In this week’s podcast, I discuss what happened on my property inspections in Bath and why it’s so vital you diarise your inspections, because otherwise things like this… happen!
Or you can watch the video below!
If you want, you can read the transcript here:
Natasha Collins: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the NC podcast. My name is Natasha Collins. And I am the host of NC real estate which includes its members club for landlords and property investors to come and build a profitable property portfolio that completely aligns with their goals and kind of let you into something exciting that’s happening this month or actually in a couple of weeks time.
[00:00:30] We may be opening the doors again, and we only do this a few times a year. So if you haven’t yet got on the waiting list, you’re going to need to do that by heading over to ncrealestatemembersclub.com. I’m going to put the link in the show notes below. Make sure you get on that waiting list because you’re going to be wanting to be the first person in the member’s club or the first group of people because I’ve got some very very.
[00:00:59] Actual bonuses all will be revealed in the coming weeks. And if you want to see the videos and webinar that I’m launching just before we open you’re going to want to be in the property investment Mastery Facebook group. So head on over to Facebook. And then type in the search bar property investment Mastery, join the group and you will also be the first in the know about it.
[00:01:24] I am so excited for this to all come out my team and I have been working on this for months. It is very very exciting. So, please if you’re listening to this definitely get yourself on that waiting list and definitely come into the property investment Mastery Facebook group because there’s a lot of goodness.
[00:01:44] Coming up so links Below in the show notes, make sure that you’re clicking on them and you’re using them because everything I put out is for you so that you can be a successful property investor to. Right. Did you hear my podcast last week? I was actually on annual leave last week because I was away getting married and I’m back here.
[00:02:09] We are five days after the wedding ceremony back in the podcasting Studio back up work. It’s very strange. Actually. I have a nice to have a full week off where I wasn’t doing anything barely answering emails really not on social media at. I wanted to have that break because number one so much going on.
[00:02:30] So many people that we hadn’t seen in ages who’d come to party with us and had a good time. So I wanted to give them the. Most attention that I possibly could I hadn’t seen my nephew in months and months and months and months. She facetimes me probably about once a week and every every week he’s getting bigger and he’s letting my name he waves at me so at higher and I love that so much so when I actually got to pick him up and give him a good squeeze.
[00:02:58] I wanted to spend a lot of time with him. I saw my family my grandma my extended family friends. People flew in from all over the world. For those of you who are members of my members Club, lorenza runs the Community Management side of things. She is the community manager for the members Club. She looks after everybody in the member’s Club make sure that everybody is pointed in the right direction so that you’re getting the most from it and you can be in contact with me whenever you need to be.
[00:03:28] And the runs red I are very rarely in the same continent. We try and make sure that we are at least once a year but apart from that we speak all the time on WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, have we can get in contact with each other? We’re always in constant contact but having this face-to-face contact, we don’t do that so much.
[00:03:48] So it was lovely. She came to the wedding to we had a great night out on Friday night before the wedding and. We had the wedding on the Saturday. So it was lovely to see everybody. It really really was it flew by but we had the best time I was still in a club at 2 a.m. On the on the Sunday morning after the wedding because we were just out with everybody.
[00:04:11] We just wanted to soak everybody up and stay with them for as long as we possibly could because we knew what we weren’t going to have all of our friends and family in that space for much longer. So. Brilliant brilliant brilliant time so many photos if you follow me on Facebook or on Instagram @natashaccollins, you’ll see those photos coming out over the next coming weeks.
[00:04:35] We’re waiting for them to come back from the photographer. I dripped the couple that I’ve got from friends and family, but once we’ve got the professional ones, I will. Sure them so that if you are interested, you can have a look if you’re not that’s okay ignore them will put move back onto the property content.
[00:04:50] But hey, this is a big chapter of my life and I do want to make sure that I share it and celebrate it. So what else was I doing? Whilst I was back in the UK. I did spend a little bit of time on my property portfolio when I say little bit of time literally a couple of hours. My mom has a property portfolio as well.
[00:05:13] And I wanted to help her out with her properties. She has one and I think I was telling you about this a couple of weeks ago. That is a bungalow and it has quite a big plot of land and I wanted to see what we could do to improve the value increase the size of the Bungalow in my mind. I had this idea that we could put two semi-detached houses on it.
