I got evicted!

The silence was deadly. The only sound I could hear was the rising heartbeat in my chest.

The Landlady strode out of the kitchen. She looked down at the ground and pretended to look tearful, her eyes glazing over. She exclaimed to the ceiling, her arms out wide, as if summoning a god.

Her actions were so choreographed, I felt like she was acting in an awkward GCSE adaption of Macbeth.

What caused her overreaction you asked? I had broken her ultimate house rule. It was so bad, so rotten and so completely rebellious of me, that she had no choice but to eject me from her house. Forever.

She turned to me, her face a blend of menace with fake tears

“Rupert… you need to find somewhere else to live.”

Shit! How did this happen? More importantly, what was I going to do? I must warn you, the following tale is completely true:


Four Weeks Earlier

My current contract was up in the student house from hell (read this)  I needed to find a house quickly. It was on, like Donkey Kong.

Storming onto Spareroom.com, I found a room, mere minutes away. Advertised by a ‘flatmate‘, it turned out she was the Landlady.  I won’t mention her name in case she destroys me – for revenge based on the events below.

This room was actually in a small hotel, which permanently had a ‘no vacancy’ sign on the door. Confused tourists would knock on the door asking for a room. It was bizarre  arrangement, where permanent people would pay rent. I should have referred them to the Bates Motel – it would have been safer.

Visiting with friends, we were greeted by the Landlady, who wore a blue T-Shirt and baggy joggers. This was her daily outfit – the Primark TV Dinner collection. She spoke with an upper class accent. She looked the type who would enjoy deflating lost footballs, and whose love life probably revolved around reading exotic Mills and Boon novels. She bizarrely asked if my friends were my bodyguards.

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WARNING: DANGER ZONE

Looking at the room, the double bed took up the the whole space-  I had to roll across the bed like an action movie star if I just wanted to use the toilet.
We settled in the living room which was impeccably tidy.  An England flag adorned the windows and peculiar African dolls with extremely high golden necks resided in the corner.

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Landlady summoned down a current guest, and she smiled as she bizarrely verified to us that she was nice to live with, as if he was forced to give a reference.
Despite the odd vibe – I ended up moving in.  It was advertised as £120 per week which didn’t sound so bad – yet per month this equated to a steep £520 – ouch!

Initially, she was very pleasant-  getting me a bottle of Prosecco for my birthday. However, the atmosphere- like a lemon, soon turned sour.

The downfall started when I dared to move the fire extinguisher inside my bedroom, having used it to prop open the door to get my belongings in. She was not impressed by this irritating relocation.
Talking of fire, there was a whiteboard next to the door. This had individual colored counters, which you needed to move  across to distinguish if you were ‘in’ or ‘out’ Even the teddy in the living room, Mr Twinkleberry – had his own counter at the bottom of the board.

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This whiteboard existed in case there was a fire and she would know who was in. Or something.

It became an arduous task swiping it every time I left the house – I was scorned several times for not following this rule. To be fair, it was broken a lot as I’d just woken up, stumbled down the stairs and teetered out the front door in a snoozy half-asleep haze. Any guests who were visiting, had to add extra coloured counters to announce their presence.
It’s a good thing I’m not a big fan of hosting orgies, as there was only a limited amount of coloured counters available.

However, despite this, no friends were allowed in my room. Despite the Landlady having her own separate lair connected to the house, she seemed to have major power issues about who entered the hotel.

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Sorry guys. Stick to Central Perk

Talking of power issues, food was forbidden to be eaten in my room, and my room had to be kept clean at all times.  Apparently, this was in case of visiting Firemen or Hotel Inspectors. What bullshit is this?

My friends were terrified of visiting me now anyway. When one innocently rang the doorbell, the Landlady begrudgingly opened the door to them – and barked to them that I needed to be taught how to answer the door if it was for me.
Sadly, my X-Ray vision from my second floor bedroom wasn’t operational.

My Dad once visited, and as I was talking to him in the hallway, she then exclaimed, with GCSE drama dramatic effect, “who is this stranger turning up in my house!”

