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Robert Brown
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About Me

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my expertise in the industry

20 + years

Robert 's Recent Activity

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 16 June 2022 10:05 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 14 June 2022 17:19 PM

Robert  Brown
You're an idiot! The mortgage company does NOT give the borrower the property as it belongs to the property owner who will give the buyer the agreed property in exchange for the agreed purchase price, possibly funded through a mortgage but with significant additional costs going to the mortgage company, tax man, legal advisor etc. All responsibility for its upkeep passes to the new purchaser. When a property owner allows temporary use of his property by a renter, no fees are charged to the renter by any party other than the AGREED rental payments for the AGREED rental term, which may be extended by AGREEMENT or possession sought as outlined in the AGREEMENT. No further fees are payable by the renter on vacating the property owner's property, provided it's been returned in the condition in which it was handed over. During the entire rental term, the responsibility for all maintenance, local authority registration or licensing charges, letting agent fees etc. has remained with the property owner, not the temporary resident. The two scenarios are totally different but the former can cost much more over the average rental period when all ancillary costs are included and the owner occupier cannot decide to move on unilaterally but is dependent on the AGREEMENT of a new purchaser to allow him to do so and is then faced with all those ancillary charges all over again. I repeat : "Why is giving money to purchase a property to its owner to become an owner occupier GOOD whereas giving a much lower amount to an owner to rent the property for an AGREED rental period BAD?" Neither can happen without AGREEMENT which is always available for inspection and on which legal advice can be obtained if desired or required.

From: Robert Brown 14 June 2022 14:55 PM

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From: Robert Brown 13 June 2022 18:21 PM

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From: Robert Brown 10 June 2022 22:55 PM

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From: Robert Brown 10 June 2022 22:53 PM

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From: Robert Brown 27 May 2022 22:16 PM

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From: Robert Brown 23 May 2022 20:59 PM

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From: Robert Brown 09 May 2022 19:28 PM

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From: Robert Brown 29 April 2022 09:03 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 April 2022 09:07 AM

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From: Robert Brown 21 April 2022 06:57 AM

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From: Robert Brown 21 April 2022 06:46 AM

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From: Robert Brown 13 April 2022 11:34 AM

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From: Robert Brown 13 April 2022 08:49 AM

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From: Robert Brown 11 April 2022 16:55 PM

Robert  Brown
Max This time you’re not that wrong! Many students used to rent in the old town (near the University but right beside the Royal Mile etc.) for term time and, after a quick refurb, landlords rented to tourists until the new term started. In December 2017, the SNP banned fixed term tenancies mutually agreed by landlord and tenant which meant landlords could no longer force or trust students to leave promptly in time and thus plan for tourist rentals. As a result, many landlords moved to short term lets all year round, making far more money and having sufficient voids to keep the properties well maintained. The students had to move further afield into residential areas, much to the consternation of their new neighbours! Scottish students can afford higher rents as they get “free” University education, subsidised by higher income tax paid by all Scottish taxpayers earning above the average wage and huge fees paid by rich Chinese students (perhaps made wealthy through forced or slave labour?). Families were therefore priced out from their previous homes and YES – no doubt some ended up homeless! The SNP’s answer is NOT to repeal their current anti-PRS legislation but to bring in MORE! We shouldn’t be surprised as their track record includes: • Procuring ferries on variable cost contracts rising from £97 million to over £250 million • Buying up a shipyard but placing new ferry orders in Turkey • Buying an airport and then getting into bed with the Greens who want to ban air travel • Investing in a wind turbine fabrication plant but placing orders in the Far East instead. • Abolishing bridge tolls so they could no longer afford to carry out routine maintenance on the Forth Road Bridge, resulting in its unplanned closure for many weeks. • Building a new bridge across the Forth that needed to close every tie ice formed on its cables. (This one is needed to augment the old one which was not properly maintained) • See the next post for their successes to date in the PRS sector!

