Company Incorporation - 25 October 1999 .
The company Bowday Limited was incorporated on this day. The owners at the time had received a smallish legacy at the same time as received their personal pension statements. Having looked at the charges being levied on their contributions, it was evident that the personal pension provider was the only one to be benefiting, and come retirement time, the fund would have suffered stunted growth due to the deductions.

It was decided to buy a property and rent it out. Hence, our first flat was bought for 29,000 cash on 16 June 2000. It was a one-bedroom flat in Old Bedford Road and is still owned by the company.

First Property Purchase - 16 June 2000.
It was decided to buy a property and rent it out. Hence, our first flat was bought for 29,000 cash. It was a one-bedroom flat in Old Bedford Road and is still owned by the company.

Second Property Purchase - 19 May 2003.
The next purchase was less profitable, in that rent receivable was less than average, plus voids (empty periods) between lets were longer. This was because although it was situated within the shopping area of Sundon Park, it was above above an Indian Restaurant, and in the evenings some of the curry smells would permeate into the flat. Its the sort of thing that is either loved or hated. It was bought at a discount though, at 33,500 which was pretty cheap for a two-bedroom flat. Having considered the above, it was decided not to keep this property as a long-term investment, and it was sold in January 2005 for 74,500.

Further Property Purchases - 2005 to 2006
Three properties were purchased in this period. Two of these were considered long term purchases: Berkeley Path, High Town, and Radnor Road Lewsey.

The third was in Chaworth Green, Hockwell Ring, which was bought as a cash purchase for 105,000 using the proceeds of the Sundon Park flat, topped up with monies from the Directors. The owners of Chaworth Green were suffering at the hands of Blemain Finance who are extremely aggressive when their customers face difficulties. We managed to save the owners from bankruptcy, but as the property needed refurbishment we spent a further 10,000 on this. It was eventually sold for 126,500 which after purchase and sales costs didn’t leave much meat - at least it saved one couple from the wolves though.

2007
We came across a couple in their 50’s who both had jobs and could well afford the mortgage on their bungalow. They then took out a second mortgage at the turn of the century for a full re-wire, new central heating and kitchen refurbishment. They had savings of 4,000.

Sadly, within 3 months the husband suffered a stroke and his wife a major heart attack - meaning they went from two incomes to no income. Neither of them had sick pay, and after three months their savings were used up and the company that had the second mortgage was pushing for repossession as soon as one payment was missed. The market value was around 145,000 and we bought if for 120.000. The couple were thus enabled to remain in their home, and housing benefits (after a bit of a battle) paid their rent of 700 a month. Sadly the wife died just over a year later. The contract we had with them was a a three year option that they could buy the property back for 10% of what we bought if for. As it happens, after his wife died, their daughter asked if she could buy the property in her name. Even though this was not within the terms of the option, we agreed to this as a morally just thing to do. Thus in 2008 we sold it to the Daughter for 132,000.

This case was a classic Sell and Rent Back which the Financial Services Authority practically outlawed a couple of years later due to a minority of unscrupulous buyers who bought properties below value then evicted the former owners or worse. Had the couples misfortune happened a little later, it would have been unlawful for us to help, and  they almost certainly would have lost their home. By selling to us, they had their remaining time together stress free.

It is surprising then, as is still the case now, that there is so little published information designed to assist people in  financial difficulties, and who might be facing repossession. Quite often it is the might of a large legal department of a national mortgage company against a lonely and troubled individual or couple. Even more amazing is that there are many organisations and individuals ready to exploit people in this vulnerable position operating quite legally but totally without ethics.

2008 to 2012
As we are all painfully aware, the credit crunch occurred in 2008. This had a major effect on the company as mortgage lending to a smallish company completely disappeared. Although the company has maintained a reasonable cash balance, this sum is significantly less than that needed to buy any property outright.

Thus, during this period, the cash generated from rental income has been re-invested in our properties by installing double glazing, new kitchens etc.

It is surprising then, as is still the case now, that there is so little published information designed to assist people in  financial difficulties, and who might be facing repossession. Quite often it is the might of a large legal department of a national mortgage company against a lonely and troubled individual or couple. Even more amazing is that there are many organisations and individuals ready to exploit people in this vulnerable position operating quite legally but totally without ethics.

2013
The company formed the opinion that residential lettings in the private sector has gradually become more and more onerous. Government, and to a greater extent, local authorities seem hell bent in bringing in more and more legislation designed to ‘route out rogue landlords’ yet it is the law-abiding ones that then suffer the increased costs of compliance - the so-called rogue landlords continue to act as they always have, ignoring rules and regulations and giving their tenants a hard time.

The Company’s long term objective is now to dispose of all residentially let properties, and instead buy the freehold for properties that are let to leaseholders.

As this is a developing area for the company, It is a case of watch this space.

 

 

Bowday Limited