Thanks heaps for all your advice, I'm really grateful for the feedback! I' a bit of an amateur at this to be honest, I only have the one property - this was where I lived before I moved in with my partner 4 years ago. I got in touch with a letting agent and they found me a tenant straight away and they have been in the house till this August. They were private tenants as I have specifically specified to my agent I don't want DSS. My house is not advertised or open to DSS and I would never entertain HMO either.
I think that basically, because I'm quite an organised person the fact that I have contacted the council in reply to their letter this has just drawn attention to me. This was the email I had from the council:
I would like to thank you for your response to my letter and it very encouraging to know that you are keen to let your property and it is to a good standard.
The approach Doncaster Council are taking towards returning empty properties back into use is very proactive and ensuring that the properties are to a standard in line with the Housing Act 2004 is a further priority for us. I am currently inspecting all empty properties within Mexborough to ensure that the accommodation is free from Cat 1 Hazards as specified in the Housing Act 2004. This not only ensures that potential tenants are safe, but it also enables us to keep a register of all properties inspected and to involve owners in our landlord forums, market event days and landlord fairs.
I would like to inspect the above premises as soon as you are able to facilitate this and would appreciate it if you could contact me on the telephone number below. The inspection is not formal due to the property being empty, however prior to let, we do need to see a copy of the gas safety certificate and an electrical certificate.
I notice that you are struggling to find suitable tenants and although I appreciate that you have employed a letting agent to carry out this task, we do have services that may be able to assist you in finding a suitable tenant,.
If you require any further advice or assistance then please do not hesitate to contact me on the telephone number below. Our work is important to us and we do wish to assist as many owners in returning their properties back into use.
I look forward to hearing from you
I think my mistake was responding in the first place!
Could I really charge the council for inspecting my property? LOL I'd LOVE that - thing is - I have absolutely nothing to hide, but I work full time and we are currently in the process of moving house, which has been a nightmare and I just don't need unnecessary stress! I'd have to take time off work, which is a pain in the @rse and I just don't see why I should - it's a private tenancy and I'll never have council tenants! I'm quite prepared to tell her plain and simply 'where to go', but if I am obliged in any way I don't wanna ruffle her feathers as I don't want any backlash due to being difficult. A friend of mine, who's sister works for the council says they now have rights to 'police propertys', which I find ridiculous!
My agent bills me annually for the gas safety certificate and boiler check, but I didn't know I had to have a EPC - how can I get this done and how much is it gonna cost me? The house is unfurnished so no probs with fire regs. I guess my only concern about my property would be the steepness of the staircase, it's an old terrace property, but it does have a landing?
Melboy - "This does smack of Big Brother Interference by a Jobs Worth council employee." - LOVE this! haha, my thoughts exactly!
Cor - I had thought about asking her to detail the legislation that causes me to have obligation to comply and with regards to the elec cert - this makes me think she's wanting to inspect so that she can suggest tenants and I'm not interested! I have no idea what 'selective licensing' is so I'm presuming this doesn't apply?
Richlist - If I bill them and it's successful I'll paypal you £50 for your advice!!!
Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate this!