Tag Archives: HMO

Story of an Eviction Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I thought it might be helpful to other readers to post a blog on an eviction process. Story of an Eviction

In one of my HMO’s, I have just had a Section 21 expire and my tenant still present… Joy.

He is 29, able-bodied, and plays for a local cricket team, but has never done a stroke of work in his life.

Until last November his rent of £400 pcm was paid by the council, but then it dropped to the capped amount leaving him circa £80 pcm to top up with. Of course he has not paid a penny, though always has money for booze, fags and electric guitar equipment, with which he disturbs the other tenants in the HMO.

Having said all that, he is quite a personable chap, and I for one cannot fathom why he cannot or will not get himself a job.

He has had three months to find somewhere else and I don’t think has really bothered to even try.

I informed him back in March, informally, that if he could not meet the rent he would have to find somewhere else. Nothing changed, the noise nuisance worsened, and we served him with a Section 21, which effectively gave him ten weeks’ notice. I bought the HMO July 2011, and inherited him with the house, he is NOT a protected tenant, only having been there from 2009. No deposits were passed on from the previous landlord.

So, what would your advice be at this point?

I am thinking of removing his bedroom door, as it is my property…!!?

Has this been tried before?

Seriously though, I am not sure yet what processes and expenses will be generated by this process…

Will the council continue to pay their part of his rent through the eviction process or will this just stop?

Is it my bounden duty to give him free electricity,water, heating etc while the process goes on?

Perhaps he would also like some free clothes and a chauffeur service too?

How long will all this take?

Is this “enforced charity” just part and parcel of being a landlord?

Is there any way of claiming compensation from him/his family/the council..?

All comments and suggestions welcome, and I will try and update this thread as often as possible.

Ian Simpson


Meet The Landlords TV programme – fair representation? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Last night I finally got around to watching a TV programme I recorded on BBC a few weeks ago called “Meet The Landlords“.

I was asked to appear on the programme when it was first considered but when I told the reporter what managing my portfolio entailed he wasn’t really that interested. Who could blame him? My tenants stay with me for years, I outsource most things and for that reason I doubt I spend more than a couple of hours every week looking after my property portfolio. It makes me enough to live on, my tenants are all very happy and neither me nor my tenants are ever very likely to make good viewing on the Jeremy Kyle show.

The appearances from landlords and tenants featured on “Meet the Landlords” though was a proper rogues gallery. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the programming team had stood out the Jeremy Kyle recording studio’s a picked the worst of the worst people. Perhaps they offered them a free Maccie D’s in return for them and their landlords to make another appearence on the telly? LOL

The programme featured:-

  • Two amateur landlords whose tenants had not been paying rent for months,
  • a landlord calling himself the HMO Daddy who runs what I can only describe as “doss houses” for the dreggs of society,
  • and a woman from a North Eastern letting agency who let a property for a private landlord to rent to a drunken ASBO tenant who couldn’t even be bothered to turn up sober and then broke down into tears when presented with a property which he clearly realised he didn’t deserved to live in

If the BBC wanted to make a documentary revealing broken Britian this was a success. If they wanted to portray the Private Rented Sector then sorry, in my opinion it was a massive #FAIL

If the two amateur landlords had employed a decent letting agent or spent some time reading forums such as this one they wouldn’t have found themselves thousands of pounds down in rent arrears. One of the landlords was quite clearly on the verge of a mental breakdown but the hypocrisy of her story was that whilst her tenants were not paying the rent due to her, she was falling into arrears with her own landlord and prioritising subsidising her own mortgage! No wonder Paul Shamplina for Landlord Action has such a thriving Tenant Eviction business. He was one of the few people on the programme who came across as being decent.

I’ve heard about the HMO Daddy selling coaching and mentoring and I had always wondered why a landlord who claimed to be successful would do that. In my mind, you mentor people either to grow your own business (i.e. employees) or you do it when you’ve made enough money to become truly altruistic and because you thrive on helping other to achieve or solve problems which you’ve previously encountered. Having watched this programme I think I may have worked it out. Perhaps “landlord Jim” needs to sell a blueprint of his “secret recipe”, or a positive spin on what he would really like it to be like, in order to subsidise the appalling behaviour of his appalling tenants living in his appalling properties, all of which were exposed on National TV?