[00:05:37] Not knowing whether that was a hundred percent possible because I hadn’t been there in a little while. I wanted to get an architect to come and have a look. So I arranged to meet an architect with my mom. We went to the property and we had a look around make sure that I bought all the plans and we really did.
[00:05:55] Have a very thorough Wonder around now when we got there. This is something that I want to talk to you about and why it’s so important to inspect more often than not so if you think that months of passing by and you’ve not seen your properties probably a good time to schedule to go and have a look and see what’s going on.
[00:06:15] We got that and notice that mums neighbor had knocked down the fence between her property and their property and a built an extension on the party wall with windows at waist height really to wear their to where you’re stood which is quite a bit of a shock especially because mum wasn’t. Informed that this was going to happen and she definitely hadn’t been to inspect it in a couple of months.
[00:06:43] And this was a additional bathroom extension, which the neighbors are just put up and the tenants had not notified mom that this was happening. They seem to be pretty fine about it and they’re actually moving out next month. So really they don’t care and so that led to the questions about whether there had been any party wall notices.
[00:07:05] If you don’t know, what a party wall notice is its to do with the Party Wall Act 1996, and what this is is that if you or your neighbor is doing works on the party wall or the boundary then they need to notify you of the works. Via a party will notice now they should do this between two months and 12 months before they’re about to start work.
[00:07:32] They’re meant to give you the list of exactly what’s happening and they need to give you the option to either use your own. So surveyor. We use their surveyors or not use any surveyors at all so that you can get it surveyed to make sure that the neighbors aren’t going to do any damage to your property.
[00:07:50] Now the problem that Mom has here with this property is they’ve taken down the pot the boundary which is the fence. So there’s now not that lie. Which shows exactly where the boundary is. So what subsequently happened was we had to take a lot of photos and send that off to the solicitors just to figure out whether they had crossed the boundary line or not.
[00:08:12] It turned out that they hadn’t there is there is actually quite a detailed plan shockingly this very. Very rarely happens actually with land registry that you’ve got a really clear dividing line between where the neighboring property is and where her property is. It’s just frustrating that should not seen because now she’s got a window that overlooks her garden.
[00:08:37] I guess the saving grace is from that that she can now put up another put up another fence if that’s what she wants to do. There is nothing stopping her doing that and I’m sure she’s going to do it which again will protect her privacy not great for the Neighbors. I don’t know why they wanted to build it a window that overlooks someone else’s Garden strange.
[00:08:57] I don’t think that would be necessarily something that I would do but the long and short of that story is is that. You need to be inspecting properties regularly, and I’m not calling Mom out because she does a very good job at managing her property portfolio. It just so happened that within that three months since she had last been there.
[00:09:17] This had all happened and the tents hadn’t let her know of any works that might be going on and when we did our sir tenants who were there that day they said oh, Neighbors have been around they’ve knocked on the doors. We’ve said it’s absolutely fine. And so the neighbors have gone fine. Okay, great tenants have said yes, no problem will crack on.
[00:09:37] So that has been what had happened. But again, can you imagine if they’d built over the boundary line the dispute that then ensues because of that and the fact that there’s already a structure there. So you’re going to have to get solicitors involved. You may have to put an injunction in place so many different things that can happen purely by not inspecting your property regularly or getting your managing agents to go and inspect regularly, and then from there.
[00:10:02] You also need to be taking pictures you. To be recording everything that you’re doing and making sure that you know exactly what’s going on after all. By doing that you protecting the value of your property and you might be saying well what happens if I don’t agree to the work on the party wall.
[00:10:20] Well at that point you can raise a dispute and the dispute can be settled by alternative dispute resolution. Normally you get both surveyors ins involves. So your side surveyors and their side surveyors and they go and they negotiate on it and make sure that both parties are happy with what’s happening.
[00:10:38] So they’re always around this and usually the person that’s building unless there’s any damage on your side and the person that’s building is responsible for all of the costs associated with it. So don’t be nervous about doing it. It’s with well within your rights to do to get that party will notice and if someone’s not served the party will notice you go knock on the door.