From: Robert Brown 09 April 2022 13:20 PM

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From: Robert Brown 06 April 2022 13:59 PM

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From: Robert Brown 06 April 2022 13:16 PM

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From: Robert Brown 29 March 2022 09:19 AM

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From: Robert Brown 28 March 2022 09:04 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 March 2022 08:25 AM

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From: Robert Brown 23 March 2022 08:51 AM

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From: Robert Brown 07 March 2022 19:16 PM

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From: Robert Brown 05 March 2022 19:58 PM

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From: Robert Brown 24 February 2022 22:02 PM

Robert  Brown
EPC's are only one of many weapons which the unholy SNP Green alliance plans to use to batter the Scottish PRS landlords even more, in the mistaken belief that this will get them more votes and secure " independence". Most of their voters are renters, but mainly in social housing. Many PRS renters are students or young professionals and in my discussions with them, the effects of the December 2017 private rental legislation in Scotland are far from welcome, with fewer properties to choose from, no dependable time when most properties are coming up for rent, rents up 30% for the best properties - assuming they're no longer reserved for short term rentals only etc. Most of these more savvy renters will never support the SNP but unfortunately most also won't participate in this consultation process, which is a foregone conclusion and its harmful effects on the prs as predictable as its conclusion! I'm not selling up as I believe market forces will win, as they have in totally destroying the ill-fated energy price cap. I have already taken some precautions, in upgrading my properties to justify higher rents and more affluent tenants with home owning guarantors, having several tenants with joint and several liability, mainly students or young professionals who won't want to stay for ever, avoiding families who might outstay their welcome and can't be easily evicted. The new legislation is a disaster for decent young families but the blame is firmly on the loony lefties who introduced it and now, recognising it hasn't worked as planned, now seek to make it worse.

From: Robert Brown 16 February 2022 11:56 AM

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From: Robert Brown 11 February 2022 08:39 AM

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From: Robert Brown 11 February 2022 08:30 AM

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From: Robert Brown 10 February 2022 14:58 PM

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From: Robert Brown 02 February 2022 09:11 AM

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From: Robert Brown 02 February 2022 09:02 AM

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From: Robert Brown 14 December 2021 13:32 PM

Robert  Brown
Sandra There's ALREADY a huge shortage of good tradesmen, probably exacerbated by the punitive levels of stamp duty making extending cheaper than moving. This has also affected the balance in the housing market by reducing the number of starter homes ( now extended instead of sold to new first time buyers) and so increasing house prices in real terms. Let's just summarise the effect of Government interference on housing over the last 30 years: 1. Tony Blair vastly increased the number of students, reducing the number of apprentices and thus tradesmen. 2. Tradesmen flood in from the EU to plug the gap. 3. Gordon Brown hikes up the stamp duty thus increasing the cost of moving house. 4. More EU tradesmen flood in to meet the increasing demand for house extensions, now cheaper than moving house. 5. Huge negative feeling to EU immigrants "stealing" UK jobs leads to David Cameron calling the June 2016 EU referendum. 6. Boris pushes through Brexit. 7.EU tradesmen go home, leaving a huge shortage in the building trades. 8. In Scotland in December 2017 the SNP ban fixed term tenancies, removing the right of landlords to regain possession of their own properties other than for a very limited range of circumstances. 9. Less prs properties available for rent in Scotland and market forces cause rents to increase by 30% virtually overnight. 10. The Scottish Greens are now pushing for rent controls! 11. What next? Who's going to do anything that needs done to meet anything further that the Government throws at us? One thing we DO know. The above list of failures won't deter them from continuing to interfere!

From: Robert Brown 14 December 2021 09:17 AM

Robert  Brown
Max I was born in a council flat 72 years ago and all my relatives lived I council properties for most of my early life. Over 90% of Council Tenants then we're "salt of the earth" but there were enough scrum families to incentivise decent tenants to buy or build their own properties as soon as they could afford to do so. I do accept there will still be many decent Council Tenants but the percentage of scrum will be significantly higher than before and higher than in more expensive prs properties where landlords can still he them out at the end of the tenancy term. Since tenants are mainly responsible for causing properties to "fall" into disrepair, the higher proportion of scrum tenants in council properties, coupled with poorer quality of management in public sector, means that council properties with very long tenancies are on average in poorer condition than prs properties which have much shorter tenancies. The Queen apparently thinks the outside world smells of fresh paint because that's her limited experience of the outside world. I suspect your experience of prs is similar and limited to the lower end of the market where rogue landlords and tenants live in harmony. I can't think of any reason why landlords with better quality properties would want you in their properties or need your "expertise " which may have given you a skewed opinion of much of the PRS. Anyway, whatever the reasons for your faulty perceptions, on reflection, I think Andrew is right - so it's also goodbye from me!

