The Lessons You Never Forget As A Landlord / Person

It’s been a while, just over a month; I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long without blogging, and to be honest, I’m forcing these words out of myself right now just to end the drought. I’m not entirely sure how this post will pan out, but for the most part I know it’s going to be different from every other blog post I’ve written (some of you are feeling it already), and you’ll mostly sit there thinking, “What the fuck is going on here?”

I’m really not in the mood to blog about anything landlord related, but I am in the mood to air my dirty laundry in public as I’m hoping it will temporarily occupy my mind and prove to be therapeutic. Inevitably, I will throw in some landlord bits, but only because I have to, being a landlord blog ‘n all, but this will largely be about my personal trials and tribulations. Better out than in, as they say. Hold onto your condoms, it’s about to get dark and pathetic…

The good news is, I’m still alive. Well, partially. My limbs still function as they should and blood is circulating around my body, into every nook and cranny. The rest of me, like my soul, heart and mind, all that good shit, they’ve taken a beating, hence why my drive to produce unbelievably amazing landlord content has disintegrated into nothing but vapour. For now.

Why would any cold blooded male be so low and unproductive? Women. Always women. I’m going through a transitional period in my life where I’m having to adjust to the loss of a loved one. Not by death, just by regular cold-hearted bitchiness. The breakup.

Ok. Truth is, she isn’t a cold-hearted bitch at all (which makes it so much tougher), despite the fact I haven’t entirely agreed with how she’s conducted herself throughout the separation. But in these times, when do you ever agree on one another’s behavior? There’s no such thing as a perfect breakup when love is involved, right? Agree with me, I need some reassurance.

This has been by far my toughest breakup, but for a number of reasons. Primarily because I actually gave a shit about this one, and most excruciatingly, I don’t fully understand why the mutilation occurred; I only know it happened. That’s always the toughest pill to swallow with any massacre- when it happens for reasons beyond comprehension. I really don’t like things I don’t understand, I never have. It’s the “not-knowing”, it’s like a bullet slowly grinding through the skull. I know what I was told, I know what I’m meant to believe, but it doesn’t make sense, and it probably never will. I still genuinely believe it’s one big mistake. Ah, sweet denial.

The breakup has been ongoing for a while now, definitely too long, but the fight has been worth it, and will continue to be so. I’ve done the harassment/psycho thing, I’ve done the “get drunk and talk shit” thing (I would NEVER advice anyone to do that), I’ve done the painfully/pitifully long email thing, I’ve given the “i’m never talking to you again, you’re going to regret this” speech, I’ve done the “i’m not afraid to admit how I feel about you, even though I sound like a complete dickhead” thing, and apparently I’m doing the blogging thing now…on a landlord blog. I’m going to try the “space” thing next. Apparently absence makes the heart grow fonder. All my eggs are firmly in that basket right now, even though I was told it’s over. Eggs/basket don’t fail me now!

Albeit, in the mean time, here I am, in living hell, without an inkling of inspiration to blog about landlord bullshit. I’m sorry.

In these situations, hindsight is a fucker though, innit? All that heat-of-the-moment behavior that triggers by instinct after a breakup is a killer, and it drags us completely out of character. I probably should have gone with the “give her space” option first, because I did some serious damage while stampeding through the other irrational steps. She said I crossed a few unforgivable lines (ouch!). But seriously, initially “givng space”, without going through that fight for salvation, seems like a very tall order that defies mankind. In any case, fight the urges if you can.

I’m a little convinced though, everything I have done so far is with in the guidelines of the normal breakup protocol for a cold-blooded male. I’m not saying it’s right, just somewhat regular. Before you answer, let me clarify the “harassment/psycho” notion, because I feel the details are crucial before being able to determine a final verdict. I called her multiple times in a week (not constantly, just a few times, but it was knowing she didn’t want to talk) and sent her a frequent flow of messages every few days, encouraging her to resolve this, and reminding her that she’s stuck a rusty blade through my urethra. One particular night I completely spazzed out after I hit the bottle- if I had a “get out of jail” card, I definitely don’t anymore. I haven’t rolled up to her house and stuffed a bunny through her letterbox, although I did jot it down on a piece of scrap paper, as a crucial part of my overall master-plan. Yet to be executed.

