Leaking Roofs and A Drunken Call Out

Heed my warning all you new or wannabe property portfolio owners!  You may remember in this post I mentioned that, as the majority of Eastbourne (Sunniest Town in Britain apparently) was built around the latter half of the 19th century, some of the building materials are beginning to fail such as mortar and felt.  Now, on the Sunshine Coast our weather is mild compared to the rest of the country but this year the roofs have really taken a hammering in the wind and rain.  Four, yes FOUR, of my properties can no longer be patched and now require new roofs.

Perhaps more experienced, long in the tooth landlords investigate the roof condition of a potential BTL before considering anything else but from my research of Property Millionaire Courses run by gurus the focus is on the bottom line numbers/profit at no point have I seen anyone flag up what will happen or how it will affect the bottom line when a major repair needs doing which hasn’t been budgeted for.

Which roof do I pick first when looking at £10-15k apiece?  Well, obviously the one that shows the most!  So on top of delving under the stairs to look at RCD, open kitchen cupboards to locate boiler, my advice is make sure you have a good look at how well the tiles are likely to keep the rain off.

I don’t mind the investment as I’m young enough to feel the benefit for the next few decades and I don’t use the profit to live on, but if you don’t have the cash in reserve and cashflow is tight, a major expense such as this will really, really hurt if you haven’t budgeted for it.  After all, there are only so many times you can fob a tenant off with the words “don’t worry, it’s only because the wind is blowing in the wrong direction and driving the water under the tiles.   It’ll clear up if you stop looking at it.”

It’s That Pesky Fire Alarm Again

On Saturday night, half an hour before a long awaited table reservation I received a call to say one of my HMO fire alarms was going off.  When I say going off, I mean waking the entire street from its winter hibernation and sounding like an early warning alarm from WW2.  I arrived to find Tom bashing the system control panel whilst swearing ineffectively, blood smeared over the surfaces from his smashed nose and a housemate clutching his own head with pain of the noise.  Tom tried to say “Shorry, darlin’” and “I’ll sor’ it” and eventually took to banging his head against the wall.  I half considered getting him to hospital for the nose but he was too drunk and I sent him to bed (actually, I had to scream at him over the sound and ordered him not to come out of his room until he was sober).  He had managed to smash one of the call points which he mistook for the light switch and had abused the control panel to such an extent that the stickered numbers had come off.  The following morning I asked how his night was.  “Yeah, alright.  I popped out for a beer but didn’t get drunk if that’s what you’re thinking.”  So I led him to the CCTV screen, rewound 18 hours and left him to watch the footage – I haven’t heard a peep since.

However, you may get lucky and only have to contend with the something no worse than the following call out:

“Hi.  The light at the bottom of our stairs has gone.  Please would you be able to bring round a replacement bulb?  Also, the lights in the living room and kitchen are really dull, so it would be great if you could replace those too.  Thanks!”

There just has to be a “How many students does it take to change a lightbulb?” gag out there……

3 Comments

Filed under Management of an HMO

3 responses to “Leaking Roofs and A Drunken Call Out

  1. Owen

    Schoolboy error not to investigate the condition of the major elements of a property before buying it !

    ….and if not confident it doing it yourself shell out the extra few £ (by comparison with cost of property) for a decent report by a professional you trust !

    • Hi Owen. I absolutely agree with you although this story relates to properties purchased a long time ago when no wear was showing at the time. New purchases should be properly investigated and we now send a builder into lofts before looking at anything else. Thank you for reading.

  2. Strong article. Emphasises the pitfalls of investing in HMOs as investors get too excited about the net rental figures. Fyi – for accurate financial analysis on real estate investments, see this http://www.londonpropertyanalyst.co.uk/

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