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Unoccupied flat below me

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Gift2humanity, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I live in a 3rd storey flat, and the flat below me is owned by a private landlord.
    He bought it around 2010 when the previous owner died.
    After he decorated etc, tenants soon moved in, when they moved out, another tenant quickly moved in and when that tenant moved out more tenants quickly moved in and they stayed the longest.
    This would be expected as I am in the UK and people need housing.
    This time, however, the last tenants moved out and the flat has been stood empty for weeks, the longest time it has been unoccupied.
    The neighbours below have sometimes come up when I have had meltdowns or alerted friends, I know I can phone someone but it's nice to know I had caring neighbours who popped up if they heard something going on.
    I know we have covid but we still have a housing crisis, and the owner is losing rent money while it is stood unoccupied. I wonder why the flat below has stood empty for such a long time?
    Why would covid stop new people moving in?
    Thanks
     
  2. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Any number of things could have happened. Perhaps he or a family member became ill and he couldn't organise new tenants, perhaps he is away, perhaps he wants the flat for a family member or other purpose. Perhaps he has tenents, but they don't live there permanently. Who knows? Without knowing him personally, it's impossible to say.
     
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  3. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The man is not from the UK so spends most of his time abroad and uses a letting agent to sort out new tenants.
    It's just odd because he liked rent paid (fair enough) and tenants seemed good, as soon as one tenant left, another one came, the last lot stayed for years and now its totally empty.
    Yeah, it's just uncomfortable having no one underneath me.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you're looking at it all wrong. Especially from the perspective of one on the spectrum.

    As a renter, I've felt extraordinarily lucky to have such a quiet tenant below me. Particularly because before this tenant were others who were quite noisy, often driving me crazy. I relish the solitude in my own home.

    You know that saying. "Be careful what you wish for. You may get it."

    Then again the simplest explanation may be the most plausible one. That there are major problems with the unit below you, and that getting the landlord to fix them isn't working. So they all leave accordingly. The sort of thing that there's nothing you can do about, and hope that whatever problems that may exist are confined to that unit, and not the one you reside in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  5. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi
    Yeah I know be careful what you wish for, I would rather have nice tenants than no one, of course not troublesome ones.

    As for major problems in the flat below, why do you think this is the most plausible?
    What type of problems could there be in a 2nd floor flat?
    Why would the owner be unwilling to leave them unfixed, when it would be easier to nip them in the bud?
    Why would the owner want to leave it empty and lose rent money?
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Could be a broad number of issues if the flat is particularly old. My unit is only around 25 years old, and I've had a number of things fail in the last few years. In an era where nothing is made to last. Water heater issues, garbage disposal, bathtub fixtures, leaking kitchen faucet....and so on.

    Who knows? An absentee landlord may be trying to duck the expense, as opposed to a corporate one like mine. With the pandemic skewing the whole equation that much more.

    Then again if you want a more exotic explanation, maybe the landlord temporarily hosts SVR agents...or drug pushers. Operating only for select amounts of time before moving on to avoid detection. :oops:
     
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  7. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The flats are 42 years old.
    We dispose of our own rubbish.
    The landlord is not local and he goes abroad but he uses a letting agent.
    It's his own privately owned flat, I cannot understand why he would neglect his own asset?
    Why would that be?
    House moves are still permitted under UK lockdown rules, and plenty people need a home, he had no trouble getting tenants in quick when he first bought the place, and that was after the credit crunch.
     
  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Absentee landlords not taking care of their properties or obligations to their tenants is endemic in my country and always has been. Often due to the politics of fighting rent control combined with tax deductions.

    Avarice is usually at the heart of such issues. Where an asset either makes money for you, or you seek to limit what it's costing you in bad times. Regardless of society's need to house the homeless.

    What the first thing that comes to mind regarding most any absentee landlord? - Out of sight, out of mind.
     
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  9. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Moving is allowed,but all the processes are slow, certainly for sales and purchases. Remote working slows everything, it seems. 4 or 5 months to do local searches on a house purchase etc! Plus some people are newly out of work, and giving up rental accommodation they can't afford. Not sure where you are, but in my area it's been Tier 3 then tier 4, then lockdown, since October last year.

    It may need some work like freshening up, decorating carpets cleaned etc too, that will be hard to arrange in a national lockdown.

    I expect it will improve as the vaccines are rolled out now, so just give it a few months, or maybe even sooner.
     
  10. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Possibly he is thinking of selling the entire building, or he might be moving a friend or relative in there or some type of major renovation is needed, and he needs to supervise it. Many possibilities.
     
  11. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Possibly he is thinking of selling the entire building, or he might be moving a friend or relative in there or some type of major renovation is needed, and he needs to supervise it. Many possibilities.
     
