The Landlady is wheeler-dealing

It is all well and good to have the brilliant idea of rejuvenating one’s previous career as a property tycoon, but not so great when you do not have a penny to start with. I did have some savings, but the end of January and a massive tax bill loom. Furthermore and rather annoyingly, the central heating system in one of my flats is sucking in more air than Russell Grant doing a light fandango, and therefore has to be replaced at the princely sum of (I reckon) around £3,000. I could do some of the work myself, but would be so slow that summer would be over before the system was installed.

“My own children would sooner stand naked in a freezing hailstorm than listen to my property aspirations”

That’s just about the sum total of my savings inhaled into a non-returnable vacuum. Although my late mum’s house is now up for sale, I am dubious about it selling before it slips soundlessly into a disused mine shaft, which quite often happens in Stoke-On-Trent. I have therefore had to wrack the little brain I have left to work out how to raise some money, without getting into any more debt. After much rumination, I decided to sell one of my two remaining rental properties in Brighton, release a chunk of equity for development and move the mortgage to a smaller, but more or less equal rent-demanding studio flat. You have to admit that this is a stroke of genius. It must be, because it’s taken me eight years and endless bottles of wine to come up with it. My friend Katy, who is far cleverer than I, thinks it’s a brilliant idea and I’ll blither on endlessly about it to anyone who’ll listen, which is actually not many people, especially not those who will ultimately benefit from it.

I am cast back to the heady years of the mid- to late-’90s when I embarked on my first bout of property developing. My ex-husband would visibly blanch, then swoon with boredom when I started to recount my days spent romping beneath some floorboards with raw sewerage seeping onto my head.

Nowadays, my own children, who will benefit substantially when I die, would sooner stand naked in a freezing hailstorm than listen to my property aspirations. The other day, for example, I came bounding into the living room full of tales of a ‘turner’ I’d found in Hove.

The Big Daughter actually smiled beatifically and I thought she was sharing in my joy until I realised that she’d just received a text from a friend asking her to go for dinner at Nando’s.

The Big Son is more canny – possibly hoping to protect his inheritance – and appears to be taking in my every word, until I realise that he’s wearing a tiny headphone in one ear and is actually watching a cage fight on his lap top out of the corner of his eye. It’s a good job I’ve got Katy on speed dial.

Related topics:

Leave a Comment

Related Articles