My landlady from hell

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? :thinking: 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. . :grin:. 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.


The next time she bangs on your door on an early Sunday morning, open the door and politely punch her in the throat…really hard.


I am not aggressive by nature, so striking another person wouldn’t be a solution in my opinion.
I do believe in being proactive though. I believe I would find a new place to call home. If you are miserable where you work, live or with a certain person.
Move on… life is to short to be treat poorly or talked to condescendingly.
The only thing that prevents you from living a full happy life is yourself.


There’s always this option…


I thoroghly agree about not being aggressive . However

is a bit , ummm

isn’t it? :laughing:

If you understood our British housing crisis, then you would totally understand why I’ve clung to the roof above my head in spite of the mad owner… Like I said,I’ve throroughly looked into alternatives, years ago, and there appear to be none,… at least none without rat droppings all over the floor, human excrement on the doorstep, atrocious “repair” jobs, and violent neighbours. I’d sooner sleep in a tent.

On the positive side, I’ve been stupidy generous to the homeless people who sleep at the bottom of my street , just recently. on a “there but for the grace of god” principle . Though frankly, I’m just assuming the “grace of god” part right now. That actually could be me, 2-3 months from now , no reason why not,aside from optimism.


My intent was to simply say, We are the masters of our own destiny. I really believe we create our own happiness. I wish you well and I hope you are able to find a positive resolution.


Oh, sure. I do believe that, but we could have one heckova debate about what the really means in practice, and how appropriate it is or isn’t to roll that one out when you’re looking at tjhe underdog in an unequal and oppressive society. Me, I would chose to be the nail rather than the hammer, if those are the only two options (though I often manage to find a third option; which is not to say that eveybody could or should. ) so you could certainly call me master of my own fate , but that’s not to say that i’ve created that social situation, at least no more than anybody else has, and surely don’t have the power to uncreate it all by myself.

People can, of course, be happy almost anywhere., or, conversely, miserable almost anywhere. But, then, I don’t believe that pusuit of personal happiness is the be-all-and -end-all. Sometimes anger, for example, is more to the point. Or love. Or anything more-or-less pro-active.

And so on. I spend inordinate quantities of time thinking about such things , I could write a freaking book, if I don’t stop here :laughing:

This is surely not the right forum for this discussion

Thank you :smiley:

EDIT: PS as regards my the curent situation , what I can do, of course, is fight for a bigger, better slice of the housing cake than the guys at the end of my street have got, and try not to make some sort of virtue of suceeding…supposing that I do succeed.
What I’d rather do is divide that cake a lot more equally, bake more cakes, or something like that. But that’s a whole lot trickier, isn’t it?


I’m sorry you are going through that, the differences between US and UK housing seems insane.


Thanks :slight_smile:

well, the big difference , i suppose is that we’re a rather small island (or tather, group of islands) with an ever-growing population, never mind that many of us are now far too crowded and depressed to want to procreate! Industry finds means and excuses make good that deficiency, of course, and prophesises Economic Doom if we don’t continue import more and more citizens from abroad

. Well that’s England, anyway. A lot of the Scottish people side with Industry, cos almost nobody wants to live in Scotland (It’s far too cold a place in which to find yourself jobless and homeless) and the Scottish people are constantly drifting down South, in search of employment, and turning into yet more English people. The diehards who remain in Scotland look forward to the day when life finally gets so impossible in England that people start drifting back the other way. But I don’t think that’s ever gonna happen, cos we all tend to think that man cannot live by pretty scenery alone, and there’s nothing else to lure you that far North

Well, that’s how it looks to me, anyway :grinning: Apologies to any Scots who might be annoyed by .my simplified account In my defense, I might say that my father was one such displaced Scot, so, as a bona fide product of that Southward drift, I figure I’m entitled to a somewhat wry opinion. :smile:

The UK is definitiely not homegenous, and definitely not flat like Holland. Some parts are actually underpopulated you might say. That is, before you notice that said parts are not good for much except grazing sheep and goats, being too mountainous, and have no industry, not even much in the way of farming (cos it’s cheaper to buy foreign lamb) nor anything at all in the way mining any more (cos it;'s cheaper to buy foreign ore)

