Reasons I Hate Being A BTL Landlord

I Hate Being A BTL Landlord

Over the past few years I’ve spent a large portion of my blogging time discussing the perks of being a landlord, and subsequently managed to neglect discussing the skid-marks of the profession. While I think being a Landlord is an awesome long-term investment, I’m still very much in touch with how God AWFUL the experience can be.

There are a lot of factors I despise about being a Landlord, and the list increases by the day. But I guess every job has its armpit.

Unstoppable financial market

There’s nothing more frustrating than relying on a significant factor of our business model that we have virtually no control over. The economy is that factor.

The financial market is constantly changing, and that can have a severe impact on the livelihood of landlords when things start to point in the wrong direction. For example, an increase in interest rates could mean higher mortgage payments at the end of the month. A few consecutive jumps in rates and landlords could find themselves struggling. It’s not unusual for “for sale” signs to start popping up after a short-lived battle.

A volatile financial market can be worrying, but it is the nature of the buy-to-let beast. Many Landlords forget to take that into consideration, hence repossession from the lender.

Relying on tenants

Every landlord is at the mercy of their tenant, and that’s the sad reality. It can be a fucking nightmare of a situation. I usually hate relying on people at the best of times, but unfortunately I have no choice but to put all my hopes and dreams in the hands of my tenants. I’m relying on them to:

  • make rental payments on time
  • keep the property in acceptable condition
  • not piss off the neighbours

Sounds like a small, simple list of duties that a premature monkey could manage, right? Experience has taught me that it’s not all that easy for some people.

Chasing rent & the excuses

I hate having to chase rent, but unfortunately it does often come with the territory. Since becoming a Landlord, “professional debt collector” has been stamped into my CV.

Only in an ideal world will every tenant make rental payment on time every month. Unfortunately, I don’t live in Disney World and I don’t have hot sex with Jessica Rabbit every night.

And, the excuses that come with late rent! Fuck me sideways, they can be unbearable. I’ve received the run-of-the-mill “I forgot” all the way to utterly absurd, “my son stole the money out of my purse”

Truly painful shit.

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.

Landlords are glorified babysitters

I’m a self-managing landlord, so that means I don’t use Letting agents to manage my properties. If there’s a problem with one of my properties, my phone is the first and only to blow up, even if it means interrupting me during an ungodly hour.

Burst pipe at 4am? My responsibility. Hole in the roof on Christmas day? My responsibility. Backed up bog? My responsibility.

It’s ALWAYS the Landlord’s responsibility.

Being a landlord is more fun if you have a massive portfolio and a cash flow that will allow for others to do the monkey work. Otherwise, if you’re a small time landlord with a pitiful portfolio, like myself, the task is mostly menial and inconvenient, and you’re reduced down to nothing more than a glorified babysitter. Cleaning up after tenants, and continually having to ensure they behave the way they’re contracted to behave (which they mostly don’t) is all part of the job. That’s a sad fact of this sorry reality.

Finding tenants

Finding decent tenants is probably the most important step a landlord needs to make, and that’s why it’s such a pain in the royal ass. It requires precision. The margin for error when it comes to tenant selection is huge, and the penalty can be life ruining.

Bottom of the barrel tenants have enough power to cause bankruptcy. Seriously! All it takes is a shit-faced tenant to refuse payment for a few months to ruin a Landlord’s life.

The main problem is, it’s difficult to distinguish between a good and bad tenant, despite how much thorough referencing is conducted. Even when you think you’ve got the best tenant on the planet, one small change in their circumstance can change everything, reducing them into tenants from hell.

Losing good tenants

I haven’t had many tenants over the years because I’m still new in the game, but I’ve had a healthy mix of the good and the ugly. I’ve recently lost a really good tenant, and it genuinely made me recognise the importance of quality tenants. It’s tough to find decent tenants, but it’s even tougher when you’re trying to replace an excellent tenant because you already have high expectations.

The thing with the buy-to-let game is that it’s a business based on people… and people are idiots.

Dealing with genuinely horrible tenants

Depending on the calibre of tenant, a Landlord needs the patience of an angel to stand any chance of remaining sane.

If I didn’t have some level of patience, I would have ripped my hair and bollocks out by now due to incompetent, selfish, rude tenants. I’ve had to deal with unbelievably scummy tenants, that literally haven’t an ounce of human decency! Even simple gestures like “please” was beyond some of them.

The law sucks

Tenants in England & Wales have way too much legal protection, and it’s truly mortifying. For example, Landlords have to wait 2 months before they can even begin the eviction process when a tenant is in arrears, and once the process begins, it can take several months to actually get them out. Sigh.

I don’t have a problem following the rules, especially if they create a safer and fairer environment. But that’s the problem, many of the legislation baffles me, because they literally make very little sense for existing.

Replacing broken Shit

Having to pay out on repairs is HORRIBLE; whether it be to replace a fridge freezer or repair a broken door-hinge! Granted, it comes with the territory of being a landlord, but it’s still annoying, especially when the cause is incompetence and/or carelessness of the tenant. It’s like owning a car- we know we have to pay for petrol and maintenance, but NO ONE likes paying for the shit.

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 disgustingly 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.

Working with people isn’t easy

It’s NEVER easy working with people, not necessarily because people are unreasonable, but rather, because people are different and have their own expectations, which we aren’t necessarily accustomed 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. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but much of the time 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.

Are you a Landlord? If so, which aspects do you despise?

