A recent article in The Guardian left me somewhat slack jawed with disbelief. I know what you are thinking, not my usual, but in the interests of fairness, I thought that I would take a tentative step into the flip flop wearing world of Ed and Ed. Incidentally, the Collins Dictionary definition of a Guardian Reader is: ‘ a reader of the Guardian newspaper, seen as being typically left-wing, liberal, and politically correct’ , which I am sure that all who know me will confirm that this is a perfect description of The Chesh. The piece highlighted seven landlords whose behaviour justified their quite frankly, being lined up and shot. See, don’t I fit the Guardian demographic? They had all been fined or imprisoned for a variety of offences, not least manslaughter due to a faulty gas boiler. What first came to mind when looking at their pictures, was “Who in their right minds would rent a property from them?” See, there I go again, playing to type. Some people though clearly were sufficiently desperate. The more pertinent question should therefore be, “How in the current era of regulation could they be allowed to behave as they did?” It would seem that no amount of checks, balances, regulators and ombudsmen (and women, before you grass me up to Polly Toynbee), will counter such Rachman style situations. I am sure that the ghost of Peter stalks the rooms of such buildings as were mentioned in the article, showing that until it gets into a criminal court room, the effect of the regulatory schemes is on a par with the bite of a broken mouthed ewe.
Of course, headlines about decent landlords and estate agents have no place in the media; as a breed we all enjoy a tale of horror as long as it doesn’t affect us. My own call to arms was not so long ago when on a Friday night I ventured into the badlands of downtown Cwmbran to procure the culinary classic of curry, chips and cheese. En route back to Cheshire Towers, I passed a property that had been marketed by Cheshire and Co where the vendors were attempting to move out . I say attempting, because clearly there was some trouble at the mill. No lights on in the property, various vehicles and people milling about and a young lady whom I recognised in an extremely agitated state. Embracing my inner Sir Galahad, I pulled over and the said young lady came running over crying. There was no power in the property, the hired van and its driver were missing in action, it was starting to rain and they were starving as they had had nothing to eat all day. Cue the offering of my chips and phone calls to Cheshire and Co’s emergency electrician and man with a van. If only I had been wearing a black polo neck like the Milk Tray Man or white trainers like MacGyver. The result? During the next four months, I was instructed to sell the sister’s house, the auntie’s house, was recommended to one of their friends and was banned by the current Mrs Chesh from going out to get a takeaway on a Friday night.
A good estate agent will continually demonstrate how they add value to the service that they provide to their clients, chips or not, by meeting their needs and requirements. Such service does not necessarily mean the agent with the rock bottom, ‘Whatever he said he’d charge, I’ll beat it’ fee. It is the agent who charges a reasonable fee for an outstanding service. A not dissimilar scenario to the readers of the national papers who could be described as falling into the categories of, ‘Guardian readers are generally stereotyped as thinking that they rule the world, as opposed to Daily Mail readers who think they should rule the world, Times readers, who know that they should rule the world and readers of The Sun who actually do’. Anonymous