Questions & Answers:

 

(1)Q:Can I move from one room / flat to another?

A: Yes, just let Tim know what you want.

 

(2)Q: I am not sure if I will get on with all the new sharers?

A: Try moving in short term and see how you settle in.

 

(3)Q:Should I bring my own pillows, sheets, douvets, towels etc... 

A: Yes, best you provide your own preferred items.

 

(4)Q: Does the landlord have a current gas certificate for each of the gas boilers and are these boilers all on annual maintenance contracts and serviced properly? Is there a mains full smoke detector system in each property and are they checked annually and certified? Is there a carbon monoxide detector in each property? For the 2 HMO's (Houses of Multiple Occupation) are they both fully licenced by the local authorities and is the landlord fully approved?

A: Yes.

 

(5)Q:I have started in a new job and do not want to commit to a long term arrangement?

A:Start short term on a higher rent with no deposit and see how you go. If all goes well, you can move down to a medium and then long term rent and get the discount as well as having had flexibility.

If you need to leave then just give 1 month's notice to quit so you are not tied into a long term commitment, have flexibility and have not had to pay a deposit.

 

(6)Q: How do I pay my rent? Should I pay cash, cheque or bank transfer by standing order?

A: Monthly standing order bank transfer is preferable.

 

(7)Q: When do I pay the rent?

A: If you move in halfway through the month, then pay rent until the end of the month and then from the 1st of each following month.

 

(8)Q: Can I book a room / flat for several weeks in advance since I do not want to pay double rent?

A: I would prefer you to move in as soon as possible since the property is expensive to cover while vacant. I maybe able to assist if you wish to stay long term.

 

(9)Q: What are your shortest lets?

A: Minimum of 1 month.

 

(10)Q: Do you accept DHSS tenants with Housing Benefit?

A: I have had 2 DHSS tenants in the flats. 1 was brilliant and an A1 tenant. The second was a disaster and a bad experience so I would not want a repeat this unfortunately and will not be able to accept any DHSS tenant.

 

(11)Q: Do you own all the properties?

A: Yes, so can have more control over them making them great places to let out.

 

(12)Q: How long have you managed these properties?

A: After qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor in 1990 while working for Grosvenor Estates for 5 years, I bought South Ealing in 1991, Top Flat in 1998, Studio in 1999 & Barons Court in 2000. I manage the 1 bed flat on behalf of my wife.

Various improvements have been made to all the properties over the years and although I have not reached "break even" yet, I am reassured that Housing Associations generally take 30 years to reach this point.

Just when you think you have covered costs, you then get hit with additional expenses for maintenance, voids, government regulation, bank costs, local authority costs and furniture replacement etc... so generally one is always behind breakeven.

 

(13)Q: Why are the rooms let out on licence agreements?

A: This is a simpler and more flexible arrangement for the licencee / tenant to just rent the room and have use of the rest of the communal facilities rather than having to issue a new lease on the whole building every time a new tenant arrived.

From experience I have found that it is very unlikely for several tenants in a share to want to move in / out at the sametime and each party needs their own flexibility to choose their own times.

 

(14)Q: As a landlord, do you choose the new tenants and interview them or let the existing tenants decide themselves?

A: I prefer to meet all new tenants and assess whether they will be suitable for each property and get on well with everyone else.

From experience I have found that the existing tenants are happy for me to choose & interview each new tenant, do all the advertising & re-letting work in comparison to the existing tenants having to do any of this time consuming work which none have enough free time to take on.

 

(15)Q: Do you allow pets?

A: No I am sorry this would be unfair on the other sharers and inevitably creates more mess. After all, we are trying to keep the places really clean & tidy. 

 

(16)Q: Do you prefer longterm tenants?

A: Yes, most of the tenants are long term and benefit from the lower all inclusive rents. Most agree this is a fair reward for the long term commitment.

I currently have a tenant who has stayed for 8 years but most stay about 2 to 3 years.

 

The cost of re-letting and void costs are substantial as you can imagine.

Some tenants choose short or medium term which is more expensive but in turn offers very flexible accommodation between moving and some find the additional cost to be worth it as there is so little short term accommodation available.