Excerpt: “You can’t go wrong by letting, Mr Bentley, provided, of course, that you have the right agent. We’ve been in the game for more than ten years. We’ve never yet placed a bad tenant, and believe you me there are some bad ones out there. But we know how to sort them out.”
Colin was a little uneasy to hear about the bad ones, but the prospect of cash flowing into his bank account was tempting.
“Tell us more about your property, Mr Bentley. You don’t actually live there, do you?”
“It’s more of an investment, really. My wife bought it some years ago. Then I knocked down the original house and we have built four units on the site.”
“Four units! So will you be letting all four?”
“Yes, that’s the plan.”
After the mandate was signed, she went ahead and soon found a family of four, who were installed in the top house and had so far been ideal tenants.
Not long afterwards she phoned to say she had found people for the house at the bottom of the driveway. They had already signed the lease and were on their way to the property.
Colin waited for them to arrive. After a while a hatchback came down the driveway. The driver was thin, and in his fifties and next to him a grey-haired woman. It stopped in front of the house and was followed by a van driven by a youth, who got out and began unloading furniture.
The driver of the first car climbed out and went to check the unloading and the woman came round and shook hands.
“My name’s Connie Lawson,” she introduced herself, “and that’s my husband Reggie with my son Harry.”
A third car arrived driven by a ginger-haired man. “Hi, I’m Benny, Connie’s brother,” he told Colin. In the back were an elderly couple.
“I see you’ve brought your parents with you to have a look at the place.”
“Well, no – they’ll also be moving in,” said Benny. “I’m an electrician and I’m doing Connie a favour by helping them to connect the stove.”
“Have you have brought the connecting cable with you?”
“No, but it’s no problem, I can use an old kettle cord. It’ll work just as well.”
Benny took a folding wheelchair out the boot, and managed to get the father out the car and installed in it.
“It’s a bit hard for Dad,” he said as he lowered the wheelchair down steps leading to the front door. “He’s a bit unsteady on his pins.”
His mother followed them, walking with difficulty. “I hope we will have a little more space here. We were very cramped in our last place.”
Colin paid a visit to Roxanne, soon after they had moved in.
“It’s about my new tenants,” he said.
“Yes, I suppose I should have introduced them before sending them around. Aren’t you happy with them?”
“Well, I’m a bit worried about whether they will be able to afford the rent. I believe only Mrs Lawson has a job. The rest of the family have no income. Her husband is in poor health and her parents are both elderly.”
“I’m sure there will be no problems, Mr Bentley. We have done the usual credit check and contacted their previous landlord. I’ve dealt with Connie for a long time and she always pays the rent.”
“But the whole thing seemed a bit rushed.”
“Yes perhaps it was,” she admitted. “But I understand the owner of the house they were in wanted to do urgent renovations. They were lucky to find somewhere that was ready for immediate occupation.”
Roxanne assured him that the deposit had been paid into their trust account. The first month’s rent would, of course, be retained as their commission, she pointed out.