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#4482994 - 07/16/19 10:48 AM Renovations  
Joined: May 2010
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Alicatt Offline
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Alicatt  Offline
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Limburg
Not to pull Ajay's thread off topic

Originally Posted by oldgrognard
Alicatt, that looks to be a proper job. Did you need to get any permitting or inspections ?

No permissions or inspections needed, but it was inspected by a firm that does house maintenance, the only comment they had was to increase the size of the under floor ventilation, which I did do, some of the vent blocks were blocked up and clearing them out should help.

To set the scene, 2 years ago I rented the house out to a young couple, her grand parents were next door neighbours of mine and were well known to my agent that looks after my property. The young lady was a house keeper in a 5 star exclusive hotel on the shores of Loch Lomond. The rent I had set was slightly below average for that type of property as I knew it did need freshened up a bit - it had been 3 years since it was last decorated but was still in good condition, just not my cup of tea biggrin

Anyway he had lost his job and then she changed jobs and was getting paid less so they got assistance from the Social Security, that did not pay the whole rent, in fact it was paid directly to them and I never seen a penny of it, the arrears built up and letters were sent, then we managed to get the Social Security to pay their rent directly to me as they had not been paying it, still it did not cover the whole of the rent and they were meant to contribute to it as well and they did not. I visited the house on many occasions as did my agent and could not find anyone in, except the dog, a pit bull terrier. I gave them notice to quit but as the Social Security was paying something towards the rent I could not forcibly evict them. Mean while the arrears were mounting up and now in the thousands of pounds range and I still could not evict them nor could I catch them at home, eventually my agent managed to ambush her and inspect the place and she said that she would have been ashamed to be living like that.

Then the young lady threw out the boyfriend and he came round one night and tried to kick down the door, the police were called and he was arrested and charged, he had wrecked both the front and back doors and smashed one of the windows lucky it was only the outside pane of the double glazing. He had a restraining order put on him and she was put on the vurnable persons list and offered a sheltered house from the local government (council).

So I managed to get my house back and when I went inside I could have cried, the house was one of a row of three that had featured on the TV program The Beachgrove Garden and they all had been given a makeover by the TV program, to see how bad the couple had let the house go in the 2 years they were in it was shocking.

The smell in the house was bad, the mess was indescribable and the neighbours were very angry with me, it took a lot of talking and keeping them informed all through the renovations to get them back on my side.

Right now for some pictures, how I found the house after the young lady left:
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

In the bedroom there was clothing stuck to the carpet with poo, the bathroom door was scratched deep into the wood by the dog, all the walls had been drawn on and the kitchen was the worst, the water main had been leaking on to the floor and nobody reported it, and as nobody could get in to inspect it it had rotted out the floor, hence me needing to put new joists in. In this metric day and age in the EU it is difficult to find imperial sized material, so it is a case of shimming/spacers and levelling to get the floor to the right height to match the rest of the house.

We stripped the house back to the bare plaster and floorboards and renewed it all, I tiled the bathroom from floor to ceiling and sealed off the floor, it is not a wet room but close, complete new bathroom suite was also fitted, my wife filled and painted the doors while I re-plastered a couple of the walls in the lounge.

In the kitchen I thought the cabinets looked a bit funny and crooked so I stripped out the kitchen and that was when we found the leak, and for that I needed a plumber - I do have one on speed dial biggrin the cabinets had started to sink into the floor and the cavity underneath, nightmare for me! and a 1 week paper and paint job now was a marathon, working from 7am to 11pm to get it all done before my wife had to be back in Belgium for a doctors appointment.

These are the pics I used to advertise the house for rent after the renovation, it was let out within 1 week of me advertising it and for a lot more than I thought I would get for it, I pushed my luck with the price and I got what I asked for smile
Middle house is mine, pic taken by my Phantom 4 drone on the morning of the day I left to go back to Belgium.
[Linked Image]

Entrance hall
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Lounge
[Linked Image]

Kitchen
[Linked Image]

Attached Files IMG_1704.JPGIMG_1705.JPGIMG_1707.JPGIMG_1710.JPGIMG_1797.JPGIMG_1797.JPG135Colqusm.jpgIMG_6008sm.JPGIMG_6010asm.JPGIMG_6002sm.JPGIMG_6007sm.JPG_DSC7484sm.JPG

Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4482995 - 07/16/19 11:00 AM Re: Renovations [Re: Alicatt]  
Joined: May 2010
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Alicatt Offline
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Alicatt  Offline
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 4,951
Limburg
OG, ah for the joiner work and the plastering etc. I did not need any certificates or such, but for the electrics and gas then yes they were inspected, tested and certificates issued, they have to be done each time a new let is done and every year after that.

Even an qualified electrician cannot self certify his work it has to be inspected by an independent electrician, same with the gas.


