Over the years of being a landlord, there have been lots of incidents, characters and events which stand out, and the odd police raid now and again only adds interest to the week, but this is definitely a new one. Old Father Rip Rap rang yesterday, all excited, like he was living out one of the stories in his beloved Daily Mail, to say that GMPolice had left a note in one of the hallways saying they’d raided one of the flats and taken various documents. M rolled his eyes and said it was probably bailiffs, and indeed dealing with them is an occupational hazard of being a landlord, but RipRap was adamant. So we get there and lo and behold he was right, it was a Daily Mail special, they’d carted off one of my tenants for being an illegal immigrant! Blimey. Not being a Guardian reader my first thought was for my rent, not a plan to set up a local Save X Campaign. Does that make me a bad person? Hmmmm.
I knew he just wanted to go the golf club to tell everyone his tale of raids and action, but we bribed him into taking C to see Ice Age 3 as there was serious DIY to do; revamping/painting a bedroom and tiling a fireplace. The fastidious and precise Edward was with us today, I love him, he’s the best one of the Polish guys, older and more careful and he cares about what he is doing. He has a very gentlemanly way about him and is unfailingly polite, even though he doesn’t speak much English, but sometimes people can really surprise you. Me and M were having a ‘disagreement’ (over painting styles and I was right ;-)), and Edward was in the next room, so later I asked Marcin, his boss, to explain in Polish that I was sorry there were raised voices when Edward was there. They spoke briefly in Polish and Marcin turned and said Its ok, Edward says that he and his wife always argue, but whenever there are bad words in the morning there is good sex at night!! I nearly fell over.
No pics of the bedroom as it isn’t ready until today.
So, decision time, do I evict the illegal and redo the flat (it’s one of the originals not been Moregeousified yet), in which case where the hell do I get the cash from? Or evict them and get someone new, but the flat is so awful that it’s 100% likely no-one but Stig of the Dump would want to live there? Or leave her, but risk no rent for a while, or ever, if she can’t work and isn’t entitled to benefits etc. I am leaning towards number 1. But this a partly as I think it’s a necessity to get the three remaining flats done up to top standards so that when I have to refinance them in the New Year (due to one of my banks being Icelandic and therefore bust!), they are at their top value / condition.
Sometimes I miss the simple life of damp-proofing.