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escapo rat race

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  1. Hi, Really appreciate some advice on how best to handle the following: Currently I have a Private Ltd company that is solely in my name that is currently being used for the purposes of funding property flips where I get a guaranteed ROI figure for a totally hands of approach. Kind of a loan angel vehicle, I am planning on going into some JV deals soon, property flipping with another partner, everything down the middle. I really want to do this through the same company as I have, as everything is set up (accountant / bank accounts etc). I also want to keep the option open of doing my own flips (non JV). in fact, it may be a bit of both going forward. Can anyone advise the best way to do this without opening another Ltd company. Appreciate that I need a separate conversation with my solicitor in terms of legalities / ownership etc. Most appreciated, Chris.
  2. Hi Derek, Thanks so much for yourt response. I have been giving this some real serious consideration. I really did pick up on your point regarding tying a load of cash up for such a long time with no return. Fine - if you are cash rich and are looking for a luxurious development. But if I invested, this would really bring my plans to a halt (in effect) for a period of almost two years. I still would really like Liverpool, but need to find a deal that does not tie up so much 'dead' cash for such a long period! Thanks for your input. Chris.
  3. Hi, Just a quick one, I'm looking at moving North along with the masses and been looking at Parliament Square in the centre of Liverpool which is a very nice facility along with Spa, Gym, Cinema and all the trimmings. One Bed flats start from around £130K and are very high spec. I was just wondering if anyone has experience with RW invest or knows anything about this particular new build. Or indeed the devloper - legacie. RW invest require a 50-25-25 payment plan. Which means 50% exchange, 25% stage Mid June 2019 and then 25% on completion (think early 2020). These are lovely units in a prime location and would appreciate any feedback, good or bad. Link below for further reading. https://www.rw-invest.com/assets/Parliament-Square-Info-Pack.pdf Thanks, Chris.
  4. Hi all, Really appreciate a second opinion on a comment from my Solicitor. I am in the process of buying a lovely little one bed new build in Southampton and an issue has come up that I am inexperienced with. The 'long stop date' for the entire build is set to September -18 which is more than likely way too far in the future as the build is moving quickly and from what I am advised by the agent will be complete by the end of the year. The flat I have chosen is moving quick and expected to be complete by the end of September this year (2017) which I have no reason to doubt. Now, my solicitor has raised a concern that the long stop date is outside the mortgage expiry date and this could be a problem should the build get delayed to the worse case scenario date (Sept-18). Apparently several other flats have already exchanged with this long stop date. I suppose the only risk is, that if I do not complete by the time of my mortgage offer expiring and for some peculiar reason fail to get another mortgage, I could loose my deposit - no? I really do not want to walk away from this deal as it's a cracker. But my solicitor is nervous about the above, Any advice / comments would be most appreciated. Many thanks, Chris.
  5. Hi Tim, Firstly - thank you so much for an unbelievably useful detailed response. This letting agent really is the Nightmare letting agent you describe, I have held back on my original post, but some of the stuff you mention is hitting some big notes with regards to what they have been up to. To name but a few: Fully managed, yet never received any inspection reports. I am now almost fully convinced that the deposit has not been tied in an official deposit scheme (I have been talking with the tenants and they are unable to provide evidence of this). When I did receive payments in the past they were monthly, but again through contacting the tenants found that the tenants have been paying up to 6 months in advance, this large lump sum was never passed onto me, only monthly (if I was lucky). Thankfully, I have contacted the tenants and through the use of separate very good reputable company we have stopped any future payments being pored into the porous hole! Only problem is, because of these advance payments (up to 6 months in advance), in fairness to the tenants, they are paid up, I just am struggling to get the funds from the letting agent which is currently 4 months plus deposits. I sent the recorded delivery letter yesterday with some good words around the redress system that Richard mentioned. I hope this may just get things moving as I took much delight in reading yesterday the number of companies with significant fines for not being members. I know this company is not a member and they only need to Google the word 'redress letting agent' and they will soon realise how serious this may get. If this does not shift things along, I will crank it up to the next notch and use some of the great tactics you highlight, I particularly like the publicity comments. I know I should have done more research on this from the start and I take full responsibility for that error. In my defence I only got into BTL last year and I did get recommended this agent by a local. I can assure everyone, I will not make this mistake again. Thanks again. Chris.
