This week I’d thought I’d give you a rest from the technical side of landlording to give you an insight into being a landlord in the 21st century.
What’s the ‘day to day’ all about?
The week started for me on a high. I went along to catch the pioneers of ‘Brit Pop’ Blur on one of their gigs on the reportedly final (honestly) tour. It was a trip down memory lane all played out in the intimate surroundings of Wolverhampton Civic Hall. Surrounded by a parade of middle aged “indie” kids I was left admiring the energy of front man Damon Albam and the band but also thinking that Rock N’ Roll is and should be a young mans game. Rock N’ Roll like all aspects of modern life has undergone massive changes over the last 20 years. Who would have thought that music is once again all about the ‘live experience’. The digital age has heralded uncertainty and change that make all of us unsure about what the future holds.
Battle with the Planners continues
After the highs of Monday night it’s back to reality. I arrived back in Nottingham to be faced by the fact that my battle with the Town Planners wasn’t going to end any time soon. Not unexpectedly my planning application had been refused again. This has opened me up to another 12 months period for me to appeal the decision and also with the new Governments more relaxed attitude to granting planning permission will really mean. The approval of the new Planning Framework at the end of March with a nod to a presumption in favour of sustainable development should give me a bit more of a sporting chance in winning my subsequent appeal though.
Attack of the Triffids
I don’t know about other landlords but this weather is causing havoc with my landscaping. To compound things my trusty gardener Julie has thrown in the towel and joined the salaried ranks working in a housing association. I can’t blame her. It’s tough out there trying to run your own business but having known her through a large part of my landlord career. This taming of a ‘Freebird’, a rocking woman who rides a 1300 cc super bike and hangs out with Hells Angels is a little sad. But life moves on and not evolving just like the middle age “indie kids” at the Blur gig is sad in it’s own way.
The good news is that my Energy Performance Certificate has finally been carried out. In the end I caved in to the pressure from the letting agents who maintained that they were going to stop marketing my buy-to-let without one. Despite me knowing the owner of the business it was clear that personal contacts were only going to go so far. The letting agent had offered to do it for me for £75. I politely declined and found someone local who presented me with a spanking report for just £47.
Letting my property is not happening
As I’ve mentioned before I’m in the process of relocating to Sheffield, which means letting out my current apartment. Unfortunately, it’s not happening. I know why. I’ve not been taking my own advice and my apartment has been left as a semi tip! This combined with the fact that the front garden looks like a small piece of the Amazon rain forest I’m not surprised the prospective tenants aren’t flocking to take up the letting. I’m currently looking at getting in a gardener to tidy up the garden and I might even get the whole thing paved over to create a parking space. This way I can retain my garage and potentially rent it out separately to make extra income as I’ve done with other garages attached to maisonettes that I own.
Rock ‘N” Roll
So I started the week with a little bit of sanitised Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I end the week thinking that at approaching 45 my current lifestyle is less ordered and more chaotic and yes, more exciting than ever. The one constant is that as those older and wiser pointed out 20 years ago when I started my landlording journey: “at least I have my properties”. So despite the banking crisis, an internet revolution and the possible demise of the Euro there should always be a demand for bricks and mortar and the property I rent out. This means that despite this chaotic and uncertain world, I still sleep well at night. How about you?