The ac­ci­den­tal land­lord

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Letting On -

When she and her hus­band turned up at the flat, they were both struck by how sparsely it was fur­nished. Apart from a bed in each of the bed­rooms and a sin­gle chair in the liv­ing room, there was noth­ing.

Not only that, but there was no sign any­one was ac­tu­ally liv­ing in the flat. No TV, no ra­dio, no uten­sils in the kitchen, no food in the cup­boards or cos­met­ics in the bath­room. “Poor things, they ob­vi­ously can’t af­ford any fur­ni­ture,” said the hus­band. “Should we buy them a sofa?”

My friend wasn’t so eas­ily fooled. She marched into one bed­room and flung open the built-in wardrobes. Empty. It was the same story in the other bed­room. “That was when I knew they’d turned the flat into a knock­ing shop,” she told me. “I was 100 per cent cer­tain, there couldn’t have been any other ex­pla­na­tion.”

She rang the let­ting agency and told them she sus­pected her ten­ants were us­ing her flat as a brothel. She re­ceived a metaphor­i­cal shrug in re­ply. They said they weren’t man­ag­ing the flat, so it wasn’t re­ally their prob­lem. My friend de­cided the best course of ac­tion was to con­front the girls with her sus­pi­cions and ask them to leave. She rang the lead ten­ant, gave her 24 hours’ no­tice to

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