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Don Higgs
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my expertise in the industry

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Don Higgs
AS with others commenting on yet another set of impositions that have been dreamed up by people who obviously are trying to justify their very existence - as has been to case in many public bodies for many years where empire building has been and still remains rife. One has to ask - because there is always a sledge hammer involved in most modern legislation, how much will one be penalised - fined - if one or more restrictive covenants are missed on the information, additionally - as is the case with my main property - if one looks on the relative official sites for such information based on computer modelling, the details show that my property has the potential of flooding, but the realistic fact is that this will never, yes never happen (unless we have a tsunami of such proportions that much of the UK will be under water). So, would I be expected to state the totally farcical info based on the computer modelling or would I be permitted to state the actual factual situation. Another farcical scenario relates to EPC’s. Landlords - and it has been muted that it may apply to all properties in the UK whether let or privately owned - will in the near future have the imposition of a minimum EPC rating of "C" for our properties before we can let them out. Given that many of the EPC's for my properties undertaken in recent times fail to take account of insulation that is within loft areas and roof voids associated with flat rooves ultimately resulting in a "D" rating for a number of them. When I questioned the "surveyor" about this, his input was that, in their "training course" they were informed that their surveys were to be non-invasive!, in short the "surveyors" do not do the job in its entirety, thereby resulting in an EPC rating that is totally incorrect and which could lead to myself – and many others like me - having to spend substantial sums of money on so called improvement works in order to raise the existing fictitious rating to a “C” rating which, if the “surveyors” were informed to so do and undertook a thorough survey in the first place, would not be necessary. This is without doubt another facet that needs to be corrected; if not then I would suggest that many property owners are being fleeced by Legislators, Government and their advisers.

From: Don Higgs 23 February 2022 17:42 PM

Don Higgs

From: Don Higgs 29 December 2021 09:43 AM

Don Higgs
As is the case with governments, Shelter appear to pluck figures out of the air that suit their given "hobby horse" of the moment. What a shame that Polly Neate does not consider WHY there are evictions regardless of the figures involved and also the counter part of the argument. Indeed, as is the case for some 50% to 60% of cases where tenants have been served with eviction notices due to non payment of rent, with the remainder attributable to amongst other things vandalism and the like which can have severe financial implications for the Landlord. What about the children of the Landlords who are not receiving rent monies for their property or who have to fund major works etc, those same Landlords may have mortgages on such properties etc that still need to be paid regardless, I would suggest that possibly the numbers will be not be too far removed from whatever the figure is for the numbers of " children living in fear of eviction". The cause of the problem is not those who have need to issue eviction notices but more associated with the Tenants/parents themselves who; 1. Do not make any effort to pay rent 2. Do not make the Landlords when there are problems with incomes or monies 3. Pocket the Housing benefit monies as though it is theirs to keep. 4. Fail to act in a reasonable manner whether towards neighbours or others. 5. Drug usage and/or taking which impinges on others. I have experienced all of these in one form or another in my 27 years as a Landlord of a number of properties and I suggest there are many Landlords with similar experiences. Once again Shelter demonstrate that, whilst they have never been interested in liaising with or entering into a dialogue with Landlords - not the associations but Landlords themselves - in order to gain "the other side of the story", but are far more interested in presenting a totally false and biased take on the facts, undoubtedly in a bid to try to justify their funding from Government.

From: Don Higgs 23 December 2021 12:07 PM

Don Higgs
100% with you Michael. Shelter shout loudly about the state of housing and those who provide it. They need to invest in the sector to actually experience the actions etc of the few rotten egg/rogue Tenants. Sadly, although Shelter will undoubtedly have those same Tenants approaching them with their tales of woe and Shelter will believe their input as being a true reflection and act on their behalf! By the way, it is fully accepted that there is a minority of Landlords who could be deemed as rogue Landlords but the majority do attempt to provide decent properties at reasonable rents. In regard to the proposed "reforms" stated; Restricting evictions during winter, as stated by many before, good tenants have little to fear but tenants who do not uphold the criteria basically set out in their tenancy need to be aware that they can be evicted regardless of the time of year - that is what is called encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions which is something that is totally ignored. As for "personalising their homes and keeping pets" I allow pets in my properties, however, I have had some tenants who, after asking me whether they can have a pet then go on to have 2 or 3 large dogs in a 2 bed house with small garden with the associated "mess" created, to say nothing of the barking when the tenants are out etc etc. Therefore proportionality needs to come into play, and, in regard to "personalising" the property, following one or two early experiences of tenants who have painted rooms black or deep red, I now stipulate that if they wish to paint the walls only pastel shades should be used, so it all depends on the wording of the proposals as to what farcical colours or alterations Landlords could be faced with in THEIR properties. I have previously and state once again that I would welcome a face to face meeting with those in Shelter who tarnish all Landlords with the same brush, in order to provide them with factual experiences I have gained over some 27 years of being a Landlord. I am sure that other Landlords would similarly be only too willing to join in such a meeting.

From: Don Higgs 21 December 2021 08:19 AM

Don Higgs
Wouldn't it be nice if - just for once - there was some balanced thinking in the proposals being issued from Governments in regard to reforms. For some time now - even before the pandemic - the whole process in removing tenants from a property, regardless of whether serving a Section 21 or a Section 8 notice has been a long drawn out and inefficient, to say nothing of expensive process mainly because of the continued reduction/s in the number of courts within the UK. As is so often stated, in the norm, excepting for certain "personal reasons" or wishes, Landlords do not evict decent tenants, there is usually a reason, whether debt related - that is beyond what the Landlord is able to cope with, anti social behaviour etc. For any such cases it would be refreshing if, just for once, the proposals included an efficient, quick and reasonably priced option open for Landlords to gain possession of their properties in a timely manner. Additionally, I have seen proposals relating to the creation of a register of "rogue Landlords", how about creating such a register for "rogue Tenants". I would suggest that, if all tenants were made aware of the existence of such a register, then maybe - just maybe - its very existence may be sufficient to influence/modify the potentially rogue tenants behaviour. In regard to EPC's, well, I am aware that the energy measures in many if not all of my properties are on a par with or are better than those within adjacent properties and yet we have Governments issuing statements that the reason for the EPC rating for properties that are let by private Landlords is to bring them in line with the privately owned properties - which is absolute rubbish. I wonder if the proposals of the document also apply to the Social Landlords, Housing Associations, in the past there have been impositions on private Landlords, however Social Landlords have been exempt from these - why!. With regard to EPC ratings, one only has to take a quick look on Rightmove etc to verify the average EPC ratings at present.

From: Don Higgs 19 December 2021 09:24 AM

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