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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mummy buys student flats

I think it's known as 'doing a Cherie' following on from the Blairs dubious flat buying escapades in Bristol a few years back.

Apparently she's done it again, Cherie's latest purchase, of a £975,000 maisonette in west London is for the Blairs 22-year-old daughter Kathryn whose starting at King's College London.

The Telegraph looks at the trend for costly apartments bought by mummy and daddy to help Timmy and Tabatha and their mates get some decent accommodation without having to deal with those slimy landlords.

Please don't buy his book the thought of the grinning idiot getting his blood stained mitts on any more of our money............ I'm not talking about Stalin, he wasn't known for been a big smiler, but quite a joker apparently.

Read the Telegraphs tips for buying for your student offspring


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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dealers pay less tax

Article in ThisisMoney debating whether a property investor should buy through a company opr as an individual.

Read article here


Landlord Tax Advice Service


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London investment opportunity?

I was recently sent details of this property by auctioneers Allsop.

Anybody who remembers the Hugh Grant film Notting Hill might think they are familiar with this part of London & remember it as a "thoroughly nice place".

However, don't let any romanticism cloud your landlording judgment. Remember to do a full examination of the investment figures before you take anything further.

Location
202 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1EP

Description
A Freehold HMO Residential Investment Opportunity comprising:

15 Self-Contained Studio Flats
Total Current Rent Reserved £215,280 (including bills)
Refurbished to a high specification in 2006
Subject to 15 Assured Shorthold Tenancies
Total Estimated Rental Value £235,000 (including bills)
Shared Laundry Facilities Sky TV, Broadband and Video Entry Systems provided within each flat
Offers invited in excess of £2,500,000, subject to contract


All Enquiries


Adam Kerven
Email: adam.kerven@allsop.co.uk
Tel: 020 7344 2628

James Stewart Lockhart
Email: james.stewart-lockhart@allsop.co.uk
Tel: 0207 344 2682

Jourdan Prowting
Email: jourdan.prowting@allsop.co.uk
Tel: 0207 344 2675



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Godiva reduces rates

Both Godiva and it's parent company the Coventry BS have chopped their variable rate term buy-to-let mortgage.

The rate has been reduced from 4.65% to an impressively low 3.99%. The fee for this buy-to-let mortgage is £1749 but the mortgage comes with an incentive package of a free valuation up to a maximum of £680. Godiva also offers free legal fees for landlords who use this product to remortgage.

The downside with this buy-to-let mortgage is only available up to 50% LTV which means landlords need a sizeable deposit.

Emoneyfacts rates gives the mortgage a 4 star rating.

Get me a Mortgage Quote

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten top BTL tips

The Telegraph has just published ten top tips for buy to let landlords, if you're looking for tips.

BTL Mortgages - most popular

Looking for a buy-to-let mortgage? Visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and save time and money!

Our free online buy-to-let mortgage service aims to provide you with the most competitive buy-to-let mortgages in the market, whilst helping you choose a product to suit your individual requirements. You can use the free buy-to-let mortgage finder to get an instant personalised quote and apply for your mortgage online. There are no broker fees charged for this service so you could save yourself considerable time and money when arranging your next buy-to-let mortgage.

Below is a selection of the most popular buy-to-let mortgages currently available. For full information on these products, and all other buy-to-let mortgage schemes available to you, please visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and click on Mortgages to use the free online buy-to-let mortgage finder. If you would like to discuss your requirements with a member of the support team please telephone 029 2069 5446.

