Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Landlords are parasites.

It’s a phrase that gets bandied around a lot. Just start typing into Google ‘Landlords are…’ and it’s the top auto-fill suggestion.

I’ve been a landlord for almost twenty years. I like to think I do a good job (I’ve even won an award from the National Landlords Association for doing it well), but that doesn’t mean I get off lightly. My tenants – granted not all of them – have put me through hell. I’ve been close to a nervous breakdown too many times to tell. I think I still suffer from PTSD.

There are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties (mydeposits.co.uk). What makes me different is the size of my portfolio and the national reach. I deal with every type of tenant from benefit claimants to high-end professionals. Let me tell you, shit still stinks the same, no matter where you come from.

The last few years have been tough. I’ve wondered many a time to sell up and quit. But still, despite the pressure and the pain, I love my tenants and my properties and I’d struggle to know what to do without them.

The idea of this book came about from a friend of mine. He urged me to write it having regaled him for many years with my various tales of human misery and utter craziness.

‘You couldn’t make it up!’ was what he’d say when I told him the latest shenanigans I’d been going through.

‘How about you? How’s your work?’ I’d reply.

‘Nowhere near as exciting or a story to tell as yours,’ He’d say.

And his response was something I’d heard from many friends. My workaday tales were the stuff of legend. Friends would text me and ask what the latest was on an ongoing situation I’d told them about.

They all wanted in on the action. To live vicariously through my real life soap opera.

And for years I’ve just got on and dealt with the various whims and wonders of my fellow human beings. But last year, prompted by my friend’s idea, I started to write it all down.

When I did, well, I won’t tell you what happened next, but the book changed my life.

And it’s interesting after all this time, to reflect on that period of my life where I was writing about my life, while living it. And to now be at the stage where this book will soon be shared with others, if they want to read it, feels strange but right.

I know already most people won’t care. It won’t matter what I say. I am a landlord and they will always cast me as the evil villain. For those people, I cannot help.

But for those people who are interested in being a landlord, or are a landlord, or maybe they’re a tenant renting a property and want to know the other side of the story, then Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord is for them.

This book is my side of the story. And it’s a side of the story that’s not been told before. And I think it’s about time it gets told – because it needs to be.

It’s time to share the hidden life of a landlord – the truth the other side of the door.

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord exposes the shocking reality of what tenants do, the practices of local councils and how the government is hell bent on destroying the private rental sector.

It’s a contentious, controversial and gritty look at the realities of the rental sector – but this is real life.

Many of those who’ve read the manuscript have said it’s a whistle-blower account that smacks of an authenticity and insight yet to be seen in the property world. ‘Gripping’, ‘anxiety-inducing’, ‘stimulating’, ‘entertaining’, ’emotional’, ‘raw’, ‘real’, ‘instructive’, ‘informative’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘depressing’ are just some of the descriptors that have been used by early readers.

‘Never boring’ is the key word they all used. And I think that sums up my life as a landlord perfectly.

It’s exciting and scary to make this book available to the world. But I feel the time has come to tell-all and share what it’s really like being a landlord.

So let me ask you: Are you ready to learn what what really happens behind closed doors?

The hype’s that the property market’s hot, but the estate agents say not

The hype’s that the property market’s hot, but the estate agents say not

There’s only so long I can put up with reading about a property bubble and all the splendid riches on offer before I break.

Rishi’s stamp duty holiday was the doing, the media proclaim, harrying forth a multitude of claims about how quickly the markets are rising, how every home owner is going to drown in glorious profit and Rightmove is shouting like a fisherwoman how unbelievably hot the market is.

And I thought to myself: wow this seems crazy. Aren’t we still in the middle of a pandemic and aren’t millions of people getting paid by the government not to work?

And aren’t thousands of job losses being announced every day?

And aren’t the shops closing?

And aren’t people not rushing back to restaurants and pubs as quick as everybody expected?

And aren’t we heading for a recession/depression/catastrophe not seen before in our lifetime/generation/ever?

And wasn’t it, last time I looked, like we were on the brink of the apocalypse?

But are we OK now?

Has the Chancellor cut stamp duty until March 2021 and everything’s fine?

Is it now safe to go out and spunk up to half a million on a property?

I found myself looping in confusion.

