Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
So, you’re on this property forum because you are probably a landlord, and therefore probably own 2 or more properties either by choice or fate. Back in Dec 1996 I brought my first property to live in and a few years later while trying to help my family I became a landlord.
As with life things happen and I just went with the flow and now have 6 properties with me living in rented. The last property was purchased was in Oct-14 and at this point, I thought should I continue to grow my little empire, but the raft of governmental changes were still coming in thick and fast, so I stopped.
My yearly costs are going through the roof, this is what I put aside every year for legally required stuff on each property.
Electric EICR £35.00
Building maintenance £1,222.00 (for leasehold properties)
Ground Rent £15.00 (for leasehold properties)
Legionnaires’ Certificate £12.50
Then I must pay Agency fees, every 10 years something will break which is another +£1000 a year to set aside. Typical replacement costs:-
Washing Machine £400.00
Taps etc. £200.00
I could then be forced to make EPC upgrades every 10 years costing £10,000.00
Then we also have to deal with:-
1) the taxes
3) General repairs that you’ve never thought of
4) the failure of tenants to pay followed by court costs
5) Letters from the council threatening court action over the noise someone makes.
6) Letters from the council threatening court action because the tenant committed fraud.
7) Property turned into a cannabis factory and the police refusing to return the keys for 6 months due to an ongoing investigation.
Yes, I’ve had all these and more. My personal favourite was being threatened by the council because someone smoked something ‘strange’ on the footpath in front of my house, and they informed me that if I didn’t take action they would evict my tenants. I asked for their lawyer’s name as they must be really good as I can’t get them out. They declined.
So is it worth being a landlord?
I don’t know anymore but I do know that we are in this together and that a trouble shared is a trouble halved which got me to thinking how do I spread this pain so I’ve raised a petition ‘Gas safety certificate for all gas households’.
I know that natural gas will be phased out and probably replaced with hydrogen (maybe, maybe not) assuming the government makes a decision, but hydrogen is still as gas, so I think the title of the petition is correct.
I decided to go with the following because I think health and safety is fairly persuasive, to all
A yearly gas safety certificate should be a legal requirement for all households that uses gas of any sort. Every year people are killed or maimed in gas explosions. It also affects neighbours and people simply passing by the property. Surely we have the right to feel safe in our own homes. And I added this because if we are every going to change be it hydrogen boilers, heat pumps or something else we still need people to do the work.
If we checked every house we would need 22k engineers, creating new jobs & these engineers would be in place ready for the role out of hydrogen I understand that this will cost you money as well as you are probably living in your own home but:
As a landlord I think if I must have one, then everyone should.
As a homeowner I do not think it necessary, but I consider myself to be fairly responsible and don’t play with gas. (who’s heard that before)
As a tenant, I would think it doesn’t matter as the landlord must get it done.
I now realise that however safe we make our own properties we are only as safe as our neighbours ie What happens to me, my family, my house if the neighbour’s house explodes at best I have weeks of disruption with builders repairing the other house and worst case is everyone in my house is killed because my house collapses and kills everyone while they are asleep.
Now assume the house next door to your BTL goes up, who’s going to be in court charged with homicide or something else as the public will want to see heads roll. While this is happening the insurance will argue about who has to pay, and you’ll still have to pay your mortgage and of course you’ll have to find somewhere for your tenant to live so is another £100 a year really that hard to swallow as a landlord.
You should also know that if this gets approved it’s likely that someone in the houses of parliament will have to pay to get their gas tested. So not only do you get to spread the pain you get to stick it to the government.
So will you sign it? Click this link to sign the petition:
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