In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman has a limited life expectancy of five years from December 2018 due to a diagnosed terminal blood cancer, which he has cheerfully accepted in preference to (in his words) “kicking the bucket without notice”. We are honoured he has chosen us to publish these brilliant, funny and incisive reflections of a lifetime in property.
Important notes: Facts, figures, dates, and details have been changed to protect the guilty. See the brief concluding serious note on ethical dilemmas involved.
I’d wanted the role of Harlton Cheston in the film, but I was rejected, and I still can’t see why.
What’s he got that I haven’t got?
You may not recall Chapter 5, but opponent number one had been stocked and shunned when Obnoxious Norman walked out of an interview after five minutes saying he wouldn’t want a job there.
My client now had a 99-year lease of an entire well-located building with reviews at 36 and 72 years. To explain, I’ll use round figures – I never did like skinny women (Dolly Parton could have had me if she’d played her cards right).
Current rent £25,000 (set 36 years before). They didn’t want the accommodation. Market rent of £400,000 a year – ouch! A repairing obligation was going to cost £200,000. A letter quoted £450,000 a year. Summary: (expletive deleted)!!
Having nothing better to do, I’d RTFLd (read the fine lease) on receiving instructions and before meeting with my client. Being old, it was printed on beautiful parchment
Read the fine lease