I don't write much about my work, mainly due to the fact that, as an Estate Agent, I normally expect to be hung, drawn and quartered by simply mentioning what I do. However the Lettings business is rather to the forefront of the news at the moment, what with the changes in benefits and the supposed tightening of regulations within the industry ~ and I thought it was time to write something from "our" side.
The company I work for deals mainly with lettings ~ and in a town such as the one in which I work this can involve an extremely varied client base. The majority of our clients don't work and are therefore in receipt of Housing Benefit and if I am honest, we break them into 2 sets ~ The Non Scrotes and the Scrotes.
There is no need for me to describe the Non Scrotes ~ they are nice, normal people who neither cause problems, nor get involved in them. We like these tenants.
The Scrotes are the tenants who make me want to go and live in the Outer Hebrides on a Goat Farm. They lie, they cheat and they cause us problems. They think nothing of falling behind on their rent, and invariably vacate properties leaving a trail of debts and broken promises. But we aren't supposed to mind because, well, that's our job isn't it?
My job is, theoretically, to rent out decent houses to decent people, but this doesn't always happen. Landlords think nothing of giving us houses that no self respecting rat would live in, and then scream blue murder when we don't find them a tenant instantly. I even asked a landlord once whether he would consider living in a house that leaked like a sieve, had vermin in the yard and damp blossoming on every surface ~ he was horrified "Of course I wouldn't, I'm not stupid" he said ~ I silently handed him photos of the house he has described as a "palace" and said, "well, maybe you should do some repairs".
On the other hand, tenants come in demanding 4 bedrooms, en suite, garden and garage parking for under £500 per month "Or maybe more, the housing are paying y'see" and when we ask them to pay the first months rent up front (Housing Benefit pay in arrears) they look at you as though you are insulting their first born.
I even had a chap stagger into the office the other day (leaving the door open, always nice when you're on a main road) and say.. "Do I have to have a job to get a house?"..
Or the woman who posted on Facebook that "she didn't wanna be payin no stupid fees and rent" ~ we don't run a charity Love, we run a business..
Anyway, if anyone wants a job in the Lettings business... Try being a traffic warden for 6 months and if you can hack it then start sending your C.V ~ but not to me OK? I'll be in the Outer Hebrides with the goats...