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As a young woman I was very interested in politics. I looked for a better society for all, convinced that this was achievable by politicians, worthy of our respect.
How times change. With grey hair comes wisdom and scepticism and few of us now would believe that respect is merited by all people involved in politics, though there may be one or two.
I lost interest in politics some time ago, but had I still been an advocate for parliamentary democracy, it would not have survived the last couple of years since the referendum to decide whether we should stay in the European Union or go it alone.
I have no objection to what anyone voted, either for or against. What I object to is the fact that among the politics, democracy has been forgotten, as people campaign for a second referendum. Both the main political parties have had defections and confusion reigns. Could you imagine the situation if you dealt with available properties and prospective tenants in the same way?
You interview someone and make a decision – this is the tenant for you. Then your partner (business or personal) says he/she is not sure. He didn’t look you straight in the face. Then the other tenants in the building want their say – two think he looks ok, two say they know him from way back, he leaves the kitchen a mess, he brings people back.
You go back to your prospective tenant, who says he can provide you with references to show he has lived in a perfectly acceptable manner for two years and admits, yes, he had been a problem when he was younger but that is behind him.
This sounds very honest; the reference is good, but you’d better discuss with the partner. Partner still not happy. Perhaps the last landlord gave a good reference to get him out; perhaps the last landlord was not very particular and was not at the property often enough to know how he behaved really.
But you are happy to go with him. You take him to the property to introduce him to the others, and two of them instantly give notice. You have not yet signed the tenancy agreement. Though unhappy that the existing tenants are attempting to blackmail you into refusing the prospective tenant, you don’t want to have 2 vacant properties.
Like in politics this backwards and forwards process could go on for a long time, trying to mediate with the tenants who don’t want him and the prospective new tenant. Can you imagine how anyone would feel in those circumstances? Can you imagine how the CAB or Shelter would view this shilly-shallying? How long before he finds another place?
This may not be an exact analogy of the politics of Brexit, but it struck a chord with me. Private sector landlords can be proud that they are aware what is and is not reasonable; that any delay in allocating a property is due to the time taken to undertake proper interviews, take references and ensure the property is ready for a new occupant.
The Government have had two years to prepare everything, to be ready and the news today is that Brexit may be delayed beyond 29th March for further negotiations.
Private landlords do not have an option; their properties must be allocated so they do it, and if unfortunately, they’ve made a mistake, they live with it.
Please Mrs May, forget the politics, get it sorted and do the same!
For advice on buy to let issues – Ask Sharon