From: Robert Brown 08 December 2021 09:17 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 07 December 2021 16:08 PM

Robert  Brown
Max If every single Council house was refurbished between 2003 and 2017, that means tenants have had plenty of time - 4 to 17 years - to trash them again! I refurbish my properties very frequently - certainly several times in a 17 year period - because that's the way to attract the better off tenants who can pay the highest rents - and in my experience of well over 300 tenants over around 30 years, the best returns are made from the best properties occupied by the highest rent paying tenants. Such properties also generate the least hassle. I learned this lesson early on and upgraded my cheaper properties in areas that justified them and ditched the cheaper properties where upgrading them couldn't be cost justified. I am not in the social work business and want to choose what charity donations I make so I will not considerhousing benefit claimants or buying the type of property they might be able to afford with or without tax pay hand outs. Whilst there are a few rogue lsndlords, I believe most prs properties are initially let out in good order and contrary to one of your earlier claims, properties do not "fall" into disrepair in a passive manner. Toilet seats, power points, fixtures and fittings don't break spontaneously. They break because they are abused. Mould does not grow spontaneously and even most social housing providers produce advice notes on how to avoid it - ignored by those problem tenants who cause it and then complain about it, usually as a justification for rent dodging. In summary, no housing sector, social or prs, is homogeneous and your assertion that the majority of social housing is maintained in a superior condition to the majority of the PRS is nonsense. Market forces dictate that high prices demand high quality to justify them and any landlord who wants to compete for tenants with the social housing sector by charging lower rents is doomed to failure as his costs will exceed his income. I am astonished you don't think the "mistake" of "forgetting " mandatory checks merits the same sort of sanctions that would be levied against a private LandLORD. Finally - remind me - was Grenfell Tower a social or private rented property?

From: Robert Brown 07 December 2021 15:05 PM

Robert  Brown
Michael In Scotland, any property let to more than 2 unrelated adults has needed an HMO licence since 2004, costing nearly £2000 for the first 3 years and over £950 for every 3 year period thereafter. A normal 3 bed flat pays the same licence fee as a "proper" HMO property sleeping 10 "households" which is crazy and led to higher rents and lower availability of normal flat shares for 3 or 4 people. In addition we had to spend over £5000 on interlinked smoke alarms, fire doors, 24 hour exit lights etc. to get the licence and since then at the 3 yearly inspections we have had to upgrade to 6 accessible power points per Rom ( I.e. not behind furniture or beds etc.), had to fit intumescent collars on extractor fans, threshold bars on doors, rehang fire doors which no longer had a perfect seal due to wear and tear, abuse, building movement etc. The £2100 flat sleeps 4 in 4 large double rooms, the £1400 flat sleeps 3 with the lounge now converted into a third double bedroom ( had to disconnect its gas fire before licence issued). The bigger flat is very similar to one that I shared with 7 other guys (and often a few female overnight guests) in the very next street, but that's no longer allowed in Glasgow, even although it would help the housing shortage! I can't remember how much rent we paid as it simply didn't figure, leaving us well able to afford severe food and alcohol poisoning almost every night. Ask today's students how they would prefer to spend their cash. The do gooder lefties have taken this choice away from today's youth!

