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.
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.
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.