Most popular buy-to-let mortgages
Interest RateOverall Cost for ComparisonMax LTVProduct DetailCompletion FeeEarly Repayment Charges
2.99% Fixed5.3% APR60%Fixed rate of 2.99% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 125% at a notional rate of 4.99%. An application fee will apply.3.5% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
3.88% Tracker4.1% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.38% for the lifetime of the loan. This product is available up to 75% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 100% at a notional rate of 8.5%. An application fee will apply. Available on a repayment basis only and for loans up to £150,000. The completion fee is payable at offer stage.£16951% of original balance being repaid for 1 year
4.35% Tracker5.1% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.85% for 1 year then reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 4.19% to give a current rate of 4.69% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.3%3% of amount being repaid for 1 year
4.49% Tracker5.2% APR60%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.99% until 30/11/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% a 4.99%. An application fee will apply.£9994% of original balance being repaid until 30/11/2012
4.89% Fixed5.1% APR60%Fixed rate of 4.89% until 30/09/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.74% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation up to £680 for purchases and remortgages and free legals for remortgages only. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. There is a £250 booking fee and an application fee will apply.£14994% of amount being repaid until 30/09/2012
4.94% Tracker4.6% APR70%Limited company product. Variable tracker rate of BBR + 4.44% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 3.49% to give a current rate of 3.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 70% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 5.44%. An application fee will apply.3.5% (min £595)3% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
4.99% Fixed5.5% APR80%Fixed rate of 4.99% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 80% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.3% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
5.34% Fixed5.3% APR70%Fixed rate of 5.34% until 31/01/2013 then reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 4.50% to give a current rate of 5.00% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 70% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of BBR + 4.50%. An application fee will apply.£14953% of the amount being repaid until 31/01/2012, then 2% of the amount being repaid until 31/01/2013
5.4% Fixed5.3% APR75%Fixed rate of 5.40% until 01/02/2013 reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 4.24% to give a current rate of 4.74% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 75% LTV and there is a rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%3% of amount being repaid until 01/02/2013
5.45% Fixed5.7% APR75%Fixed rate of 5.45% until 31/10/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 5.39% for the remainder of the term. There is a refund of valuation (up to £500) and free legals for remortgages. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.1.25%2% of amount being repaid until 31/10/2012

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.

Please visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and click on Mortgages to search the full product range and find a buy-to-let mortgage to suit your specific personal circumstances.

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.

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Ten tips to beat the taxman


The Telegraph spells out ten ways you can save on tax including landlords increasing borrowing on their Buy-to-let property.

Anyone with a buy-to-let property can claim tax relief on the BTL mortgage interest.

Read full article here


LANDLORD TAX ADVICE SERVICE

New London rental fund

Landlords insurance company Aviva is in talks to create a £1bn portfolio of new build residential rental properties according to reports in the FT.

Aviva aims to build new units to rent in blocks of 100 or more units in London in the South East to capitalise on the strong lettings market in this part of the country.

Apparently it has already identified a large site owned by Telford Homes in the east of London as the first phase of this plan. Aviva's plans come despite widespread disappointed in the property sector that the new coalition were not going to bring forward plans to encourage large scale institutional investment in the private residential sector.

Get me the cheapest landlord insurance


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Monday, September 27, 2010

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 15: Allowing For Wear And Tear


Tip 15: Allow for Wear and Tear
We have already looked at what counts as wear and tear in Tip 12. This is how to allow for wear and tear in a dispute over damage to the property or its contents.
If part of your property is damaged and you wish to have it replaced, the tenant will not necessarily be found liable for the full replacement cost, but rather for a proportion of the cost of replacement equal to the reasonable life of the item minus the use you have already had from it.
As an example, lets assume that you want to replace a carpet that has become damaged during the tenancy. The carpet is of a good quality and was in a low traffic area, such as a bedroom. In such circumstances you might expect the carpet to have a useful life of around ten years. The carpet was three years old when the tenant moved in and the tenancy lasted a further two years. The deposit protection schemes’ dispute resolution departments will calculate that the tenant has hastened the need to replace the carpet by five years, or fifty percent of its useful life, and consequently will award you half of the reasonable cost of replacement.
It is interesting to note that in this scenario you need the following evidence:
  1. Evidence that the carpet was damaged during the tenancy,
  2. Evidence to show that the carpet required replacement,
  3. Confirmation of the quality of the carpet,
  4. Proof of where the carpet was situated in the property,
  5. Documentation showing the age of the carpet.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an ex-adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes.

Free property management software, Free tenancy agreements
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Stoke landlord licence

More local landlord licence news this time they're consulting in the potteries.

Stoke on Trent City Council are looking to introduce a landlord licence for landlords with rental property in the area.

Read more on the proposal here

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Lots of lodgers


LV insurance have released figures indicating that the number of households with lodgers has risen by 15 per cent during the past three years.

