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One of those never-ending 'Mrs Hisname' threads.

(47 Posts)
LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 15:23:24

I've had versions of the same conversation with three lettings agents today.

First they ask my name and title. Then they ask who'll be living in the property - so I say, it'll be me and my DH. 'Ah, so that's Mr and Mrs LRD then'. So, I say, no, sorry, his name's DHname (because they're filling in forms for us). 'Ah, so it's Mr and Mrs DHsname'. No. We have different names. I'm Ms LRDName and He's Mr DHname.

'Sorry, this is a one-bedroom flat, we can't take sharers, only a single person or a couple'.

So I explain no, we're married, we just have different names but they're welcome to put whichever name they like on the paperwork.

'Well we have to have your real name for the credit checks'.



And naturally, I have three emails confirming the conversation, one addressed to 'Mr and Mrs LRDsname', one to 'Mr and Mrs SomeShitMisspelling', and one (yay!) to 'Mr and Ms LRDsname'. Well, they get half points for the title I guess!

It is 2013, isn't it, not 1952?

meditrina Thu 28-Feb-13 15:29:40

Ugh. I feel your pain - I never changed name and would be furious with any organisation which cannot handle that (common, normal) situation.

I can put up with being Mrs DH socially, but legally - never.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 15:33:18

What annoys me is that one of them obviously thought we must be lying about being a couple in order to get into a one-bed flat. And the other one did a silly little titter when I said it was 'Ms'. I am biting my tongue because you have to be really polite to them, but it annoys me.

AbigailAdams Thu 28-Feb-13 15:45:45

How hard can it be? Really?

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 15:51:44

I know. Does someone not teach this stuff in 'being a professional, 101'?

Startail Thu 28-Feb-13 16:01:37

I am very happy to be Mrs Star Tail, I've been married 20+ years and both sides of the family are very traditional, being Ms or keeping my maiden name never really entered the equation.

I was still at University so I didn't have work contacts to confuse and anyhow my maiden name is very easy to misspell.

However, I am Star or if you must Stardust (I'm one of those awkward people who was used their NN since birth)

But I am not Mrs DHname Tail.

It's ridiculous I'm long haired, short, curvy and clearly female, calling me by DHs name is quite clearly not something you would do in person so why, why, why do it in writing.

It especially drives me nuts when people who are my friend first and know DH only in passing do it on Christmas cards.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 28-Feb-13 16:03:45

It annoys me too. They're not all bad though, I made a call today about an insurance quote, I was already in the database and they asked me to confirm that my name was Mrs X Surname and I said no it's Ms X Surname, they said OK we'll change that and could you confirm your status as married? I said yes and she carried on, no comment, no hesitation, no smirk. Just annoying that somewhere along the line they had assumed I was Mrs in the first place.

Mitchy1nge Thu 28-Feb-13 16:06:29

grin I am still a bit amused by my daughter's English teacher doing this. I couldn't make parents evening, but her father went, so emailed (from my to introduce myself as Actualname Lastname, and I particularly wanted to thank her for something. She replied to Mrs Mydaughter'sfather'sfirstname Hislastname. It must have taken some effort to overlook my name in the address and body of the email and recall the first and last name of the other parent? We're not married, don't live together, our names are not even slightly similar.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 28-Feb-13 16:11:47

So would they refuse to rent to co-habiters living in sin?

Like that episode of Fawlty Towers

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 16:15:46

I did wonder, Ithink! grin

It stunned me that they were so interested in whether we were married or not. I can understand them wanting to say that a two-room flat isn't suitable for two people sharing, because I think probably two people sharing like that, with no living room, are likely to be harder on the property than a couple, and you wouldn't want to rent to two unattached people and find you'd ended up with four tenants living their once they got partners.

But still.

whoknows - aw, that's nice. I do know there are some good ones out there. In general it seems to go with being prepared to spell out an unusual name. DH's name is odd to British ears, and I can usually be sure that someone who sniggers at it or doesn't bother to let me spell it, is also going to call me 'Mrs whatever'.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 28-Feb-13 16:49:47

Tend to agree LRD - we both have surnames that most people either hesitate over or get wrong, so I tend to spell them out regardless, some people listen, some just plough on and type it wrong into their computer whilst muttering Mrs Surname and not bothering to check that either.

