Confessions of a Letting Agent . . . Knowing Your Tenants 1st Mar 2016

It really does help if you get to know your tenants, as there may be more to a story than first meets the eye!

We have a tenant, John, who has been with us for a long time. He was a soldier who fought in Iraq and was subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We got to know John fairly well as a tenant, and came to understand his anxieties and behaviours.

John decided to go and live in the woods. He was in a property that wasn’t a palace but he kept it well, however he handed in his notice, upped and left, and moved lock, stock and barrel to the woods. Winter came and John arrived back at our office looking for accommodation. We were happy to give him another property.

John was fine for a while until his housing benefit payments stopped. On further enquiry we found out that the reason for this was that John hadn’t given the Council some information they requested. We worked with John’s social worker to find this missing information and submit it to the council. The housing benefit payments were restarted.

John is still a tenant of ours. He hasn’t gone back to live in the woods, but has moved house. We recognised that John needed help, and were happy to step in and do what we could. Not only because he is a decent tenant who we are happy to hold on to, but also because he is a good man who deserves some help. If we had never taken the time to get to know him, we would never have understood what was going on.