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British Expat

British Expat Newsletter:
25 October 2006

[old BE link]

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: Trashed House
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Quotation and joke

This week

Sorry we missed sending the newsletter for a week or two; here are our excuses. First we went off to Cambodia for a week (watch out for more new content on the website soon). And secondly, after working behind the scenes for months on another new website, we decided to do nothing else but that site until it was ready to go live. The result is – a tale of filth and destruction caused by a tenant, plus lots of information about letting or selling your home in England and Wales. (Sorry to exclude Scotland and Northern Ireland but the laws are different and our experience was in England. We’ll try to cater to the others if we ever have any spare time on our hands.)

I expect that many of you may be in a similar situation. Unless you’ve decided to sell up and escape permanently, there is always the dilemma of what to do with your UK home. if you sell it, you’re effectively jumping off the property ladder and it might be hard to get back on. If you leave it unoccupied you may run the risk of getting squatters in. I guess the default option for most is to rent it out – with all the worries that can bring.

We had heard plenty of horror stories from our friends and colleagues about bad tenants but we went ahead with that option anyway. And went through thirteen months of hell (and a substantial sum of money) sorting out the resultant mess. We thought we should tell our story to help others not to make the same mistakes as we did. If you are wondering about renting out your home, visit Trashed House and you may have serious second thoughts about it.

And now for something completely different. Because we travel quite a lot we get to eat breakfast in a variety of places (well, Dave does anyway as I am barely aware that such a thing as morning exists) and we’ve been taking photos of various breakfast offerings around the world. It might be fun if you too could send us any photos of breakfasts which you have. Why? I dunno, for fun, just to make my toes laugh. You can see what we’ve already got here:

Please also include a caption (and your name if you want your 15 minutes of fame).

So that’s it for this week. Let’s hope things return to what passes for normal soon.

Do you have anything to say about this topic? Or do you have some suggestions for other issues we might discuss in our weekly email? Why not comment and tell us about it?

Virtual Snacks

Just a few suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

LandlordZone is an essential site for anyone renting out their house. It’s stuffed full of useful information. Try this page for a brief history of landlording in England and Wales.
LandlordZone has a few interesting things to say about breakfast. I particularly liked this page about “Breakfast With Jesus”, which gives details of some of the silliness surrounding the “miraculous” appearance of Jesus and other religious symbols in everyday breakfast comestibles. Yea, verily we are blest. Yea… right. Breakfast with Jesus

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which have led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • who is the most photographed animal
  • what kind of plant is a british hedge
  • self shock
  • food mondegreens
  • funny quotes if you re being chased by a police dog try not to go through a tunnel
  • airplane jokes australia midget hammer
  • veiled cloaked movie
  • boney felicidad lyric explanation
  • gawdelpus
  • obnoxious plants
  • how to please a black man
  • a picture of dobie the elf from harry potter

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

British Expat Magazine


“We are just tenants on this world. We have just been given a new lease, and a warning from the landlord.”

– Arthur C. Clarke, physicist & science fiction author (1917-)


Letters to a landlord

Excerpts from actual letters (allegedly) sent to landlords:

The toilet is blocked and we cannot bathe the children until it is cleared.

I want some repairs done to my stove as it has backfires and burnt my knob off.

This is to let you know that there is a smell coming from the man next door.

The toilet seat is cracked: where do I stand?

I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is running away from the wall.

I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.

Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces.

The person next door has a large erection in his back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.

Will you please send someone to mend our cracked pavement? Yesterday my wife tripped on it and is now pregnant.

Our kitchen floor is very damp, we have two children and would like a third, so will you please send someone to do something about it.

Will you please send a man to look at my water? It is a funny color and not fit to drink.

Would you please send a man to repair my downspout? I am an old-age pensioner and need it straight away.

Could you please send someone to fix our bath tap? My wife got her toe stuck in it and it is very uncomfortable for us.

I want to complain about the farmer across the road. Every morning at 5:30 his cock wakes me up, and it is getting too much.

When the workmen were here, they put their tools in my wife’s new drawers and made a mess. Please send men with clean tools to finish the job and keep my wife happy.

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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