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Top floor flats in Glasgow -roof issues?

(29 Posts)
TangoInGovan Mon 23-Nov-15 23:48:33

We're looking to buy (cheapish one bedroom flat) in Glasgow and thus far we seem to like top flats for the view, safety, etc.

I think we have a preference for getting something way below budget and then slumming it for a bit for a few years/doing some work.

Although of course we don't want to be stuck in builder/DIY/negotiating with unhelpful fellow tenants hell for years blush.

Both we've seen so far and liked for other practical reasons have had issues with the roofs. Which of course being on the top floor is rather important as we're the ones getting dripped on! (both were factored but the roof issues didn't seem to have been sorted?)

Is it feasible to think that this is something which can be sorted "relatively" easily and if so what kind of budget "zone" is one talking about?

SummoningDark Tue 24-Nov-15 00:03:13

When I bought my first flat my parents were guarantors and their only stipulation was that it wasn't a top floor! I've always stuck by it but through friends and other relations it's never straight forward as people not directly effected drag their heels over costs especially when dealing with landlords of other flats. Costs have usually been about £1k per flat.
And I wouldn't say they are more secure as breaking in through a close loft hatch is not uncommon.
Sorry!

TangoInGovan Tue 24-Nov-15 00:14:25

No that's great, we're FTBs so more info the better smile

giraffesCantDoThat Tue 24-Nov-15 00:22:29

got broken into in a top floor Glasgow tenement.

They got in communal loft in close, crawled through and smashed the ceiling in!

So get the loft alarmed.

It is a common way to break in sadly

coffeeisnectar Tue 24-Nov-15 00:48:52

This is an utter minefield. Be wary of top floor. I had a first floor flat in the east end in a block of six. There were major roof issues but there were only two of us actually living in our properties, the other four had landlords and we couldn't track down one owner for a year and his flat was empty. The roof had to be replaced and a whole load of other work done from the water seeping in, in so many places. The quote was £80,000. We got a grant from the council as the tenements are listed buildings but still had to pay nearly £7k each.

We got rid of our factors (Ross & Liddell) as their charges were astronomical and went to one which was slightly more ethical. They were charging a quarter what the previous ones were charging for two weeks.

Look at the neighbourhood, whether there are other owner occupiers, the state of communal areas, which factor is used and their charges and don't restrict to top floor. I was never robbed or broken into in my flat and felt very safe. Top floor had things stolen from the top landing.

Bear in mind if you are 2nd floor you get the best from below and no risk of a ceiling coming in from a roof leak.

coffeeisnectar Tue 24-Nov-15 00:50:53

Lugging shopping up two flights to the first floor is bad. Six flights?

SauvignonPlonker Tue 24-Nov-15 17:25:37

Personally, I'd avoid a top floor flat. Factors can't force owners to pay up for work & contractors usually over charge/quote on factored properties, so work sometimes doesn't get done for that reason unless you fancy paying for someone else's share.

At least the home report will alert you to any potential issues before you get to the point of viewing or making an offer.

SeasonalVag Tue 24-Nov-15 20:55:23

Never mind roof issues....you want as few neighbours as possible because there's a lower risk of disagreement over communal facilities. Avoid student or lanlorded properties as they never want to pay anything....I really struggled.

AgentProvocateur Tue 24-Nov-15 21:18:43

You're probably looking at 50k for a tenement roof inc scaffolding etc. Personally, I would only ever but a flat in a tenement that self factored and where every flat was lived in by the owners. Don't touch one with a ground floor commercial property or BTL landlord. I lived in various factored flats in glasgow, and each factor firm charged the earth and was incompetent. It's legalised extortion

sleepyhead Tue 24-Nov-15 21:21:59

You want factors to avoid what Seasonal experienced, and not top floor if you're interested in being more secure - we were burgled and they came through the ceiling via the loft hatch in the close. The police said this was common.

1st or 2nd floor (in a 3 floor block) for preference.

sleepyhead Tue 24-Nov-15 21:25:43

If you rule out BTL landlords you're stuffed for a cheapish one-bed! Plus obv there is no way you can be sure that someone won't sell up to BTL or move and let.

Great if you can get it though. We're the only owner occupiers in our block and while the tenants are fine, the landlords make a horrific mess of the back green and other common areas when they swan in to do their properties up between lets and never clean up, plus never agree to improvements.

