The Landlady finds a damp outlook

It is quite unbelievable that it should happen again, but Katy and I are experiencing problems with our tenants in Hastings. They have not paid their rent for two months and when challenged by the letting agent claimed that the front wall in the living room is damp. I am fully aware of this problem, have spent the earlier part of this year organising the rectification of it and have had to let the wall dry out before it can be re-plastered. The tenants are au fait with all this, yet are using it as a flimsy excuse not to pay their rent. I am going over to Hastings today to show the decorators what they have to do and am not looking forward to having a contretemps with the tenants. They are claiming housing benefit for the property and, rather than paying the money directly to the letting agent, the council are paying it directly to the tenant. At least with our old difficult tenant, the council were paying us rent during the whole time our tenant was systematically deconstructing our flat…

“While I was away my dad set the airing cupboard on fire and destroyed the heating system”

Katy, it has to be said, is blissfully unaware of the current situation as, when I first got wind of it, she was about to go on holiday to Mexico and I didn’t want the glad tidings to spoil her holiday. It rather reminds me of the time I went to the Canary Islands on holiday, leaving my parents – both then very much alive – in my London flat looking after my children. While I was away, my dad, while tinkering with some wires unnecessarily, had set the airing cupboard on fire, destroyed the heating system and almost raised the entire block to the ground. However, when I telephoned to make sure all was well, I was assured that indeed it was and there was nothing to worry about. In retrospect, I was rather glad that I didn’t know and have therefore employed the same tactic with Katy. I am hoping that I will have sorted out the situation by the time she gets home.

All this rent evasion by tenants does not bode well for my trying to finance the purchase of a house in Spain. I am not having a great deal of luck with lenders so far as the first one I contacted via the internet snootily claimed not to be interested in lending any less than £250,000. I only want to borrow about a quarter of that and felt like telling them that you could buy the whole of Spain with that amount at the moment – with a bit
of Italy thrown in for good measure…

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