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Fred Jones
Human Being
4838  Profile Views

About Me

Electrically qualified, able to do minor building works, decorating and high quality cleaning.
Degree qualified in biochemistry instrument techology (I know how domestic things work or why they will never work and understand building regulations).
Old enough to know a lot about people, finances and common sense.

my expertise in the industry

Landlord in several areas of the country.

Fred's Recent Activity

Fred Jones
There is a landlord who owns the land in all this. Most houses have pretty much. "had it" after one hundred years as will the owner of the house who originally bought the house with a leasehold on the land on which it is built. The problem which the government is trying to solve is not the fault of the lease but that of the lease owners who are writing leases in such away that the house owner can be royally screwed in many ways. It would be far simpler to stop the problem and prevent land owners from exacting unfair charges on their leaseholders. In my view forcibly taking land from its owners is an absolute anathema in British society. Our own JC and comrades may disagree of course. Land leases on single houses are almost totally unwarranted. Leases on condominiums are important. They are a way of keeping land and property ownership in synchrony. This matters when the buildings reach their end of life. How do you have a freehold to land when your property is three floors up? That can not be done. The only way is for all the flat owners to forcibly buy all the land, form an owners company and sublet the leases from that new company. I you fancy some deep legal reading look up the court records for a series of appeals in the case of Poets Chase vs Sinclaire Gardens Investments, their land owners. Poets Chase is a development of over one hundred flats in Aylesbury. A final comment is very obvious. Many people don't have a clue about leaseholds. They should have and they should be capable of doing the financial maths over the whole period of the lease - usually one hundred years.

From: Fred Jones 18 July 2019 20:08 PM

Fred Jones

From: Fred Jones 05 March 2019 08:29 AM

Fred Jones
I have been out to a couple of flat owners annual block management meetings. What is very clear is, "Sub-standard tenants remain a key weakness in the private rental sector". These clever commentators really need to learn that most property problems are multifaceted and very often the landlords only "crime" is owning the property. When you have a block of identical flats it is very easy to compare the individual owners, sub letting agents, residents and block management problems. If you own several similar properties in different developments then the situation becomes even clearer. Yes, there are problems with agents as well. Most units in blocks are let out via a agent/manager so the landlord is directly responsible for very little but tenants are still having (a euphemism for making) problems. I have just been discussing a tenant there who lets their children float rubbish paper out of a third floor window. The management agent continually has problems with tenants and residents who leave cycles and prams by the front door which is the emergency exit as well. None of that is any fault of a landlord. Another landlord has been having problems with damp in a flat. He has lived in it without problem. Now he has a tenant there who steam cooks everything,dries their washing inside and keeps all the windows closed. Everything in the flat is rotting and mildew covered. He has had to fit a forced air ventilation system at his own cost so that this tenants can stay in the flat. Apparently this works well but this is not something any UK architect would ever specify for a UK build.

From: Fred Jones 20 February 2019 23:12 PM

Fred Jones

From: Fred Jones 31 January 2019 10:22 AM

Fred Jones
If you have a good tenant the property never needs inspecting beyond spotting new equipment a tenant has bought in. We need a just to be sure of course- say five yearly and when tenants change. If a tenant does something that causes gas and electricity problems it this is unlikely to happen the day before an inspection so inspections are never going to be the complete answer. Broadly, inspections need to match the rate of damage. This can range from every thirty years to every week. It depends on who is living there. If very frequent inspections are needed it is going to be more cost effective to issue a section 21. Electrical safety is divided into three classes. Stage one is just inspection by someone with half a brain who can look for breakages and damaged cables. You do then need a competent person to do to do the fixing or take the offending item out of the property to make sure it is not bought back into use. Last time I looked at the regulations this was a valid plan of action. All that is need is a sign of on and inspction sheet. Next is PAT testing. Again this is not difficult but if something does fail then a qualified electrician will be needed or the tester can take the equipment out of the property to stop it being used. The final stage is a real electrician testing everything. This does need a qualified person but in my experience it is very rare to find a really dangerous fault because the installation should have been installed and tested properly when it was new. After that installations do not fail if they are not damaged or overloaded in some illegal way. This is expensive and does not want doing once a year. In any case a lowely PAT tester should/ must be able to spot a damaged system such as by overloading. I have noted recently that people are starting to class any thing without a PAT label as dangerous. This is rubbish of course and the person screaming, "It's dangerous", is pretty suspect as well. Equally something can be dangerous even if it has a PAT tag. It is all a case of risk analysis and likelihoods. If you want to have 101% certainty then you need a team of electricians to watch over a property/device 24 hours a day for ever. This will hurt but I think is way beyond time for agents to offer properly skilled inspections for gas, water and electricity. I am not including repairs in this statement. Dodging the issue by saying we are not qualified adds quite a bit of cost to letting. It has cost me a small fortune with water. My agent never spotted a massive leak from a broken shower hose because they never turned the shower on. As for the tenant /////!! (I have electrical test certificates)

