21 October 2011

Knock Knock.

My morning was pretty normal this morning, up until the point I got out of the shower and put a towel on and heard a strange noise. I thought it might be the rabbit as she tends to thump her feet in her cage so I carried on with the towel and then stepped out in to the hall to be confronted by a man I've never seen before.

To say I jumped out of my skin is an understatement, particularly when he just stood there, smiled and asked how I was. The conversation then went like this:

GND: "Before I answer that, who are you and what are you doing in my flat?"

Man: "I'm from the letting agents and have come to do your quarterly rent check madam."

GND: This wasn't arranged with me and unless I have severe amnesia that has come on in the last three minutes, I also did not let you in to my home. Did you knock?"

Man: "Yes of course but I had no answer so I thought I'd just let myself in. You don't mind if I go through do you? It will only take five minutes.

GND: "Excuse me? Yes, I bloody well do mind if you go through! You are aware that it says in my contract that I am supposed to have 24 hours notice at the least before you come in here?"

Man: "Well yes but there was no answer on your phone and we did leave a message."

GND: "Did you really? Well how about I put my phone on loudspeaker and we'll see if you left a message. Well isn't that a surprise, no message from your or anyone at my letting agents in fact."

Man: "I am terribly sorry about that Miss GND. Perhaps we got the wrong number?"

GND: "Perhaps you did in which case do you not think it would have been wise to contact me by email or on my mobile number?"

Man: "So it's not okay for me to do the rent check then?"

GND: "Oddly enough, no! First off, I'm here on my own and don't appreciate finding strange men in my hallway* and secondly, you are bloody lucky that A. I am in a towel as living on my own and it being warm until recently, I don't bother that much and B. You didn't get attacked by something heavy and solid. Or have shampoo squirted in your face (at which point I cracked a grin and he laughed)."

Man: "Right. That's good. I think."

GND: "It would be if you hadn't broken my rights** as a tenant. By law you have to give me 24 hours notice so give me one good reason why on earth I shouldn't be on the phone to my landlord now complaining to him about the shoddy way in which the agency you work for is run.I'm not being funny but my boyfriend works irregular shifts. You could have walked in on far worse than you have (trauma enough it has to be said!). What if I'd still been in bed? Or walked in and found you randomly in my bedroom or living room?"

Man: "All I can say is I am very sorry and will be leaving now. Sorry to give you a fright and obviously we will be looking in to why you didn't receive a phonecall or email at the least."

He was genuinely apologetic but I will make it clear that although I'm not the paranoid and fearful type, it wasn't exactly a delight to be confronted in my hallway by a 6ft+ man who I'd never set eyes on before and who I didn't expect to be there. I did phone my landlord who was mightily peeved and also made a complaint to the letting agents.

It may be a bit precious but the other point is, I don't want somebody walking around my home when I'm not there. Regardless of whether I own or rent my flat it is still my home and the fact that somebody may go tramping around when I'm not there is not really a very nice thought.

As a friend said "You might walk in to find him trying on your underwear and stockings for size!" to which my reply was "If I walked in and found that the very least of his worries would be him losing his job. His chances of reproducing in the future would be drastically lowered, if not impossible."

One last thing, it is very difficult indeed to attempt the moral high ground when wearing only a towel, hair that is dripping on to the carpet, no make up at all and being the height of the average hobbit but I am proud to say I managed it!

*Unless they are good looking. Or Gerard Butler in which case it is then absolutely fine :-P.
**I don't scream the 'I have rights you know!' line very often at all but having somebody waltz in to my home unanounced is one of those rare occasions I will and rightly so I think.

I am listening to this today and I love it.
Weird video but great track.
Goldfrapp - Number 1


JR said...

GND ignoring the man in the hallway comment would it be rude to suggest the poor bloke might have been unlucky to find you in a towel:-p

It's an absolute disgrace that the letting agent thinks it appropriate to march into someone's home uninvited and unannounced regarless of who it is. I would go as far as to say, no matter what your arrangement it, you should have the right to either be preesent yourself or have someone you trust there. Ultimately, the home should be a place of sanctuary and security and finding strange people in there doesn't encourage that.

Glad the landlord is on your side. Are you going to formally complain to the letting agent as well? Might even be worth reporting it to whichever professional standards body deals with letting agents (although how there isn't a guideline about the amount of hair gel most of them use, I will never know!).


cogidubnus said...

Agree wholeheartedly with everything JR says...bloody disgraceful from a so-called professional...

Annette said...

Absolutley disgusting,I'd had called the police! Frightening you like that.

Girl*Next*Door said...

JR, no! He was definitely lucky to find me in a towel. The poor guy probably suffered enough from seeing me with no makeup on :-D.

The letting agents think it appropriate to let themselves in whether there is anyone here or not. Apparently, it's how they've always done things.... Then again, they're not known for being a good agent but we only found this out after we'd moved in.

My landlord is fantastic. He is a prime example of a good landlord and I have nothing bad to say about him at all.

To be honest I think the landlord has given them a bollocking so not sure whether it is worth the hassle of reporting it or not.

Cogi, yes it was pretty out of order. I called the landlord that day to let him know and he was flabbergasted (I love that word!).

Annette, as tempting as it would have been to see his face when the police turned up, it's definitely not what I'd call a police-worthy situation. Once he said who he was I calmed down but it did send my heart all aflutter when I first saw him because he could have been anyone really.

JR said...

GND, I'm sure you do yourself an injustice and you are actually extremely pretty without adornement.

Hope the landlord bollocking works. If not you might need to show the rabbit the relevant Monty Python sketches!


Girl*Next*Door said...

JR, I look like some sort of crazed woman when I get up in the morning. It is enough to scare even the most hardened of characters :-D.

The landlord has spoken to them and it seems to have worked as I had a very grovelling and apologetic phonecall from them yesterday :o).