9 obligations in my tenancy agreement Jason Statham would be unable to agree to

In this week's Confused Views, Matt ponders the legal stipulations in his new tenancy agreement. He also wonders, what would Jason Statham make of all this?

I am ambitious. Writing these silly columns about film and making jokes about the variety of bowel movements exhibited in the animal kingdom is fine for now. But it’s only a step in what I’m working towards.

I’m a man of intellect, knowledge and wit, and I only intend to dedicate these qualities to the trivial topic of cinema for so long. I’m already brainstorming titles for when I finally get a positive response to one of my pitches from Den of Legal Documents. I’m thinking my column would be ‘Tampering, with Evidence’ (which I would write under the pseudonym ‘Evidence’), or possibly ‘Approach the Bench’ (with a banner featuring a sketch of a bench covered in severed human appendages, just because).

The shame of it is that fans of humour that skews legal documentation are missing out. Still, there’s no reason you should be deprived.

Before we start this list it’s important that I clarify some of the terminology used in this article.  By ‘Jason Statham’, I mean Frank ‘The Transporter‘ Martin and Chev ‘Fuck You’ Chelios, not the actual person (who I imagine probably is just the sum of those two characters). Also, by ‘cesspit full of human body parts and faeces’, I mean a cesspit full of human body parts and faeces.

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I had to renew the tenancy for my flat recently (such is the glamorous lifestyle of a DoG columnist), which involved signing a new tenancy agreement and reading a list of my obligations towards the property. As an experience, I would liken it to having my face punched for an hour and a half by a professional boxer wearing gloves made of tedium.

These are the obligations that Jason Statham would sooner murder than agree to:

1. Where the premises are served by a septic tank or cesspit, to be responsible for the reasonable costs of emptying or clearing such facilities, as required, during the tenancy.

Jason Statham lives on a diet of violence, adrenaline and steak. The idea of what he flushes down the toilet is enough to make anyone who isn’t Jason Statham cry. Then considering it all collected into a pit or tank and left to stew there? That’s worse. No one should have to agree to clear that out.

Statham would quite rightly refuse to put anyone through such an ordeal (much less be responsible for the reasonable costs), then punch every estate agent he could find in the face before taking off his shirt and driving away into the night. Then he’d drive around with no shirt on, at night, completely shirtless.

The other problem with Jason Statham’s septic tank is that, most likely, that’s where the bodies are kept. Statistically, it’s highly improbable that Jason Statham has ever had a night’s sleep that went uninterrupted by an assassination attempt.

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Given that he’s Jason Statham, none of these assassins will have survived. That leaves him with the problem of disposing of at least one assassin every day. A lot of those bodies will be in the septic tank. So, even though the process of emptying his crap-bank would surely involve using some kind of high-tech poo hose, Statham would still have the problem of police interest in the body parts that would be uncovered.

The result of this police interest would be a tense situation that he would have to fight or fuck his way out of. Either way, someone ends up dead.

2. Not to tamper, interfere with, alter or add to the gas, water or electrical installations or meters, either in or serving the premises.

It’s been said that ‘Jason Statham lives on a diet of violence, adrenaline and steak’. However, this is poorly researched and completely misses the evidence presented in the Crank films, which highlight his dependence on electricity. This alone means that he can’t agree to leave the electrical installations be.

Furthermore, through the course of his day, Jason Statham can develop a new and baffling dependency at any given time. Who knows when he might need to alter in order to survive long enough to feed a corrupt mobster his own intestines?

Also, it’s been said that ‘Jason Statham lives on a diet of violence, adrenaline and steak’, and with a diet like that, Jason Statham legally qualifies as a gas installation. Zing!

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3. Not to use the premises, or allow it to be used, for illegal or immoral purposes and that includes the use of any illegal drugs which are or become prohibited or restricted by statue.

Morality being subjective, I find it quite confusing that it features in a list of my obligations. People who have read things I’ve written before may know that my idea of morality isn’t necessarily in line with anyone else’s.

I find it pretty depressing to know that I could get evicted from my flat for cheating at Monopoly. Evicted. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not bother trying to use those ‘get out of jail free’ cards that you’ve had hidden up your sleeve since the game started.

If my idea of morality is skewed, Jason Statham’s is probably so much further off the wall that it’s buried in a mass grave in his back garden, along with more of the bodies. 

4. In the event of loss or damage by fire, theft, attempted theft, impact or other causes to the landlords premises or its contents, to promptly inform authorities as appropriate and the landlord or his agent as soon as is practicable. Subsequently, to provide, as soon as is practicable, full written details of the incident in order for the landlord or his agent to assess whether to make a claim on any relevant insurance policy.

In the western world, Jason Statham is the leading cause of all of these things. He is in a constant state of violent emergency. Documenting every catastrophe that happens when he’s at home would take a dedicated team of people working around the clock. That’s why so many of his films seem like they were made without scripts.

