Sell or repair? At my wits end!

by Readers Question

10:03 AM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Sell or repair? At my wits end!

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Sell or repair? At my wits end!

The ongoing saga of my property. Spent a lot on getting doors and windows replaced, redecorated etc, just needed to get debts removed from gas and electric meters (which I had the codes for) and get the BG engineer to rest the meter on this coming Thursday. I even had a tenant interested and being referenced.

I went to property yesterday and found that it had been broken into again and all the pipework and boiler stolen. The neighbour had called police and they had left an undated note through the door saying “Phone 101, nothing to worry about.”

Nothing to worry about – gas and water pipes ripped out, kitchen trashed, bathroom trashed bedroom ceilings down. Jeez! Gas turned off at meter. Stop cock in house leaks (letting agent was supposed go have had that fixed). Stop cock outside seized so can’t be turned off. Emergency plumber did a temp repair. I also discovered that work I’d paid for had hadn’t been done properly (eg old door and windows and carpets just dumped in garden, not removed; kitchen units not repaired – but that’s academic now) Moral: do not trust letting agent to check work.

So what do I do? Do I cut my losses and sell in the state its in or pay for the repairs (would need boarding up to prevent more break ins). I’m going to have to spend savings either way – either to pay off mortgage (it’s in negative equity even in good condition) or to do the repairs. I just want to sit and cry.

KJE



Comments

Jerry Jones

11:41 AM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Welcome to my world. I have 4 props in Middlesbrough and this story is far too common.

Fiona

11:58 AM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Hi KJE,

I'm so sorry to hear all this. I too have a LONG list of things that have gone terribly wrong in my property journey, and have felt it's all too much, and i want to throw the towel in. Unfortunately, property really and truly is NOT the holy grail to passive income, as so many guru's would have us all believe. Everybody here will tell you that.
Over the years, I have come to realise that for me personally, I am a property geek. I love it. I must have some gene that just keeps me coming back for more. And on the back of that, I've realised that this is the thing that keeps me going through the hard times. NOT the financial rewards.
It's a really really tough industry to be in. And if someone doesn't have some kind of love for it, that makes them pick themselves up after being knocked down, then personally, I think it's just not enough.
This was a lightbulb moment for me when I realised it. I do know enough about myself, and my love for property, that even when I just want to cry, as you do now, my inspiration will come back in time.
Good luck with all this, whatever you decide.
Fiona

Kathy Evans

13:56 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jerry Jones at 27/08/2019 - 11:41
Do you have any good tradesman contacts in the area?

Jerry Jones

14:49 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kathy Evans at 27/08/2019 - 13:56
I used to, but now I let my agents use their people. I have two in N. Ormesby managed by I Am and two others managed by Colliers

Darlington Landlord

14:51 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kathy Evans at 27/08/2019 - 13:56
Hi Kathy,
Is your Property in the North East? I might have some contacts.
Will your insurance cover some of the damage? if so they will have rules about what repairs you can do before they agree the claim or they won't pay for them so its worth checking first.
Also whilst it may seem there is nothing left to steal you need to secure it ASAP to avoid the risk of Squatters, Vandalism, Fire etc. while you decide what to do.
I would highly recommend fitting a basic burglar alarm (maybe even a wireles one you can easily remove if you sell) as a deterrent.

Kathy Evans

14:51 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jerry Jones at 27/08/2019 - 14:49
Unfortunately, the agent's people left all their rubbish behind after charging for a skip and didn't do all the things they said they had, so I'm not over impressed.

Kathy Evans

14:57 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darlington Landlord at 27/08/2019 - 14:51
Thanks. Yes, it is. And been empty too long for insurance to cover - if I'd known how long the agents were going to take to get basic redecoration done... Any contacts gratefully received esp window repairs and boarding up as the most urgent. And alarm fitting. But also need gas heating engineers and plasterer. The nearest place anyone will have heard of is either Peterlee or Houghton le Spring

Tim C

17:40 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Sadly I've been in this position many times myself.

As others have said this type of property is in no way a passive investment!

I was often given the great advice of just sell it. Not a lot of help if the current value is nowhere near the outstanding mortgage!

Can you try and strike a deal with the insurance co to pay out on the latest theft on the basis that you will put the thing to auction and there will be no further claims on the prop? The insurance monies may mitigate some of the capital loss.

Darlington Landlord

20:25 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kathy Evans at 27/08/2019 - 14:57Ok so your Property is in County Durham. I can't help with urgent boarding up so would recommend you ask the Police/ local housing department who they use or just get someone off something like trusted traders to secure the property ASAP. I'm assuming you don't know any local landlords you could ask and TBH it sounds like your letting agent is hopeless.
I can recommend the other trades but its better if we email direct
Mark Alexander / Neil - Please can you give Kathy my email address.

Kathy Evans

22:24 PM, 27th August 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Darlington Landlord at 27/08/2019 - 20:25
Thanks. Police said their boarding up service is too expensive!!

Mark Alexander / Neil or give Darlington Landlord my email

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