128 Join the Conversation...

Showing 78 - 128 comments (out of 128)
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Eds 10th January, 2014 @ 19:10

You should be ashamed of yourself Mia

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Dan 21st January, 2014 @ 15:28

To the original article, what do you want? sympathy? Dont be a landlord then you prick. Its people like you that have made house prices rise out of most peoples reach. You absolute tosser

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Dan 21st January, 2014 @ 15:33

And to landloads......are tennents not entitled to a holiday? You make it sound like they went on holiday instead of paying you your rent. You got your rent and but out of what your tennents are doing with their lives. Its not your business ever heard the word harrasment . Another landlord tosser you are all scum, sell you properties get off your fat asses and go and get a job, like the people who work all their lives and can never afford homes because of geedy people like you SCUM

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Dan 21st January, 2014 @ 15:40

Poster Micheal, if there wasnt so many greedy landlords renting out house there would be 10s of thousands of more properties in the market. How much do you think the would cost you idiot. A lot less than they cost now because of nobheads like you.

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observer 21st January, 2014 @ 17:56

blame the white man principle to buy land to make profit. The white indigenous man settlers first did this to the Red Indians and tribal cultures offering money for land. The Red Indians had their own cultural belief telling them as the Chief Seattle's Thoughts show

How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
The white man's dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man --- all belong to the same family.

unfortunately we foolish beings presently were born into this system and we have accepted it to our own foolishness. How to win against land owners is to find a free land and live like the Red Indians. We are just mere tenants who will pass on and the land itself will still be sitting here long after we are gone. Shadows and dust we are. We are mere Fools and follies of the system we were born into.

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Sarah 7th March, 2014 @ 18:16

You may *Hate* paying out for maintence. Yeah, I understand that. But I'm a tenant, and this is my first rental property after losing my own home via divorce. And let me tell you this, it must be universal. Because my landlord hates it so much, he let's me & my disabled children fester in severe damp, have a garden with no fence. And his answer to the sewage filled pond (which my autistic child fell in). Was to chuck some rotten wood over it- brilliant! He knows I'm in a vaunrable postion. Because I claim HB at the moment, after losing my business. And he knows I'm struggling to find work. I'm stuck here, basically. And I'm not sure even when I DO find a job, that my income will suffice.

I have NEVER paid my rent late, or defaulted. I keep my properly clean & tidy. He's even admitted that I'm a great tenant. So much so, he has given me back my deposit as a good will gesture (the only thing he's done) maybe it was guilt? I don't know.

If anyone out there can actually help me. And want a tenant that is realible, clean and honest. Let me know please for the love of God. Because I can't watch my son have yet another serious asthma attack- related to the pores in the damp.

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G. Ling 8th March, 2014 @ 18:03

Sarah: Finally a comment from someone else who knows how shitty & greedy these slumlords are! Most of the comments on here seem to be from other slumlords defending each other. Too bad we can't round them all up and make them live in their own slums, like in that movie "The Super"! That would serve them right. Then they would see how we live. I have been renting for a very long time and all of the landlords around here are the same. They are in it for the money and nothing else. They don't care that the properties are falling apart and they don't upkeep them at all. We are treated like cattle. Move 'em in and move 'em out. I had an inspection a few days ago and the place where I live failed miserably. It's not my fault because I'm a good tenant. I always pay my rent on time, I keep the place clean and I'm quiet, never cause any trouble. My landlords have all told me this. It failed because the owner doesn't ever repair or upkeep anything so it's in bad shape. Why are we always treated like shit by them? Because they don't care about anyone but themselves. They want to hoard all of their money that they made off of us and not have to spend it fixing up their properties. Their tenants are all a way to make money to them, nothing more. We are not viewed as human beings with wants and needs, we are seen as a money maker. I am sick of being treated this way and I don't think it's fair that any of these scumbags constantly get away with it.

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stella 9th March, 2014 @ 10:24

There really needs to be a site that pairs good tenants like G. ling (previous comment) with good landlords.

As I've said in a previous comment there are bad landlords and there are bad tenants but you can't generalise and penalise the good ones.

Just pair up the good tenants with the good landlords and you will have a match made in heaven! Prospective tenants will have to prove they have been good tenants in the past who have always paid the rent, looked after the house and not caused trouble with neighbours and prospective landlords will have to show they have a good track record that they have always maintained their rental properties efficiently and treated their tenants in a fair and reasonable manner.

It's not rocket science and will protect both good landlords and good tenants and help to screen out the bad.

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Good landlord. 10th March, 2014 @ 00:44

Hi Stella,
Maybe good landlords don't want to get involved with tenants who clearly hate all landlords (see previous comments).
There are plenty of good tenants with whom they can have a pleasant relationship.
Life is too short to waste time with people who dislike you.
It's not rocket science.

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Sarah 10th March, 2014 @ 08:50

Good landlord (really hope you are one). It goes both ways. I really wish I could find a landlord who doesn't HATE looking after a good tenant. Trust me I'm looking for one.

I've never given my landlord a hard time. I just ask politely that things are done. They haven't been, no matter how much I've pleaded. Now I'm looking for somewhere else. But (see situation above) it's hard at the moment. I won't stop paying my rent or looking after the house, because it's my home.

Would be nice not to be told there's damp in the house though- because we breathe and use heating in the winter. Nice one.

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Sarah 10th March, 2014 @ 18:54

Hi Stella. I have looked before at websites- like the one you sent me. But, I'm going to look again. And be unbiased (as I can). I'd like time to really look into this. Look at both sides of the coin- per se.

You've been kind, approachable. And I'm not someone that condemns everyone. I don't like it when it's done to me- having lost everything. And being in the situation I'm in. I wouldn't do it to anyone else- as fierce as I may seem.

Do I have empathy for Landlords?

Let me clarify: Yes.

