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juvenal

Who Lived Here Before You?

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Just been looking at an American crime case where an innocent man was shot by two intruders who assumed he was the drug dealer who used to live there.

Anyone got stories (humorous) or otherwise about the people who used to own or rent the house you subsequently bought or rented?

My own home was once owned by a policeman who went behind bars for nicking police confiscated property, including, allegedly, weapons.

I've heard of people renting flats that were once brothels, and getting horny visitors....

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My pad used to be a pig sty so before me the place was filled with (other) pigs.

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A stunningly beautiful scandinavian lady, with her two young kids, lived in my place before me. For the first year after I moved in I would get phone calls from a scandinavian man asking to speak to her or the kids.

I kept telling him that she had moved out but I am pretty sure he must have thought that I was the new man. I could feel his pain down the telephone line. I kept expecting him to turn up at the front door.

Awful.

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Back in January I opened the door to what turned out to be five coppers. They'd come to arrest a previous occupant (who had moved out about two years earlier). It was actually quite scary: they didn't want to believe I wasn't him, and ignored my suggestion they contact my letting agent - who could of course confirm my story. And when you're stressed out is not a good time to be looking for anything like a passport.

Sometime earlier I'd had a visit from two ladies who told me they were the daughter and granddaughter of the female half of the previous tenants. They had no idea where she was, and I referred them to the agent, too. At least they were civil and not threatening to arrest me!

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I bought my house off some Islamic fundamentalists. One of whom had done a stint in Abu Ghraib in the hands of the yanks. True story.

We've had both plain-clothes and uniformed police round asking for him whilst we've been living here. I guess they didn't get the memo from MI5.

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The predecessor of my current flat used to run a nursing home. One day the fire alarm went off, so all the staff ran away leaving the clients inside.

There was no fire, but he was subsequently prosecuted for not having an adequate health and safety policy. I got a long string of official looking letters with crown court post marks, looking increasingly more and more important as time went by. I'm still always on guard about getting a knock at the door, wondering if it's the cops looking for him.

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The rental house I lived in from 2010 to 2011, the previous tenants left after armed men burst in to rob them and steal their car - so I was told.

Told by the neighbours long after moving in that is, not the letting agents obviously. I wondered why it was cheap.

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Many moons ago we had a sweet old lady knock on my wing of my parents house asking if we would be so kind to show her around for memories sake, we obliged and practically every room we stepped in she mention an uncle, child or someone else who had met a gruesome end be it syphilis in the dining room, murder in the kitchen or another godforsaken disease. Really wish we hadn't been so obliging.

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Was her surname Marple ?

Haha we weren't on first name terms but you're spot on. The way she dressed and her mannerisms she could well have been Ms. Marple

Actually, for an old person this wouldn't be a bad sport knocking on random homes and concocting grisly history's. It might help bring prices down :D

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Only moved here in March, a permanent move. Spent the summer saying an almost daily thank you to the lady who lived here before me. The garden is small but so cleverly planted. Every day something new and coloured popped up. Quite an unexpected treat. Know very little about her except that she died here and gardened. Think I might have liked her though.

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Many moons ago we had a sweet old lady knock on my wing of my parents house asking if we would be so kind to show her around for memories sake, we obliged and practically every room we stepped in she mention an uncle, child or someone else who had met a gruesome end be it syphilis in the dining room, murder in the kitchen or another godforsaken disease. Really wish we hadn't been so obliging.

Wing?! Chuffing heck!

castlehoward_sf%20(castlesstately).jpg

Was it the summer or winter palace :P

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Wing?! Chuffing heck!

castlehoward_sf%20(castlesstately).jpg

Was it the summer or winter palace :P

There's no blueblood in me.

Here is my wing annex the house to the right is a former inn (family residence) and on the left what was formerly the landlady's quarters 2 up 2 down. The window to the right of the front door is actually a dining room to the adjoining house. I had two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and sitting room and NO HEATING it has since been separated and sold off. It's actually more grey brick and grey skies. Estate agent+photoshop=idyllic fantasy.

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post-26654-0-66750000-1450127169_thumb.jpg

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I have mentioned before that I do a bit of research into my family history. About 25 years ago I researched my (then) wife's family. Her great-grandparents were in a family of 17 kids. To find out where they lived, I picked a random great-great-uncle and obtained his birth certificate.

He was born 120 years ago, 120 miles from where I live.

My wife's family moved near my present town in the 1950's. Unkown to them, and entirely unconnected, the g-g-uncle moved to my town sometime between 1920 and 1930. he died in 1979, before I ever moved to the town.

My apartment is built on the site of some old bungalows. Using old maps it is possible to work out how they were numbered.

I found out recently that this g-g-uncle lived in one.

So I have, in my files, the birth certificate of a man I never knew, born 120 years ago and 120 miles away, who lived within 5 metres of where my flat is now.

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For a time we lived in a godawful new-build terrace in a supposed affluent estate in Harlow, Essex. It's called Church Langley. The people who live there like to pretend it's an area in its own right as opposed to just a housing estate in Harlow.

On day one I plugged a phone into the socket to see who it was connected to. I kid you not, within moments it started ringing. "Can I speak to Clive please" (Clive is not the actual name). Should have given a clue as to what was to come. That all stopped when we had it converted to ntl to get broadband.

For the next six months we had a relentless barrage of postal mail for Clive. Legally I can't say what all the letters were about specifically, suffice it to say that they were all debts. Yes, I opened them all after getting thoroughly hacked off with it, and contacted the creditors. Putting them back in the post box marked "Not at this address" does not work.

One Saturday morning at around 07:30 after a night of clubbing we were woken by a knock at the door. I pop my head out of the window. "Can I help?"

"Is Clive available?"

Debt collectors.

"No. Clive doesn't live here. Can you come back at a more reasonable hour?"

They did. And had the cheek to ask for ID. I simply handed them the pile of circa 50 letters to Clive. "I don't think you're the only ones after him".

Six months after we moved out, I get a call from Essex Police to find out what we knew. He had finally been rumbled. I didn't know anything except that he'd used that address to obtain credit.

"We assumed he was probably in prison".

"He will be soon".

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