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Julia Urquhart

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  1. If you are concerned about this the next purchaser may be too. If you go ahead be sure to get a survey to ensure no structural problems & don't over pay. Check how often it has sold - if people don't stay it may be because of issues.
  2. Why are you buying a leasehold? - That's money off your bottom line & possible difficulties in selling or mortgaging. Be sure you know what you are getting in to. Is it relatively new? I'm guessing it is, in which case a Homebuyer survey should be fine & in my opinion is pretty much a waste of money as he won't tell you anything you can't see for yourself. A surveyor will not check the gas or electrics - but will suggest you do! Depending on how old the house is you might want to get a report on the boiler from a GCH engineer, an inspection of the electrics (certainly look at the fuseboard). You can also have a drain survey & a knotweed survey - depends on the property. I think a Homebuyer survey will cost about £400-£500 - just google one but be sure they are RICs.
  3. The main issues as far as I am concerned are: 1) Removal of S21 - you will now need to go to court with a mandatory reason under S8 to evict a tenant. So if your tenant is constantly in arrears, displays anti-social behaviour, gets pets / smokes etc without asking you are going to find it harder to evict them 2) End of minimum term of tenancy - tenant can move in and move straight out after 1 month & you have no recourse to costs for reletting. 3) For student landlords, there is no way to ensure your tenants leave at the end of the academic year to make way for the next lot of tenants. This piece of legislation is not nearly as damning as EPC C.
  4. There is pretty much nothing you can do about Radon - as it is naturally occurring, I would be inclined to ignore it. There may be some purchasers who are put off by it but if it covers the whole area people who want to live there have to put up with it.
  5. Can I ask why you want to rent it out? I think living next door to your rental could come with a whole host of problems! A little separation is definitely a good thing. I imagine it is to prevent it remaining an HMO but perhaps a better option would be to refurb & sell to a nice family.
  6. Without a S13 notice you have to agree to the rise for it to be actioned. As above, write back saying you do not accept the rent rise and perhaps make an offer that you think reasonable. If the LL issues a S13 notice you can dispute it at a tribunal but given the rent rises we have seen recently 20% may not be unreasonable & you may not win. Check out the prices locally on Rightmove.
  7. if you have proof of what you paid I would write a very reasonable 'letter before action' suggesting that what the LL did was illegal & that you believe it was not protected. I would say if I don't receive the rest of my deposit or an explanation of why it has been kept you will take legal action. If the LL doesn't reply you can do a Money Claim On Line very easily. My guess is that your letter before action will prompt him to return it or he may be in for a bigger bill from the court.
  8. The proposed limit is £10k - quite a large sum to spend to achieve next to nothing.
  9. Not quite true - you can increase rents once a year using a S13 notice or as many times as you like if the tenant agrees. You need to give at least months notice so you can either just drop your tenant a line asking them to agree to the rent rise or you can serve them a S13 notice. Either is fine but if you think there may be a problem serve the official notice.
  10. The LL can claim for anything above normal 'wear & tear'. Really depends on the LL.
  11. Definitely Money Claim On Line - easy & cheap to do & if they don't pay they get a CCJ. Many tenants settle up once they see the paperwork!
  12. 1. The EPC algorithm is changing soon - so you really have no idea what your EPC is & how to get it to a C. 2. The legislation has not been proposed or passed yet - so you have no idea what it will actually be. 3. New PM, new Housing minister - could really change the proposals 4. If all the LLs of properties below EPC sell there will be a housing market crash & a rental market crisis - will the Govt of the day allow this to happen? Basically this is like throwing darts at a moving dartboard, blindfolded! Whatever the law eventually says, the direction of travel is one way & I would suggest only you can decide whether this is worth it. That will depend on where in the country you are & how much the property is worth. If your refurb is £10k on a house worth £100k & the insulation requires a further £10k that is different from your refurb being £50k & the house worth £250k. If it is financially viable then I would probably go ahead, but if its a low value property I would hedge my bets & plan to sell if the legislation doesn't allow me to rent.
  13. I think this is populist law pandering to the tenant bodies - Shelter / Gen Rent etc. I agree 'No Fault' evictions are harsh - but most aren't 'No Fault' and if S8 was actually effective LLs wouldn't use S21. I would prefer to see longer notice periods - perhaps 1 month per year of tenancy. My concern is that S8 will not be significantly strengthened & that going to court to remove a tenant in rent arrears or behaving badly will still be a long & costly process for LLs. As for pets - the problem became worse when pet deposits were removed & insurance is not a viable alternative in my book. Saying LLs can't withold permission unreasonably is not the same as having a right to have a pet & a lot of tenants will be disappointed that they still can't have one. Until pet deposits are reinstated many LLs will resist this. Blanket bans on pets & children (not even heard of that) will not be a problem. In the same way as 'No DSS' isn't really a problem - LLs will just choose other tenants for other reasons - ie better credit history. The biggest problem here is that many LLs see this as the last straw. Extra taxation, extra regulation etc have put most costs on to LLs and now they will sell up. At a time when we are in a housing crisis - low availability, high cost, large rent rises - this is the last thing the market wants or needs. However, this will be small numbers compared to the exodus that will occur if EPC C comes in.
  14. You can choose whether to rent the property or not. My concern would be that a landlord who lets out a property in this state may not be a particularly good landlord - I wouldn't rent it out unless it was properly cleaned. On the other hand, when you leave you won't be expected to leave it cleaner than it is now - make sure you take lots of picture and document any stains etc. Really, it's up to you. Most of that looks like condensation - my guess it the loft hatch isn't insulated so condensation collects on it & mould in corners of windows isn't unusual. If you like the property & it is a good price etc then take it & clean it to your standard.
  15. I have seen no signs that this proposal may be dropped but I have seen no signs that the Govt will continue with it. This in itself is a problem because Los are not being given clear information. I think the Govt is hoping we will all just do it so they won't have to legislate, but many, especially older Los, are just waiting to see when it comes it before planning our exit strategy. With the current lack of rentals & the rent increases this is fuelling only a mad, bad or stupid Govt would continue with this folly. Unfortunately this Govt may be all 3!
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