Jump to content

I know I'm wrong, but what choice.

Carryon Regardless

Recommended Posts

This could go in 'The Joy of Being a Landlord', but I've started a fresh belly ache thread rather than poach.

Today I've agreed to let a property I've had empty since Nov 2012, so 15 months+

I've had two LA's trying for most of this time, on the introduction only basis. I'm sure there have been viewings I'm unaware of and the introductions passed my way have been dire.

There has been some redecoration and new carpets. My problem has been a reluctance to create a palace for a place that will be unlikely, due to locality, to get significant rent (against value) and will be a problem to get those rents in.
It is clean, secure and all that a potential home should be though, not that I would desire to live there.

I started promoting at £375pcm, this being approx £20 less than the local rents.
I dropped this to £355 over 6 months ago with the 1 month free also.
Last week I instructed the LA to drop to £325 but no free month. I also advertised at a cost of over £43 for the week.

I've heard nothing from the LA but a response from the ad got a viewing, today.
Father and daughter with a labrador. She a student. He working, unusual for this locality, for 10 years+. He has lived in his present flat for 15 years, but is being hoofed out on Tueasday for the £1,000 arrears (nice round figure eh).

I wouldn't take 'em in a million years but it having been empty for a million and one years and I having already lost close on £5k (even at 325pcm), and having paid the council tax of £1,090 last year I must concede defeat on this one.
This ignores the cost of upgrading and the travel at 110 miles round trip each visit.

Assuming this goes through on Friday I have 30 days to register for the local selective licencing at a cost of £750 plus inspections as they require.

From the T I shall be collecting £325, no deposit, no guarantor.
Will I be paid rents in future ?
Will the carpets and doors be ruined by a lovely smelly, hairy doggy ?
Will his 17 year old daughter be entertaining undesirable boyfriends ?

At least he is only a little fella' so harassing him into action should be possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear, what a tale of woe. Is this Britain today.. just as I was starting to feel a bit upbeat - nice sunny day and all that?

Well the undesirable boyfriend thing and damage to cheap carpet by dog is the least of your worries I would say. Are you sure it is a Lab and not a Pit Bull? I would want photographic evidence!

I don't get how this man has the cheek to want a new property when he leaves old one with £1000 rent debt. Was he evicted? Why did he not pay the rent one has to ask? He must have social probs or addictions of some kind? There is certainly no guarantee he will pay your rent.

Why not try selling this saga to Channel 4 for a fly on the wall docu drama?

Good luck is all I can say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In your shoes I'd probably sell it.

I know you may well be looking at a loss but I think I'd rather take that than have ongoing major hassle with voids, letting to undesirable tenants, the threat of arrears or worse and the stress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand your thinking and as all renting comes with a certain risk this is no differant other than a lot larger risk but you could do/try a number of things to mitigate the risk such as:

1 Serve a 21 at the start.

2 Get the tenant(s) to sign agreement that any HB/LHA claim can be discussed in full with you.

3 Make it a condition of the tenancy that any HB/LHA is paid directly to you

4 Maybe give a incentive to the tenant that they £250 back when they move out if the property left in a acceptable condition and no arrears.

5 Use a good application form.

6 Take out a RGI policy which you should be able to do even if on hb/lha.

I think the RGI is a must and as long as they havent got a long list of ccj's and were on the electoral roll at there last address I am fairly sure Rent4Sure will grant one because that is the company we use sometimes. But you have to do the basic ref check through them which is 8 quid each. This will at least give some peace of mind.

I am not sure if individuel landlords can take out the policy with R4S but I would be happy to arrange it for you if you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blimey COR what a tale of woe and misfortune. Where on earth is this place your trying to rent out then?

I still wouldn't do it though as you have indicated and I have to say and I would try to sell and take a hit on it.......hopefully a small one. :D

Can't you let to the local council on their guaranteed rent payment and repair if damaged scheme?.. like we have here in my location.

