Hello!  Another day, another blog post.  I have scoured my memory banks and have come up with a couple of lovely experiences I had while working as a property valuer.  For those of you who don’t know, a property valuer inspects houses, looks at sales evidence, then tells the client (usually a bank) what the property is worth.  I did this for 17 long, hard years (can you hear the violins playing?).  It was an interesting job at times, since I love sticky-beaking into other people’s houses, and it turns out, lives.

Some days I would look at stunning period properties, or modern architectural triumphs, but others were not so great.  One lovely day I was asked to inspect a terrace house.  I was greeted by the tenant, a friendly, but nervous, man who welcomed me into the hallway.  I turned to enter the first bedroom which was on my left, however the door wouldn’t open – ok, the door was locked, fine, I would just have to get him to unlock it for me.

Now being the naïve person I was, I thought that maybe it was an unused room, or maybe a flat-mate’s room, someone who didn’t trust the other occupants enough to leave their room unlocked when they went to work.  I asked if I could have a look.

Me, “I really need to see inside that room.”

Him, “Are you sure?  Can’t you just skip that one?”

Me, “No, I have to look at all the rooms.”

Him, “Are you really sure?”

Me, “Yes really, sorry.”

The door was reluctantly unlocked and he left me to inspect the room by myself.  So what did I find?  Well, the room was painted dark red, not my taste, but hey who am I to judge?  Hmm, not much in the way of furniture, but hang on, what’s that on the far wall?  On closer inspection, and not too close mind you, I didn’t want to touch anything, it appeared to be, and in fact was, bondage gear fastened to the wall.  It was an apparatus for handcuffing someone to the wall so they could um, well, you know.

I tried to contain my shock (I’m a ‘good’ girl, ok boring, and I’ve never been chained to a wall) and I didn’t even giggle.  When I saw the tenant, to say goodbye, it was very hard to pretend like everything was normal and I hadn’t just been confronted with kinky sex toys.  I felt sorry for him though because, on reflection, I probably could have missed seeing one room.

The next house I’ll tell you about, and don’t worry this is the last one, was also tenanted (sorry I know there’s good tenants out there and the last one was only a little naughty).  I met the agent at the front door.  It was the middle of winter and freezing cold, I had my scarf on, which later proved to be very good foresight.

The agent knocked on the door and as the tenant let us in, she swore because she had stepped on something in her own hallway and cut her foot (as you do).  I almost swore when we entered because the place reeked of cat piss.  I don’t mean a mild smell teasing the senses, I mean an all out, slap in the face, want to vomit your guts up because you can taste it smell.  This is where I activated my scarf and covered my mouth and nose so I could try and breath without inhaling any offending particles.

The place was the most disgusting home I have ever been in.  Not an inch of floor was bare – clothes, plates, glasses, rubbish, and yes, cat piss, covered everything.  How the hell can someone live like this?

When we reached the lady’s (for want of a better word) bedroom I saw it – the cat.  For those of you who have had a cat, you know they are clean animals, and I’m sure this one wanted to be clean.  It looked at me with such a sad face that said, “Please get me out of here, this is no place for a cat.”  The cat wasn’t wrong, especially since it already knew what I would find in the kitchen.

The kitchen embraced a similar theme to the rest of the house, dirty.  Dirty dishes overflowed the sink and any spare bench space.  There was mouldy, food encrusted, frozen food packaging everywhere.  But the number one disgusting, vomit in your mouth and want to run out the door moment was when I saw the cat litter tray.  It had not been changed, ever.  Inside it, and flowing over the floor for quite a distance, was a mountainous trail of shit – in the kitchen – WTF?

I have never measured a home and drawn a floor-plan with such efficiency.  I was in the biggest hurry of my life to get out of there, but I was stunned enough to want to know a little bit about this person, well animal, who lives in such an abominable state.

Me, “Do you work?”

Feral woman, “Yes.”

Me, “What do you do?”

Feral woman, “I’m a nurse.”

What can you say to that?  I am still speechless.  I often think about that poor cat, I should have called the RSPCA because that was abominable cruelty to animals, and come to think of it valuers, and real estate agents…

14 thoughts on “Danger: Do Not Enter

  1. LOL you have a bit more of the naughty in you than you let on. I bet that poor guy turned redder than his little play room once you looked in. Did you ask if it was him that was restrained? The second one is much worse in my opinion, you hear about people like that or even see them on TV shows, oh my how can someone live in such filth, and a nurse no less. My hats off to you for sticking with that job all those years, but I don’t blame you for not doing it anymore.

    1. He, he, I’ve heard that I’m more naughty than I let on twice since Christmas – I wonder why 😉 ? The job was ok, it was the potential to get sued plus the reduction in pay that really got me to leave, plus my love of writing. I’ve seen a few places like that and it’s so not pretty. Those shows are real unfortunately.

  2. Goodness me! Never a dull moment in that job. Well done you for seeing the funny side of story one – and story two -Eeewwww. When I see that stuff on TV, I always think it’s made up. Now I’m going to wonder!

  3. Dionne, these stories are superb and I’m thinking what a great collection you could probably produce with so many years experience. The second reminds me of when my husband and I were searching for a house to buy years ago when we were getting married. We went to a viewing in a nearby neighbourhood we were not that familiar with and were already put off because we couldn’t find a space to park remotely near the property (narrow London streets, terraced houses). When we finally turned up at the front door, a young estate agent was there to show us round who had not seen the house himself before. I think it really was a toss up between us and him as to who was the most revolted by what lay within. There were huge mushrooms growing off the kitchen wall, people lying around semi-comatose on bare mattresses in several of the bedrooms and in the master bedroom, cupboards with what should have been white wooden louvre doors that were jet black with years and years of dust and grime (broken by the occasional fingerprint). I won’t treat you to a description of the odour that pervaded the place, because I don’t think I could describe it if I tried (loved your cat smells – very evocative!) If this happened to me now I would just have turned and said ‘I’m leaving’ straight away but we were young, polite and very shocked. When we closed the door behind us we looked at the agent and he looked at us and I worried that he was going to ask if we wanted a second viewing. “Sorry about that,” was all he said.

    1. Did you go home and have a shower? That is really an initiation of fire, or fungus! I am chuffed by the fact you really like my stories – thank you 🙂 Speaking of mattresses on the floor, I have a couple more stories – I might just post them today. – one involves a brothel – yes I’ve had to value three of those, oh the joys of being a valuer…

  4. O. M. G. I would so be into the closet of that room. Hmmm…gotta see what else is up in heeyaaar. (Snort giggle) Bright red? Bwhahaaaa! Yes. This is awesomeness.

  5. Great stories.I don’t know how you kept your face straight in the red room. My daughter is a Social Worker and sees houses like your second one where instead of a cat living in filth it’s children. She says you can’t sit down and have to wipe your feet on the way out! I’d love to hear more of your house stories,I bet you have a few more.

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