I've ran my own business. Know about 'unreasonable,' complaints. But also know of others that would 'turn a blind eye,' in the sake of money.

So I'm not condemning you all.

However. After owning no less than 4 properties of my own (in the past). I've never come across 'condensation/damp' like I have in this abode.

I do think that rental properties do NOT have the tests- done on them, as if you were buying. Hence the problems.

All said. Stella, you seem like a nice lady.

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Stella 11th March, 2014 @ 11:30

Thanks Sarah,

I always try to sort things out for the benefit of all concerned in a fair and reasonable manner and have carried over that premise in being a landlord.

Condensation and damp issues are a common issue of dispute between landlords and tenants because it is very hard to pinpoint the cause. Generally speaking if the moisture is coming from outside the building or there is a leak or a fault with the roof, guttering or walls or window seals and pointing then the landlord must take steps to remedy it.

But condensation is caused by moisture created just through doing normal things like baths, showering, breathing and cooking.

Last year I had a tenant throw the keys back through the door of the rental property and left me no notice or anything but just texted me to say they were very sorry but they could not stay in the house a minute longer as it was full of mould and was affecting their health and their clothes were covered in it.

Had they mentioned there were problems I would have gone over straight away to investigate and advise. My electrician and roofer and gas man had mentioned to me when they had both been over to do work that the house was like a sauna and the tenants never opened the windows.

I spent at least a week scraping mould off the walls and found nothing at all wrong with the structure of the building and no damp at all. The affected walls were treated and redecorated and the house let to new tenants with no further problems with condensation or mould since.

I would advise that all tumble dryers should be vented to the outside unless they are the self-condensing type and don't dry clothes on radiators. Ask your landlord to fit extractors in the kitchen and bathroom and you should check that air bricks and vents are not clogged up. Time after time I have noticed that tenants have stuffed rags into vents and blocked up air bricks to keep out the cold and sometimes these have even been vents for gas appliances which are there for safety reasons.

You have to have adequate ventilation and keep the house at an even temperature over the winter to keep condensation and mould at bay. The problems often occur when the tenant can't afford to have the heating on all the time and the constant change in temperature can trigger condensation problems - however many people do not realise it's cheaper to have the heating on low all the time rather than keep heating up a cold house.

I can only say I would never let a house to anyone that I would not be prepared to live in myself and I make sure all is in good condition when let.

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Angie Hoff 16th March, 2014 @ 12:55

yes.. some aspect of being a landlord suck... they suck so hard.. well never mind..
on the plus side.. you have someone giving you money for hopefully n balance not too much effort.. onan appreciating asset which in time will bring in more income and be on your way to retirement

But yes.. the constant trivial things that seem to break.. which are your responsibility.. but come on.. the fluro light in the bathroom doesnt work.. if its not the tube.. its the capacitor/starter.. do i need to get a repair man out for that ( i use a letting agent)

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observer 16th March, 2014 @ 13:57

best buy some land to farm on like the native Red Indians did, the first citizens of America and live without this westernised money driven real estate system of continuous relationship problems. Land has become too expensive because of our greed. Greed breeds more greed. When does it stop?

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MrTC 9th April, 2014 @ 07:39

I do feel sorry for you....not..
My son rented a furnished house for six months. The landlord made all sorts of noises about doing things and providing things all within the SPIRIT of the contract. When it came to it my son was treated like shit and had to fight for everything. In the end he just had to get out and the bastard kept a large chunk of the deposit on the basis of really minor reasons. He charged to have the lawn cut (postage sized lawn), did it himself and charged maximum commercial rate £150. It's the Landlord that has all the power and you deserve what you get.

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Stella 9th April, 2014 @ 09:15

To previous commenter: It is unfair to 'tar everyone with the same brush!' I am a landlord who has had some bad experiences with bad tenants but it has not put me off the good tenants who have never caused me any hassle.

And in much the same way a good tenant should not generalise that all Landlords are bad because they have had a few bad experiences with landlords. As I have said before there are good and bad people the world over and to be fair everyone needs to be assessed on their own individual track record whether they are a tenant or a landlord.

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ancient 27th April, 2014 @ 11:26

I'm an ideal tenant fix stuff myself and haven't late in rent payment in 15 years. The problem is practically nobody who rents wants to rent, but the government has speculatively encourage buy to let, increasing the number of parasitic landlords who use others to pay their mortgage, often they themselves couldn't afford to pay, and often own the property's by dint of when they got in at 0% down etc, not out of any particular virtue, no one likes landlords or renting and those who moan about the difficulty of being a landlord are idiots, no one if forcing you to rent property, put all the rental property back on the market there might be a price correction and more could afford their property and we'd live in a more equitable healthier society. Being a landlord is encouraging parasitic feudalism.

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Stella 27th April, 2014 @ 12:23

So you think I should sell my houses then and effectively make umpteen families homeless? Where would they all go? They would have to go to other rental properties as I know none of them can afford to buy!

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Benji 27th April, 2014 @ 18:39


"The problem is practically nobody who rents wants to rent,"

Apart from millions of students, re-locators, short term contractors, immigrants, bankrupts, recently self-employed, loved-up couples, separating singles, armed forces, visiting armed forces, foreign diplomats, the governor of the bank of England...

Oh, and the quarter of private renters who are on benefits who couldn't buy a house if they were nearly giving them away.

I acknowledge not everyone rents through choice but to claim practically nobody wants to is ignorant nonsense.

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Sam 30th May, 2014 @ 20:36

I have no sympathy for landlords.

They promise the earth and never deliver.

We moved into a rented house 2 1/2 years ago. When we moved in it was all "stay as long as you want" etc.

