Whether it be due to ignorance or intention, a large portion of landlords are generally first class honour dip-shits (not you or I, though).
They drag their heels when repairs are required, they’re oblivious to their legal responsibilities and obligations [as a landlord], and even though they’re drowning in mortgage debt and/or negative equity, they still have the audacity to stroll around with a repugnant air of arrogance.
Of course, ALL professions have their inferior breeds, it’s just terribly unfortunate that landlords as a whole are often judged by the bad apples. We’re not quite as low down the food chain as estate/letting agents, but we’re not far behind.
Yes, there are a lot of bullshit landlords out there (but there are more bullshit estate/letting agents. Just saying!).
While we all have our own opinions on what forms a terrible landlord, I think we can all agree that there are ranks with in the division. By that I simply mean there’s a hierarchical chain of dipshits; some landlords are worse than others.
Most people will generally pick the same examples as to what defines the “worst” landlord; the obvious example being, landlords that neglects health and safety. No doubt, that’s a worthy contender for the top spot, but recently I was reminded of what I consider to be the worst kind of landlord, and perhaps it’s not one of the most obvious choices because they can get away with hiding in the shadows.
How I was reminded of the worst kind of Landlord
Last week I rendezvoused with an old friend that had recently relocated into the big smoke after taking a brief timeout from city life. She managed to find a very reasonably priced, ground-floor flat in a trendy part of Camden town. The actual flat, for the lack of better words, is dogshit, and smelt like it too, but it was all about the location (as it often is, sadly).
During my shirt visit, I was terribly scared of brushing against the walls in case I became contaminated with hepatitis again. I entered the flat “not-knowing” the conditions, but I probably wouldn’t do it again unless I was wearing a Hazmat suit.
Whenever a landlord is shameless enough to rent out an embarrassing monstrosity it always makes me curious as to why, so I started asking my friend questions about the landlord.
To cut a long story short, the interrogation unearthed a lot of reasons that explain the dump. The landlord only accepts cash-in-hand and is able to offer such a competitive rate in such a sought after area because she’s subletting a council house. That pretty much explains the nature of her character and why she doesn’t give a shit about the condition of the property. Yes, the landlord is a genuine scumbag.
Essentially, she’s been given a council house to occupy, but chooses to live elsewhere (her boyfriend’s rathole, which is presumably equally as devastating) so she can benefit from her savvy business acumen as a landlord.
That’s it! That’s the worst kind of landlord. Throw this bitch onto the pile of evidence that supports the theory that evolution can move backwards. She should be dismantled with a toothpick and fed to the crows!
Sadly, my friend didn’t seem phased by the situation, which was pretty disappointing. But perhaps most tenant’s wouldn’t, just as long as they’re in the place they want to be. But that’s a problem, because it creates a market for these rogue landlords, and the ability to operate.
Unfortunately, council houses being rented out isn’t all that uncommon. At least, I’ve heard of many cases, and it drives me bonkers. I remember a few years ago when my ex g/f’s friend and partner had the opportunity to acquire a council house, and the only reason they were considering it was so they could rent it out, meanwhile there are genuine people out there desperate for a roof over their heads. Proper scumbags.
I don’t know how seriously local councils take this issue, or how much is done to try and prevent it, but I know it’s happening, and it’s fucked up on so many levels.
Worst kind of landlords ranked!
Obviously this is my perception of what constitutes as the worst kind of landlord, but they all genuinely make my blood boil. If you have a different opinion, I’d love to hear.
- Landlords that illegally sub-let council homes
- Landlords that exploit tenants (e.g. provide overcrowd HMO properties)
- Landlords that ignore or delay maintenance and repairs
- Landlords that neglect their legal obligations (e.g. Gas safety checks, securing deposits)
- Landlords that put profit before everything else
- Landlords that don’t under the tenant’s right to “quiet enjoyment“
- Landlords that provide ghastly and/or sub-par living conditions
- Landlords that increase rent when they don’t need to
Quick tip for tenants
If you’re a tenant that’s fully aware of landlords committing fraud or partaking in any form of ill practise, do the right thing! Sucker punch them in the throat, urinate on every last inch of their corpse while they’re on the floor gasping for air, swiftly vacate the property, and drive off into the sunset.
The odds of a landlord of this calibre providing a good service are virtually non-existent, which means critical health and safety protocols that all decent landlords follow will get neglected, putting yourself and your family at risk. That is NOT cool.
If you consciously enter an agreement with a landlord committing council housing fraud or other shady practices, it’s your funeral. Literally.
On a side note, I always highly recommend for all tenants to reference prospective landlords before entering a tenancy.
The process of forming a tenancy agreement is not just about landlords referencing tenants, despite the common misconception. I’m always left surprised at how little tenants want to know about me (their prospective landlord), especially while I’m probing the shit out of them, trying to determine whether they’re a flight risk or not.
Even if you don’t have any doubts about your landlord, it’s sensible and perfectly OK for tenants to request proof of ownership and references from previous tenants. In fact, as a landlord, it shows me that you’re not a complete dumb-ass, and that fills me with utter joy.
A lot of the most common landlord scams are actually based on unauthorised individuals letting out properties. Buyer beware.
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.