Good Luck though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little extra explanation,

I thought I had posted this here over a week ago. Today I went to my sailing forum and there it was :huh: . No one at the club took the mickey, as they might be entitled to, so I didn't realise. In fact when it didn't appear here I thought the forum had had a glitch and timed out before accepting it.

Anyway I copy and pasted it to here, later than written.

The T's moved in last Friday.


Prior to signing up I made an excuse to visit his place. I met the labrador and it didn't wish to savage me.

His cleanliness left a lot to be desired so I've to keep an eye on that.

I was unhappy with his employment when I looked in to it as the address on the reference he brought to the viewing from his supervisor was a 2 up 2 down. that turned out to be her home address. The reference I requested was from the factory and that panned out.

He had failed to keep up his rent on the 1 bed flat, and said he had had difficulty since his daughter moved in with him, but I don't see why anything should change for him now unless I am good at getting my dosh 1st.

I see no evidence of abuse of life or addictions. I did learn, when asking about a nice photo, that he took his daughter's' to Tenerife last year. I now 'assume' that he spent too much dosh on that and never recovered, or maybe didn't try to. Often when they can't meet all the rent due they just don't attempt to pay at least some.

I have considered selling and got an idea of the value some months ago. Mortgage presently (interest only) and at £58K. The estate agent believes, with Gov't initiatives (that were drying up at the time of asking), that £54k is attainable. Factoring in that estate agents overstate values to get houses on their books and the costs associated with selling the subsidy required looks a bit ott. I decided to hold off and watch the market, bearing in mind we have an election coming up I think this isn't daft.

Now re rented I only need see £102.45 pm to cover the mortgage, plus repairs and renovations later of course.

I no longer serve a S21 at the start, instead I use it as a wake up where needed. Let's face it I have 4 months to serve it and I lose no time till repossession. Where I feel the need I will likely serve a faulty S21 andf encourage him to get advice, Shelter aren't big in that area,

Church, Accrington, Lancashire, btw,

so him having to go to CAB and wait for attention, from someone who will likely need advice from a specialist, will be a good wake up.

As you might see it will take a lot for me to want him gone. My aim is to manage him closely to reduce my downsides. My perception is that he is manageable.

I've considered all sorts of incentives to keep a T in line. My thoughts around the cash back idea is that as he pays me rent and I am willing to refund 'any' money it could be argued by some smart ass that it is a deposit, and not protected. I don't wish to go down that road, the threat of a £20k fine and having to refund 1 years rent for not complying with the selective licence requirements is bad enough.

Here's one. Reading up on that licence a bit. after I have paid the 5 year, non refundable if I sell, non transferable fee Hydburn CC may decide I not of good enough character and refuse me a licence.

I'll give the RGI some thought, thanks.

I've heard many horror stories of giving the control of a btl to the council, that would take careful consideration.

There is a chance this could become a forum soap, time will tell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You all missed a nice sunny day on the water today Dave and self had a couple of good spinny runs and no capsize for a change

Damn wrong forum again ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a rented property in a very nice requested property buyer's road.

3 doors down is a small 2 bed terrace which is rented through the local council scheme of guarantees for rent and maintenance etc.

Sure enough in the past 9 months there have neen a lot of problems with the Scumbags who moved in there under DSS rules.

Many complaints later they have been evicted but not because of good neighbours and citizens complaints but because of drugs and non payment of bills.

In the last 3 weeks there has been an army of Council tradesmen in this house putting right everything that had been damaged including the removal of a 3 piece suite which had been sitting on the front lawn since December and despite all the requests from neighbours to have it removed as it was an eyesore wasn't done until they moved out!

So my point is COR that my local council bend over backwards when it comes to handing the property back to the landlord and I am guessing this landlord was receiving £550 a month paid directly to him so he didn't lose out financially.

Let's hope the new tenant's are better than the last brainless morons who could turn Paradise into sh*hole!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I contacted this T last week to ask why the rent had failed, I ignore excuses so shouldn't really have asked. He promised the rent this w/e and today it is in my bank. I am going to attempt to get his workplace to pay into my bank weekly from his wage. It seems unlikely but worth a try.