And I was pretty sure the media were full of shit and Rightmove was trying to claw back some brand power, but still I found myself wondering.

Coz shit like this is insidious, even to those of us who think they’ve got a clear idea on the market.

And so I called a couple of my friends in property to find out what word on the street is.

‘The market is hot, if you want to sell, get rid now coz it’s gonna be a shit fest once the government withdraw their furlough support, and then it’s going to be a while before you can sell once the great recession hits.’

And so I check the portfolio and eyeball a property I tried to sell two years ago and which got caught up in the whole Brexit (remember that?) debacle and having a shit estate agent.

It’s been rented ever since by a lovely tenant and one who’d I’d rather not get rid of, but would have to if I sold.

‘The tenant wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire, sell it,’ was the response.

Now, I’d like to think the tenant could maybe squeeze out an ickle drip, but I get the sentiment.

So I call a couple of estate agents about the property who’d seen it before when I was researching the market. Agents, I hasten to add, who I hadn’t chosen to sell it, which is why I tell them, I still own it. The consolation prize to them not being picked after all, is the fact I still call them and at some point in the future they may win my business for the sale.

‘You only have a small window,’ is what I’m told, ‘before the market turns.’

I agree with them about the narrow window of opportunity and ask them their thoughts on the market given the media frenzy of property hotness.

I’m met with a hollow laugh. Oh yes, that? Right.

‘Well?’, I say, waiting.

‘There are some good buyers in the market. Covid and the changed practice to video viewings has weeded out a lot of time wasters, but it’s not the frenzy the media are saying it is.’

‘Oh,’ I sag, ‘that’s disappointing. But at least I don’t need to turf out a good tenant now.’

‘I wonder if you had a bad tenant you’d say the same?’ the estate agent quips.

I don’t say anything, just reflect on the truism.

‘Perhaps,’ he carries on, ‘if the property was empty, or you didn’t have a good tenant, we’d be having a different conversation?’

‘Maybe,’ I say.

I hang up and ponder, and realise he’s right.

My tenant may not piss on me if I’m on fire, but as I’m the landlord I provide the smoke alarms. That means it’s my job to know when I’m on fire and piss on myself.

The moral of the story: believe what you want, but don’t believe the headlines.

Is it unfair for tenants to pay rent?

To be honest, the question seems insane. If you sign a contract and agree to rent a property for a price, then you should pay.

But listening to ‘You & Yours’ on Radio 4 this morning, I’ve learned from a tenant caller, apparently, it appears to some tenants to ask them to pay the contractually agreed rent is unfair.

Tenants, the caller said, should be more looked after. She admitted, she was one of the lucky ones, she had a cash pile and a maintenance agreement from her ex-husband. However, her ability to teach pilates during the lockdown had severely hindered her ability to pay her £2000 per month rent.

The landlord, she said, had refused to reduce her rent by as much as she felt she was entitled to and only gave her only £100 off. That was not good enough, she wanted more, and felt the government should put more pressure on landlords to do more.

Forget the fact she’d signed a legally binding contract, for the minute.

But, what got me about this attitude, was just prior to the tenant caller, two landlords had called in – both of them had invested their money into property to provide for a pension. Both of them were trying to help their tenants, and both had taken a financial hit that had affected their way of life.

For the first landlord, their tenant not paying rent for over one year and the eviction getting caught up in the Covid-19 crisis, meant the property would be sold once it’d been recovered: To pay the debts accrued on account of the tenant.

At this stage, the tenant owes over £9,000 in unpaid rent and the landlord has racked up a legal bill of £7,500.

But apparently, more pressure should be put on landlords to do more.

What more do tenants want?

Obviously, it sounds like free rent.

Which is fine in theory, but what about in practice?

Most landlords are in debt. They weren’t gifted the properties they rent out in some secret prize draw. They worked in their jobs and they invested in their properties for a future, for a pension, for maybe a life that didn’t involve giving free rent to random people just because they feel like they’re entitled to it.

And it may surprise most tenants to learn, but landlords do work. Not only did they have to work to raise the capital to buy the property in the first place, but many still work in their everyday jobs to pay the mortgage and keep the property running. For most, the ownership of a rental property is their pension.

And what I find so frustrating about this situation is the lack of understanding from any side about what it means to be a landlord.

