Tag Archives: Leak

Dont panic, woodworm wont make your house fall down Latest Articles

woodworm wont make your house fall downHave you ever wondered why old wood worm holes are often visible in floor boards  yet there is no history of treatment? Probably not but I will tell you anyway. Woodworm (of which there are many forms from common furniture to the dreaded deathwatch beetle) eventually dies off when the wood dries and provided the building is appropriately maintained, there is no reason why any widespread infestation should recur.  Of course, areas that are potentially in contact with dampness could remain at risk and these can be addressed by eliminating the source of moisture. In some instances it is impossible to do so entirely, for example where timbers are embedded into the walls. Continue reading Dont panic, woodworm wont make your house fall down


Rent2Rent Scheme Gone Wrong Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Rent2Rent Scheme Gone WrongI rented my property to a company who in turn sub-let the property for the same term. The tenancy was an AST in the company name and I retained a deposit that was not insured.

The company provided me via email a tenancy agreement and I introduced additional clauses to accommodate sub-letting but apart from that I accepted the agreement they provided. I met the director of the company, initially he was going to find me tenants but after only one viewing and no offers he suggested that I rent the property to his company and my rent would be guaranteed. All my dealings were with him, he said he would find tenants for my property and my rent would be guaranteed. I accepted three months copies of his company bank statements as proof of income. I was going to live abroad and hoped to rent the property for at least two years, however unforeseen circumstances brought me back to London and I gave notice requiring possession of the property at the end of the initial term of one year. Continue reading Rent2Rent Scheme Gone Wrong


Advice needed re insurance cover and freehold managing agents Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Advice needed re insurance cover and freehold managing agentsThere is a leak in my ground floor 2 bed flat which is in a block of 17 flats.

The water is emanating from under the floor and I have duly contacted the Insurance providers who are arranging for loss adjustors to diagnose the cause of the leak.

The insurers have advised me that costs in respect of the repair to the cause of the water damage are not covered under this policy. Continue reading Advice needed re insurance cover and freehold managing agents


Problem with a new Combiboiler Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Problem with a new CombiboilerJust before the 1st annual check on a newly installed combi boiler my tenant reported a smell of gas when she showered.

At first we thought it was incomplete combustion and a leaky flue, which is exposed in the bathroom ceiling.  On opening up, the inlet duct was not fully on the gas valve seating. But the leak persisted. Continue reading Problem with a new Combiboiler


How can honest Landlords remove bad or non paying tenants Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Recardo writes to raise a debate on how honest landlords can remove bad or non paying tenants.

I have been a landlord for 12 years and as I manage my own BTL properties I am always looking for information and procedures on this industry. I have even written in the past for advice from other landlords on Property118, and I hope this article will help other landlords.

Over the years I must just have been lucky as I didn’t get any bad tenants, but over the last year I have had three. Must be a sign of the times.

One was a long term tenant who after signing a new 12 month tenancy wanted to leave 10 weeks later with 1 months notice. Another has just left after a year because “things just kept breaking”, front door lock, back door lock, toilet flush twice in 2 months, glass in the oven door (£220 to replace). Broken basin taps, and leaking connecting pipe. I just could not afford to keep this tenant on. The worst one I want to talk about is a tenant who stopped paying the rent and the hassle and stress that has caused.

This lady was in her 2nd year of tenancy when she had some “problems” and stopped paying the rent, she has a stay at home partner and a couple of kids. they were receiving LHA and she was the only worker. Her “problems” led to her loosing her job.

After she missed her first rental payment I contacted her to ask what was happening and she  said she was having a few problems, but it would be paid in a couple of weeks. After 2 weeks you’ve guest it no money, so I went on the chase and emails went unanswered and no reply to my phone calls. I sent her a section 21 giving her about 10 weeks to vacate (2 full months required). I also offered her a payment plan to catch up on her rent so I would not have to proceed with an eviction (my first). I also said if I had no reply within 5 days She would receive a copy of the section 21 in her hand delivered by my cousin, who is local and does small repair jobs for me.

She then contacted me three days later by email to say how sorry she was and she had received my notice, but she had lost her phone, and would you believe it her internet connection had gone down at the same time. No I didn’t, but if no money was received in seven days the eviction would proceed. She said her mum would lend her some money, but no money came as her mum was ill and taken to hospital.

