Martin S

Registered with
Tuesday 24th September 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 44

Martin S

10:20 AM, 13th November 2021, About 2 months ago

Confessions of a Council HMO Enforcement Officer

Nice to hear some good feedback about Environmental Health Officers for a change. Although I'm now retired, I've previously worked at various English Councils, mainly in Housing & Pollution, and have to say that most people I've ever worked with have been good people, especially those of us at foot soldier level.
I guess that I was lucky to have worked in housing before the advent of the Housing Health & Safety system, which brought in a tick box culture. Prior to that, we could meet Landlords on site (who were often surprised to hear that I was a Landlord too), and run through everything face to face, followed up by the paperwork/requirements.
People were generally already aware of what was required of them, but needed a nudge in the right direction, or educating if they didn't. Council finances, or lack of them, were never a consideration, although I'm sure this has long since changed.
Then there was always the hard core of Landlords, who didn't want to spend money on their properties, disregarded tenants requirements and needs, who took up a disproportionate amount of our time, and frequently didn't show up for on site meetings, or sent their representative, rather than show their own faces.
As we all know, the majority of landlords and tenants have a good working relationship, and we never heard from them, but the service is still very much required, because as we know, there are still bad landlords and tenants out there.... Read More

Martin S

9:53 AM, 30th October 2021, About 3 months ago

Martin S

11:11 AM, 10th October 2021, About 4 months ago

Six agents excluded from The Property Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman, like most Ombudsman services in the UK, is generally a toothless tiger in my experience, and in the end, after months of long explanations going back and forth, the Agent was found to be wanting, but there was no redress. The 2473 mentioned above are the lucky ones, as there must have been a much larger number than that seeking redress, and for higher figures. Would I consider involving them again in future? No!... Read More

Martin S

11:22 AM, 4th September 2021, About 5 months ago

Section 24 Tax Is Now Hitting Tenants Hard

As many know already, and as Andrew points out above, going the Holiday Let route is certainly preferable, at least for the time being, if the right property crops up, and this is the route I'm taking at present. Buying any additional BTL's seems like a no brainer at present.

As for the cottage we're buying, the owner died, and the family selling, and so the long term tenant has been given their Section 21 Notice, and will be out by October. We can then rent out as a holiday let, using our own website. This will mean one less property available to rent, in an area (Our home town) which I know is desperate for rental properties, and it never ceases to amaze me when looking at Rightmove, how few places are coming onto the rental market.

We have friends who have been renting the same lovely place for 25+ years, but I suspect the potential EPC problems ahead (Property 200/250 years old) means that the owner is selling up to a private owner, and they have been given their Section 21 Notice. They are finding it near impossible to find another place to rent, and have met the same people looking whenever they have managed to get a viewing. The chickens have definitely come home to roost.... Read More

Martin S

17:02 PM, 14th August 2021, About 5 months ago

Tidal wave of transactions

One of the aspects that most of us overlook, is the involvement of the Land Registry. We are in the process of trying to buy an old cottage, for the purpose of holiday lets, and thought that we had everything in place for purchase, despite the previous owner having died, and everything having gone through probate.
We received this e-mail from our Solicitors a couple of days ago, and the bottom line is that we are all in the hands of the LR for any progress, which is not helped by some previous Solicitors losing the Title Deeds, when supposedly registering the property with the LR!
I have chased the vendors Solicitors regarding the plan for the searches, however, having received the below from the vendors solicitors, you may want to hold off on the Local Authority Search as I believe they only last for 3 months. (Which begs the question as to how long we are going to have to wait?)
I am sorry, the Land registry are just inundated at the moment and its hard to predict any sort of timescale. please see below from vendors Solicitors:
We attach a plan which you may wish to use for search purposes but this is sent with a caveat that the application is still pending with a number of requisitions which are currently being dealt with due to the complexity of the application. The application for first registration had been submitted some years ago by a previous firm (Solicitors) who then proceeded to lose the title deeds and we are doing our best to reconstruct the title in order to have some form of title to sell on.
Has anybody else come across this scenario, and what was the outcome, especially the timescale?... Read More