As I mentioned a while back, Helen and I eventually tired of our first home together. Eventually, the lack of central heating, the damp and the sheer reluctance of the landlord, Jeremy Laskie, to do anything about anything finally wore us down.
Add to that the fact that, just two streets away, a man named Richard Lea had just converted two terraced houses into four flats, complete with heating, seagrass matting flooring and a corner bath, and Helen was completely sold.
I, on the other hand, had a problem. Having lost my job with Oddbins in the same week that we were due to sign the tenancy agreement, the letter that I had from them to say that I was in employment wasn’t exactly true.
In the circumstances, I did what every other sensible person would do. I used it anyway. After all, I had no intention of not paying the rent, the letting agency were never going to check up anyway, and I hadn’t actually received my final salary payment from Oddbins or had my exit meeting, so I felt that it was a sufficiently grey area that was sufficiently unlikely to be investigated that I would justify any slight deception involved*.
That said, it was probably not surprising that within two weeks of us moving in to one of the ground floor flats, with the living area on the ground floor and the bedrooms in the basement, the drains blocked** and flooded the second bedroom.
*For the record, the rent was always paid in time and we got our deposit back in full
**Nothing to do with us, the builders doing the conversion had inexplicably decided to store a load of rubble sacks in the drain and forgotten to remove them when they left.