If you’re lucky enough to have been able to get on the property ladder, you might be tempted to rent out your property and become a landlord for a second income.
While this may sound like an ideal situation, letting strangers into your home does come with certain risks—something Reddit user u/Aggravating-Aide-307 knows all too well.
In the post on Reddit’s “Am I The A******” channel, the author, 38, shared that she bought a four-bedroom house in Buckinghamshire, England, when she was 23 years old.
” It was a lovely big house, but the town was not fun for a 23 year old,” the Redditor wrote. “I always said I’d love it [if] I were 40 with kids, but it wasn’t a great place for someone in their 20s. When I was 26, I put the house on the rental market and moved to London where I lived for 2 years before moving to Australia.”
She said she found a “lovely” family to rent her house, “a husband a wife both in their mid to late 40s with one child, no pets, and respectable jobs. Rent was always paid on time, the estate agent always had good reports from inspection visits and we never heard any complaints from neighbors.”
Fast forward 14 years—the poster said that the family is still living in the Buckinghamshire rental, and she is now ready to return home after traveling the world.
“I informed my estate agent that I want to break the contract and have them move out in 3 months’ time, 2 months more notice than I’m obligated to give,” she said, going on to write that the family was “surprised” to hear she was coming back and asked if she would be living with her family, as in partner and children.
The family apparently called her “selfish for kicking them out of their home of nearly 15 years; wanting a big house all to myself; placing my needs of travel and enjoyment ahead of starting a family and getting married,” and that she should allow them to buy the house for the same price she did, despite its increase in value.
She revealed that the mortgage is 90 percent paid off, and replied to her tenants, “You can dictate in a house that you own, not one that I own. Please have your things packed by x date or I’ll evict you and sue you for the costs.”
As the cost of living crisis continues in the United Kingdom, house prices are climbing exponentially, with people finding it harder to get on the property ladder and choosing to rent for longer. Though bills, food, and rents are increasing leaving people with less disposable income, U.K.-based estate agents McFarlane Sales and Lettings point out that interest rates may also be to blame.
“Although many analysts believe that interest rates will never return to the ultra-low levels of the past, many people still believe they are too high,” the agents state on their website. “As a result, first-time buyers are delaying their decision to buy and rent for longer.”
Newsweek spoke to Seamus Nally, CEO of Turbo Tenant, software that helps smooth out the rental process for landlords, about the sticky situation.
“The property owner did everything right in this situation. After establishing the minimum notice requirement as dictated by local laws, she opted to give her tenants even more time to ease this transition. There’s nothing wrong with reclaiming your investment property if you follow your state laws, offer empathy to your tenants, and communicate clearly throughout the process,” Nally, who is a landlord to several multifamily properties in New York and Colorado said.
“Also, it was inappropriate for the tenants to ask why the property owner was returning and give her grief for wanting to return despite not being married. A woman’s marital status has no bearing on her right to reclaim investment property. Further, her reason for wanting to reclaim the property has no bearing on the legitimacy of her actions.”
Users on Reddit agreed with Nally and voted that the OP was not the a******.
“You’re not getting them out of THEIR home, you’re getting them out of YOUR house. They signed a rental contract and must respect it,” commented one user, while another said, “The tenants have always known they were tenants. If they had been interested in permanence, they should have been making moves in that direction years ago.”
Some Redditors disagreed, with one commenting: “[you’re the a******] because you are treating these people who have kept safe for you your home for so many years like virtual strangers, you are treating them badly.”
Newsweek reached out to u/Aggravating-Aide-307 via Reddit for comment.
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