Being a landlord is both about heart-wrenching, bank account emptying lows and the joys of being your own boss, free from office huddles and long commutes, isn’t it?

But does this, along with the daily grind of property and tenant management really make for any more than an amusing blog or good pub anecdotes?

One landlord, who wants to remain anonymous under the alias The Secret Landlord, has decided to test the water on this front and has written a considerable tome called Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord as an e-book to be published on Amazon next month.

She’s called ‘SL’ in the book and appears to have a long-suffering partner unimpressed by her 24/7 landlording hi jinks, and says she came to the industry via the ‘accidental’ route. And now she wants to tell her story.

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A pre-publication review copy has made its way to the LandlordZONE offices.

To someone who has no experience of the private rental sector, the £4.99 book will be a shocking revelation as a cast of bailiffs, tenants, estate agents, council officers, squatters and police officers both light up and darken her doorways.

But to any landlord who has operated in the more budget end of the PRS, much of this book will be familiar.

The Secret Landlord endures selling a property at auction, dealing with dopey tenants (all of which are given colours rather than names, to avoid libel action), solving extreme and often disgusting property management issues, being ripped off by chancer tenants and fending off complaints about damp.

Financial nirvana?

All in all, she has realised too late that being a professional landlord isn’t the lifestyle and financial nirvana the ‘property educator’ courses often promise.

The book is in a ‘daily diary’ format covering approximately a year, although in reality it’s several decades of drama boiled down to 12 months.

But it’s really a tale of lost innocence. She frequently comments that renting out homes has decimated her trust in the human race, helped her develop rhinocerically thick skin and slowly whittled away at her ability to give anyone favours.

“Before being a landlord I was a nice person and I trusted people but instead I now realise you can’t show any weakness,” she says.
It’s a sentiment most landlords will recognise.

Pre-order it here.

Read more landlord books on Amazon

8 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like the perfectly landlord biased read one would come to expect. Just waiting for the praise for those of us who pay on time and are fined off by landlords who will do nothing to mend anything they have responsibility for; just serving notice.

    • I do feel for tenants that have a “bad landlord”. However, I’ve been a tenant myself for several years & I found that the answer for me when I was in that situation was to just move to a property with a decent landlord. It really wasn’t difficult, although then I did have to save some money for a bigger deposit than that of today.

    • Most sad to hear that Anna, I have been a landlord for over 20 years, and serving notice is the last thing I ever want to do. I often say that when moving into one of my homes, that provided it is looked after, and the rent is paid then they can stay there for as long as the like, its better than a council property because the PRS area is so much more regulated than social housing. However, I have numerous experiences of tenants that have high expectations and expect everything done for them. For example, when a tenant has blocked their sink and is screaming blue murder down the phone that they want someone out NOW, it really does not help. The most important thing for both parties is to work together, I never understand why landlords do not conduct repairs as it costs alot more to evict a tenant and then deal with a void period whilst finding a new one. In conclusion, I agree with the comment by JC, finding the correct landlord is as important as finding the correct property. If you find yourself constantly disagreeing, its simpler to move on than stick with a landlord who is just causing you stress, as the situation – in my twenty years experience – will never get to a good point. Things may improve, but only until the next issue.

  2. We treat decent tenants with consideration and respect. However, over the last twelve years we can count the number of decent tenants on the fingers of one hand – and that is across 5 flats in a converted townhouse. The number of tenants over that time is numbered in the twenties, so the proportion of decent tenants (merely those who pay what they agreed to pay, do not attack or upset other tenants or neighbours, and do not commit crimes in or from the property) is rather small. The biggest proportion of nightmare tenants came from the local council’s homeless scheme (which we will never, ever assist again) and included scenarios featuring drugs of every sort, four-foot-high piles of dirty clothing, faeces and vomit, a machete-wielding lunatic, a complete and utter disregard for the truth or any ethics whatsoever, and endless excuses about why it was far more important to have a huge television and Christmas presents for the kids instead of paying the bills. Whilst we live in a house that has less heating than any of our rental properties, has a leaking roof in at least two places, and much of our income from self-employment goes to support the rental properties which now do not make enough rent to pay their mortgages. So when a defaulting, lying, drug-using tenant owing over £4000 in rent arrears tells us that we are ‘throwing me out on the f**king street’ you might wonder why we did not simply bash her over the head with a blunt instrument and be done with it. I’ll tell you why – I simply can’t face any MORE paperwork…

    • Very true Alexandra, I gave up using the Council homeless scheme, after giving people numerous ‘second chances’ only to understand why, in the end, they needed more chances.

      The councils support of such tenants is diabolical, to be honest the best solution in these instances would be for the council to rent the properties (your agreement would be direct with the council) and they deal with the tenants themselves. After all they have the infrastructure do so.

      The last time I did help the homeless section out, it ended with a tenant telling me I should employ a mental health support team that he could contact. Sadly, this individual did not need mental health support, as he was perfectly able to file court documents against me, hardly the action of a so called ‘vulnerable adult’. Fortunately the case was dismissed from court, but only after 12 very long months, and enormous stress and abuse at the hands of an individual who wanted a financial payout.

      The council do not want to deal with these individuals because they know all too well exactly what their like.

  3. I’ll tell all LL and anyone else that will listen to the most sensible comment I make about how to transform the PRS for the better.

    To change the repossession process in cases only of RENT DEFAULTING

    To adopt the Australian eviction process which works very quickly where tenants default on rent.

    There tenants are removed by the LL with Police assistance if necessary 14 days after first rent default if that is what the LL wishes.

    As far as I am aware there is no outcry in Australian society which suggests this is an incorrect policy.

    So a fair policy that doesn’t effectively allow rent defaulting occupants to remain only for 14 days.
    This is what Australian society believes.

    Having such a policy in the UK would transform the UK PRS for the better.

    It would for a start allow LL to take on almost any sort of tenant knowing they could get rid of them very quickly if they defaulted on rent fir 14 days.

    I doubt anyone in UK society would consider that an incorrect policy policy apart from the usual lefties who believe LL should pay for feckless tenants.

    Just this change would make the PRS a far better place for all.

    Of course it will never happen but in light of the UK’s soon to be new trading partner the UK could learn a lot from how Australia does business especially in the PRS.

    The UK Govt must stop adopting or enhancing policies that facilitates feckless tenants abusing LL.

  4. All in all, she has realised too late that being a professional landlord isn’t the lifestyle and financial nirvana the ‘property educator’ courses often promise.

    If you want the real parasites, its these so call property educators.

    Honestly, those courses should be banned, and will someone please tell the sunday supplements to stop printing articles of a similar nature.

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