Any other business is not expected to give free anything. Supermarkets during this crisis have removed most of their promotions and food bills have increased substantially. But where are the cries for how unfair it is that supermarkets are charging us money, real actual money for food?

There are none.

We expect to pay for the food we buy.

So then, why is it that tenants expect to live rent free in the property they rent? Don’t they realise their landlord has a mortgage and bills to pay? Don’t they ever think about what they would do if their source of income suddenly got stopped?

Hold on – with 9.4 million furloughed workers, maybe some did?

But the difference for them – they get to claim 80% of their salary from the government, or maybe claim benefits. Landlords get none of that. There is no help from the government. If a tenant stops paying rent, there is no secret source or benefit to claim. Owning another property means you’re ineligible for any benefits.

Stop and think about that for a minute. If you, as a tenant, stop paying your rent – what do you realistically think is going to happen?

Do you think your landlord will go to that magic money tree at the bottom of the garden and pick the mortgage payment from its lustrous leaves?

Get real.

Your landlord will suffer. Your landlord will experience a level of stress and anxiety only those is serious, financial debt will ever understand.

Don’t pay for a while and your landlord, along with your home, will get repossessed.

Because that’s the circle of life and how this world runs.

As a landlord I’m not asking for your sympathy; I’m asking for your understanding: We’re all in this economic chain together. It’s not us against them, it’s not landlord versus tenant: this is life. This is the world we live in.

Nothing comes for free. And nobody should expect to live for free. These are difficult times, likely set to get worse. And while there’s calls for more tenant protection and demands to clear tenant debts, I wonder who’s going to clear the landlord debts?

Landlords don’t have magic money trees or stress-free lives. When the shit hits the fan – and it will – the banks will step in and take back their properties. Then, we’ll really have a rental crisis, and it will be the tenants not paying to blame.

Will Covid-19 Spell the End of the Private Landlord?

Will Covid-19 Spell the End of the Private Landlord?

My friend texted me last night about another friend who’d contacted her. Her friend is a landlord of a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and is on her knees, literally. The tenants are not paying the rent and she has to pay the mortgage and all of the utility bills for the property – but with no rent coming in. She’s also been furloughed and is struggling to make ends meet. Trying to pay for this property – where the tenants are not paying – is putting her entire life on a knife-edge, losing her sleep and causing huge arguments with her husband from the financial and emotional stress.

‘What can she do?’ She asked me.

‘Wait’, was my reply. ‘Talk to her bank, her suppliers and explain the situation, and then she has to wait.’

I found my reply to be laughable, ridiculous. How can it be that this landlord is so powerless to do anything?

But that’s what the government did when they slapped a ban on all eviction notices for landlords during coronavirus.

And yes, I get there are some rogue landlords out there, but the vast majority are not. The vast majority of landlords are everyday people trying to make a bit extra, trying to save for a pension, trying to build a future.

The majority of landlords are not big corporations, they are not rich people with money trees at the end of the garden: They are normal people, holding down normal jobs, trying to live normal lives.

The situation makes me so angry and sad because people hate landlords so much. I mean, really fucking detest landlords. And they hate me so much because what?

I didn’t murder anybody.

I’ve never committed a crime.

I’ve never been to jail.

I’ve never even squashed a spider.

But you know why I reckon so many people and the government (clearly) hate me as a landlord: because I rented a property to a tenant and asked them to pay rent for it.

Well, bugger me sideways and piss all over me. I know you want to.

But the thing is, if I owned a shop selling thimbles and a customer came in and wanted one of my thimbles, I’d ask them to pay for it. If they didn’t, the law would protect me. I’m not a free thimble shop, the same way I’m not a free property shop.

But the government don’t understand this. They don’t give two hoots, let alone one flying fig, that the majority of landlords are your everyday Joe’s, normal people who have normal jobs and normal lives. The government, the media and the public have done a grand job demonising landlords and making them into the scapegoat of why the UK has such high property prices.

And it’s not just residential tenants who’re refusing to pay rent – even big blue chip companies are refusing to pay. Much like those big companies who also refuse to pay tax. But the thing that gets me, is some of those commercial places, your local hairdressers or corner shop for example, may be owned by a retired person who invested believing it was good for their pension. They believed the hype. Heck, the government even encourage commercial property investment for your pension via SIPPS. But at the last quarter, only 48% of commercial tenants had paid rent in time and in full. This quarter, it’s set to be even lower.

