Neil Hewitt

Registered with Property118.com
Wednesday 4th January 2017


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 7

Neil Hewitt

9:45 AM, 27th November 2018
About 2 years ago

Loft bedroom records cause problems adding bathroom?

This is one of the many reasons why there should have been a full level three RICS Building Survey carried out, and not to rely upon a lender valuation. The solicitor can only rely on the information that is given. The correct survey would flag up issues such as the correct bedroom number, legal issues, and also if the surveyor is told that it is a buy to let, then fire safety.... Read More

Neil Hewitt

18:44 PM, 13th February 2017
About 4 years ago

Is a regularisation certificate required or important?

Hello,

The issue here is that the use of the loft room does not so much matter, but what has happened to the structure of the roof to create that loft room? I survey such houses frequently, including one today, with a loft room, and a satisfactory means of escape, but, certain timbers had been removed from the roof structure to create the room, namely the horizontal timbers known as collars. It looks like you have not had a full building survey carried out, as this would have picked up on the defects, and of course, you would have stated that you had such a survey carried out. The loft today had movement due to the alterations, and will either need structural timbers put back in, with local authority involvement, or to be created into a proper loft room. Building control can only regularise under certain situations, and they would need to see the structural elements. The fact that the owner has not gone through building control to begin with, suggests that the loft conversion has been poorly done, and may affect the structural stability of the roof. Please also remember that one day you will sell the house, and exactly the same problems may arise for the buyer. I do appreciate your emotional attachment to the house, I deal with many people in this situation, but at the end of the day, they do appreciate my honest statements about a house. I wish you the best.... Read More

Neil Hewitt

10:54 AM, 9th January 2017
About 4 years ago

Lewisham council tenant desperate for help?

The rent that council tenants do pay, does cover the cost of maintenance, some councils may borrow money to build new homes, and those repayment costs still have to come from the rental income. The finances are audited internally, and externally to ensure this regime is adhered to. Many years ago, a council could either fund council housing, or, to make a profit from it, that all stopped a long time ago.
Then there was a system where rent was handed over to central government, and then the money handed back to each council department was decided by central government according to the needs of that area, such as some inner city areas. This all changed a few years ago, and now the money stays with the council housing budget, rather than going to central government, which is a theme of decentralisation anyhow.
In previous decades, there have been central government grants to build council homes, even under Margaret Thatcher, but that has now gone, and instead housing providers have to borrow the money.
The world of public housing finance is very complex, and I have only been involved at the periphery, but on the whole, council housing is now not subsidized by taxpayers.

A council cannot enforce upon it's own stock, that is a basis of law, and an individual tenant if aggrieved would have to first use the internal complaints procedure, which in my experience is usually effective. The tenants that can lose out, are those who for whatever reason do not raise an issue, such as having physical or mental disabilities, and ideally, they need someone to speak out on their behalf, which does not always happen, as some people do not have a family to fall back on, and some people such as careworkers do not have the time to follow issues through, leading to some tenants that do fall through the net, as does happen in all aspects of housing, health and social care.... Read More

Neil Hewitt

8:10 AM, 9th January 2017
About 4 years ago

Lewisham council tenant desperate for help?

Re: Jonathan's questions.

1. Improvement notices are served as you 'manage' the flats. The fact that you have been served with improvement notices does show that you are managing the flats. It is just your opinion about the flat next door, firstly you need to demonstrate that the flat is still managed by the council (or an ALMO etc.), next, you would need to prove by way of a condition survey or a dilapidations survey as regards the flat next door, that you comments are valid. Otherwise the readers on here have to rely upon your subjective comments.

2. Your statement is an example of the current 'post truth' statements popular with notable figures in the media, and they are not fact based. The answer is from the rent that tenants pay. As stated before, the money does not come from the taxpayer, albeit for 'housing benefit/local housing allowance'. The fact that organisations (council, ALMO, RSL) can provide a service, that maintains the flats, along with other services, with rent that is below that of the private sector, does prove that the private sector overcharges, for what is in effect a public service.... Read More

Neil Hewitt

16:53 PM, 6th January 2017
About 4 years ago

Lewisham council tenant desperate for help?

Council housing stock is not supported by the taxpayer, there is something called The Housing Revenue Account, the previous contributor should state facts, and not mistruths., the money does not come from public coffers, with the exception of housing benefit, but that equally applies to private housing in the form of local housing allowance. many private landlords do profit from this tax revenue derived income.

CO alarms are being introduced by many housing providers, and it is also worth noting that smoke alarms have been in use in many council homes for longer than that of private rented homes. Often, electric works are carried out to the latest British Standards, in excess of identified hazards from the electric inspection report.
As with any legislation, there is always a reason for it's existence, namely that small percentage of private rented accommodation has been proven to have malfunctioning gas appliances, and that the production of carbon monoxide does occur, with the death of tenants.
There is no favouritism, just facts backed up by The Health and Safety Executive.
The discussion of chief executives salary is irrelevant, though if a private landlord had a portfolio of tens of thousands of properties, arguably he or she would expect a suitable income from their stock.
As stated before, I have inspected several thousand properties, both public, and private rented, there is a noticeable difference overall, and statistics back that up. But back to the original council tenant in this discussion, has there been any progress, or private action taken to date?... Read More