I said this on another thread earlier - I always feel like cheering when someone calls me Ms without checking with me first, I look forward to the day when this becomes the default.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 17:00:16

Me too. smile

Though, perhaps by then we shall all be divorced, gay, cagey about our marital status or (gasp!) 'rabidly feminist'.

Mandytm Thu 28-Feb-13 17:12:02

Me three!

I'm married and recently had a conversation that went on for far too long with the council, when I asked for the name on my account to change from Miss to Ms. "Oh, so you're divorced?" From the council office worker... firstly, like it's his business. Secondly [yawn].

meditrina Thu 28-Feb-13 17:23:52

They might want to know when you are renting, as there is a different legal status between a married/CP couple and two sharers.

They ought to be able to cope with the idea that choice of name is not an indicator or marital status, and be able to address actual or potential clients by the name given.

FloraFox Thu 28-Feb-13 17:29:23

He won't get far with the credit checks unless he uses your real name - Ms LRDsname.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 17:29:40

Would the different legal status affect how we rented it, though?

I moved into our current place before DH and I got married and we're down on the tenancy agreement as being jointly and severally liable (which is standard), and the tenancy agreement drafts we're seeing this time around have exactly the same wording, although they know we're married.

In any case, I agree, they should be able to cope with names, and if the legal status matters they could easily explain it.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 17:30:37

flora - well, exactly! Nor with DH's credit checks if they try to use 'Mr LRDname'.

I will point out (ironically), that two out of the three were women, actually. So not 'he'. wink

Kendodd Thu 28-Feb-13 17:35:18

I've been married 17 years, both kept our own names (children are double barrelled). I can't say I've really come across this with professionals. I sometimes get called MrsDH when people haven't been told my name and DH sometimes gets call Mr Dodd. He says it quite useful if somebody phones him up and asks for Mr Dodd because he knows they must be a cold caller and he can hang up straight away.

Family are another story all together through, some of the still don't get it. I remember a relative asking me once 'what name am I using now?' after many years of marriage, then saying that they 'just couldn't keep up with all my name changes'. I have used the same name my whole life.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 17:38:51


Oh dear. That is awful, but quite funny. Did you point out you've always used the same name?!

Kendodd Thu 28-Feb-13 17:43:28

"I said this on another thread earlier - I always feel like cheering when someone calls me Ms without checking with me first, I look forward to the day when this becomes the default."

Some women on MN are outraged by this though, I'm sure you've seen the 'proud to be Mrs' comments you get sometimes. I do think, oh, grow up, when I see them.

Kendodd Thu 28-Feb-13 17:45:16

Said relative seems to have absolutely no problem keeping up with a cousin who's changed her name about five times though.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 28-Feb-13 17:47:01

I know, and clearly the use of Ms irks them as much as the use of Mrs irks me, so we are all stuck with each other's preferences really. But it is nice to let off steam on here.

LadyRainicorn Thu 28-Feb-13 17:52:14

The legal thing with renting is about homes of multiple occupation, which 2 unrelated, un 'together' people would fall under and cause licencing and insurance issues for the landlord I.e extra cost.

But an unmarried couple would not fall under this definition, so I'd go with the agents being idiots.

LadyRainicorn Thu 28-Feb-13 17:55:19

Plus the council would have difficulties proving a case against just 2 people sharing. It's meant to stop landlords cramming 8 people in 2 rooms etc.

I took my husband's name as it was an opportunity to lose my father's name. We could've made an entirely new name free of patriarchal associations but we were lazy.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 28-Feb-13 18:03:05

Yeah, I think it must be the agents being idiots. Two people couldn't possibly count as an HMO. Round here it's four or more unrelated people living together - I think it might vary by area, though.

I've no issue with other people who choose to be Mrs, or who use their husband's surname, or whatever it may be ... I just find it annoying that this attitude is so common.

It really does feel as if, once you make a fuss about it, they've marked you down as someone they don't really respect enough to treat professionally. It's the same once they realize DH isn't British - sort of 'oh, we needn't bother being polite now'. It is a bit shit.

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