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So much action happens around him that any time spent writing a film is time you’re not filming the car chase he had on his way to the studio.

Tucked away in this point is the serious issue of insisting Statham informs the authorities when these mania-based problems (let’s call them ‘oopsie daisys’) occur. Given how many of his shoot-outs involve corrupt police officers, adhering to this could result in a rather nasty case of brutal death.

The only thing Jason Statham informs the authorities of is exploding vehicles moving at high speeds, and he does this by driving those exploding vehicles right into their faces. Oopsie daisy.

5. Before leaving the premises empty or unoccupied for any continuous period in excess of 14 days, to notify the landlord or his agent in advance and to fully co-operate and comply (and bear the fair cost of such compliance) with any reasonable requirements or conditions relating to the security or safety of the premises and its contents whilst being left empty or unoccupied.

Who amongst us really knows when they’re going to be kidnapped? And when you’re being kidnapped in connection with organ harvesting, knowing how long you’re going to be away is a luxury you simply don’t have.

Recent figures suggest that Jason Statham is targeted in a kidnapping attempt roughly every 14 minutes, and with up 78% of those being related to outrageous villains trying to get their hands on his lucky charms, it would be impossible for him to provide notice of his extended absences.

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How would Statham communicate this to the estate agent? Presumably with bullet-riddled bodies, which he would present to them while he was not wearing a shirt.

6. Not to keep on, or bring into the premises, any inflammable or other material or equipment (apart from properly stored fuel or similar material in quantities appropriate for normal domestic use) which might reasonably be considered to be a fire hazard, or otherwise dangerous to the premises or the health of its occupants or of the neighbours.

Jason Statham is legally classified as a fire hazard, and any quantity of him is hugely abnormal, whether for domestic use or otherwise.

Yes, he keeps barrels of oil lying around. Are they a fire hazard? Yes. Are they properly stored and in reasonable quantities for domestic use? No. No, they are not.

But at any given time Jason Statham may need to shed his clothes, douse himself in said oil and grapple with goons, who may or may not be attacking him. As such, I don’t think this is an obligation that would be agreeable to Mr. Statham. And by ‘not agreeable to Mr. Statham’, I mean that his reaction is likely to be quite killy.

7. Not to do anything at the premises (including the playing of excessively loud music) which is a nuisance or annoyance or causes damage to the premises or adjacent or adjoining premises or neighbours or might reasonably be considered to be antisocial behaviour.

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If you’re neighbours with Jason Statham, loud music is the least of your problems. You’d be lucky to survive long enough to hear the loud music. And if you find loud music annoying, wait until you hear gunshots at 3am for eighty-sixth consecutive night.

More often than not, a polite note that gets slid under the door of Jason Statham is a request to put the poor screaming man he has in there out of his misery.

Perhaps a more suitable idea would be to have everyone in the surrounding flats sign an agreement obliging them to play loud music at all times. Y’know, to drown out the squeals of delight from his lady visitors and to block out the death screams that would haunt your dreams for many, many years.

8. Not to fix or hang, any posters, pictures, photographs or ornaments to the walls or ceilings or woodwork with nails, glue, sticky tape, Blu-Tack or similar adhesive fixings other than with a reasonable number of commercially made picture hooks appropriate for the purpose and to make good at the end of the tenancy, or be liable for the fair costs of making good, any unreasonable damage or marks or holes caused by such fixings or their removal.

One of the problems with being Jason Statham is that you’re constantly surrounded by bullet holes. Sure, to you and me a bullet hole is a fascinating novelty, an insight into a dangerous world we wouldn’t normally get to see. But to Jason Statham, it’s like every room in the world has the same bullet hole-coloured wallpaper.

If he wants to hang pictures to cover the bullet holes, or the punching holes, in the wall, then he should be able to. And if he can’t, I don’t want to be there when he’s told.

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There’s also a potential benefit to society to think of here. How rarely we’re offered an insight into the mind of an individual with as high a kill count as Jason Statham. Who knows what we’d be able to learn from the things he’d hang up.

Psychologists would be busy for years trying to decipher the meaning of the red blot that covers the eyes in that flaming unicorn portrait. (It will turn out to be accidental blood spatter, no doubt.)

And if Jason Statham does express himself through his choice of decoration, would denying him the ability to do so could push him even further into the red cloud of hate, murder and henchman blood that he exists in?

Enforcing this obligation would be a danger to us all.

9. To promptly provide as soon as is practicable just before or immediately at the end of the tenancy a forwarding or correspondence address to the landlord or his agent, for ease of administration and communication between the parties, including the processes involved in the return of the deposit.

When Jason Statham leaves, he disappears, potentially with your life. So, no. He does not leave a forwarding address.

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It seems that the easier option for all involved is to not have Jason Statham sign a tenancy agreement, not charge him any rent and not bother him in any way at all.

Ah, to be Jason Statham.

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