From: Fred Jones 30 January 2019 10:59 AM

Fred Jones
We went through all this about fifty years ago. Back then tenants were given almost total control of the property and the rent. It was a total, unmitigated disaster. There is no exaggeration whatsoever in the statement. Letting became unobtainable. Vacant properties were put up for sale. They never sold because buyers could not get mortgages simply because the properties were useless as collateral. They were only really of use for short term lettings. This, "Dead Lock" was only broken when section 21s came about and normality quickly resumed. In all common sense we need to force councils to get out of trying to control property lettings. Most of them can barely run a council let alone control a vast lettings industry which is somebody else's industry anyway. They have enough laws to sort out inhumane letting. They don't need to control the finances as well. If you are letting agent you really need to be thinking about winding up your business now while you are in profit (I hope). You may have another angle to earn money but property management will not be it. All those fifty years ago agents were sitting in their offices looking like terrified dogs in desperation and giving the occasional buyer (mine & myself, newly married) bundles of twenty or thirty flyers of completely useless to us, properties. It really was bad. Now days of course we have the internet but I can not see the basic situation in a years time being any different to back then. I am expecting to sell my properties soon. They won't be at a loss but but not at a worthwhile profit either. I am already ending rolling tenancies in preparation.

From: Fred Jones 28 January 2019 11:38 AM

Fred Jones

From: Fred Jones 10 July 2018 10:23 AM

Fred Jones
Yes.......but.......err...... Let's think outside the box. Slowly the legislation that allowed lettings to re-start in the UK which was put in place by Margaret Thatcher's government is being rescinded. We will soon be back to status left by Harold Wilson's comrades were letting domestic accommodation was a practical and financial impossibility. To have a lettings market landlords have to have close control of their properties and an absolute right to remove tenants who are not profitable. Back before electronic everything that was the only way it worked. Now we can easily make sure that landlords do their job properly and that is what is being done. Unfortunately it is costing a lot and the tenants are going to have to pay for it. That is what they want and they are going to get it so that is great news!...? This can work but we are expecting further new legislation to give tenants almost an absolute right to stay in properties even if the landlord wants or has to move them on. Thus we go full circle, "To have a lettings market landlords have to have close control of their properties and an absolute right to remove tenants who are not profitable." Big companies may be able to maintain a viable domestic lettings market by being able to fund a very efficient use of the legal system but bad or just plain luckless tenants who fall foul of these systems are going to find themselves frozen out of renting property for the rest of their lives. The cost to landlords of helping these people will become a business expense which can be controlled but at an unacceptable cost which will have to be stopped. I let several properties. If tenants occasionally need a few days to get their rent up to date after Christmas I can live with that. If they want to live in their own filth I can do that as well but they will loose their deposit for cleaning when they leave. What I can not put up with is damage and antisocial behaviour. These activities require eviction asap for both myself and neighbours. If I can not manage property without the huge expense of using the law then it is time to sell up. My first property is on sale now. It is better to have the flat empty and safe from damage and legal cost in the meantime.

