New landlords have a complex system belief system, based, like all religious belief, on fear and superstition. No, they haven’t created new pantheon of skygods, and do not, unless I am mistaken, dance naked at midnight around graven images. They do, however, believe some really, really weird things.
Many fear the Great Squatter Devil. Newbie landlords have an irrational fear of squatters, and imagine that if they do not harass renters they can stay put forever, with no hope of eviction no matter what. It’s just plain wrong. Firstly, squatter’s rights were abolished by our Condem overlords, meaning that even empty properties cannot be occupied. But still landlords cling to the belief that hordes of frenzied, drug crazed, benefit ‘scrounging’ thugs are waiting to move in and stay for all eternity.
Some landlords imagine they enjoy an ancient entitlement of ‘Freedom To Roam’ (Into Your Home) The right to wander in at will or the cult of ‘It’s My House I Can Do What I Want’ sustains itself by repetition. Landlords feel that not wandering in at will is a rejection of their ownership, and a negation of their rights as owners, landlords and indeed human beings (I’ve heard the phrase: ‘It’s my civil right’ being used.) It’s also kindness. Wandering in our home at will makes us feel loved and cared for.
That they can do what ever they want. I think it’s the lack of training, but new landlords persistently imagine that the ‘But it’s my house I own it’ defence exists, and will stand up in court. I’ve experienced landlords who have, inter alia: moved their delinquent daughter into a spare room, collected choice pieces of furniture as ‘it’s too good for us,’ raised rent and given notice to quit using telepathy. Because they imagine they can, when they seriously can’t.
The religion of course concerns raising money. Tenants pay a tithe, or tribute, which must cover all the owners expenses – ie everything. And I mean everything. Landlords are forbidden in religious law from paying. If they pay they will go to a burning Hell for all eternity. When I was told, in a furnished flat, that I should pay for and install in the bathroom both a cabinet and heating, this was obviously the reason why. Same reason explains not paying for repairs – they might actually go to actual hell. And if they pay the fees letting agents fees charge them for running whata is their business, they might literally burn for all of actual eternity, so tenants should pay. You’d do the same. Wouldn’t you?
I realise that landlords must be careful, but the emerging philosophy of new buy to let rentiers is that they want the money, the pension, the equity, but they want none of the work, and none of the expense. In truth, they would prefer not to house actual human tenants at all.
Meanwhile tenants have started a new cult: it’s called standing up for themselves. And landlords could save time, money and their own nerves if they listened, learned and followed best practice. It’s your property, but it’s not your home. Let it go.