In a previous diary entry, Liam Gallagher spoke of two unexpected projects that he'd come across. Five months later and one is well underway, while the other has been replaced by an alternative property bought at auction over the phone.

"Unfortunately, one of the unexpected projects - the nursery - is now completely dead. We attended our scheduled meeting with the Council's conservation officer and discovered that the property was in a much worse state than we could have anticipated.

You may remember that one of the challenges was that it was a Grade 2 listed building. Well, we hadn't been able to find any of those features and learned at the meeting that these had in fact been removed without permission by the previous owner.

The conservation officer took a long time to make us understand that even though it wasn't our doing, we would become responsible for reinstating the removed features should we purchase the property. Furthermore, even though our plans were to restore the property to 90% of its' pre-nursery layout (as a hotel), the Council would not support such a layout. In summary, we would 'lose' 25% of the expected number of rooms and the refurbishment cost would have been a blank cheque.

As the entire project and calculations had fundamentally changed and the vendor was not prepared to lower the price, we did not pursue further and moved on with getting the nursing home project underway. Funnily enough, we got a call some weeks later from the estate agent to tell us that the vendor was now prepared to lower his price. After further consideration, we just weren't prepared to take the risk, especially after just completing what had become a big refurbishment project on the 10-bedroom HMO.

The nursing home, project number three, is well underway, although not without avoidable delay.

Our planning application (for a 12-bedroom HMO and two x 2 bed apartments) has become problematic due to the pre-existing car parking layout and not as a result of our planning application proposal. Some ten years or so earlier, a neighbouring block of flats had been built and two of their parking spaces were right on our property's boundary.

As such, the neighbouring block of flats' entire car park would be gridlocked when our existing 'end' parking space and either of their two problematic spaces were in use. With the agreement of the owners of the block of flats to bring into use an existing wasteland, we do have a plan B that we have (eventually!) received a verbal approval from the Council on … and are now waiting for the official approval.

However, as the vast majority of the refurbishment workload (not cost) was repair and internal decoration, the internal refurbishment is in full swing - thankfully, it is quite straightforward if just a lot of area!

In addition to the nursing home, we've now bought a property at auction, but via telephone bidding! This is project number four.

Having bought the nursing home under auction conditions (albeit not at the auction and not by bidding), we were on various auction house mailing lists and just happened to spot this one. Located in Liverpool and six miles from the nursing home, it's a three-storey, semi-detached property. What peaked our interest even more was the fact that it was going to auction with a submitted planning application for a 9-bedroom HMO.

We attended an open house and it was apparent that the property had not been lived in for a considerable period of time and that a lot of work (scale and cost) would be required. With the help of the trustee analyser, we did our sums and came up with our maximum purchase price.

However, 48 hours prior to the auction the planning application was refused and no further specific information would be known until after the auction had taken place. With the fantastic help and support ofAlison and Becky on the planning team at PPP, we carried out some contingency planning and established that there were a number of possible options and exit strategies in case a HMO approval was not forthcoming. All things considered, we decided that it was still worth it. However, given that the risk level had somewhat increased, our maximum purchase price was revisited and understandably lowered.

For a variety of reasons we couldn't attend the auction in person and so ended up bidding by phone. It was an experience and probably something I wouldn't repeat again in a hurry. Ultimately, we got it and went right up to our revised maximum purchase price.

Whilst our planning application will also be for a 9-bedroom HMO, our submission will differ significantly in a number of fundamental areas from the refused application - i.e. amenity levels and property management. Having fully reviewed the previous planning application and subsequent refusal details, we are clear on the gaps in the previous application and how/with whom these issues are best resolved.

One such example is to connect with the local councillor who objected to the previous application. Our intention is to fully explain to her what we do and the quality of PPP HMOs with the goal of having her support from the outset. However, our contingency planning and analyser calculations have proven that the property does work as an initial 6-bedroom HMO, for which we need neither planning nor licensing (using ground and first floors only) and then reapply for planning permission and necessary licensing at a later date.

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