Search Property Hawk Search
Property Hawk the landlord's homepage since 2006
Free Tenancy Agreement FREE tenancy agreement
Free Landlord Software FREE landlord software
Home | Property Manager | Free ASTs | Landlord Forms | Mortgages | Insurance | Inventory | Magazine | Landlords Bible | Directory | Forum | Training | News / Blog |

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Miliband's home would be hit by his mansion tax

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

HMO - cashbuilder

I've was chatting to an old friend this week. His main business is in website development but he has a useful sideline with a Housing In Multiple Occupation (HMO).

I thought I'd share his business model as he seems to be onto something. His property is in a traditional terraced area very near to Nottingham City Centre. Not high value or posh by any means but also not a ghetto. I would guess his 6 bedroom property with 2 bathrooms and lounge & kitchen diner would be valued at about £120,000, so not expensive.

Letting to the immigrant middle classes

His business model seems to be letting to the professional immigrant middle classes that increasingly populate our towns and cities.  Rumanians, Poles, Indians... They are mixture of IT, warehouse workers.  Note to UKIP supporters.  These are not the lazey benefit seeking immigrants.  They are skilled paid professionals who have come here to work.

He charges £65 per week for a double room including all bills.  As you would expect this type of tenant would demand cable TV and wifi internet access.  His footloose tenants like the fact that all bills are included and they just pay a one off weekly rent and that he lets using a licence giving them both a 2 week notice period.  I suspect that if challenged he may find that a Court would find that both parties have created an Assured Shorthold Tenancy but in the 11 years that he has been doing it this issue has not arisen.

HMO licence

The downside of renting out his HMO property is that under the Housing Act 2004 because he is letting his rental property to more than 5 occupants he requires a licence from Nottingham City Council as the relevant local authority.

Gross rental yield for this HMO

Clearly the churn of his tenants is much higher than a single let property but fully let the property generates just over £20,000 a year.  On the purchase price of £120,000 that's over 16% gross rental yield.  Even taking off all the expenses including mortgages costs this property investment is generating a grand profit each month.  There is money in HMO properties if you are prepared to put in more work.


Landlord insurance - Specialist brokers - HMO cover


Friday, March 27, 2015

115,000 homes listed to London Rental Standard

More than 115,000 rented homes across the city are now badged under the Mayor’s London Rental Standard.

307 letting agent firms are signed up for the Boris's scheme, including Spicerhaart (Haart and Felicity J Lord); Andrews; CBRE; Chestertons; Douglas and Gordon; Savills; Knight Frank; Leaders; Foxtons; and Stirling Ackroyd.

Boris Johnson commented on the schemes progress following its launch back in 2014 :

“This enthusiastic take-up from agents across the capital is testament to the great success of our new and growing London Rental Standard scheme. With more and more of London’s workforce and young families now living in rented homes, this sector has a vital part to play in helping to meeting the capital’s housing needs. The Rental Standard is improving the experience of everyone involved with a clear code of good practice, and I encourage every agent, landlord and tenant to seek it out and sign up.”

Next interest rate move will be up

Search the whole BTL mortgage market free 

CO death landlord stands as Green candidate

A landlord given a 16 month suspended sentence following the death of her tenant from carbon monoxide poisoning has been declared the Green Party’s candidate for Erewash in Derbyshire.

Victoria Martindale pleaded guilty in October 2013 to seven charges after failing to properly maintain the boiler and gas appliances at her rental property. 

Although the gas boiler at the rental property had been disconnected, the tenant, Steve Newton, misguidedly decided to reconnect it without Martindale's knowledge. 

Mr Newton died from CO poisoning caused by the faulty boiler.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

HMRC recover £20m from Let Property


The Let Property Campaign has recovered a record amount of unpaid tax as a result of a crackdown on private landlords with undisclosed rental income.

Figures released this week by HM Revenue and Customs show just over £20 million has been recovered as of 31 January 2015. In October 2014, that figure stood at just £7.9 million.

The Let Property Campaign provides buy-to-let and other private landlords an opportunity to make a full and voluntary disclosure on favourable terms.

It is understood over 9,500 landlords have so far taken this opportunity to bring their tax affairs up to date.