We have been perfect tenants, don't call for every minor issue and never been late paying rent despite being made redundant for a period last year.

When we do call the landlord we put up with his taking ages to fix things and when he does it's mostly a bodge he does himself (Like when our front door broke and it couldn't be opened so he just cut the shoot bolts off from the inside with an angle grinder through the door and then patched the hole up with silicone.

However, surprise surprise he now wants to sell and expects us to allow anybody to be traipsed through our home and when I said that we would only agree to viewings at set times he says we are being difficult and gives us notice.

The problem in this country is that in general private renting is designed for short term lets to suit transient people and is not a long term solution.

Plus there are to many landlords who only rent houses because they can't sell them and have no real desire to be landlords.

Personally I think all landlords should have to be accredited so that they understand their obligations and longer term tenancies should be available.

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Bean town 20th July, 2014 @ 22:34

Obviously all the landlord haters at renters, with no ambitions in life but to get over on the working man. I bought a multi-home for my parents so they could live a better life. They gave up everything to put me through school on their meager salaries. I graduated was able to but myself through grad school while working two jobs. Then I gave back to them and then my mom wanted to give back to her tenants. In a market area where she could have charged an upwards of $2500+ for rent. She decided to charge only $1000. So two middle aged bastard scum tenants ended up bullying them and not paying rent. My parents are humble and kind, so you pieces of you know what can go straight to hell on an express elevator. So, l have good news landlords for those of you who can... Turn your rentals into condo and give renters the big fat BIRD. TO HELL WITH THEM, and deal with other people who work hard for the money and want to join the OWNERS CLUB. Or hopefully you own in an area where you can only rent to the people in the the $100k club, my friends say a certain class of tenants, know about renters etiquette and have a magnificent command of the Webster's English and are able to communicate an issue and/or have enough savings to cover rent in the event of a life changing event.

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Stella 21st July, 2014 @ 10:01

The tenancy agreement is a complete joke. The landlord might just as well sign his life away as it's basically a free licence for the tenant to do what the hell he likes. I really don't see how a landlord can actually take advantage of a tenant when it is the tenant who has all the power to withhold rent and mess you around - and the law is on the side of the tenant. Even if the tenant is clearly in the wrong, he can get away with it while the landlord is tearing his hair out waiting for legalities to be in place.

I have been a landlord since 2003 and have had many tenants who have been wonderful; they have paid the rent regularly, looked after the property and not caused problems with neighbours but on the other hand I have also had tenants who have completely trashed the house or failed to pay the rent and been a nuisance in the community. I have had neighbours complaining to me about my tenant's behaviour, expecting me to throw them out immediately and not realising the long drawn out formalities you have to go through to evict.

The fact of the matter is that there are good people and bad people whether they are landlords or tenants. It would be lovely if there was site that could match the good tenants up with the good landlords!

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Eva 30th September, 2014 @ 13:16

I have an obvious solution for any landlords who complain about tenants or the fact that they are so legally protected... Dont lease your property. If you dont need it to live in, sell it. Please remember that you are profiting from tenants who you chose to let to and if you were paying almost half your earnings every month to a stranger just for a roof over your head, of course you would want legal protection.
I accept that there are those who take the absolute p*** because probably they claim some sort of benefits therefore its not their money.
However, for people like me who earn average wage but cant afford to save a deposit for a mortgage because of ridicously high rents, its in my best interest to keep the flat in immaculate condition because after all, that deposit money took me a few months to save and I want it back.

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geri 21st March, 2015 @ 23:52

I'm a landlord and I posted here awhile ago. I came back today to read even more hateful comments about landlords.
All you people who are haters need to realize that this is a legitimate business and it's no cake walk.It's not a charity and we're not taking advantage of anyone.
I bought my house with hard earned money and I do the best I can for my tenants.I strive to do what's right and have done it for 20 hard years.
When you rent, you're getting something in return for your money just like when you rent a car or pay car insurance,join a gym and make credit card payments for whatever you purchase,etc.
Here's the part where I get brutally honest with you losers who are complaining about rent.
You probably hate your boss, business owners, your neighbors who own their own house, and anyone who has something you don't. Grow up.
I don't know what your chronological ages are but mentally and emotionally, you're infantile and bitter.
How many of you didn't plan your future and were just plain lazy? huh?
There are people who are billionaires. Do you think they got there without hard work? Do I resent them? No.
You're not forced to rent. Go to the mountains and pitch a tent.I bet your landlords can't stand you either and would love to see you split.

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Stella 22nd March, 2015 @ 10:16

Well said Geri; it's high time good landlords were recognised for the valuable service they provide to the community. How else would a vast majority of the population be able to get a roof over their heads if it was not for landlords who have had to put their own personal money into securing a mortgage? The council's housing stock is nowhere near as vast as it once was and housing associations are landlords too. If tenants don't want to pay their way then they can't stay. More power needs to be given to landlords to evict non-payers and those terrible types who would wreck Buckingham palace in a week.

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G. Ling 24th March, 2015 @ 00:57

Spoken like a true slumlord, Geri! Go ahead, insult the renters all you want to but anyone who rents knows the truth about your kind! All of you slumlords stick together now because nobody else will take your side! Bunch of no good, lazy, cheap pricks, the whole lot of you!

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Stella 24th March, 2015 @ 06:53

To G Ling in particular:

I think people always tend to generalise far too much whether they are tenants or landlords. Don't you think it would be far more helpful to both tenants and landlords if people didn't generalise or have preconceived ideas? Why not try assessing people for the people they are as individuals? As I've said before you get bad landlords and you get bad tenants just as you get bad people in just about every area of life. You will always find some people that care and others that don't, the world over.

