Property: Panorama & dodgy landlords, but what about the rest of us?

Just once I’d like to see a show extolling the virtues of Fantastic Landlords and Landladys! Although last night’s Panorama seemed like a well backed -up expose of a couple of shocking property companies/peeps, it only served to reinforce the belief in the mind of the watching public that all landlords are money-grabbing, problem-ignoring Rachmans who don’t give two hoots about their tenants. And it’s not true, as many on Twitter agreed:

kevinigloo Can we have a prog about ‘lovely Landlords’ next pls #BBC1#Panorama – there are lots of us quietly treating our tenants VERY WELL

@jokingblogs: But ACTUALLY some Landlords CAN & DO make money and still give Tenants a very decent home!!! Grrrrr #bbc1#panorama

One of the landlords did have at least one supporter but I don’t understand how!

avibarr @haydenmead just in case you care, Dansky has not been charged cos its not as clear cut as a documentary with an agenda makes out #panorama

Mr M and I sat slack-jawed in amazement as we saw tenants living without heating, hot water, with mould running rampant up the walls, windows falling out… do tenants actually put up with that?! Sweet jeez, mine ring up if a bulb blows! I know that occasionally if things are truly hectic it takes a while to get round to stuff, but it’s never the serious things, the very worst thing that’s happened was last year when one of my flats had a dodgy boiler which had to be left constantly on, the warranty company were a ‘mare for two months, so as a result I contributed to the bill!

We’ve had terrible problems with some tenants, from cannabis factories in the loft space, to disgusting bathrooms, to cross dressing loonies! Add that to the disaster of the credit crunch and an uncertain banking system, and it’s a wonder any landlords stay in business. Whether you like it or not, people made money out of property between the mid-90’s and the 2006/7. There’s certainly an argument to say that buy-to-let was allowed to run riot, but this was largely in the arena of new build properties, which were valued in a bubble and in an utterly nonsensical way. Most professional landlords want to get the best rents they can for the minimum hassle, for me that means making my flats as gorgeous as possible so my tenants love them and take care of them. I can’t imagine a scenario where I would happily rent out a property in the awful condition of some of the ones last night, but then I don’t rent to some of the most vunerable people in society, like those sharks. As one of the women on Panorama said last night, there should be social housing for some, and private just ain’t social.

My business provides society with a service, it does!! In the somewhat transient area of West Didsbury, where many young professionals want to live but not necessarily settle down and buy, they want to rent decent accommodation at decent rents. They contribute to local businesses, eating out, buying from local shops, using local services. Some are saving to buy, some are only in the area temporarily, some are renting whilst they find their feet and decide where they really want to be. And we work hard to provide the types of properties they want, for, it has to be said, not a lot of ‘profit’. Certainly I still work full time on interior projects for clients and other jobs to bring in cash to live. These properties I cobbled every penny together to buy, renovated on a budget from scratch over the last few years and now rent out will, hopefully, one day be my pension, but who knows in today’s uncertain world? I think that’s that case for many landlords these days, many have worked their butts off and continue to do so for little financial payback, their reward is way, way ahead in a wobbly future…

There should be a web-site for top banana landlords, male and female, to shout their professionalism from the rooftops. Heaven knows we all have our off weeks, but we’re better than that shower last night!


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