Business Confessions: The Time We Got Evicted

Business Confessions: The Time We Got Evicted

 (017/365) November 10, 2009: Exit in the dark
Since yesterday’s admission, my Confession Hotline has been buzzing with several colleagues keen to share tales of past adventures.  Today’s instalment comes from an entrepreneur whose identity must also remain a secret…   

The Time We Got Evicted:

 “Our business had grown to become a 30 person company in prestigious, central London offices.  One day, completely out of the blue, our landlord went bust. Not our problem we thought, so we cheerfully went to meet our landlord’s landlord to pay our rent directly to them.  That’s when the trouble started.  There was an overall shortfall for the building (we’re talking hundreds of thousands of pounds) which they wanted us to pay. We politely declined.  As legal eagles will know, we were at that moment considered squatters (we had no contract) – and bailiffs could board us out at any moment, even though we had paid our rent.” 
“The catch was, they could only swoop if the building was empty.  So I had to make sure someone was inside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the next month.  I didn’t want our staff or clients to find out – so I slept on a pile of bubble wrap in a cupboard for the whole period. As staff kept discovering me and my girlfriend in the building at 7am (not my usual start time!), we had to make up more and more obscure excuses. Three and a half weeks later, thankfully, we found an office on the same street. With the deadline looming and the lawyers being slow, I resorted to camping in their reception during the day and in our office at night. At 4pm the night before D-Day, we finally signed the contract and began packing. By 11 pm we were out and the cleaners began work to make it spotless. By 5am the new office was ready. I would love to have seen the top landlord’s face, convinced that he had us over a barrel, when he walked in to evict us and found an empty building.” 


Tune in for tomorrow’s tale, where a high-powered executive will reveal all in a story involving an ad agency, an unfortunate accident and an animal….

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