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Dave 24th March, 2015 @ 16:39

Stella, you are right about your comment on generalizing people. I've been a landlord now for well over 25 years. I own 3 multi-family dwellings with a total of 14 apartments amongst them. I all the advertising, renting, screening, maintenance, snow shoveling, grass mowing, painting, remodeling, furniture moving, numerous trips to hardware stores, etc. etc.. I pay two mortgages along with high liability insurance rates and very high annual property taxes. All this for what? Basically to survive. I barely make a decent living out of it really. But it's the only life I know. Is it worth it? NO!!! I wouldn't recommend being a landlord to anybody. It's one of the suckiest jobs on planet earth. But then, who am I to judge. My apartments are located less than 10 miles from Ferguson, Missouri. Maybe many of you who are reading this have heard of the place? It's the area in the midwestern United States where race riots and burned out buildings have been shown in news broadcasts all over the world since it began back in August 2014. I am a white person living near an area area with a huge racial divide. However, some of the best tenants I've had in the past and even in the present are black people. But I've also had some horrible black tenants as well. On the other side of the spectrum, I've had really nice white tenants, and then some terribly bad ones too. My point is, there is absolutely no way sure way of knowing how any tenant will be just by looking at them! They could have the best job and be the worst slob showing absolute little respect toward me, or they could have the lowest paying job and show the greatest respect for their apartment and toward me. A landlord can't see into the future, but one thing is certain. Landlords risk a whole lot more than tenants and stand to loose a lot more than tenants. Owning property is a high risk venture that can tie the owner down to the ground, making them feel like they are in a prison cell. But tenants have the freedom to simply walk away at any time, even breaking their lease commitment if they want to, with little recourse or financial loss. It's impossible to generalize people no matter who they are or what they look like. After 25 years of being a landlord I've realized that it's exactly like playing the lottery... a few times you win but most of the time you loose!

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Elaine 12th April, 2015 @ 22:50

It's a relief in some ways(but not very nice) to hear a lot of people have had the same issues I've had with renting. I only own one flat as well as my home. I was single with my little boy when he took a life threatening illness, he now has various serious health issues and in the longterm the flat will be used as an asset towards his care when I'm not here. I've always been friendly and decent and responded to tenants quickly and kept the flat in a great condition (really spending thousands I didn't have thinking about the long term for my boy). I've had a few good tenants but two actually made my life hell, demanding, abusive, not paying rent and wrecking the property, and leaving without notice meaning we can't even enter the flat! It's been so stressful on top of my son's care and working full time. I'm in no way a slum lord, I don't benefit at all at the moment from the property and the only people who will are the health care team which look after my son when he's older. I agree people are people, good and bad on both sides. Some tenants are amazing, some are down right bad and intentionally get away with as much as they can. If I walked into a bank today and stole £1500 cash I would most likely be put in jail, yet some tenants do exactly this by with holding rent over and over and nothing legal can be done really. The law should be fair for both parties.

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Dave 13th April, 2015 @ 00:20

Elaine, being a landlord myself in the United States, I completely agree with your point that landlord/tenant laws "should be fair for both parties" across the world. Imagine checking in to a hotel for a night and then refusing to leave. One phone call to the police is all it would take to be kicked out immediately! Other than the length of time, how is renting an apartment any different? Landlords should be able to simply pick up the phone and have police kick anyone out that doesn't pay and yet refuses to leave! But landlords have to bare the burden of a bad tenant because governments don't want a bunch of homeless people with no place to go. We never hear about people checking into hotels and refusing to leave because everyone knows the police will kick 'em out and maybe haul 'em off to jail. If landlords could do the same when someone doesn't pay I'm sure there would be a lot less scammer tenants out there. Landlord/tenant laws are definitely lop-sided and need to change, that's for sure! There is one thing you should try as you rent out your flat the next time. I've heard that apartments in Russia, Nigeria and Dubai usually require the tenant to pay a full year's worth of rent upfront in advance. Now I don't know about you, but my apartments aren't exactly located in a highly desirable area. So you might be thinking there's no way anyone would be willing to pay a full year's worth of rent in advance. However, three different times now I've managed to get a year's rent upfront by simply offering the same apartment for $50 per month less. Usually after I tell them the monthly price of $450/month I'll entice them by saying "I can let you have it for only $400/month if you pay me a full year of rent up-front". So far I've had three people take me up on the deal. This is something you might consider next time you try to rent out your place. Getting a year's worth of rent in advance certainly helps ease the stress of never knowing if a tenant can't or won't pay!

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Sally 1st July, 2015 @ 16:56

Affordable BOUGHT housing ought to be a right for every last person on earth. Maybe the really elderly or quite badly handicapped may want to rent but honestly, most people given a choice would PREFER their hard earned $ went to owning the roof over their head. I hope in heaven there are NO landlords, NO renting, and NO greed. Earth is a shithole in that respect re: making housing difficult to obtain for the average person in 2015. ps: Just paid the rent and the douchebag lawyer-landlord is busy getting away a neighbour's vehicle towed away because they backed into a parking stall. Why doesn't he just be DECENT and PHONE the person and ASK them to re-park their vehicle? No, has to be a total douchebag a-hole about it. Heartless man and you know I hope in another lifetime he RENTS from an a--hole like himself.

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Stella 1st July, 2015 @ 18:11

So who's going to provide this affordable housing then? Shelter sure as hell don't know. It seems many are quick to judge landlords but if it were not for them where would a great chunk of the population live? Those who are quick to judge landlords should try and come up with an alternative before being so harsh in their criticism. Many folk do not want the commitment of buying and wish to maintain their mobility.If there were no landlords what would happen to them?

