Tom Doolin

Registered with
Thursday 4th July 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 17

Tom Doolin

14:33 PM, 23rd August 2019, About 3 years ago

Mortgage with a council grant?

Hi James
I've only done one of these and it turned out to be an absolute nightmare, obviously I was deterred from pursuing any more.
Firstly, if you take the Grant you never get any rent. The Council recover their Grant from the Rent each month until it has been fully repaid, which is fair enough. I was fortunate in that my property had just been completely refurbished and was available immediately. This meant that I received the Rent every month.
Secondly, to preserve the Tenants "Right to quiet enjoyment" I was told that I was not allowed to visit the property nor even have a key for it. I was assured they would take care of all maintenance issues and Tenant problems throughout the term of the agreement.
After a trouble free three years the Rent stopped arriving. When I queried this with the Council I was told that as the property was uninhabitable, they would no longer be making any payments. Of course I then visited the property with my illicit key.
It was in a dreadful state. It had obviously been used to grow cannabis. The flooring, kitchen and bathroom had been destroyed and every single wall was full of damp and green mould. I learned that the old flooring, which was in a pile in the front garden, had been deposited there by the Council. When I asked them to come and remove it I was told it would be at my expense as they had terminated our contract and were no longer responsible for the property. After a long battle they did eventually remove it at their own expense.
My enquiries also revealed that the property had stood empty for 18 months which covered two severe winters.
I battled the Council for over two years for compensation and they fought me every step of the way. I eventually spent over £5,000 refurbishing the property and received compensation of £2,000.
You only have to search this website to see how many Landlords have extreme difficulties when dealing with Councils.
They change the rules when it suits them and if there is a change of Policy or personnel then no consideration whatsoever is given to Landlords.
I have no desire to burst your bubble but the more facts you get the better informed your decision will be.
Good luck.... Read More

Tom Doolin

11:40 AM, 16th November 2018, About 4 years ago

Calls to scrap direct payments

As far as I'm aware one of the main reasons given to justify paying the Housing Benefit element of UC direct to the tenant was to encourage them to be more responsible and to learn how to manage a budget. Or, as the OP has said, "To mirror the world of work".
If the Government think that that's such a great idea I have a wonderful suggestion for them.
Why don't they pay every PAYE employee their GROSS wage and at the bottom of their payslip show how much Income Tax and National Insurance is due.
The employee should then be instructed to forward that amount direct to HMRC.
Lets see how long that lasts.... Read More

Tom Doolin

17:40 PM, 16th February 2018, About 4 years ago

Best way to invest £100k - quick poll

Have you considered a variation of your number 4, paying off your own mortgage.
See if your current lender offers an offset mortgage facility. That way you will be saving the interest due on the first £100k of your mortgage and still have access to the capital should an investment opportunity arise.... Read More

Tom Doolin

14:54 PM, 9th January 2018, About 4 years ago

Croydon Council Croylease scheme

I'm at the other end of the scale from you. I've just completed a five year arrangement with Rossendale Council. I would heed the advice of other contributors and stay well away from such an arrangement.
I had just totally refurbished a property which was 50 miles away from where I lived so this scheme seemed very attractive. I wish I had never been enticed.
Sure, the rent was never a problem, it arrived, on time, every month.
However the quality of tenants in the final two years was abysmal. I was told that I wasn't even allowed to have keys to the property so keeping an eye on the internal condition was not an option. The Council stopped paying the rent seven moths before the contract ended, saying that the property was not fit for human habitation due to the damp. When they finally allowed me to inspect the property I was appalled by what I discovered. It was riddled with damp caused by leaky gutters and it had been empty for months with no heating. This was not a recent phenomenon and the damage had been caused by several months of neglect on the part of the Council. All the flooring had been removed to the side of the property and it was littered with the belongings of the previous occupants. The Council even had the cheek to send me a notice requiring me to dispose of the flooring or they would do it and send me the bill.
I could go on about the state of the property but I hope you get my drift.
I estimate that in its present condition the property has lost approximately 50% of its value and is going to cost several thousand pounds to put right.
I am in the middle of a legal battle with the Council but they are digging their heels in and telling me its my problem. There is still a long way to go in this saga and my legal costs are mounting.
Councils have a growing problem with the number of people who are finding themselves homeless. In my experience they will do their damndest to pass that problem on to anyone weak enough to accept it.
I've learned the hard way that no-one takes care of whats yours better than you.
Its a responsibility I will never sign away again.... Read More

Tom Doolin

18:38 PM, 23rd January 2015, About 7 years ago

Garden is trashed?

I would have no hesitation in informing the Council. At least they would take up the mantel and chase the owner of the property. Once he got his Seven Day Notice I would like to think that he would review his decision to find the current situation acceptable. There's nothing like hitting someone in the pocked to force them into a review. Its all the more satisfying when you know that you have the backing of the Council and they actually fight your fight for you.... Read More