Robert Mellors

Registered with
Saturday 26th October 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 1177

Robert Mellors

12:32 PM, 27th May 2022, About 10 hours ago

Section 13 notice for rent increase - Struggling with questions 3?

This is indeed a really confusingly worded question, but I presume it is simply trying to ascertain the date of the last rent increase?... Read More

Robert Mellors

12:04 PM, 26th May 2022, About A day ago

Does this avoid being an HMO?

I think some flats are also classed as HMO's, something about if they were converted after a certain date and not done in accordance with certain regulations. Sorry to be so vague, but it is best to check out the actual legislation where the HMO definitions are stated and then see if that applies to your property.... Read More

Robert Mellors

12:50 PM, 18th May 2022, About A week ago

Seeking help - Debt owed for repairs?

We use a debt collection company, on a "no collection, no commission" basis, and the company's commission is added to the debt, so becomes payable by the debtor, in addition to the amount owed to us, thus meaning the whole process costs us nothing (except our time instructing the company). They issue a series of debt recovery letters to the debtor, if debtor still does not pay, then I ask them to issue a "Letter Before Action" (LBA), still at no cost to us.

If the debtor ignores the LBA, we are then asked if we wish the company to issue a county court claim. If we say yes, then there is a court fee and also a fixed fee to the company, but again, these are costs (plus statutory interest) are added to the debt so become part of the County Court Judgment (CCJ) against the debtor.

Once a CCJ has been obtained, this can then be transferred up to the High Court for a writ to enforce the debt (again, court fees apply) via a high court enforcement officer (HCEO). Alternatively, once you have the CCJ you can choose to apply to enforce via an attachment of earnings (or other lawful method).

They also do a "no trace, no fee" service, so if you don't have a forwarding address for your debtor (former tenant), they may be able to trace them for you (and if not, there's no charge).

To enable all of the costs to be added to the debt and become payable by the debtor, you will need to have terms within your tenancy agreements that allow for debt recovery costs (including legal costs and court fees etc), and statutory interest, to be added to the debt. - I don't know the terms of your particular tenancy agreement so cannot comment on your particular ability to do this, but check the clauses in your AST to see if this is included. - If it's not included within your terms, it does not stop you taking the actions, you just might not be able to recover the costs from the debtor.

The debt recovery company I use is called Shergroup, and my contact there is Jackie Morgan. If you mention the services they provide to my company Choice Housing Ltd, then they should know what you are asking for.

The whole process can take a considerable length of time, so don't expect instant results!... Read More

Robert Mellors

12:00 PM, 16th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

'Rent To Rent' Millionaires In The UK

I've been doing rent to rent (R2R) since 2004, and have probably made every mistake possible in that time. I now operate this on a "not for profit" basis as supported housing, as this is the only way I've found that it can be done as a viable and sustainable business model.

What I have found during the 18 years experience of R2R, is that (private landlord) R2R can work well for the R2R operator while ever they are lucky enough to have full occupancy and good tenants who pay their rent and don't cause any damage.
However, as soon as there are voids, non-paying tenants, or worse still, anti-social tenants (damaging property, being violent, noisy, etc), then the whole model falls apart as most private R2R operators do not have sufficient capital to deal with the issues, particularly if it starts happening at multiple properties.

There will be some private R2R operators out there who have only experienced great tenants and no problems, so they will still believe in the R2R strategy, and be earning a living from it. (When they have sufficient income from this they may perhaps then invest that into purchasing properties, so they get a better return).

However, I believe there will be far more people who have tried to operate R2R and found it to be far more problematic and costly than they had been led to believe, hence the "horror stories" of those who have stopped trading and have left the property owner with problem tenants and a damaged property.

- For these reasons I don't think it is very likely that there will be any R2R millionaires.

However, councils, housing associations, charities, etc, have operated R2R schemes for decades, under different names, e.g. Housing Association Leasing Scheme, Private Sector Leasing Scheme, etc. The way these work may vary a little from one scheme to another, but essentially it is about getting all the operating costs covered via the Housing Benefit system and grant funding (HB for the property costs, and grants or commissioning for the non property related costs, such as the provision of support to tenants). - This can work very well for the property owners, and more and more property owners are seeking out supported accommodation providers to lease properties from them. However, again there are many "newbies" (supported accommodation providers) trying to enter this market and not really understanding the specialist requirements or the sheer level of work involved.... Read More

Robert Mellors

11:25 AM, 13th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

POLL - What is the ROOT CAUSE of increasing homelessness, lack of supply of quality rental properties and rising rents in the UK?

There isn't just one root cause, or even a primary cause, there are multiple factors at play which together are causing the increasing rents and decline in availability.

The most prominent factor for one landlord may not be the dominant factor for a different landlord. The root causes may also include many other factors you have not mentioned, (others have already mentioned the Stamp Duty Land Tax and total shortage of properties being built), such as mortgage/finance availability, or type of properties being built, or planning regulations, or welfare benefit changes (not necessarily changes to Universal Credit), or increased risks from bad tenants, or the risk of civil penalties, or council tax on each room within a HMO, or increasing utility costs, or behaviour of councils, etc, etc. All of the factors you have mentioned, plus all of the factors I have mentioned, plus no doubt many others, all contribute to homelessness increasing.... Read More