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Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Property Sparrow has a proper job: housing manager with a housing association. There she frets over rent arrears, anti-social behaviour statistics and whether the phonecalls are being answered in less than 20 seconds.

She also works on Saturdays and Sundays at a local estate agent, trying to sell houses. Until last November she enjoyed writing appointments in the diary and showing people round what there was for sale. Now she keeps herself busy with admin, updating Rightmove with the latest price reductions.

She has had a portfolio of four small flats in South London since 2001. She is equity rich but is not quite sure what to do about it; she is much more interested in monthly income and expenditure.

She enjoys details and lists of things to do.

She loves receiving letters and phonecalls from her lettings agent and pecking at the little problems that crop up. She pays all her bills on time and never goes anywhere without a notebook.

One of her tenants has given notice to end her tenancy on 31 July. This particular flat has been let to the same tenant since March 2003. On hearing this news from her lettings agent, Property Sparrow's first thought was about the state of the curtains. A few days later her agent rang again to let her know that the flat is being advertised at a rent of £100 more per month, easily enough for some new curtains.

Property Sparrow has always struggled to see the big picture.

She will let you know how she gets on with her cleaning when the flat is vacant. She will be very disappointed if it is let straightaway and there's no time for her to fuss over the oven and, of course, the curtains.

Property Sparrow keeps a list of what she has ticked off and what she still has to do. She says 'How can anyone be a landlord without a list?'

She looks forward to twittering about this with you.

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