Being a Landlord – Broken Windows, Broken Car, tenants and more.

Being a landlord is a crazy business sometimes.  And yesterday was one of those days.  It started really early.

Lounging on the couch around 1am, talking to my sister when the quiet night is interrupted by the sudden whistle of my ‘money’ phone or so we call it.  Now, I generally try to ignore things after about 10pm as it may be

  • a potential tenant asking for a viewing (though why they think I would answer them at that time, I just do not know)
  • a present tenant – maybe the house fell down or something (Do I want to know at 1 am in the morning?…  Probably!)
  • a heavy breather – To be ignored all the time.

Broken Windows

Being a landlordAnyway, after a period I decide to look at the phone.  And the news is shocking.  Windows have been broken on one of my multi-lets!!!!!  How?  Why?  Shocking news indeed!  Who would want to target this house and why?  All the thoughts going through my head!  It just seems soo random.

I decide to call the present tenant back to find out what on earth happened.  She is in a police station, possibly a little bit tipsy, giving a statement regarding the incident.  It turns out that she knew the people involved which makes a lot more sense than someone randomly targeting the house.  So I am thinking… well, she is going to have to pay for having crazy friends AND bringing them back to the house.

This tenant, however, is quite responsible and sensible so it is actually quite surprising that she knows people like this.  But well, there is nothing as strange as people sometimes.  Anyway, I find out more about the incident and decide to go over first thing after waking up.  (Thank God for grandmothers staying with me currently so I can leave the girls with them)

Broken Car

being a landlordSo, a few hours later ( literally), I wake up and get ready to go off to the house in question.  I choose to provide a management service to home owners where I do not disturb them about ANY issues with tenants so I was keen to deal with this quickly.   I get in the car and drive along in the early work traffic and as I begin to approach the house, I notice my radio cutting out.

I look down and notice that practically every single warning light on the dashboard is on!

OK, so turn around and try to get back home or will the car keep going or what?!

As I am within walking distance of the house, I decide to reach my destination but alas! the car shudders to a halt at the traffic lights just up the road and the automatic brake kicks in.  So here I am, concerned about the property and stuck in a car that I cannot even pull off the centre of the road.  I flick on the hazard lights and the cars behind me start to indicate and go around me.  I call Tloml who texts me the breakdown service phone number.  I give them a call, they agree to come within 45 minutes.

I contemplate leaving the car and walking to the house but then the hazard lights stop working as well.  It seems the battery has completely discharged.  So I get out of the car and become a traffic warden as I direct the cars around me.  Fun times!

It is going to be one of those days, I see.

Solutions

Solutions being a landlordBefore descending into stress, I decide to just deal with it.

I call a friend who lives up the road who incidentally is a landlord and very handy with anything to do with property maintenance.  He pops over just as the breakdown service come.

I consider taking the car to Renault who will possibly charge the earth to fix my ancient vehicle but the service people offer to fix it for a fraction of the price before the end of the next day.  I agree.

My friend takes me to the house, we inspect the damage, he takes measurements.  He takes me back home and then onto pick up our spare vehicle so I am not without car the whole day.  My property manager gets in touch and decides to interview the tenant (as I can be far too soft at times – Tell me a sob story and I fall for it every time).

As the day progresses,

  1. my friend gets me a quote for the windows but does not think they will be ready until the next day,
  2. I hear from agents and take on two more properties
  3. I hear from a vendor who has accepted my very profitable offer on her property
  4. I hear from the garage who say the car is ready already (woohoo!)
  5. I hear from my friend again who says the windows are ready and he is at the house ready to repair them
  6. I hear from the property manager who has interviewed the tenant who agrees to accept liability

So, all is well that ends well.  Thank God for a great team I can call on whatever the issue.  Being a landlord is definitely a team effort.

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