Halifax Druggies Making This Lovely Flat Unlettable

Halifax Druggies Making This Lovely Flat Unlettable

18:42 PM, 17th May 2017, About 7 years ago

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After nearly 30 years in this business and being the founder of Property118 and run the forum since 2011 I thought I had encountered most problems.

However, this is a new one for me.

The picture above is my “problem property”. It is in Queensway, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1.

My tenant has moved out because of a major problem in the block. The Police and the Freehold Management company have been about as useless as a chocolate fireguard so far but I have yet to unleash our legal hounds (Cotswold barristers) onto them.

The problem is that druggies keep breaking into the secure communal areas and trashing the place. They are the worst kind, young ‘hoodies’ taking heroin so discarded needles are common place.

The freeholders are now refusing to mend the doors, smoke alarms and clear up their filth.

We only have a tiny mortgage on the property so I could just secure the place, leave it empty and sit back whilst somebody else finds a solution or the druggies eventually kill themselves or each other. However, for those who know me, I’m not like that.

My first thought was to offer to rent my flat to a hard ass ex military man or a Police officer for half rent for 12 months and see what happens. I’m still considering that.

Market rent is only £450 for a two bed flat. I’d actually accept £200 for the right tenant.

I put a post about my dilemma on my Facebook wall and many other suggestions were offered including:-

  • Put up posters and give leaflets to all local residents offering a reward of £1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the drug dealers operating in the flats
  • Start a Neighborhood watch group
  • Contact the local amateur Rugby club and consider offering the 50% discount on rent to a couple of burly Rugby prop forwards

I think these are all great ideas.

Any other thoughts and suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Mark Alexander – founder of Property118.com

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Mick Roberts

7:30 AM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Really feel for u.
This is one reason why I've avoided flats that has these communal areas. Some nice areas where I have stuff, but the flats with communal area's have always had that bit of trouble.

If we was all younger & more 'open' to 'anything', we could have paid Joe Bloggs to sort it out.

Your £200 suggestion & because u can 'afford' to, sounds great. Because of the demand now, I'd just totally tell the new tenantsssss everything. I mean, if you have 10 tenants, you tell 'em all the absolute truth. They love the truth of a Landlord. And I bet you will get a few that no matter what, will accept. For whatever reason, they're never in, or some stuff don't bother 'em etc., some will take it & know what could happen, so when it does, they'll be less cheesed off.
They might be strong person that just pushes the offenders out the way.

I've had the odd bad neighbour or problem in one of my houses over the years & telling the truth has always worked. If they move after a year, it's another year gone. And the problem may have gone by then.

I have found that telling the local Counsellor or Sheriff of Halifax (if there is one), can really push buttons. I know 'cause I've been on the relieving end with my bad tenants. They contact the CPSO's, CPO's PCO's, Env Health etc. & because it's a counsellor, they get on the ground & look.

Or you could go for posh HB tenant that struggling to get anywhere, & get 'good' rent anyway.

You'll sort it. Remember this, some people have same problem with the flat being damaged too.
The flat normally stays there forever. The problem will hopefully pass.
If u can bear it, it's a time thing. You'll get rent in, the flat will go up maybe 2k a year, & in a few years, you'll be glad u stuck the hassle out.

Gary Dully

9:03 AM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

1. Vote UKIP

2. Get the property advertised in the local boxing club

3. ....nah, shoot the bastards in the kneecaps

Charles Fonteijn

12:49 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

What about the communal door. Can you buy a stronger door and give FOBS to all residents?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

13:12 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Charles Fonteijn" at "18/05/2017 - 12:49":

Already done but it got kicked in!

Monty Bodkin

13:16 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "18/05/2017 - 13:12":

Private security?


13:20 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

I have a similar problem and can confirm that the police will do virtually nothing except threaten to arrest me if I do ANYTHING. It seems that drug taking is now an acceptable pastime as far as the police are concerned. As to a solution, there have been many good suggestions all I can say is make sure nobody gets caught for the local constabulary will throw the book at anyone trying to solve the problem.
As to Charles' suggestion concerning a stronger door, I have installed a stainless steel door (£6,000) with electronic control. It would be easier to get through the wall than to enter without a key. The druggies still get in.

PS how about registering a company called "A chocolate fireguard", you could make a good living suing everybody who said anything was as useless as a chocolate fireguard, and no government regulation.

Charles Fonteijn

13:21 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "18/05/2017 - 13:12":

It might be worthwhile to consider buying an even stronger door that is not so easily kicked in. There are metal doors that might be expensive but very tough. It is probably cheaper in the long term than having this loss of rent

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

13:33 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Monty Bodkin" at "18/05/2017 - 13:16":

CCTV cameras were stolen!

Charles Fonteijn

13:39 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Price" at "18/05/2017 - 13:20":

How did they get through a metal door? Do you have glass panels in the communal area?

Ross Tulloch

16:29 PM, 18th May 2017, About 7 years ago

Mark, I really am sorry to hear about this. I guess that the key is to get rid of the druggies permanently, although they will move elsewhere.
I would therefore approach the police to try to find perhaps two of them to move into your place at a peppercorn rent, fully understanding that they are there for say a minimum of 6 months, for the purpose of having almost free lodging. Or they could advise who else to get in. David Price sadly is right in his first line. Expensive but what I would do

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