How to be a Durham landlord

LAURA IDDLES gives you a step by step guide how to fuck up a nice group of students’ lives.


With graduation looming for us finalists, and the prospect of a Desmond on many peoples minds, the city has never looked further out of reach. But how about a profession you hadn’t previously considered, one that undoubtedly earns a bundle of cash, and requires little to no effort? That’s right, a Durham landlord. If you fancy this hassle free job in a top 5 location for investors, and have little to no moral compass, read on:


Initially you may feel a pang of guilt as you are literally taking every penny of the student loan away from these poor young adults. But remember you’re really stealing from their fathers, the investment bankers, and it’s kind of their fault the recession hit you so hard anyway. Think of it as…repayment.

Astroturf? Completely necessary.

Never fix anything

Let’s be honest, a functioning washing machine isn’t entirely necessary for these students. They look like they barely shower, let alone wash their clothes. If they do need clean clothes they can always take them home to Mummy on the weekend, she doesn’t work anyway so she needs something to be doing other than lunching with ladies and knocking a few around at the Wednesday Tennis Club.

Your goldmine of opportunity

Polish a turd and call it a “luxury house”

This really is the ‘pièce de résistance’ of Durham landlords. Buy some cheap but ‘trendy’ furniture and kit the house out. Offer luxuries like a television in every room, but don’t mention they’re so small you need a magnifying glass to see the screen. Then charge the price of the television weekly on top of a normal rent to make a fuck load of dosh!

Steal deposits

If you’re not earning enough from the extortionate rent, try charging for every scratch on the wall you see. Remember, at this stage summer will be upon you, and who wouldn’t fancy a cheeky fortnight in the Bahamas funded by the scruffy mutts you have ever so kindly rented your house to this year?!

Replacement bookshelf? Hello Cyprus.

Be elusive

Has anyone ever actually met his or her landlord?  Has anyone ever spoken to them? Of course not, you’re far too busy with other ventures to think about speaking to your tenants. There will be one man your students converse with; the handy man, who will deal with all the problems while you’re ‘off on business.’ Sorted.