I’ve read some very positive views elsewhere on the web about the lady who worked for the letting agency and dealt with the ASBO tenant. Yes she was grounded, caring and very patient. What I can’t get my head around is how it can possible be in the interests of any landlord to put a drunken lout like that tenant into what seemed to be a relatively decent property. Fair enough, it was explained that the rent was guaranteed to be paid directly by the Council due to this chaps “issues” shall we say but come on! Anybody with half a brain can see this chap was on the road to nowhere but prison. If that house isn’t completely trashed within a year then I will eat my words but I’d happily lay a bet that the damage he causes to the property and the distress he causes to the poor people living in close proximity to him will not come close to the rental income. What man in his right mind would think his wife and children would feel safe living to a sexist drunk like him? The guy believed he was God’s gift to women and obviously has no respect for society or the law either. The chap needed to be institutionalised in my opinion, for his own safety and for others, but I suppose that’s the result of what was badged “Care in the Community”.

The real shocker for me was the prostitute tenant who gave up possession of her property without going to Court in return for a tenner. Yes she signed some papers but it was pretty obvious to me that she did that under duress and whilst under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.

Maybe I’m lucky, perhaps I will be labelled as a snob for writing this review, but the “Meet the Landlords” TV programme was nothing like the Britain I know and love and certainly not representative of what I have witnessed as a result of being a landlord for the last 24 years!

What were your thoughts?Meet The Landlords


Property Investment – what would you buy? Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Whenever I walk down a high street I can’t help looking through the window of the local estate agents and letting agents.

I stand there working out rental yields and often I get tempted to buy.

Do you ever do that?

Property Investment - what would you buy to let?The only reason I stopped buying a few years ago is that I had already achieved all of my financial goals having been in the property investment business for over 20 years. For me it was time to stop investing and to start living.

My current lifestyle is only possible as a result of many years of building my property portfolio.

Over the years I have created systems for everything I do in terms of property investment and property/tenant management and it’s those systems which now afford me the luxuries in life of freedom and opportunity to do what I enjoy best. It’s not all about travelling, spending time with family and sitting on beaches though. I love to engage with other landlords, hence my commitment to sharing best practice on this property forum which, as you may be aware, is funded entirely by donations and sponsorships.

Some of the most common questions I get asked are; how did you do it, is it still possible, what would you do if you were starting again today? Well if you read all 6,000+ posts on Property118 you will get a good idea, however, I’ve been thinking to myself that there must be an easier way to share what I know and to make it relevant to what’s happening in the buy to let property investment business today.

The idea I came up with is to ask you (Property118 readers) where you would consider buying. I will then investigate that area, select a property that I would buy myself (if I was still investing) and explain why. More to the point, I will also document how I would finance, let, manage and maintain the property along with the “desk top due diligence” I would ordinarily do prior to committing to viewing a property with a view to making purchase.

Would you find that useful?

If so, please leave a comment in the section below and let me know which areas you would like me to investigate.

Now I won’t necessarily pick the same properties that you would. That’s because we are all different and we all have a variety of motives for investing into property. Therefore, please don’t ask me to look into high yielding properties such as HMO’s, student properties or housing for state supported tenants as that’s not what I know about. I don’t know much about very high value properties either, my market is far more akin to properties which will appeal to Mr and Mrs Average, either with children of school age or retired. What you might find useful, even if we do do pick different properties, is the way I go about making my decisions.

I will assume that in every case I have access to up to £100,000 cash to invest. Based upon my findings I will explain how many properties I would buy using that money, how much finance I raise in terms of mortgages and how much capital I would retain for a rainy day.

