Is it worth letting my flat out (Scotland)

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    Finally got this sorted out with Scottish Power, only took 2 months and the ombudsman.

    I also completed my UK tax return for 2021/22. My rental profit is less than half the mortgage interest paid plus there’s the damage to sort and pay for when I return so the answer to, “is it worth letting my flat out,” is a resounding NO!!!

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    There were pictures of the meters in the inventory as well as the MPAN and MPRN I gave the letting agency since neither of those numbers are on the meters but utility companies want them when opening new accounts.

    I can’t really work out where it has gone wrong. The previous tenant had changed the supply to eon. Then I had a lot of wrangling with eon once the tenancy ended in part to the letting agency furnishing a potential tenant with details about utility suppliers before referencing was complete which she failed on referencing. Those eon bills had the right MPAN and MPRN on them.

    Then new tenants moved in and switched to Scottish Power. The right MPAN was used but the MPRN for the gas was wrong. However, after checking with eon they confirmed they are not supplying the property with gas so an account with the correct MPRN was closed and a new one with the wrong MPRN with Scottish Power opened which sounds odd. I don’t know if it’s the tenants or Scottish Power that have messed up. Not that it really matters, I just need Scottish Power to sort it out now.

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  • baldelectrician
    replied
    This is why it is good to take photos of meters as the pictures will have the meter serial numbers in them

    I have came across things like this when calling SP energy networks about a property- the meter serial number (almost) always lets them pinpoint the exact property.

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    The Scottish Power gas bill mystery is solved. The tenants appear to have given Scottish Power the MPRN belonging to the ground floor's gas meter. Scottish Power have still not replied to me via Resolver and according to Resolver I can escalate my case to Customer Service Support (a second line of customer service at Scottish Power?) in 4 days time.

    This possibly explains why the tenants had turned most of the radiators off (TRV set to zero). They were trying to reduce bills whilst paying for someone else's gas.

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  • theartfullodger
    replied
    Sigh! I've had issues over the years with SSE of a similar nature.... Good luck, never tried resolver, but hear good words about them..

    This may help - I've found writing/emailing CEO - not with a complaint but a suggestion on how they can save time & money - often pays dividends... And usually their wonderful "world-beating" (In the Johnsonian sense) systems can't cope & always then write to me about my "complaint".
    https://www.ceoemail.com/s.php?id=ceo-9566

    Got a case of malt whisky & a signed letter from "Fred the shred" Goodwin from one exchange with RBoS.

    Not court but FTT perhaps?? Does she have "history" there??
    https://www.housingandpropertychambe...unal-decisions

    Slàinte mhath!

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    The saga hasn't quite come to a close. I received a gas bill in from Scottish Power via the letting agency. The gas MPRN does not match the MPRN of the gas meter that supplies my property so that is something else for me to sort out. I strongly suspect the MPRN on the bill is for a neighbour's property even though I was very clear in my correspondence with the letting agency, before the tenant started, as to the gas MPRN and electricity MPAN for my property. Being a flat I was also very clear and reminded the letting agency several times about the flat's address which is very similar to the house next door and still the tenants almost cut off my neighbour's phone line and internet. I'm using Resolver to deal with Scottish Power as it worked when I had to deal with e.on last year.

    Also received a quote for reupholstering the dining room chairs (gulp) but the good news is that it might be possible to repair the bath rather than replace it. It is proving difficult to coordinate someone coming to look at the bath from the other side of the world though.

    I have the tenant's new address and I am slightly tempted to take her to court but realistically I think it will throwing good money after bad if I do that.

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    I finally received a refund from the letting agency for the check-out inventory that never happened. I also got some money from the deposit although not as much as I think I would have got if the check-out inspection had gone ahead. I sense another complaint to another letting agency coming on.

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    Edindeen,

    I really wish I had done the same. I don't really think this is down to the Scottish government and councils. My misfortune, if you want to call it that, is down to the Aberdeen housing market and the fact that every single letting agency in Aberdeen seems to be inept. (I've been having an offline discussion with another landlord in Aberdeen about our experiences of many letting agencies in the city and they are useless!).

    If the Aberdeen housing market was the same as it was pre-2015 I'd have been making a tidy profit that would have made the endeavor worthwhile. I could have redecorated when I got back and fixed all the damage and still have come out on top. Plus there would have been more demand so there, in theory, would have been a better pool of tenants to choose from.

