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Dave T

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Everything posted by Dave T

  1. Have a look at LACORS fire safety guide. Its what a lot of local authorities & Fire Authorities look to as a guide. https://www.rla.org.uk/docs/LACORSFSguideApril62009.PDF In the case of your place it says (s34) ' the escape route should have sound, conventional construction and should not pass through risk rooms No requirement for fire doors note 5, but sound, well constructed and close-fitting conventional doors are required. Alternatively, provide suitable escape windows from bedrooms and living rooms' and (s14) 'Any window provided for emergency escape purposes should have an unobstructed openable area that is at least 0.33m² and have a minimum 450mm height and 450mm width. The bottom of the openable area should not be more than 1,100mm above the floor.' Theres also more requirements for escape windows, so have a read of section 14 of the guide. Pretty sure that's your answer. (The guide also tells you what alarm system you should have) oh - and yes, the council could serve an improvement notice on you under the HHSRS (and give you a big bill for the notice!), which forces you to do it.
  2. You cant transfer a HMO licence (Housing Act 2004 s68(6), and its unlikely you'd be eligible for a refund as it's not required by law - although certainly worth an ask! However, you SHOULD ask the Authority to revoke the licence if you no longer need it, as otherwise you could still end up in the line of fire if something went wrong at the property and you were the licencee.....
  3. Electric, for the reasons you state. It may be more expensive short term, but you and your tenants would really apppreciate the decision when the boiler packs up in the middle of winter when its impossible to get a plumber. Its also discussed here: https://propertyhub.net/podcast/how_to_create_the_perfect_rental_property/
  4. Here: read this: https://www.wirral.gov.uk/housing/housing-information-and-advice/private-landlords-and-managing-agents/selective-licensing
  5. Theres some good areas and some not so good. There's also a selective licensing area to look out for.
  6. I was considering this thought process on behalf of the Government: (a few years ago....) Govt - "Hmmmm, what can we do to make sure landlords look after their houses better - I know, we'll introduce better powers for local authorities to enforce standards...." (then they cut massive chunks out of local authorities, and introduce a fairly labour intensive enforcement regime. Govt - "Hmmm, now landlords evict tenants as soon as they contact the local authority.... how can we stop this?... I know - we'll introduce protection from eviction so that landlords can't evict people after they have complained to the local authority about them" (they introduce protection from eviction where the LA serves an enforcement notice, and make a few more cuts to local authority) Govt - "Hmmm, local authorities aren't serving many enforcement notices, and landlords are still evicting their tenants after they complain to local authority... what else can we do? Maybe we can give powers to the tenants to take action themselves" (they introduce the Homes act, enabling tenants to sue landlords directly using hhsrs, and make a few more cuts to local authority) Govt - "oh, landlords can still kick out their tenants after they try to sue them, because its not covered by protection from eviction, how can we stop this?" (they introduce the S21 ban) Govt - "ah yes, perfect, now tenants can sue their landlords with impunity, and probably even get repairs done themselves and take the money out of their rent, and their landlord won't be able to do anything about it without a court hearing... sorted!".
  7. If I was paying that much rent I'd expect a pretty high standard. It shouldn't cost more than £50 to get those 3 things sorted. Youre getting a good rent, and a good tenant who intends to keep the property in great condition - I'd get them done. If you don't get them done: Rust will get worse, possibly start staining the wall around (likely to cost a fair bit more to sort). Pealing paint may allow water damage to the surface below (again, likely to cost significantly more than a coat of paint) (I'd consider tiling that area anyway, then no further issues). Your tenant might start causing problems with rent payment, or move out (loads of hassle and expense).
  8. Here's my take on this: For more than 6 (sui generis), you would need planning permission whatever happens/ has happened in the past. So if you want to rent out to more than 6 people, you would need to put in an application (which you may or may not get). For up to 6 - you should apply for an ammendment to your licence - you must have applied for 9 (there will probably have been a specific question on the application) - and ensure that your licence is upto a maximum of 6 people. This avoids the sui generis issue totally. As regards Article 4, as far as I'm aware, any property that was operating as a HMO before the Directive was implemented, is not affected - although the local authority may well ask for evidence that it has been operating as a HMO beforehand - it sounds like you'd have no problem proving this. So, I'd say reduce occupancy to 6, amend your licence (there will probably be a fee for this), and tell the planning dept that you no longer need sui generis, and can prove how long it has been operating as an hmo before the directive.
  9. Your friends best bet would be to get a S8 Notice served on the grounds of rent arrears - this way it doesn't matter if he has done all or any of the other stuff that he should have done, and it's 2 weeks, instead of 2 months. It is a bit more complex, so probably best to get a specialist to do it. I can't recommend a specialist, but it needs to be one who is good a S8 evictions. Good luck!