The types of properties I will be selecting will be as follows:-

  1. Decent low maintenance properties in decent areas to attract decent low maintenance tenants
  2. NET cashflow return based on NET capital invested will be greater than could be achieved from a bank or building society
  3. Easy to re-sell or re-let in all market conditions
  4. Prospects for capital growth over the medium to log term, i.e. seven to 20 years

So back to my question, what areas (towns and or cities) would you like me to look into and why?Property Investment - what would you buy


Private Rented Sector Review – Conclusions and recommendations Landlord News, Latest Articles

The Private Rented Sector Review conclusions and recommendations published by the Communities and Local Government Committee:

Simplifying regulation

1.  We recommend that the Government conduct a wide-ranging review to consolidate legislation covering the private rented sector, with the aim of producing a much simpler and more straightforward set of regulations that landlords and tenants can easily understand. As part of this review, the Government should work with groups representing tenants, landlords and agents to bring forward a standard, plain language tenancy agreement on which all agreements should be based. There should be a requirement to include landlords’ contact details in tenancy agreements. (Paragraph 13)

2.  We recommend that the Government consult on the future of the housing health and safety rating system and the introduction of a simpler, more straightforward set of quality standards for housing in the sector. The Government should also ensure that planning and building regulations are consistent with standards for the quality and safety of private rented housing. (Paragraph 18)

Increasing awareness

3.  We recommend that, once the review of the legislative framework we have called for is completed, the Government, working with tenants’, landlords’ and agents’ groups, establish and help to fund a publicity campaign to promote awareness of tenants’ and landlords’ respective rights and responsibilities. Our recommendation for a wholesale review of the regulation in the sector provides the obvious platform on which to base a publicity campaign. (Paragraph 24)

4.  We recommend that the Government bring forward proposals for the introduction of easy-to-read key fact sheets for landlords and tenants, and consult on the information these sheets should contain. The sheets could include links to further information available online. As a minimum, the sheets should set out each party’s key rights and obligations, and give details of local organisations to whom they could go for further advice and information. This fact sheet should be included within the standard tenancy agreement we propose earlier in this chapter. (Paragraph 25)

Raising standards

5.  Some local authorities are doing excellent work to raise standards in the private rented sector, but there appears to be more scope for sharing this good practice, so that all councils are performing to a high standard. The Local Government Association should, as part of its sector-led improvement role, make sure that mechanisms are in place to ensure all councils learn from the good practice and take effective steps to improve standards of property and management in the private rented sector. (Paragraph 30)

6.  We are concerned about reports of reductions in staff who have responsibility for enforcement and tenancy relations and who have an important role in making approaches to raising standards successful. Given the financial constraints that councils face, it is important to identify approaches to raising standards that will not use up scarce resources. One approach is to ensure that enforcement arrangements pay for themselves and help to fund wider improvement activity. Therefore, where possible, the burden of payment should be placed upon those landlords who flout their responsibilities. (Paragraph 31)

7.  We recommend that the Government consult on proposals to empower councils to impose a penalty charge without recourse to court action where minor housing condition breaches are not remedied within a fixed period of time, though an aggrieved landlord would have the right of appeal to a court. (Paragraph 33)

8.  We recommend that, where landlords are convicted of letting property below legal standards, local authorities be given the power to recoup from a landlord an amount equivalent to that paid out to the tenant in housing benefit (or, in future, universal credit). We hope that such a measure will help to prevent unscrupulous landlords from profiting from public money. Local authorities should be able to retain the money recouped to fund their work to raise standards. To ensure a consistent approach, those tenants who have paid rent with their own resources should also have the right to reclaim this rent when their landlord has been convicted of letting a substandard property. (Paragraph 37)

Illegal eviction

9.  We do not agree that a statutory duty to have to take steps to tackle illegal eviction should be placed on local authorities, as it would be inconsistent with a localist approach. Nevertheless, it is again important that local authorities learn from each other and share best practice on tackling illegal eviction. The Local Government Association should ensure that lessons on illegal eviction are learnt and disseminated. (Paragraph 38)

10.  We are concerned that the police are sometimes unaware of their responsibilities in dealing with reports of illegal eviction. We recommend that the Department for Communities and Local Government work with the Home Office on guidance that sets out clearly the role of the police in enforcement of the Prevention from Eviction Act 1977. (Paragraph 39)

