Buy to Let & Letting

You May Have Been Dumped On – But Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining (Even If It Does Smell Like SH!T)

You know when a tenant demands to be evicted and you do not bow to their bribery and threats the story is never going to have a happy ending.

Of course, I could’ve given in.  I could’ve issued the notices, started the court action and all that malarkey which would make me a bad landlord and the tenant a good-for-nothing winner.

And so I didn’t do any of the things I “could’ve done”: I stood tall.  I stood strong.  And I stood proud.


“I am the landlord and I will not be threatened, bribed or anything else.  You are my tenant and this is my property.  You want another house – go and find it yourself” was my mentality.

And so I have ignored the tenants.

Which has gone surprisingly well.

And then last week I got a text:  “We have left the property” was all it said.

Well, that was no great surprise – I had it on my list that at some point they would do a flit – but at least they had the courtesy to inform me.  And I thought they were being even more courteous when they said they would drop the keys off.

Of course they didn’t.

They couldn’t give a rats arse about returning my keys.

So I have given them 4 days and then I sent my guys round to check the property over.

The results were as expected: not great.

And it always delights me the way tradesmen have a way with words, and what I would call a distinct lack of empathy when it comes to delivering bad news:

“Sam, I have got to be honest with you it is a complete dump.  No worse, than that – it is a shit tip.  It stinks and there are flies and rubbish and shit EVERYWHERE”

And he violently coughs down the phone and in-between caught grasps of breath, he intricately describes the bile and mucus forming in his throat because of the state of the property which is affecting his ability to talk coherently.

And my eyebrows raise, because what else can you do when you are sat at the other end of the phone.

“Have you ever seen that TV programme Grimefighters, Sam?”


I sigh in reply.

“Sam, it’s like the properties you see on Grimefighters…NO WORSE!!!”

I sigh louder: “So are you going to be my Grimefighter” I question

“NOT A CHANCE!! I can’t even STAND being in here IT’S SOOOOOOOO BAD!!”

“OK” I reply patiently “Well why don’t you take me some photos and then I can see the damage for myself” and you have to imagine that reply said in the genre of and-now-do-be-a-good-boy-and-run-along-dear… which is just about how patronising I felt.

But I had to get to the heart of the matter.

And, I have to confess to you – I was pretty concerned.  Because, dear Reader, what I did not confess in the previous instalment of this terrible tenant, was the issues I have had over the years with this tenant and the amount of loose rubbish and dog faeces.  In fact, the issues have got so bad even the council have got involved.

But I soon put paid to that when I gave the tenant a good talking to – which involved every party understanding my property is not a F**KING dumping ground for their shit.  Literally.

And so the problem, in recent times had got sorted.

However – I knew what these tenants were capable of and so the level of shit was of concern to me.

So I have waited with baited breath while my guy emailed me the photos and I kid you not I just laughed.

I laughed.

Seriously – is he having me on?


This is what you call “BAD”

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And so I called him and I said: “Mr J, thank you for your scare tactics – I think you were trying to use some sort of reverse psychology on me and it worked; the property is not that bad!”

And he replied: “But, Sam, my camera has not got smelly-vision or fly-vision and that’s really what you need to appreciate just HOW BAD it is”.

And I sighed in reply as I thought to myself: “Yes, I am right, tradesmen just lack that glimpse of a silver lining which every landlord needs to cling on to”.

  1. Simon

    This made me laugh! I had a tenant that collected all their cat poo for 2 years and hid it around the patio in bags. Luckily not in the house though, unless you count the bit on the ceiling…

  2. Heidi

    I really like your stories! I am not a landlord, but I can appreciate your position. I have been a tenant for a long time & have never had any problems with any landlords in the past & always treat others property like my own, maybe even better. I have seen how some live & I was excpecting the pictures to be worse although they wernt scratch n sniff. It was a mess don’t get me wrong but I expected shit EVERYWHERE, I hope that never happens to you 🙂

    1. Sam

      You are lovely thank you. The photos didn’t look bad, but you know it appears I was falsely optimistic as it’s costing me over £2k to get the property back together…they are still working in there now. Bit sad about that 🙁

  3. No Nonsense Landlord

    Definitely a problem with low income tenants. I have gotten out of the low income area, to let someone else, or the government handle them.

    More rent, less hassles, less pests (bedbugs, cockroaches, mice), less work.

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