There were many rules she encroached on the house guests, yet I felt I was victimized with the more petty regulations of her OCD manifesto. Apparently I needed to text her to say if I was away for a night, otherwise she would worry. It was also decreed suggested that I greet her by name once I came home – so she could hear from her private lair.
Good Evening, Nurse Ratchet! I should have bellowed upon entry.

Another time she berated me for daring to move the net curtains in my second floor room. It transpired she had spotted my villainy whilst lurking outside looking up at my window. I’d only moved them a few inches so I could see the sky. (Or to view a potential escape route from her prison.)

I was so cautious upon my return, that my feet were metaphorically sore after treading on so many eggshells. She would creepily appear to pull me over when I had a friend around to have a quick word.

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Usually I prefer my eggs like my brain. Scrambled.

I hated these quick words.

She’d pull me over to talk about ‘just two things’ orhow we do things in this house.‘  I’d be dreading to hear  what I’d done this time. It felt like I’d been dragged back in time to Year 3, and told that I had to behave as I was part of the Juniors now.

After my rule breaks, there were no more quick words. Instead of being  hushed over when in the company of a friend, she would just bark at me in front of them.  It was particularly horrendous when she humiliated me after using a sponge incorrectly. She mentioned to my girlfriend at the time that I just needed to be trained properly.

Next, I had left some meat in the fridge that had started to go off – she exclaimed ‘what would happen if the health department came over for an inspection?’
I could get this place closed down, I had thought, – apparently it was still technically a hotel. I shuddered at the thought of her being a hotel manager. She’s make Basil Fawlty seem like Mother Theresa.

My relationship with me and my darling Landlady became further strained. My friend once got lost on a night out and ended up crawling back up to the hotel. I then got an aggravated call from Landlady  – around 2am- saying that my friend had turned up, demanded my presence,  then collapsed on the sofa.
I apologised profusely in the morning, as the Landlady was stirring her cauldron saucepan. She was turning around her wooden-spoon with so much venom even her soup was terrified. She was more annoyed that my friend burst in drunk asking after me, than being awoken at such an hour
She gave me a passive aggressive look, retorting with ‘maybe I should find somewhere else to live if this is your lifestyle’. This only happened once, but it wouldn’t surprised me if she started work on constructing a Rupert Voodoo Doll to stick pins in.

I had later woken my drunken friend and let her stay on the bed, to prevent her from flopping off the sofa. The Landlady remarked that she didn’t think it was appropriate to have a girl stay over as I had a girlfriend at the time.

To be honest, I tried to be polite at all times despite these shitty and weird comments. I was basically Little Lord Fauntleroy – minus the fringe. Despite seething with inner frustration at her post-menopausal, condescending personality, I was very well behaved and bit my tongue.  So much in fact, it could have bled.

I eventually dared answer back to her snipey bites as you will find out soon. My inner fury was also building. Let’s talk about something harmless and fun. Like cake. Nothing can go wrong with cake, right?
After telling us to help ourselves to a birthday cake in the fridge, I had wolfed down a slice or two- decorating my chops with cream and cake sponge. Following this, I was violently ill in the early hours of the morning.

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Sadly it did not come with visible warning icing

She let me know the following morning that said cake had been in and out of the sunshine most of the day prior. Eating high street kebab, marinated in the student house’s box of black ooze would have been less volatile.

The rest of the housemates were submissive and secretly terrified of her, and were far too timid to even operate the tumble drier in case it incurred her wrath.

Tammy, who she seemed particularly fond of, left to move in with her friends after staying at the hotel for several months. I asked the Landlady if it felt like saying goodbye to a child leaving home?
‘No,’ she replied. She later made a bitchy comment about Tammy.

I horrified her replacement, Cassie, with stories of the Landlady, who she deemed to like and had been invited to go on country walks with. I had not been invited – to be honest I would have contemplated accidentally pushing her down a pleasant country ravine.
Sadly, their new friendship did not begin to blossom when:

(a) Landlady proposed a £10 contribution charge per night for letting Cassie’s boyfriend stay over.
(b) Landlady advertised Cassie’s room, without telling her she was to move downstairs. This led to a humorous situation when Cassie stumbled out her shower, wearing a towel turban, to find a stranger viewing her room.

