When I arrived home, I sent a courteously forceful email to Alexander, telling him that if he didn’t sort everything out then the agents would have to, and it would be a charge against his deposit. Deposits aren’t held by landlords any longer, they are held by a central body and both parties have to agree to any charges or deductions. I hate to make a charge on a deposit. My children have been tenants and they’ve had tricky landlords as well as excellent ones, and I don’t care for the sort who use any excuse to make a deduction.

Alexander phoned that evening, in some dismay. He had arranged with the incoming tenant, he said, that everything he left would be taken over. “But you didn’t tell me or the agent, so how was I to know that?” I asked. In any case, I added, he hadn’t returned the keys. He said that his girlfriend had said she’d do that. He was in Spain, where he was – still working for the same firm – now based. I said I’d have to confirm it with the new tenant.

I’ve spoken to the tenant. He has never met A. He’s been to the flat this evening and there’s far more stuff there than he can take on. I’d said that it would have, in all fairness to A, be all or nothing as if he didn’t want the large items of furniture it wasn’t reasonable for him to take the wine, the robot floor-cleaning thingy, the nice lamp or the chunky glasses.

So I issued another ultimatum to A. He’s emailed back saying he’ll come over and sort it and wants the deadline extended by a day. He says he spoke to *someone* and presumably that person decided against renting the flat. More fool A for not telling me or the agent. He could well be telling the truth, but it’s not my concern.

Anyhoo, this has taken more time than I wanted it to. At least I’ve had a couple of conversations with the new tenant and he is being patient and good-natured about the situation. I suppose it could be argued that I’ve demonstrated that I’m both reasonable and tough, which is useful for a tenant to know.

My lovely downstairs tenant can stay as long as he likes. He may not know that I could be getting a lot more money for that flat, but a good tenant is worth keeping without putting his rent up, and I’ll keep it as it is for a while longer at least. He keeps it immaculate, deals with small problems without bothering me, and didn’t turn a hair when I had to tell him I’d burrowed through his cupboard, removing half his clothes (the ones hanging up, not the ones he was wearing) so that the electrical and gas safety checks could be done in the cupboard behind.

11 comments on “Zrigsby

  1. Z

    I considered the etiquette of that, and decided that it would be silly not to. In any case, I didn’t go to sleep until midnight on Saturday, at which time he was in breach of his tenancy so I thought it gave me some entitlement. I used my own pillow and sleeping bag.

    If I were Goldilocks, I wouldn’t have gone into the bears’ house in the first place. She was a rather foolish little girl.

  2. Z

    By the way, what about the dodgy matter of picking up money from the pavement? Should I have taken more steps to find its owners?

  3. Dave

    I pick up coins all the time. Mainly because I walk with my head down, avoiding eye contact with real people.

    As long as it’s not in a purse/you didn’t see the owner drop it, I believe coins are fair game.

    Mind you, it is April the 1st, so you shouldn’t believe anything I say.

  4. badgerdaddy

    That’s just made me think of an excellent book… Pick it up and read it if you get the chance, Z. It’s a bit of frivolity, but really nicely put together. The Fourth Bear, by Jasper Fforde. Highly recommended.

  5. Blue Witch

    See, I knew you should have freecycled the stuff 😉

    In any other area but Islington, jsus putting it on the pavement for 10 seconds would be enough to get rid of it. It being Islington, one would probably be issued with a £1000 fine.

  6. Blue Witch

    Many people CBAT bend over and pick up coins they’ve dropped these days.

    All money found is finders keepers if one has any sense. Put it in a charity box if you have qualms.

  7. Z

    Oh Dave.

    Thanks, Badge, I’ve made a note and I’ll keep an eye out for it.

    BW, when I arrived he’d left a bag with surplus towels etc, including a nice-looking bathrobe on the pavement. It was there for a couple of hours but vanished during the evening. It’s our usual course of action when there’s something to get rid of, it always vanishes overnight. But I can’t move his large desk or his sofabed (esp as it’s an upstairs flat) and they wouldn’t fit on the pavement. Besides, they’re his, not mine, and for all I knew when I was there (not having a phone I can send emails on) he still wanted them.


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