Giving up your job and becoming a full time landlord of your very own property portfolio is a dream many of us aspire to. With house prices set to continue rising at an alarming rate in London and the South east, smug people who started buying up properties before prices went completely doolally are opting to rent them out for as much money as possible, in a bid to become extremely wealthy. However, many of these landlords are beginning to feel the pinch as tenants become ever more demanding about health and safety.
“One of my tenants is insisting that the bare wires hanging out of the light switch in the kitchen is dangerous, and that I pay for an electrician to fix it. It’s ridiculous; I’ve told her if she doesn’t touch them she’ll be fine. Anyway I’m going over there tomorrow to stick some gaffer tape round them to shut her up.” So says Margate landlord Janusz Beloc. “I’ve got a portfolio of 11 properties and every single one of my tenants has moaned about something. One of them reckons the mouldy wall in his bathroom is giving him pneumonia. I’ve told him, as long as he holds his breath when he’s standing near it he’ll be alright, probably.”
Perhaps being a landlord is not all it’s cracked up to be. Landlordlady Shaz Fisher believes her Hounslow tenants have been mis-using her roof. “They say that some roof tiles fell off during a storm and now rainwater is leaking into the fuse box in the hallway. I say they have clearly failed to maintain the roof properly and have caused the tiles to fall off due to carelessness. I’m going to have to put their rent up to cover the repair bill.”
Jasper Maitland of The Landlord’s Advice Bureau UK says that landlords should consider evicting tenants who tell them that something needs fixing. “They’re just troublemakers who will bleed you dry financially”, says Maitland. “Kick them out and keep their deposit. You’ll need that deposit when you book your skiing holiday in Val d’Isere to get over the upset of having the little hooligans trying to extort money from you.”