Way back in the mists of time I wrote an article for Landlord Law Blog on the unusual situation in the rental business which seems to be the only industry that doesn’t like its customers.
I was reminded of this again at the weekend when reading about Midlands based eviction specialists “Remove a tenant”
I was reminded of this again at the weekend when reading about Midlands based eviction specialists “Remove a tenant” who ran a Facebook advert featuring a wedge of cheese and titled:-
“Are your tenants household pests?”
Facing a bit of a furore from some quarters, a spokesperson for ‘Remove a Tenant’ defended the advert, saying:-
“The adverts had been designed by a marketing company some time ago and that it had not received any complaints about them.”
I presume that now having had several complaints aired in The Guardian that they have taken it down but as Policy head at Shelter John Bibby rightly commented:-
“We’re amazed the advert was posted in the first place”
Marketing gone mad
You can only presume that when the advert came back for approval from the “Marketing company” that there was much guffawing in the board room.
To blame a marketing company is hardly a defence. You paid for the design, you approved it and you ran the advert.
You can take the ad down, you could even apologise but that won’t take away the attitude people. The damage is done and as with poor old Justin Gatlin and his gold medal, any future wins will be tainted by previous scandal.
Leopards and spots if you get me.
To the walk of shame with you ‘Remove a Tenant’.
Your Mortgage reported this week on bad news for tenants in that rents have risen for the first time in 3 months:-
after dipping in May and June in 9 of the 12 regions of the UK.
Language is a strange thing
I note on an article in Property Reporter on the same issue:- the words ‘Confidence’, ‘Positive inflation’, ‘Significantly stronger’, and ‘Attractive returns’, being sprinkled liberally throughout the article.
I haven’t seen an article on this in any tenant centred organ but would imagine that the words being used there might be something like ‘Misery’, ‘Depression’, ‘How am I going to cope’ and ‘Kill me now’.
Having said that, London and the South East recorded small declines, cold comfort when the rents in these areas are dizzyingly more expensive than anywhere else in the UK anyway, but the knock on effect as reported in the FT seems to be that Londoners are leaving in droves:-
305,000 Londoners over the past 5 years have relocated to cheaper parts of the country.
The article informs us that:-
“The exodus of Londoners is happening mainly among those in their thirties and forties with children who find it increasingly hard to afford homes in Greater London.”
What surprises me is that many hang on to the fringes of London in places like Epping Forest and Thurrock where I can’t imagine the rents and mortgages being that much cheaper.
Anyone familiar with Epping Forest will know that it is hardly the countryside, surrounded as it is by the usual urban sprawl and even edging onto places like Walthamstow, Leyton and the dreaded ‘North Circ’, the longest car park in the country.
According to the map supplied, up to 4,000 people have even gone as far as Cornwall in search of an affordable property.
I holidayed there as a kid and visited regularly in the 8 years I lived in Somerset to go surfing so I understand the appeal and have gotten used to the idea that whilst it’s a beautiful haven in the summer, from the 1st October the county puts a sign on the Tamar Bridge saying “Closed”.
In fact, winter is when I like Cornwall best, because of the empty beaches and windswept loneliness of the place.
I would imagine any Londoners relocating down there would need to be working from home as well, out of season unemployment being quite high.
I read last Saturday an amusing piece in the Guardian about a Camden couple who did just that, forsaking their 2 bed flat above a betting shop for a rural cottage titled:-
“There are 2 Cornwalls: the paradise of my fantasies and the place I’ve moved to”.
Relocation for me
My sojourn in the West Country tempered my views on what many view an idyllic country lifestyle and I am currently looking to relocate to Nottingham instead.
Trees being all very well, I find I need the odd Kebab shop and drunken revellers to feel at home.
Now here’s a contentious one…..
Reported on ‘Landlord Today‘, the launch of a new service by ‘Portico Host’ which aims to fill void periods by styling your property and managing it’s let on ‘AirBnb’ in between tenants.
Portico’s Fiona Patterson says:-
“A well styled or staged property is key to increasing occupancy rates, guest ratings and the amount you can charge. Better still, the service almost always pays for itself, as our statistics show that staged properties sell for 8% more than empty or un-staged properties”
What was that programme about 15 years ago where that woman taught house sellers to beige-up everything and put coffee on for the smell?
Seems the concept hasn’t gone away.
In fact in an attempt to market our property to finance the move to Nottingham I spent a hideous few days tarting up the garden, or “Staging it” to use Ms Patterson’s words as opposed to my own words, which don’t do my hatred of DIY justice.
As can be seen in the photo to the side which Frazzy took on day 1.
Anyway back to the article…..
Which claims that renting through AirBnb is the ideal solution until you find the perfect tenant.
Good luck with that then. Finding the perfect tenant or landlord is like trying to write a hit song. If there was a reliable formula we’d all do it.
And lets just remind Portico Host about planning laws in London on 90 day lets in a year and the concomitant tax and planning permissions while you are searching for Mahatma Ghandi on an AST.
A cautionary tale for landlords trying to save a bit of dosh by doing their own gas works without a single clue what they were doing.
Ilfracombe’s Allan King was given a 9 month suspended prison sentence and costs of over £12k for risking the lives of his tenants, whilst he played Frank Spencer with a dodgy boiler.
Perhaps a lesson for the North London landlord I dealt with last month who became so aggressive with his tenant that she suffered a heart attack and was immediately hospitalised and while she was in there he took out the gas meter, leaving her husband and disabled daughter without heating or hot water for 3 days until I managed to persuade him to replace it, using kind words and appealing to his humanity…….as if!
What made me smile this week
I’ve joined the Man v. Fat 5 a side football league in order to drop a couple of stone. As well as enjoying donning shin pads again for the first time in years I’m loving the team names. Where my team have yet to name themselves two others have gone with FulofHam FC and Dynamo Kebab.
See ya in a fortnight