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Pandy (name changed to protect the innocent) was a little woman with a little husband who looked like a pirate, all tattoos and bling. They had one daughter who was about 10 and they became tenants of mine in what the politically correct among us refer uncharitably to as a “lower socio-economic area” house.

From the very start they were unremarkable as tenants. They kept the place fairly tidy, cut the grass, and their inspections were just fine. Then Pandy’s husband left her with their 10 year old daughter and sailed off somewhere. I only found this out at a regular inspection and I felt for her. She was struggling to make ends meet and sometimes found it extremely difficult.


You know where this is going…. Right?

The more cynical of you might expect Pandy’s plight to worsen, and all kinds of troubles converge to make her tenancy unstable. You could probably foresee, or at least not be totally surprised that, she was going to fall behind in rent payments, get into bad arrears and let the property get run down.

Well that’s where Pandy earned my everlasting respect. The
rent continued to be paid, and at each inspection the house was neat, tidy,
clean, and everything in its place. The huge section always had the lawns
trimmed, weeds pulled, and not a scrap of rubbish anywhere except in the bins
which were also spotlessly clean.

She didn’t have much, but what she had was well looked
after, including her young daughter.


Things change suddenly

One day Pandy called me and said apologetically that she was
having trouble meeting her rent payment that week. “Oh, here we go” I can hear
some of you say.

“Can I pay half the rent this Thursday and the other half
next Tuesday? And then I’ll pay my full week as usual again next Thursday?”

What could I say? I agreed as I believe everyone deserves a
chance every now and then. The outcome was that Pandy was as good as her word,
and she got through her speed bump and back on track with her rent payments.
Each time I did an inspection the place was tidy and spotless, and she always
had time to chat and offer a cup of tea. The grass was always cut, weeds pulled
and paths swept clean.

She was a tenant for only two years, and in that time she
hit a couple of similar speed bumps. Each time, she called and explained how
she was going to deal with her rent, and each time she was as good as her word.


I miss Pandy

She was a happy wee soul with a kind word for everyone,
including her piratical ex. She made a damn good cup of tea as well. When she
sent me a 21 day notice to end her tenancy I was gutted! The only reason she
was moving is because she’d been offered a Housing NZ place that was cheaper to
rent at that time.

We deal with heaps of great tenants, partly because we’re extremely careful with our selection process and partly because we’re good at it. Pandy’s story has always been my favourite one, and I know that wherever she is she’ll be doing the right thing no matter what.

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