Last week the National Trust press office filmed long standing tenants expressing their feelings about the Trust as a landlord. I'm quite pleased to share these candid and honest views here. Click play or just read the interviews which I've transcribed below.
National Trust Tenants at West Wycombe Village
Mark Wells, National Trust Project Manager: The Trust owns approximately 70 properties in West Wycombe Village. It's not quite the entirety of the village. There are some freehold and commercial properties in the village as well. The 58 residential properties need full refurbishment. Perhaps the most significant improvement is the re-roofing on approximately 30 of the cottages.
Vicki Smith, National Trust tenant: I should think a couple of months before it all started [the Trust] invited us all in to see what we're going to do. It was all a bit "I can't believe this is going to happen." And so when it did come to your turn you were still all a bit shell shocked and "Oh this is going to be absolutely dreadful". But actually they worked with us all of the time. And I think talking to the majority of the tenants that have been through it, we're all really pleased.
I've always found them very good to talk to. Always ready to listen to what you have to say. They've always had restrictions by money, so you have to bear that in mind. But really I've always found them really good.
Jane Shilton-Brown: I've been a tenant of the National Trust now for oh..twenty-one years. The property has been done up and it is absolutely fantastic. Before it even started the Trust came round to have a look and they told me exactly what they were going to do. I have at no time found that I have had any difficulty with the Trust. When I have had a problem it has been dealt with as soon as it has been possible to do so and with the greatest respect for what I have asked for.
Alan & Elizabeth Argent, National Trust tenants: I've been with the National Trust since 1970 and if I didn't like them I wouldn't be here now. I think they're alright as a landlord. Absolutely adequate. I really really can't fault them.