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tim wragby

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  1. James hi, EPC regulations are a fairly mis-understood area and to a degree the answer is - it depends... If you served your tenant with a copy of the EPC when they moved in and can prove you did so by them having signed as having received it then you do not need to get an EPC assessment done until you renew the tenancy agreement. Therefore, if you are on a periodic tenancy you could wait until they depart, but would not be able to re-advertise the property until you had a new certificate and so ssould end up with a void as your outgoing tenants could refuse access to the assessor and there would not be much you could do to enforce it. If you needed to serve notice and had no proof that they had received a copy of the EPC (which should have been made available to them on request for free at viewing and given at/around sign up) then you could fall foul of the courts hampering your ability to end the tenancy. If your tenancy is running normally I would personally see it as good practice to arrange to have an assessor carry out a new certification survey so that you are prepared for all eventualities. Losing a week's + rent due to a void that could have been avoided will be multiples of the cost of having it done when things are amicable in the tenancy and you cannot predict your tenant's future. If you end up serving notice that is then refused at court on grounds of the EPC is worse still. Avoiding it is false economy in my opinion The tenancy should have had an EPC with a rating of A - E as you should not have started it if it was F or G because of MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance) which were valid from Apr 2018) stated that it would have been against the law to do so. From April 2020 any properties with a currently valid EPC of F or G it will be illegal to continue to rent the property to tenants so you will need to terminate the tenancy unless you can get the necessary work done with tenants in situ to bring up the standard to E or better, unless you get an exemption certificate which can be costly too
  2. The Zoopla valuation tool - as noted above - is very poor and is not reliable enough as a tool, in my opinion, to be used for a meaningful valuation. It is an algorithm that is too indiscriminate in the properties it includes, takes no account of equivalent size, condition and real location (ie a property 2 streets away can be massively different in price due to location of other factors such as proximity to negative factors or positive factors). Agents have access (and pay handsomely for it) to back room tools for creating meaningful comparables of near like for like as they can and a good agent will use local knowledge to create their best valuation range. Non-agents can use a useful tool www.mouseprice.com which has a limited free tool with an upgradeable pro site @ £28 per month - whether you can do a one-off one-two month contract length each time you want to activate searches when adding to your portfolio I do not know but it could be money well spent. If you do not choose this tool I would trawl local streets for similar looking properties, currently on the market and then look at devising your own algorithm of what you would offer based on condition and what you are going to have to spend to bring the property in question up to standard.
  3. The Labour Party have private landlords in sights and have also stated that they want to shake up council tax and make owners responsible for payment of a new property tax and not occupants and will include punitive rates on second or empty properties. This effectively means that if passed landlords and not tenants will pay the tax. A third declared policy is that they also want to place caps on rents A fourth is that they want to add to the no Sect 21 by ending Assured Short Hold tenancies and tenants will have the right to remain at the property and a landlord will not be able to end the tenancy except for Sect 8 grounds (This is also being consulted on by the current Government in a slightly different form) This is a toxic mix that has the potential to make it very difficult for landlords and could have dramatic consequences on the whole housing market. A Labour Government with the current team at the top will be likely to put the private rented sector into its most turbulent time ever and it is not easy to see anything good for landlords, tenants or banks
  4. tim wragby