It was now time for her 2nd rental payment (2 months) which she missed again. I contacted the council on that day to say she had missed two payments although agreeing to a payment plan, so could I have her LHA directly, and I had served her a sec 21 notice. They agreed to do this and I started to receive £565 from them although the rent was £725. At least I was getting something and if it was a private tenant with no RGI it would be nothing.

The day for them to leave on my notice was fast approaching, but she said she could not leave as they would be according to the council making themselves homeless. As such they would not have any responsibility to rehouse them! Isn’t it about time the council were banned from this practice. I have given 10 weeks notice and the tenants have made themselves homeless by not paying the rent they receive from the council to help house them. The lack of rent makes them homeless, not a court order.

Next step: Download a Claim form for Possession of Property. A four page form. As a landlord you have done nothing wrong, the tenants have broken their agreement to pay the rent. If they will resume they can stay there for the next 10 years. Question 7 on the form, have you taken a deposit if so was it held under a tenancy deposit Scheme, who with, give the reference Number. Was every one involved given the prescribed info etc etc. Are you sweating? Who’s on trial now! Is your deposit protection correct, up to date, and info sent to tenants been recorded and singed for by them? Phew thanks to reading the 118 site mine was.

This court process only cost a £175 fee, but that’s Ok as you can reclaim it from the tenant who hasn’t got a job or two pennies. They then have 2 weeks to appeal.

Luckily (you notice how lucky I’ve been so far, hope you are too) 3 weeks later there has been no appeal (as far as I’ve read no appeal against a sec 21) and the court has given them 18 days to move out. So that’s alright then this all started nearly 5 months ago.

The tenants receive the following court order: On 1st March 2013 District Judge——– etc. The Court Orders the defendant gives the claimant possession of ——- on 18th March 2013. The defendant to pay the claimant £175 costs.

I then receive a call from the partner (first time in nearly 2 years), this is the first he’s heard of this and they need more time to move. I said “I’m sorry you don’t talk to your partner who was paying part of the rent, but since she stopped 5 months ago I want my house back now”.

His response “this house isn’t worth 725pm, it’s falling apart and I’m going to paint all your walls black, you need to get a new gas cert as this one has expired it’s the law.”

Mr response was “you should not be in my house, so I’m not getting a gas cert until you leave and if the house is not worth the money then leave. On my last inspection there was no complains and the house looked fine to me. if you want to do some work I will bring you some magnolia and pay you to redecorate” he then hung up.

I sent the bailiffs form off (£110) on 18th and I’m still waiting for a date. If the tenants wait for the bailiffs I hope they can take their old car, TV etc to pay my court costs, because the lost rent has gone forever.

Universal Credit starts soon so I am sure more evictions are on the way and my advice is to make sure all your paperwork is correct and up to date because if not you’re the one on trial.

The tenant refuses to move on a notice, then on a Court Order on 18th, so are they in contempt of court? Are they squatters, new laws say the police can move them! Why would I be in court for going knocking, or wait till they are out and change the locks? Why does the landlord have to spend more time, money and lost rent to get the bailiffs in? What can we do to change the system on faster evictions and stop the council policy of advising tenants not to leave? A section 8 seems a waste of time when people have no money, but a sec 21 served for non payment of rent should mean they are out in 2 months.


Oven Cleaning is one of the biggest issues in a rented property Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

ovenOven cleaning is one of the biggest issues and this article is to help Landlords present this particular item in their property in its best condition for an inventory inspection and help tenants bring an oven back to its initial clean state when leaving the accommodation.

Let’s put it into perspective, the cleanliness of a property makes up 51% of tenancy deposit disputes and some of which can be attributed to people forgetting or missing an item to be cleaned, another is that differing people have differing ideas of what is clean. Let me give you an idea how we all think the same but differently.

Picture a cat in your head,
How big is it?
What is it doing?
What colour is it?

