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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In possession

The eviction of Property Sparrow's tenant was last week. Coincidentally, she had booked a day off work and went along.

The bailiff was early, efficient and rushed off her feet. The locksmith was a reassuring presence and had seen it all before. The lettings agent was late and missed it all.

Property Sparrow had just signed the bailiff's papers when the tenant appeared at the front door. Property Sparrow had never met him before. He looked much younger than she'd thought, 25 at the most. She didn't feel sorry for him.

It looked as if he had been clearing out the flat and had come back to take away his few remaining possessions still inside. There was a light scent of sweat. He said he wanted to collect some bottles from the fridge and would Property Sparrow open the fridge and get them for him? She found herself lugging three giant bottles of supermarket own brand cherry cola, a telly and a kettle to the threshold and into the arms of her tenant.

She made a few terse remarks to him about the lack of rent, the locksmith was finished and then that was it, she had the place to herself.

She opened the windows and sat on the floor. She wrote a list of repairs: a couple of tiles off the bathroom wall and the extractor fan wasn't working; the living room could do with a lick of paint. Not too bad.

She locked the door with care and went home.

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