The other housemates were young men, mostly passive to her passive-aggressiveness, and adoring of her motherly charm. There were rumours of a liaison between her and a young housemate –  simply yuck! I thought discretions like that only happened in Walkabout nightclub as the sun rose.
One time I saw her between two of them on the sofa watching the football, looking like the cat had got the cream. She was purring as they shared potato snacks whilst she spoke about her wild youth.

I was not one of these lucky men – Landlady ushered me over a month after I’d moved in. Apparently she had this  meeting with all new house-guests. I joked if it was like an appraisal, which she simply said ‘Yes.’
She then said that I was a work-in-progress, and that our chat would be postponed due to it being me. What’s wrong with me?

You’re about to find out. The next afternoon, I came home wearing my shoulder man bag after a stressful day. The Landlady walked in, and complained that she told me off before about wearing my bag in the kitchen.
Correction: She’d told me not to wear my coat in the kitchen.  (That was rule 20b?)
With that, she told me that she had enough and that I needed to find a new place to live.
I was shocked, I wasn’t sure what to say. I stood there, frozen to the spot.
I began to defend the ludicrousness of being told off for having my bag on. I explained I was tired after a long day at work. She retorted that she also had a long day at work, showing no mercy. Instead of sympathy I got apathy.
She said this wasn’t a student house I was used to. This was an adult house.

I went into my bedroom, and called my Mum telling her I had been told to leave. I felt quite dejected about being ejected. I felt like I had been rejected.
I hadn’t been kicked out before. My Mum had sometimes threatened – but she only got as far as putting my Playstation and socks in a black bin bag and telling me to go live with my father.

Few words were spoken over the following few days with the Landlady, and she laid off with the constant telling off. Perhaps she felt guilty and found silent treatment therapeutic?
I thought she may have changed her mind, but when I asked when I have to go, she told me that I obviously have to look for somewhere.

After a week of almost fruitless searching, Spareroom was advertising a picture of a new apartment complete with a Wii. I was overjoyed and took it immediately. As I told her, I could see a twinkle of giddy pleasure in her eye.
I knew now this was nearing the end –   I didn’t have to hold back. My inner frustration was about to peak. A storm was brewing.

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On my last day, I had packed all my things away into a car. It was time to say goodbye.

I decided to give her a parting gift- a list of the rules she had told me over the past 7 weeks. I completed my present with some of her patronizing sayings such as the classic – ‘you just need to be molded.’

As you read down below in the list, the more ridiculous her rules become. I was tempted to laminate it. From the understanding, to the petty, to the downright ludicrous, here is the rules that I was told to follow:

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I declared that I had given her a present, put the above in her hand and promptly let loose an angry side to me that I didn’t know existed before. Also know as pent up Rupert rage fuel.
I told her how I felt about the way she treated me. I said how I didn’t like her patronizing attitude, and how I felt like a stranger in an unwelcome home.
As I was non-aggressive, it was less of a shouty rant, more of a civilized and well spoken diatribe. I even apologised midway through verbally destroying her. Such a gentleman!

I guess it was the equivalent of having a fracas with a bad tempered butler. I suddenly got an adrenaline rush, mid-speech. My heart was racing and I couldn’t quite focus as I had a go at her. Yet my gosh – it felt good. She was shocked as I told her that I was glad she kicked me out,  that I never felt welcome and that I was actually sorry for this outburst.
She said she hadn’t told me to leave (Cassie was standing behind her at the time) and this was not the time nor the place for this and when it came to life skills – I couldn’t do… anything. She then apologized that I was unhappy here.

As I stormed out, I felt a great sense of relief and pride that I got to say my piece. I was free from her reign of terror, although I still felt bad that I had given her this special tirade with a raised voice.

