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joeustace_gmail_com

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  1. Hi, I have a tenant since June 2018 and the current EPC, which was rated B, expired February 2019. Is it a legal requirement to have an up-to-date EPC and get a new one now even though it's the same tenant, or is this something to be done if and when a tenant new moves in? If not, will this be a legal requirement any time soon (ie new legislation coming into force)? I think I read somewhere new rules were coming into effect from January next year? Thanks in advance!
  2. My student tenants have vacated 3 months before the end of their tenancy. The property has been left in need of cleaning and redecoration, which would be claimable from their deposit. As the tenancy is still running, I haven't yet done a check out report to validate a deposit claim. However, I also cannot conduct viewings for future prospective tenants due to the condition of the property. The property needs to be redecorated and cleaned professionally before anyone will sign up. The concern is that if the redecorating and cleaning are started before the tenancy ends, then this will forfeit any claim on the deposit. Can the tenancy be ended now in order to get the check out report completed early? Can the tenants confirm the property is vacant so the process can be started? Has anyone got any experience or advice on what to do in this situation? Thanks in advance.
  3. My student tenants have vacated 3 months before the end of their tenancy. The property has been left in need of cleaning and redecoration, which would be claimable from their deposit. As the tenancy is still running, I haven't yet done a check out report to validate a deposit claim. However, I also cannot conduct viewings for future prospective tenants due to the condition of the property. The property needs to be redecorated and cleaned professionally before anyone will sign up. The concern is that if the redecorating and cleaning are started before the tenancy ends, then this will forfeit any claim on the deposit. Can the tenancy be ended now in order to get the check out report completed early? Can the tenants confirm the property is vacant so the process can be started? Has anyone got any experience or advice on what to do in this situation? Thanks in advance.
  4. We're 11wks into buying a leasehold property and issues with the management company are holding things up. The company has stated, amongst other things, that the property is not to be used as a holiday let. However, there is no mention of this in the lease and it appears to be solely company policy. Holiday lets are something we had considered to use the property for and so have hit a bit of a brick wall. What is the legal standpoint here? Can the company really enforce things that have no mention in the lease? For a further example, they also have a no pets rule! What would be the consequences of going against something like this? I’m not even sure we would holiday let it, but I’d like to be aware of what my rights are. Thanks for any advice or tales of personal experience.
  5. Does anyone know much about this and how it works? How many properties need to be purchased to qualify, and how are the purchases linked? Is it relevant in light of the new budget and upcoming tax year?
  6. Thanks for the compliments! We love the flat and the area and have always had positive comments about how it looks from friends and colleagues. I think Zoopla would provide extra exposure but we're happy with the agent in all other areas. We have had a number of viewings too, it's just tailed off the last couple of weeks (following the price drop oddly). We also started with a weekend open day back in March without success. The flat is on the corner and has a larger area and higher price as a result. There aren't many 3 bed properties of that type in the area. This might be why other properties have sold quicker or more cheaply. As far as a target buyer is concerned, probably a professional couple. It's 10mins from railway links, which are then an hour to London Victoria. It maybe doesn't suit a family with small children at the moment (only one bathroom and no bath) but a family with a couple of older kids would be a possibility (our previous tenants fell into that demographic). I think these are the same reasons it's not that easy to let, although the rental market opens up to sharers. Letting again is a possibility, but because it isn't the easiest to do so, we thought about selling and purchasing smaller properties instead to spread the risk and hopefully find tenants easier.
  7. Hello again and sorry for the delay in replying whilst we've been away. Our agent's not on Zoopla, but here's the Right Move listing: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-34016241.html Some feedback has been positive, with the spacious front room, windows, light, period features all being mentioned. The problematic feedback regards the main bedroom being bigger than the other two (although all three are doubles and a floorplan is included to illustrate this); or that the bathroom is small/only has a shower (we arranged for plans to be drawn up remodelling the bathroom to include a bath. This paperwork is with the agent when viewings are conducted). Other feedback mentioned concerned the noise from the road outside (although we lived there for two years and it's quiet for inner city and not on a bus route or anything). As we're now in week 16, our viewing average has dropped to about 3 every 2wks. We're happy with the agent (we've used far worse in the past for lettings and a previous sales attempt). As Rob says, it doesn't seem to be a marketing problem necessarily. We also chose the agent because they sold the ground floor flat next to us, and another 3 bed property opposite ours. Price is something we adjusted just over 3wks ago. It was valued, by three different agents in early March, to be between £425k and £475k. We marketed it at £450k and have now reduced to £425k. We're reluctant to reduce further as, taking into account market growth other the past four months, wouldn't this make it a BMV property? There's another flat for sale on the opposite side of the road, also marketed with the same agent for the same price, and that hasn't sold either. This hasn't been marketed for as long, but has also been reduced to £425k. We wanted to sell the flat first and foremost as we haven't had the best experience renting it (tenants are as hard to source for it as buyers it seems!). However, we really didn't want or expect to sell it for less than it's worth (and even if we try to, there's no guarantee we'd find a buyer. We haven't had any offers or 2nd viewings at all). This is why I posted on the Hub forum as I wondered what our other options might be (refinancing etc). Thanks for both responses so far. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!
