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The White House is for Sale?

surely not .. the White House can’t be for sale, or can it. Check this out. For a cool $10 million, you get 16,000 square feet of space, car parking for 75 cars, and a swimming pool. I still can’t imagine a tenant in there though. What would the rent be? electricity bills? maintenance? Not for the light pocket.

    Posted in Property.

    Ongoing Court processes in the matter of tenant evictions

    I have been away from this for a little while, but not because there’s been nothing to report. Rather, there’s been too much going on and too few hours in the day.

    Today, I received four letters from three Courts, and one letter from a lawyer dealing with enforcement of a possession/money judgement order. Yes, five different tenants or ex-tenants and various stages of possession. Anyone would think I had become litiguous . … and they’d be right. Unfortunately its the only way to get the parasites off our backs, and reclaim what is owed.

    The enforcement is of a money judgement given in January this year. We have had a Court order for the Defendant to pay £100/month starting August 2009. Guess what, they have so far paid £43, and propose paying £10/week. At that rate, we’d still be trying to collect for a few years. Now, I’m no legal bod, but surely, that is contempt of court, isn’t it. The law comes down heavy if we don’t pay parking/ticket/speeding fines, or miss payments, so why not CCJs for rent arrears? The High court enforcement officer writes to ask what we want to do? suspend enforcement and accept the offer? Now what is their job? Enforcement or negotiation ….. so I’ve just emailed to say… go ahead with enforcement of the court order. Its a matter of principle now.

    The Order for possession arriving today was for a court hearing on 16/09/09. I get a copy of the order a month after the order was given, and two weeks after the defendant was ordered to vacate the property. The actual hearing took less than 10minutes on the day, after having waited several weeks for the hearing itself. Justice might be slow, but, hey…. thaaat sloooow?? I guess blame will be laid at the door of the postmen now.

    The attachment of earnings case… that’s been dragging itself around for a wee while. Started with moneyclaim online, then passed through a couple of courts to the one local to the Defendant. Well, local is relative in this case, as there’s one closer, but that was not the right one. Such a rigmarole. The Defendant in this case works, but as he himself said “money seems to just slip through his fingers”… make what you will of that. And this is not a young man, I mean, he is in his fifties for goodness sakes, and can’t manage his financial affairs. Unfortunately, the money is not even being spent on himself …. nor on women, nor on wine, nor on weed. You guess it, its being spent on Weapons of Mass Poverty Creation … where the owner of the money keeps thinking his luck will change at the next draw. Yeah, right!! As long as he manages to stay in work, we will collect it all … including ongoing rent. No, not turfing him out – ulterior motive… need to ensure he keeps a roof over his head and stay in work so we can collect.

    The remaining two are being dealt with by one court. Next possession hearing is now second week in November, which means this one will be trying to find a new home in December…. not the best time eh? but that’s not my problem. Its hers. She is even getting help from the State, but decided to use it for purposes other than paying rent. Then does the proverbial ostrich … not answering telephone, email, letters or even personal visit. Car out front, people in house, knock, knock, knock… wait, knock some more, louder and louder, curtains twitch but she aint got the bottle to face up to the problem. The State have been informed, but we wait and see what the State will do. They are notorious for their inept handling of such matters, but that’s another story.

    The last one .. well now, THAT is one heck of a story, which will be told at a later date, so watch this space. She is one twistedly purposeful liar in the guise of a nice lady. If there’s been a disaster that can befall anyone, she’s had it. She basically ran out of excuses. Gave her plenty of rope, and she’s basically twisted herself all up and no houdini can get her out of the knots she’s tied herself in. Saw her yesterday and she tried the waterworks trick …. oh no! moved me not an iota. Now,believe it or not, I’m normally a compassionate person, but folk like these lot just don’t allow compassion to even come into the equation. They’ll gobble you up, chew you to bits and spit you out again without so much as a blink. That’s the world we have to deal with.

    Well, tomorrow is another day, and I should be checking in two new tenants.

      Posted in Tenant Eviction.

      landlords are "jaded" …. so I hear

      I saw and article earlier today with the headline “landlords are jaded”. Of course that sparked my interest, and I read the article. Apparently, we are “jaded” because and I quote “in the three months to the end of September, fewer than one in three investors were taking the trouble to review the mortgage market on a regular basis“. 

