Packing, snacking, and the demon landlord
Moving house is never fun. Last minute cleaning of places you’ve never even looked in before, and the inevitab[ly dodgy] game of Ready, Steady, Cook you have to play by combining everyone’s left over bits of pasta and ketchup.
We were quite lucky in finding an unopened packet of turkey breasts, but equally unlucky in finding a carton of milk that expired in September 2011. Student fridges are full of fabulous surprises. Obviously, no-one quite dared open it to pour it away, so we just threw the whole thing into a bin bag and ran. It then leaked all over the kitchen floor. Obviously.
But there is something far more evil lurking in the darkness; far more threatening than a rogue carton of sour milk. And that is ‘The Landlord’. Maybe you’ve been lucky and have a great one, or maybe you’ve been like me and have one that treats an eight person student house in York better than a millionaire would treat a quayside apartment on Canary Wharf. If this were Cluedo, she’d be in the kitchen with a bottle of Cif. Or smothering someone with a J-Cloth.
We discovered this morning that we had accidentally committed a series of heinous crimes. One being forgetting to clean the walls, and another being the ripping of our top-of-the-range, £200 sofa. The ‘top-of-the-range’ comment was sarcasm. The price wasn’t. I’m not an expert on the going rates of soft furnishings, but even DFS charge at least 500.
When we moved my sister into her first student flat last year, there was a massive hole in her bedroom wall that someone had, presumably, put their fist through. That is the sort of standard you expect as a student. Yes, it’d be fabulous to live in luxury, but living in virtual squalor is kind of half the fun. ‘LOL REMEMBER THAT TIME WE HAD RATS’ is far more fun to nostalgically comment on than ‘REMEMBER THAT TIME WE GOT ON OUR HANDS AND KNEES EVERY SINGLE DAY AND SCRUBBED THE SKIRTING BOARDS TIL OUR HANDS BLED.’ That comment doesn’t even merit a LOL.
So yeah. There really is a limit to the amount of cleaning two people can do when you’ve been told with no notice that you have to move out a day early. Apparently it’s going to take a team of cleaners ‘A WHOLE DAY AAAAAAH’ (that ‘aaah’ was sort of a hysterical shriek. Like a banshee) to clean up the mess we left. If it’s going to take an army of professionals a full day, I really don’t know how it would be feasibly possible for two twenty-somethings to do it in a matter of hours, but apparently that kind of reasonable logic alludes some people.
It’s probably too late to be dealing out advice now, but heed my wisdom boys and girls. Here are some ways of spotting psychotic landlords before you unwillingly commit to a year of hell:
Your landlord mentions that he/she has bought you brand new furniture. They say it like it’s a treat. It’s really a threat.
They provide you with coasters.
When they make an offhand comment about the types of cleaning products you should purchase, they mention polish.
They bring a partner in tow that isn’t allowed a word in edgeways. Professional relationships often echo personal ones.
They start contacting you directly, to your mobile. Leaving you angry voicemails if you don’t answer because it’s MIDDAY AND YOU’RE IN A LECTURE.
They try to intervene in room allocation. We have eyes. We can see if something is a box room and fits, at best, a bed and a small child. There is no need to paint it as a palace.
So there you have it. This really is a serious matter. Stay safe. And for God’s sake don’t set up a shisha indoors because, if you burn a massive circular hole in the carpet, that shit is hard to cover up.