Licensing and accreditation

11.  The idea of national licensing has some merit, and such a scheme could bring a number of benefits, particularly if introduced alongside an effective system of redress. It is clear, however, that the Government has not been convinced by these arguments, and we have some sympathy with the Minister’s assertion that a national scheme could be very rigid. Having tailored local schemes may bring its own costs, especially for landlords operating across several areas, but on balance we would prefer to see local authorities develop their own approaches to licensing or accreditation in accordance with local needs. The Government’s focus should be on giving local authorities greater flexibility and encouraging the use of existing powers. (Paragraph 43)

12.  We recommend that the Government bring forward proposals for a reformed approach to selective licensing, which gives councils greater freedom over when licensing schemes can be introduced and more flexibility over how they are implemented. Councils should ensure that the cost of a licence is not set so high as to discourage investment in the sector. (Paragraph 49)

13.  We recommend that the Government give local authorities a power to require landlords to be members of an accreditation scheme run either by the council itself or by a recognised landlords association. (Paragraph 53)

14.  It is important that local authorities have options and tools to raise standards in their areas. Three particular options are: (1) greater use of landlord licensing schemes; (2) compulsory accreditation; and (3) taking a proactive neighbourhood approach to raising standards. In each of these cases, given resource constraints, the schemes have to pay for themselves, and, as far as possible, place the burden of payment on the unscrupulous landlords, with financial deterrents for non-compliance. Councils should be given the powers to impose heavy penalties on those who do not register for licensing or compulsory accreditation after appropriate notification. Neighbourhood approaches could be funded by local authorities recouping costs from landlords whose properties fail to meet minimum standards. We further recommend that the Government initiate a review of the fines imposed by the courts for letting substandard properties, to ensure they act as a sufficient deterrent. (Paragraph 55)

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

15.  We recommend that the Government conduct a review of the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation. This review should consider, amongst other things, evidence of the effectiveness of mandatory licensing, how well it is enforced, and whether the definition of a prescribed HMO should be modified. (Paragraph 58)

16.  Where there are community concerns about high concentrations of houses in multiple occupation, councils should have the ability to control the spread of HMOs. Such issues should be a matter for local determination. We therefore consider it appropriate that councils continue to have the option to use Article 4 directions to remove permitted development rights allowing change of use to HMO. (Paragraph 63)

17.  Universities have a responsibility to ensure that student housing does not have a detrimental impact upon local communities. They should be working with local authorities and student groups to ensure that there is sufficient housing in appropriate areas and that students act as responsible householders and members of the community. (Paragraph 64)

Safety standards

18.  We recommend that the Government work with the electrical industry to develop an electrical safety certificate for private rented properties. To obtain such a certificate, properties should be required to have a full wiring check every five years and a visual wiring check on change of tenancy. Landlords should be aware of the legal requirement to provide safe installations and appliances. (Paragraph 66)

19.  We recommend that the Government introduce a requirement for all private rented properties to be fitted with a working smoke alarm and, wherever a relevant heating appliance is installed, an audible, wired-up EN 50291 compliant carbon monoxide alarm. (Paragraph 67)

Regulation of letting agents

20.  We recommend that, as part of its consultation on the redress scheme, the Government seek views on how best to publicise such a scheme and what penalties should be in place for those agents who do not comply. The Government should also explore how the redress scheme fits alongside existing arrangements for deposit protection. We further recommend that the redress scheme is accompanied by a robust code of practice that sets out clear standards with which agents are required to comply. (Paragraph 74)

21.  We recommend that the Government make letting and managing agents subject to the same regulation that currently governs sales agents. This includes giving the Office of Fair Trading the power to ban agents who act improperly, and making client money protection and professional indemnity insurance mandatory. (Paragraph 78)

22.  Any proposal to require sales agents to meet minimum professional standards before they begin trading should also be applied to letting and managing agents. In addition, if at any point a requirement for sales agents to be registered with an accredited industry body is to be introduced, this should be part of a wider framework also covering letting and managing agents. We recommend that the Government review these arrangements in two years’ time. (Paragraph 78)

Agents’ fees and charges

23.  We recommend that the code of practice accompanying the new redress scheme include a requirement that agents publish a full breakdown of fees which are to be charged to the tenant alongside any property listing or advertisement, be it on a website, in a window or in print. This breakdown should not be “small print”, but displayed in such a way as to be immediately obvious to the potential tenant. The code should also require agents to explain their fees and charges to tenants before showing them around any property. Furthermore, the code should forbid double charging, and there should be a requirement that landlords are informed of any fees being charged to tenants. If agents do not meet these requirements, the fees should be illegal. Finally, the professional bodies should make a commitment to full, up front transparency on fees and charges a requirement of membership. (Paragraph 83)

