Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Rental Doors Open for the Single Man; the Accidental Landlord Finicky Females Don't Make the Best of Tenants -- for Victoria Whitlock It's the Fuss-Free and Lazy Bachelors Who Take the First Prize

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Rental Doors Open for the Single Man; the Accidental Landlord Finicky Females Don't Make the Best of Tenants -- for Victoria Whitlock It's the Fuss-Free and Lazy Bachelors Who Take the First Prize

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Whitlock

CLOSE YOUR eyes and imagine your ideal tenants. I bet you're picturing a couple in their thirties, professional, middle-class and preferably nonsmoking.

Am I right? Thought so.

So you might be surprised to hear that my favourite tenants are bachelor boys. Oh shut up all you women shrieking that I'm a traitor to my sex. I've rented to loads of women and will probably let to lots more but, on balance, I prefer men. I'm just saying.

My first ever tenant was a young bachelor and I admit I freaked when the letting agent told me the guy had put in an offer on the flat. I thought the place would be trashed within weeks. "He'll have all-nighters, the neighbours will complain, he'll never clean the loo, the place will be squalid -- I want a girl!" I wailed.

The letting agent reassured me that male tenants didn't deserve their bad press and he was right, because this guy was brilliant. He was in my flat for a year, always paid the rent on time and kept the place immaculate. In fact, the only time it started to look a bit shabby was when his girlfriend moved in.

What I really liked about him, and most of my single male tenants, is they rarely complain. If something isn't right -- a lock breaks, the door handle sticks or the loo seat works its way loose-- generally speaking they deal with it or just ignore it. Women, on the other hand, demand perfection and if they don't get it, they're not afraid to kick up a fuss.

Admittedly my difficulty with female tenants, especially the younger ones, lies largely with myself. I think I'm inclined to mollycoddle them. Take the other night for example. A sweet girl who has been renting from me for a couple of months called in a bit of a flap, just as I was sitting down to dinner.

She said there was an unpleasant burning smell in the kitchen, and it was obvious from her tone that she wanted me to go round and check it out. …

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