Wednesday, December 21, 2011

respect, responsibility, property, tenants and landlords

For better or worse, people define themselves by what they have and what they do.

People have nice cars, or a motorbike, around which everything else revolves.

Some people are mothers and that’s how they identify themselves. Look at Facebook. There are so many women who are no longer themselves. Their profile picture is either their child, or them and their child. I find this intriguing, but I digress.

A lot of people live, breath and eat with the sole purpose of buying a house, then once they have it, they live, breath and eat with the sole purpose or paying the house off. I think this is a bit of an empty life, but “to each his own”, as some old person once said.
I think I am in a reasonably unusual position in life right now, as I am a landlord and a tenant at the same time. This has given me some insights into respect and responsibility.

The house I have lived in for the last three years is in a really nice spot, but it leaves a fair bit to be desired regarding upkeep. In short, the landlord is a tight-arse.

When my tenants ask for something to be fixed, it gets fixed. I’ve never said no. My landlord let our place be let out with a front door that wouldn’t close. Luckily I inherited a little practicality from dad and was able to fix the door, but this was just an indication of the strained relationship we’d have with the landlord throughout our tenancy.

The landlord served a Notice to Vacate recently (in the same week I was made redundant – another story entirely) which requires us to leave the property by mid-January! Merry Christmas pregnant couple! He clearly had spared no thought for our situation, but again, this was not out of character.

So we set about house hunting. We quickly found a much better house, in the same street, for the same price. Understandably we were pretty happy. Imagine our absolute delight when we were informed that the landlord is getting a gang of tradespeople in to do maintenance, repairs and cleaning, in preparation for our tenancy.

This is how things should be. My baby will come home to a clean, freshly painted house with new carpets! Perfect!

Now, a final word on respect.  My street is a nice street all-in-all. One of the things that makes it nice are the pubs. There are two within two hundred metres and one on a side street, plus a couple of restaurants. This means our street serves as access for foot traffic. For some reason someone, or a few people, get a bit of a thrill out of kicking or bashing car mirrors in ours and adjoining streets. I don’t understand! I’m glad I haven’t caught them in the act, as it makes me so angry I have to stay out of the house for a while. I think I could get into trouble or killed, depending on how many and how big the mother-f%#@ers are.

I’m not sure if it’s comforting that I am not the only one who has had this happen, or whether it just illustrates a real lack of respect.

What is the world coming to? (as another old pessimistic person once said)

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