From: Robert Brown 03 December 2021 15:18 PM

Robert  Brown
Unfortunately the SNP is still way ahead in screwing up the PRS and its landlords and tenants than its left wing Welsh cronies. In December 2017 it outlawed fixed term tenancies, even where both landlord and tenants wanted this. It drastically reduced the grounds for repossession of the landlord's own property and allowed all tenants to leave at any time on 4 weeks notice. Some tenants even use this as an opportunity to rent a property for one month at long term rental rates and so landlords can be faced with paying a 6 week rental fee to letting agents and be 2 weeks' rent down with more costs to find new tenants. The SNP were warned of the pitfalls of their legislation and its effect on rents increasing for decent tenants but ignored it all. Market rents went up around 30% in early 2018 for the best propertiesas a direct result of this attack on our business. Recently we have seen the real costs of energy price caps and increasing insurance premiums looming. These hurt those with the common sense to shop around for the best deals but DON'T help the feckless who couldn't be bothered to make the effort to shop around, instead EVERYONE will now pay more for energy and insurance. Despite the evidence of what happens to energy bills when we become overly reliant on unreliable renewables and foreign powers whist becoming less self sufficient in reliable nuclear and fossil fuels, we have the usual idiots clamouring for us to ignore the cleaner energy stored here underground or in nearby coastal waters A bit earlier banks were prevented from penalizing those who breached their agreements and had unauthorised overdrafts. Now they charge up to 39.9% for all overdrafts, hurting EVERY debtor irrespective of how responsibly they operated their overdrafts. Despite all the evidence of the harm done when Governments interfere, the SNP and its even worse little green helpers are he'll bent on imposing rent controls in Scotland. I think this will be a disaster for decent Scottish tenants but landlords will have their rents raised as much as possible before the legislation comes in and will continue to increase rents by the maximum allowed at the highest frequency allowed. We must do so for self preservation but that doesn't mean we won't have sympathy for the decent tenants caught up in this nightmare! The Welsh lefties will have a lot to think about, and many consequences to ignore, over the years ahead!

From: Robert Brown 03 December 2021 13:29 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 29 November 2021 10:42 AM

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From: Robert Brown 29 November 2021 09:54 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 November 2021 19:50 PM

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From: Robert Brown 19 November 2021 17:19 PM

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From: Robert Brown 09 November 2021 08:28 AM

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From: Robert Brown 05 November 2021 20:16 PM

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From: Robert Brown 04 November 2021 11:44 AM

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From: Robert Brown 02 November 2021 14:23 PM

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From: Robert Brown 02 November 2021 08:10 AM

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From: Robert Brown 02 November 2021 08:08 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 October 2021 11:47 AM

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From: Robert Brown 22 October 2021 12:07 PM

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From: Robert Brown 11 October 2021 22:33 PM

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From: Robert Brown 11 October 2021 20:33 PM

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From: Robert Brown 11 October 2021 08:44 AM

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From: Robert Brown 18 September 2021 21:00 PM

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From: Robert Brown 17 September 2021 10:15 AM

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From: Robert Brown 11 September 2021 10:19 AM

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From: Robert Brown 02 September 2021 13:00 PM

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From: Robert Brown 23 August 2021 08:52 AM

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From: Robert Brown 12 August 2021 10:58 AM

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From: Robert Brown 05 August 2021 08:03 AM

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From: Robert Brown 04 August 2021 08:04 AM

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From: Robert Brown 04 August 2021 08:01 AM

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From: Robert Brown 01 July 2021 14:07 PM

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From: Robert Brown 30 June 2021 19:36 PM

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From: Robert Brown 25 June 2021 21:41 PM

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From: Robert Brown 22 June 2021 08:29 AM

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From: Robert Brown 16 June 2021 20:37 PM

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From: Robert Brown 16 June 2021 11:51 AM

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From: Robert Brown 20 May 2021 20:25 PM

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From: Robert Brown 12 May 2021 13:17 PM

Robert  Brown
I agree about how vital fixed term rentals are for the student market and shared flats generally. True to form, the SNP, aided by their little green helpers, totally ignored advice when they brought in their ludicrous prs legislation in December 2017, bringing chaos if one joint tenant wants out of the flat or is kicked out of University or College. In theory, in Scotland, one joint tenant could decide to stay in the flat for the rest of their lives and the others would still be liable for their share of rent, utility bills etc. The Scottish legislation has no means of ending a joint tenancy other than by mutual agreement or eviction on a very narrow range of circumstances. Purpose built student accommodation is exempt from the 2017 legislation but not shared or HMO flats with a joint tenancy agreement. The only bright side is that many landlords decided to avoid flat sharing joint tenancies resulting in a shortage of good quality well located flats and the market rents for those went up by about 30% overnight, with the best 4 bed flats near Glasgow University getting around £25k per annum from early 2018 onwards compared to around £19k in mid 2017. Whilst in Glasgow landlords are gaining and students losing because of this ill thought out legislation, in Edinburgh there are NO winners. When fixed term tenancies were allowed, many student rentals were for 8 or 9 months and the flats were quickly refurbished and let to tourists over the summer months. This kept the flats in excellent condition and student rents lower than in Glasgow or Dundee etc. However, because landlords can't plan ahead - and most students don't - these flats can't be booked up well in advance by tourists, so tourists are pushed out to residential areas where many owner occupiers let out rooms or full houses with airbnb at huge rents but no tax is paid and city centre hospitality businesses lose out on evening food and drink revenue. As I said earlier, a lose-lose for practically everyone including HMRC, with only a few tax dodgers winning letting out unlicensed and unregulated potentiality unsafe short term rentals. England could study what has happened in Scotland and learn from it, but somehow I doubt that will happen. The only glimmer of hope I have is that the SNP hates to have anything the same as England, so the SNP might change our legislation if England copies us!

