Comment: Landlords, your country needs you!
- Credit: Sammlung Eybl, Plakatmuseum Wien
Feeling overwhelmed by the news? Do what you can on a local level to help – if you’re a landlord that could involve renting a property to refugees.
Between the Brexit bill, Trump’s mounting policy abominations (writing on any given day I hesitate to name one for fear it will be well and truly superseded by the time you read), the ongoing war in Syria and terror attacks in Canada, taking an interest in global politics is no longer the preserve of the Twitter-addicted news hound.
But, as many of the newer news addicts are now discovering, battling the feelings of anxiety and powerlessness provoked by even the briefest scan of the headlines these days can play havoc with the blood pressure.
One antidote, which as an entirely medically unqualified professional I would suggest could be more effective than statins, is to try to make a positive impact on whatever scale you can through your own personal actions.
You could give up your time for a local organisation, give up your money to a charity or, if you’re a landlord (and since this is a property magazine), give up your property to refugees.
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North London’s property community has a strong charitable ethos and at an open house last week two Muswell Hill landlords explained why they had done just that.
Atia and Mash Hafezjee, who run a lettings agency in Muswell Hill were moved to offer one of their rental properties after Atia volunteered at a school in Calais and saw the conditions there. The couple now have a young family who fled Aleppo living in one of their Tottenham properties.
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Atia is now calling on other landlords to follow suit.
“I don’t think people are aware of how easy this is for landlords,” she said at the open house. “As a landlord you can measure your success with pounds you are saving but now you can measure success by how many lives you are saving.”
Most refugee families have had to move frequently between countries and between camps and hostel accommodation. Landlords can provide a safe, stable home where these families can start to rebuild their lives, children can go to school and their parents can find work.
The rent gets paid each month by Citizens UK and the landlord gets a grateful tenant on a two-year lease. Even better, the council don’t have to lose any local authority housing in the process.
If you think this sounds like a no-brainer, contact citizensuk.org