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4483017 - 07/16/19 06:16 PM Re: Renovations [Re: Alicatt]  
Joined: Oct 2008
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David Kennard Offline
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Northern Virginia, USA
So sorry to hear about this mess with your property.
It looks like there were children there also and I can only hope they are OK, hopefully with all that has gone on (from your story) someone official is looking into their living conditions and care.


"I'm a hundred miles away son, ready to strike"

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#4483022 - 07/16/19 07:44 PM Re: Renovations [Re: David Kennard]  
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Alicatt Offline
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Alicatt  Offline
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Limburg
Originally Posted by David Kennard
So sorry to hear about this mess with your property.
It looks like there were children there also and I can only hope they are OK, hopefully with all that has gone on (from your story) someone official is looking into their living conditions and care.

Yes, 2 children, and yes they are now being supervised by the Social Work dept.

We got to hear about how the parents managed to keep the kids, as long as there was food in the cupboards then all was ok, the Social Work dept. did not investigate how they lived as long as they were fed.

We had a lady from the Social Work dept. come in to the house while we were renovating it... she brought food for us too biggrin and we had a long talk about the family that were living there, she had nothing to do with this family but she was able to report how bad things were to the proper person (the lady is a long time friend of ours)

There has been a recent change in the laws regarding the Landlord/Tenant relationship and it has made it much more difficult to get a bad tenant out, basically they need to have not paid anything for more than 3 months in a row and then you can take them to court and get an eviction order, but if they pay anything at all then that 3 months is reset and you have to begin again, there are a few other ways to get them out but they are even more difficult. When the boyfriend attacked the girlfriend then it set a chain of events going that led to me getting my house back. All in all between the unpaid rent, the materials and the time to fix everything it has cost me around £16k and that is counting my time at minimum wage, not as a tradesman.

What I did hear was that once she got her new house from the Social Work dept then the boyfriend moved back in with her, it's crazy and I'll never see my money, it would cost me more to sue them and as they say you cannot get blood out of a stone.

The other thing is all the pics above except one were take with a camera I found under the junk in the bedroom, it's the only thing of any value I found, I used a snow shovel to clear the rooms and it was 5 trips to the dump in a big van to empty the house.

There were dozens and dozens of DVDs in the house, all of them horror films Blech! I dumped them all.


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4483064 - 07/17/19 09:10 AM Re: Renovations [Re: Alicatt]  
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BD-123 Offline
Old Scroat
BD-123  Offline
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Naunton Beauchamp Worcestershi...
I bet you felt like sending the 'Sons of the hound to find them and get flesh' when you first viewed the state of the place.


"Don't mention Cobbaton! I did once, but I think I got a way with it!!"
#4483074 - 07/17/19 11:19 AM Re: Renovations [Re: BD-123]  
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Alicatt Offline
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Alicatt  Offline
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Limburg
Originally Posted by BD-123
I bet you felt like sending the 'Sons of the hound to find them and get flesh' when you first viewed the state of the place.

It's still a thought... There was a time when I knew some folk... but that is in the past now.

I used to work with a few guys that had a "special set of skills", and they did cross my mind when I finally got into the house, but you don't use a sledge hammer to open a peanut.


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4483096 - 07/17/19 01:35 PM Re: Renovations [Re: Alicatt]  
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Vitesse Offline
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Devon UK
You have my sympathies Alicatt.

I had a very similar experience two years ago, but in my house the joists were still ok. A leaking shower which wasn't reported because the tenants were breeding cats. And reptiles. Since the floorboards were thoroughly rotten they had taped off the dangerous parts of the upstairs.

The tenants were all suffering from a skin rash. Obviously nothing to do with the damp unsanitary conditions...

My property is sold now, also. It's just too much work fixing up for other idiots to wreck.

#4483143 - 07/17/19 08:40 PM Re: Renovations [Re: Vitesse]  
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Alicatt Offline
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Alicatt  Offline
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Limburg
Originally Posted by Vitesse
You have my sympathies Alicatt.

I had a very similar experience two years ago, but in my house the joists were still ok. A leaking shower which wasn't reported because the tenants were breeding cats. And reptiles. Since the floorboards were thoroughly rotten they had taped off the dangerous parts of the upstairs.

The tenants were all suffering from a skin rash. Obviously nothing to do with the damp unsanitary conditions...

My property is sold now, also. It's just too much work fixing up for other idiots to wreck.

