When I bought an apartment in London many years ago, it needed a total renovation. It took a few months, and luckily there weren’t any issues at all. I was so happy to move in until…
Within an hour of moving in a pipe burst in the hallway cupboard. I didn’t notice because the water ran straight down to the two apartments below me.
The elderly couple below me were the first to notice. The water damaged their bathroom ceiling quite badly. I told them I’d pay to get it fixed. The woman seemed quite happy because she said that the ceiling needed painting anyway. I got one of the workmen that had helped renovate my apartment to sort it out.
After I’d spoken to the couple below me, I checked with the owner of the ground-floor apartment. I thought the water might have made it down to her home but wasn’t sure.
I knocked on the door and explained what had happened. She started ranting at me. She said it had ruined the towels that she kept in her cupboard. She added that they would cost good money to replace.
I apologized and said that I would pay for new towels. She carried on ranting and said she didn’t want my money. She added that I shouldn’t have had a water leak.
It was almost like she thought I caused the leak on purpose just to annoy her. She slammed the door in my face.
I gave her a few days to calm down before going to see her again. As soon as she opened the door, she told me that she never wanted to see or speak to me again. I tried to tell her that I’d pay for new towels, but she just slammed the door in my face. Again.
I left it at that but still planned to pay for the towels once she’d calmed down.
It took her around 5 years to calm down. She ignored me every time she saw me.
Then, one day she said hello. After that, we had a kind of uneasy relationship. I didn’t mention the towels again, as I thought that would set her off.
I had come around to thinking that her towels probably weren’t damaged at all. They probably just got wet. She probably didn’t want me to pay because she thought she’d have to show me the undamaged towels.
Other neighbors told me that she was a bit of a dragon. She probably loved getting angry for no real reason. She might have been secretly glad that there had been a leak. It gave her an excuse to not like me.
I got on very well with all the other neighbors. None of them got along with this woman.
If you’re moving into a new apartment, make sure you don’t flood your neighbors on the first day.