[00:11:01] And you say hey you need to be serving a party will notice on you have to stop works until you’ve done that. And from that you can then have that conversation and it shouldn’t really be an angry confrontational conversation. It should be anything like that. It really should be. Something that is just calm you both want to make sure that you’re interested protected you both want to protect the value of your property.
[00:11:26] So working on it from that kind of an angle, but as I said inspect so that this doesn’t happen and there’s not that mad Panic where you’re having to crawl around the boundary line underneath fences to check what on Earth is going on. You just don’t ever want to get to that stage. There’s no point in panicking, especially when your mom is already panicked because it’s two days before your wedding.
[00:11:48] She really wants to get involved in all my gosh. She’s now got this to deal with two. So God aspect of figure out what exactly is going on. So back to the architect meeting the architect is lovely lovely. Lovely. Lovely. We had a great conversation. Very honest with me and said Tasha. I don’t think it’s probably why is it you knock down a perfectly good Bungalow and put two semi detached properties.
[00:12:14] Said why don’t we turn this into a massive for bed Bungalow? There’s adequate parking. So there’s enough parking on the drive for four cars at the moment. And what we were going to do is see if we could put three costs instead and have a nice conservatory at the end of the drive with an extra long living room.
[00:12:32] Then we’re going to turn the garage into an additional bedroom and we can also extend out the back which also will be far cheaper than bringing a whole bungalow down and putting it back up. So right now we all go through the costs of how much that will actually cost to do whether it’s worth it or not with the tenants moving out in August. Mums actually only got another eight months left on that mortgage product that she’s got right now before it falls out of its fixed term. So really what we want to do is spend the next eight months. Putting plans together we’re and we’re dealing with Bath know if he’s Somerset Council, they take six to eight months with planning a bearing in mind.
[00:13:17] We’ve got Christmas. I know we’re a long way out and I don’t really like mentioning it at this time in July, but we do have to think about the fact that most councils go into shutdown over the Christmas period so that’s going to take a little bit longer. So what we’re hoping is that we can potentially get these plans in place and then we can think about okay.
[00:13:39] Well do we want to go ahead and do this or is there value in selling with the planning permission in which case when we come to the end of the fixed term of the mortgage we start looking at whether we can get vacant possession and selling it on to a family who might want to build out that massive for bed.
[00:13:58] The good news is it’s right opposite a really highly rated School. Very close to a test goes opposite of good doctors surgery. This is got quite a lot of amenities around there and also some really good dog walking routes down over the valley behind bath and two English coup. So it’s beautiful really beautiful part of bath and got great views over bath as well.
[00:14:22] So from that point of view, it is the perfect location the only difficulty with it is that the driveway comes out onto a t-junction which isn’t ideal that that was given planning permission back in 1997. So it is what it is, but that’s what we were working on there if we can get additional money out of that.
[00:14:44] Actually it would be a really really good thing to do. Mainly because Mom does want to sell that property so that she can pay off the mortgage on the property that she currently lives in and then she can start thinking about retirement and everything that comes with that. So that’s the long-term ambition was that property?
[00:15:01] We shall see from my point of view. The other reason that I think that it would be a good idea to see if we can do this. Is that 15 doors down my Grandma has a similar size Bungalow but with additional land in the back of the Bungalow as well. So maybe if we can do that with moms Bungalow, we’d also be able to do something similar with Grandma’s Bungalow.
[00:15:24] Grandma’s Bungalow is just. I even looked buy more properties. So I’m always thinking about how we can add value what we can do constantly keeping an eye on planning permissions that are allowed in the local area just to see what other people are doing and if there’s any scope for us to add as well.
[00:15:45] So that’s that’s why it’s so important to inspect get out on foot look up look and see what other people are doing as well. And then from that point of view you can start thinking. Okay. Is there potential for me to add value to my property in the way they’ve done it and if you’re feeling neighborly you can always get in contact with your neighbors ask them how much they pay for it.
[00:16:07] Which contractor did it? Does no harm if they’ve done it. There’s not going to be any reason for them to go. Oh, no, I don’t want you doing its competition. It doesn’t work like that. So I think all in all it was a really good couple of hours of my time spent because now when we get the information back from the architect about what we can do what we can’t do how long it’s going to take what the estimated prices I can then do a cost analysis and see whether it’s going to work or not.
