I’m Not Made Of Money!

I’m not made of money, but I think I ought to be!

Now I am a Landlord it seems money is all anyone wants from me.

As you may recall, from previous posts, I have placed my prior home upon the rental market. The reason for this is because rental is the only valid choice open to me. I am no longer residing in the UK, therefore it was either rent the house or take my chances with the uncertain sales market. I couldn’t leave the house empty and languishing waiting for a buyer, running the risk of weather damage and worse occurring in my absence.  

Yet, I am discovering that property rental is not for the impoverished and humble individual, such as I am!

I am not a wealthy property developer who owns many houses that turn over great profits, I have one property and that used to be my home. I make no profit from the rental process, in fact, I lose money. Between the initial costs to begin the rental process, the Rental Agency fees, the fact I remain financially responsible for the property and even pay a portion of the mortgage (still), means that I have to find money every month just to have the ‘privilege’ to rent my own house out!   

Only today I was informed that I have to fork out another £250 for an Electrical Inspection. Now this inspection was not supposed to be obligatory I.E enforced by any written law, yet, this little loop hole is worded in such a way, it might as well be a written law. Without this inspection and a certificate to prove to the Rental Agency all is well with my home electrics, I won’t be able to rent my house out (what a surprise), the Local Authority can fine me (which they would as they are money making sharks), and my Landlord Insurance will be null and void (any excuse for an Insurance Company not to pay out on a claim)!

So, all in all it is fantastic news – yet again there is more money going out and no money coming in!

All of these little inconsequential loop holes mount up to become one large dent in my bank account balance. It therefore seems that to be a landlord, I do have to be a wealthy Donald Trump type property tycoon, as these little loop holes all cost money! They maybe in place to keep Landlords on a leash, to ensure that we are all reputable, abiding by the rules and of course protecting our tenants, yet it is landlords like me who suffer most from these loop holes. We who are scrupulous, we who abide by the rules and laws, we who don’t have massive property portfolios which turn over vast profits, we who don’t know how to dodge the rules and laws to line our own pockets suffer from the endless silly loop holes, because we haven’t the money to keep forking out to cover their requirements.

I am pretty angry about it all. Just because I am a Landlord doesn’t mean I am either rich or unscrupulous! 

Now I am wondering what will happen if my home electrics are found to be ‘unsafe’. Of course, there will be more money at stake. Not to mention the re-plastering and re-decoration costs also part and parcel of having to replace the electrics!!

What makes this worse and made me spit blood, was the fact that they also require me to pay for installation of fire alarms (connected to the mains). This is to protect the tenant;

I asked: ‘What is wrong with the two fire alarms I already have in place’?

Reply: ‘Oh, they aren’t good enough because they are battery operated’.

I said: ‘Erm, they still do the same job as a mains fitted alarm, they were fitted by the Fire Department’!

The reason for having these electrical alarms fitted, is basically as the tenant can’t be trusted to replace the batteries in the alarms we currently have fitted. OMG! What is this exactly, a baby sitting venture? Did the tenant forget their brain in the last property they resided in? Why can’t they take the responsibility on board to replace two measly batteries? I mean if they aren’t capable of that, then please God don’t rent them my home!!

Not to mention the fact that now I have signed the rental agreement with the agency, I have actually lost all my rights to state who and who doesn’t rent my property out. As long as a potential tenant passes the agencies vetting procedures (which are no doubt sub- standard anyway), then basically anyone can rent my home! I find this bizarre. Considering I am, and always will be financially and legally responsible for the house with or without a tenant in-situ, and the shit hits my fan and no one else’s if anything goes wrong, I find this stipulation in a legally binding contract as the biggest insult!

So I am left wondering what next? Or more specifically, what next must I pay for?

There has been; a Gas Inspection (not cheap), Landlord Insurance (not cheap), Boiler/heating Insurance (not cheap), PAT testing (not cheap), an Energy Certificate (not cheap), Rental Agency fees (not cheap), an Electrical Inspection (not cheap), tax and mortgage documentation to complete and organisation of the necessary paperwork (a complete nightmare), sale of my furniture (messing about), house clearance (stressful), house repairs (hours of life I won’t get back), and let us not forget the fact I am obligated to pay Council Tax (et al) whenever there is no tenant in the property (during void periods).

Money makes the world go round, yes, I know and therein lies the moral of the story 🙂  

Rant over!