Ian Leigh, tax partner at accountancy firm Jeffreys Henry LLP, said: "These figures should come as a warning to anyone with undisclosed rental income. With increased data gathering actives, it is less likely a case of if and more likely when HMRC catches up with you."

HMRC now gather information from a much wider sources beyond Local Authorities, the Land Registry and the Electoral Roll. In late 2014, hundreds of estate agents were sent statutory notices to provide details of rents collected on behalf of all landlords.

"Landlords with undisclosed rental income should take this opportunity to come forward and regularise their tax affairs as soon as possible. Penalties as low as 20 percent and affordable payment plans can often be negotiated for those who make a voluntary declaration as part of the Let Property Campaign."

Landlords who ignore this opportunity face penalties of up to 100% and in certain cases criminal prosecutions.

Earlier this year, two men from London and Essex were arrested as part of an investigation into an alleged Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Income Tax fraud. HMRC believe the pair had failed to declare CGT on a number of properties that they had bought and sold.

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

This weeks popular BTL mortgages

Max LTV Initial Rate Term Completion fee Booking fee Incentives Lender
85% 4.99% Fixed 2 Years 2% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85% 5.19% Fixed 5 Years 2% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85% 5.09% Discount 2 Years 2% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
80% 5.39% Variable 0 Years 2% £0.00 No Saffron Light Refurbishment
80% 3% Fixed 2017-05-31 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
80% 3.25% Fixed 2017-05-31 £2495 £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
80% 3.5% Discount 2 Years 0% £0.00 No Hanley Economic Exclusive
75% 2.75% Discount 2 Years 0% £0.00 No Hanley Economic Exclusive
75% 4.69% Fixed 2 Years 1.5% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
75% 5.39% Variable 0 Years 2.5% £0.00 No Saffron Light Refurbishment
75% 2.25% Fixed 2017-04-30 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
75% 3.5% Fixed 2017-04-30 0% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
75% 4.39% Fixed 2 Years 1.5% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice.  
Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available.   

 
Search the whole BTL mortgage market free
 

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
Tel: 029 2069 5446
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgages.  
The Financial Services Authority does not regulate some forms of mortgage.

DIY landlord crosses the line

We like to encourage landlords to 'do it yourself', but there are some lines that should never be crossed.

One is fiddling around with gas without the proper training and certification - it's stupid, irresponsible, dangerous and illegal.

One over zealous 'DIYer' has been found guilty of crossing that particular 'stupid line'.

Torquay landlord, Raymond Williams admitted carrying out  his own annual gas safety checks at his rental properties.

The landlord was not a registered gas engineer.

He was found guilty by Torquay Magistrates Court of fraudulently filling out landlord’s gas safety certificates with fake Gas Safe Register numbers for two of his rental properties.

Williams, of Armada Crescent, Torquay was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay £418 in costs after pleading guilty to four breaches of gas safety legislation.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector Simon Jones commented: 

“Landlords must ensure checks are carried out by registered Gas Safe engineers who are independent and competent to do the work. Such checks are vital to protect tenants from death or injury caused by potentially dangerous gas appliances.”


Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

ONS house price data for January

The ONS data for January shows a slowing UK property market - whether that's seasonal, pre-election or a taste of things to come is anyones guess.

Key points from ONS January HPI
  • UK house prices increased by 8.4% in the year to January 2015, down from 9.8% in the year to December 2014.
  • Annual growth  in England now 8.5%,  4.9% in Wales, 7.8% in Scotland and 7.3% in Northern Ireland. 
  • UK annual house price growth is down from 9.8% in the year to December 2014.
  • London of 13.0% and to a lesser extent increases in the East (9.9%) and the South East (7.6%).
  • Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 6.5% in the 12 months to January 2015.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices fell by 0.2% between December 2014 and January 2015.
  • In January 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 9.7% higher on average than in January 2014. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 7.8% for the same period.

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Inflation falls to zero

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Monday, March 23, 2015

Unusual properties up for auction

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Croydon go forward with mandatory licensing

Croydon Councillors are intent on pushing forward with the Croydon-wide landlord licensing scheme, despite Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis's proposed new regulations restricting the power of councils to bring in blanket licensing schemes.