So I have 30 says to register with Hyndburn BC for their selective licencing scheme, or face a max £20k fine (and repay the last 12 months rents to whoever, well only a little of that applies to me anyway).

Gas cert, elec cert (if rewired within the last 5 years, strange bit that), mains wired smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector (as there is a gas supply), EPC all required before I can have a 'max' 5 year licence. Plus of course close on £800, I think. No refund if sold, not transferable. I read that the licence will only run till Dec 2017, surely not but too late to check now.

"Am I a suitable person?" it asks. Well I used to be I'm buggered if I want to be now, my conscientious style has been beaten out of me, but I guess the correct answer in this multi choice questionnaire is YES.

They want to know my age, I mean other than my date of birth already given, my religion, my sexual orientation - very tempting to reply that I wish to f--- council employees, but if she's fat and dog like she might want evidence.

And apparently this is to control the anti social behaviors in the areas selectively chosen. When did that become my responsibility? How will this help any? They do ask what actions'I' will take to control anti social behaviour at my property. Do you think "involve the Police" is right or are they looking for a better answer? If only they would do more to control their own T's when needed.

If this is how Labour councils demonstrate their extelligence they won't be enjoying my support, apart from another £800 to squander.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was there any reason to think this tenant would behave any differently in your property than he did in the last?

Leopard/spots argument has to relate to this.

I think if you try to get rent paid from company employing him he will cite harassment from landlord. He must also be on child support+ for the kid.

So what does he do with his money - drink,drugs or the betting shop aided and abetted by your local council's help a ne'er do well attitude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mortitia I didn't / don't expect this Leopard to change his spots, hence the thread title and why I am watching closely. My thoughts re direct payment from the employer was to do this with the T's knowledge and approval, otherwise I would only expect a refusal from his employers anyway, after all who am I to attempt to dictate this from them?


This is the fee page for the selective licence, as long as I get my application to them before 1 month after start of tenancy (next Monday, well Friday really) column 2 applies to me.

And wadda ya know I had read it correctly the '5 years' expires December 2017 no matter when a LL applies.

So a little recap.

I take T,

I have 1 month to apply for the licence,

I pay between £740 and £870 for the NOT 5 year period.

Imagine the poor sod that takes his 1st T in October 2017, RL I don't think even you could justify this one.

Sorry I had to vent off somewhere, good job I don't have a cat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If selective licencing has been introduced at a cost of £740 - £870 then surely rents will rise to reflect this extra cost ?

A licence costing £740 - £870 over 48 months = approx £15.00 - £18.00 extra per month for the tenant to pay. Doesn't seem a particularly large amount compared to the monthly costs of other outgoings.

Am I missing something important here ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can someone explain what is selective licencing as I don't have it in my area. I have a very basic idea but that's about it. Is it very wide spread throughout the uk?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your forgetting RL that to actually get this place rented I reduced the rent considerably. It follows that as we aren't a charity that we would aim to maximise return anyway. My issue here is that I, and others of course, are now having to pay this additional tax for no good purpose I can appreciate.

Local Gov'ts have been given the right to impose 'selective licencing' after a pointless consultation. This council states it is to improve and control anti social behaviours. I can neither see why this is my problem and how this will help.

Where the council use this licencing to improve the standard of accommodation there 'might' be some good purpose. They do require proof of gas certs, ecp, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. They 'ask' if I am a suitable character, as if I would say no.

There are already housing inspectors that could if they wished do just that, inspect. Where a property is unsuitable they can already serve their improvement notices.

I see no justification for this additional control.

I have far more important things to do with 'my' money, if I am fortunate enough to get any from this already failed situation.

The area has become increasingly depressed. Housing values are seriously depressed. This licence, and the way it is operated, will only serve to scare off investors, as far as the housing is concerned things will only get worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have my sympathy......I understand your frustration, empathise with your position & I wouldn't want to pay the licencing fees either but these costs are just another to be added to the long list of those associated with letting residential property.