We British deforested nearly all land centuries ago, and there’s now no wilderness left to clear so as to build new houses, and roads- not reasonably, The buildrers squabble over little scaps of “brownfield” land, and landowners grow fat. The little bit of ground my house stands on (and just about every other house in england) is worth considerably more than the house itself is. It will probably get knocked down,before long , to build yet more student warrens,

We envy you Americans those great big wild spaces, and the way you can afford to just up sticks and abandon whole towns to the wild . when they cease to be ecomomically viable Yeah, I do know some poor people get burned when that happens, but that abundance of land is truly enviable.

Oh! another difference is, our powers-that-be have been aping “America” for so long, that we’re more “American” than America is , socially and economically speaking . Almost everything we had has been privatised, little by little including most of the social housing, all the “public” transport, all the energy providers, and big chunks of the NHS. Britain, as you probably think of it, is now a largely mythological place, just an abstract ideal, really. You can still get “free” medical treatment,and cheap (or rather somewhat cheaper social housing in principal, and sometimes in fact, but the chances that you’ll die whilst waiting in line for it are increasingly high. People who can afford to go private, go private, just like in the USA or (so we’ve been led to believe) and they also have a much longer life expectancy than the rest of us.

I mean, Britain is seriously broken, IMO. Nothing much working like it 's meant to anymore, except the good old propaganda machinery.


You should work for the tourism ministry.


What your landlady us doing breaks the “quiet enjoyment of the premises” that is implicit pretty much in any contract.
The sticker is that, while it is illegal, it is unlikely you’ll get anything out of that. If you rich in free time, you can drag your landlady to the county court. Even self repressing, it has costs though.
The only thing you can do is drag it on for a bit. Whatever happens, it looks like you’ll get a shit reference from her. Again, illegal, bit little you can do about it.
What appears even more broken of the housing laws in England is the lack of any kind of working police/justice system.


I think good old Margaret Thatcher had quite a lot to do with it. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, Spitting Images’ finest, the pair of them made it very hard for working people on both sides of the pond.
The Witch is dead but her legacy lives on.
Funny they both died of Alzheimers, couldn’t live with their own memories, drove the buggers crazy :exploding_head:


Funny you mention this, my previous genious landlord bought a defective build for 70k from the council on right to buy, rented it out to me for about that much money over 6 years, then managed to shift it to some idiot with 200k burning in their pocket.
Optimistic assesment was 150k for a non defective build.


@jay210 I have to say I am very sorry to hear about your situation, regarding your rental. I was VERY interested on your story, and details of what it is like over there right now, as until you mention the details, I had NO idea what it was like.

Having run out of room for new building I can understand the impact that must have. At first I had forgotten you were in the England when listening to your tales of your landlady, and that would be in breach of the Landlord Tenant code over here in most states, BUT, I had forgotten you were over there.

Although there may be some broken things over there, and you may be envious of our "“great wild spaces” over here, but believe me, we have our OWN share of knuckleheaded issues over here as well.

Sorry to hear you are going through that, but I greatly appreciate you taking the time, to post a detailed account of what is/was/is going on, and even more details of the housing situation over there, as I was completely blind to it.


Holy shit, man! This is a nightmare. I do hope you find a resolution to this soon and without further complications.
As a housing case manager for the homeless, I understand the difficulties in trying to find housing that is safe, suitable and affordable.


Grr, rand i bet he thinks that the reason we don’t all do the same, is cos we;re stupid, and not because we were brought up to believe that Social Housing and Get Rich Quick schemes are founded on diametrically oppposing principles, and we’re just not willing to sink that low.
BTW, I think I’ll be OK for a reference, because I can ask the Agency (who collect my rent and do the annual inspections - the official ones , that is ) for a reference, and they’re considerably more reasonable than the Landlady is. I don’t think her opinion about me as a tenant is any more relevant, legally speaking, tthan the opinion of any other nosey parker. .

