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.