210,000 households now said to have lodgers, which reaches the same levels as in the 1960s.

UK austerity measures might also bring a return of the outside privvy and bed sharing.

Free tenancy agreements
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Rent guarantee insurance?

I came across an article in Lovemoney the other day analizing the value of rent guarantee insurance.

Pretty shocking reading that puts some rent guarantee insurance policies up there with some of the worst rip off financial products of the past decade.

They looked at the figures on the NLA rent guarantee insurance policy and showed that it had a claim ratio of 13.5%, which basically means that it pays out just 13 pence for every pound taken in.

This compares to average car insurance policies that sit at about 80%.

The article also outlines the long list of exclusions which means that unless a landlord is wearing the correct colour socks, has trod on every crack in the pavement and has met at least four of the tenants relatives then an exclusion clause will be found that prevents any pay out.

So, would I recommend a landlord getting rent guarantee insurance?

Well truth be told ( and remember this site pays for itself by trying to sell insurance to landlords ),........... probably not.

Unless a landlord is living on such a financial tightrope that a period of unpaid rent would bring down their whole financial house of cards, take the risk.

Rent guarantee insurance is a costly route akin to the rip off insurance policies that are sold on domestic appliances, but that's just my opinion.

For more info on this read this enlightening article in Lovemoney.

landlords house insurance
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Landlords hounded by developers

A property buyer who did not have the funds to complete the purchase of a property has been sued by the developer for failure to complete the transaction. This case has implications for many buy-to-let landlords that purchased off plan.

Whilst the transaction took place in Scotland it potentially has implications for landlords all over the UK.

The developer AMA (New Town) took the buyer to court because of his failure to complete the purchase. Despite the fact that the buyer had already paid an unreturnable deposit the developer successfully sued the purchaser for the purchase price of £149,000 plus interest.

Commenting on the case Sheriff William Holligan said:

“Faced with an admitted breach of contract on the part of Mr Finlay, AMA are entitled to seek implementation of the contract by the way of payment of the price and that means seeking an order for payment.”



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Sunday, September 26, 2010

I've let my garage

Well it's been a busy old week.

After several viewings of my newly vacant garage I finally managed to let my garage to a young guy Iain who wants to store a old VW camper van in and do a little restoration work on.

I was amazed by the response I received after advertising it for free on Gumtree. If you can't be bothered with the viewings you can always use a specialist letting agent like Parklet.

I've used a free letting agreement that I downloaded from yourparkingspace.

Landlord insurance - professional rates apply

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

New 75% 5yr fixed @ 5.99%

Landlords that are looking at fixing their buy-to-let mortgage rate at less than 6% can now do so thanks to a new mortgage from BM Solutions.

The 5 year fix is priced at 5.99% and comes along with a relatively modest £999 fee with an added incentive of a refund on the valuation (max £490). The other good thing is that it reverts to a relatively affordable 3.49% above bank base rate after the fixed rate period ends.

This mortgage is only available via a mortgage broker.

Free property management software, Free tenancy agreements
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Landlord tax break

The Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) is a tax allowance which allows landlords to claim tax relief of up to £1,500 on their tax return against the cost of buying and installing energy saving items.

It was first introduced in April 2004 to encourage landlords to improve the energy efficiency of let residential properties and to increase the level of comfort for tenants.

With the scheme due to run until the start of April 2015 landlords have plenty of opportunity to claim the allowance over the next four years.

Landlords can claim LESA on expenses incurred for the following expenditure:

• cavity wall and loft insulation, after 6 April 2004
• solid wall insulation, after 7 April 2005
• draught proofing and hot water system insulation, after 6 April 2006
• floor insulation, after 6 April 2007

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

6747 new tenancies created

This is the number of new residential tenancies created over the last 3 months by Property Hawks unique FREE project management software.

Landlords that choose our free assured tenancy agreement are not alone.

Don't forget the Property Manager 2.0 is much more than just a free tenancy agreement.

It allows landlords to manage every aspect of the lettings business from their own digital rentbook, to opening and closing statements & cashflow analysis as well as completing the dreaded tax return.

