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About TonyHSFC

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  1. Hi All, I have decided to sell my HMO as the area is fast declining and now is the right time to shift it. I am thinking of buying either a flat or smaller 2 bed house in any of the following areas, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Wakefield and Leeds as I already have a successful flat nearby. I would also consider other highly recommended areas. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has experience of these areas in terms of where to buy and where to definitely avoid. I know that I can contact estate agents but would be wary about the information I might receive. A nice flat always seems a good choice but I am concerned about the maintenance charges being high as I would want to pass these on in the calculation of the rent which might be difficult but not impossible. A freehold house with a nice small maintenance free garden might appeal to couples with a small family. I will be looking for singles, couples or small families. My criteria is to get the area right and obviously it needs to be attractive and no work required. Other considerations are the job market in those areas and unemployment rates. I realise that I will have to do extensive research which is just beginning so any advice and tips about where to get information would be greatly appreciated. My initial review has revealed that there is no shortage of properties on the market and from what I am seeing plenty are selling so that's obviously a good sign too. I would also be interested in opinions on the merits or disadvantages of buying close to the city centre. In the past I have always thought that property close to the centre is easy to rent and tends to have a higher purchase cost...but given what is happening to the high streets with businesses closing even before Covid 19 does it really mean much these days? I am wondering if it could be a disadvantage given that many centres also have a lot of trouble especially at weekends when people go out and drink to excess. I have seen a couple close to the centre so just wondering what others think concerning this? My rental income is my only source of income so I cannot afford to get this wrong. I will have my own 'wish list' which should help me narrow properties down quickly but it's the areas that I'm stumped on. Any help and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks Tony
  2. That's the Labour Party for you steal from the hard working and give to the lazy poor
  3. Oh no the dreaded tax return 😳🤪😱
  4. Nice one 😂😂😂👍🏼
  5. Yes Richlist I have asked verbally before but not done an application form as such or insisted on all the same evidence being provided before requesting formal references for the simple reason this is the first time since the new law came into force, before I would explain the cost and simply ask them to pay it but I agree its definitely a good idea and the way to go in future so I will draft up my own application form with all the key points and information needed. If they also sign it confirming they don't have rent arrears elsewhere or CCJs you should be on a winner...doing this sort of process in future should quickly put off the dodgy ones because they will know that they are only wasting their own time...in fact this process can be explained even before wasting time showing them the property..learning and experience is everything to stay ahead of the nightmare tenants...its a shame there isn't a national database of them but that would upset the PC brigade
  6. Hi All, Thanks for your replies, I have got this one sorted now, done a lot of reading and have downloaded some very good well written and dare I say it easy to understand guides. A few things, whilst I understand the reasons why this law came into place, unscrupulous landlords and agents charging ridiculous high fees, I think its penalised the majority rather than the few. Personally whilst it's OK to say you cannot charge for example for references, I think we should be able to say we need references and that if they wish to rent our properties they need to arrange for what information you require, even if this does mean they pay small fees. The work around for this is to take a holding deposit, get something signed stating what you want in terms of references and that they will provide it either direct to yourself or via a referencing agent. If they are then found to be lying or attempting to avoid being referenced checked (as was the case for me) then you are entitled to keep the holding deposit. I have always tried to do the right thing but equally I don't see why my time should be wasted by people trying it on. I will ensure that I stay within the law and that in future I don't make any mistakes as I seem to have on this occasion. Thankfully I have also found out that these new laws only apply to Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements, and that it does not apply to the resident landlord situation which I am, so I can now breathe knowing that I cannot be fined on account of this new legislation. Lesson learned. Anyway, thanks for your help. Regards, Tony
  7. Sorry its late, misread you are not selling up, you said others are....my excuse is its very late lol, I need to get some sleep!