Although Brandon Lewis's proposed restrictions are set to come into play on April 1st, Croydon Council's, Labour leader, Tony Newman insisted defiantly -

‘We won’t be intimidated by a Conservative minister in the last weeks before they leave office. We will implement this scheme. We were elected with a clear mandate to do this and we have had many months of consultation.’

The proposed Croydon mandatory licensing scheme would be applicable borough-wide to an estimated 30,000 private rental properties.

Rightmove's House Price Index for March

  • Price of property coming to market up 1.0% (+£2,748).
  • Average new seller asking price just £30 below June 2014's record. 
  • BTL investors cashing in pension pots may drive low end of the market prices up.
  • Number of newly-listed properties up by 3.2% compared to last month.
Rightmove's market analyst, Miles Shipside, comments: 

“The distraction and uncertainty of an election typically force sellers to price more keenly, though this is often short-lived. The MMR introduced in April 2014 laid out a much needed longer-term framework for responsible lending, but within a year its dampening effects have been muted by high demand outstripping supply in many locations, and by buyers putting down larger deposits. The price of property coming to market is now just £30 off the record set nine months ago. The MMR has been a positive restraint on what buyers can afford to pay and has assisted in lessening the price rise pace. However, with new-build levels remaining low and only a small increase in properties coming to market compared to last month, the supply side is still a critical but missing part of the jigsaw if pent-up demand is to be satisfied.”

The rise of the granlord


Shipside goes on to reflect on the increasing activity from pensioners looking to invest in BTL - 

 “Agents report a high level of interest from new landlords, or ‘granlords’, who are typically first time, retirement age, buy-to-let investors. With the highest returns for the lowest investment being at the lower end of the market, the first-time buyer property sector will be the greatest recipient of any increase in demand from investors with substantial pension pots. Unfortunately flats and terraced houses with two bedrooms or fewer are coming to the market in smaller numbers than the middle and upper tier sectors, so are the least prepared for an up-surge in demand.”

Homelet rent data

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Danny 'doom' Dorling - house price armageddon

Danny Dorling is an academic. His book about "the great housing disaster" reflects on the fact that housing policy is the great unspoken disaster of our times. As the Coalition tries to keep the mini boom in house prices going are we fanning the flames of a bigger housing collapse? He argues we are renting our way to poverty.

If people, particularly in London are buying now because they can just afford the mortgage when interest rates are practically zero. What happens when rates rise 1 or even 2 percent...let alone back to the long-term average of 5-6% that was previously considered normal.

Are we just stalling on the inevitable wider housing crash when we finally admit the reality that prices are too high and housing has become unaffordable?

Landlord insurance -professional rates - online quotes

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BoE chief suggests interest rate cut

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

£3 million fund for PRS fire and CO alarms

Fire Minister, Penny Mordaunt  has announced a £3 million government fund to help  support the rollout of  smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to private rented sector properties across England. 

The minister hopes the money will provide 445,000 free smoke alarms and 40,000 free carbon monoxide alarms.

The scheme will be managed and implemented via the 46 fire and rescue authorities in England.

Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt said:
"Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants – and with people at least four times more likely to die in a fire in a home where there is no working smoke alarm, this is an important measure to ensure this is met.

From October, anyone renting out their home will need to ensure there is a smoke alarm on every floor of the home at the start of a tenancy.

Today’s £3 million boost will ensure England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities can distribute smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to landlords in their communities, making it easier for them to do the right thing and abide by this new rule."


The new regulations requiring landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties have been laid in Parliament and are expected to come into force, subject to Parliamentary approval, on 10 October 2015.


Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Are tenants to be given free rein to sub-let?

The Residential Landlords Association claims the Government have tried to hide new plans in the Budget that ban private sector landlords from including any clauses and terms of a tenancy agreement that would prevent a tenant from sub-letting their rental property.

The RLA point to a particular statement  in the Budget document -

“The government intends to legislate on preventing the use of clauses in private fixed-term residential tenancy agreements that expressly rule out sub-letting or otherwise sharing space on a short-term basis, and will consider extending this to statutory periodic tenancies." 

The document goes on to say that the Government will aim to -

“ensure that landlords always have to consider tenants’ requests reasonably."


 RLA Chairman, Alan Ward commented:

“The measures on sub-letting are a nightmare in the making and smack of ‘back of the fag packet’ policy making.

