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fionaf

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About fionaf

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    Private aviation

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  1. fionaf

    Dear Landlords - Please help

    I filled this in but don’t think the questions asked will answer your question accurately. For example I do not use an agent but advertise via OpenRent which puts my property on Rightmove etc and it gives me the option to say if I accept pets or not. I doubt a pet friendly only portal can compete with portals and agents which are established and cater for both the pet owner and the non pet owner renter. Your questionnaire also asked me questions on both sides of the argument and some questions didn’t give me an option to say I already rented to pet owners so it is presenting a very lopsided view and one based on assumptions rather than research.
  2. fionaf

    Landlord by mistake.!

    Allan you say you’ve sold the property but I take it that in reality that is just an offer as you are still trying to sort out the problem? If you’d sold it then surely the problem is now the new owner’s? Sorry but if I was the prospective buyer I’d be likely to walk away and feeling rather aggrieved at wasted costs. (Don’t shoot the messenger!) It is very unfair that your ex-friends have taken advantage but as others have said renting to friends even as a favour makes you a landlord and without doing it by the book, issuing the right documents etc then you are on very uncharted territory and will need professional advice. I hope it doesn’t work out how someone I read about on a property forum years ago and it was deemed they’d created a verbal agreement to rent to the individual for their lifetime on a rent that could never be increased and the landlord was stuck with a property that was worth a fifth of its vacant possession value. Don’t want to scare you but terrible things can happen and the sooner you sort it out the better.
  3. fionaf

    Single mums

    Perfectly reasonable from our experience. Our tenants have a right to a private life are relatively professional types and too much invasion would be counter productive. We live within two miles of all our properties, have the neighbours with our numbers and drive past the properties regularly so see the state of the front garden, any new car, etc. For those who ended up on HB were in the minority and the inspections wouldn’t have revealed their HB status anyway, only the state of the property.
  4. fionaf

    Single mums

    Openrent has always worked well for me. It advertises on Gumtree, Rightmove, Zoopla etc. First advert free, after that £29. We’ve never started out renting to to HB claimants but had two turn into HB claimants, one where both husband and wife simultaneously developed back problems and left their jobs and then reported were registered disabled so we needed to replace the entire bathroom suite with a walk in bath etc, it was an upstairs flat with no lift that they had no problems climbing the stairs for. They then wanted a new kitchen and things started going wrong with the serviceable and clean but ten year old kitchen including the sink that suspiciously looked like a hole had been drilled in the bottom of it. We had to evict them and at first they were pleased thinking they were due a nice little bungalow from the council but they ended up in temporary accommodation for months and begged us to re-let to them but we had already re-let and had no desire to have them as tenants again. Then another where the couple split up and the Mum decided she wasn’t going back to work after mat leave and she did a flit leaving the house in a state and loads of debt. I therefore have had a few too many bad experiences and would now serve notice as soon as it was clear they were stuck on HB for the foreseeable future, problem is they have no need to tell you of a change in circumstances so I am tougher on all tenants who start asking for a few days leeway or don’t agree to a twice yearly check-up on the property.
  5. Thanks Melboy. More reminders on my list needed now that they can’t be more than ten years old. One detail like this isn’t complicated but add all the other little details and it is a paperwork and admin hell.
  6. I would never agree to rent totally upfront. Many reasons for this but the main one being they seem ‘too keen’ and I’ve had fellow landlords discover the renter was in truth a canabis factory person with no interest in the property. Also you get people who have no credit history trying to do this, it might be ok for the first six months but after that you hear of defaults and problems as they’ve blown their money. They could also be money laundering. I’ve heard of people paying up front then finding fault within days to try and wriggle out and get a refund on all their money, thus hiding their money trail. It also completey messes up my tax having a lump sum payment in one financial year and then perhaps not the next. I would far rather prefer a steady tenant paying a regular amount. Why also the questions in the survey about students? You don’t give the opportunity for people to say why they might not like this method of payment. Also you seem naive when asking questions about length of tenancy as minimum for an AST is six months and so in most instances it is not practical to let for one or two months unless letting a room and you live in the property etc.
  7. fionaf