  6. Hi Richard. Oh my God! A break through at last, forgive my ignorance but I was unaware of the redress scheme (BTL Novice), I have just read the Government sheet on it and as you say the requirement is mandatory with costly penalties for not being a member. I have been feeling very isolated on this - me versus the agent. This agent is impossible to deal with and plays hard ball (well not); simply does not respond to anything. I have a recorded delivery letter in my bag today that is going to be sent today, but this little redress scheme will be a nice little addition to the letter before I send. Something along the lines of "please advise which redress scheme you belong to?" should get things moving - one can hope! Failing this, I will proceed with the Trading Standards route of reporting him. Thanks once again, much appreciated, this forum is amazing! Chris. N.B - I have attached a copy of Government leaflet for anyone else who is interested. Lettings_Agents_and_Property_Managers_redress_scheme_leaflet.pdf
  7. Hi all, I am having a complete nightmare with a letting agent who I have effectively fired for being hopeless, they are now holding onto 4 months rent plus a deposit. Without going into the full details they are simply refusing to answer any email correspondence / phone messages etc. The total sum is approaching 4K so I cannot just let it go. Unfortunately I did not do enough research at the start and they are not regulated by anyone, so I am considering going down the legal route. Can anyone recommend a good solicitor who specialises in this area who can possibly assist, I obviously need to be mindful of costs here and not exceed the 4K sum in legal fees. I did contact landlord action who were really helpful, but they seem to be more orientated towards targeting nightmare tenants and not letting agents. Any help much appreciated. Thanks, Chris.
  8. Firstly, apologies for not being as active in this great forum as I should have been - it's been an incredibly busy year outside of the property world. I have just returned from my family summer holiday and spent plenty of time catching up on the great Rob's podcasts, I confess that I am now totally hooked again and ready to throw everything at this fabulous journey. First, I have a problem that I am completely stuck on and need some serious help with please: I bought my first two BTL flats last year that I researched to the point of being ridiculous, I took the plunge and they rented immediately via a letting agent (Agent A) with excellent ROI figures. HOWEVER, this letting agent has been a nightmare from day one, late payments almost every month, some payments over a month late, lack of responses to emails / phone calls / never any inspection reports that were promised every six months, even I established that a tenant moved out and a new one in without my knowledge / consent - the whole show! This is an unregulated agent that is a seriously unprofessional outfit. Why did I not fire them earlier? The problem was, I suppose I was trying to make it work (sounds like a relationship) which is why I persevered for so long. reason being, I knew that switching agents was always going to be difficult due to the fact that agent A does not just does not reply to anything. Anyway, I have now taken the plunge and switched to agent B who are simply excellent. But, as anticipated, it's a nightmare. Agent A has not responded to a single email / phone call to both myself and Agent B regarding the switch and essential clarification topics that need resolving, such as: We do not know where one of the deposits is being held for one of the flats - there is a very strong chance it is not in a TDS at all - but I don't know. Since pulling the trigger on the switch, thankfully between myself and Agent B we have been able to get hold of both tenants who also seem very cooperative. One of them has paid three months in advance and the other one month in advance - all paid to Agent A. I have requested these funds be sent to me from agent A, but guess what - no response. I am therefore owed four months rent in total which is circa £3000.00. There is other stuff, but I will spare you the details. This has been a good learning exercise as a minimum and probably a very costly one at worse. Lesson Learned: I researched everything apart from one of the most important subjects - the letting agent! I have since researched (too late I know) and the Director of agent A is actually banned by the National Trading Standards Agency from running estate agents, but because the regulations are limited for letting agents, unbelievably he is allowed to continue with letting property. But even so, type his name into Google and the screen goes RED! Anyway, I am rambling. My simple question is please, do I swallow on the £3K and call it a hard lesson learned and move on or do I have legal options I should consider exploring. Please note this agent is not regulated by anyone. I did call Landlord action yesterday and they was very helpful, they have sent me a 'notice to quit' form, but it seems to target more towards the tenant rather than agents? But, I'm unsure. Unfortunately, Agent A is a 150 mile round trip, I have been down there once, but because it is a one man band, it was locked up, I cannot do this drive every weekend and the means does not justify the end in this instance. This is unchartered waters for me and I'm really unsure what to do next. Any comments much appreciated. Thank you. Chris. Side note, Rob and Rob - apologies for ignoring all your great advise on letting agents.....