“Key questions remained unanswered such as who will be responsible for a property if the tenant sub-letting leaves the house but the tenant they are sub-letting to stays?

“Similarly, given the Government wants landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants, who would be responsible for checking the status where sub-letting occurs?



Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Rotherham landlord fined £13.5k

Rotherham landlord, Mohammed Tariq has been fined over £13,000 after failing to properly maintain a block of flats he rents out on Victoria Street, Kilnhurst.

Borough Council officers were called to the rental property, a house converted into flats, after one tenant complained the landlord had disconnected her boiler.

On gaining entry to the rental property a list of issues were identified by the council officers - no working fire detectors, a lack of firefighting equipment, poorly maintained gas and electrical systems, and severe damp and black mould.

The council concluded the tenants health was in imminent risk of harm  and re-housed all of them.

Tariq, of Gerard Road, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to a number of offences relating to housing standards and was ordered to pay fines totalling £13,500, costs of £950 and a victim surcharge of £120.


Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Ireland tops property price recovery

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Landlords and the 2015 budget

The highlights for landlords in the 2015 budget are -


Further comment -











Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Liverpool's city wide licensing to 'go ahead'

It appears as if Liverpool City Councils plans for a city wide landlord licensing scheme will squeeze through the door just before it closes.

Despite the Government's intention to regulate Councils powers to introduce landlord licensing schemes, Liverpool’s controversial city-wide scheme will be still allowed to go ahead.

The Liverpool Echo reports council cabinet member, Cllr Ann O’Byrne, has confirmed the government has given the 'go ahead' for the scheme -

“We have had confirmation from the government that Liverpool’s landlord licensing scheme is not affected by the recently announced changes because we have already made a decision to introduce it.”


Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Rents average 33% of earnings

Despite all the 'noise' about booming rents, rent controls and a decade where house prices have surged and then busted following the financial crisis;  private sector rents as a proportion of average earnings have remained remarkably stable.

The proportion of earnings accounted for by private sector rents has fallen in the band between 31% and 37% since the 4th quarter of 2004 and has averaged 33%.

This means that landlords stand to gain from an improving economy where average earnings rise above the rate of inflation.

Landlord insurance - online brokers - professional rates

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pension pots to fund BTL deposits

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

LSL February price data for Eng and Wales


LSL property group house price data for England and Wales puts the average price at £273,528.

Commenting on the market, Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, says : 

“Seven years on, and the average house price across England and Wales is £34,192 higher than at the pinnacle of the housing boom in February 2008. We’re performing well by yesterday’s standards, but we’ve got to keep an eye on the trajectory of our current recovery. Average house prices are currently 6.8% (£17,340) higher than they were last year – but this is the smallest annual increase witnessed for fourteen months, as the market mellows from the extraordinary noise of the past year. So far in 2015, completed home sales are 9% lower than over the same period twelve months ago, but demand hasn’t faded out of view. February still marks a 4% improvement on January activity levels, and in recent weeks, we’ve seen agreed sales climb above 2014 levels, as activity comes into focus. 

“After storming ahead of the rest of the country in the whirlwind of last year, the conditions have calmed in London and the South East. Their combined lead on the rest of the UK hit a summer-peak in July 2014 – when this corner of the country hoisted the wider England and Wales annual change to 5.4% higher than it would have been otherwise – but in February this growth gap has fallen to less than half its former glory, to only 2.2%. Annual house price growth in England and Wales stood at just 4.6% in February excluding these weighty regions.

“The capital has already had the first taste of added pressure placed on prime property in the form of revised Stamp Duty, and the £1.5m to £5m slice of the market has also been hit by cold feet in the run up to the General Election, with the threat of a potential mansion tax. This let-up of high-end activity has brought down the average London house price, but beneath the surface, the lower rungs of the ladder are thriving. For instance, the borough of Newham – where the typical property value currently stands at £273,727 – saw an enviable 2.1% monthly price rise, more than double the overall 1.0% average London price jump. In terms of annual growth, more affordable areas like Barking and Dagenham (+16.5%), Bexley (+15.6%) and Waltham Forest (+16.8%) are punching well above their weight, coming in ahead of the year-on-year improvements seen in high-end areas like Kensington and Chelsea, where prices have fallen 7.4% in the past twelve months.

