Published by Alethea (15 October 2020)
Available in ebook
Source: ecopy received for review
ABOUT THE BOOK
Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.
Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.
But the real life of a professional landlord is very different to what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.
This explosive front line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, The Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.
This is the truth, the other side of the door.
My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but I was particularly drawn to this book for personal reasons. My partner is a landlord and rents out one property. We have been lucky so far. We’ve had the same tenants for over 5 years; they pay their rent on time and they look after the property very well. In return, they get a property that is well maintained and kept safe. The main frustration is the ever changing Government legislation – which quite honestly, sometimes makes no sense. I was therefore extremely interested to read about someone else’s point of view. There have been plenty of TV programmes and publicity about rogue landlords – I was interested to hear about the other side. The landlord who follows the law, does the right thing and still gets screwed over.
The Secret Landlord, or ‘SL’ as they are known throughout the book discloses at the beginning that they never planned to be a landlord but rather fell into it by circumstance. They also freely admit that in the 20 years of being a landlord, the downs have pushed them close to a breakdown, they are constantly having to juggle finances – being a landlord is not a route to riches for everyone, despite what some people may think
The book is set out in diary form, beginning in April to the end of the year but in fact recounts not only consecutive events from that particular time but includes other anecdotes. Tenants are not named but referred to by colours, for example Mr Pink – the elderly gentlemen whose dementia made it impossible for him to continue living in his flat and who fell between the cracks of the inadequate social care system was one such case where SL went out of their way to try and get him the care he needed when his family were not too bothered.
Tenants who trash their flats leaving thousands of pounds worth of damage, or do a runner whilst owing rent, or make false allegations or those who commit identity theft – SL has to deal with all this and more. Some really are nightmares – it does make you wonder why anyone would choose to put themselves through this!
It’s not just tenants that are a challenge to deal with, Council officials who make promises to get tenants housed and then renege on the deal, or the difficulties of the legal system when trying to evict troublesome tenants.
It’s not all bad, there are the good ones, the tenants who appreciate the property and who are a pleasure to deal with.
The book is written in a very forthright manner – It is however extremely readable and I found it really interesting – not only to read about the good and the bad side of renting but also there are useful little nuggets of information. This is not a ‘how to rent book’ however but more about twenty years of drama, bad judgements and bad luck and the effect it has had on their health and well being.
“Now I know everybody will take you for a sucker if you let them. You can show no weakness in this business”
It was both a thought provoking and entertaining read – definitely a book to read if you thinking of taking a step into the rental business as a landlord.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Secret Landlord has been renting, refurbishing and selling properties across the UK for almost two decades. An award winning landlord, as judged by the National Landlords Association, The Secret Landlord has provided accommodation for hundreds of tenants from all walks of life.