Fucking landlords

I’m running a bath. I’m knackered. I get to come back here, to my home, and take care of myself.

My friends have been paying rent at an astonishing rate for 17 years in order to live in London. They have paid the landlord’s mortgage and then some. The bank wouldn’t give them a mortgage so they just had to pay somebody else’s, so they did, and they made it work despite both being self employed because the banks know fuck all about being self employed. But the landlord has a new wife and she is only seeing money regarding the flat so they got their notice, originally to leave on the 23rd December, two days before Christmas. That’s fucking Dickensian. They got it pushed back to tomorrow. Despite being in good standing for so long, still they are being treated like a problem and thrown out onto the street. Why? Greed. Because this woman can’t legally put the rent up to what she’s told it can be all in one go. She’s having smoke blown up her arse by estate agents. Greedy greedy nasty piggy. And it’s happening all over London. All over England.

Estate agents are playing a game about “not enough properties on the market” so they can trick potential tenants into joining a silent auction type bidding war, often just against themselves but manipulating the dialogue to make it feel like everybody is looking. Advantage the owner. Advantage the money. Always. Forever. So many of my friends are losing their rented properties to this greed and these entitled people. It is so deeply unfair. My friends weren’t allowed the mortgage, so they’ve paid the equivalent anyway and come away with nothing, while the landlord who has benefitted feels like it is their right to do what they please because they had the luck to inherit the “asset” or the means to purchase it.

I’ve got this property thanks to mum dying. Leasehold, but it’s mine to live in until I’m about 72 and then it goes back to the Royal Hospital unless I can pay all the money in the world to extend it. That’s a huge privilege, and I’m told it makes it completely impossible for me to understand any other form of less fortunate living arrangement. I’m not sure I buy into the idea that empathy is only possible through lived experience, because most of these situations experienced by so many of my friends leave me angry and preoccupied on their behalf. I hope that it is possible to empathise outside of your own circumstances. If it genuinely isn’t then why do books exist? This whole UK housing situation is impossible. What can be done to rejig late stage capitalism so that the hoarders don’t just sit on bags of money while everyone else starves?

They’ve rented a place nearby and blown loads of money on a van and people to help. I’m one of the people. They’ve been good friends to me and pushed me towards good things. They’ve been incredibly beneficial in their borough. Often they work directly for their council, building events and bringing culture to dead buildings, brightening the streets and improving the general mood and mental health of the people of Southwark. They do great work, but there’s nobody there to help them when they get turfed out onto the streets if they can’t pay rent that nobody sane would countenance. The whole of Central London is going to be a personality desert. Most of it already is. And the rest of the country… Greed and the basic shitness of this expensive and stupid isolated failed state after decades of AWFUL leadership… Anywhere else… Time to go. Even back to The Isle of Man would be better than here in the pot of shite.

Anyway, I’m getting in my expensive bath and languishing with Rose Soap and candles, before I get into a bed with expensive mattress and electric blanket, there to sleep the night below an ormolu crest. Privileged? Moi?

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

2 thoughts on “Fucking landlords”

  1. Of all the skewed economic factors that make up the modern UK, breaking the link between earnings and house prices is perhaps the hardest to understand. I say perhaps, because virtually ceasing manufacturing is a strange economic strategy.

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