Graham Bowcock

Registered with
Saturday 22nd October 2016

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 64

Graham Bowcock

7 days ago
EPC D and CO2 emissions F ?

Dear Phoebe

It strikes me (as a Registered Valuer) that there may well be some other issues and/or the valuer is taking a very hard line that it may be worth discussing with them.

The issue on low EPC bands is the ability of an owner to let the property. I have come across properties being sold, or re-mortgaged, where the bands are F and G. However, I did not value them at nil or state they were unmortgageable.

Taking a pragmatic view, I obviously raised the issue in my reports so that the lender is clearly aware. Lenders, of course, may have specific policies of not lending in certain situations, so the valuer has to make it clear. However, as for the CTUAL value, the low EPC band does not prevent owner occupation.

The value will be assessed on a property by property basis with a valuer considering the market conditions and issues arising from the EPC survey. It would be appropriate to factor in costs to follow the EPC surveyor's recommendations, perhaps with an extra deduction for risk/time it will take to resolve. The issue will undoubtedly be worse for older, poorly maintained properties.

In conclusion, there are many variables so I recommend speaking to the surveyor to get their opinion.

Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

A week ago
Tenant claiming for associated costs from water leak visits?

Dear Jon

This is possibly the thin end of the wedge. I have spent nearly 30 years as a landlord and also acting (as a chartered surveyor) in compensation claims so have seen a few try-ons.

If the tenant was unduly inconvenienced then there may be a discussion to be had (along the bottle of wine/box of chocolates line), but if he was there by choice why should you reimburse him?

There is a cost to owning and occupying property which is not always compensatable. Sometimes things just have to be deal with, even if it does require some time and input.

If the manner in which you have dealt with the repairs is reasonable (i.e. least number of visits, actually getting the problem sorted, etc.) then any claim is unreasonable.

As an aside, we give all our tenants gift vouchers at Christmas to try and maintain goodwill. It goes a long way to making tenants engaged in their relationship with us and less likely to make spurious claims.


Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

A week ago
Buy to Let purchase - financial advisor says No

Dear Nick

Echoing the thoughts of others, it is not clear what you are looking to achieve or why you are doing this and risking all of your spare cash in this way.

Higher value properties in general tend to have lower yields. In my area (north Cheshire) I would expect a house of this value to be achieving about £2,500-£3,000 per month, so your £1,850 looks low.

Have you thought of buying a greater number of lower value houses? That way your risk is spread. If you have the one large house and you are fully committed financially, what happens during void periods or rent arrears? Repairs may well be more expensive on the larger house and, of course, tenants may well be more demanding.

Speaking as a registered valuer I would say ignore the "original valuation" of £680,000. This sounds meaningless - why are you able to buy it for so much less? Answer - perhaps it's only worth what you are paying!

You need to read very carefully and your financial adviser is right to flag concerns. I suggest you speak with local agents about values, rents, yields, etc. to make sure that whatever you buy meets your objectives and be wary about over committing.

Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

2 weeks ago
Repair or improvement?

Dear Paul
Reading between the lines, it seems that you are a leaseholder of a flat taking action against the freeholder for damp issues, rather than being a shorthold tenant.

There are many properties without DPC's and they function perfectly well. Whether damp subsequently occurs depends on many factors, including the nature (and quality) of the original construction, the manner in which the property is used (e.g. somebody piling earth against the external walls) and climatic conditions.

I am not aware of any requirement to retrofit a DPC where the original construction did not include one.

I assume that the damp is affecting your flat so would question why this was not picked up (possibly by your surveyor) when you purchased it. You have not stated if you are the ground floor flat, which is where I would expect the DPC to be.

In most leasehold cases the freeholder will be responsible for such repairs, but you will need to consider the terms of your lease to make sure. Clearly there is a need to deal with damp for the sake of the whole building. It is most likely that any charges will be passed back to leaseholders through service charges.

I don't think there's a straightforward answer to your question about whether installing a DPC constitutes an improvement. It will turn on the facts of your situation, the nature of the problem and the terms of your lease.

Graham... Read More

Graham Bowcock

3 weeks ago
Government look to throw landlords under the bus with 3 year tenancies

Reply to the comment left by Jack Craven at 02/07/2018 - 14:41

At the moment demand is very strong in most parts of the country so anyone selling will more than likely be able to sell quite well. It is unlikely that the landlord exodus will lead to a flood of houses, it's more of a drip drip. This means that the local markets are not too badly upset when new properties come onto the market.

It may be tougher for portfolio landlords, for example those with block of flats of a lot of houses in one location, although if these are sold as investments there will no doubt be some interested buyers.... Read More