    Derrick

    Cunning plans to try and get round paying too much tax tend to fail unless you have proper advice from an appropriate and qualified expert which is worth paying for. Stamp Duty Land Tax is fraught with pitfalls and you will need to take appropriate advice however, I believe that if you purchase the second property you would be liable for the 3% surcharge on top of any other SDLT that is due on purchase price. This article may help https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2017/06/stamp-duty-land-tax-surcharge-for-married-couples/
  5. Sean, Renting a property should be no problem as long as you can prove you can pay and I would recommend using a properly accredited agent who operates under ARLA Propertymark or RICS regulations and they will normally be very happy to assist you to take on a rented property while you complete your renovations. As long as you can complete the appropriate referencing process they will be able to walk you through the process
  6. Ian hi I am sorry to hear that your new tenancy appears to have gone badly wrong. It appears that you have two different sides to the story and it may be hard to unravel who really is telling the truth as just because the tenant says they told your agent does not necessarily mean that they did. Tracking back a bit, what checks did you do on the agent you chose to manage your property? Did you ask them about the way they reference check their applicants and how they go about filtering out applicants by their application process. Did you look at the contract that they sign with tenants so that you can check that business use is not permitted. If the contract states this your tenant would need an addendum to the contract specifically stating that they could run a barber's business from the premises. If this exists and you were not informed your agent is bang to rights. Where is your tenant's proof that they asked the question about the business request? I think that you also have the right to ask them for all the information that they gathered during the application and referencing process - which they should keep in their records. You need to see what information they were working from that was supplied by your tenant and also see what the referencing company unearthed about the applicant now your tenant. It is more likely that your tenant is lying and that they did not reveal their intention. If there is no record you can insist that the business activity is stopped and you may consider offering the tenant the opportunity to end the tenancy and quit early if you feel there is real risk of damage to your property. I would also check your agency terms of business contract and see if they are carrying out all the parts of their contractual agreement. If you feel that this is not the case you need to start a formal complaint process - which they should have published procedures for. If you are unable to get a reasonable response you should ask them which ombudsman organisation they work under as by law they are required to be part of an ombudsman organisation to which you can escalate your complaint to. You also need to decide what sort of redress you are looking for - are you looking for financial or practical? You are unlikely to get much compensation but you may be able to get your costs (or most likely some of your costs) back but unfortunately financial penalties are often weak but you may be able to get the agent struck off from trading. If you feel your agent really has lied or failed to keep their contractual agreement then you may have grounds to be able to pull out of the agreement but be careful how you go about this as they may have some nasty financial penalty clauses which the unscrupulous may try and hold you to even if they are in the wrong. It is possible that they will be happy to let you go to try and save themselves hassle but if this does not prove the case I would try using social media and visiting the agency to make others aware of the agency's transgressions but if you choose this route make sure you only state verifiable facts as you do not want to be on the receiving end of slander claims. With regard to your tenant you can also try and insist that your tenant adheres to the original agreement they signed and also that they return the decor to its original condition. If not then you may need to hold out until their fixed term period comes to an end and not renew it, hoping that further damage does not occur. You may need to be prepared to take on the agency for paying for any remedial work not done by the tenant and also ensure that any deposit taken is withheld and if necessary a dispute resolution is sought. As this is all fairly onerous and may need some expert assistance it may be worth seeking out a decent,qualified agent who can give some on the scene advice and assistance with taking the property on and getting the letting process back on track. Don't seek out the cheapest but find out what their skill levels are. You are better employing a decent agent who may charge a slightly higher fee but save you £££s by doing it right. RICS or ARLA Propertymark agencies have to adhere to industry standards and tend to be head and shoulders above the rest. If they are not part of these organsiations then you need to ask why and check that they are fully compliant and have good standards. I hope this gives a little bit of help and good luck?
  7. I am not a specialist in this matter but these two links may be of some use to your purposes. If you already own the property you may find that the local fire service's fire safety staff may be able to advise you but also if you have a block management company they should be carrying out the regular fire safety checks and assessments. Communal fire safety should also be the responsibility of the leaseholder to resolve if matters need addressing https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/guidance-on-fire-safety-in-individual-purpose-built-flats.shtml https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf I hope this is of some use?
  8. Ady As far as I am aware SDLT is payable on purchase/ change of ownership and so change of use will not trigger your liability for SDLT - but contact HMRC if you cannot get what you need from their website information. Sorry can't advise on second question
  9. Douglas, Just out of interest, how did you go about referencing your tenants when they applied for the tenancy? Did you carry out the reference checks yourself or did you use a company? If you do use proper referencing companies there are several insurance packages you can take out for loss of rent and malicious damage etc. A good letting agent should be able to advise you on this but also the National Landlords Assoc (NLA) (& I would expect the RLA also) have a eferencing set up which both members and non-members can use. I would strongly advise you always reference check an applicant - even if you know them or are recommended to you as there are all sorts of skeletons that can come out and even the most respectable looking individuals can have a past you may want to be aware of
  10. Dani sorry to heat your story. I m not qualified to be able to give you financial advice but from where I see you I would be careful to jump back onto the property market too soon and find yourself very exposed. If you borrow to the max and have no plan B when faced with a large bill it would finish you off and that would be something none of us would want for you. . If you are only able to buy at the bottom of a housing market you are likely to be buying properties with both visible and invisible issues. Buying this type of property and in the areas where it is this cheap requires a bit more than Newbie experience would be my view. I was dealing with the landlord today who is suddenly faced with a £5000 bill for a new heating system as both the boiler and plumbing have become life expired. Unfortunately their circumstances are very difficult and they have a real challenge on their hands to comply with the law and not lose their property. L I have been thinking about your circumstances and how best I would advise you. I think I would recommend that you discipline yourself to save as hard as you can as family and circumstances permit and continue to build your knowledge base which can be relatively cheap to do on sites like this and to be an expert when you eventually jump in. Go to a Hub meetings where you can learn of others and maybe they may even permit you to observe from close to hand once I get to know you but don’t spend money until you need to and save to get a better size deposit. You must also remember that start-up costs include quite a lot of fees and increasingly landlords will have to go through more and more hoops to be qualified to be a landlord which is increasingly likely to occur I really hope you find a way into this as your heart is clearly there but I also wouldn’t want to hear that you had been burnt by good intentions and lack of capacity. If you go down my route and subsequently change your mind at least you have money to use elsewhere but if you buy in too soon & it goes badly wrong it would be much harder! Good luck
  11. Probably worth writing to the council concerned under the guise of seeking your arrears as you are aware that they were in receipt of Housing Benefits. This would alert the council to the situation without it being seen as a direct snitch. Not sure how much notice council's take of these matters a they probably see it as too difficult and a private matter between Tenant and Landlord rather than notification of fraudulent use of public funds which you or I would hope they would
  12. I would recommend taking some more formal advice from a properly qualified tax accountant who is FCA registered as getting tax advice wrong can have costly results. Rule of thumb though is that- if you have thought of a cunning plan to reduce tax liability then the tax man will have got there first and shut the door! Otherwise something like this will be a common practice. If you are thinking of setting yourself up as an agent you would have to do it properly and will now need to register to comply with a raft of recent legislation
  13. Great work guys App features works a treat and love the access from the phone so keep in contact from my phone
  14. My advice is look elsewhere. Your warning sign s should tell you a lot. Remember that you are buying in a neighbourhood that has a shared memory that is an elephant in the local room. It could easily be blighted for quite some time and may have significant trouble finding tenants. I have a property where an attack on an individual ended up as a murder conviction. Unfortunately I only found out after completion and agent went out of business ( for other reasons) 10 years on it still re-let very slowly and BMV The people living in the house will hear of the reputation of the house at the school gate, in the pub, newsagents etc and can feel easily spooked or at risk. I was involved with selling another repo of convicted paedophile - took months, sold for a song and been sold at least twice BMV (I understand) in last 8 or so years If agents are jumping ship this should indicate “a quick flip” is unlikely and your efforts to turn it could go down the pan. Sorry slightly different view - I’d rather you used your money wisely than lose it of hope of fast buck
  15. Sorry Lizzie Not sure how the mix up happened and I posted on wrong thread
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