    Then we have the letting agencies themselves. I remember being a tenant and having to wrangle with letting agencies to get my deposit back over the smallest of things i.e. soap residue in the soap tray in the shower. Fair enough and that time the landlord told the letting agency to give me my full deposit back because if that was the only thing after being in the property for so long he was laughing.

    First letting agency somehow completely missed the damage as shown below and gave the tenant her full deposit back. When I queried it later with the letting agency they said the ripped chairs was fair wear and tear and that it happens with faux leather chairs. 1) They are real leather, 2) I have never seen any chairs with large rips in them like this due to fair wear and tear.

    Second letting agent failed to do a check-out inspection at all. Thankfully by this point my expectation of letting agencies was low so I started documenting things myself when I got back into the property. The tenants had only been there for 3 months and managed to mark the walls and the wallpaper as well as put a big gash in the fridge door. There had been zero attempt to clean and it didn't look like the place had been vacuumed at all during the whole 3 months. I put forward some proposed deductions and over two weeks on the tenants still haven't agreed to the deductions. I think they're getting off lightly from the amount of damage they caused in the 3 months they were there. Once the deposit deductions have finally been dealt with I will be putting in a formal complaint to this letting agency too.

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  • Edindeen
    replied
    Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

    It’s a joy I could do without. The measly profit I’ve made whilst letting my flat has been eclipsed by the cost of rectifying the damage the two sets of tenants have caused. Impressive since we’re talking about a 12 month tenancy and then 3 months.
    Reading this with interest, as I have a similar property in Aberdeen which I decided not to rent out for the same period as you. I came to the conclusion that the risks were too high for the profits to be made and the time and hassle it would cost me. I don't want to rub your face in it or anything - I'm just awestruck that the Scottish government and councils have created a situation where its more beneficial to let a perfectly good property in a Scottish city sit empty because the costs of renting it out are too high and the profit margin too low. Its entirely likely that I would have run at a loss if I had let it out - as you point out, it just takes one or two not so good tenants and your entire profit is gone in redecoration and replacement costs. And I'd be paying 40% tax in the UK on it.

    I still have an empty property but at least its in good nick and all its costing me is the small interest only mortgage, council tax and property factor fees. Its also in negative equity but I had a 50% deposit, which I'd rather not lose, so its only marketed at 5k less than I paid for it 9 years ago...ideal starter home too. Such are the times we live in.

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    Originally posted by JK0 View Post

    Oh well, I did tell you to let your mum have it as a pied a terre. I bet she'd have kept it dusted while she was there.
    She certainly wouldn't have ruined the bath!

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  • JK0
    replied
    Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

    It’s a joy I could do without. The measly profit I’ve made whilst letting my flat has been eclipsed by the cost of rectifying the damage the two sets of tenants have caused. Impressive since we’re talking about a 12 month tenancy and then 3 months.
    Oh well, I did tell you to let your mum have it as a pied a terre. I bet she'd have kept it dusted while she was there.

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    Originally posted by JK0 View Post
    Cleaning away your tenant's dirt is all part of the joy of landlording. This week I've been steam cleaning a fridge & washing machine, but they're still not perfect.
    It’s a joy I could do without. The measly profit I’ve made whilst letting my flat has been eclipsed by the cost of rectifying the damage the two sets of tenants have caused. Impressive since we’re talking about a 12 month tenancy and then 3 months.

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  • JK0
    replied
    Cleaning away your tenant's dirt is all part of the joy of landlording. This week I've been steam cleaning a fridge & washing machine, but they're still not perfect.

    Leave a comment:


  • DoricPixie
    replied
    I'm nearly at the end of my saga. Tenants served notice to end the tenancy 4th February. Letting agency said the check-out inspection would be done 5th February, a Saturday which is strange but that's what they said, and I moved back in 6th February. Place is not even remotely clean, the fridge has been damaged and the walls are quite marked. I am also reliably informed the tenants were still in the property on the 5th.

    Letting agency says I'll be sent a copy of the check-out report on Monday. Then it dawns on the agent who said doing the check-out inspection on the 5th was impossible because they don't work Saturdays and as I have now moved in it is impossible to tell who caused the damage. "Au contraire," says I the cynic, for I took photographs and documented the dirt and damage.

    I have yet to receive the money deducted from the deposit or a refund from the letting agent for the check-out inspection I paid for but won't receive.

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  • DoricPixie
    replied
    The Aberdeen market has been pretty horrendous these last few years and I think both you and I have both found the letting agencies in this city to be chocolate teapots. I think the letting agencies had it too good during the boom time when demand for rental properties outstripped supply so any eejit could do it. Now their shortcomings are shining through.

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