Needless to say, it’s been an unforgettable experience. Not just the breakup, but also the actual relationship, because it genuinely was amazing, which brings me back to the question, “WHY?” That question alone can drive any sane man insane. In fact, every unanswered question adds to the insanity, and those questions breed quickly during these times. Unfortunately, I have no advice for anyone in a similar position, but someone recently told me that “hope” is a very real thing and not to dismiss it. I really liked the sound of that, especially because that’s all I really have left right now, so maybe hope is the answer. And that’s where I’m currently at.

Fuck me sideways, someone play the violins already. So there you have it, my reason for not being around and having absolutely zero motivation to fill your lives with colourful landlord tips and advice. I don’t think it’s actually sunk in how inappropriate it is to share my reasons for not blogging for 4 weeks. How many of you actually even noticed, seriously? I’m still contemplating whether or not I will press the “publish” button.

For those wondering, I don’t think the ex reads my blog, although she is aware of this magical haven. I know she used to stick her nose in now and then, but that’s when she gave a shit about what I had to say, so I can’t imagine she’ll swing around these parts anymore. Plus, what kind of pathological nut-job would write about their personal relationship dilemmas on a Landlord blog? We’re safe, she won’t suspect a thing.

So now onto the landlord stuff. I’m thinking I should take this down the “lessons you never forget” route. It seems fitting because I’ve just been through a journey which has taught me several life lessons, and I’ve also picked up many of those while being a landlord. I may as well tie it together.

Anyone can fall into arrears, even the least suspecting

While you can try to minimise the risk of obtaining tenants that are likely to fall into arrears, there is ultimately no silver bullet solution that will guarantee the perfect tenant, and there never will be because of the simple fact, circumstances always change. The reality is, even someone with impeccable references can fall into arrears. It’s a reality every landlord needs to be aware of- every tenant is a prospective, ticking time-bomb. I’ve had the most unsuspecting tenants fall into arrears because of change in circumstances.

It’s a horrible feeling; being at the mercy of a rent-dodger can be gut-wrenching; a real sickening experience- not only because of the financial losses, but knowing that people are able to get away with that bullshit (which they actually do). Unfortunately, it’s something most landlords will most likely experience at least once during their reign.

The best a landlord can do is try to prevent, and also prepare for the worst.

High-street letting agents are a financial drain

I think I completely stopped using letting agents at the start of my third year of being a landlord. By then I had spent enough money on them, and learned enough to get by on my own, but I wish I had done it sooner. Don’t get me wrong, letting agents have their uses, but let’s face it, they’re a financial drain and working with them isn’t always a pleasant experience.

In most cases, if you get the fundamentals right by finding good tenants, the letting agents job becomes minimal, and easily replicated. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

With the growth of online letting agents, it’s become cheap and easy for landlords to advertise on Rightmove to find tenants quickly, so it seemed like the natural step to go it alone.

I haven’t looked back since, and I’ve saved a bucket load.

Hygiene standards can drastically differ from one person to the next

I’ve learned this lesson once, but I’ve regretfully been reminded of it several times over. Just because I like to live in a clean and funk-free environment, it categorically does not mean everyone else does.

I’ve let properties to working professionals like an oral surgeon and head-chef (these are real life examples), only to be mortified at how low their hygiene standards are behind closed doors. In both cases, for example, the kitchens were left saturated in what could only be described as congealed kebab grease, including all the cooking appliances. It must have been a greasy and filthy existence for the pair of them.

These cases were particularly worrying because a fundamental element of their professions is hygiene- regardless, it’s worrying anyways! You never forget a dirty bastard.

The best way to combat greasy, scum-bag tenants is by conducting vigilant tenant references.