I haven’t see her since. I did later add her to my growing list of enemies such as Heroes Karaoke Bar, Sebastien – a temperamental Berkshire-based horse, and Cynthia, a deluded ex with a Ski slope nose (who had the scare factor of outdated cottage cheese.)

I wanted to make a phallus using the counters on her whiteboard as a parting image.
I wish I had now.

Ps. I do hope Mr Twinkleberry is okay. Vote in my poll below 🙂

What experiences with landlords or landladies have you had? Comment below.


Read more:

The Craziest Valentines Ever
How I Got Catfished By My Best Friend
How I Got Evicted
How I Got My Heart Broken 
How To Save Money
How To Tackle Depression
Who Wet My Bed?

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I’m raising money for charity and achieving goals at http://rupertsresolutions.tumblr.com

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The Student Experience

Welcome to 11 Northcote Road.

A -5* experience like no other. Not just a home to students, but inhabited by ants, rats, the neighbour’s cat and various strands of DNA on the sofa.

The house’s cleaning rota was treated like an unloved child. Never  read, it had been depressingly folded into an origami swan, the rules hidden deep inside it’s paper neck.

The fridge had such a stench, even the butter had developed sentience. As Jurassic Park once said ‘Life Finds A Way.

Talking of life, a leftover Domino’s was aging gracefully in a delivery box. Upon it’s removal, said pizza box was replaced by another to maintain the crusting status quo.

 

The stairwell was full of abandoned objects. An exciting adventure to A+ E was provided if you slipped on a series of escaped cardboard toilet rolls or a precariously-placed spiked high heel.

There was also a washing room. However, it looked someone had stuck a stick of dynamite inside a launderette. This was decorated with fossilized hoodies which had started to bio-degrade due to being left in the washing machine the year prior.

The garden fence had come down in a storm, and never went up again. It meant we had great, un-barricaded conversations with our next door neighbours.

I moved out from home and to be fair, I had barely been house trained as well.
Desperate to move out out of the parental nest, and far away from the  place where people come to die, aka New Milton, I looked on the world wide web for a place. I found a place on the Internet’s version of Russian Roulette, Gumtree.

One student living there was moving to Australia, so their room was up for grabs. I had a look around, all seemed nice.

I thought living with students would be quite funny. I imagined my new daily life would involve repeats of Friends whilst eating Smart Price tagliatelle with budget ham. This would be followed by partying into the night, then going to work in the morning.  The students would eventually emerge and stumble into mid-afternoon Film Studies lectures.

I contacted the letting agent about the room, but they had no idea the room was going as the student hadn’t actually told them yet. I should have seen that as a red flag. The student in question had trouble understanding adulthood,  so her Dad communicated with me via email.

Sadly, my references to get into this place nosedived. My manager at work had somehow completely alienated the referencing company over the phone. All I needed from her was to say how much I earnt and that I indeed was working. Yet somehow they had pissed her off and now she refused to talk to them.

I had Email Dad and the Letting Company then demanding to know what the hold up was, and I felt powerless-  they were both  saying they would start advertising it to other people, and I had two days until the contract was said to begin.

So cue me rummaging through endless folders, with so much paperwork flying everywhere it looked like I’d be attacked by the contents of the Chilcott Report. During my lunch hour, I digged deep to find job contracts and payslips which I scanned in using a dusty, lonely scanner at the library. A place where they still stamped books.

I lost my rage when (a) Hotmail was being an absolute anusfly and (b) the reference company only received empty emails from me. As the move-in deadline approached, I slowly began to spiral into a vat of stress.

Luckily, the Letting Agent announced all was good the next morning and I was ready to move in. I let out a sigh of relief and danced in the snow. Yep, this country used to have snow. Though I didn’t really dance.

I settled in that night to my new abode, unpacked some boxes and lit a victory cigar. The first few weeks seemed quite blissful. Until things began to unwind.
First up, there was a pile of washing up, competing with several famous landmarks in height. Left for three weeks,  a housemate contested cleaning it up as it was apparently someone else’s. Despite the fact the person she was blaming was gallivanting around Germany’s Autobahn at the time.

