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Julia Urquhart

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Everything posted by Julia Urquhart

  1. The landlord can increase the rent as many times as you agree to. If the rent increase is done using a S13 notice the landlord can only do it once every 12 months. You can choose not to agree to the new rent and just pay the old rent. The landlord would then have to issue you a S13 and you could go to a tribunal if you think it unreasonable, or he might issue you will a S21. I suggest you speak to the agent and try to agree a new rent. Remember, once you pay rent at a new level you are deemed to have accepted it.
  2. IMO your seller is daft - the market is weaker now than 5 months ago and they are very likely to find it difficult to sell and if they do they are 4 months away again. I think it really depends how much you want the house and how close you are to exchange. Are they really remarking or are they just trying to use this as leverage to get the sale done? Ask the agent this question. If you really want the house then get the solicitors in the chain to exchange, otherwise walk away and find a decent vendor.
  3. Laminate is probably twice the price but should last more than twice the life of a carpet in my experience. I have laminate in houses over 20 years old. Don't put it in wet areas - bathroom & kitchen - unless it is waterproof & recommended here and I wouldn't put it anywhere upstairs because of the nose (although many people do!). Don't buy the cheap stuff & get it laid professionally as that will help it last longer. Make sure your tenants are left notes on how to clean it - water (or dog pee) will ruin it.
  4. If you rent it be prepared for your furniture to be trashed, your carpets ruined, the garden run wild, the rent not to be paid and tenants refusing to leave when you come home. If you can put up with all that then rent. Otherwise (and this would be my choice) sell.
  5. You only pay the extra 3% SDLT when you purchase a property so renting out your main residence while you travel abroad will not incur any SDLT at all. If you were to continue to rent it out and but another property to live in when you return, then you would pay the extra SDLT on the new purchase.
  6. Although they appear to be messing you about it looks as if there is a fundamental change in their situation. As it stands you don't need to do anything - the tenant leaving is still responsible for & agreeing to pay the rent. If they are otherwise decent tenants I would accept the retraction & leave it as is at present & see what happens. If the payment of rent becomes a problem - which it might do if he gets a new girlfriend & can't afford both - you can look at a new tenancy agreement with the existing tenant, checking she can afford the rent. They are currently on a periodic tenancy as they didn't leave at the end of the fixed period so the notice period is short. There is no need for a new fixed term so I would leave it like that & see how it goes.
  7. What does your tenancy say about notice? Generally the tenant has to give 1 months notice on or before a rent day. If you did this you should not need to pay after that date. If you have not given official notice then you may be liable for rent for longer.
  8. If it is concerning you it may concern future buyers. Why buy anything that could be a problem?
  9. The biggest problem with older houses is the EPC rating - if we need to achieve an EPC C in the near future to rent out you don't want to buy something now that is impossible or expensive to improve. Victorian & Edwardian terraces are cheaper than newer houses but are difficult to get to an EPC C without expensive work. Houses from the 1930s mostly still have solid walls so ditto. Houses from the 1950s onward mostly were built with cavity walls which can be insulated retrospectively. Houses from the 1970s onwards were gradually built to increasingly higher insulation standards although not always very solidly built & the rooms get smaller as they get newer. The key thing for me would be reading & understanding the EPC. To achieve a C now you need insulated walls, insulated loft, GCH with condensing boiler, newish double glazing. Then there are the fittings: bathrooms & kitchens last 20 odd years so any house post 2000 will need these replacing if they haven't already been done. These are significant jobs to do but reasonably easy in an empty house. Electrics should last 30 or 40 years but an older house may need extra sockets putting in. Everything else really depends on how it has been maintained. Off street parking will be a needed for electric car charging too. If I were to buy now - and I wouldn't - I would be looking for something definitely post 1980 with GCH. Other than that I would look at everything & judge on the facts.
  10. As things stand, if you replace gas with electric you will tank your EPC. The EPC assessment is changing and we don't know so that is a bit of a guess. I put electric radiators in a property in 2012 because they Govt was banning gas boilers in 2016 - it still hasn't happened and in my view we will be using gas for a long time because there is no alternative. I would definitely keep the gas central heating.
  11. New houses generally sell at a premium and the finish may be awful plus the rooms will be as small as legally allowed. You might also find you're living in a building site with no buses or other facilities. You also usually have to complete quickly and use the builders conveyancer who may not be looking after your interests. There may also be extra charges for grounds maintenance etc. A 'used' house generally has found a more accurate value, has had its faults dealt with, has access to services and is now an established community.
  12. Landlord can raise the rent as many times as they like through agreement. If it is done with a S13 notice it can only be done once a year. In answer to the OP - LL can ask what he likes, you don't have to agree, but you must tell them if you don't agree. If your rise is done with a S13 notice then it must be in line with other similar properties and if you think it is unreasonable you can challenge it. The proposed increase equates to about 9% per year every year so I would agree it is unreasonable. Contact your LL and try to discuss it reasonably.
  13. Your contract probably states you must give 1 months notice from the rent date. You signed a contract & so did the landlord - you cannot unilaterally rip it up because it suits you & the landlord is well within their rights to hold you to the terms.
  14. I review my rents every year and usually increase them. bit. I think it is far easier for a tenant to know there will be a small rent rise (£25) each year than to have no increase for several years & then a bigger one. Long term tenants are always a bit below market rates. Mortgage costs are shooting up along with all other costs so my rents will be going up this year - but only by the normal amount - I think markets rents are no longer the sensible bench mark they used to be so I will carrying on in my usual fashion rather than trying to play catch up with the market.
  15. Stick with it - and claim for your costs. Its hard to see how a deposit scheme won't find in your favour if the tenant didn't pay the rent. Alternatively do a MCOL for the full amount -although you will still have the burden of proof.
  16. I think it is very difficult to purchase well in an area that you do not know and a long way from where you live. There are a lot of pitfalls & you must rely on people in a way that makes it very easy for you to be ripped off. I would also caution against buying cheap property that may need be bought upto EPC C in the near future which may simply not be worth doing in areas with low ceiling prices. £10k spent on a £350k property in London may be better value than £10k spent on a similar property with £90 in the North. Property is not a get rich scheme - especially now with S24, extra SDLT & mortgage rates going up fast. In fact I recently proved to my son (27yrs) that he would be better off putting his money in a stocks & shares ISA! Unless you can do most of the work in a property & manage it yourself it is very easy to lose all your rent in costs. Others will have a different view, but my advice is don't do it until you can buy near where you live. Sorry
  17. She is within her rights as in the absence of a tenancy stating otherwise you are required to give 1 months notice on or before a rent date. All you can do is appeal to her better nature after 6 years if you have been good tenants or try to delay the new start date.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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