And…. I’m back! Apologies for the lack of writing but I’ve been waylaid by a family bereavement and, suffice to say, I make a better Landlady than I do a personal carer or nurse.
So what happened to my tenants during these last few months? Well, nothing. It could be down to the brilliant, systemised approach I’ve set up or the years of training to turn them into responsible, independent tenants. According to them, however, they appreciated that their issues paled into insignificance when they found out that I was reinventing myself as Florence Nightingale.
I properly went back to work this week to find that five tenants handed in their notice due to moving jobs, returning to ex wives and an altercation with a fellow Pole who refuses to learn enough English to swear at the other tenants coherently.
The one I shall miss the most is Greg. His girlfriend is pregnant which means he’ll have three different children by three different women. The latest one has been physically and mentally abusing him, daring him to hit back so she can report him (again) to the police for domestic abuse – all because he refuses to move in with her. In our phone call today he’s decided to relocate with his job and get a vasectomy. To be honest, he’s so good looking I’d probably let him make ME pregnant!
One HMO is rapidly turning into a convalescent home: one tenant has had a cancerous mole removed, another is suffering from the side effects of her post cancer drugs and another is losing so much weight he’s finally yielded to our nagging and having urgent tests done to find a diagnosis.
With no late night calls, lock outs or absence of rent payments I was starting to think I’d become surplus to my own business. Even the people answering advertisements have jobs, can sell themselves over the phone and understand the concept of a deposit without a single sob story up their sleeve. All became normal when Tom said I’d better watch out for the new guy, Chris, who’s a well known local alcoholic and I shouldn’t be housing him. Which is ironic really, as he’d been recommended to me by his housing mate from the Council who had withheld any information other than “he’s a nice guy”. He’s a lovely guy, but at least it explains why his face has been covered in scratches and bruises for the last three weeks.
A Polish lady came for a room viewing today which was great until the only English words she recognised were “Hello” and “Internet”. In desperation we turned to Google Translate which worked brilliantly from English to Polish but not the other way round due to the English keyboard. Suffice to say it was a one way conversation and I still don’t know if she wants the room.
So, what’s for the future? Well, I’m about to start a project to turn a three storey house into a flat and four bedsits and wondering which child I shall have to sell to fund the work; I had a narrow escape from BBC1’s “Meet The Landlords” where I ended up on the cutting room floor in favour of HMO Daddy and I’ve also received an exciting opportunity to write for another website.
Before I go, I had a lovely question from someone asking what software I used to keep track of rents. I had to reply that I use the simple record keeping of “if it ain’t there, they ain’t paid”. Perhaps one day I’ll have enough time to adopt a systemised technological approach beyond my faithful carbon receipt book.