    Section 21

    When did the tenancy start? The requirement to give the how to rent booklet only applies for tenancies that commenced after a certain date.
  8. fionaf

    early eviction

    Section 8 allows for eviction in two weeks (in reality it can be several months if you need to get the court, bailiffs etc involved) due to anti-social behaviour but this can be very subjective. For example this article on the BBC I think trying to evict over a crying baby http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41996972 is nonsense in my opinion, but I suspect there are other reasons not in the article. If they don't pay their rent this is more obvious and less subjective. If the agent is the one being the pain it depends on your contract terms with them. What you consider a nightmare may not be the same opinion by a judge or someone else. You may be liable for fees to the agent for the entire duration of the tenancy term even if the tenant leaves. If the tenants are generally behaving themselves and paying rent, you don't want to move into the property and then tenant doesn't end up in jail etc, your main option is a section 21 2 months prior to the end of the 1 year term so they are out at the end of the term. This is why landlords quite like 6 month tenancy agreements, you can test the arrangement on both sides and if it works out great, it becomes a periodic tenancy and everyone is happy, if it doesn't then it is just for the 6 months. There are tons of resources that tell you what the grounds for eviction under s.8 are, non-payment of rent is the less subjective one but others include 'a major offence', death, neglect of the property (but this I believe has to be proved over time), etc etc.
  9. fionaf

    No SDLT Surcharge on Student Accomodation

    Thanks Richlist. Interesting. Is that because it is a different class? i.e. not residential. I am no expert but I don't think University places demand will be going up massively anytime soon. Yes those currently going through the school system are increasing at least until one year after my Daughter was born 2005, she is currently in Y8 so a few more years expansion for the potentially university aged population, then the birth rate tailed off a bit. This year weren't Uni places down by 4% or thereabouts? That must have an effect on demands for accommodation. My daughter is a bright girl at a top school but I wouldn't be disappointed if she decided to become a plumber rather than her current ambition to be an astrophysicist. It would help more with the family business and also she'd be in far less debt, however we would also be very proud if she did want to go to Uni and we'd support her (possibly buying up a few places along the way...) I know many who have bright kids thinking along the same lines, either duck out of Uni altogether or go along for the ride with property at the same time.
  10. fionaf

    How to find out if the tenant is still there

    I am intrigued. If you are not the owner and not the agent then why do you want to know? I could understand a neighbour wanting to know if a property were empty, but as you say you can't visit the property that doesn't make sense either. 192.com has searches of electoral role (fee required) but it takes time for the data to be updated and so isn't helpful if the move is a recent one or the data hasn't been updated.
  11. fionaf

    At Last.....

    Congratulations Richlist. We are just restructuring our properties. We own one outright, one on interest only and one on repayment plus our own domestic property. We have restructured the interest only to be a repayment so that in 17 years we will own it rather than have to sell. We are then left with just a small pot of interest only on our property that I am plugging away at every other month or so. Our focus is now to pay off the mortgages rather than buy more as the up front costs just can't be justified. Coventry BS have a nice 1.59% for the entire term (subject to their reviews and interest rates, it is not a base rate tracker...) BTL mortgage available just in case anyone is still on a high interest mortgage and looking for an alternative. Note - I am not a financial adviser so proceed with caution!
  12. I think there'd be privacy issues too if a landlord seeing usage of someone else. It would a bit like if I had an HMO where I was paying the bills I had one of those apps that could turn down your heating - can't see the tenants being happy about that. - Yes sounds like US market thing.,
  13. Same with my Council, not even a day's free CT when empty or being renovated. We usually turn our properties round quickly so between two days to two weeks so not a massive problem but still an admin PITA. I think it must have cost the council more to process the last CT bill of less than £10 for two days. Sigh.
  14. We used to rent rooms in our home but now the portfolio has matured we no longer need to do this. I would prefer a hard working person of any age than a person whose has maybe left a difficult marriage and might end up with abusive partner hammering on the door. Would you also not fall foul of age discrimination legislation? I know there are some exemptions for individuals when it is their own home but as a company it will be different.
  15. fionaf

    Looking for a house in Bristol - longterm rent

    Wishing you all the best but this is a forum for landlords to discuss landlord related issues and not a place where rentals are posted although you may be lucky - you never know. As a landlord I put my properties through Open Rent who then also put them on the likes of Rightmove etc. Sorry I don't operate in your area and my properties are all happily let. If you have a four year old I believe reception school applications fall in January so it is sounding likely that any school application will now also be seen as a late application so do bear that in mind. Even if you find a property near a nice school the chances are it will be oversubscribed and as a late applicant you may well end up on a waiting list. It is a nightmare moving with schoolage children and I don't mean to scaremonger but it is a major factor for most families when moving.
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