I hear you in that, thankfully I have some decent tenants in all my houses now, one has been in for 10 years now. It has taken a bit of work, and my wife is really into renovating, painting and decorating, she was the one that really got me into the property market along with a bit of prompting from my brother. We have a few houses and flats in Scotland in the one extended area north of Glasgow and within a stones throw of Loch Lomond. My own house back there I let friends and family use it as a base for visiting Scotland, it can easily sleep 8 people and still with plenty of room that could sleep another 4 if needed, we had 16 sleeping in the house for our wedding tho we gave up our bed for the middle son and his wife as she was pregnant at the time, we slept on an air matrass in the dining room … some wedding night that was... the matrass got a puncture biggrin


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4483190 - 07/18/19 05:56 AM Re: Renovations [Re: Alicatt]  
Joined: Apr 2013
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Zamzow Online content
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Zamzow  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Alicatt
we slept on an air matrass in the dining room … some wedding night that was... the matrass got a puncture biggrin


Dude you've got tears of laughter happening here - let me get this straight: You "boinked an air mattress to death", in a dining room, with 16 PEOPLE at the house?!? Who certainly some of whom are FAMILY???

Wow! No woman I've ever been with (and believe me I've been with some serious nymphos) would have gone for THAT action lol!

#4483195 - 07/18/19 08:10 AM Re: Renovations [Re: Zamzow]  
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BD-123 Offline
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Naunton Beauchamp Worcestershi...
Originally Posted by Zamzow
Originally Posted by Alicatt
we slept on an air matrass in the dining room … some wedding night that was... the matrass got a puncture biggrin


Dude you've got tears of laughter happening here - let me get this straight: You "boinked an air mattress to death", in a dining room, with 16 PEOPLE at the house?!? Who certainly some of whom are FAMILY???

Wow! No woman I've ever been with (and believe me I've been with some serious nymphos) would have gone for THAT action lol!



I've seen pics here of Allicat in formal Scots' garb at a wedding, he probably forgot he still had his Sgian-dubh tucked in his hose in the throes of passion.


"Don't mention Cobbaton! I did once, but I think I got a way with it!!"
#4483203 - 07/18/19 08:58 AM Re: Renovations [Re: Alicatt]  
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Alicatt Offline
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Alicatt  Offline
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Sorry to burst your bubble so to speak Zamzow, the honeymoon came later, the matrass just developed a leak, it was hilarious at the time and the kids teased us about it mercilessly. all 16 are family


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron
#4483212 - 07/18/19 11:09 AM Re: Renovations [Re: Alicatt]  
Joined: Sep 2001
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Dart Offline
Measured in Llamathrusts
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Lifer

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Alabaster, AL USA
Originally Posted by Alicatt
OG, ah for the joiner work and the plastering etc. I did not need any certificates or such, but for the electrics and gas then yes they were inspected, tested and certificates issued, they have to be done each time a new let is done and every year after that.

Even an qualified electrician cannot self certify his work it has to be inspected by an independent electrician, same with the gas.



This is pretty much the same in the USA, except for repairs an electrician can self-certify, and the gas company as well.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

More dumb stuff at http://www.darts-page.com

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#4483224 - 07/18/19 01:16 PM Re: Renovations [Re: Dart]  
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Alicatt Offline
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Alicatt  Offline
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Limburg
Originally Posted by Dart
Originally Posted by Alicatt
OG, ah for the joiner work and the plastering etc. I did not need any certificates or such, but for the electrics and gas then yes they were inspected, tested and certificates issued, they have to be done each time a new let is done and every year after that.

Even an qualified electrician cannot self certify his work it has to be inspected by an independent electrician, same with the gas.



This is pretty much the same in the USA, except for repairs an electrician can self-certify, and the gas company as well.


The rules here in Belgium are a lot more lax than in the UK, but still has to be certified at the end of the day.

When I bought this house in Belgium in 2007, I rented it out for a year then moved in in 2008 after doing some work to it, the electrics are a nightmare and still are, the house is wired 3 phase and I have 3phase sockets/outlets in the cinema and kitchen as well as in the garage, with how I wanted to run the video and entertainment system in the house I had to make sure they were all on the same phase but there is still a small voltage on the earth that I cannot seem to eliminate, neutral and earth are tied together at the substation and getting an good earth at the house has been difficult.

There is chicken wire like matting around the house about 1m under the ground and that is an earth mat, I also have a 2m long earth pin hammered into the ground tied to the mat and it still was not enough for when we wanted the solar panels installed, we had to add another 2m long pin and tie it to the first one and the guy said before I put in the second pin to pour water over the pin about an hour before he arrives to check it the following day. The water table is about 12m to 16m below our house and it is sand all the way. They don't care which pin on a socket is wired live or neutral, the lights in the house were switched sometimes on the neutral and sometimes on the live and a lot of the sockets have no earth on them either, but on opening them up to replace the sockets with a 3 pin socket with earth I find that no earth wire has been run to them.

Deep Joy biggrin


Chlanna nan con thigibh a so's gheibh sibh feoil
Sons of the hound come here and get flesh
Clan Cameron

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