how bad does a house have to be before you wont work in it?

17 Oct 2004
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United Kingdom
as per title, you are a trade and have been called in for a job at a property, its grossly untidy and dirty not so bad that it has mouldy food or animal waste but very very cluttered, not hoovered etc Do you turn round make your excuses and walk out, charge more money or grin and bear it?
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Each case is different, but if it was dirty, not vacuumed, cluttered where I was supposed to be working, then at the very least the cost would rise.
I once went to price a house re-wire and looking under the bed I could see thick spider webs reaching from the floor, up the skirting board and attached to the bed covers, (about 12" above the skirting board). It was obvious the bed hadn't been changed in a very long time and the rest of the house was in a similar state. I simply refused to quote and told the woman, (late 30's early 40's), why.
I walked out of many houses, but the worst one was a tenanted property with an absent landlord.
They wanted me to clear a blockage in the bath.
As soon as I entered the house I noticed the carpet totally flat and shiny and its edges ripped to bits.
Rats had been living there for a long time and tenants couldn't give a damn (same as landlord)
I proceeded to the bathroom and the tiles, walls and ceiling were black with mould.
In some spots mushrooms were growing.
Bath hadn't been cleaned for years, same as sink and toilet.
I left quickly and I thought: "How is it possible for ladies to live like that???"
I would understand some blokes who don't give a damn about hygiene, but young ladies?!?!?
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I've been in a few houses where you wipe your feet on the way out.

Went in one and as soon as I stepped in the lounge, the air was thick with fleas leaping out of the carpet.

Never seen that before. Grim.
So, so many: par for the course, when you have social housing contracts.

Two in the same tower block: first, bloke clearly had serious mental issues. You wouldn't know to just see him walk or drive past, but on closer inspection........
his flat, was literally floor to ceiling, every room, every square inch of floor space save little corridors, with stacked newspapers.
He had a Transit van, with the passenger side the same.

Second one, bloke had a couple of huge GSDs, that had clearly never left his flat.
I knew this due to the 6 or more inches of turds all over his balcony.
He was on something like the sixth floor.

North Wales sinkhole estate, loads with drug paraphernalia.
One stunk, and was getting worse towards the kitchen.
Colleague found a rotting rabbit down the back of a kitchen unit that had come away from the wall.........
I was doing a LGSC on a fire in the sitting room .
The tenant said there's no need to put down a dust sheet ,I replied it was to keep my tool box clean ,never did get the offer of a tea.
Would you have accepted if one had been offered?
There is a particular smell that is human filth, you can smell it before you get to the front door, I find a reason very quickly to
make an excuse and leave.
Clutter and untidy up to a point I can deal with, human filth and stench...nooooooop, byeeeeeeeee
You should have T&C's that say that room needs to be cleared. Pathway in needs to be cleared. No responsibility for any items left.
I used plastic sheets mostly in grotty houses and carbon face mask to remove the smell.
Pet poo. Heavy smokers. Clutter from hoarding is a problem to work around. Best avoid these jobs or allow for this in price if you need to take the job on.
Depends on the person who is living there. If I see someone genuinely struggling then I try not to judge. I work in social housing so I do see a lot of people living in awful conditions.

I tend to just do bare minimum to fix the issue to just get out of there quickly if it's too bad. Nothing worse than bobbing and weaving flies constantly whilst you're kneeling in urine fixing a leak on the toilet, always a cat litter tray full of turds next to the bog too!
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