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Wednesday 16th May 2018

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Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 13


14:24 PM, 11th May 2019
About A week ago

Tenant complaining of rats and that I can't turn up?

Rats sometimes nest in properties and that is unlikely to be the tenants’ fault. I would prefer it in my home if callers don’t call unannounced and I try to give my tenants the same courtesy. If you are meeting a pest control guy there then usually you would know in advance, granted this might be a last minute phone call, so difficult at times. I usually ask workmen to give me enough notice to let the tenants know. Dealing with the issue is relatively cheap and will win you brownie points as a landlord. Leaving it will do the opposite. For me it’s not a matter of what’s legal, it’s a matter of commercial sense. Retained tenants save a lot of hassle... Read More


9:24 AM, 27th April 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Chimney exhaust ownership

I have to say that I agree with Paul. I have had some dreadful encounters including one that nearly cost me my house through 'structural surveyors' bad advice. Had I not done what Paul recommends and tried to understand the problem myself that's exactly what might have happened. In that case I was lucky enough not to have paid the bill (and didn't as it became clear that the advice was duff).
I have also on another issue, sued a roofer after he re-roofed a house I own that had damp/leaks round all the chimneys. Those problem continued AFTER the re-roof. One of the roofer's attempts at a get-out was to say that he didn't know whether one of the chimneys belonged to me or a neighbour and that it was up to me to have told him! Another roofer, called in for a 2nd opinion, told me to contact the FMB, which I did, and their chartered surveyor found the roofer to be at fault and gave him 6 months to remedy the work. When he didn't, the FMB wouldn't even strike him off their register. - They said I had to take him to court! Useless. I won the court case even though the roofer had legal insurance and therefore a solicitor in court (clearly he had been here before). And it cost the roofer 5K. The case took a whole day and the roofer tried to blind the judge with technicalities. I had spent ages researching roofing by then and was able to undermine his blarney, but the time it had taken up was very stressful. AND I was still out of pocket. Interestingly the 2nd roofer - who charged me 2K to put the problems right, had written a letter ( produced by roofer 1 on the day of the court case), saying that the 1st roofer had done nothing wrong! The judge disallowed it after I pointed out the illogical and late nature of the evidence, but I was flabbergasted. The judge DIDN'T allow any claim for the 2K to remedy the faults as she said that I had made a 'commercial decision' to fix the roof before the court case!! This was despite the first roofer having had over 18 months to fix problems that meant my tenants living in damp conditions. And they blame landlords for the condition of their houses!
If I have any advice it is that property is not for the faint hearted and ALWAYS ask questions if something seems illogical. Don't try and get jobs done on the cheap, but don't assume that the more expensive a job is the better quality it will be. The reverse is often true these days as that is exactly how the marketing of some trades works. I look for tradesmen who seem genuine, experienced and want the work (and for you to re-employ them in the future). And as for professionals - if you find good ones then hang on to them as they are worth their weight in gold.... Read More


11:15 AM, 16th April 2019
About a month ago

Excessive charges for HMO damage?

This is entirely what the deposit protection schemes are designed for. As long as the landlord has before and after evidence and can support his charges then he is being fair and I'm afraid that your son will be liable. It is worth noting that proof is very hard to provide as it can usually be disputed (are the photographs dated for instance?). If your son has his own before and after photographs then this will help the facts of the case. The charges for decorating sound excessive to me, although it is true that the time involved in logging damage and providing evidence is costly. I have to pay a team of staff in between student changeovers to inspect for damage, log and photograph it all. It is a huge job, especially where there has been damage as it will need re-inventorying when it has been put back to the original condition. I normally charge £30 all-in for a wall that need redecorating if it is only another coat of emulsion. This area of landlord/tenant relations is the hardest for both parties. I have had tenants who have concealed evidential photographs from their parents who have argued vehemently with me - until I sent a second set of photographs and then I didn't hear from them again. Good luck and don't be afraid to stand up for fair treatment. Good landlords would expect that.... Read More


10:28 AM, 6th December 2018
About 5 months ago

Student Council tax exemption - Proof required?

Dumb and irresponsible you may see your tenants as, I guess we were all young once and our CHOSEN profession and target market does come with its own peculiarities. I do collect this data but have never been asked for it and I do get frustrated by the constant stream of seemingly pointless admin that we now have to do. No doubt a jobsworth somewhere in the council has some axe to grind. But I'm very grateful to be in this business and to have my tenants. So like Monty says, sometimes its easier to just do whatever needs doing and move on. If only I could follow my own advice!... Read More


9:02 AM, 29th November 2018
About 6 months ago

Fake agents scamming landlords and tenants

Sounds similar to the 'agent' who approached me (see my forum post on this). He called himself Nathan Powell and his 'company' was called B-Line. If you google his facebook page you get the gist of how professional his 'agency' is.... Read More