Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Here's a Hot Tip, Folks -- Learn Some Manners; Victoria Whitlock Is Last to Know Her Tenant Is Moving out. Short-Tempered in the Summer Heat, She's Tempted to Teach Him a Lesson.The Accidental Landlord

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Here's a Hot Tip, Folks -- Learn Some Manners; Victoria Whitlock Is Last to Know Her Tenant Is Moving out. Short-Tempered in the Summer Heat, She's Tempted to Teach Him a Lesson.The Accidental Landlord

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Whitlock

THERE I was, waiting patiently to find out whether a tenant wanted to renew his lease which expires next month, when I received an email from a letting agent asking for a reference for him.

Evidently, this tenant has agreed to rent a flat from the agent and given him my details without having the decency to tell me first that he is moving out. How very rude.

I wonder how this chap -- or indeed any tenant -- would have felt if I'd emailed him to say I'd re-let the flat to someone else without telling him I was terminating his lease? Pretty miffed, I should think.

Also, he has completely ignored the condition in his contract that states he must give two months' notice before he leaves -- he's planning to move out in less than five weeks and he hasn't given me any official notice yet.

I've half a mind to teach him some manners and make him wait a little while for that reference. I might just temporarily overlook it until I'm in a better mood.

Okay, okay, I admit it, I'm just sulking because it's hot, it's the school holidays AND I've got a wedding to organise, so what with the kids to ferry around London, meetings to attend with caterers and florists and the fact that it's way too muggy to think straight, I really didn't want the bother of re-letting a flat.

Unfortunately I don't have a choice, I can't afford not to re-let it asap (have you seen the cost of table decorations?) so I've been doing a bit of research to find out what the rental market is like at the moment and, as I suspected a few weeks ago, it's not as hot as the weather.

Indeed, the letting agent Townends suggests rents have fallen in some areas of London. It said, and I quote: "The levels previously reached were simply not sustainable." Demand is still high, it said, landlords are getting lots of viewers for every property, but tenants are holding out for the right place at the right price. …

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