  8. We have a flat in Brighton/Hove that has been on the market for sale for 14 weeks. It used to be our home, then it was a rental property, now it's been refurbished for sale and is currently empty. We wanted to sell as all our eggs are in one basket and we thought we could reinvest and purchase some smaller properties to establish a small BTL portfolio. We've had little to no interest (average of 2 views a week, no second viewings, no offers). The price has been reduced to below what it's been valued at (by various different agents) but it's not moving, despite what I hear about the market being in our favour. What are my options? I was thinking of taking a mortgage out on it to release some equity (it's owned outright). Is this feasible? I'm completely new to this and basically wanted to know what I could/should do in this situation in the current market. Any thoughts or stories of similar experiences would be greatly appreciated!
  9. Hi Tim, we completed the report on Friday and luckily it went fine with the tenant and she didn't stay long, although she was very keen to state she needed the deposit back as she has borrowed it. She also pointed out some damages and during the viewing, we have noticed several things that have not been left in good order or are now damaged. We now need to try and claim some of the deposit in order to get certain things repaired. We have sent the report to our agent, but he has requested a price breakdown, so we have met with three builders, two of which have complied quotes for us, and the third should come through by the end of today. So far, both quotes have totalled £1450 (her deposit is £1350), although none of the quotes are itemised by room or job. We understand its probably quite unlikely that we'll be able to retain all the deposit, and we are expecting the tenant to dispute any deductions, but we want to try and claim as much as possible, as the rest of the cost will be covered by us. Do you have any advice on the best way to go about this and what happens if it comes to a dispute? Because we have completed both the inventory and check out ourselves, we know they don't carry as much weight but we are happy to pursue this as far as we need to go. We read through the links you sent us before, which were very useful so we have a lot of photographic evidence. The damages and issues are as follows: HALLWAY: - re-plaster and smooth over two areas of wall in the hallway (tenant's Dad has attempted to do so, but to an unsatisfactory level, and also damaged the laminate flooring in the process) - re-paint the hallway due to marks, scuffs and scratches (tenant has attempted to paint over certain areas but used incorrect paint so gloss catches the light on an over wise matt finish) - all wood work and doors/door frames need re-painting - all door thresholds need replacing as they have been cracked and scuffed KITCHEN - new catch required on fridge and washing machine cupboard doors - work tops need sanding down and varnishing (they were unprotected when we purchased the property, so this has only been made worse with damp stains etc) - oven needs cleaning GENERAL - laminate flooring needs cleaning - one mortise key is missing so needs replacing - all windows need cleaning inside and outside - several bulbs in kitchen, bedroom and hallway need replacing LOUNGE - skirting board in lounge needs re-painting, as does the Victorian-style radiator as pink paint has been spilled down it BATHROOM - shower door needs re-attaching to runners, lime scale and watermarks need cleaning from the door, plug needs unblocking BEDROOM 1 - mould/damp stains around sash windows needs removing and re-painting - sash windows need re-painting as lots of water marks and damp stains - tenant has added blinds to sash windows without our (landlords) permission, these need to be removed - skirting board needs re-painting - banister and skirting board on mezzanine level need re-painting - carpet on mezzanine level needs to be professionally cleaned BEDROOM 2 - barrel lock on sash window needs repairing Let us know your thoughts on the best way to go about this, we appreciate any advice. Thanks.
  10. Hi Tim, thank you for your reply, it's very helpful for us. We actually have a managing agent who originally issued 2 months notice, as per the terms of their contract, however, the tenant then counter-noticed so they have decided to leave within one month instead. This has all now been agreed, and the tenant will be meeting us at the property on Friday, but the agent isn't. When our previous tenants left the property, we were unhappy with the professional check out report, as it was very vague and failed to mention some damages that we could not then claim for. We thought this time it would be better for us to complete the report ourselves. The tenant signed a copy of our inventory at the start of their tenancy, and we have a very thorough report. Can you give us any pointers or tips on how to go about the check out? With the tenant present, it could cause some tension as you mention, so we would be grateful for any tips on how best to conduct this, or even if there is a certain template we should follow? We know there has been some damage to one of the sash window cords and paint work in the bathroom, but assume because this was highlighted to us previsouly, this will not be something we can dispute? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
  11. We have given our tenant notice to vacate on 5th March. We completed our own inventory and also hope to complete the check out report, however, we are unable to get to the property before 6th March. Are we able to prepare the report ourselves on that date or do we have to get it done independently? Thanks
  12. Our tenant has advised the managing agent that a cord within a sash window has snapped. An inventory was taken prior to the tenant moving in, which was signed by all parties to confirm the cord in question was unbroken. Who is liable for this damage and when should they pay? Is it down to the landlord to fix at a certain point; the tenant during their tenancy or out of their deposit following it; or an insurance issue (buildings, landlords' or contents)? It's not a clear cut matter, so thanks in advance for any personal experiences or advice.
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