Find out why more landlords than ever are choosing to use our free property management software.

Cheap landlords insurance

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Auction results show deterioration

The latest residential auction results from Allsops residential auction sale in London (Sep 14th & 16th) raised £38m with a 78% success rate. Allsops reports weakening sales after a success rate of 83% in July.

The main point to note was there was an increasing disparity between the different parts of the country with demand for prime property in London and the south east being strong in contrast to the regions.

"We are increasingly noticing a difference in buyer sentiment to lots in the South-East and those in the regions. We have historically held two day sales, one day offering regional stock, the other concentrating on London and the home counties. The recession has brought with it a flight to quality as debt-starved investors shun risk and stick to the safer locations.

This was evidenced by a strong attendance at our 16th September sale when 232 South-East lots were offered and 207 were sold. £28m was raised and 89% achieved."

In summary, the following points are worthy of note from the sales:

. Less well located investment stock will only attract interest at high double digit yields. This reflects the risk of a difficult sale in the event of vacant possession. (Lot 50 AST Middlesborough 21%, Lot 95 AST Prestwich 16%)

. Better regional locations show lower returns. Buyers need to have confidence in vacant possession values and a sustainable owner-occupier market. (Lot 75 Tenancy Stockport 4.28%, Lot 105 AST Wetherby 5.7%)

. The regions, particularly the North-East and North-West conurbations, are increasingly weaker. Market confidence is being eroded by proposed public sector cuts.

. The traditional investment market in London and the South-East remains strong with no perceptible variation on results from our May and July sales. (Lot 276 AST Lauderdale Mansions, Maida Vale, London W2 7.4%)

. 100% of all regulated tenancy investments sold.

. The ground rent market is still showing great resilience. 79 investments sold from a total of 80 offered.

. Vacant homes in good areas remain particularly saleable.

. All sites with planning permission or potential for residential development were sold. This sector of the market showed early signs of correction around 18 months ago. We therefore attribute this success to vendors adopting a more realistic approach to pricing based upon recent market evidence.

Average Yield Analysis Summary:

Assured Shorthold Tenancies 8.8% 

Assured Tenancies 5.3% 

Regulated Tenancies 5.0% 

Ground Rents over 80 years 6.0% (16.7 YP)

Landlord insurance - professional rates - discounted

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

House price, what do they mean?

House prices – what do they mean to landlords?

As house prices continue to creep up across the country, albeit at a slow rate of growth, analysts are paying close attention to the size of rental incomes across the UK. Historically, when there is a larger than average gap between house prices and rental costs, by ratio, it signals an impending drop in house prices or rental cost. For example, if house prices have risen much higher in comparison to the average rent, house prices may have bloated to an unsustainable high, indicating a potential drop.

For landlords, any potential drop or rise in house prices can impact business and profit. House price drops can reduce demand for rental properties, leading to lesser rental values. Of course, house price falls are not all bad for residential and commercial landlords: an opportunity arises to invest in additional properties, to increase your rental portfolio at a reduced rate. Rises, on the other hand, can increase rental demand due to affordability issues with buyers, thus increasing rental values.

As a landlord of a rental property or portfolio, it is worth keeping abreast with house price trends in order to prepare for the inevitable shift. Being organised and aware of current happenings in the property market will ensure that you can adequately protect your investments, keeping your business as a landlord afloat, even in the toughest of times.
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BTL Mortgages - most popular

Looking for a buy-to-let mortgage? Visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and save time and money!

Our free online buy-to-let mortgage service aims to provide you with the most competitive buy-to-let mortgages in the market, whilst helping you choose a product to suit your individual requirements. You can use the free buy-to-let mortgage finder to get an instant personalised quote and apply for your mortgage online. There are no broker fees charged for this service so you could save yourself considerable time and money when arranging your next buy-to-let mortgage.

Below is a selection of the most popular buy-to-let mortgages currently available. For full information on these products, and all other buy-to-let mortgage schemes available to you, please visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and click on Mortgages to use the free online buy-to-let mortgage finder. If you would like to discuss your requirements with a member of the support team please telephone 029 2069 5446.