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gary getting fucked 2nd July, 2015 @ 12:18

Fuck you and all your landlord scum brethren!!!!!!

You are all such scumbags. I have never had a landlord who didnt try and fuck me each and every way. Can you not be happy that we pay your fucking mortgage for you while you sit on your fat arse doing nothing. No you have to try and go and screw us for every other fucking penny we have.

Come the revolution your kind will be first against the wall!!!

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Stella 2nd July, 2015 @ 13:17

Gary, you have obviously had a bad experience with landlords but please don't tar everyone with the same brush. I have had bad tenants and good tenants and have treated them all fairly and equally and responded to all requests for repairs as swiftly as possible,. I know I have been a good landlord and I would never let a house to someone that I would not have been prepared to live in myself or charge unfair rents. Landlords do not sit on their fat arses doing nothing any more or less than the rest of the population. In order to become a landlord I had to re mortgage my own home and pay extortionate fees to the building society. The costs are horrendous. When I first became a landlord I thought I was doing something valuable in the community by providing someone with a roof over the heads since they could not afford to buy one themselves. At that point I was totally unaware of the bad press that landlords have due to many folk passing judgement when they have no idea of the outgoings or the vast amount of paperwork and phone calls that a landlord has on a daily basis. Not a day goes by that I don't get some bill or other coming through my letter box. By the time the mortgages and safety checks, insurance, repairs and maintenance have been done there is precious little profit. The only way a landlord can actually make a healthy profit is if the properties are owned outright. A buy to let mortgage is also on a higher rate of interest than residential mortgages. Out of interest can you please explain to me how a landlord can actually take advantage of tenants as much as you say they can? In my experience it is the tenants who have the power to withhold rent and have the law on their side. It is the landlord who is in the vulnerable position of being taken advantage of.

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BJJ 30th November, 2015 @ 06:59

Being a landlord is a JOB. Your tenants aren't paying your mortgage for the privilege of just occupying your 'investment'. If you choose to let your property, you are using it to provide a service to your tenants. They are your CUSTOMERS and they are paying for you to provide a SERVICE - a liveable home. Of course that comes with responsibilities to deal with those emergencies. That is the job you chose to take on. So many of you seem to see BTL as nothing but a cash cow that pays for itself. You are CHOOSING to make your property available as SOMEONE ELSE'S HOME.

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Yorkshire 17th December, 2015 @ 12:09

Having being a tenant in Yorkshire for the last 12 years, I resent the amount of money I have to hand over each month £800 for our accomodation, but then I used to have a mortgage.
One thing none of the above mention, the crictical factor, when all's said and done, the landlord still has the property, and the tenant has nothing.
In the last 6 years I've paid just under £60,000, but I haven't 'got' anything at the end of it.
As a tenant, the list of what I can't do and what I need to do is almost perverse, I have to get the boiler serviced, I have to get the gas hob serviced & certified. I have to maintain an ambient internal temperature. I have to pay £25 pcm for water, but then have to get the septic tank emptied.
The boiler, is over 35 years old, there are no heating controls other than on or off, we can't just have the hot water on because the heating also comes on. So in the warmer months we have to use an immersion heater for water 6kw/hr, so the electric costs more in the summer, or the house gets too hot to sleep in.
So many assume tenants, have always been so, but I paid a mortgage for 17 years, no probs, rent a house you have to pay £170 or more just to'check' you're okay, then a hefty deposit,and meanwhile after you spent time and money looking for somewhere to live the land lord can at any time serve notice, marvellous!

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Marti 22nd June, 2016 @ 20:23

Many of the houses in London are paid off so the only reason people put up the rent is greed!! They only care about their retirement plans and generation rent can go to hell. I want to pay towards my own home and not rent OBVIOISLY. This is out of control. And please landlords don't sound like you are doing us favour. This Godlike attitude makes me sick. I think it is doctors and nurses who pay rents and work crazy hours who deserve respect ... please think what you are doing. You are not the victim here. Landlords are aware of mim pay etc so please dont invest!

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Terry 25th May, 2017 @ 18:30

I agree with the article. I became a landlord ten years ago as I realised it was the only way to own my own home and provide an income in my old age. I do not claim benefits as I do not wish to be a drain on society, I work full time and pay a huge amount of tax (capital gain, stamp duty land tax, corporations, income...) I also provide good housing for a small number of professionals.

The flats I bought had been on the market ages and the sellers were delighted as it helped them move / get the funds they wanted to retire etc. I contribute a huge amount to society, the money I pay to the agent goes towards paying wages and by improving my flats I have improved the area and peoples quality of life.

I have worked since I was 14yrs old in various jobs, rented cheap rooms for 12yrs to save the deposit for my first place and lived in the lounge so I could let a room to a lodger as it was the only way to pay the mortgage. I spent every penny I had on that flat for five years while my renter friends were out partying. I then sold it and bought four cheaper flats further out of London, one which I live in and three that I let.

I employ an accountant to do my tax return every year and so far I've not made any money, admittedly the properties have increased in value as I took a chance on an undesirable area that has become trendy. Owner occupiers could have bought those flats but they didn't want to take the chance on the postcode and didn't think property was a good investment in 2012 as the market was dead. That's fine, but don't moan now because you missed the boat.

I wish tenants would realise the hardship some landlords go through in order to own property and don't say we're all the same. Some criminals use property as mechanism for profit, but they are not landlords, they are criminals, and some landlords don't care, but some landlords are good and provide an essential service in a global economy.