While we have all just seen a cat in our minds eye, some cats will be small, medium, large. It might be sleeping, sitting, jumping around and any colour you want. Nevertheless, it is still a cat. The same is true for cleaning, someone might have actually worked very hard to clean a property but yet it is not you to your high standard. Maybe they just don’t know how to do the task correctly and yes some are just simply too lazy to do it. It is a rare situation that we know which of these statements is true for a given household and it might be a combination of all of these factors.

There is a continuum for the level of cleanliness form: never been cleaned, attempted but still dirty, cleaned to an average household standard up to what we call in the inventory profession “cleaned to a high domestic standard” and “cleaned to a professional standard” the best of course being a professional clean.

Here is a list of key phrases I use when describing the cleanliness of an oven from best to worst:
1. As New
2. Cleaned to a professional standard
3. Cleaned to a high domestic standard
4. Clean to a domestic standard
5. Partly cleaned
6. Needs finished clean
7. Not clean.

I must add that fortunately, most inspection I do I only have to decide if the cooker/oven has been cleaned to a domestic or professional standard.

If you look at the picture below, this is an oven an oven cleaned to a high standard but its condition is excluded from our discussion on cleaning. This is a worn oven and unless you have prior information, to this picture, it is not possible to say if this is through damage or due to age and fair wear and tear.

 

This oven is clean but through age and use, it is marked and even rusted at the sides.

Then we have the oven that is clean to a high domestic standard that is to say it is grease free but there are still baked on marks.

 

You should also watch out for chemical residue, many of the excellent oven cleaning products on the market leave residue marks on surfaces if you don’t wash off the product fully, which technically means the oven is still partially dirty, need a finish clean.

There are several very good cleaning products on the market. But there is one that I prefer to use it gets the job done and is fairly easy to use and normally takes a clean to domestic standard to a professional clean level. It is a strong chemical so you have to be careful and follow the manufactures instructions it is “Oven Pride”. Please note that I don’t have shares in the company and I am not getting any benefit for mentioning this product my motivation for mentioning it is to   help anyone who reads this article in particular Landlords and Tenants.

About the author of this Post

Sydney Lewis A+ Inventories

Syd Lewis has been a private landlord for over 20 years, he is an accredited member of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Sponsor of the Good Landlords Campaign, a full member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and a Certified Electrical Portable Appliance Tester (NIPIT). He is passionate about what he does which is providing residential inventory services, PAT testing and marketing floor plans for Agents, Landlords and Tenants. Inventories start from £56.00 to find out more see:-


Tenant wants hole in kitchen wall for a dryer Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Tenant wants hole in kitchen wall for a dryerMy tenant wants to cut a small hole into the kitchen wall that backs into the garden to let her dryer exhaust pipe out.

I said no but she is saying its not good for the dryer steam to fill up the kitchen if she turns it on and had to go out. I suggested that she keeps her to keep the dryer in the garage but apparently that would be too stressful for her!  What would you suggest?

Continue reading Tenant wants hole in kitchen wall for a dryer


Is my letting agent treating me fairly? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

Is my letting agent treating me fairlyMy partner and I have been renting a flat through a letting agents for the last 2 years. They charge us £150 to renew to lease every 6 months, the latest contract was signed in November 2012 for a further 6 months.

Shortly after we signed the new contract we were offered a larger and cheaper place with the local housing association which we have now moved into.

What I want to know is, as we are still paying the £400 a month rent until the end of the tenancy or until a new tenant takes on the existing lease, can they actually charge us the £295 finders fee that they are saying we are liable for?

There was nothing in the tenancy agreement and they’re not losing out on rent because we are stuck paying both rents until May if they don’t find anyone to move in sooner. Continue reading Is my letting agent treating me fairly?


Tenants tightening taps too tightly – HELP! Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Tenants tightening taps too tightly - HELPI have a situation and I would like some other landlords thoughts and advice please.

I completed the refurbishment of a large property last August and lret the property in October 2012.

A few weeks ago I had a late night call from my tenants to say that water was coming  through the ceiling of the lounge. I attended the property and went into the bathroom to discover that the new taps had obviously been turned too tight which had caused a leak underneath that had probably been going on since they moved in.

Suddenly there was a bang and when I looked I could see into the lounge as the ceiling had fallen down. Continue reading Tenants tightening taps too tightly – HELP!


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