Again, the government have banned landlords from taking any action.

Now, I’m all for forbearance, showing leniency, understanding and everything else that makes me a human being who’s running a business. But, there has to come a point at which the responsibility shifts. People need to understand actions have consequences – even if you don’t act. If you don’t pay rent, that has consequences.

And maybe for those tenants who haven’t paid rent right now they can breathe easily knowing they can’t be evicted. But what about the landlords who haven’t got any rent coming in? What about the banks who won’t have their loan payments coming in? What about the utility companies? The council tax departments?

This is not just a trickle down. The consequences of this will be trickle up. Then it will be trickle down and down. And when all the hated landlords have gone bust and there’s a lack of property to rent because social housing can’t provide for everyone, maybe then people might remember that old-fashioned thing called a landlord.

The buck has to stop somewhere, is it with YOU?

The buck has to stop somewhere, is it with YOU?

I was talking with a landlord friend this morning who told me their tenant had asked for a 20% rent reduction.

‘What could I say?’ He said.

‘You could have said you’ll defer the rent?’ I suggested.

‘But I don’t want to look like a dick,’ came the reply.

‘But you don’t want to be treated like a dick,’ was my reply.

Unsympathetic?

Uncaring?

Unfeeling?

You can accuse me of whatever you want, but the fact remains, you as a landlord can’t call up your lender with your begging bowl and say ‘Please sir, times are hard, can I pay 20% less?’

Banks are not charities, they are businesses. Landlords are being told to be nice (while removing the legal course to evict a non-paying tenant!). But don’t be fooled by all this nicey-nicey free-money tree, because there’s no free money a-going on anybody’s mortgage. No matter what this government says, there’s no free money for any landlords anywhere.

Extra interest.

That’s the bottom line. Any mortgage holiday you take/ need/ want will only result in more interest being payable or potentially a longer time frame. Either way, it’s more interest you’re paying. There’s no free money.

Let me just repeat that.

NO FREE MONEY.

I didn’t want to appear an uncaring dick with my friend so I finished the call and spoke to my other half. I said, ‘I don’t think they even asked the tenant what cutbacks they’ve made before they agreed to the request to pay less rent. What’s the betting they’ve still got the top broadband package along with all the premium TV channels and latest mobile handset?’

I wanted to say more, but conscious I might appear the biggest prick-dick I didn’t say, ‘And anyhow, who the fuck is still managing to spend 80% of their salary nowadays? There’s nowhere to go and nothing to do, if you can’t budget during these times there’s no hope.’

‘The buck’s gotta stop somewhere,’ she said.

Yeah, I thought, and if you can’t pass the buck to someone else, it obviously stops with you.

So that’s the lesson: Look around. Take note.

tenant property

Are tenants living in a more tenant-like manner during lockdown?

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but it’s eerily quiet on the tenant property repairs and maintenance front right now.

And I can’t help wondering how many problems are getting stored up for the future – or maybe how many issues are unnecessarily reported to begin with?

In a typical week I’d usually get several calls with varying stuff from blocked sinks to broken showers and boilers to sockets not working, leaves blocking the brain and everything in between.

But now, in lockdown?

Nada.

Five weeks on and nothing.

And I really don’t want to be complaining, because I’m not, I’m just curious and anxious how this can be. I mean, I know, I get it, Covid-19, coronavirus contagion yada-yada but still – shit happens. It doesn’t matter if there’s a global pandemic and people dying and getting sick – roofs still leak, sinks still block and boilers still break. The two things are unrelated.

Except.

The other thing I find even weirder about this eerily quiet property maintenance period is that even more tenants are home more than ever and so really the reverse should be true: tenants should be having more maintenance issues because they’re spending more time in their own homes.  

But this doesn’t seem to be the case and I’m trying to figure out why that is – and maybe I’m just theorising here and being hopelessly optimistic, but I can’t help but wonder if people are now fixing things by themselves? Or maybe they’re being more careful to begin with? Or the worst case – maybe they’re just not reporting things right now and at the end of lockdown I’ll get a list as long as Kyle Jenner’s fake eyelashes.

But the truth being is that I’ve never really understood the sheer volume of the bills I have to pay for when it comes to property maintenance. I mean, I live in a property too and I’ve never had half the things go wrong that my tenants have.