On their last inspection, two months ago, the only faults they found were with the landlady’s repair men’s work, , or rather ongoing absence of the same. She used to insist on sending her own repairmen (or more often, not sending them ) rather than using the Agency contractors like everybody else. but I think the Agency lost patience with that. Leastwise, they just sent over their own contactors last time a repair needed doing rather than go through the usual palaver of calling her up. Then again, that was after she gave me my notice. I can just picture her saying "Ooh! What a stroke of luck! Lets just leave her with hot water gushing out of the broken tap uncontrollably, That will get her out of there fast. " And the Agency replying “Umm, no, We can’t do that. That’s illegal”



And then you have the appalling conditions of the social housing. The non fireproof cladding that’s been used to safe money that cost the lives of 72 people in Grenfell tower.
There are a lot more of those and not just houses, shopping centres and schools are among them :rage:


According to a mate of mine (who was an expert on the subject) we also have subdtantially more of that ultra-dangerous white asbostos in both our public and private buildings (including many schools) than any other country in the world. I followed that info up with a bit of reseach of my own and found thart our death-rate from smoking -related lung disease is also ridiculously high, given our relative proportion of smokers. .I’m hazzarding a guees that the discrepancy is due to a) smoking in the vicinity off those asbestos particles make 'em much more dangerous than if you just breathe them in (again , according to my friend) and B) the strapped-for-cash NHS don’t bother to test for asbestosis, not if they can simply can put your lung disease down to smoking , even passive smoking.

The asbestos problem also has an indirect impact on the housing crisis , I would guess, The quiet removal of all those toxic panels from older buldings is both grindingly slow and extremely expensive, leaving less resources to spare for new buildings. The powers-that-be mostly keep mum about the white asbestos panels that are still in place, because actually, there’s nothing they can r ealistically do to fix the problem, not swiftly, safely and legally, because the problem is far too extensive, And if more people sued , that would only diminish their resources even further, wouldn’t it? .

Ever-further off-topic, but interesting, methinks.

Needless to say, i don’t agree with the conspiracy of silence. Countless people have died, horribly (about 20-30 years later) due to handling that material incautiously, being blithely unaware of the dangers. I was trying to persuade my friend to act as a whistle-blower (I think he could have been very effective ) but sadly, he died . (not from asbestosis, mind. Something else)


Nice bit of research :slight_smile: I hope that also helps to explain why so many of the British working class have had enough of the constant stream of EU migration? that’s bugger-all to do with racism. We do have some racists amongst our population , just like everywhere else in the world, but those people have very little influence, in reality. They merely serve as handy straw men.

That’s not to say that migration is the only issue, mind. The older ones amongst us simply don’t believe in the sIncerity of the EU’s “socialist” ideals any more than we believe that theTory government are brimming with the milk of human kindness! We’ve been watching the rich get ever-richer and poor get evEr- poorer, ever since we joined tjhe EU. And we’ve also seen our government and media deliberately make political scapegoats out of disabled people (AKA “scroungers”) in the exact same way that various religious and ethni c minorities have been scapegoated in the past. Just because it isn’t racist,doesn’t make it any less evil. Have the EU protested about that? Nope . It was the UN, not the EU, who found our government guilty of “grave and systematic human rights abuses” against disabled people .( And our government just laughed that off, because the UN have no power to enforce their judgement )

Brexiters are not “anti-Europe”,. That’s yet another staw man that gets bandied about. I for one, like to believe that Europe is bigger and better than the EU, and that the rest of Europe will eventually join us in ditching that administative monstrosity.

Sorry to get quite so political here. I’m not trying to bring people round to my point-of-view . Feel free to disagree! Amd I won’t argue, because I’m not actually trying to start a debate, here, just trying to explain what it’s all about, really, because it’s sickening to see these views getting so roundly misrepresented all over the place.

It’s been coming accross as a great big mystery why the average working class Brit supports Corbyn’s old-fashioned left wing manifesto as well as supporting Brexit. That’s only a mystery cos nobody has been asking us what we actually think, just making a bunch of offensive assumptions about it. We’re actually thinking for ourselves, in the main, and not following any personality (least of all Nigel Farage) like so many sheep .