Rents are just economics, supply and demand and if you are a tenant and you can't afford it, go live somewhere else. I don't live in the house I want to or in the area I want to, but thats life. Don't be a victim, take control of your life and do what it takes to get the life you want.

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Stella 25th May, 2017 @ 19:40

Very well put, Terry. Unfortunately landlords are always going to be vilified by much of the population however conscientious they are. I did not realise this over 14 years ago when I started my portfolio and if I had I probably wouldn't have continued with it!

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Fred 1st February, 2018 @ 15:44

Hope you die. Landlords are the scum of earth. Paraistes on society sucking the blood of the poor. Die prick!

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The Landlord 1st February, 2018 @ 20:15

Point very well made.

However - and forgive me for this- I'm more inclined to believe that the hate and ignorance that you harbour (to the point that you wish people dead) is more so the root of evil.

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Stella 1st February, 2018 @ 22:12

Well, Fred's comment above just proves the point I made in my comment of 25th May last year. Fred doesn't say what has caused him to form such a low opinion of landlords but I would be interested to know.

Everyone has to pay for the roof over their head from their own earnings or through the benefit system. Whether you are rich or poor or whether you have to pay rent to a landlord or make mortgage payments to a building society, you've got to pay money to someone if you want somewhere to live. Landlords are providing homes for people, whereas councils have largely stopped letting out rental properties. Landlords are thus providing a valuable service in the community that no-one else does apart from a few rare housing associations. You have to pay for the roof over your head just as you pay the supermarket for the food in your belly. Does Fred think the poor should be provided with free housing perhaps?

Many quite affluent folk also rent their homes out of choice and are quite happy to do so without having the long term commitment of a mortgage.

It would be interesting to know if Fred could suggest a suitable alternative to landlords? What if tenants were able to rent their homes directly from building societies, thus cutting out the middleman, so to speak? The building societies would have to diversify a bit though and hire a nationwide repairs and maintenance team. Speaking as a landlord myself, when the rent comes in, most of it it goes straight out to the building society the very next day so I might as well get the tenant to pay it straight to them by that reckoning and save myself all the hassle!

Curiously, no one seems to view building societies with the same disdain as they view landlords but it is they who charge horrendous fees and make buyers jump through all the hoops to secure a mortgage. Over the lifetime of a mortgage, as a home buyer you're probably going to pay back as much in interest as your house cost in the first place. The building societies slap extra fees on everything and move the goal posts and you have no choice but to dance to their tune. They charge interest down to the very last penny. I've never defaulted on anything and have always paid my mortgages in full on the correct date each month - even when my tenants have short changed me and tried to get out of the commitment they signed up for - to pay for the roof over their heads?

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Anna kellett 12th February, 2018 @ 22:28

Perhaps u should drop dead Fred - why are people so aggressive - there is no need - people are jealous of others perceived success - put your head down work hard and save hard and u can own your own home - do anything in this life but you cannot be a defeatist - stop blaming other for your short comings or failures - life is hard but keep your head up and push for what u want and need and a little bit of kindness and decency along the way goes a long way.

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M.Northard 30th March, 2018 @ 22:41

Thank god I 've read this article. It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep due to frustration at one of my tenants who persists in texting me on a Friday evening with some problem or other that requires me to find an emergency tradesman , immediately, without even trying to sort the problem out herself ! This article has made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

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geri 4th April, 2018 @ 03:54

This is the last comment I post here because I don't care to waste any more time reading vile comments from bitter renters.After this, I'm deleting my account.
Some of you are just stupid and some of you are jealous and some of you just piss your money away so you'll never be able to buy anything and maintain it.
You just want to group all landlords into one category; slumlords.If it makes you feel better...
I fix issues in tenant's apartments before I fix my own unit and it's always ASAP. I pay real estate taxes as well as state and federal taxes. I contribute to the economy.
To say that someone doesn't have to pay rent on time is ridiculous because it's the same as any other bill like a car payment or a credit card bill. In fact, it's more important because this bill is for your residence. If you don't want to pay rent, pitch a tent in the mountains and live off the land.
It's true that I don't have a boss and I don't have to go to work but that's because I took honestly made money and made an investment. I've also worked hard for 22 years to maintain it on my own. Do you morons think contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc work for free? Plus my tenants like me and I have such a good reputation that I often get inquiries about vacancies. Sorry if do live well. Swallow that.

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pauline 4th April, 2018 @ 07:44

Well said Geri. I couldn't have put it better myself. Before I became a landlord some 15 years ago I would never have believed people could be as bad and as dishonest as some of the tenants I've had over the years. (I've had plenty of good tenants too so I'm not generalising). Unfortunately I made the mistake of thinking that all my tenants would treat me fairly if I treated them fairly but this often turned out not to be the case. Letting properties carries too many risks and if I knew then what I know now, I would never have done it. Here in the UK the tenants always have the law on their side even if they are in the wrong. It's not a fair and equal system whereby both tenants and landlords should have equal rights. The law needs to change to treat both tenants and landlords equally but I doubt that it will.

I hope you change your mind and stay on this site in spite of the adverse comments from some renters. I have been quite shocked by some comments myself. Again when I started out being a landlord, I thought that landlords were well respected in the community but they are not - largely due to the bad reputation that just a few rouge landlords have bequeathed us.

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Danny 17th April, 2018 @ 11:37

As someone who will hopefully be buying a second house in a few years, it is quite interesting to read the views of people from both sides.

Personally, I planned from a young age, and work hard to buy my first house at 23. Two years later, we are currently remortgaging for a 5 year fixed term. At the end of the term I am hoping to use the equity to buy a larger house for us to move in to and rent our current house. I guess I was lucky enough to find someone to buy a house with. I don't feel it is as hard as people make out to be.

