Tenants & Late Rent Excuses

Tenants & Late Rent Excuses


Why do I have to chase my tenant for rent and listen to his brain-numbing excuses?


Because he’s an inconsiderate douche-bag, that’s why.

One of the most frustrating aspects about being a landlord is having to chase rent and listen to a bunch of lame excuses to justify why the rent hasn’t been paid.

For the last three consecutive months my tenant has been 8-17 days late paying rent. Granted, he eventually coughed up the doe, which I do appreciate, but the process of extracting the money has been tiresome and beyond irritating. I’ve had to endure excuse after excuse of the lowest quality. Lucky me.

What gets on my tits is the fact that he doesn’t even have the courtesy to give me notice, I have to waste my time chasing him. If his memory fails for legitimate reasons, he can always refer to the Tenancy Agreement T&C’s as a reminder.

In other words, the asshole has no excuse.

But just for shits and giggles, let’s quickly cover a few of the comical excuses I’ve had to endure…

My Tenant’s excuses for not paying rent on time in October

Excuse #1
Last month his excuse was that he was “working away”. Ok, so what? Transfer the money into my account as USUAL! In this day in age, you can transfer money from pretty much anywhere.

Excuse #2
Then he said his boss was paying him a week later than usual, so he didn’t have the money in his account. Brilliant. Let’s blame your boss then.

Excuse #3
Then he kept telling me he would drop off the money and then fail to do so because of “transport issues”

Bear in mind, these were the excuses for just one months’ worth of rent. I’ve had to ensure three months of this shit.

Anyways, eventually, after 14 days of waiting around and sending SMS “reminders”, he posted cash through my letterbox. I’m still not entirely sure why he never transferred the money electronically. It seemed a bit odd, but I couldn’t be arsed to question his methods because he did pay rent. Probably by flogging crushed-up paracetamols to school kids.

My Tenant’s excuses for not paying rent on time in November

Rent was due on the 10th (AS USUAL)… it never arrived.

Again, I had to send him a text message enquiring why rent hadn’t been paid. Here we go again.

Once again, he said he would drop the cash through my letterbox in the coming days. I still failed to understand why. Why not just continue transferring the money electronically as previously? Why go through all this hassle of coming to my house with cash?

Excuse #1
“I’m working away a lot, so I can’t drop it off until I’m back in town”

That line has become a classic in its own right.

I don’t know if the guy got a new job or what because he NEVER used to “work away”, and he never used to pay cash. All sounds rather sketchy, right?

But whatever, he can suck dusty ol’ wrinkly ball-sacks for a living for all I care, just as long as he pays rent and stops giving me bullshit excuses that make me want to blow my brains out.

I wasn’t at all surprised when the cash wasn’t deposited through my letterbox when he said it would be. So on we go to excuse #2.

Excuse #2
I was greeted with a text message apologising, saying that the cash machine had swallowed his card, consequently was unable to withdraw cash. He assured me it will be done in the next few days *slaps forehead*

And again…

After a few more days of chasing and being ignored, I eventually caught eye with the cash-envelope laying on my porch floor. He was 17 days late in November, and 12 days late the previous month. It’s not the end of the world, but terribly frustrating all things considered.

Seriously, the excuses, they were so embarrassingly cliche, yet he had the balls to rinse and repeat them.

Bottom line…

Ok, so I know people go through rough periods; most landlords expect rent to be late now and then. It’s part of the business. However, what’s not part of the business is the barrage of incoming bullshit excuses and delaying tactics. Just be straight with me and I’ll be cool (mostly).

I can legitimately accept tenants making late payments as long as it’s not too frequent, and as long as it doesn’t come attached with dog-shit excuses. Also, as said, I shouldn’t have to “CHASE” for rent, that’s what makes me shit my pants the most. Cut the crap and have some common courtesy by telling me 1) you’re going to be late and 2) when I should realistically expect to receive the rent 3) updates on any further delays.

Anyways, I’m relieved he paid, but slightly agitated by the current process. I wonder how next month will pan out…

Rant over.

