The Landlord's Tale

I've just re-let our Granny-Flat after months of advertising in the local paper.  Perhaps November and December aren't good months for moving?  For several weeks there wasn't even a single enquiry.   OK, so old, damp mills aren't the most desirable residences in the 'bleak midwinter', but it has quaint beams and wonderful views out over the river and, of course, it sits on the river bank at first floor level, out of reach of floodwater.  Getting the right person is crucial - the flat isn't separate from the part of the mill we live in, so we don't have the normal tenancy agreements, only an informal letting contract for lodgers.  We are sharing our roof with someone. And no, because of new government legislation about the handling of deposits, we don't take them either.

The life of a landlord is not easy.  All the legislation assumes you're a money-grubbing tyrant bent on ill-treating anyone unfortunate enough to step inside your property.  It's time someone told the other side of the story.

Landlords beware!
First there was the lovely girl we rented to who acquired a boyfriend who moved in with her.  Then she left, leaving us with the boyfriend, and we quickly discovered why she dumped him.  One of the tenants worked for a courier firm and left (in a hurry) leaving a stack of cardboard boxes, obviously destined for someone else, containing lycra biking gear, toilet cleaning equipment (!!), and boxes of chocolates. A large rat was sitting on the sofa clutching a Roses Selection soft-centre.

It was not as cute as this!
Best of all was the tenant who left behind a three feet long Monitor Lizard, which I blogged about a couple of years ago.  A handsome creature, but he couldn't pay the rent.

Good-looking, but broke!
We had a few years of brilliant tenants - friendly, quiet and prompt with the rent and that lulled us into a sense of false security.  When the last of them left at the beginning of 2014 our problems started again.   We gave the flat a total renovation with new carpets and an update to the kitchen and bathroom and quickly acquired a tenant who was newly single.  But unfortunately, within a month of moving in he moved out again to go back to his wife.  No notice.  No money.

We re-advertised, which took a couple of months, and soon had another tenant who seemed a nice quiet lad.  'Seemed' soon proved to be as treacherous as the word implies. Being private landlords and not particularly well off, we can't afford to subscribe to the tenant vetting agencies that big Estate Agents do.  It was only when our tenant was arrested and banged up in Durham jail - 3 weeks into the tenancy - that we discovered, via the local papers, that he had 27 convictions - many of them for drink related violence - and had just finished an 18 month jail term.  Flat empty again.

Would have been a very good idea.
It has remained empty until this week.  As things go we suddenly had two lovely couples (with excellent references) who both wanted it.  Big dilemma!  In the end I went with the couple who had enquired first - it seemed the only fair way to do it. Hope this is going to be one of the good ones!!


  1. It seems like you were one of those landlords who have experienced some weird things on your turf. A 3-foot monitor lizard certainly falls on that category. Haha! Anyway, you’ve mentioned about a couple who finally occupied the flat. Are they behaved, or did you have problem with them? Whatever the case may be, I hope things are doing better for you know. Thanks for sharing this with us, Kathleen! Have a great day!

    Jerald Weaver @ Blue Harbour Property Management

  2. thanks for sharing information in the website,i'very like reading in website,good luck

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