Landlords Then Vs. Landlords Now

James Walpole/ July 22, 2020

I expect I’ll be a landlord of some kind some day, and so I think about how I might choose to operate. And I must conclude that landlords used to be a lot more epic than they are now. The “landlord” used to literally be a lord, for one thing. How cool is that?

Let’s consider the landlord of 1100 AD vs. the apartment complex management of 2020 AD.

Old landlords had big stone fortresses with moats and flags and towers. New landlords have leasing offices with free coffee.

Old landlords called you up with a trumpet. New landlords send passive aggressive emails.

Old landlords have knights. New landlords have a “courtesy officer.”

Old landlords gave you awesome land you could grow crops on. New landlords give you a few cubes of space you can watch TV in.

Old landlords would occasionally invite you on fun social outings called “crusades”. New landlords have “community brunches.”

The modern apartment rental system lacks any character of the kind once common to landlords. Granted, the feudal landlord had a terrifying amount of power over his people (though is it really worse than those passive aggressive emails?). I guess my point is that even when they went wrong, the feudal landlord just had more potency. He wasn’t a boring character. So in style, if not substance, we can learn a little something from the lords of old. And we can carry that into all areas of life that have gotten a little less spectacular since 1100 AD.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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