[00:16:37] I move forward from that. It’s also wise to do this 12 months out really because you need to be thinking about the long-term what you want to do if your property portfolio and how you want things to work. So. Always Die Rise back. So if you know your fixed term is coming to an end in 8 to 12 months time.
[00:17:01] What do you need to look at now? Can you get that architect out? Can you get that building surveyor out? Can you just go and inspect yourself to see what the condition of the premises is? Also, when do you need to remortgage if you’re going to remortgage perhaps you look at it six to three to six months out.
[00:17:17] Actually, you need to mix leave it get it done or start looking at it as early as you possibly can mortgage lenders are requiring far more Hoops for you to jump through. So if you can do that three to six months out and start speaking to your broker as a really good time to start doing that and if you’re going to sell the property.
[00:17:39] Again, I would get the agent around six months in advance and then ask agents and speak to three different agents. Ask the agents. How much is this property worth now? What do you think I can do to it to add value? Because when you sell you always want to have your property in the best possible condition, you do not want to sell something that’s going to hang around on the market.
[00:18:02] The whole idea of selling a property is you put it in the best possible condition. Hey, look at this amazing place that you can move into that’s where the value is going to come from. So make sure that you’re asking the agent what you can do to improve the chances of sale. And then three months out because usually it takes well more than three months actually in my experience thinking back to it.
[00:18:27] But it takes a while to sell property to 3 months out. You can start thinking about getting the pictures done anything else you need done and then putting it on the market so. Using your mortgage in the fixed term as a guide can really really really help you. So think back and then inspect at those times similarly with tenancy agreements.
[00:18:50] You should also be doing the same. So if you have a tenancy agreement that’s coming to an end say in a couple of months time have a look at what’s going on in the property a month before the tenancy agreement comes to an end. And then you can think okay. Well, what do I need to ask this tenant to do because it’s always far more polite and beneficial for the landlord and tenant relationship.
[00:19:11] If you ask the tenant to sort things out rather than you get to the end date and you go. Hey, I’m deducting all of this from your deposit. Don’t do that give the tenant an opportunity to sort out themselves. Tell them what you want them to buy tell them the quality of the paint or whatever. It might experience that is always worked better.
[00:19:29] And then that also gives you time to know what’s going on to know how you’re going to remarket it to instruct agents and you’re doing things that are really logical manner. So that leads me back to inspections you make sure that you’re having those derived in so you don’t miss anything. You’re always ready for what’s going next with being a property investor and thus being a property manager because that’s what got your doing.
[00:19:56] Ultimately you need to be proactive rather than reactive and that’s how things run so much smoother. So as a key action point from this podcast now now that you’re thinking about it go and have a look at all the key dates for your property portfolio the key dates or even your own home. When is your mortgage fixed-term coming to an end?
[00:20:23] When are your tenants moving out? When did your gas safety certificate needs to be done when you next need to do your EPC. When do you need next need to do electrical safety and derice the date that it it needs to be done by. But then. Put a reminder a month or two before or in the case of a remortgage.
[00:20:45] That’s 3 to 6 months before or if you are looking to sell even 12 months before so you can start making decision on what you need to do to make sure that that property is in the best possible condition for sale whether that is you’re going to go through planning permission to increase the value there whether you’re going to have to do some redecoration or a tart up.
[00:21:06] You know, whatever you need to do so that then over the space of the next 12 months, you know exactly what’s going on. So that is what I took away from going and having a look at the Bungalow. And then from there. I was also I actually stayed in one of my apartments in central bath, which was lovely.
[00:21:25] It’s nice to be down there because it honestly that’s one of my favorite places to be overlooks one of the values and it also you can see the hills in the background and I’ve got cherry blossom trees outside it absolutely. The one thing that I tend to do is when I when I go and look at my properties, I’m like looking at it with the real up close.
[00:21:47] I like what do I need to do and what are the things that happened whilst we were down there is that openreach we’re changing over the Internet supplies and Chris is getting very frustrated over the fact that we did not have any internet for a couple of days and I said I’ll go down there and I’ll speak to the engineer’s and find out what’s happening.