  9. Ok, here's me looking for some browning points! The 2 x Rob's. Joking apart, I have been in contact with them both, and they are both very good genuine lads!!!! what is it you need, they may just be able to help... Chris.
  10. Hi Mark and Adrian, Firstly - thank you for your comments. A little update and took some advice from your recommendation, I actually sent them a letter advising that I was moving agents (i.e. not thinking - but doing), and they cam back with a commitment / promise to pay up on time each and every month. I have since responded to that email and said, we will give it one more shot, the moment they default from the promise dates - I'm gone!!!! I really do hope this is the rattle they needed and all goes well from this point forward! I don't know why, I have a suspicion that it may just not. Maybe I should be optimistic, but I'm not usually wrong! Let's see, watch this space, next month is only a few days away! Thanks, Chris.
  11. Hi all, Fairly new to all this and maybe got of to a slightly less than perfect start of hopefully a reasonable portfolio. I bought my first little BTL flat around 4 months ago and have set up with a local agent on a fully managed agreement. In simple terms, without fail I have had to chase each and every month for my rent. They don't really give a reason for non payment and always end up paying in the end, but I do wonder if I did not chase whether the rent would be paid at all.? In fact, this month I left as long as possible just to experiment and managed to get almost a whole month overdue and have just chased. This month was the 4th consecutive chaser, i.e 4 out of 4 chasers. Does anyone have any suggestions please? Maybe this is the norm? I'm a strong believer in a leopard doesn't change it spots and would ideally like to change agents. Not sure how I would stand with this as I am locked into a 12 month tenancy agreement. I know of another local highly recommended agent, was wondering how I could get out of the current agreement and go over to the recommended one? Maybe I am over reacting and panicking? Any suggestions much appreciated. Kind regards Chris.
  12. Thanks Both to Tim and Ayshek for your suggestions. Since my post I have been on touch with the lettings agent and he has advised that as these are new flats, we should use the fact that Unfurnished, and possibly 'furnished to the tenants likings' as a possible feature. Not saying the sky is the limit, but obviously, if we can get another £50 / month or so income for the sake of let's say a round coffee table instead or square, then I'm on board. So the update is, currently unfurnished, but can be furnished to the tenants likings if they are willing to pay. Will keep you all posted on this subject - due to complete on the 22nd June!!! Thanks for your comments. Chris.
  13. Hi All, Apart from my introduction email, this is my first post, so hopefully do not make a mess of it! Well, I am a brand new BTL investor and am due to exchange contracts on a very nice little new one bedroom flat in Southampton (very exciting times). I am just getting myself ready for the furnishings side and am unfamiliar with the extent of what does and does not need to be provided. I think I know the obvious, the bed, dining table and sofa etc. But what about the finer details, cutlery / linen / washing machine / etc? Is there any sort of guidelines / checklists etc that will provide what should be provided for a BTL flat? Also, does anyone know if there are companies that exist in helping with the furnishing side; i.e delivery and set up of such furnishings? Any advice gladly received. Thanks, Chris.
  14. Hi All, Literally my first post on the forum. Was feeling a bit guilty as have exchanged mail with Rob D a few times and not yet exchanged any correspondence on the site. Hopefully fixed that now. I am brand new in the BTL market. However, I am literally about to exchange contracts on 2 new flats in Southampton, the completion date is expected for the end of June when the development will be complete. I am naturally nervous but equally excited about this new venture I have been thinking about for way too long! I spent some time researching good yielding areas, and Southampton seems to be a good yielding area and not too far (around 60 miles away from where I live). Unfortunately, good yields are either unheard of or hard to come by where I live (Gerrards Cross). Will keep you all posted of the developments. Best Regards, Chris.