24.  We intend to gather further information on the impact in Scotland of the decision to make fees to tenants illegal, and to return to this issue in 2014. (Paragraph 86)

Longer tenancies

25.  The demographics within the private rented sector are changing. No longer can it be seen as a tenure mainly for those looking for short-term, flexible forms of housing. While some renters still require flexibility, there is also an increasing number, including families with children, looking for longer-term security. The market, therefore, needs to be flexible, and to offer people the type of housing they need. The flexibility of assured shorthold tenancies should be better exploited, and the option of using assured tenancies should also be considered where these meet the needs of landlords and tenants. That we are beginning to see some institutions and housing associations offering longer tenancies under the current law suggests that we do not need legislative changes to achieve them. Rather, we need to change the culture, and to find ways to overcome the barriers to longer tenancies being offered. (Paragraph 94)

26.  We recommend that the Government convene a working party from all parts of the industry, to examine proposals to speed up the process of evicting during a tenancy tenants who do not pay rent promptly or fail to meet other contractual obligations. The ability to secure eviction more quickly for non payment of rent will encourage landlords to make properties available on longer tenancies. The Government should also set out a quicker means for landlords to gain possession if they can provide proof that they intend to sell the property. (Paragraph 97)

27.  Some landlords are not able to offer longer tenancies because they are prevented from doing so by conditions in their mortgage. We are pleased that lenders are considering how such conditions can be removed, and that Nationwide Building Society is to begin allowing its borrowers to offer longer term contracts. We urge the Council of Mortgage Lenders to work with other lenders to ensure that they quickly follow suit. Lenders should only include restrictions on tenancy length in mortgage conditions if there is a clear and transparent reason. (Paragraph 100)

28.  We recommend that the Government include in the code of conduct for letting agents a requirement both to make tenants aware of the full range of tenancy options available, and, where appropriate, to broker discussions about tenancy length between landlords and tenants. (Paragraph 102)

‘Retaliatory eviction’

29.  There is a perception amongst some tenants that if they speak out it could result in their losing their home. Tenants should be able to make requests or complain without fear that doing so will lead the landlord to seek possession. We are not convinced, however, that a legislative approach is the best or even an effective solution. Changing the law to limit the issuing of section 21 notices might be counter-productive and stunt the market. Rather, if we move towards a culture where longer tenancies become the norm, tenants will have greater security and also more confidence to ask for improvements and maintenance and, when necessary, to complain about their landlord. Moreover, if local authorities take a more proactive approach to enforcement, they will be able to address problems as they occur rather than waiting for tenants to report them. (Paragraph 105)

Rents and affordability

30.  Problems with the affordability of rents are particularly acute in London and the South East. Although in other parts of the country average rents and yields are relatively stable, we are still concerned that some families are struggling to meet the costs of their rent. We do not, however, support rent control which would serve only to reduce investment in the sector at a time when it is most needed. We agree that the most effective way to make rents more affordable would be to increase supply, particularly in those areas where demand is highest. (Paragraph 110)

31.  There is no perfect way to set rent, but, where longer tenancies are being established, linking increases to inflation or average earnings, or voluntarily agreeing a fixed uplift each year merit consideration and could provide tenants and landlords with a degree of stability, though over time mechanisms may emerge as, for example, in the commercial property sector. Tenants’, landlords’ and agents’ groups should encourage their members to discuss these options at the outset of a tenancy. Existing arrangements for setting and increasing rent are often arbitrary and uneven, and reflect the immaturity of the market. (Paragraph 113)

Placement of homeless households in the private rented sector

32.  We welcome the Government’s use of secondary legislation to clarify when accommodation is unsuitable for homeless households. We expect councils to pay full regard to this order and to ensure that homeless households are only placed in suitable accommodation. Given that many of these households will be vulnerable, councils have a particular responsibility to ensure that the properties they are placed in are free from serious health and safety hazards. We recommend that, as a matter of good practice, local authorities should inspect properties before using them for the placement of homeless households. (Paragraph 117)

