Boiler Theft – Copper and Carpets Too!

Boiler Theft – Copper and Carpets Too!

16:21 PM, 23rd October 2013, About 10 years ago 13

Text Size

I had a call about one of my properties in the Middlesbrough area that has gone downhill quite a way since I bought it 10 years ago.

It was one of John Paul’s merry crew at Castledene who told me that the place has had its back door kicked in, all copper piping, cable, boiler and even the almost new carpets pinched. It has been void for 2 months despite the offer to the local Homeless Unit and other caring organisations.

Evidently there are no homeless people in Middlesbrough who would like what is effectively a free (LHA rate only) 3 bed house, newly decorated and carpeted, with a modern gas central heating system and UPVC windows and doors. I am even throwing in cable TV and broadband free for 6 months and £100 to help with removal expenses!

So the loss adjuster has been in and sucked air through his teeth and we are in the process of getting estimates to make good. It hits the 90 day vacant limit of my insurers next week (The NLA members scheme at Alan Boswell) and I am told that none of the insurers they use for vacant property will accept it while a claim is in progress, so I am not going to have theft, accidental or malicious damage cover as of then.

Crime Prevention officers helpfully suggest that we don’t reinstate pipes, cables or boiler until, immediately before occupation. Not realistic as it’s hard enough to let as it is!

I have bleated to the council asking what is being done about this result of their selective licensing elsewhere in Middlesbrough driving the less desirable to my area. No useful reply as yet despite the mayor being Ray “Robocop” Mallon the former controversially tough “Zero Tolerance” copper.


1. How to get insurance worthy of the name until I have a tenant
2. How to get the place (and one in the next street) tenanted
3. (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition) Best security measures to prevent a repeat. There is an alarm system there, which I am looking into having reinstated, assuming it isn’t working, and I plan to arrange curtains, blinds and lights on timers.

Many thanks


Share This Article


13:45 PM, 26th October 2013, About 10 years ago

The copper vs. plastic question is resolved - the heating bods have quoted based on plastic where allowed (not gas pipe and not within 1m of the boiler).

This is a terraced property in a rough part of Middlesbrough where the only takers will be LHA claimants, so I am using a company with a very strong reputation at working proactively in that market - their appearance on a recent TV programme was very well received. Apart from anything else, I live 300 miles away and have no skill at dealing with that kind of tenants. Soft Southerner Syndrome, if you like.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

10:25 AM, 28th October 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jerry Jones" at "25/10/2013 - 14:15":

Hi Jerry

I appreciate it's fully managed and that JP's company get's great feedback from clients.

What's wrong with getting another company in though? You know what they say, a new broom sweeps cleaner. Perhaps a fresh approach could prove useful. Just a thought.

10:48 AM, 28th October 2013, About 10 years ago

I use another very good company for my other two in M'boro but they couldn't let these ones reliably either. It's the area that seems to be the problem and Castledene are very proactive.

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now