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djgordy
452471.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:28 am Reply with quote

starlinguk wrote:
People who rent have far too few rights. The landlord might own the property, but it's not as if he lets the tenant live in there for free.


No, tenants have far to many rights. The balance needs to be restored.

With regard access; the landlord or his agent does have right of access with 24 hours notice although, in an emergency, no notice needs to be given. If lazy tenant scum don't like it then I can only suggest that they get their fat scrounging arses in gear and buy their own houses like I did.

 
samivel
452474.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:38 am Reply with quote

You are Nicholas van Whatsisface and I claim my Carter USM records.

 
starlinguk
452499.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:03 pm Reply with quote

Nicholas van who?

*Googles Nicholas Van*

Ah, Van Hoogstraten.

Quote:
Nicholas van Hoogstraten (born Nicholas Hoogstraten on February 25, 1945) is a controversial wealthy British businessman and property owner. In 1968 he was convicted of paying a gang to attack a business associate.[1] In 2002 he was sentenced to 10 years for the manslaughter of a business rival. The verdict was overturned on appeal but in 2005 he was ordered to pay the victim's family 6 million in a civil case.


My, he was a real charmer, wasn't he.

 
Jenny
452516.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:59 pm Reply with quote

In Maine you have to give 24 hours notice of required access unless it's an emergency. That's what we've always done. Tenants definitely aren't allowed to change locks.

Starling - I appreciate your point of view, but there are some aspects to the landlord's point of view that you may be overlooking. The property is a way of investing money to make a return that provides the landlord with an income. Some of that income has to be spent on running costs and an allowance made for repairs and renovation. However, renovating a building is *expensive*.

I have just spent the last three months renovating a good sized three bedroom apartment in a three-unit building I own. The tenant had lived there for twelve years (we have owned the building for six). We had tried to do some renovations while she was there, but it was very impractical in a place that needed a major overhaul - we were waaaaay past the 'coat of paint to freshen it up' stage, and had probably been past that stage before she moved in. Fortunately, she wanted to move to a rented house on her own so she moved out.

We've put in a new bathroom, a new kitchen, stripped every wall back to the plaster and repaired the plaster, repainted (scrape, fill holes, repair where necessary, sandpaper, prime with an oil-based primer as there was a lot of old lead-based paint to be covered, first coat, sandpaper, topcoat) every inch of woodwork and put in new windows. We have painted it in tasteful colours rather than boring white or magnolia. Much of the work in putting the woodwork to rights and some of the work in the walls involved repairing stuff where the tenant had banged nails into various places (and this was a good tenant). I have actually spent more money renovating this apartment than I have earned from the whole building this year, even without regard to running costs. For this, I will be able to rent it out at no more than $100 a month more than I got for it before because that is what the local market will bear. OK I can write it off against tax, but I still have to have an income!

I would be distinctly unhappy if a tenant repainted after the effort and money we've put into the place. Our rental agreement says that tenants are allowed to repaint 'after consultation with the landlord', and the reason for this is that some people have bizarre tastes and I don't want to have to repaint unnecessarily after a tenant chooses to move, because the next tenant is unlikely to want the purple walls the first tenant might have liked. We don't mind tenants hanging up pictures, but we do specify in our rental agreement what kind of hangers they can use, because again our experience is that some do more damage to the walls than others.

We don't allow dogs, though cats are fine. Our experience with one place where there was a dog was that it damaged a great deal of woodwork. Also the apartments have hardwood floors and dogs' claws damage them quite badly.

 
Efros
452543.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:49 pm Reply with quote

Over the last 2 years I have ploughed about $50000 into this house, new kitchen, new 22'x12' addition, new insulation, new siding, new deck, new bathroom, new flooring and lighting throughout. I was asked the other day how much the house's value had increased by, and tbh the only reason I knew was I had to have re-appraised for insurance. Suffice it to say the increase in value just about covered out costs, but that isn't why we did it, neither of us foresee ever moving from here and that's why we did it. On reflection it was probably a better bet than the stock exchange. Here's the new room

 
Sadurian Mike
452546.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:53 pm Reply with quote

Very nice.

Are you available for contract work?

 
Lumpo31
452551.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:59 pm Reply with quote

Yes, I'd like to hire him as well! We have a load of panelling in our kitchen that needs re-doing!

 
djgordy
452552.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:01 pm Reply with quote

Nice flip flops.

 
Efros
452555.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:07 pm Reply with quote

The flip flops weren't included in the price! I would like to claim the credit but the carpentry was done by my son in law (with suitable remuneration), I merely did the electrical and varnishing work. The walls and ceiling are actually tongue and groove flooring, looks nice and warm.

 
Jenny
452558.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:27 pm Reply with quote

And so handy if you want to walk on them, though you'd need footwear a little stouter than those flip flops I think.