With any trade you do the sums by adding up the income versus the outgoings and arrive at a profit margin. The profit is weighed against the time & effort you expend and you make a value judgement as to the viability of the business. If the result of selective licencing is that your business is not viable then surely its time to do something else ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another consideration is the risk to reward factor.

All you say is correct and I continually monitor the return performance of each property. Back in 2008 as I saw what started in the States would come our way I discussed with my more intelligent other the prospect of offloading the portfolio, and even our own home. She, and others, thought my pessimistic view of the future was just too pessimistic. Even I with said pessimism hadn't viewed the effects to be so long lasting and so dramatic.

I listened and only off loaded a few. I then remortgaged as much as possible to create a cushion for the forth coming dark years. I expected a 5 -6 year period before property would be at healthy value again so the cushion was designed for that. Something else not anticipated was the super low interest and it being long lasting. That has been one hell of a bonus, without that my cushion would be long gone.

Now with the continuing depressed values, and the depressed markets to sell isn't realistic, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I anticipate early next year to be the peak selling point this to diminish following the general election. But we must recognise that we are gamblers, not much different to the guy in the bookies. The big difference is that we are stuck with assets / liabilities and responsibilities. Those responsibilities are continually increasing. The risks are continually becoming greater. All this is largely, but not only, due to legislations and I don't see any recognition in the Smoke that this has gone toooo far - there will be more to come.

On the something else line. 3 years ago I paid to complete the 17th Edition Electrical Regs course. My thoughts were to cherry pick work. Having to pay registration and annual fees to the like of the NIC and also pay for meter calibration annually, and of course other overheads I sacked the idea. The 1st couple of months would be working to cover overheads and then there are risks associated with dealing with the public. It lost it's appeal.

Legislation and control are necessary for society. I do feel that nowadays we have Brussels, London and local authorities all making rules for rules sake. This tends to create more work for those departments creating them and new departments then required to pretend to police them.

For a good while I have been considering not so much 'the something' else but 'the where' else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can someone explain what is selective licencing as I don't have it in my area. I have a very basic idea but that's about it.


Is it very wide spread throughout the uk?

Its not in my part of Essex but I think they do have it in some of the London boroughs and seems to be in areas that have problems with slum landlords not meeting minimum requirements. Someone has to pay for the policing and I'm kinda pleased its not being paid out of my income tax or council tax.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that RL.

Am I missing something but don't the council already have within their powers to control dodgy landlords and below standard properties?

It seems very much a money making exercise to me, and how do they justify the amount? Also as a number of councils have started their own in house letting agencies surely they will have a unfair advantage, see point 5 below

The following tenancies/licences are also exempt where:

  1. a prohibition order is in force
  2. business tenancies
  3. licensed premises (for liquor licensing purposes)
  4. agricultural tenancies
  5. the property is managed/controlled by a local housing authority or public body
  6. the building is regulated under other legislation (e.g. care homes)
  7. the building is occupied by students controlled/managed by a University/College (who subscribe to an Approved Code of Practice)
  8. the occupier is a Member Of The Family of the landlord/licensor who himself holds under a lease of the property for a minimum of 21 years
  9. holiday lets
  10. the occupier shares any amenity (i.e. a toilet bathroom kitchen or living room) with the landlord/licensor or a Member Of The Family of the landlord/licensor

Maybe someone should start a judicial review to fight the costs the councils are charging.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Am I missing something but don't the council already have within their powers to control dodgy landlords and below standard properties?

The powers, yes but, the money to carry them out ......no......not without raising council taxes and thats not recommended in these hard times.

So, lets look at the positives:-

* The cost is less than £15 a month ......which seems very good value to me.

* I'm not affected so am not paying for the cost of it......which only seems fair.

* It does give employment to one or more individuals.....again that seems very commendable

* It keeps poor quality property/ landlords out of the business......something we all support so, thats brilliant.

and if its a disaster we can all blame Nick Clegg ! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...