33.  All agree that, wherever possible, councils should be placing homeless households within their local area (unless there are particular circumstances that mean it is not in the households’ interests). It nevertheless appears inevitable that councils in areas with high rents, London in particular, will place homeless households outside the area, including in coastal towns. Before any placement, there should be a full discussion with the receiving authority and the prospective tenant and information about the household and its ongoing needs should be shared. The Government should consider making this a statutory duty. (Paragraph 121)

34.  We were pleased to hear of positive examples of work to support homeless households in the private rented sector, including the establishment of social letting agencies and the development of private rented sector access schemes. We encourage the Government to work with local government, the charity sector and industry bodies to ensure best practice is shared and lessons learned. (Paragraph 122)

Local housing allowance

35.  We recommend that the Government take immediate steps to allow councils to apply for a variation of broad rental market area boundaries where anomalies occur. (Paragraph 125)

36.  We recommend that the Government conduct a wide-ranging review of local housing allowance (LHA). This review should assess whether there is greater scope for local flexibility over the setting of LHA rates and the boundaries of broad rental market areas. Local authorities could be incentivised to reduce the housing benefit bill by being allowed to retain any savings for investment in affordable housing. (Paragraph 125)

Data quality

37.  We recommend that the Government establish a small task group of key organisations and academics to consider how data relating to the private rented sector can be improved and made more readily available. In addition, we encourage the National Audit Office to contribute to an effective evidence base about the sector and to draw upon our recommendations when developing studies on housing related topics. (Paragraph 128)

Tax

38.  We recommend that the Government, in reviewing the regulation covering the private rented sector, set out proposals for greater co-ordination between the tax authorities and those regulating the private rented sector. (Paragraph 131)

Increasing supply

39.  We welcome the introduction and expansion of the Build to Rent Fund. The Government should take steps to ensure that the fund makes a net addition to new housing, as well as speeding up the delivery of those homes already in the pipeline. (Paragraph 138)

40.  It remains to be seen how much impact the guarantee scheme for the private rented sector will have in delivering additional new homes. The policy may be well-intentioned in its aim to encourage organisations to have more confidence to invest in the sector, but the Government needs to measure results. We invite the Government in its response to our report to update us on the number of applications it has received for the private rented sector guarantee scheme, and to provide an estimate for the number of additional homes it expects the scheme to deliver. If there is any doubt that the scheme is going to deliver the homes required, we recommend that the Government rapidly explore other options for the use of the resources identified. (Paragraph 142)

41.  We welcome the establishment of the task force to promote and broker investment in build-to-let development, and are pleased that the task force is already in operation. It is important that this task force does not become another quango but quickly delivers on its objectives. We invite the Government, in its response, to set out the progress made by the task force in its first few months of operation. This update should quantify the amount of additional investment brokered, and the number of additional homes it would deliver. (Paragraph 144)

42.  Efforts to promote high-quality build-to-let development have commanded significant amounts of government attention and resources. One of the main arguments in favour of this approach is that it will lead to improved choice, quality and affordability across the whole of the private rented sector. It is too early to assess the impact, but a key part of the evaluation of these measures must be the impact they have on the sector as a whole. If, in a year’s time, there is no evidence of this broader effect, the Government must reconsider its strategy and look to other measures to boost supply across the sector as a whole. (Paragraph 148)

43.  There is an urgent need to boost supply across all tenures of housing. We recommend that the Government revisit the Committee’s report on the Financing of New Housing Supply, and set out proposals to implement those recommendations it initially rejected. (Paragraph 150)commons logo


Can Edinburgh Council ban Wooden floors in my HMO? Latest Articles

I’ve had a 5 double bedroom double upper Georgian property in Leith which I bought and renovated 12 years ago. I’ve rented it out room by room (mainly to overseas visitors) and had very few problems.

All the bedrooms have birchwood floors and the lounge and hallways are carpeted. The Scottish Office published a Guide for Landlords with HMO properties and suggested that due to noise disturbance to neighbours below from hardwood floors “it may be helpful to lay carpets rather than wooden flooring” due to the number of complaints from neighbours living below students.