And I’ve often speculated is it a lifestyle thing? An attitude thing? A I-own-this-so-I-give-damn-thing?

Take for example the kitchen sink. In my own home, I noticed the water was draining slower than normal. I checked the sink strainer – every household should have one to stop food debris from going down the plughole – but I know, despite my best efforts, grease builds up in the pipes underneath. So as soon as I see the slower moving water I put down Mr Muscle sink and drain unblocker and I keep an eye. I make sure the water swirls away again back to its normal speed, and if it doesn’t, I put more sink unblocker.

I doubt my tenants do that.

And maybe I’m being unfair and maybe their sinks were blocked with different things, but already four times this year I’ve had to shell out for sinks to be unblocked in tenanted properties. I know that because I’ve just done the accounts and I was perturbed by this and what I could do.

Should I start charging the tenants for the call out? How can I prove it was their fat/ food debris that blocked the pipes? Can I implement a rule whereby if a tenant has lived there for at least 12 months the problem must then be theirs? Might they argue it was something else – some sort of underlying fat condition of the pipe?

It’s tricky, trying to prove who’s liable. Personally I’m sceptical whether it’s my bill to pay, but for the good of the landlord-tenant relationship I’ve stumped up and got on.

But now, now I’m not so sure.

Sinks don’t block on their own. Sinks block because people don’t treat the sinkhole with respect. Most likely most of my tenants don’t have strainers. Most likely they don’t wipe the fat off pans and plates before washing. Most likely when the water starts going slow they ignore it. And so the build-up continues and the problem gets worse and worse until the sink blocks.

And then they call me.

Apart from now. Now, during lockdown, it appears tenants can manage property maintenance themselves. They can unblock their own sinks and they can live in a property and sort things themselves, in a tenant-like manner.

Either that or I’ve got a whole bunch of sinks just waiting to be unblocked after lockdown.

The Landlord Nightmare I Never Prepared For.

landlord tenant rent mortgage holiday

As a portfolio landlord, I thought I’d planned for contingencies; I had a rainy day pot for when a couple of boilers broke, a roof needed replacing and an electrical rewire. I had surplus tucked away for a few voids and when some tenants decided they didn’t want to/ couldn’t be bothered to/ had better things to spend their money on, than pay their contracted rent.

I thought I was set for most eventualities.

But, I’ve since realised with a deep, deep sickening realisation, that I’m not: I didn’t plan for most eventualities to happen all at once.

In my many long years of being a landlord, shitty days, shitty weeks and really shitty, shitty months have happened. So much shit has happened sometimes I’ve just opened my eyes and seen a pile of shit.

But before, there always seemed to be an end – no matter how far away – to the pile of shit. Whatever it was, you knew, given enough time, money, stress and grey hairs you would get there. The shit would come and then it would go. The sunshine would show his welcome face again, the shit would dry, you’d brush yourself off and you’d get on.

Until next time.

As I write this, I have the biggest lump in my throat. My heart is beating way too fast and I can feel the panic in my chest. Having just checked the bank and my emails I already have several tenants who’re not going to pay, or who have requested to pay less rent on account of Coronavirus.

I know I need to be understanding. I know we’re all in this shit together. But, I don’t know who’s picking my shit up? And if the shit really hits the fan – what then?

I’ve got a dozen contractors bills on my desk to pay.

Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara showed no mercy.

Covid-19 didn’t give two-fucks I hadn’t quite picked myself up before it hit.

The world has collapsed and I have realised, I am sat atop, a very flimsy and precarious pack of cards.

The interdependencies of this world have been stripped bare. The connections between us all have been revealed. The domino effect of this downfall is frightening.

I know the only way through this it to keep my shit together. I need to get a brush and sweep it up into one big pile and then sort through it faeces by faeces.

This next episode of being a landlord is going to be shit – even more shit than I ever thought it was possible to be before in my most shittest of nightmares.

But right now there’s no escape. There’s no selling up, there’s no getting out, there’s no panic room button to press and leap out.

This time it’s for real. This is the real shit storm I never prepared for, never ever even thought about, and am unsurprisingly, nowhere near ready for.

All I can do is conjure up in my mind the biggest shit shovel I can imagine and start digging.

Fast.

While Everybody’s Panicking About Covid-19 The Banks Are Doing The Dirty (Again).

