From Simon FisherMost of my recommendations to clients are rate and product based. When comparing similar deals I consider which company offers the best service and is likely to produce an offer in the most timely fashion to assist both the client and myself. I wonder if I should be taking this a stage further by considering the service my clients will receive after completion.This is because of a recent incident with the Bank of Ireland. My client approached BoI for a further advance on a buy-to-let property. She owns eight investment properties and bought the property in question four and a half years ago for only 47,000. It’s a one bedroom second floor flat in a four-storey Victorian conversion and the building is in a poor state of repair.Despite this the property has been consistently let ever since with a few void periods of no more than one month. My client has been trying to get the freeholder to do maintenance work without success for three years and in response to yet another complaint they offered her the opportunity to buy the freehold for 12,000 with 1,000 to cover the administration of the sale. Despite this being slightly more than she believes the true value to be she was desperate to get the work done and accepted the valuation. She got a local surveyor to produce a condition report, a schedule of works and an estimate of costs of around 8,000. She is working on a budget of 12,000 including a contingency fund. BoI agreed to a further advance of 20,000 and instructed a survey for which it charged 80. Upon receipt of the survey it declined the application due to it being ‘not suitable security for mortgage purposes’ despite the valuer putting a present condition figure of 75,000 on the survey. He had been informed of the works to be carried out and said an undertaking should be obtained, which the client was happy to do.He also said copies of building regulations and planning permission should be obtained, which they were when the property was bought. My client complained, only to be told the property is in a deteriorating condition which would indicate the property has been visited more than once, though we believe this to not be the case. The client was also told the property is not easily lettable in its present condition even though it is already let and the survey itself states it is of average likelihood to be let in 60 days. Complaining myself on behalf of my client I met with a brick wall from the manager who dealt with the complaint. They cited data protection issues and said the complaint was fully investigated and completed. They refused to talk to me in general terms or with signed authority from my client. I suggested that as a gesture of goodwill the survey fee should be refunded as it ignored parts of the survey, but BoI instead suggested my client try raising the finance on another property mortgage with BoI. I find this astounding and consequently have already remortgaged one Bank of Ireland and two Bristol & West mortgages (that were not subject to tie-ins) away. When the remaining ones come up I will be moving them too. Be aware the ongoing customer service from lenders we recommend reflects on us in the future.
The Government’s extended deliberations about the way to improve availability, choice and diversity in UK housing is creating a climate of uncertainty for investors, which risks holding back development.The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has issued its latest comments on the Barker Review on Housing to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.Louis Armstrong, chief […]
Insuresupermarket.com is warning homeowners to make sure they are insured for their property rebuild costs rather than property market value. With property prices holding on at comparatively high levels across the UK, homeowners who arent purchasing buildings cover at the right level, could be paying well over the odds for too much cover. Richard Mason, […]
The FSA’s decision to investigate three firms for non-compliant sales practices is a drop in the ocean as there could be hundreds more rogues to be rooted out, says Richard Griffiths
Mansfield has cut its rates on two mortgages. The rate on its two-year fixed rate deal has been slashed to 4.5%, while its three-year fixed rate mortgage has been reduced to 4.7%.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has released advice on communications for employers, including three tips to help you with your auto-enrolment duties. 1. Allow enough time to select your pension schemeIt’s recommended that you start to prepare for auto-enrolment at least 12 months in advance of your staging date; additionally, give yourself time to choose the […]
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