Neither of us come from families who own their own houses or have much money. However, we put ourselves through university, during which I privately rented for 3 years, in 2 horrendously overpriced and rather gross houses, and then privately rented a maisonette for a year and a half hour before buying ourselves. During which time we saved as much we could, only going out occasionally. Even to this day we still do food shopping as though we have a budget.

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Danny 17th April, 2018 @ 13:54

As for landlords taking advantage, yes you do get bad landlords just the same as with all industries. But at the end of the day, it isn’t a hobby or a charity it is a business that a lot of people have worked hard for. I am not condoning being a terrible landlord, i.e. not fixing things, charging absurd amounts of money, but personally I would much rather pay that bit more for a nicer house than on a council estate.

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Alastair 26th July, 2018 @ 06:44

Rented for 15 years before scraping enough cash to buy my own place. At none of those points did I want to be renting.

More bad experiences than good. An example being some young idiots who'd swanned off traveling to Australia for a couple of years, rented their place out and had no funds for maintenance or repairs. Irresponsible little wotsits left 3 of us freezing over winter while the letting agents covered for them.

What I find crazy is that the only qualification to assume substantial control over the lives of other humans is being able to scrape up some capital. No experience, contingency funding, planning or understanding required. Just buy a house and 'bang, you can own revenue streams.'. There are some good landlords out there, but I'd rather they were all legally compelled to behave like decent human beings rather than it being left up to their whims.

And that's before we get onto letting agents. They're even worse. Never had any good experiences with them. Lazy, crooked and useless.

Tennants can be awful too. Or they can have unexpected life changes. If they had the savings to cover those, then they probably wouldn't be renting... Best cover for that would be a suitably large estate of housing to spread the risk. And some are just shits nobody sane wants anything to do with.

If it was up to me, I'd replace private landlords with pooled schemes with a minimum number of houses involved and professionally accredited management who are regularly audited. People who wish to profit from rental could either invest in existing schemes or start their own if they have enough capital and become accredited.

I'd no more wish to become a landlord than I would own slaves.

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best way forward 14th June, 2020 @ 22:38

In principle, it is relatively easy to resolve this problem. Landlords and letting agencies need to be effectively eradicated from any civilized society. The age of feudalism ended several hundred years ago and yet this practice of having other people pay for your mortgage or property without them having any rights to ownership of the property continues to this day.

The practice of being a landlord has absolutely nothing to do with capitalism; for example when you buy shares in a company on the stock market you are effectively a partial owner of the company and you have a right to a part of the profits or losses that the company makes as seen in the value of the shares you purchased which you are free to sell. In contrast, when a tenant is effectively paying the costs of the landlord's mortgage, the tenant has no right to ownership of the property. What is worse is that landlords and rental agencies have artificially inflated the prices of residential properties to the extent that in many high-demand areas working people (even those in well-paying professions) are unable to buy their own homes.

To end this ludicrous situation, the following three measures need to be put into place, preferably as soon as possible:

1. In high-demand areas such as London, New York etc, residential property ownership should be restricted to one property per adult or per family household. People with more than that will have to release their property onto the market for sale or else be taxed to the extent that they will face crippling financial losses if they continue to own their excess property. Similarly, rental agencies will have to release their properties onto the market or else be fined to the extent that they lose all profits that they have ever made. Some priority to purchasing the property should be given to the people currently living in the property. This should be financially feasible as the property prices will fall due to increased availability; residents may even be paying less than what they pay for their current monthly rent.

2. Holiday rental companies such as Airbnb etc need to be made illegal. They also need to be taken to court and heavily fined for the amount of social damage that they have done to cities such as Lisbon etc. They will cease to exist after these processes and this will be a good thing.

3. On a nationwide basis, an adult or family household could be allowed to own one secondary property which can be used as a vacation home. However, this secondary home cannot be in a high-demand area.

When these measures are implemented the prices of residential property will be finally subject to their genuine availability and demand on the market. This will be in line with the main principles of capitalism which a lot of landlords seem to espouse. If people want to make a bit of extra money there is nothing wrong with that but they will have to do so in more creative and productive ways for society than being a landlord. Most likely housing prices will fall quite considerably. This will be a good thing as it will allow working people to afford to buy their own homes. The housing market will also become much more dynamic and estate agents will adjust and it will become much less cumbersome to buy and sell a home. Maybe it will be little bit like buying and selling a car. The value of my own home will likely fall but that is ok for me as society will have become fairer and that is a price that I am willing to pay.

Many of the landlords posting on this thread seem to think that people are against renting simply because they are envious and are unable to buy a home for themselves. This is simply not true. I own my own home in a fairly expensive part of the world and I pay for my mortgage myself from wages that I earn from my work. Unlike landlords, I do not take money from other working people to pay for the mortgage of any property that I own. I am not “rich” per se but I am considered to be a “high earner” in the country where I live according to the income taxes that I pay. I am constantly solicited by financial advisors who suggest that I “purchase” newly built property to rent out in order to reduce my income income-tax bill. These financial advisors are effectively asking people such as myself to become a sort of double parasite to society by both leeching off another working person to pay a mortgage for a property and avoiding paying taxes which keep the nation going. They can go to the devil as far as I am concerned.

Hopefully this rental strike will gather a huge amount of momentum worldwide over the coming months. Ideally, you need more than half of renters nationwide to refuse to pay their rent so they will be far too numerous to be dealt with legally and they will finally be in a position as a very large group to enforce changes in the law. If they can be well consolidated as a group and legally represented, landlords and rental agencies will have to change. The best way forward will be to then implement the measures that have been outlined above.

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