What’s the worst excuse you’ve received from a tenant, and/or have you had any serial late payers?

25 Join the Conversation...

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TheAgent 18th November, 2010 @ 23:06

I've had the excuse.... someones nicked my bank card and stolen my rent out my bank account. Another was I fell asleep on the sofa and my friend came in to my house and nicked my rent off me.

Oh another was my benefit money hasn't been paid.... that's funny coz I'm sure I saw you in the bank yesterday exchanging your sterling rent money for forgein currency.

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Dan Harrison 19th November, 2010 @ 17:27

Ha, I've heard similar excuses from a client rather than a tenant. Luckily, I've got a fantastic tenant, and the one before was excellent.

It must drive you nuts knowing that you chose this as a lifestyle!? :)


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eleri 20th November, 2010 @ 17:34

If a tenant has set up a standing order and then rent is not paid, it's a worrying sign. Some time ago after chasing a tenant unsuccessfully for rent for some 7 months, I finally took him to court to get him out. The kindly judge, after he has granted me possession, gave me the advice that the very first time rent is not paid, you should give notice to the tenant to quit. You can always take it back if the tenant sorts himself out rent-wise, but if you listen to excuses and are a lenient (ie.foolish, obviously in the judge's view) you never get the time back which it takes to take someone to court, the two months extra etc etc. Taking good references before hand is essential, of course. The times I have not had a banker's reference, but accepted other references, are also the times I have eventually had problems. Unfortunately some banks/building socs no longer give references.
Cheers, Eleri

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Dudud 22nd November, 2010 @ 22:31

Boundary and system pushers.. ultimately time-wasters, but that's part of the risk we take as landlords, if we can't accept it or have difficulty being two steps ahead in order to negate the bullshit then we're in the wrong game.

Worst excuse so far from tenant "Oh it's not my fault because the estate agents gave my company account department the wrong bank details.." This may be true but he did nothing to resolve this issue for 3 payments and wasted a lot of my precious time chasing everyone (who incidentally can't do their jobs properly). This shouldn't effect how I/we behave as Landlords no point in wasting energy on getting even or 'one-up-man-ship' as then we're the ones with the ego problems, set the right example.

Thorough Research by you alone on the tenant is key for peace of mind. Look for professionals tied into contracted work that aren't likely to get the sack.. Easier said than done right?

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lesley 23rd November, 2010 @ 14:47

It's gonna take some to beat this excuse:-

Tenant 'X' told me his best friends father had been killed in a drive by shooting in Chicago. Unfortunately, his best friend had been killed on 9/11 in the twin towers and was therefore not able to take care of funeral arrangements - so he was having to do it.

To cut a long stort short Tenant 'X' subsequently ended up in police custody and found guilty of deception against me. One of the many things the police questioned he about was the above - which he confirmed to be true. However, when asked for his friends name to verify the story he 'cracked', turned on the tears and admitted it was all made up. What a muppet!!!

Incidently...this same guy had about 10 relatives who all had terminal cancer - I think his mother died twice, lol

PS...love the blog, highly entertaining & reassuring I'm not the only one with 'issues'

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 24th November, 2010 @ 08:33

Hi Guys

Thanks you all for your comments.

haha "I fell asleep on the sofa and my friend came in to my house and nicked my rent off me" That's an amazing excuse. The most amusing one i've heard so far! Even if by some miracle that was true, I wouldn't even admit to it!

I agree, you should always serve notice as soon as possible if you're at all concerned. However, you can only serve notice if the tenant is 8 weeks in arrears. Not sure if the judge was completely accurate with his advice (surprisingly)!

No doubt, comes with the job. Being a landlord requires a lot of patience and tolerance. If you're neither of those, being a landlord might be a real struggle, and consequently you may end up starting a ranting blog and be a right old moany git! Imagine that!

Haaa! Your tenant really took comfort with the "someone died" excuse. I always think that's extremely bad karma! I don't know how people can pretend someone died and feel comfortable with it.