How forgiving the law can really be

Landlord law often amazes me. Granted, there are two sides to every story- tenants and landlords both believe they have insufficient rights. Perhaps there’s truth in both arguments to a certain degree. But from personal experience, I can honestly say landlords get a tough ride when it comes to tenants that fall into arrears. The eviction process is long and excruciating, so it’s often torture relying on the legal system. Why should the process of allowing justice to prevail be such a painful experience? It shouldn’t, but it is.

Not all landlords learn this lesson, and I hope they don’t, but the legal system can be a cruel mistress if you end up with a scumbag tenant. It’s great for the tenant though. Brilliant.

Working with people isn’t easy

It’s NEVER easy working with people, not necessarily because people are unreasonable, but simply because people are different and abide by their own expectations and ways of doing things, which we aren’t necessarily accustom to.

A landlord and tenant relationship is generally very fragile by nature, so it’s quickly turned sour, over very little. I’ve seen it happen, hell, I’ve been caught in similar predicaments a few times. Some times it’s unavoidable, but a lot of the times it is.

At times I’ve been extremely frustrated by the actions of certain tenants, and in an ideal world, I’d handle the situation with all guns blazing. I’d be hard, fast and aggressive. But in reality, that’s not a solution, that’s just a good way of creating long-term problems.

A landlord/tenant relationship is often long-term, and it’s imperative to remember that. Keep tenants in their place, but do it the right way. Going back to how I initially exploded after my break-up, I knew it wasn’t the best way to react, even while I was doing it. It didn’t help; it didn’t make me feel better; it didn’t make her feel better, so why was I actually doing it? All I really did was reduce my chances of resolving the situation.

The lesson is, take time to cool down, think about the situation carefully, and then make a constructive and rational decision. Trust me, it will end so much better and help retain a peaceful relationship.

So, there you have it.

This has been a bit of an odd one, ain’t it? I’m not sure how it’s going to go down, only time will tell. Happy for anyone to laugh, mock, provide advice and additional tips, whether it be landlord or relationship related.

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38 Comments- join the conversation...

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Katie 13th August, 2013 @ 08:54

Bloody hell The Landlord has feelings! :-0

Amongst it all there is some sound advice though so well done for digging deep despite your obvious turmoil ;-)

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Katie 13th August, 2013 @ 08:55

And if nothing else it was entertaining, albeit in a car crash kind of way :/ You know what they say, the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else so that's my advice back to you......!

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Sophie Hodgson 13th August, 2013 @ 10:48

LOL Jesus christ, I was def not expecting that!!!

This was a great blog post so congrats, i really enjoyed reading it. Not that i was enjoying your misery. I think people come here because they get insight and advice from a real person, no bullshit. You just proved how real you are.

As for advice, some times people need space for no reason other than that's what feels right. It sucks. In alot of cases they'll soon realise what they lost and come back when theyre ready.

Good luck

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Joe Blessing 13th August, 2013 @ 10:51

I can only agree. Great read.

To quote,

"It happens all the time. You get what you’re looking for, you find the man you want. And then you look to the horizon to see if there is something better down the road. You leave, you want space, you need to think, and you say there is something missing. You never realize until it is too late, that what was missing was a "commitment" to the gift the Universe sent you. There are many good men, but not all are great for you. Only a few will be in your lifetime, and all too often you toss them away like a child throwing a doll away."

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Marcus 13th August, 2013 @ 17:42

I really hope she reads this post, id be interested to know her thoughts ;)

I think everyone can relate to this. We've all gone through a point where we have struggled to concentrate while going through emotional shit.

All the best!

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Marcus 13th August, 2013 @ 17:43

P.s love that quote Joe. So true!

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Peter 14th August, 2013 @ 15:30

hahaha the most bizarre, useful and entertaining landlord blog ive read.

