Throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

9:48 AM, 11th March 2024, About 2 months ago 7

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I was going to buy x 2 houses and turn them into HMO’s to put on long-term leases to SERCO (approx 100k each). On paper, it looks good and the numbers are appealing.

Then I started reading horror stories about dealing with SERCO. Some landlords talk negatively of Serco specifically, but others discussed negative experiences with Social housing in general. I think from what I have been told Serco would be a nightmare.

Am I in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater in thinking that long-term leasing to social housing providers is more trouble than it is worth? Does anyone have good experiences of doing it with decent providers (not Serco) and this model in general?

Many thanks


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9:59 AM, 11th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Never ever consider R2R scenario - you're not in control of the property

Victoria Valentine

10:42 AM, 11th March 2024, About 2 months ago

HI Bernard. You do need to be very careful with this, ensuring there are proper, detailed processes in place for when you want the property back. Also ample provisions for repairs and maintenance. I do know of one decent R2R provider but I believe they only look at London properties - where are these properties?

Judith Wordsworth

12:04 PM, 11th March 2024, About 2 months ago

It's not only Serco.

I rented 2 South London properties to a local housing association, probably 20 years ago, on a 3 year term. I thought I'd not have any worries - wrong.

When I got them back one property had had magnolia emulsion put on the walls but their decorators had forgotten to paint behind the radiators and they were black with mould. Walls had to be knocked back to the brick and sterilised. Every window the gaskets were mould ridden and needed replacing. Carpets and kitchen units ruined, from brand new.

The other property was the same but the lounge floor had been used to cook with a primus stove! The bathroom too wash trashed. Again knocked back to the brick, new kitchen, bathroom, new tongue and groove flooring, and a new boiler.

Cost: approx £10k a piece and that was 20 years ago.


19:37 PM, 11th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Simple. No.

Michael Booth

12:56 PM, 12th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 11/03/2024 - 12:04
No regular condition reports was this not in your agreement?

Robert Sled

18:39 PM, 15th March 2024, About 2 months ago

I would do it as long as I can handle the risks involved and are happy to take that chance

Judith Wordsworth

9:41 AM, 16th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Booth at 12/03/2024 - 12:56
The housing association did regular inspections, I as landlord was not allowed to, but you think that when the contract states “handed back in the same condition as when handed over” would have some legal weight. But no

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