was” which wasn’t possible as it takes a while to cultivate clumps of course grass and thick bindweed , and the underlying rubbish had already been binned.
Banging on my front door, on Sundays and Bank Holidays, just to have a go at me about the above , and various similar improvements to the garden . And to loftily accuse me of being mentally unstable and deluded, on account my reporting “imaginary” faults with the boiler etc,
Harassing my next-door-neigbour about a similar mad issue. Unfortunately , the next-door- neighbour was paranoid as all-get-out, blamed me for putting her onto him,and “telling lies” about him and so made my life hell on her behalf , for approximatekly 2 years subsequently ( until suddenly he resumed his medication or something, and clean forgot all about it)
I expect that’s enough to explaim what I mean by “demented” ? Even my mad-as-nails next-door-neighbour recognises that the woman isn’t right in the head.
Anyway, everything calmed down. and we’ve got along just fine by means of avoiding each other,for the past three years-or-so. Then she suddenly decides to repossess the house, for no reasion that she’s willing to state. I am not behind with the rent or anything.
But she is, as I say money-grubbing, and has never been known let her madness over-ride her sharp nose for business, and so I’m guessing the reasons are as follows:
one:she can make a lot more money (arguably, but it all depends how much damage they do) by renting the house to students. But, then, she could have made that decision at any time during the nine years I’ve lived here. Why now?
two: my mother has very recently died. Now, my mother was acting as my guarantor, and the Agent (hence landlady) certainly knew that she was terminally ill. The notice of repossession arrived two weeks before her expected passing., as things turned out. The more I think about that, the more sure I am that it wasn’t just coincidence.
But , anyway, I want to stay here just one more year, don’t I? And not just so I can get priotity as an over-sixty, but -more- so i can use my share of Mum’s estate (when it finally comes through) to get out of the freaking rental sector altogether. This is not my first demented landlady. Just the worst, and hopefully the last.
So, I carefully explained my situation to the Agents, and I scraped up enough money to offer my landlady a whole year’s rent in advance. Where’s the need for a guarantor , in that case? That should bring her round , i thought, I was pretty optimisic about my chances
Then i waited and waited for the landlady’s response to the offer. And when it finally came (about two weeks ago) it came in the form of legal action to begin eviction proceedings, FFS, without even so much a “No, thanks” to preceed it.
I’d already explained that the last thing I want is to move home during the winter (Because the cold weather freezes my brain-as does physical exercise) and it is all-too-likely to turn into a fiasco. I had therefpre pledged to be out by the end of September, should her answer be “No” That was totally unecessary,.
Well I’ve changed my freaking mind . I devoted most of the last two weeks to filling in the defence form very carefully, m arshalling my arguments as to why I should cetainly not be expected to pay the freaking Court costs, for this stupid, vindictive and counterproductive action ( I only used one of those actual adjectives though. The rest was implied) and also asking for the court to grant me the maximum extension they legally can, on account of extreme hardship, meantime, copying and attaching all relevant correspondence, all of which clearly demonstrates me doing my level best to be polite, reasonable. and accomodatiing towards the miserable witch.
By the time she gets me out of here, it will be far too late to rent the place out to students for this coming academic year. . . There’s always some sort silver lining isn’t there? I’m not normally the vindictive sort, but that mad cow has pushed me to my limits now, and if i can scew up her ill-gotten profits a bit, then I bloody well will.