The problem is, as proved, once you start faking multiple deaths, it's easy to kill the same person multiple times lol!

Glad you like the blog. Many thanks!! :)

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property lady 2nd December, 2010 @ 06:47

Yes, why? If I wanted to listen to crap I would watch Hollyoaks.

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sam fry 9th December, 2010 @ 09:53

excuses come thick and fast in this business, i have heard a fair few in y time, but none as weird as the ones i have read above. i liked the "i fell asleep on the sofa and my friend nicked my money" excuse the best i would have probably fell off my chauir laughing if i hadnt cried lol

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Matthew X 1st March, 2012 @ 21:56

I'm a tenant who, for my sins, has had to endure the lazy, lying, snivelling, holier-than-thou bullshit peddled by landlords too many times to be happy about. Your attitudes make me sick - the cup of human kindness has never graced your table, let alone passed your lips. I'll wager at least 75% of you desperately need a tenant in your property because of the painful truth you'll do anything to hide: YOU CAN'T AFFORD TWO HOMES.
The only landlord's worth dealing with are the over 55's, because you can bet your house (sic) they've paid off the mortgage, or close to it. The rest of you second homeowners are greedy and keeping up appearances. Pathetic. I laugh at the idiots who sneer, 'I'd never rent, I don't want to pay someone else's mortgage', but landlord's are the most desperate bunch, puffed up with self-interest but completely reliant on the money they screw out of their occupiers to keep the property. My last landlord was charging me 900 quid a month for a converted one bed (into two) which I subsequently found out was riddled with chronic damp and electrical problems- then had the breathtaking audacity to boast about a seafront property he owned which only cost 400 quid a month rent...'tut, tut, these house prices in London eh? It's amazing how the rent drops when you go outside the M25' (!!!!)
Makes you feel good does it? Superior? Successful in life? You're dealing with human beings, try acting like one yourselves.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st March, 2012 @ 22:18

"I'll wager at least 75% of you desperately need a tenant in your property because of the painful truth you'll do anything to hide: YOU CAN'T AFFORD TWO HOMES."

Surely that's like saying, "I'll wager at least 75% of you desperately need a job to pay your mortgage/rent"?

Renting property is a job for landlords. They rely on tenants to pay the rent. I don't understand the problem- why is that a bad thing? It's just like anyone that has a mortgage relies on their employer to keep them employed.

If that broken argument is the best you have to offer, you should probably just give up.

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Matthew X 2nd March, 2012 @ 15:33

'Renting property is a job for landlords'

Nonsense. Every landlord I've ever had was gainfully employed elsewhere, in certain cases with very well remunerated careers like Law and Medicine; they still didn't earn enough to maintain their second homes though, which is why they were so desperate to have somebody in there paying their mortgage for them. Being a landlord is not a job unless it's your sole source of income, and in 20 years I've not met a single person who qualified for that comment. It's a bad thing because these people are driven by greed and vanity, living well beyond their means and expecting those of us who can't get on the property ladder to prop up their fake lives paying extortionate rent, reducing our ability to accumulate the savings necessary for a deposit of our own. As for relying on your employer to pay your mortgage, I've never read anything so ridiculous in my life. Ever heard of Mortgage Protection Insurance? You can even get rent paid for up to a year with the right insurer, which always makes me chuckle because I know the fuss you people make about HB claimants, despite the fact that money can be paid directly to you without even greasing the palm of the tenant. Stop pretending you care where the money comes from, because one thing's for certain, it aint coming from your pocket. That people on this board have the sheer audacity to sneer at tenants for not paying their rent on time when they can't afford it themselves - we're talking bottom-rung low. Get over yourselves. Fast.

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Schmev 27th March, 2013 @ 21:38

I'm not providing a public service - I'm running an (albeit small) business. Just like any other business, I have expenses, liabilities and risk factors.

If I have an agreement with a tenant that rent will be paid on a date, then that's what I have arranged my affairs around. If its regularly late then that person is trying to shister me and I get pissed off.