Most popular buy-to-let mortgages
Interest RateOverall Cost for ComparisonMax LTVProduct DetailCompletion FeeEarly Repayment Charges
2.99% Fixed5.3% APR60%Fixed rate of 2.99% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 125% at a notional rate of 4.99%. An application fee will apply.3.5% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
3.64% Tracker5.2% APR60%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.14% until 30/09/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 4.99%. An application fee will apply.3.5%4% of original balance being repaid until 30/09/2012
3.88% Tracker4.1% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.38% for the lifetime of the loan. This product is available up to 75% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 100% at a notional rate of 8.5%. An application fee will apply. Available on a repayment basis only and for loans up to £150,000. The completion fee is payable at offer stage.£16951% of original balance being repaid for 1 year
4.35% Tracker5.1% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.85% for 1 year then reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 4.19% to give a current rate of 4.69% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.3%3% of amount being repaid for 1 year
4.89% Fixed5.1% APR60%Fixed rate of 4.89% until 30/09/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.74% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation up to £680 for purchases and remortgages and free legals for remortgages only. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. There is a £250 booking fee and an application fee will apply.£14994% of amount being repaid until 30/09/2012
4.94% Tracker4.6% APR70%Limited company product. Variable tracker rate of BBR + 4.44% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 3.49% to give a current rate of 3.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 70% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 5.44%. An application fee will apply.3.5% (min £595)3% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
4.99% Fixed5.5% APR80%Fixed rate of 4.99% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 80% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.3% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
5.4% Fixed5.3% APR75%Fixed rate of 5.40% until 01/02/2013 reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 4.24% to give a current rate of 4.74% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 75% LTV and there is a rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%3% of amount being repaid until 01/02/2013
5.45% Fixed5.7% APR75%Fixed rate of 5.45% until 31/10/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 5.39% for the remainder of the term. There is a refund of valuation (up to £500) and free legals for remortgages. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.1.25%2% of amount being repaid until 31/10/2012
5.49% Fixed5.1% APR60%Fixed rate of 5.49% until 01/12/2012 then reverting to the lenderĂ¢€™s standard variable rate which is currently 4.79% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.£19954% of the outstanding balance as of 1st January until 01/12/2012

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.

Please visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and click on Mortgages to search the full product range and find a buy-to-let mortgage to suit your specific personal circumstances.

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.

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Newbie student landlord success

All those new landlords out there who may be getting depressed at the negative news feeds on buy-to-let; may be cheered by one of my friends partners recent experiences.

Jan had no previous experience at letting property decided to buy a place in Sheffield to let to post grad students. Having brought the 3 bed semi earlier this year she and my mate Gareth have spent the last 6 months doing the property up. Jan brought the property for £115,000 cash ....so no finance charges. She has spent about £25k doing the place up taking the total capital expenditure to around £140,000.

Having completed the refurb at the beginning of September Jan was fretting that she had missed the boat for this academic year. However, last week I met up Gareth for a pint and it appears Jan's managed to let all 4 rooms to foreign students for a mixture of 6 & 12 month tenancies. The rents for the room average about £260 a month or around £65 a week. This means a total rent of over a grand a month or £12k a year.

On my calculations that works out at just over an 8.5% gross yield. Result!

It just shows that good investment opportunities are still out there.....but just don't expect them to be handed to you on a plate.

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e

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Voids hit 8 year low

The average void period being experienced by landlords in the UK has fallen to the lowest level in 8 years according to research carried out by the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA).

There members have found that the void period had fallen to 3.2 weeks from 3.6 weeks in the first quarter of 2010.

Void periods have shown a dramatic turn around falling from a high in the first quarter of 2009 to the lowest since records have began 10 years ago.

The south east is experiencing the lowest viod periods averaging 2.9 weeks whilst Scotland, Wales and Northern have the highest with 3.7 weeks.

For more regional information see here.




