Thursday, 25 June 2009

Ban landlords

I looked up the word for landlord in my English-Spanish dictionary the other day, and staring back at me were the words "hijo de puta". What is it about collecting money for sitting on your fat arse all day that makes people utter pricks?

It´s not like they have to do anything more than a token amount of work for a living. The sum total of repairs affected to the property over the duration of my tenancy was the replacement of one shower head, and the disconnection of one faulty extractor fan. That apart he just comes round to collect the rent (actually, he pays someone to do that, being a busy man).

Such is the case with most landlords, whose entire economic model is based on doing as little as possible, whilst spending the whole duration of the contact plotting to keep the deposit. Buy-to-let is a horrendously easy way to make money, and even then people can´t do it honestly. In all my years of renting, reasonable landlords have been out-numbered about 10 to 1.

But then, the people that disproportionately suffer from arsehole landlords are alternately the poor, and the soon to be comfortably off (students). Yet, the amount of activism around poor quality privately rented housing stock, either from students´unions or from anti-poverty groups is virtually non-existent. The mainstream left seem to restrict themselves to oblique, permanently unanswered demands to start building council housing, rather than any systematic attempt at addressing the system as it is and making real improvements in living conditions. Ah well, I´ll just have to muse that I´ve been taken for a lot worse than the €40 this chump conned me out of, and see if these people want any help...

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