I agree with Katie. My advice is to man the fuck up. Move onto the next girl, force yourself if u have to because it will help u move on quicker. Assuming she hasnt met another fella and uve done nothing wrong besides from the ritual psycho breakup shit (which believe me every guy does that after an unwanted breakup. it is normal), ur ex will probs regret her decision soon enough and probs when its to late. Women do this all the time only to regret it.

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Peter 14th August, 2013 @ 15:42

also just read what Joe wrote. love it

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Shaz 14th August, 2013 @ 16:34

You should start a relationship blog :D

Terrible advice people. If you actually give a damn about her, which you clearly do, don't get with anyone else. She knows how you feel. Be patient... for now.

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Katie 14th August, 2013 @ 16:40

Oh come on, they are not going to get back together so we are saving him the torment of waiting around for something that won't happen (sorry)

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Shaz 14th August, 2013 @ 16:56

That may or may not be the case but we don't know all the details, but if there is a chance of things being resolved that chance will dissolve if he moves on irrationally. If he loves her, being patient is not a big price to pay even if nothing comes of it.

I actually agree with Joe's quote. As a woman I have taken a break from my partner because I felt I needed it, I even told him to move on because it seemed like the right thing to say. I soon realised I was being very silly and he was really all I wanted. I was lucky my partner took me back. If he moved on I wouldnt have blamed him but i would have thought twice about going back to him for sure.

We have been happily married for 5 years and I couldn't be happier. The rest is history.

Keep the hope strong "for now" Landlord even if all seems bleak.

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Shaz 14th August, 2013 @ 17:09

It's amazing the effect time apart can have!!!

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Scotty 14th August, 2013 @ 17:14

bang someone else asap

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Scotty 14th August, 2013 @ 17:16

ha but Shaz is probs right. Wait a week =)

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Luke 14th August, 2013 @ 20:20

I see there has been no talk about landlord related stuff :-) I won't ruin the flow of the conversation by adding any tips from my personal experience. Only reason im actually commenting is because I know exactly what you are going through landlord and I cannot begin to describe how tough it is. After being in a remarkable relationship with my gf for 4 years she one day decided to leave me. She didnt give me any explanation, she just said she needed to be alone. BOOOM!!! That was it and suddenly the world made no sense. I automatically thought she met another guy. Thats what all the signs pointed to. I did the whole crazy chasing and begging thing which only made her angry and pushed her away. Its a natural guy thing. We know it doesnt help and we know it reduces our chances but we do it anyway. Its kind of mental hah. All im going to say is that after we had a 3 week break of absolutely no communication, i went cold turkey and it was the toughest 3 weeks of my life (i didnt hookup with anyone else for the record). After the 3rd or 4th week she got in touch and we eventually rebuilt our relationship. I still dont know what the break was about and either does she but its something that she felt she wanted. I dont want to give you false hope because you need to accept that she may never come back, she may even be over you already (im sorry), she may have even met someone else (im really sorry), and she may even feel better without you (sorry again), these are all facts you may have to accept. I was a lucky one but breaks are extremely common in healthy relationships because it gives us perspective and most couples are better off afterwards. So there is hope (but there is a good chance she wont come back). Wish you the best of luck.

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Marsha 14th August, 2013 @ 21:11

It doesn't matter if she regrets her decision and comes running back or not. You should be trying to move on regardless. Odds are she'll move on and get into a BS relationship with some deadbeat that treats her like crap and only then will she realise what she done. Until then your old news. I'm a woman with experience trust me.

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Suki 15th August, 2013 @ 12:55

Excellent stuff.

I agree and disagree with alot of the comments on here so far. But if you haven't done anything wrong and you were happy together, then perhaps all she needs is time to realise what she had. Some times people get freaked when relationships start to get intense.

"It doesn't matter if she regrets her decision and comes running back or not. You should be trying to move on regardless. Odds are she'll move on and get into a BS relationship and only then will she realise what she done" (slightly edited)

Agreed. Women are generally all the same when it comes to emotions and relationships.

