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?