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Monday, September 20, 2010

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 14: Landlords Repair Obligations


Tip 14: Know your repair obligations
Landlords often lose claims on disputed deposits because they don’t understand their own legal obligations regarding the property. The law surrounding letting can seem very complicated at times, and people are often tempted just to ignore it and carry on regardless, but beneath the legal mumbo-jumbo, the concepts underpinning the law is usually based on sound principles.
As a landlord, even if you only have one or two buy-to-let properties, you would be well advised to know your obligations under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, with regard to the general repair of the property. You are required to:
  1. Keep the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes) in good repair.
  2. Keep the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity in working condition.
  3. Keep the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water in proper working order.
The upshot of this is, that if you want to claim on the deposit for damage to any part of the property that you are obliged to keep in repair, you will have to work extra hard to show the adjudicator that your claim is justified.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an ex-adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes.



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Average rent hits £686

Rents are at their highest level for 2 years according to a survey by LSL Property Services.

They have plotted a rise in average rents for each of the last seven months.

The survey reports that the average rent in the UK is now up to £686.

"Rents are jumping up as more and more potential home buyers opt to rent," said David Newnes, LSL's estate agency managing director.

Read more in the BBC

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Tenancy agreement - address

I was recently contacted by a landlord who lets property in England and has now moved to Scotland.

She was now looking at renewing the tenancy with her existing tenant but when it came to filling out the tenancy agreement on the Property Manager she noted it stated that the address she needed to give had to be in England or Wales. Why was this?

This requirement stems from the requirements of section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987. This states that rent is not lawfully due unless the tenant has been given in writing an address in England and Wales at which notices can be served.

If a landlord lives abroad you could use a c/o address, PO box or company address. It is also possible to use a letting agents address and in so doing remain anonymous. However, under the provisions of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 tenants of dwellings in England & Wales, who make a written request to an agent do have the right to the landlord's name and address. This information must be duly supplied within 21 days.

So guys even if you buy yourself a castle in Scotland like JK Rowling that doesn't guarantee you anonymity from your tenants prying eyes!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

NLA in takeover move

NLA is set to become a lettings monolith as it plans it's latest takeover in the landlord and letting organisation world.

It now has it's sights on the UKALA the Association of Letting Agents with around 500 letting agent members.

The proposed takeover of the management features comes after the NLA took over the NRLA in a hotly disputed and aggressive takeover move last year.

What next ....world domination!



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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dogs galore tenant

Any landlord who has had the dilemma of whether to let to a tenant with pets needs to feel sorry for the poor landlord who ended up with this tenant.

The tenant in question Kindred Hummer wasn't content with one & a cat. Oh no! She was allegedly found with 50 cats, 10 dogs and a squirrel. A squirrel!?

Property Hawk has said in the past that letting to tenants with pets can be a smart move.
We're not sure about allowing a tenant to set up a small zoo. The landlord unsurprisingly evicted Hummer but was still left massively out of pocket with legal fees and clean up costs.
Commenting on the case he advises:

“I would just warn other landlords to always visit the tenant's previous address before you take them on.”



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Friday, September 17, 2010

Landlords warned on LR fraud

Advice in the latest Young Groups newsletter highlights how landlords can avoid the dangers of Land Registry fraud where unscrupulous individuals attempt to sell or take ownership of a landlords buy-to-let property.

Steps that a landlord can take to avoid it are:

• Register your title. If you have not registered your property with
the Land Registry, do so straight away. Registering your property will
give you greater security of title. Also, if you do register and then
become the victim of fraud, you may be eligible for compensation
from the Land Registry.

• Keep your contact details up to date. When renting out a
property you should register a correspondence address which is
different to the property address - an ‘address for service’. The best
address for service would be your home address but make sure that
you update the Land Registry if you move house.

• Consider multiple ‘addresses for service’. To further
prevent fraud, the Land Registry allows you to have up to three
addresses for service. So rather than just putting your own
home address down,consider also providing them with your
email address, you may fi nd it useful to add your solicitor as the
third. Some of our clients already list Young Group’s details too.

• Put a restriction on your title. If you think you are particularly
at risk of fraud, you might want to consider applying for the entry
of a restriction on your title. This means that the Land Registry will
then not register anything on the property (for example a sale or a
new mortgage) unless a solicitor or other professional has certifi ed
they have checked your identity.

By taking these very simple steps it can make it much harder for
fraudsters to tamper with the title of your buy-to-let property.