From: Robert Brown 11 May 2021 15:05 PM

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From: Robert Brown 10 May 2021 09:03 AM

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From: Robert Brown 02 May 2021 20:27 PM

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From: Robert Brown 22 April 2021 13:02 PM

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From: Robert Brown 21 April 2021 22:33 PM

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From: Robert Brown 20 April 2021 12:51 PM

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From: Robert Brown 20 April 2021 08:41 AM

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From: Robert Brown 09 April 2021 08:58 AM

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From: Robert Brown 05 April 2021 22:11 PM

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From: Robert Brown 31 March 2021 10:55 AM

Robert  Brown
Totally agree! Glasgow Council brought in compulsory HMO licences around 2005 for all properties let to more than 2 unrelated adults, irrespective of size or number of rooms etc. On each flat I had to spend around £2k on a 3 year licence and around £5k on fitting mains operated interlinked smoke and CO alarms, new fire doors, new locks on external doors etc. I also have ongoing annual costs of around £500 for LGSR, boiler servicing, PAT checks and alarm servicing, around £1000 every 3 years for each renewed HMO licence - plus upgrading to meet any changes in regulations, like 6 easily accessible power points per room, intumescent collars on extraction fans etc. However I found I could increase my rents from a bit under £200 per month per bedroom in 2004 to over £250 as soon as the HMO regulations took effect and I had up to 17 groups of four wanting the best located flats. Rents continued to rise steadily to around £375 per room per month in 2017 and since the new loony SNP legislation came into force in December 2017, I can now get £525 per room per month - so £2100 per month for a four bed flat from 2017 onwards that used to get under £800 in 2004! Tenants will always have to pay for the policies of those who claim to be looking after them! PS. When I was a student in Glasgow in the early 70's there were 8 of us sharing a grotty 4 bedroom flat - but we could easily afford the essentials like 8 pints of beer per night and copious quantities of fish and chips from the local chippy. No wonder there's a huge housing shortage when youngsters are banned from doubling up (at least officially!) and thus needing twice as many flats (and paying twice as much rent) compared to earlier generations - who didn't die in their thousands due to house fires, gas explosions, legionella, CO poisoning or electrocution!

From: Robert Brown 29 March 2021 10:34 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 March 2021 10:00 AM

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From: Robert Brown 24 March 2021 08:20 AM

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From: Robert Brown 23 March 2021 17:18 PM

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From: Robert Brown 16 March 2021 08:59 AM

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From: Robert Brown 11 March 2021 11:35 AM

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From: Robert Brown 08 March 2021 09:21 AM

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From: Robert Brown 05 March 2021 17:41 PM

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From: Robert Brown 03 March 2021 17:18 PM

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From: Robert Brown 03 March 2021 17:16 PM

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From: Robert Brown 03 March 2021 09:31 AM

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From: Robert Brown 01 March 2021 15:22 PM

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From: Robert Brown 01 March 2021 09:03 AM

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From: Robert Brown 26 February 2021 09:19 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 February 2021 19:24 PM

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From: Robert Brown 25 February 2021 09:33 AM

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From: Robert Brown 24 February 2021 23:05 PM

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From: Robert Brown 24 February 2021 22:47 PM