Only Edinburgh and Dundee councils in Scotland have seen fit to enforce this on all HMO properties in their cities but recently have allowed exemptions if there is a proven track record of no complaints and a letter stating there’s no noise disturbance is signed by all the neighbours below over 16.

I wrote a letter to Edinburgh HMO dept last year stating that there have been no complaints about noise disturbance from the floors (only 2 bedrooms are affected) in the last 12 years. I don’t take students (apart from the occasional mature student), the floors are better for those with allergies (something which seems to be on the increase), and I also provide memory foam mattresses. The lounge area (carpeted) with kitchen off is more than big enough to cope with parties but my tenants being professionals in their 20s and 30s were more likely to have dinner parties instead.

I received a reply saying the policy was under review and I assume that during this time the exemption option was decided upon.

My problem now is a matter of principle that I’m willing to argue in Court. Why should I inconvenience my neighbour with paperwork as well as becoming indebted to him/them when there’s never been any complaint about the flooring?

The letter states that signing doesn’t negate any rights to complain in the future so to me this seems to be an added and unnecessary obstacle for the Landlord. Does Edinburgh council have the right to interpret a “Guide” as being a statutory requirement for HMO’s only? Especially as they’re in the minority in Scotland. This sets a precedent for “guilty until proven innocent” which I believe is the opposite approach in Law.

I’m not condoning noise disturbance not being addressed when and where it happens and I would be more than happy to address it at my property, if and when it happens. I did get a complaint from the neighbour about 8 years ago about the tenants (French at the time) having parties mid week and playing music loudly into the early hours of the morning with the windows wide open. I sorted it immediately and not by nailing the windows shut either!

Does anyone have any advice or am I just being “anti-authority”?

Paul wooden floors


Rightmove doubles 2013 forecast for house prices Latest Articles, Property Market News, Property News

Rightmove doubles 2013 forecast for house prices as it reports ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ fueling a predicted 4.8% annual growth.

There have been seven monthly rises on the trot and two consecutive record months as the price of newly marketed property increases by 0.3% (+£860) in July boosting year-on-year growth to 4.8% (+£11,561)

Rightmove’s 2013 forecast has been increased from 2% to 4% as latest increases fuel recovery of the housing market.

There are signs finally of a broader-based recovery with all regions up year-on-year for the first time in nearly three years contributing to the positive national picture. Confidence in the market is said to be on the up with the proportion of people expecting average prices to be higher a year from now doubling compared to this time last year, now at 62% from 31%.

Rightmove reports an increase in movers and predicts more to come as property transactions are already up 5% year-to-date and lead indicators suggest more in the pipeline. Email enquiries to agents and developers are up 18% on 2012, new sellers up 5%, mortgage approvals up 6%.

It has already been reported that Surveyors are struggling to cope with the increase in demand with waiting lists for surveys pushing up into weeks. This is however also due to the number of Surveyors who have left the market since the Credit Crunch.

Rightmove along with many financial analysts predict a positive borrowing window as markets do not expect a base rate rise for three years. Funding for Lending competition is easing rates and availability of finance, plus the ‘brick-shortage success’ of Help to Buy!


Landlords Insurance – don’t get penalised if you are a good risk Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Why is landlords insurance for Working/Professional HMO’s, Student lets and tenants claiming benefits so much more expensive?

In a word – RISK

However, as it transpires, it is possible to insure any rental property in the UK for a premium of £1.10 per £1,000 of cover plus Insurance Premium Tax providing there is a decent claims history and the property is structurally sounds and not in a flood plain area. That’s around 50% of standard pricing for these types of properties!

For landlords insuring a portfolio of three or more properties and a mix of risks (i.e. some standard houses and working tenants too) the premium can be reduced by a further 10 pence per thousands of buildings insurance through commission sacrifice by the broker. This is because the administrative costs are lower when spread across multiple properties insured by the same owner.

I was given the heads up on this by a couple of Property118 Members and felt compelled to follow this up.