It's simple supply and demand. The market rental rate is what people are prepared to pay, so there is no reason for me to take more risk than necessary if I can just get another tenant in.

Perhaps a little dose of reality might calm your massive sense of entitlement.

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Matthew X 11th May, 2013 @ 19:06

Pure arrogance. What could be more real than rental market experience of over twenty years standing? Almost every word of your misguided post is utter BS...pontificating about your expenses, liabilities and risk factors when perhaps you're just rubbish at this style of 'business' if you're renting out to problem tenants who consistently don't pay on time. Has that ever occurred to you, or is your own sense of entitlement so pronounced that you assume everything you touch will turn to gold? For 'arranged my affairs around' see 'the date of my mortgage payment to the bank for the extra home I can't afford'.

As for this dangerous drivel, 'the market rental rate is what people are prepared to pay', I can't believe you have the audacity to post it quite frankly. It's old news that greedy landlords all over the country are charging rent which exceeds the LHA by two or three hundred pounds - that's why adverts are increasingly restricted to 'professionals only, no students, no DSS'...because it's the only way for the fatcats to get somebody to pay rent even a local authority deems too excessive. The 'market rate', as you call it, has been artificially raised by pure greed, nothing else. People aren't prepared to pay extortionate rates, they're forced to. You think the average Joe wouldn't jump at the chance to cut a third off his weekly shopping bill? He can't though, because the market has set the prices and he's forced to pay what the food costs - perhaps you feel people should just pay up or starve? Perhaps they should also be happy to pay the extra you factor into the rent so you can make a tidy little profit, or just go live on the streets like the scum you seem to think they are?

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Schmev 11th May, 2013 @ 20:30

Thank you for your unfocused rant.

I've been in the military for 18 years - moving every 2-3 years, with a few tours overseas. I don't have a second home, as I live in military quarters with my family. I rent out my home so I can afford to buy one house in my life and my family have somewhere to live when I leave the mob. This is not a greedy ambition and screw you for saying so.

I treat my home like a business while I can't live there and manage it as such. I rent it out at the going rate and after my own rent, charges and interest are taken into account, I pay the same each month on accommodation as if I Iived there. I am not making money like you would like to believe.

If the tenant pays late, then all my bills come at once and me and my family get worked over. Considering the extra chafe we go through, we don't deserve it.

But perhaps I should now lower my rent just to please you? Or maybe go and live on the streets for a bit like you suggest? Well that would teach me a jolly good lesson.

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Benji 11th May, 2013 @ 22:36

@Mathew X,

"The only landlord's worth dealing with are the over 55's"

Youre in luck!!

With phrases like these, this cheeky chap must have done some national service in the 1950's and should fit right in your age bracket-

'with a few tours overseas'
'I live in military quarters'
'somewhere to live when I leave the mob'
'that would teach me a jolly good lesson'

Or maybe its just another load of old bollocks like this statement-

"landlords all over the country are charging rent which exceeds the LHA by two or three hundred pounds"

Which is hardly surprising seeing as LHA rates are set at the lowest 30th percentile of market rents.

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Schmev 12th May, 2013 @ 06:35

Funny, but 2013 - 18 years = 1995. No where near the fifties. My Dad did national service though, if this helps.

I'll try and dumb down in future. Innit.

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Benji 12th May, 2013 @ 10:04

Alright Biggles, keep your flying helmet on, just a gentle bit of chaffing.

When you said you were in the military, I thought you meant the real military. I forgot you RAF chaps still talk in terms of Kites, Wizzbangs, Popsies and giving Jerry a damn good thrashing.

On a more helpful note, I trust you are filling out a tax return every year and rolling forward your losses for the day you eventually turn cash positive. At 45 pence a mile, your property inspection visits from overseas must build up a hell of a loss. Also inform HMRC that your rental property is your PPR for CGT purposes. Otherwise if you need to sell never having lived there, you may trigger a CGT liability.