Robert  Brown
Michael The SNP war against Landlords (and by extension, decent tenants ) has led a real shortage of decent properties. I had 17 groups of 4 students chasing one 4 bed flat in June 2019, and only one out of a dozen flats suffered the early termination by tenants last March (allowed in Scotland) when lockdown started, as the others knew they wouldn't get such nice flats again. I have another really nice holiday house in a lovely seaside village which easily rents from April to September every year. I used to take a 6 month let for the winter, basically to avoid the Council Tax and keep it heated, but it still gave a family a nice home, albeit for only six months. SNP legislation now means I can't set a 6 month limit on a winter let, so I stopped doing a winter let. However I have found that with Christmas and New Year weeks let at peak rates, along with off peak short breaks and weekends, I make more than previously from the six month rental. It also now qualifies for tax advantages and council tax exemption as a furnished holiday let. Net result is I am about £3000 per annum better off, would qualify for only 10% CGT if I sold it, and the local market has lost a fantastic value winter 6 month rental opportunity. Many of the former high quality student flats in Edinburgh are no longer rented to students as the short term summer rentals couldn't be booked up in advance until students deigned to give the minimum 4 weeks notice. Purpose built student ghettos charge £500 plus per room and tend to be in more dodgy further out areas, so that sets expectations for rents for the better situated normal 4 bed properties. In addition, local residents want councils to limit the number of HMO licences issued so limiting availability and creating higher demand from the growing numbers of students and other young flat sharers. I don't see anything interfering with this situation in my lifetime. These are some of the reasons good properties are in short supply and in high demand making very high yields in Scotland for the best properties. Incidentally the flats yielding £25k per annum would sell for between £250k to £350k maximum, so yielding around 8 to 10% gross. I never paid over half this amount, with many of my flats being well under a quarter of that 30 to 40 years ago, so I could cope with a serious step change but really can't see it happening in Scotland.

From: Robert Brown 24 February 2021 22:46 PM

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From: Robert Brown 23 February 2021 15:01 PM

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From: Robert Brown 22 February 2021 20:49 PM

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From: Robert Brown 19 February 2021 09:21 AM

Robert  Brown
Spot on! A key reason for the lack of rental properties is renters being unwilling (or not allowed) to share in the manner they always did in previous generations. I shared a 4 bedroom student flat with 7 other guys (officially) and often also with a few girls (with the "single" guys sofa surfing on a "my turn for the bedroom tomorrow" basis). We had 1. an electrical engineer - who couldn't even by-pass the meter, 2. a mechanical engineer - who couldn't fix anything we broke, 3. a medic - sometimes came in handy, 4. a vet- in case the medic took ill, 5. a law student - useless if we ever needed him - still is! 6. a microbiologist - couldn't even brew decent beer, 7. a chemistry student - nearly blew us up trying to distill home made hooch, 8. an art student - never expected him to be useful anyway. We had thread bare rugs, draughty windows, fire trap sofas, dodgy gas fires and old round pin plugs and frequent rodent visitors - but the biggest risk we had was dying of food or alcohol poisoning or fatal skin diseases through unwashed skin, clothing or bed clothes. The bottom line was we could well afford the rent split 8 ways and higher density sharers only needed half the number of flats than we would need with current day HMO rules, so leaving many more flats available for others to rent. Another case of the "campaigners" shooting themselves in the foot at the expense of other innocent tenants and the homeless who are no longer allowed to share as cheaply like we did ? PS - Never had so much fun (don't tell the wife!)

From: Robert Brown 17 February 2021 14:29 PM

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From: Robert Brown 17 February 2021 13:13 PM

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From: Robert Brown 16 February 2021 09:16 AM

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From: Robert Brown 15 February 2021 09:31 AM

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From: Robert Brown 11 February 2021 09:26 AM

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From: Robert Brown 08 February 2021 09:25 AM

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From: Robert Brown 05 February 2021 10:50 AM

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From: Robert Brown 01 February 2021 09:24 AM

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From: Robert Brown 29 January 2021 08:55 AM

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From: Robert Brown 26 January 2021 10:29 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 January 2021 14:12 PM

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From: Robert Brown 25 January 2021 09:06 AM

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From: Robert Brown 23 January 2021 11:44 AM

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From: Robert Brown 22 January 2021 16:51 PM

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From: Robert Brown 22 January 2021 11:21 AM