My friend emailed last night asking advice about a property she really wants to buy. She can’t see inside (due to social distancing rules/ lockdown), but she has seen a virtual tour.

She asked me what I’d do.

I said, I’d wait.

And then I wondered if I was being a fearful-fretster who’d never amount to the towering heights of the riches property investors are promised and worried some more.

Didn’t Warren Buffet say you have to be greedy when others are fearful?

So I emailed her again and said maybe I was just being too risk-averse, but obviously it was only my opinion.

She thanked me for my email and said: I need a mortgage; do you think I’d be able to get one now if the surveyor’s aren’t able to value?

I replied she should check in with the estate agents about that and how it works. And then for good measure I started to google it.

And that’s when I learned while everybody’s focus is on Covid-19, the banks are pulling their products leaving huge numbers of consumers unable to get onto a better deal.

It’s not something that’s been widely reported. I mean, who really cares that Halifax has stopped all lending above 60%, that Barclays has pulled many products and stopped buy-to-let lending, and that since 19 March 2020 three lenders have pulled their entire mortgage ranges on 80% LTV or above. It got a bit more airtime yesterday when Nationwide withdrew all its mortgages over 75% LTV. And I’m sure there’ll be more to come in the next few days and weeks.

But, still, I don’t think people really get how stuck they’re going to be when the banks have decided not to lend, unless you’ve got a chunky stash of equity. And I get it that banks are reassessing their risks and working out what to do.

But what about consumers who are trying to re-assess and re-mortgage?

What about people who are now going to be trapped into more expensive deals because the banks have suddenly decided to re-evaluate?

What about consumers who are trying to re-evaluate their lives with dropped income, lost jobs and God knows what else to come?

The Bank of England base rate was cut – in an emergency measure – to 0.1%. The lowest in its 325-year history for a reason. It was meant to help the economy, and in theory, the little people. Because – despite all the fame and glory of big businesses – it’s the little people that make up the big economy.

It’s pitiful that banks, yet again, get to change the rules overnight and consumers, yet again, get to suck it all up.

I Have A Dirty Secret…I Am A Landlord.

landlords are scum

*Shush*

Please don’t say it too loud.

I don’t want anybody to hear you.

But, let me reassure you; I have never committed a crime. I have never killed anybody and I have never slept with my own father.

I know, that’s probably not what you expected.

Most people think I’m scum, shit of the earth, a parasite. I, (according to a lady I spoke to at a party recently) am (single-handedly, I believe) responsible for why she will never buy her own property and why the whole property market is fucked.

If only.

If only, I had so much power and control and importance.

Impotence is a better term, but then, that’s a phrase only other landlords who are in this business would understand.

They’re in on it. My dirty secret. Our dirty secret. Of having a rental property.

I think maybe having herpes or gonorrhea or my face covered in weeping pus would be more socially acceptable than admitting I own more than my own house and I rent it out for *shock-horror* a profit.

Profits are not acceptable.

Profiting from somebody else living in your property is not a done thing. It is not an acceptable thing.

Unless you’re talking to the bank, about a mortgage or a loan. Then your profits are never enough, and maybe they’ll just not include them anyway, because, according to their latest too-small-to-read-small-print, property income is not eligible as income.

Not what the tax man thinks.

He wants all of the income, plus doesn’t believe having a mortgage is a valid operating business expense. Unless of course you own the property through a company, then that is OK. Having a property business is acceptable, being a landlord is not. Even in the eyes of HMRC.

That’s how far and deep this hatred runs.

Of course, landlords are big, rich people, so it doesn’t matter.

They’re not people like you. They’re not people like your neighbours or your family, or your friends or someone you know, who may own another property they rent out to fund their pension or lack of trust in the stock-market. No, they’re different. They have their own reasons you fully accept for them doing that.

They’re not proper landlords.

Landlords proper are cretinous beings who feed off other better people. Better people who should be able to live where they want at the price they want to pay.

Not people like me. I am a landlord. People like me don’t deserve to exist. That’s what I’ve read on social media.

Any other sector and you’d call it bullying. But if you’re a landlord there’s no such thing: You’re fair game. Say what you like. Even the politicians condone it.

The hatred is socially acceptable. Encouraged even.

And that’s why I have to keep it a secret: I am a landlord.