To the new resident(s),
Hello! I hope you have as good a time in this apartment as I did for the past 23 years. I don’t know if I’m meant to tell you, but we were paying the landlord only £350 a month so if he’s making you pay much more than that then he’s ripping you off.
3-bedroom flat for so cheap, you must be wondering how you could be so lucky, right? Well, there are few quirks with the building, but once you get to know them, they don’t affect your day to day life at all. I know it’s odd getting a message like this from the old tenant, but you should heed my advice.
In 23 years I’ve accumulated a few tips and tricks to help make this place as habitable as possible, and I know which of the neighbours are nicest. The advantage of being a ‘little old lady widow’ is that no one suspects you’ll take notes on how they act – but I’ve made a note of everyone down below.
- The building has its own laundry room, but only go on Thursdays. They always refill the detergents and remove the lint Wednesday night, so you’ll get the best wash.
- The bins go out on a Friday morning – or you can just throw your rubbish down the chutes and it’ll be collected automatically. It’s an American thing apparently.
- There is a lift, but never use it between 7:17pm and 8:18pm. Never. I know you’re on the 5th floor, but the stairs are worth it during those hours.
- You will have noticed the cats. They’re harmless – when they come to be pet, spend some time but not too long. They may be harmless but they’re still cats.
- The hairless cats must never be touched.
- When he comes, do not look at the man who comes to clean the windows. He will knock at your windows for half an hour, smiling all the while. Whatever you do, do not answer him and don’t let him in. He will go eventually.
- The postman arrives at 8:32am precisely. His name is Cameron. He will help you.
- The damp patch above the bed can’t be cleaned. It’s nothing dangerous, but it does sometimes turn red.
- Sylvia lives next door, in no. 52. She’s lovely, makes a very nice fruitcake, in fact if you could get her to send me the recipe that would be awfully kind. She will ask you to babysit her twins. Don’t.
- If someone you’re chatting to says they live up on the 11th floor, make your apologies and get back to your room. Do not let them inside. That floor was gutted by a fire 3 years ago and was never refurbished.
- The people from floor 11 are scared of the hairless cats. That is the only time your permitted to go near those freaky animals. (I should point out, the hairless cats are not supernatural or anything, just weird)
- The landlord likes to be paid promptly, but is happy to get rent a few days late. Never pay your rent more than a week late. He will visit.
- Do not use the lift between 7:17pm and 8:18pm. Emergency or not – do not.
- Seb lives in no. 59. He’s a kind man and almost totally blind. Feel free to pop in whenever he wants help with something, but make sure you don’t cross his threshold after dark. He lets his pet free at night.
- The building screams. It’s okay, we think it’s lonely.
- Cheryl runs some sort of building community watch. They’re relatively harmless – just don’t accept their invitation to be on the committee and don’t drink the squash they make.
- My husband may still be in the building somewhere, if you see him please tell him to move on.
- We’ve left a jug of Pimms in the fridge for you. You can keep the jug too, I know that moving house can be stressful.
- Count your knives weekly. If you are missing any, call Sylvia. Her twins will often have them.
- Don’t worry. That’s how they know where you are.
I think that’s everything! If you discover something that should have been on the list please let me know or ask Corey – he’s good like that. Just try not to delay his route too much.
If you need anything over the next few weeks, please email me at: