Tag Archives: Damp

Constant water leaks from the flat above – what would you do? Landlord News, Landlords Insurance, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Property Maintenance, Property News

I’ve received the email below from a landlord called John Caversham who has a problem with constant water leaks from the flat above his. What would you do if you were John? Continue reading Constant water leaks from the flat above – what would you do?

Tenants Repairing Responsibilities Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Maintenance, Property News

Following on from my article about whether pest control is a landlords or a tenants responsibility, I’ve had a few people contact me about tenants repairing responsibilities.

A lot of landlords and tenants are unaware that quite a lot of repairs fall upon the tenant. If you know this, you can save yourself time and money. The key thing is to confirm your repair policy in advance. This will minimise the risk of having to disappoint tenants when they may otherwise have reported a repair. Continue reading Tenants Repairing Responsibilities

Mould (mold?) and Condensation Problems Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Maintenance, Property News

mold and condensation problemsLike most landlords I have tenants who don’t open windows, dry their washing on radiators and cause mold and condensation problems. I give them a leaflet on how to prevent mould and condensation when they first move in and we also discuss the subject on move in day. Nevertheless, I, like most landlords, continue to get calls about mould and condensation problems, at least I did! I recently recorded a testimonial video below for a company which helped me to solve the problem once and for all. Just in case you are wondering, I recorded the video for free as I was so impressed with the results. Continue reading Mould (mold?) and Condensation Problems

Landlords Associations – a list of them all with links Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association, Property Investment Strategies, Property News, Tenant Eviction

Landlords AssociationI’m not a member of just one landlords association, I joined two!

I don’t know which Landlords Association is best, what I can tell you is which ones I joined and why they are the right ones for me. I’m also interested in whether YOU are a member of a Landlords Association and why you decided that was the best one for you. Continue reading Landlords Associations – a list of them all with links

Corporate Lets – 5 year deal with FTSE 100 company via NPG Buy to Let News, Buy to Let Property Hotspots, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News, Property Sourcing

At National Property Group we are working with a FTSE 100 company which has engaged us to source landlords wanting to let their properties for a mimimum period of five years on a Corporate Lets basis. To make life easier for you we have produced a video below and text below that to tell you more about their requirements and how to register your interest. Continue reading Corporate Lets – 5 year deal with FTSE 100 company via NPG

Property Management Checklist Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, landlord's log, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

My first intentional property investment part 4 – “My first Property Management Checklist

In the last instalment of the story of my first intentional property investment I promised to share with you the first property management check list I put together, it wasn’t perfect but it was a lot better than nothing. If you want to catch up on the other stories in this series please see my Landlords Log.

OK, here goes with my first property management checklist:- Continue reading Property Management Checklist

My first intentional property investment – part 1 How I got started, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Property News

The story began in 1989 when I purchased a property which I soon realised I couldn’t afford to live in. I suppose that was my first property investment and many landlords get started that way. I rented that property out when interest rates shot up and property values crashed leaving me in negative equity. I muddled through and I still have that property now. With that baptism of fire into property investment I’d probably have been forgiven for never wanting to buy another one but that’s not how life worked out. Mark Alexander

If only I had waited a few years I thought, I could have purchased the same property for 40% less than I paid for it. Then it dawned on me, properties would go back up in value at some point, that was one of the reasons I didn’t want to sell. I wished I could have purchased some more property at that time but I had no money so there was only one choice.

Step one – saving up the deposit

I had to work smart and save hard so that I could buy another property before they started going up in value again. I remember watching my bank balance grow, my target was to save £10,000. It seemed like a fortune at the time, when I set the goal I could barely make ends meet, never mind save any money. Nevertheless, I took an hour out every Saturday morning to document my goals and my progress. In April 1996 I had the magic £10,000. Having saved all that money I can tell you it still took a lot of courage to take it out of the safe hands of the building society and invest it into a property, despite the fact that’s exactly what I’d been planning for several years. Remember, properties didn’t really start to recover from the late 80’s / early 90’s crash until the middle of 1996. I only had a gut feeling at the time that they would go back up in value, I just didn’t know when and to be honest I didn’t really know why either. I just thought it was likely that history would repeat itself.

Step two – overcoming my fears

My biggest worry was that, in the short term, interest rates could go back up again and property values could go down even further. There was no way that I could afford to pay two big mortgages if everything went wrong. It wasn’t just interest rates that were worrying me either, what if I couldn’t rent the property, what if my tenants didn’t pay, what if I got an unexpected maintenance bill? I realised that I just couldn’t take the risk of investing 100% of my savings, I needed to keep some money aside for the unexpected, but how much?

Step three – what to buy and how to stay safe

The cheapest properties at the time were around £15,000 in my area. They were in grotty locations though and the letting agents I spoke to said they would be hard to let and even if I did I wouldn’t be dealing with a particularly friendly demographic of people. I realised that I couldn’t really afford a house, not a modern one anyway, and not being much of a handyman the thought on ongoing maintenance of an old terraced property was very off-putting. Therefore, flat’s were my target. Would I go for an upstairs flat or a downstairs flat though? There were advantages to both. Old people would be more likely to rent a downstairs flat, so too would people with babies. Flat’s with lifts were not common place back in 1996 and any that had them were way outside my budget. However, when I started looking at ground floor flats and talking to other landlords I realised that damp was often an issue, so was security. The reason for this was that people don’t leave windows open in ground floor flats. Therefore, I decided to go for a first floor flat.

Step four – location and price

Having decided to go for a first floor flat I realised that I was probably targeting a young working couple as my tenants. I’d also worked out that my budget was around £20,000 based on the fact that I needed a 25% deposit (£5,000) and could borrow the other 75% (£15,000). That left me with £5,000 of which I budgeted £1,500 to decorate and to pay all the fees associated with buying. I knew that I needed to buy on a decent bus route into the city and the industrial estates and having visited every estate agent in town (there was no Rightmove to check in those days) I narrowed it down to three properties. All of them were above my budget but only by a few thousand. I put in an offer on all three for £19,000 and they were all refused. I was gutted and resigned myself to search again in a few months time when hopefully I’d saved a bit more. I could have gone ahead and left myself with a smaller liquidity fund but I didn’t dare. Then, after a few days one of the estate agents called me back. Their vendors had had a re-think, they would accept an offer of £19,500. I was so tempted but I stuck to my guns and I’m glad I did. I was a property investor, no chain, I could move as quickly or as slowly as they wanted. I got lucky, they accepted, I was in business! I was well on my way to owning my first intentional property investment.

Please leave me a comment below if you’ve enjoyed reading this.


YOU ARE HERE >>> Part one – My first intentional buy to let property investment

Part two – Tips on becoming a buy to let property investor

Part three – Lessons learned whilst building my buy to let portfolio

Part four – My first property management checklist

Part five – Buy to Let Maintenance Budgets

Part six – Do landlords have to provide lawnmowers?

Part seven – Landlord, Tenants, Dogs, Pets

Part eight – Vintage 2003

BONUS ARTICLE >>> My relationship with Leathes Prior Solicitors and Property118

Part nine – Perfect tenant of 6 years turns heroin addicted prostitute – EVICTED! 

Part ten – Online Letting Agents Review

Estate agent secretly tried to let home he should have sold Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

An estate agent tried to make some money on the side by renting an empty home he was trying to sell.

Your Move sales consultant Daniel Morriss, 25, advertised the two-bed house to let online as a furnished let for £500 per month without telling the owner. Continue reading Estate agent secretly tried to let home he should have sold

HMO landlord pays £13,000 for ignoring repair order Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Maintenance

A shared house landlord who ignored council orders to upgrade his property was ordered to pay more than £13,000 in fines and costs by magistrates.

A team from Selby Council swooped on the house in multiple occupation (HMO) following complaints from tenants. Continue reading HMO landlord pays £13,000 for ignoring repair order

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