From: Fred Jones 17 May 2018 10:52 AM

Fred Jones
There is a deep down problem for this 'fiasco' and it is entirely the fault of councils and waste management policy. I have properties in an area well away from where I live. I go to block management and leaseholder management meetings and this problem comes up all most every time. It even came up on a camp site I visited on holiday. The problem: People in these HMOs come from all over the country/world. Every where they come from has different rubbish reclining arrangements and as an added extra, different use regulations for the colour of the bins and sacks. How in the name of your favourite deity how are strangers in a new town going to know what to do? There are two answers. 1. The council trains every new arrival at the HMO when they take up residence (!??). It is not the lettings agent responsibility as residents pay council tax and that is the route that rubbish collection is organized. 2. The camp site owner explained this to me. Provide all the relevant bins to keep everyone happy. This also satisfies inspections and gives goody points for obtaining tourism grants. Collect the bins up and pool all the wast in large dump bins. Next send it all off together as industrial waste. Of course this is an expense but it is less so than constant argument, fines and loss of grants. Funnily enough my block agent does exactly the same thing. Here the only remaining problem is large items such as beds and old baths. This is within the scope of what the agent can handle and costs are billed back to the block charge - as are the industrial waste charges.

From: Fred Jones 04 January 2018 11:37 AM

Fred Jones

From: Fred Jones 26 September 2016 22:19 PM

Fred Jones

From: Fred Jones 20 June 2016 22:28 PM

Fred Jones

From: Fred Jones 24 February 2016 10:27 AM

Fred Jones
Could someone tell me how this is going to be accomplished with a leasehold flat in a large block? As said, British homes are notorious for heating but sadly the fault usually lies with the initial construction - not the landlords' maintenance. One of my properties even has posh nationally approved certificate to say how good it is (1970ish). It comes out as E on the current system. The biggest culprit was lousy wooden windows with 3mm single glazing. This has been upgraded with double glazing so now the flat suffers from condensation. Yes there are vents but I can not stand guard in the flat and make the tenant use them. I could put in loft insulation in but there is no point because more than enough heat (and water vapour) rises from the flats below even in mid winter. It goes on with other properties. Most landlords put in plastic double glazing. This avoids regular painting and the ultimate rot requiring a new frame. There is no way that cheap wood is "green" when it comes to letting as a business. The only sensible way of getting our letting stock up to standard is to take the building regulations from, probably, Germany and use those. After a hundred and fifty years or so we would begin to see the improvement that various commentators think are the heavenly right of all tenants. What we do with current properties I have no idea. The biggest sinners in this situation are variously the councils with poor building standards regulations, lousy builders who use the cheapest materials they can get and speculators who fund the builder, take their initial profit and leave future owners with or without tenants to suffer the consequences. I have experience of 'wonderful' cavity wall insulation starting to fail in my own home. Talking to other property owners and landlords this practice seems to be a disaster starting to happen.

From: Fred Jones 11 January 2016 22:42 PM

Fred Jones
As others say this is an absolute farce. I have two ideas. 1. Some of the big estate agents get together to form a review body and every time a council or government body, "holds forth" they issue an overview of all the mistakes and foreseeable consequences without resorting to arguable opinions. They should of course have some sort of pompous branding for the newspapers to latch on to. 2. My letting agent has informed me that I must install new smoke detectors. Can I say to all, "THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS NOT INSTALLING THEM IT IS TESTING THEM!" Someone has to take responsibility and the only person regularly visiting my flats is my local to the flat, letting agent. If I were to do this I would have hundreds of mile of driving, have to make appointments etc. and run the risk of severely upsetting a tenant by telling them they must replace the batteries. I have asked several agents in the past to undertake this little job. We all know it only needs someone to press the test button but the excuses are manifold. We never get out hands on any maintenance work, not ever, no way. Our inspectors are ladies ?? Our inspector ladies would have to stand on something to reach them which would be unladylike. (I have some sympathy but......) The tenant has to do the test and replace the batteries. This ought to bee the modern equivalent of a music hall joke. If you are an agent you can probably add some more. Actions resulting could the be be passed on to the landlord or who ever. There is a BUT in that tenants can neither be forced or trusted to do this work and it is of no practical use to try and make a law to change this. The point is that, I believe, the person providing the letting contract and no one else should have the legal responsibility to look after the fire alarm tests. Morally of course everyone should have some responsibility. (I do not have any need of CO alarms). The result of making such a law would be a magnificent simplification, the removal of all sorts of people with ponderous opinions and who just get in the way and provide a sound source of accurate records if there is a fire. I could relax and stop writing as well. 

From: Fred Jones 10 September 2015 10:53 AM

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