Despite his promise, ‘William’ still hasn’t given me that reference, which set me wondering: how come there’s no way for tenants to appraise our landlords when we leave? There are after all plenty of ‘rogue tenant’ sites and databases (some of them cheeky enough to link with this blog.)
Before taking a new flat I must bare my soul, providing financial guarantees, actual guarantors, references, deposits and one of my kidneys to keep in the freezer in case I do a runner. But things being as they are and times having a’ changed, I demand similar documents and assurances from future landlords. After all, we need to formally evaluate their financial stability in case they forfeit the property i.e. our home.
I was once badly let down by a landlord. He agreed to let me a flat but changed his mind the night before I was due to move, and so, to even things out, I will need a non-returnable holding fee while deciding whether or not to formally take up residency.
I’d also like a bank reference confirming owners are financially secure, that my rent will cover the mortgage, or written proof that they earn enough to make up the shortfall themselves. Oh – and they can pay for their own credit check, same as me. I also require, randomly, for my own entertainment, a character reference from “…a responsible, professional person.”
The worst of all property overlords are creepy, lazy, strange, abusive, bullying, elusive and perversely, disturbingly over-attentive. Or intrusive: P’s landlord let himself in while P was in bed with his wife (P’s own wife, not the landlord’s.) This landed charmer intended showing some prospective replacement tenants around P’s bedroom, suggesting jauntily: “…just pull the covers up over yourselves.”
Indeed. You’re absolutely right. The correct response ends in -off.
Tenants are especially vulnerable when landlords keep a key. A small minority of landlords are openly and unrepentantly malicious. They delight in making renters feel powerless before exploiting them.
The man who moved into the spare room and terrorised his blameless occupants intending to scare them out is the worst example I’ve encountered hereabouts, although elsewhere a friend awoke to discover that her leering landlord had occupied the room next to hers. Like a coiled spring, she was gone (he also kept her deposit.) Can we have their door key please, to use if they misbehave?
My own particular landlord-from-hell deserves more than bad references or financial penalties. He should be frog-marched through town with someone hollering: “Unclean!” then publicly tattooed on the forehead with ‘W’ for weirdo, and afterwards shunned forevermore.
I was living in a large, shared house. While home alone, I heard someone moving around from room to room; I was stranded upstairs and petrified. With the intruder approaching, I hid in the cupboard, peering through a crack in the door.
Astonishingly, my landlord and not a burglar wandered in. Furtively, he glanced around, before pulling back the bedcovers to ‘inspect’ my sheets.
And before you ask: yes, that really happened.