by Jerry Jones
11:18 AM, 15th May 2014, About 8 years ago 12
The first two houses I bought are in an area of Middlesbrough called North Ormesby. It was always a bit rough and tricky to get tenants but we managed. However, over the last few years the area has been transformed into somewhere with major antisocial behaviour issues. It is very hard indeed to get anyone to even view. Council agencies are reluctant to house any of their supported tenancy people there. Ironic really, as the problems in the area have arisen since they introduced selective licensing in the town centre and drove out the problem tenants, who have landed here. There is a homelessness unit at the council, but they have not referred anyone.
I currently have one vacant, being handled by a “social” letting agency, who work with the council and expect the other one to be soon too. The original agency I used for many years, and still handle some other property for me, finally decided to stop handling property in that area and a specialist LHA agency didn’t work out well, with tenants moving out with no notice, having done a fair bit of damage.
It is a 3 bed, is newly decorated and carpeted, has a brand-new boiler to go in when we have a tenant (the last one was stolen, along with the copper piping, electrical cables and carpets while it was empty!), has uPVC windows and new carpets and flooring throughout.
I have offered it on the basis that LHA claimants are welcome and would accept the 2 bed rate. There are no tenant’s agency fees and I am offering free broadband and cable TV for the first 6 months. There were 3 viewings booked on Friday and only one turned up. That one hasn’t come back to us and is not responding to phone calls, so I’ll take that as a “no”.
I can’t sell because they are deep in negative equity, with their valuations having hit £75k in the mid-2000s and dropped now to £30k-ish, having withdrawn 85% to finance other (more successful) purchases.
The mortgage costs are extremely low because they are on low tracker rates so I can “carry” them with the income from other properties but am fed up with doing so.
This will get harder to do once interest rates rise.
Any suggestions on how to get long-term tenants in them?
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