Graham Bowcock

Registered with
Saturday 22nd October 2016

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 145

Graham Bowcock

9:13 AM, 26th March 2020
About A week ago

Tenant leaves with 3 years left but 4 years commission paid to agent?

Going back to the start, you say that the agent took commission for four years' rent as that was their policy; was it in their Terms of Business that you signed? They should only have taken this commission if it was agreed in advance. I am sure you are now wondering why you allowed this to happen.

Read the contract (agent's ToB) carefully to see what they are supposed to do and whether or not the tenant leaving is covered. If not, then your only option is a bit of emotional blackmail to persuade them to sort things out.

It sounds good that you have a PG from a director; surely the agency should be helping you in pursuing this. PGs can be delicate documents, but the agent should be giving you advice on the implementation, especially if they provided it in the fist place. If it's defective then they ought to be looking at their PI policy. Sadly, many agents to not fully understand how guarantees work.

If the company tenant is still trading then you could claim against it (as well as pursuing the PG). Again, something that a decent agent would be doing, especially if they have your money.

If the agent blanks you, then you can either cut your losses, get a new tenant in with another agent and move on, or get a solicitor to represent you.... Read More

Graham Bowcock

9:58 AM, 25th March 2020
About A week ago

We want to help - Recovering deferred rent?

I think you need to speak with the tenants about their position and what is affordable and/or practical. In the ideal world you want them to pay something, even if they can't meet the full rent.

Just be wary that if you "gift" the rent free period, you may still be taxed on it, so speak to your accountant about how best to document this.

It's so difficult to know what to advise at the moment.... Read More

Graham Bowcock

15:32 PM, 7th March 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Freeholder charging £36k for a new roof for my BTL Flat!?

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 05/03/2020 - 15:18
That sounds like the knee jerk reaction of the populist media.

For every person moaning about the costs there may well be somebody suffering from a leaking roof; those people need the protection of leasehold and the ability to enforce their lease. Share freehold would be a free for all - I can't see how this would work to actually get anything done.

Buying a leasehold property is a matter of choice; some properties are better managed than others. The issue is that most buyers have rose tinted glasses and don't listen properly to their legal advice - or worse don't get decent legal advice. If they want to pay so little for conveyancing then problems will inevitably happen.... Read More

Graham Bowcock

9:02 AM, 4th March 2020
About a month ago

Freeholder charging £36k for a new roof for my BTL Flat!?

As a former managing agent, roof repairs were the bane of my professional life. They can be expensive - usually more expensive than most people think.

It sounds like your managing agent has gone about things correctly in terms of notices so you will have had chance to comment and suggest contractors. If you really don't think the repairs are necessary then you and your fellow leaseholders need to get together and challenge.

You mention that professional roofers have said the price should be lower - but why did they not tender?? I hear so much "pub talk" on similar matters, but it doesn't hold water when you come to get actual prices based on a proper specification.

I find it very hard to get roofers and, rather oddly, this is an area of work where health and safety rules are frequently not adhered to, despite being one of the most dangerous jobs you can do. Your managing agent (or their consultant) will have had to arrange a detailed risk assessment which the contractor has to abide by. This is essential. Remember that the managing agent has a much greater responsibility than a private householder. This inevitably means no ladders and more care to be taken (at a greater cost).

As for the management company charging 5%, this sounds cheap. They have a role to oversee the project, including the legal notices and duty of care to the members. There is no way that their regular management fee should include managing structural repairs. I think they are right to outsource writing the spec. - as a chartered surveyor of 30 years I would not write a spec for a new roof myself.

Debates such as this led to my early retirement and disillusion with management work. Everyone can do it cheaper and better.

On the face of it, it seems that procedures have been followed. The key query is over what actually needs doing, which nobody on this forum can answer for you.... Read More

Graham Bowcock

21:11 PM, 2nd March 2020
About a month ago

Fuseboard Confusion!

Reply to the comment left by George T at 02/03/2020 - 17:05
That’s one for an electrician. As a general principle regulations are not retrospective. However, it begs the question as to why you wouldn’t want to fit RCDs in any house, never mind a let house with tenants in.... Read More