      Now, can someone explain to me why we would bother anyway, when the banks are not lending to us? Those that are lending or pretending to do so, want to take the shirts off our backs anyway. How many buy-to-let products are still out there, and of those out there how many have reasonable terms/rates? And how many landlords have any credit history worthy of presenting to a lender? how many landlords have been turned down time and again by cautious lenders even when the applicant has a good credit rating? What is the point!!

      These bankers have no clue, and I mean no clue, as to what it takes to run a property portfolio, sitting in their cushy chairs in front of their computer screens, twirling numbers around to justify their existence. They pull overdrafts without so much as a by-your-leave, and say “no” even before you’ve finished asking the question. Between the bankers, the government’s ill-thought-out housing regulations, the councils’ cack-handed implementation of said regulations, and the tenants shenanigans, the average landlord/investor is pretty chewed up. Frankly, I’m surprised there’s any of us left.

      Anyway, back to the topic: Buy-to-let mortgages, just a few short months ago, were considered “toxic debts”, by our government. Infact I’d go so far as to say the term was so toxic, that one immediately thought “barge pole” when buy-to-let was mentioned. Unfortunately, those maligning the mortgages forgot that most of the properties (houses and flats) bought with these mortgages were good solid housing stock, and not the overpriced city centre flats that no average person could afford!!

      We all know that the days of cheap and easy mortgage lending is over, well for now anyway, and we may not likely see a return to the sorts of levels that was around 12-18months ago, and maybe that’s a good thing. There is talk that the property market is improving, and we hope so.

      I’m a firm believer in bricks-and-mortar being a good solid investment, if held for the long term. Even if one is just trading, there’s value in it. For those who are able to, now is very much a good time to be buying property, as there are good deals to be had.  For those who are not able, well, they can sit on the ring side and watch the match in safety and train and tweak their portfolio to maximum potential.

        Posted in Finance.

        a relatively quiet day

        Today has been relatively quiet. Whilst there has been no major disaster, there has still been the odd minor irritations. Just over a week ago, in preparation for moving a new tenant into a flat, the boiler was serviced and the gas safety certificate issued. one week later, the tenant moves in, and all seems fine. Then on saturday, the tenant calls to report that the boiler wasn’t working, and claimed it hadn’t worked since he moved in. Now, I was at the premises when the service/certification was done, and knew the boiler was working. Anyhow, we send the Gas Safe plumber round on saturday, he couldn’t fix it, then he went back on monday and talked it through with the boiler manufacturer, and worked out that the pcb thingy in it  has now gone kaput, and without it, the boiler ain’t gonna work. And guess what, that little board of tricks will set me back a nice and tidy sum of £386, another unexpected expense. I’m in two minds as to whether or not the tenant caused the damage or it was just a coincidence. The jury is out on that one. Boilers are a rip off, there’s always something not right with them, particularly those combis!!

        With this and a leak here, a repair there, and what not, it does sometimes feel as if the bank account is just a conduit, you know. Funds come in one end, and straight out the other, with hardly a pause to sit and be admired.

        Talking about water leaks reminded me of a message a tenant left for us at the end of last week. She wants a water meter fitted, and Anglian water sent their surveyor round to check the best location for it. Anyhow, they’ve decided it needs to go somewhere in the kitchen that requires removal of some of the kitchen units and what not, so she calls and says could we send someone round, to remove the said units, and then put them back etc. LOL! What a cheek! Its not as if there has been a damage or any such thing, but for her convenience. Needless to say I haven’t even bothered to reply.

          Posted in Maintenance.

          Welcome ……

          I am a landlord, of the bricks-and-mortar variety, and have been for a little while now. The journey has been quite interesting, sometimes exhilirating and sometimes downright frustrating. The antics of tenants – you’ve got to experience it to believe it. I’ve often said to myself, “i must write a book about my experiences”, but of course it always seems a daunting task. I haven’t even kept a diary-its all in my head. But of course the older I get, the more distant the memory becomes and details fade….

          Whilst I’ve been aware of blogging for a while now, I’ve never really taken notice. Yes, yes, yes, I know…. how could I not, in this day and age of e-life and e-living, and for one who is an engineer by profession…. Its never too late though, is it? I recently attended an event that has changed my outlook, and made me decide to just get on with it.

          So, come enjoy with me the highs and lows of being a landlord.

            Posted in General.

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