SeasonalVag Wed 25-Nov-15 07:48:24

Ok, given you probably can't avoid tenanted flats, do yourself a favour and make sure you don't end up being the only adults in a close full of students....I had a terrible time, even the night I had my son, my husband had to go home and suffer through a party going on. look at the demographic. On the plus side, I love Glasgow tenements...they are fab and feel spacious no matter how small thanks to the small ceilings. I hope you 're not put off, but the reality is that we were basically forced to sell up because of student shenanigans and I was very bitter about it.

Ubik1 Wed 25-Nov-15 07:59:26

*check there is a factor
*check there has been work to roof
* remember being on lower floors does not stop leaks/flooding. We are first floor and still flooded from roof
* at least top floor you have no one above you
*check the close - knock a few doors and ask people
*beware closes with BTL landlords - although most closes will have one student flat in some areas (ours does)
*where does everyone put rubbish?
*is the close painted and maintained?
*look st any outside walls - do they need work?
*remember these are old buildings and will require money to be spent on upkeep - do not buy in a close that isn't factored.
*goid luck - I live in a tenement with three children and we love it.

ginmakesitallok Wed 25-Nov-15 08:02:38

I wouldn't live in top floor flat again either. Like giraffe we got broken into when they got in through communal hatch and came in through our living room ceiling. We were students so they didn't take much, but the mess!!!

TangoInGovan Wed 25-Nov-15 20:45:32

Thanks, all v. helpful!

Just calculating again (so we can hopefully build up the "run abroad and live like a hippy" fund at the same time) and are Factoring Fees generally a massive whack on top of the monthly mortgage to take into account?

we pay £400 a month rent at the moment, mortgage will be about £200ish a month so ideally that means we'd be better off (but with our savings used up) but not sure if that's wishful thinking....

SeasonalVag Wed 25-Nov-15 21:03:33

Mine were 8.50, walker Sandford, shower of incompetent and dishonest clowns.

Council tax is the bigger issue

Ubik1 Wed 25-Nov-15 21:07:04

Our factor fees are a fortune - about £1000/year - but a lot of that is building insurance which serves us right for buying a wreck!

TangoInGovan Wed 25-Nov-15 21:13:24

We rent in Glasgow now so do pay council tax etc (no hassle - same tenement flat for 4 years, although we did have the occasional NED tramps in the hall in the 1st year they've abandoned us now grin) so I suppose I'm working out the difference between what we pay now and additional buying costs.

TangoInGovan Wed 25-Nov-15 21:13:51

Vag was that £850 a year?

sleepyhead Wed 25-Nov-15 21:17:52

We pay around £180 a quarter. Hacking & Paterson.

Tbh, I've never come across a factoring firm with a good reputation, but I've heard too many nightmare stories of self-factoring buildings where one or more residents refused to pay to risk not having one.

Our last flat was factored by the local Housing Association which was very cheap, and at least if you had a problem with the neighbours you knew where to find the landlord.

TangoInGovan Wed 25-Nov-15 21:23:30

Aye, a surveyor chum says that no-one loves factors, but getting something done to the building is impossible without a factor.

Our current building seems to have been "fine" as in we're 1st floor and it's a bit grubby but nothing structurally wrong. Then again, looking at the outside it seems a lot sturdier than the ones we've viewed.

Ubik1 Wed 25-Nov-15 21:49:50

Ours is Redpath Bruce who actually have been quite helpful at organising meetings and getting grants for building repairs and chasing sodding landlords fur money.

Have also had hacking and Paterson who didn't really seem to do much

SauvignonPlonker Wed 25-Nov-15 22:32:11

My factoring fees are £18 a month, with Spiers Gumley; I've found them pretty trash back to deal with. The fees have remained steady for about 15 years & are reviewed annually.

But generally, yes, Factors are generally a right shower of c*nts.

If you can find a smaller close eg 6-8 flats, that is sometimes better. I wouldn't buy in a large block eg 12 as you're much less likely to get 12 people agreeing on paying.

SauvignonPlonker Wed 25-Nov-15 22:36:05

* trash back?! WTF was that auto-correct? I think I was trying to say reasonable!

giraffesCantDoThat Wed 25-Nov-15 23:01:18

Flooding is a prob on any level. I am 1st floor and the flat above me flooded down to me, down to lady below and also spouted water up to top floor!

Then the people above me had a leaking shower - it caused damp on my ceiling and then leaked down to lady on ground floor who had to have a massive hole in her ceiling while it was investigated. It took 6 months to prove who was responsibe for the water.

I rent so I avoid a lot of hassle.

What areas are you looking at? (if you want to say)

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