Elizabeth Swan

Sabbatical

By Elizabeth Swan on

So ever since I got my first job at the age of fourteen I have juggled other jobs, some paid, and some unpaid.

Variation has always appealed. One of the reasons that I still love domination is that I have always done other things on the side. Too many women I have known got burn out from only working in sex work. Many dommes last as long as most relationships...four years.

Then I have met women who should have stopped years ago as they have grown to dislike their clients. Of course stopping is not always practical if you still need/or got used to the money...which is another reason that I have done other jobs throughout my sex work career. Save when you can and never rely financially on either a man in your personal life, or a client in your working life.

You would think that this past year would have given me a break but the exact opposite happened. I am working on a play and a book but unfortunately the bulk of my time is taken up dealing with property. One was unsellable as too much money had been spent doing it up so I had to rent it for a few years. That experience taught me that I would never have a tenant again. There is a reason that a lot of landlords are vile. Good ones who never take money from deposits and rent below market value get taken advantage of and like me say ‘never again!’ But finally my tenant moved out and I can sell now as the market has risen.

Then there was the flat I lived in and worked from. It went well for a while. Then the landlord for the flat below started renting to a series of unsavoury characters. First there was the guy with the swastika tattoo on his arm who would always open the door if I was walking past, wearing only a towel. “Any problems with anything I am right here,” he would leer at me as he rubbed his hairy big belly. I was suitably abrasive and he finally got the message. But even so, I cut down on who I saw there, working around the hours I knew he was out.

Then he left. Thank fuck I thought...until the drug dealer moved in. At that point my post started going missing and there was a constant stream of visitors. Then he disappeared. Turned out someone killed him. At that point I moved out and moved back full time to Stoke. I tried to sell but funnily enough the beer cans in the hall and the smell of drugs put potential buyers off. So since then my place has remained empty. The landlord replaced the drug dealer with a man who sits outside a local supermarket claiming to be homeless. Then he brings his friends and their dogs back and they smoke drugs. It is a toss up who makes the most mess of the communal area. The humans who leave their fags and cans or the dogs who poo on the carpet.

Of course I called the police about the drugs but they did nothing.

But all of that does not compare to the stress of dealing with the other owners of the flats. Years ago we decided to take over the freehold as our management company was fleecing us. I wish I hadn’t. It took years, cost seventeen grand and the job was done badly by our solicitors. Four chose to take on the freehold, the landlord with the scummy tenants chose not to so remained a leaseholder. So four people adds to four shares right? Wrong. Our solicitor gave three of us a third each and left one person out completely. So I had to fix that.

Then there was the remaining leaseholder. The solicitors should have served a notice advising them of the change of landlord. They didn’t. So since then the leaseholder has refused to pay anything towards either the upkeep of the building or their ground rent. And they are the ones with the problem tenants who like to punch holes through walls. Sigh.

So at present I am pursuing the previous solicitor for a job badly done but so far no luck. He avoided both my calls and emails for weeks and only when I uttered the words ‘formal complaint’ did he start responding. He has told me to serve the notice but as I don’t have an address for the landlord that’s going to be tricky.

One freeholder wanted to do most jobs himself in the early days. He appointed himself and his mate as directors (freeholders need a ltd company) and I had to fight to get myself and the other freeholder put down as directors as well. Then he submitted no accounts so we started getting fines from HMRC. “We need an accountant!” I said in increasingly more frustrated emails and finally they conceded.

Oh and we still haven’t got a business bank account. We need one but at the moment my application is about to be rejected because he can’t be arsed to go on docusign and sign the damn thing.

I literally do everything and the two that want to be in charge don’t want to pay for anything. Even fire alarm checks which by law we need to have. They are difficult and obstructive. I was the only owner living in the building and as long as the other owners get their rent they don’t care. I just want out. I can’t afford to have an empty flat but even if I wanted another tenant (which I don’t) I wouldn’t put anyone in there. I always think of Grenfell and the people to blame for so many lives being lost. You think ‘how can people be so casual about other people’s lives?’ and then you realise that when it comes to money many people don’t give a fuck as long as they save a few quid.

I organised the fire checks myself and paid for it and then spent weeks trying to get the money back from the others. At the time of writing I have paid out 1300 for other jobs within the communal areas and I wonder if there is even any point asking the others to pay up. After all, last time it took me two weeks to get forty quid out of them.

So now I am dealing with solicitors, banks, accountants, the general property management...and I am not getting paid a bean. Even worse, every email I send has to be resent in different forms before I get any answers. When they eventually respond they used to either patronise me with kisses sent at the end of messages or compliment me on my figure (in person). But now they just boss me about. “I’ve done this, this and this” “that needs doing too” they order. I know. What the actual fuck, right?! The whole experience could have turned me into a man hater. Misogyny coupled with incompetence does not a nice man make.

I am putting it on the market again next week and hopefully this time it will sell and I can put it down to a dreadful experience. Though I am going to say to the estate agent that they should only sell to an investor. Let the landlords deal with each other. I feel dreadfully sorry for the tenants but I might, before I go, slip under their doors a leaflet about their rights. If the property is not up to scratch by law they can seek all their rent back. That’ll teach the fuckers.

Then there is my personal life which is great. Thank goodness. But change is afoot. I am open about some things but I like to keep my private home life, private.

I want and deserve a break.

My book deserves to not be fitted around arguing with obstructive idiots. I want to dive into that and my play properly and give them the full attention they deserve.

And most importantly I want to enjoy my personal life for a while.

So from next Tuesday I will only be doing online work. That’s tasks, stories, Patreon and phone chat. Probably until the end of the year.

Until then my gorgeous supporters, clients, friends and perverts. It has been a blast.

Elizabeth

xxx



Elizabeth Swan