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Monday 24th July 2017

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 73


10:07 AM, 2nd November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Landlord guide to drainage and plumbing obligations

DON'T READ THIS IF YOU ARE JUST ABOUT TO EAT OR HAVE JUST EATEN. It would have been helpful if the article could have spelled out the differences between a landlord who owns his property outright and a leaseholder where some of the maintenance is undertaken by a management company.
We recently had a major drainage problem in our ground floor flat which had been vacant for at least 2 weeks. When the cleaners came in, the toilet toilet pan was full to the brim with raw sewage and it had also backed up the bath waste into the bath and was several inches deep in the bath. As you can imagine the smell was horrendous. We phoned the management company - 'It's not our problem - it's in your flat it's your problem!'
The next day the levels had risen higher, the toilet bowl had overflowed and sewage was running on to the bedroom carpet. We contacted the management company again pointing out that the drains are part of the structure and their responsibility. Reluctantly they agreed to send out and pay for a drain specialist to come out and investigate. One of the bends in the main drain was blocked by baby wipes, sanitary products, bandages etc. which some resident(s) had flushed down the loo. We had to have professional cleaners in and that cost us £130 which the management group says we will have to claim back on our contents insurance. We rent unfurnished and have no insurance. We thought the problem had been solved about 3 weeks ago.
Unfortunately the same problem happened again 2 days ago with sewage overflowing again on to the bedroom carpet. Same sort of rubbish being flushed down the loos and blocking the drain. Looks like another £130 cleaning bill.
The management's response has now been to email all the 32 residents on the development to remind them to only put toilet paper and paper tissues down the toilets. They have also put a note on every flat's door. They say they can do no more to resolve the situation?
They assume everyone can read English. I want them to send representatives from the company, or directors of the residents company to each flat and speak directly to all the occupants. We have lots of horror pictures we can supply to emphasis the problem. Do you think I am being unreasonable in insisting that direct personal communication is essential to solve the problem? If the problem does not stop I can think of no alternative other than to try and sell the flat. Would we have to disclose the problem on the Sellers Form?... Read More


11:12 AM, 30th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Government Health and Safety review for PRS

I can see regular safety inspections coming and guess who will be paying for them. 'Making sure the housing market works for everyone' (apart from landlords of course)... Read More


20:04 PM, 29th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Heating to 21 degrees?

If the boiler has been recently changed to a condensing boiler then this may be the problem. Condensing boilers are designed to operate at lower temperatures than older non-condensing boilers. The dew point is 55 degrees centigrade, which is the maximum return flow temperature for condensation so that extra latent heat from the steam produced by combustion can be released and increase the efficiency of this type of boiler. Assuming a typical 10 degree drop over the total radiators/pipe run the maximum temperature of the boiler should not exceed 65 degrees to ensure the boiler operates at maximum efficiency. It is sometimes necessary to increase radiator sizes when changing the boiler. Sometimes replacing a single panel radiator with a double panel radiator of the same size will suffice. The solution for the poster would be to fit a larger radiator in the living area. I would go for at least double the output of the existing one. Make sure it is fitted with a thermostatic valve so the tenant doesn't complain that he/she is too hot! By the way, 21 degrees in all rooms is excessive. 18 degrees in bedrooms is recommended as being OK even for old people.... Read More


16:26 PM, 19th October 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Generation Rent tries to hoodwink policymakers

I think one of the biggest flaws in the Generation Rent paper is that it assumes that there is a bubble containing a defined fixed number of people in the property market and that these are either people living in owner occupied properties or those living in rented property. It also assumed that loss of one rented property is always bought by another landlord or by someone renting. So the theory being that the number of property units remains constant but just the mix changes. This ignore the 1,000's of people who are homeless. It also ignores the fact that our population is increasing, not just by more births but by people living longer. It also ignores net migration and the latest net migration figure of 270,000 alone far exceeds the number of new housing units being made available each year.
It should be obvious to most people that insufficient housing is going to put pressure both on house purchasers and renters. Increased demand will cause upward pressure on both property on prices and rents.... Read More


8:55 AM, 17th October 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Shelter’s Head of Research misled public on TV

It is no just a question of a measley £100 it's whether you truly believe in the cause. I do support charities and tend to support underfunded charities like Mind, and ignore the well funded heart, cancer and animal charities. This does not mean that I am unsympathetic to people suffering with cancer or that I would ever be cruel to an animal.
Most landlords now realise that we are now operating in a very hostile environment. They also realise that the best days for being a standard BTL landlord are over. Organisations like Shelter will continue to attack private landlords and government bodies will do very little because at the end of the day this will just draw attention to the dismal failure of this government (and previous ones) to build sufficient affordable housing. IMHO the situation will get worse not better. The government needs to raise some taxes to 'end austerity' and the PRS is an obvious target. The government refuses to accept the reality that increasing taxes on landlords not only increases rents for the tenants but diminishes the supply
Many landlords are already changing their business models to take account of the new environment we operate in. Some are selling up completely. Some are selling part of their portfolio to pay off existing mortgages. Some are letting to companies. In suitable areas some are moving over to more favourably taxed holiday lets.
You don't have to personally own BTL properties to invest in property. The capital gains tax regime is crippling for a higher rate tax payer. There are property funds which invest in residential properties which will give a secure and rising income and some capital growth. There are also investments like Tritax Big Box REIT which invests in warehousing space and rents out to big on-line companies like Amazon. All these types of investments will benefit from the £11,700 per annum tax free CGT allowance. In any case the maximum CGT rate will be 20% and not 28%. Of course many of these investments could be in an ISA and no tax at all on income or capital gains.... Read More