Not only does it check out well but the cover also includes the following:-

  • Malicious damage caused by tenants
  • Landlords liability insurance
  • £5,000 of contents insurance as standard

It doesn’t cover any criminal damage as a result of properties being used as cannabis factories but most insurance companies don’t offer that cover anyway. There are several articles written here to help you reduce that risk too so please search cannabis factory in the top right search bar for more information on how to protect yourself.

The broker offering this scheme has agreed to make a generous donation to The GOOD Landlords Campaign if we test them out.

They are not our regular recommended insurers for our Landlords Buying Group at this stage but we do keep our options open and it will be interesting to see what feedback we get from readers we refer to them.

If you would like further information please complete the contact form below.Landlords insurance

Make an enquiry for more details

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Best practice for LANDLORDS (e-news compilation) Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

If in doubt ASK

Learning from other peoples experiences is often far more cost effective than making mistakes of your own! Advice on forums is no substitute for professional advice because comments and opinions are not insured.

HOWEVER, discussion can lead to ideas which you may not have previously considered and can often point you in the right direction, even if only to point you to the right person, piece of legislation or to find out how others have dealt with similar issues. The easiest way to communicate with other landlords and letting agents, without even having to move away from this screen is ….. read on

Landlords Calculator

Not only does this calculator make it very easy for you to analyse a property purchase you are considering, it is also useful to run the numbers for properties you already own as well as explaining industry jargon in simple terms.

Start running your numbers click here

Making life a bit easier for yourself

Time is money, knowledge is power and protecting yourself can be crucial. Why is it then so many landlords choose to self-manage when they don’t own enough of properties to justify the time required to be fully clued up with everything they need to know?

Perhaps they think they are saving themselves money? Well that depends on what they are basing figures on of course. The most cost effective way we know of to manage rental property is.. read on

Selling properties with tenants in situ

This can be a win/win for sellers and buyers. From a buy-to-let investor point of view we find landlords welcome the fact that they are getting rent from day one and have no need to set about paying rental agency fees to locate tenants.

From the sellers perspective, keeping tenants in situ also has the added benefit that properties tend to view better when lived in, provided of course the tenant is reasonably tidy. Where do 10’s of thousands of investors go to buy tenanted properties though? read on

Landlords Life Insurance Calculator

You can’t take your property portfolio with you when you “pop off” but unless you’ve done your planning right you loved ones might not be able to keep the properties either.

Read why here and use our Landlords Calculator to crunch some numbers to work out a cost effective way to minimise the risks of leaving your loved ones in a financial mess as well as an emotional mess. read on

Problem Solving

This Property Podcast explains some very basic principles to help you resolve any problem.

Listen to Podcast click here

Understanding HMO Licensing

This 8-page guide is a simple but authoritative explanation of HMO regulation.

If you have anything to do with HMOs or are just interested please read on

Member Profiles

We have had some excellent suggestions about the option we created last month for readers to create member profiles. We have now introduced a premium upgrade for businesses which would like to promote their products and services to Property118 readers in a subtle way. Don’t worry, we are still not allowing advertising!

Member Profiles remain FREE to set up and as all comments left in discussion threads link back to member profiles we see no reason not to allow businesses to add their company logo, telephone number, email address and a link to their website to their member profiles should they wish to do so. This should also encourage more businesses to engage in discussions and to help other readers as it will give them more exposure to their member profile. Everybody is a winner! see members


Certificate of Lawfulness for a HMO HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I have a question regarding what would be acceptable information for a planning department to give a Certificate of Lawfulness for a property I am potentially looking to purchase.

Background:

Property in question is the heart of one of the areas where 80-90% of all properties are of class 4 use. As many of you are aware since March 8 2012 there has been a change in the rules relating to HMO’S and planning. Continue reading Certificate of Lawfulness for a HMO


A licence for sharers? Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

I rent a house to sharers. The tenants’ rent is all inclusive. It is an unlicensed HMO.

Historical each individual tenant has had an ast signed and deposit held, and in some cases, “protected”.

I am careful when selecting new housemates and (so far) have had no trouble. I have always returned deposits quickly.

Can I amend the ast to call it a license agreement and therefore not have to protect their deposits?

Thanks for your advice.

Gavin Pearson A licence for sharers?


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