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‘Kitchen’- by student

 

I was also introduced to a knackered bed adorning the garden as well as a battered sofa that was home to a sociable army of ants. Such was the problem with cleanliness, a new colony, possibly rival ants, began to invade via the front door. It led to us investing in anti-ant spray to deter them from entering.

I’m surprised my then girlfriend, whose now a lesbian, didn’t end things right there and then  when she visited. Luckily my hide everything in a cupboard approach –  both literally and figuratively – postponed our eventual breakup by several months. Luckily, I didn’t show her my garden.
Beyond a weather-damaged beer pong table, there was also a box outside that had cigarette butts in and other mysterious dregs.
Over time this was filled with rain water. After months of this fermentation, it created a oily mixture which could be classed as a potential WMD, and should have been bombed promptly by power-mad politicians.

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Disposing of this took several Co-Operative bin liner bags, a facemask and a bucket load of stamina to drag from the garden to the roadside bins. I felt like I was possibly endangering the eco-system for future generations whilst disposing of this waste.

Talking of possible future generations… The poor living room sofa had apparently been the subject of multiple romps of various spontaneous couples. I could possibly become pregnant by sitting on it for to long.
Without any Netflix, just the chill.
One time I came downstairs to see a housemate being mounted by a guy on the innocent sofa. I don’t believe she was fertilised in  this instance.

Most of the housemates were really nice to live with. One attempted cooking baked beans in the microwave, but when said device made a peculiar noise, he threw them out, deeming the beans to be radioactive. He promptly burnt another cans’ worth of beans, due to leaving them too long in the pan, then gave up and ordered a takeaway.

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How I imagine rodents in the skirting board to look

He heard the sound of nefarious rats partying in the skirting board of his downstairs room, so promptly moved to an upstairs bedroom to get away from them. Sadly, the door of his new room came off its hinges. It was rumoured that this was because of the commotion caused by one of the female housemates stepping on a pin. Piercing the air with a time delayed screaming fit, of which woke him up the night before his exams, he slammed the door in frustration.

This noisy female housemate was often loud, annoying and was so grating in every conceivable way. She would come home from work and refuse to speak to me, then not do the washing up as she had to face customers all day. Her method of attack was throwing pens at you or simply existing. Her bedroom looked like a warhead detonated in it.

Another housemate, her best friend, who had the charisma of a postage stamp, disappeared 2 months before the end of her contract after failing the first year a second time. We managed to unlock her room, then discovered she kindly left a plate of sandwiches on her bedroom floor,which had begun to evolve into a new lifeform.
To be honest I was surprised she could even make  a sandwich. Her signature dish was cheese on toast.
Yet how could I be harsh to someone so quotable, who once said:
“I’ve stopped smoking and then my asthma cleared up, and I stopped coughing. So now I can breathe better I’ve started smoking again.”

She failed to pay the last 2 months of rent of £650. Months after we left and still unpaid, her friends were still justifying it by saying she was going through a tough time. However when the renting company started sending us threatening emails with words like court orders, and removed kind from kind regards, they began to lose sympathy and we were all now having a tough time.

Despite a last minute cleaning operation, we later found we accrued £1115.00’s worth of repair work, and coupled with the rent arrears of £650, our deposit wasn’t in good steed at all. Like a toupée caught in a gust of wind, it was gone.

I theorized the £1115.00 was spent on injuries sustained by the deposit company when they visited the house after our departure. I suspected they had found a monster created from abandoned pizzas, student sandwiches, rats, sofa hymen, ants and mysterious black ooze. I guess I’ll never really know how we caused so much damage.

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Interpretation

After all the madness of hurried cleaning and whinging about deposits, coupled with a new job, I suddenly realised I had just a week left to find somewhere new to live and my contract was about to expire…

What was I going to do?

I couldn’t end up living with anyone worse… surely?

 

To Be Continued

 


Other topics:
Trump | Jobs | Teenager | Urbexing | Valentines | First Girlfriend | Catfish | The Incident | Paris | Nan | The Bedroom Embarrassment

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