I live in an HMO and the landlady is a touch on the paranoid side- she is almost 90 and while not completely senile seems to get more and more scatty each year. She keeps on saying every year that the number of the books in my room are a Fire Hazard. She’s gone quiet on that now, thank God. Now, apparently, unbeknownst to me, she has a problem with the state of my carpet- it’s not very worn but it is quite stained and dusty. While I would like to be more of a cleaner than I am, I do have to point out that I work about 60 hours a week, and am now going back on forth between my room in London and my father’s place in Wiltshire to see my 87 year old father who is in and out of hospital with prostate problems, and I am frequently so exhausted that all I can do a lot of evenings is simply flop onto the bed to sleep. So let’s just say that vacuuming is not on my top list of priorities ( though I do occasionally make the effort )
I had one of my extremely rare mornings off yesterday ( because I had to take the train down again to see my Dad ) and as I went into the house, the tenant on the ground floor who also is the handyman for the landlady saw me and told me that my landlady wants him to replace the carpet in my room. This was complete news to me since she had not said anything to me and never given me a note or slightest indication that she was dissatisfied with the state of my carpet ( the landlady does go into my room about twice a week, once to empty the coin meter and once to collect the weekly rent ). The handyman actually is on my side, and thinks the landlady is totally potty as well- he said something to the effect of “Well, just have a vacuum around your room – I’ll fob her off with something like I’ll replace the carpet in November and by then she’ll have probably have forgotten about it.”
I actually had a good old vacuum immediately but there are still some stains on the carpet. I’m still rattled at the thought that my landlady will at some point go into my room, put pressure on me to move my bed, books, bags, furniture belongings, basically anything else on the carpet so that she can lay out a new carpet without my permission. I can’t be doing with this, particularly at this stressful point in my life. The carpet’s perfectly okay, apart from some stains and stubborn dust, and I’m even prepared to spend more time and money on getting those problems treated. But I do NOT want a new carpet laid. It’s going to be too disruptive, and I really doubt – because of all the stuff I have covering a great deal of the floor – that it would be a one-day job. I’ve just got too many commitments on at the moment – my father’s health, my stressful job, my lack of sleep – it would send me over the edge if I had to deal with clearing everything I have to make room for a new carpet.
Do I have the right to tell my landlady not to have this carpet replaced? This landlady is one of these characters who says that she has to make a room alteration because if it is not done ” it is a fire hazard” ( seems to be her stock phrase ) and that what she says has to be done is “for the Council – and you can’t argue with the Council because they’re the Government ” ( she never produces any letters, etc, to corroborate these wildly panicky statements ). I actually doubt that anyone from the Council has been there for a long time- last year she told me to get rid of a lot of books because The Council were coming, and they never did !
The nice handyman on the ground floor may be perfectly right, she may forget about her request in time, but I just want to know where I stand legally just in case the landlady decides to have my room invaded ( yet again ). After all, a few months ago, she had a complete stranger, an electrician, come into each of our rooms to fit in a smoke alarm and she never told any of the tenants in advance that this was happening ( she did leave a scribbled note on the ground floor for us all to look at to inform us afterwards that the job had been done )- I wasn’t too pleased about this approach. None of the tenants was.
What’s your opinion / advice?