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About Robert

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  • Location
    Northern England
  • My skills
    I work as a Contacts Manager for a building company in the North East, focussing on renovations of rental properties.

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  1. A loft conversion is the term your looking for! The planning process on loft conversions have been reduced in recent times, but you will still need to check with your local council and Building Control. Essentially a loft conversion is a Loft Extension, and should be treat ed as such. You need to ensure adequate head height, insulation, stairway provision, strength of the joists etc etc. Its NOT a case of chuck a few chipboard panels down, and you've got a room. If its not a bedroom the requirements are lesser, but still apply- and rightly so. Im sure you don't want to be falling thr
  2. Define 'Useable space'! If you're planning to use this as a habitable room, there are a whole raft of building regulations you'll have to meet, not least of which is head height. As storage, insulation in-between the joists, then again over the joists to the required depth is best. You can buy 'stilts' which fix to your joists, then fit boards over this. Squashing the insulation will reduce its effectiveness. Using kingspan boards or similar will likely break as the pressure will be uneven below it, even with timber boards over the top of them. The loft would be a cold zone. If
  3. Outside of London, how much will this actually affect rental purchases? Ive never paid anywhere near the Stamp Duty threshold for a rental property.
  4. I agree with Tim ( as usual). Ive used these online recommendation sites in the past, and have not had a good experience. One such plasterer, for example, had excellent reviews and photos, but was incompetent, messy, and harassed me to death for about two years for further work. Im sure most are good though. Ive never found a contractor who doesn't know other tradesmen in their field. You'll also find that they'll be completely honest about their capabilities. Remember that a good tradesman will often be busy! Rob
  5. Im not aware of any mentorship programmes for refurbishment. Theres nothing batter than experience though. Start small. Ill help anyone in any way if they ask. Bob
  6. Simon I assume you've read my post on knotweed at one of my rental houses? Will Japanese Knotweed Eat My House? Knowledge is better than experience! Rob
  7. Im in agreement. A cash offer will be preferred to a vendor for the reasons listed above. In the past I've bought cash and used commercial lenders, who have remortgaged in a very quick time after i have added value, but with standard BTL companies a 6 month minimum is required. Some unscrupulous people offer cash, and then at the last minute rock up with a mortgage, hoping that you won't pull out of the deal. rob
  8. Ady If you're that risk averse then stick to your comfort level. You know what your own goals and time scale is. Im quite the opposite. Id leverage the toaster if i could buy more property. Im holding forever, so I'm quite happy for inflation to erode my debt to the point of being laughable. As long as the cash flow is positive, ill sleep well. Rob
  9. I tend to make them as maintenance free as possible but would still try for family friendly for a 3 bed semi. Basic turf with perhaps a paved area would suffice (unless its a very expensive property) Sod the gardener. (pun sort of intended) rob
  10. Ive never had an issue with either remortgage or letting of the few properties I've dealt with which have a flying freehold. As simon points out, check with your solicitor and specific lenders. As for the letting aspect, generally if an area has one property with a flying freehold, it'll have loads. I don't think the tenants care one way or the other. Ive certainly never seen it as feedback from a prospective tenant who didn't take a property after a viewing! Rob
  11. Hi. The snagging list will vary depending on the type of project you are checking. Snagging a partial refurb of a 100 year old rental house is very different to snagging a new build housing development, or a factory. Go in the daytime! Basically walk around the property and take a note of everything you see which you don't like or is different to spec, or agreed standards. Photos can help the responsible person understand. Open and close every door and window a few times, lock and un lock the locks a few times. Check that the taps work, and that the sinks baths, and basins
  12. SB79 Collapsing how? In my mind, the rental market is no different to any other supply and demand market- there are increasing numbers of people who need to be housed, so the market should grow accordingly. Areas such as London have seen issues, particularly with benefits tenants having benefits cut, pricing them out of that specific market. There can be areas which rely heavily on one main employer, whereby if the employer closes down or moves elsewhere , the rental demand and property prices will drop. Generally though, its an upward curve. Do your research and you'll be fine.
  13. Hi. My input mirrors the comments above. My strategy relies heavily on recycling deposits, as I'm limited with funds (until the market outside london improves), so refurb work has been an essential pest. I work in construction anyway, and have appropriate skills, knowledge and contacts to enable me to refit properties in a decent timescale and budget. I can also spot a lemon! I think you should take your own skill set into account when looking for investments which require work. It will cost you more than you think. Taking on a job which will eat all your cash flown, time and energy fo
  14. For the landlord of these properties, the conversion from commercial to residential isn't a strategy, rather an adaption to current and foreseeable market trends. I think its important to remain as flexible as possible.
  15. I agree that a cooker/hob is almost essential. I generally get built in units, and they're not expensive at all. If the tenants make a mess of them its only £35 to get it cleaned, which is their expense anyway ( unless they've not paid their rent and done a runner with the carpets and light switches.)
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