  12. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for your post.
    It's probably just me, but why would a avaricious landlord buy an asset and the risk losing his or her precious money by not maintaining it?
    It seems to go against the concept of greed.
    I would have thought a greedy landlord would maintain the home because they could make a bigger profit when they sell it.
    I would also have though that greedy people hate losing money, and hate having to pay more for jobs that have been left too long.
     
  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    You're forgetting another consideration of greed. Indifference, especially if their wealth is excessive. Where as an absentee landlord they may not be all that concerned about the property in general other than for tax purposes. Leaving it to a third party which may or may not be up to the task of taking care of the condition of the property and being vigilant about having it occupied.

    IMO the possibility of excessive wealth is worse than mere greed. That it can also breed neglect and indifference. Especially if they have multiple holdings where some are upscale and others are not. The former assets getting all the attention while the latter ones may get precious little effort. And factoring in the pandemic may also bring the process to a screeching halt for some.

    Dynamics I became aware of personally many years ago when I was a commercial insurance underwriter. Where a large portion of my accounts involved property management on a broad spectrum. That you couldn't count on wealth being consistently proportional to how such exposures were administrated. Keeping in mind that part of the process isn't limited to just underwriting the buildings, but also the financial solvency of the owner as well.

    Of course I can only speculate when it comes to a flat in the UK. The company I once worked for in the US was based in the UK. One thing for sure, you don't want to overemphasize logic when it comes to human greed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  14. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't understand the tax thing in the context of private landlords, could you explain as that must have some effect, is it, more rent=more tax?
    If so, the better maintained the property, the more likely they will get and keep tenants, and while they may pay more tax, they will be able to charge more rent and have less chance of empty properties.

    The landlord downstairs has some estate agent that lets it, so as they are paid to let it, surely they must also keep an eye on it, and I would imagine they would otherwise he would soon be onto them.

    It is an interesting concept that excessive wealth ] can also breed neglect and indifference, sorry for all the questions, but why would this be? as greedy people like to charge more rent and keep tenants to keep the money flowing in, they wouldn't want to waste money and would want to prevent unnecessary repair bills.
    In the UK the rules allow house buying and renting it is not affected by the covid rules.

    I don't really understand the insurance bit. Like me, an owner occupier, the landlord below is a leaseholder, therefore our buildings insurance get's paid by our service charges. If we leave a property vacant for more than 30 days it can void the policy, I know the owner would not want to void his own insurance policy by keeping it vacant.
    I would imagine he would not want maintenance problems to arise in his absence as that would cost him more.

    Maybe its my AS I just cannot understand why a greedy man or woman, regardless of the size of the property would let one go to wrack and ruin, as it loses them money.
    Our buildings insurance company won't let us vacate the property for more than 30 days.
     
  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Forget any specifics. In terms of taxes I can only speculate given the differences between how two nations handle such things.

    The main point is to understand that wealth and greed do not automatically equate into logic and financial efficiency. Human beings are capable of some very strange things. Especially if they have excessive wealth to waste. A very difficult concept to imagine for most of us who are less than wealthy.

    There's nothing wrong with searching for a logical answer in such an equation. However bear in mind that there's always the possibility that one might not exist. :oops:
     
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  16. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There's a saying...penny wise and pound foolish. In other words, they save every penny they can (for example, by not doing regular maintenance) and they wind up costing themselves more in the end as a result. It boils down to shortsightedness - they think about the money they can save today, without considering what it's going to cost them tomorrow.

    And that mindset is rampant. Sometimes it happens out of necessity (because maybe they can't afford to do the maintenance etc. even if they know it's going to cost them later). Often times, though, it's just carelessness and greed. The term "slum lord" comes to mind.
     
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  17. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I tried so hard to avoid that term...but you are spot-on.
     
  18. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The other variable here is the estate agency. Most Estate agents are extremely unwilling at present to conduct viewings, despite that they are allowed to. They also are locked up in their shops and often appointments only. The landlord might be begging them to let it, with them making excuses based on worries for their own safety. It's a strange time.
     
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  19. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, I guess I was trying to find the logic in a rich (don't know if he is greedy, don't know him) man leaving a flat to deteriorate.
     
  20. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for your answer.
    In the UK Estate Agents are allowed under the current rules to operate as normal.
    Being Estate Agents, you would think that they would want the flat let out asap, wouldn't they.
    Here is a link regarding UK estate agents and the current covid rules.
    Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
    Why are they unwilling to conduct viewings, when it would be in their financial intertests and within the current covid rules when they would benefit?
    Given the rules, why are they unwilling to conduct viewings?
    They can easily refuse to let people without masks to view.
    I don't understand.
    They wouldn't want their customers properties to deteriorate either, as it would mean less tenants and money for them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021