 
Davini994
452563.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:34 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Our experience with one place where there was a dog was that it damaged a great deal of woodwork.

Some cats can damage furniture if they do their claws on them.

 
Fifi
452598.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:32 pm Reply with quote

My cat has done a real job on some of our wall paper :-(

 
starlinguk
452660.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:50 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
The property is a way of investing money to make a return that provides the landlord with an income.


I'm sorry, in my humble opinion, houses are for living in, not investing in. They're a necessity. I don't mind if someone inherits a house and rents it out, but I can't stand property investors. They're the reason house prices have gone insane. All these people who bought houses to make a profit (not only landlords, of course) have ruined the housing market.

We have landlords here who own hundreds of houses, usually let to students, or (since the uni has plenty of very good accommodation) empty, who are depriving families of good homes. And then once they have a house, they try to do as little about it as possible, not because it's expensive, but because they don't want to spend any money on the house.

I've yet to see a truly decent house for rent (CH/hot water works properly, plenty of insulation, kitchen cabinets aren't falling apart, no damp, etc.). What would make a massive difference already would be if landlords were forced to insulate properties. Currently there is no incentive to do so, since the landlord doesn't have to pay the bill.

If I had a dog that chewed the woodwork, I'd have replaced the woodwork, of course. I want to get a cat, but if it scratches the carpet (on pain of death/a serious soaking/a wack on the nose), I'll replace it (the carpet, not the cat). I'd be ashamed to leave a house in a state. And landlords should be ashamed to let housing that's in a state too.

Which reminds me, next door is owned by a housing association. The yard is full of open bin bags full of rubbish, left there by the association (nobody lives there, they're currently turning it in to flats, which seems to include removing all the original features).

Jenny, in Holland and Germany the tenant paints the place him/herself, does the carpets, etc.

If you want people to live in a place for a few years then basically denying them a "home" this way is just not fair. So what if they have weird tastes, as long as they put it right before they leave! If not, get them to pay to put it right!

You'll just have to accept that as long as there's a tenant in there, it's their home, you can't expect them to have the same taste as you. And before you say "well, they shouldn't rent it then", if you had any idea how difficult it is to find a place around here ...

 
Sebastian flyte
452673.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:13 pm Reply with quote

We rent a few of our places out and they are quite lovely but basically with the exception of one they are just shells and the person letting does what they like, nothing structural. Then eccentric Dad does it all back to shell like again. The one that cannot be altered is a bit odd and is actually for me when I'm older (it isn't the ancestral or nothing like that not being English my family still have that but now run a business there and have for decades).It is of some tiny tiny historical significance though so the main parts of it have to be pretty untouched as that's what I want for when I live there. An artist lives in it and other than parties in the main parts (which are great fun) most of the rooms are closed. Leaving it empty would cost us money renting it out, saves having to get rid of it before anyone can use it more than twice a year at most. (it is nothing like Brideshead stop being silly...)

We aren't property investors but if Dad likes it he buys it, when somewhere isn't let we sometimes live there for a bit and it's nice. We have a few properties that are just ours though the rental ones probably pay for that, no point on Dad wasting his money before he inherits it is there!!

I think UK landlords might have to insulate now with these green laws.

 
Jenny
452756.  Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:59 pm Reply with quote

starlinguk wrote:
in my humble opinion, houses are for living in, not investing in. They're a necessity. I don't mind if someone inherits a house and rents it out, but I can't stand property investors. They're the reason house prices have gone insane. All these people who bought houses to make a profit (not only landlords, of course) have ruined the housing market.


I can't speak for other landlords of course, but I can tell you why I own rental property. When I came to the US, I sold a house in the UK and my husband owned a house here, so I had money from the sale of my house and I had to do something with it - it's not a good idea to leave that kind of money sitting around! I know nothing at all about stocks and shares and mutual funds, and I felt distinctly unhappy about putting my money into them and relying on somebody else's advice. However, I have bought and sold houses that I've lived in in the UK, and felt that I knew enough about houses and people to make a business out of that.

If I look at the people who rent from me, either they're not in a financial position to buy a house, or they don't want to buy a house (many people don't want the responsibilities involved in house ownership, or they're young people and want to be more free to move about than owning a house would allow). I am not competing in the housing market with these people. Moreover, they need to live *somewhere*, so if there is no property available to rent, where should they live? As far as I'm concerned, I'm providing a service much the same as a car hire company might provide to somebody who rents a car from them.

If people want a home of their own, they have to buy it. As long as they're living in somebody else's property, it's not a 'home' it's 'housing' and there will be limitations on what they can do to it. Heck, even homeowners have legal limitations on what they can do to their own homes!

 

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