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A True Lord And Lady Of Landlording

, , , , , | Working | December 8, 2022

I’ve read a lot of horror stories about landlords and tenants on this site, so I just want to spread a little positivity.

As a teenager, I was pretty careless. I knocked up my girlfriend when we were eighteen, and she gave birth to our daughter when we were nineteen. As both our families lived far far away from the university we wanted to go to, and neither of us was willing to part with our baby, that was a problem.

The dorms and other student housing wouldn’t allow children, and we didn’t know who could take care of our little girl while we were in classes.

Renting a house proved problematic for the same reasons, and anyone we found that allowed kids charged a hefty premium.

It was around this time that a couple of our best friends from our old school got in touch with us.

BFF #1: “Hey, guys. About accommodations, I found a guy — an old man who’s renting out spare rooms in his house. Rent is [affordable price], and [University] is right around the corner. He’s willing to take the four of us — plus [Daughter] — in.”

Me: “That sounds too good to be true. It sounds fishy to me.”

BFF #1: “My sister and cousins swear by him. They say he’s the real deal.”

BFF #2: “I’ve gone down and spoken to him and his wife. They’re a lovely old couple. Their kids are all grown up and gone. I get the feeling that they’re doing this more for the company than anything else.”

Me: “Well, if you say so…”

Beggars really couldn’t be choosers, so [Girlfriend] and I decided to give it a shot.

It was worth it. Oh, so worth it. If I’d known going in how good it’d be, I’d have easily forked out triple the rent.

The landlords were a lovely old English couple. A pair of kindly retired pensioners living with the sweetest and most playful dog.

They had a really big house, so the four of us each got our own room with ensuite bathrooms. That was nice. What was better was that they had an old nursery for their kids and were happy to let [Daughter] use it. In fact, they really took a shine to [Daughter]. It got to the point that they offered to babysit her during the day — for free, no less! — while we were busy in class.

The four of us often came home to see [Daughter] snoozing right beside their dog, cuddled up on the comfy rug in front of the fireplace. Those two were best friends, and on more than one occasion, I found my baby girl chilling with [Dog] inside of his kennel.

And although, on paper, we were supposed to do our own cooking and cleaning, [Wife] insisted on doing it all for free. She always had home-cooked meals on the table, even when we protested that we didn’t want to impose.

[Husband] was also pretty chill. He’d let us borrow his car and often dropped us off or picked us up as needed. He even took us out golfing and hiking a few times.

One time, the four of us got really drunk after a party and couldn’t drive back. [Husband] came to pick us four up from the pub, more amused than annoyed at having to drive out at such a late hour.

The four of us lived with them for four or five years until we got our degrees, and I get the feeling that they were really sad to see us go. The feeling was mutual, on our part. There was great reluctance to leave, and we knew we’d miss them dearly.

But our time was up, and we all didn’t want to impose any more on their hospitality. They’d really been more than willing to go the extra mile to make us feel comfortable and well-cared for, to the point that we all felt guilty for how much they let us take them for granted.

Even after we left, they both told us their door was always open.

Alas, the four of us lost contact with them after the health crisis, which was a real shame. I have never ever met landlords so kind and sweet as them. [Daughter] still occasionally asks if we can go back to play with their dog.

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