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Peter 15th August, 2013 @ 13:06

my gosh I'm getting a lot of email updates for this blog post haha

the landlord has yet to comment, is he ok? Hope he aint topped himself?

landlord??? You there buddy?

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Katie 15th August, 2013 @ 15:07

^^ I was thinking the same thing... Are you ok dude?!

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Mikey 15th August, 2013 @ 15:55

Typical woman bullshit move:

"I need a break"
"I need time to think"
"I need to be alone right now"

Let her get on with it!

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Peter 15th August, 2013 @ 16:01

Amen Mikey! exactly what I said.

Just checked his twitter, he hasn't tweeted in a while either! oh dear

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Katie 15th August, 2013 @ 16:02

^ All shitty talk that translates to "I just don't want to be with you any more but I don't wanna sound too mean"

Guys do it too :/ Why people cant just be honest with their reasons I don't know!! At least the other person can move on then...

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Shaz 15th August, 2013 @ 16:13

Definitely not a gender issue, but women tend to say it more often. Also honesty does go a long way, agreed.

But as I said, women generally do need a break to collect their thoughts more often then men. It usually boils down to fear and uncertainty (but we don't realise that at the time).

When men say they need a break, it usually means it's over. When women do it, it's not always so clear because we're a bit more complicated, sensitive and emotional.

I think we're all speculating either way. Time will tell, as always.

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Helen 15th August, 2013 @ 16:41

I have to agree with the people who are saying move on. In my experience (and I am quite old!)when someone says they need a break, they are trying to let you down lightly. Sadly you will probably never know the reason and that is almost the hardest thing to get your head round. It is usually because they just didn't love you as much as you loved them and there is NOTHING you can do about that. You can't even learn any lessons from it, because what was a mistake in one relationship could be the right thing to do in a different relationship. Don't waste your time and brain trying to understand because you never will.
The other thing you need to consider is that if she does come back how would you feel about that? Would you spend all your time worrying that she was going to dump you again?
My advice, for what it is worth, is give it a few weeks just in case it really is just a short break, then move on.

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Shaz 15th August, 2013 @ 16:55

I'd say move on when it feels right, whether that be tomorrow or in a few weeks. I'm not saying to hold onto hope forever because hope fades every day if the outcome we want doesn't arrive. The time to move on will arrive naturally and we will feel it. That's my take on it.

While I agree with some of what Helen said, I don't think it's always the case (clearly). I'm pretty certain that most couples have taken a "break" at least once or twice during the course of a long-term relationship, it's so unbelievably normal...and often healthy.

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Shaz 15th August, 2013 @ 17:08

Just realised, I think some of you have just assumed and fabricated to what the actual situation is. He doesn't actually say *why* they broke up and he didn't even say she said she needed a break LOL! All he really did was say was they split up and how he felt about it and why he hasn't been around. All I said was that some times when someone walks away from a relationship they realise how they truly feel afterwards.

I've said enough anyways. My final words are, good luck landlord (wherever you are??) and I still believe "hope" is never a bad thing.

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Jen 16th August, 2013 @ 12:12

Ah you poor bastard.

KEEP CALM
and
BUY ANOTHER PROPERTY

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Katie 16th August, 2013 @ 12:15

Every time I get a notification I log in excitedly thinking it might be The Landlord telling us he's ok....

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Ian Lourie 21st August, 2013 @ 08:56

I feel for ya man it hurts but sounds like some other dude has stole her off you, women are like monkeys they dont let go of one branch until they have a FIRM grip of another. My advice is completly cut all contact however hard it might be and move on. Carling helps along the slow route to another love x

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Brittany 5th September, 2013 @ 03:13

I happened upon this blog as I was searching for some information on my.. Ahem.. Dodgy landlord. But after reading some of your posts and this one.. I really enjoy your writing and I know it's hard but you should keep this up. Posting your feelings is actually a really good and healthy way to help you understand them and help you move on.