“In the south of the country overall we’re seeing a very orderly market, with buyers and sellers on more of an even keel. Rates of annual growth have slowed across the board in England and Wales, but it is regions with the lowest average property prices which are dragging their feet. The North saw the smallest annual uplift in January, with home values just 1.9% higher year-on-year, while in Yorkshire and The Humber prices stagnated over the month.

“On a monthly basis, house prices are trundling along overall, climbing 0.5% since January to reach a new record. The housing shortage may be propping up property price growth, but more needs to be done to stave off this winter lull and invigorate the property market recovery. It’s pivotal that the Chancellor recognises the importance of expanding the UK’s property stock in the upcoming Budget. Measures like the Help to Buy scheme and reforming Stamp Duty have airlifted support to the bottom end of the market, but unless more new homes are built, he’s practically playing a zero-sum game: reshuffling a deck doesn’t leave you with more cards.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Birmingham city centre premium rents

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

DWP report half a million more HB claimants

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Welsh Landlord Law Conference

A Welsh Landlord Law conference will be taking place on Friday 15th May 2015 over in Cardiff.

The one day conference will focus of the conference will be the clarification of new regulation for landlords and letting agents relating to the new Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

Mortgage lending to FTBs falls again

...which leaves more tenants renting for longer.


Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

New 80% LTV fixed rate BTLs

Property Hawk Mortgages launches new 80% LTV buy-to-let exclusives with a free valuation

Property Hawk Mortgages has launched two new buy-to-let fixed rate mortgages with Mortgage Trust. There is a 3.00% fixed rate until 31/05/2017 with a 2.50% completion fee and a 3.25% fixed rate until 31/05/2017 with a £2495 completion. Both products are available up to 80% LTV and come with a free valuation for purchases and remortgages.

Andy Young, Chief Executive at Property Hawk Mortgages, said:

“These new buy-to-let exclusives with Mortgage Trust are very competitive in the 80% loan-to-value bracket. Fixed rate products continue to be popular with landlords and the free valuation will be attractive to clients looking to reduce their upfront costs. The 3.25% rate with the flat completion fee will be particularly useful for landlords who require a larger loan size.

“There is more intense competition in the buy-to-let mortgage market at the moment and it is great to see Mortgage Trust offering such keenly priced rates at higher levels of lending.”


John Heron, Managing Director of Mortgages, said:

“The Mortgage Trust buy-to-let proposition has a strong presence in the marketplace and it is important that we continue to adapt to the needs of UK landlords. Our special range of exclusive fixed rate products have been well received and we expect these new 80% LTV products to generate a high level of interest from landlord clients.”




IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice.  Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available.   
  
Search the whole BTL mortgage market free
 

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
Tel: 029 2069 5446
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgages.  
The Financial Services Authority does not regulate some forms of mortgage.

The weeks popular BTL mortgages

 Most popular buy-to-let mortgages
Max LTV Initial Rate Term Completion fee Booking fee Incentives Lender
85% 4.99% Fixed 2 Years 2% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85% 5.19% Fixed 5 Years 2% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85% 5.09% Discount 2 Years 2% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
80% 5.39% Variable 0 Years 2% £0.00 No Saffron Light Refurbishment
80% 3% Fixed 2017-05-31 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
80% 3.25% Fixed 2017-05-31 £2495 £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
80% 3.5% Discount 2 Years 0% £0.00 No Hanley Economic Exclusive
75% 2.75% Discount 2 Years 0% £0.00 No Hanley Economic Exclusive
75% 4.69% Fixed 2 Years 1.5% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
75% 5.39% Variable 0 Years 2.5% £0.00 No Saffron Light Refurbishment
75% 2.25% Fixed 2017-04-30 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
75% 3.5% Fixed 2017-04-30 0% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
75% 4.39% Fixed 2 Years 1.5% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive

IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice.  Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available.   
 
Search the whole BTL mortgage market free
 

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
Tel: 029 2069 5446
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgages.  
The Financial Services Authority does not regulate some forms of mortgage.


Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Monday, March 16, 2015

We is back!

We have temporarily been off air as we have changed our Domain Name Server.

Having sorted this we are back and I can only apologise for any inconvenience caused to our users.

If you still can't see us try refreshing your browser that should do the trick.

Chris Horne
Property Hawk

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates