In 2016, after an incident targeted at my neighbours on the ground floor in the small building in which I currently live that coincided with crap carried out in my flat while I was out, I spoke with this Mr Murphy over the phone, while I was waiting for a train at Fratton train station (on my way for Suzanne Hulscher who undoubtedly has no more faith left in me, for which I can’t blame her at all).
Mr Murphy indicated that the lock-picking was no big deal in his view, that it was just local youngsters who were doing this and who were going into my flat all the time. Really?! We made an appointment to meet, at the building. Mr Murphy never showed up.
A colleague in Amsterdam suggested at some point that is this Mr Murphy who is doing or arranging all these things. I dismissed that at the time, but I have since started to wonder if there could be an element of truth to it. After all, anything is probably possible here locally…
I now have four cheap locks on my door but they all still get picked. I can’t be away for longer than 1 to 2 hours. This is all considered normal and fully acceptable in Portsmouth? FFS!
(I have seen the locks to the local LibDem office get picked too. Hey, like I said, that kind of thing is considered perfectly normal here. Or does one of their staff live across the street, his window commanding a direct view of that door?)
My landlord and his staff almost never respond to any communications from us tenants and the neighbours on the ground floor and I have gotten so used to this that, for years, we have been taking care of many things here that the landlord does not do a thing about such as make the lock on our own front door functional again – though not effective – after it jams.
I’ve installed draft excluders, repainted the bathroom (which had been painted with a completely inappropriate paint) and I’ve fixed the fence a few times with materials purchased at Wilko and Poundland. And during the first lockdown, the neighbours took discarded bed slats, sawed them into the right lengths and used them to fix the fence.
I’ve also communicated with Hampshire Fire & Rescue about various matters here – after I first went to the landlord’s office about some of them and was ADMONISHED for taking care of them – and I’ve removed a developing hazard from a nearby patio. (That is not owned by the same landlord, but is owned by an outfit that – as it happens – took care of some of the issues that our landlord did not want to deal with and that were even partly his doing.)
I know that one former tenant – Dzwonkowski – carried out some role – not sure what he actually did – for the landlord, for the front building for a short while. I’ve found my landlord’s outfit too unprofessional to want to offer myself up for something similar.
Also, yes, moving out would facilitate the process of moving on – of course – but it would be more expensive than taking care of security and right now, with the lockdowns, moving is more complicated.
(Another big issue with my flat, however, is the HUGE amount of dust in the indoor air here. It undoubtedly comes from the carpet. I’d like to have vinyl on the floors. Much more hygienic. Does not have to cause any sound issues. I would really hope to be able to do something in that area too, but it is of a very different nature than the locks issue – more a luxury – and, other than that, I am relatively happy with this flat. Things could be a lot worse.) Never mind; sounds bonkers under the circumstances. That said, it is undoubtedly a very unhealthy situation as the amount of dust here is currently truly “insane” (been getting much worse for some reason). Lots of fibres. Particularly in my home office.