  10. Hi When you employ a managing agent for a property - do they usually charge extra fees to either the LL or tenant, on top of the monthly % fee? For example - agent charges 10% of rent each month - tenant moves out - does the agent then find a new tenant and set up AST etc as part of the service included in that 10% fee - or charge extra on top of the fee? Or, the agent needs to arrange for some repairs to be done - do they charge extra for the extra work they need to do, and also builders costs etc? Also - extra charges for S21 notices, or court hearings etc? Thanks in advance.
  11. This makes an interesting read (if you're a complete saddo with nothing better to do). https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7671#fullreport
  12. This is a hypothetical question only - I'm just considering my best options for the future.... If I started a Ltd company to buy and rent out residential property, with myself and my wife as Directors - if the Company became bankrupt (or whatever the term is for companies that 'go bump') - could the mortgage companies for the houses under the ltd co (or anyone else?) try to reposses my family home, which is owned by myself + wife, or pursue me personally for any debt? Thanks
  13. Hi I'm aware that to become a property manager, no formal is actually required - but was wondering if there are any particular courses/ qualifications which are considered to be desirable/ the best? Such as ARLA, or City & guilds etc...... If you were looking for a manager - what qualifications/ memberships would you look for? Thanks
  14. Yep, good work. I was aiming my reply at the OP though.
  15. "You must be a member before you apply for a licence - we cannot offer 'retrospective' discounts. If you stop being a member we will recover the full fee." HMO's are NOT included in discounts either.
  16. I don't think Liverpool are currently offering any discounts for professional memberships. Their pricing structure is here: HMO FEES HERE Timescales vary wildly between authorities, and their workload. You'd be best contacting them directly for an accurate timescale. It will likely be just shy of a month minimum after they've followed their deadlines etc. and aren't snowed under - However, last time I heard (in October) they were working on a 2 month turnaround, but that may have reduced now after the initial glut of 1st October applications.
  17. Hi I'm sort of new to the property investment thing. I say sort of, because I already own 2 btl's (which I acquired almost by accident!), and I am currently a housing standards LA enforcement officer/ tenancy relations officer/ HMO licencing officer - so I already know a fair bit about the law, and renting. I ended up with my 1st btl after I bought a house 15 years ago (2 bed semi), and found I couldn't afford to live in it - so I moved into a shared house and have been renting it out ever since. Not knowing much about investing, my aim over the 15 years has been to pay off the m'gage asap - so there's now about £25k outstanding on it, with a value of about £180k now! (I don't make any personal income on it at all, as it goes into saving for repairs, and m'gage over payments). I acquired my 2nd btl about 3 years ago after a death in the family giving me enough for a deposit on another property - I think I got lucky on this one as it was bought as 2 bed, with a converted loft room (not classed as a bedroom) - but my surveyor report, and a brief inspection of 100% of the houses in the row suggests that the loft room has been present from the start (approx 1900 build), and can be classed as a 3rd bedroom! Again, I don't make any personal income from this at all, with any money sitting in the account for that house for repairs etc (imminent new boiler). My day job is a Housing Standards Officer - which involves enforcing the Housing Act 2004 (HHSRS stuff, improvement notices etc..), all the HMO Regs (there's soooo many amendments!), tenancy enforcement (as in preventing illegal eviction), dealing with noisy neighbours/ statutory nuisances... etc etc... it seems an endless list of 'sort of related' stuff...... My family home is owned with no mortgage but a £40k debt to the inlaws which I pay off bit by bit each month. Anyway - I feel like i'm in a great position for some more serious investment. I've got a lot of knowledge, would be happy managing all my own properties from start to finish (until I can pay someone else to do all the hard work one day.... hopefully). I've also got a fair amount of equity I can delve into (I don't want a mortgage on my family home, so that's out of the equation). I've even got the start of an 'investment plan! (I'd like to make 3k net profit per year by the time a hit 55 (10 years), so I can walk early. My main issue(s) holding me back is, I'm terrible with numbers, formulas and spread sheets (will a property make me money??, I have no idea!) and business, and tax (should I make a ltd co etc? filling in my annual tax return for 2 houses is always a daunting prospect), and I think I'm lacking in 'business attitude' and 'balls', having worked in a LA since the dawn of time, I just don't have the money making/ business mindset that most investors have..... Anyway, that's enough rambling..... I need to go and process a huge pile of HMO applications from you lot........... Thanks for listening. Any enthusing, helpful comments most welcome! Also.... if you want any advice on the legal stuff I do every day, your always welcome to ask (I'm not a solicitor though, and offer no guarantee what I may tell you is right!).
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