[00:22:09] He said to me don’t cause a scene don’t go down there don’t go and speak to them. So but you’re getting annoyed. He’s like, it’s fine. We’re getting married. We shouldn’t really be online. So any I kind of forgot about it with all of everything that was going on and then I had a phone call yesterday from talk talk her the internet provider there.
[00:22:29] “Hi, Miss Collins. Would you like some fibers?” Thinking to myself hurray they finally put fiber in Bath rather than having to wish for some fast internet and not really getting anything through the socket on the 25th of July. I am being switched in that flat to a fiber internet connection. Yes fast internet again back in that flat, which means that I can switch back on my internet TVs, which I haven’t been able to do for a while because the internet speeds were getting so appalling, but every time we tried to switch there was nobody else who would take over the connection.
[00:23:11] So for me, that was a fantastic thing to come out. Of having no internet. I’m glad it happened whilst I was there not whilst I had guests staying because chances are they’d be on the phone screaming at me about it. So actually what I’m now going to do with that flat. I have a mortgage coming up the fixed term on that mortgage is coming up at the end of October.
[00:23:34] I think so. What I’m actually going to do is try and switch that on to a better rate product. I’ll take a little bit of money out of it. That one’s on a repayment because I want to I want to keep that and that’s going to be kind of my family base in center of bath because I don’t think I’d like to but I don’t necessarily think that we would move back to Bath permanently but having that space very very Central bath would be fabulous for me and having if I want to take my family there at any point to visit.
[00:24:10] So I think what I’m going to do is continue keeping that on a repayment not necessarily take much money out of it enough to redo the sash windows which definitely need doing. Put a new bathroom in and again just simple redecoration. So it’s not going to cost me a lot of money. But keep that ticking over get some great TVs for in there make it all beautiful.
[00:24:33] It’s beautiful at the moment. But I mean imagine what I can do now. I’ve got fiber internet hair. And also I need to get a new bathroom in there as well. And again with it being a grade 2 listed building. We do not get really high. High-powered water through there. So I’m going to need to get some additional pumps to get that shower better than it is at the moment.
[00:24:58] It’s fine. I can wash my hair in it and it’s it covers you in water. I just it’s. I like a good shower. I really like a good shower. I’m a honestly that’s one of my I’d like one of those rainwater showers, you know, where you have the big heads and that’s me. That’s often what I want in that bathroom.
[00:25:17] So how I’m going to make that happen at the moment. I don’t quite know but that is the goal. And so I want to take a little bit of money back out of that property to be able to do it. But ultimately I’m gonna pay it down because as my other properties come up for. Remortgage I’ll take some money out of that and then I can reinvest that property.
[00:25:38] I just always want it to look nice. So that is the goal there. I was glad I got to go down and see it. So that was my that was my me week of inspection. Shall we say I didn’t I didn’t work too hard a little bit blue. You know, the ultimate goal is getting married which happened. So that’s what I’ve been doing with my property portfolio.
[00:26:03] That’s the reason you need to go and inspect so that you can see these little things before they even crop up and then from there you can start making a plan. You don’t have to do everything immediately. I know I’m one of these people who. I give it an action tarsem like yeah, that’s going to solve the world.
[00:26:19] Let’s go do it right now, but I also understand the need to plan. And so what I do is in my diary, I put down all of these key dates. And then from there I can take action on it and things that happen more slowly but the planned always last the longest always always last the longest so bear that in mind get your planners out.
[00:26:41] Once you finished doing this and do it now write down all the key dates before you forget because then what you’ll do is you’ll forget a year will pass you by and your thing. Oh, Damn, I just my fixed time just came to an end. And now I’m in a variable rate and I’m paying 6% and ouch. I’m not making any as much profit as I used to be.
[00:27:03] So don’t let that be you get planning for what you’re going to do. Because that’s how you’re going to keep making the most from your property portfolio. So then we have it. I hope that was a useful podcast for you. I’m glad to be back while so much going on. Do you remember to go and get yourself on the members Club waiting list: ncrealestatemembersclub.com Go go go go go, and come over to the property investment Mastery Facebook group for all of the awesome surprises that. I’m going to be going on over there. So thank you for listening to meet this week. I’m so glad that you came and joined me. If you want to find out any more about me head on over to www.ncrealestate.co.uk – and I cannot wait to catch up with you again soon!!