  8. Thanks, its difficult to increase rents to account for small charges but of course as you say we take the hit, it sounds like you are selling up from what you said? I have decided to sell up this house as with things like this its just too difficult to manage and buy a flat and just deal with one tenant. I will still get them to pay the costs though I will just tell them what I want and leave it with them as to how they get the information, a lot of it they can do themselves if they can be bothered, but things like credit checks are always going to cost at least £10, I think I might just say something vague like have a look around the internet to see if there are any companies offering services, I won't be putting anything in writing though! Thanks for your quick reply, its much appreciated. Regards, Tony
  9. Hi all my first post. Something has come up and I am a tad worried about it, as I am not sure that I have correctly complied with the new laws. Prior to the new legislation, I always asked the tenant to pay the small fee (only £20) for their reference checks, making it clear that I wouldn't entertain renting to them without them being fully reference checked (ie their choice). I would of course sell this to them by rightly saying that it not only protected me but the tenant too, since its a HMO and its a way of trying to ensure that all the tenants are more likely not to be a problem to each other. This seemed to work well and I never really had any complaints, as most reasonable people understood that it was them that needed to be checked out. I decided to have a break with no tenants for a while as I was doing work upgrading the property so my last tenant left a couple of months before the new law came into force. I read up about the law as much as I could at the time it came in, and I thought that it was reasonably straight forward, that in future I would not be able to ask for the £20 upfront to reference check them. No problem I thought I will just ask them to get the references explaining that I was no longer able to do this on their behalf. Well that is what I thought! I have had a situation recently, whereby someone paid a deposit and despite many requests for them to get references done and sent to me, they simply ignored me. After a month I have just been asked for the deposit back, despite it being partly for reserving a particular room that they wanted, and since having to tell other possible tenants that it had been reserved. I have since read up a little more on this because I wanted to know if I was able to make deductions for basically being messed around and having potentially losing out on other tenants who also wanted that particular room. It turns out, apart from the maximum 5 weeks deposit (mine was much less than that) the maximum holding deposit it now ONLY 1 weeks rent, in this case just £75. The deposit paid was £200, which I feel is fairly low and I only ask for it to give myself minimum protection, more of a good will gesture by the tenant to show willing and that they are serious about taking up a tenancy. Had this person come forward with satisfactory references I would have simply made it a normal deposit and as I am a resident landlord banked it, as you don't need to do the government deposit scheme in such circumstances. My concern is that I asked this person (who I now believe to have something to hide hence no references supplied) to apply to my normal referencing company for the references, believing that as I am not taking any money from them that is was fine. However, I have now read a guide (produced since the law came into effect) on their website which states 'This means you will no longer be allowed to ask tenants to cover the cost of their own referencing. You also won’t be able to charge check-in, inventory or admin fees'. Obviously this was news to me and I have asked them to obtain references and referred them to the website. Its a real mess and another kick in the teeth for landlords. What am I supposed to say to them, I want references but cannot in any way tell you how to obtain them, but here is the list? It's ridiculous. Like any landlord I don't see why I should be lumbered with paying out for reference checks to make sure they are a good tenant, if you had 4 people going for one room are you supposed to shell out £80? I only ever ask for a reference after meeting them face to face and getting a good gut feeling about them (albeit I obviously got it wrong with this last one!). So, has anyone else come across this problem and what are you all doing? Personally there is no way I would ever let anyone into my property without being fully reference checked as I made this mistake many years ago, similar to this latest one, she paid a deposit and avoided being checked out and the only money I received as the deposit, it took me 6 months to get her out, thankfully the house wasn't too bad and I never let it again, I sold it due to the bad experience. Obviously I learned a hard lesson, but I am now concerned about how to actually ask for a reference! I cannot even say look on the internet because there might be an inference that you are pushing them towards referencing companies. I am really not sure what to do for the next person who comes to view and starts asking me questions, other than to send them an email and say this is what I need, up to you how you go about getting it! These stupid politicians who decide on these laws have no idea the problems that they cause! Anyway, I hope I have helped make Landlords aware of this problem and look forward to your experiences and suggesting. All the best...Tony
  10. Hi All, I am a newbie landlord trying to get some basic understanding and thought I would post for some help. I have a few manuals some incredibly long to read at some point but I have a tenant moving in soon so just wanted to quickly pick up any tips and advice from those that are experienced in these matters. My questions are as follows: 1. Assured Short Hold Tenancy Agreement – I am planning on going for a 6 month AST. I am not sure what happens at the end, do I need to write another one out if the same tenant stays on? I want to stay strictly within the law at all times and don’t want anything or mistakes to invalidate my insurance so would like to know what landlords generally do? 2. Notice to quit should it be necessary, I believe its 2 months with a 6 month AST? Is this correct? What notice does the tenant need to give? 3. The actual AST. I am going to use the one I found on .gov.uk website because I like the explanation notes throughout it for both the landlord and tenant. I have had a skim read of this but could not see anywhere to add your own ‘house rules’. Can these be added, or do we need to mention an appendix and add them in there? What tips and advice can everyone give regarding this? I know legally the tenant has the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ but what exactly does this mean from a legal perspective. I just want to clearly state within the tenancy agreement things like making sure the flat is properly ventilated (I think that is referred to in the one I have downloaded), no smoking policy, no pets, no wild parties (lol) and anything else I think might be a problem. Can we just list our do’s and don’ts or does any of these put us in danger of making the AST not legally binding, I don’t want to do something and then find my AST would not stand up in a court of law because I did this or that, so I am really looking for the idiots guide to getting it right and staying on the right side of the law. Obviously I don’t want to be paying legal fees either before or after, hence I am asking for those experienced landlords for the benefit of their knowledge. 4. I am aware of the Rent to Rent legal obligation so will be drafting something up for the tenant to sign and taking a photo of their passport. 5. I am also aware of the Rent Deposit Scheme and will be doing this within the 30 days as I have already had this, does anyone have any advice on this not sure whether to pay the small fee and retain it or not? Just thinking its best to have it if you had any disputes at the end of the tenancy what do people think? 6. I have already used a third party and had the tenant referenced and credit checked and all looks good, am I missing anything? Many thanks all. Tony
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