My advice? Don't move onto the next girl just like that. Meaningless sex will just put a permanent block between you and your ex. Whilst you should try and move on and seek love, happiness and all that you deserve, she may still realize how much she really cares about you. If she is worth it, don't let go until you know you're ready. Girls are so indecisive. Sometimes we feel like we need to test the waters so to speak.. But we always realize the perfect men, were always right there. We are like cats. Curiously kills us and those around us..

Best of luck! I really hope you can get over this :)

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Ryan Hirst 16th September, 2013 @ 12:51

Hi Guys,

Unfortunately we all experience these things in a life time and it's great to see you still managed to cluster something together for us, your readers.

Just remember 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' and most importantly you'll have learned a lot from this life experience.

Now I was very impressed with the part about not being able to find the perfect tenant; like you I agree it is impossible...

There will always be life changes that mean unfortunate money problems for us all in our life time. For example how many companies in the UK seem to be making more of the employees redundant? My guess is still a lot, this such as a break up is a huge reason for landlords struggling to get their money, wouldnt you agree?

Cheers

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MarkHay Rep 14th November, 2013 @ 20:07

Well, as they say, seems to be straight from horse's mouth, but surely an interesting piece of reading. I just couldnt stop keeping my eye off till the time I read it till the last word.

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spud 26th November, 2013 @ 03:01

your a loser mate to force yourself on her, if she don't want to know anymore.I think she is better of without the likes of you.The question you need to ask yourself is why did she leave you? Maybe your lacking in some departments and you cant please her like a real man can.I just feel sorry for the next poor women who meet you and has to put up with such a loser.

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lowskin 26th November, 2013 @ 11:06

Spud i guess your a lonely virgin????? Hahah what a horrible bitter weird you are. The landlords a top man

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spud 27th November, 2013 @ 02:14

Lowskin i hear your wife is such a dog the only way you can get it up is by putting a bag over her head and looking at a porn mag

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boboff 10th December, 2013 @ 14:31

She was probably a Lesbian!

I know the last 7 or 8 that have left me, have all turned out to be hiding that! Who Knew one man could be so unlucky in continually finding "them"

Still, I still have Spuds paper bag, and I get porn on my Tablet, so all in all, not a bad life.

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Mandy Thomson 22nd January, 2014 @ 21:19

Great post and very brave!

You said "A landlord and tenant relationship is generally very fragile by nature, so it’s quickly turned sour, over very little. I’ve seen it happen, hell, I’ve been caught in similar predicaments a few times. Some times it’s unavoidable, but a lot of the times it is."
I've been very lucky with my tenants, but apart from Christmas & when I need to ask them something, I let them be. They do the same with me - but they've never missed any rent, and maintain the properties well. However, relationships between LIVE IN landlords and tenants are rife for disaster - I fell out with a long term friend and live in landlord when she was very rude and unreasonable about my boyfriend staying over (there you are, I've found another common link between relationships and letting property!)- the only good to come of it was the inspiration for my website, lodgersite.com - the pages on http://www.lodgersite.com/Letting_to_a_Friend.html friends letting rooms to/from each other in particular!

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Mark 19th February, 2014 @ 15:34

Thanks for sharing with us your story. It’s a pity to hear that. I hope you’ll find your true love. “The reality is, even someone with impeccable references can fall into arrears. It’s a reality every landlord needs to be aware of- every tenant is a prospective, ticking time-bomb. I’ve had the most unsuspecting tenants fall into arrears because of change in circumstances.” – It’s life. Just unpredictable life when you don’t know what to expect. Talking about the problem of finding good tenants I never used letting agents. I always did everything by myself like you. When it’s not your first property you begin to understand that the best way to find tenants is when you post your advertising at different websites like, for instance, http://edinburgh.localmartuk.com/ . Then when I get my first calls from tenants I ask them to bring documents with them. For example, you can ask your tenant to show you some documents from his work where you can see that he will be ready to pay rent. Talk to him about his habits, whether he smokes or organizes parties, whether he wants to bring a pet. Just simple communicating can help you a lot to avoid problems in future.

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