The Landlady’s estate of mind…

I have taken my flat off the market, much to the delight of my current tenant, who wants to stay there for a long time. I am still hoping to purchase and renovate a flat I’ve found in Hove, as my confidence has been given a bit of ballast by the fact that I might one day inherit some of the proceeds of my late mum’s estate. I’ve always thought the word ‘estate’ conjures up, quite inaccurately, leafy vistas of ivy-clad Downton Abbey-style grandeur, not the double-glazed 1940s semi that it actually is. If the Midlands market is sticking a little, then my mum’s house is positively super-glued in place. My children, who are also due an equal share in the proceeds of the estate, are not allowed their part until they are 25, but at this rate, they will be lucky to inherit in time to pay their own care-home fees, let alone mine!

“Estate conjures up leafy vistas, not a 1940s semi”

Of course, both of my older offspring still reside, albeit fairly invisibly, at Landlady Towers (much to the annoyance of my ex-husband who thinks they ought to have left by now). I always point out that, although most of The Big Daughter’s friends left home four years ago, they are now living back home brandishing a degree, a £30K debt and bugger-all hope of gainful employment, which I wouldn’t wish upon any of my children, much as they annoy me. I am also rather relived that they haven’t gone away to leave me in peace, only to return four years later as more irritating know-it-alls. The Big Daughter is saving to go to Australia at the end of the year and the Big Son swears he’ll be gone by the time he’s 25, leaving myself and the Small Daughter – who by then will be big – to downsize, rent out more of Landlady Towers and have an easy life.

This is all highly theoretical as a lot can happen in three years. I am still keen on doing a bit of property wheeler-dealing over the next couple of years, but it all seems to be dependent on two factors, the first being whether the economic climate will allow me my wishes and the second being whether I can be bothered to switch the telly off and get on with it!

During a brief half-hour of frantic activity last week, I telephoned one of my mortgage providers in order to arrange a re-mortgage on the Brighton flat I was recently trying to sell. After a very brief conversation, it was surmised that they could lend me a further £37k on the property, which will make a hefty deposit. It will also mean that my annual tax bill will go down. All I have to do then is to secure a new buy-to-let mortgage, which is apparently more difficult than it was ten years ago. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Illustration: Jake McDonald

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