Circumstances can change a lot between now and getting 'demobbed' (do they still give you a free suit?).

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Matthew X 12th May, 2013 @ 12:13

"Or maybe its just another load of old bollocks like this statement-

"landlords all over the country are charging rent which exceeds the LHA by two or three hundred pounds"

Which is hardly surprising seeing as LHA rates are set at the lowest 30th percentile of market rents."

You can quote the NLA website all you like chum, but even a simpleton with a working pair of eyes can tell if a property is worth £600 a month and not a grand...it's called common sense and honesty, two concepts not enjoyed by your average greedy sandbagging landlord. What part of 'I've been in the rental market for over 20 years' do you not get? I've seen every revolting side of humanity played out in front of my eyes by people who treated me like garbage, even with my rent in their bank accounts on the dot every first of the month as agreed.
I take it from your expert research you also uncovered the Government plans for councils to practically bribe landlords into reducing the rent, by agreeing to pay them directly? The fact remains that official statistics confirm rentals have doubled in the last ten years, mainly because people are finding it increasingly difficult to get into ownership - an absolute boom time for the fatcats because they know they can now charge desperate people whatever they want. Funny though, that national rental arrears are now at an all time high, on average nearly £1000. Perhaps if the rents were more affordable people would be able to keep up eh? Imagine that...

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Matthew X 12th May, 2013 @ 12:20


'I don't have a second home'

Why didn't you make that clear from the beginning? I think I've made it pretty crystal that my main beef is with those who take on extra property they can't afford, expect someone else to pay for it, but charge over the odds on rent and have a problem with tenants getting into difficulty. Your situation is pretty specialised and I can see why you would be concerned about someone not paying on time - it's your bread and butter, not some bit on the side you want to flog on when everybody else has paid the mortgage off for you.

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Benji 12th May, 2013 @ 14:26

@Matthew x

I'm intrigued (though I get the feeling I'm going to regret asking);

" What part of 'I've been in the rental market for over 20 years' do you not get? "

I don't get why you think its special.

Why would you think I, or anyone else for that matter, would give a flying fu*k that you have been in the rental market for over 20 years?

Please try to frame a coherent answer, not just another 'life is so unfair, all landlords are b*stards' rant.

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eleri 12th May, 2013 @ 17:21

Outside London and the South East rents are much lower: of course, low wages and lack of jobs are also part of the picture. My properties are in Wales. My one-bedroom flats, furnished or not - tenant's choice,- have a rental range of £300 to £345 a month. When I employ an electrician for a day and a half that is one month's rent gone. Similarly when I employ a painter or plumber to do the freshening up work between tenants, that is usually another month or two's rent gone. It is surprising how often I find myself arranging to have jobs done in tenanted flats whereas my own house can last for years without much work needed. My flats, as well as my own house, are over 200 years old, so well built. I guess the looking after element comes into it here.
Tenants vary greatly, of course. My worst recent ones were two separate DSS tenants, who received the rent from the local authority and spent it on booze and parties in two of my flats and left me with an enormous clearing up job, professional costs and a loss of some thousands of pounds in rent. There was also the moise nuisance to the other tenants and the unpleasant task of getting these bad tenants out. The local authority had no power, before 8 weeks on no payment, to pay the landlord direct. The idea that the local authority pays the landlord directly is out of date. To show "respect" to the tenant the Government decided that it was best that the tenant receives the money. A special form has to be signed by the tenant at the start for the money to go directly to the landlord: there is no obligation for a tenant to do that, even if he has promised the landlord he will do so..

The new system, if it ever comes in fully, is even more ludicrous. The tenant will get one sum and will need to pay out everything, including council taxes, out of that. Heaven help us as landlords and the cost to the council of trying to get its money for council tax will be passed on to us, I guess, in our own higher rates..

I seriously question whether most politicians have any idea how the world works.

I am going back to my policy of not accepting DSS tenants - which is hard lines on possible good tenants - but as landlords we have no fall back. It is a waste of money making claims in the small claims court. An empty flat is better than a probllem non-rent-paying tenant with all the worry that goes with that.

I pay my bills promptly: why should tenants not do the same?

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Matthew X 26th June, 2013 @ 13:12

@ Benji...that's the point though isn't it? You and many of your ilk don't give a flying one about anybody but yourselves. You don't see tenants as human beings, you see them as money in your bank account, and many of you act accordingly. I've recently been assisting a single mother who is due to start University in trying to find a property in a new town. Without exception, every property we have looked at in the area does not resemble the pictures posted online for prospective tenants, and in some cases, are clearly an outright scam. One individual, a marketing consultant with her own business, put up pictures of her flat in brand new condition but it was anything but when we got there. Despite this, we got assurances a new carpet would be fitted and decorating done and handed over a holding deposit. She then proceeded over the next 24 hours to make ridiculous demands for personal information which had no point been agreed at any time before or during the process. When we informed her the next day we would be pulling out she refused to return the holding deposit and personal documents and we had come to her place of work to force her to hand them over. Does that sound sane to you? We are both very well presented and educated people, who are currently in receipt of benefits while we make the transition to another postcode - we do not deserve to be treated like 'benefit scum' and ripped off by complete idiots. The irony is, the previous tenants were two gainfully employed gentlemen who trashed the flat and didn't bother paying the rent even though they both had jobs!

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Hugh_Jampton 26th July, 2016 @ 11:25

I had to evict a tenant who had fallen well into arrears. It turns out that there were more people living at the property, but only one on the tenancy agreement. Not a problem, all they had to do was sign a tenancy agreement that named them all as joint tenants, and we could make some progress, and the full amount of rent could be paid again. Would they sign? Would they fork. So I had to evict them.

I allowed them to put their Christmas dinner into take away cartons. I even helped the pregnant mother carry her two disabled twins down the stairs, and sold them an umbrella to protect them and the other four children (all under seven years old) from the rain. I'm not a monster.

It did disrupt my Christmas Day though, and my Cuban cigar and top hat got soggy in the rain. Luckily the retractable roof on my Roller was working, or it would have been a disaster!

It's not easy being a landlord.

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matthewx - where r u 19th September, 2017 @ 00:16

Matthew X

I have read your rants and may well agree with many and a lot of other views you may hold too. BUT if you are out there and have shred of human decency & the balls to enter honest discussion i willl unhappily show that what you say is cobblers. I've been a tenant for 18 years, i am now & i am also landlord for 14 sad sad months. I can out trump every hard luck story & i do not have 2 lie. i am as decent as anyone you 'stick up for' & just coz me & my other 1/2 got a house & paid the mortgage with our earnings & sum £ we got coz my partner lost ability to walk, drive, see etc we paid it off. Suppose we were lucky for that too eh, just getting policy nice n cozy lucky silver spoon feeding scummy - you would bite my hand off write for the £ you would have the brain damage & all disability if you had luck eh. Got some time on my hands to debate coz lucky me got so much more goodies you might like!!! How about cancer, would you like a great big cancerous tumour - i don't mean another name for a landlord silly just the benefits of this fat cat lucky landlord

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Benefit Scum? FU 19th September, 2017 @ 00:37

I just saw you said you didn't deserve to be treated "like benefit scum" - what scum are you then? People on benefits are not scum however someone who writes:

"We are both very well presented and educated people, who are currently in receipt of benefits while we make the transition to another postcode - we do not deserve to be treated like 'benefit scum' and ripped off by complete idiots".

sounds like a stuck up twat - well presented - have you got nice clothes so you are better than someone else who does not have clothes like you. You're well educated - WOW so what pal. I have 2 degrees incl MSc, 3 Diplomas & other qualifications & all it means is I have those qualifications if anyone thinks it makes someone something special it does not. So why mention it unless you mistakenly think there are different types of people - you being some level above anyone who dare rent a property. You aint better than anyone else mate, not even someone who is on benefits not just till they get there stuck up feet in a job better than someone else.

















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