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richard crosby

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About richard crosby

  • Rank
    Established member

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Property investment interests
    Small flats and houses in my area. Currently purchasing a student let/HMO as experiment.
  • My skills
    Construction and design. Planning.
  • My goals
  • Interests outside property
    Cycling - slowly.
    Wildlife. Photography. Drawing. Carpentry.

Recent Profile Visitors

770 profile views
  1. Sounds like you did fine Louis so I really hope this turns into an order for you. I agree with Rob though - good idea to start off small and let the enquiries come in based on word of mouth. A kitchen/bathroom refit is pretty daunting as a first project as it involves so many trades. I just read an interesting book (I think Rob recommended actually) called The E Myth. I don't want to put you off but It talks about why most small businesses fail. This is basically because good technical people tend to imagine they can set up on their own, not realising that it's the business and organi
  2. Louis- Asking for cash upfront won't count against you as such, but if I were a client I would certainly feel much safer with a builder who doesn't require this. - unless he was someone I knew well of course - which might well be the case in the project you are talking about? I would definitely not include a percentage item for contingencies. All a client wants, is a builder who does the agreed job for an agreed price. Everyone realises that unforeseen stuff has to be dealt with -but at the same time everyone hopes that these items wont happen! If you put 'contingencies' on your quot
  3. Welcome to the hub David. My understanding is that BTL mortgages aren't limited by your income so theoretically you can take out several mortgages - but you do need to demonstrate each time that, as well as the rent coming in, you have a regular income above a certain threshold figure. I cant remember what that figure is - but it isn't a huge amount. To give you an example - I recently applied for BTL, and I had to submit proof of earnings going back three years as I am self-employed. The limiting factor on portfolio building (and I'm generalising) is therefore generating enough ca
  4. I handle builders quotes regularly for clients and they vary a great deal. - so if you are even asking this question then you are already the sort of builder I want to be doing business with! The quotations which most impress me are ones which show some breakdown - ie not just a bottom line figure. The client can then see where the money is going and why, plus any adjustments necessary can be made and understood easily. You will know that the price offered is rarely the one which is paid at the end of the day. If you are familiar with spreadsheets then I would recommend you set up a
  5. Update - My accountant now seems to have come round to seeing this as a revenue item, along with a new sink and oven I put in at the same time so really good news. I guess if these items were done just after having bought the property, they could be seen as affecting the capital value and hence become capital costs. Thanks everyone for input. A great example of a little bit of advice on here leading to better cash flow.
  6. Thanks Mark, Sarah, Richard. Crumbs - that's quite a list to watch out for! - good to be aware of these things before engaging surveyors etc.
  7. Thanks Tim, Rob and Richard - From what I have read, this may not be that clear-cut because the boiler was changed just after I bought the property, and just before the tenant moved in. I have asked the accountant for clarification and will post how this turns out. Richard
  8. Thanks Richard. Yes I read somewhere on the HMRC site some clarification specifically about double glazed windows, and I believe that those would now be allowable. The parallel with boilers is interesting- a condensing boiler is now the industry standard and in fact I don't think the older type can even be legally fitted. - but I haven't yet seen any clarification from HMRC on this. (Apologies by the way to everyone as I seem to have posted the same question twice! )
  9. Hello fellow hub participants. As a landlord I'm still really struggling to understand what is allowable and what isn't allowable as an expense to offset against tax. It seems common sense to me that a new replacement boiler of similar spec to the old one would be allowable- yet my accountant says not. I think I even read somewhere on the HMRC site that like-for-like replacement was allowable. Does anyone have a definitive answer?
  10. I would be checking with the local council whether this is actually two properties in planning terms - or just a house which has been split unofficially. If it is unofficial, I would think that splitting in legal terms would be difficult without applying for, and gaining, retrospective planning consent. If you end up applying to make the flat official, and were successful, there would then probably be some quite costly measures to install in order to get the necessary building regs consent. These measures would be triggered by the change of use i.e house to flat and would include means to prev
  11. Jon - sounds like great advice and thanks for the encouragement!
  12. Rob - Aye - we had to live in a shoe box in t' middle of t' road! etc. - but you are right it does seem that whether or not bills are included depends on location. I guess it all boils down to the same thing in the end. I might go the high-tech route and look at smart heating systems which regulate the heating automatically depending on occupancy, outside temp etc. If I find a good solution I'll share it here.
  13. I think that you are right - i.e. if you have mains operated smoke detection then it is the landlord's responsibility to maintain them. This means making sure the batteries are renewed at the correct intervals, periodic vacuum cleaning of the sensors etc. One way to approach this, which was suggested to me once, (and I haven't checked to see if this is technically correct) was to pass the responsibility on to the tenant by writing out some instructions regarding fire detection and getting the tenant to sign them on commencement of the tenancy.
  14. Thanks a lot Dale - those all seem great suggestions. Our offer has been accepted so it does look like I'll be putting your ideas into practice soon. Any ideas on how to keep the fuel bills down to reasonable levels? I'm thinking of offering some sort of incentive to the students ie £100 cashback at the end of each term if the meter readings are below a certain target.
  15. How confident are you that the Zoopla valuation is the true valuation figure? How about waiting a year or 18 months then getting a proper valuation done. Prices will have probably gone up a bit and interest rates are likely still to be low.
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