See this article about more info about how land registry fraud can affect landlords.

Landlord insurance - professional rates available

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BTL mortgages - most popular

Looking for a buy-to-let mortgage? Visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and save time and money!

Our free online buy-to-let mortgage service aims to provide you with the most competitive buy-to-let mortgages in the market, whilst helping you choose a product to suit your individual requirements. You can use the free buy-to-let mortgage finder to get an instant personalised quote and apply for your mortgage online. There are no broker fees charged for this service so you could save yourself considerable time and money when arranging your next buy-to-let mortgage.

Below is a selection of the most popular buy-to-let mortgages currently available. For full information on these products, and all other buy-to-let mortgage schemes available to you, please visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and click on Mortgages to use the free online buy-to-let mortgage finder. If you would like to discuss your requirements with a member of the support team please telephone 029 2069 5446.

Most popular buy-to-let mortgages
Interest RateOverall Cost for ComparisonMax LTVProduct DetailCompletion FeeEarly Repayment Charges
2.99% Fixed5.3% APR60%Fixed rate of 2.99% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 125% at a notional rate of 4.99%. An application fee will apply.3.5% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
3.64% Tracker5.2% APR60%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.14% until 30/09/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 4.99%. An application fee will apply.3.5%4% of original balance being repaid until 30/09/2012
3.88% Tracker4.1% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.38% for the lifetime of the loan. This product is available up to 75% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 100% at a notional rate of 8.5%. An application fee will apply. Available on a repayment basis only and for loans up to £150,000. The completion fee is payable at offer stage.£16951% of original balance being repaid for 1 year
4.35% Tracker5.1% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.85% for 1 year then reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 4.19% to give a current rate of 4.69% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.3%3% of amount being repaid for 1 year
4.89% Fixed5.1% APR60%Fixed rate of 4.89% until 30/09/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.74% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation up to £680 for purchases and remortgages and free legals for remortgages only. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. There is a £250 booking fee and an application fee will apply.£14994% of amount being repaid until 30/09/2012
4.94% Tracker4.6% APR70%Limited company product. Variable tracker rate of BBR + 4.44% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 3.49% to give a current rate of 3.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 70% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 5.44%. An application fee will apply.3.5% (min £595)3% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
4.99% Fixed5.5% APR80%Fixed rate of 4.99% until 30/11/2011 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 80% LTV and there is a rental calculation of 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.3% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/11/2011
5.4% Fixed5.3% APR75%Fixed rate of 5.40% until 01/02/2013 reverting to a variable rate of BBR + 4.24% to give a current rate of 4.74% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 75% LTV and there is a rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%3% of amount being repaid until 01/02/2013
5.45% Fixed5.7% APR75%Fixed rate of 5.45% until 31/10/2012 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 5.39% for the remainder of the term. There is a refund of valuation (up to £500) and free legals for remortgages. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.1.25%2% of amount being repaid until 31/10/2012
5.49% Fixed5.1% APR60%Fixed rate of 5.49% until 01/11/2012 then reverting to the lenderĂ¢€™s standard variable rate which is currently 4.79% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.£19954% of the outstanding balance as of 1st January until 01/11/2012

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.

Please visit www.propertyhawk.co.uk and click on Mortgages to search the full product range and find a buy-to-let mortgage to suit your specific personal circumstances.

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.



Free property management software, Free tenancy agreements
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Falling prices & higher yields

The latest RICS Letting Survey for July has some encouraging figures for landlords and the lettings market. The full study can be viewed here. It's not the easiest study to decipher because it is based on the attitudes of the surveyors that take part. Imagine a hundred surveyors in a room who are then asked do you think yields and rents are going up down or staying the same. The survey then takes the balance. So if out of the 100; fifty surveyors say rents are going up to thirty who say rents are falling; the balance would be +30%. Not the most straightforward but it has been very useful as a forward indicator on the residential letting and investment market.

The latest figures show that surveyors are pretty positive on rental yields with a balance of almost 20% surveyors seeing residential investment yields rise.

This is not unsurprising. With rents continuing to increase and rental demand strong, particularly in London the income side of the investment equation is on the up. House prices on the other hand continue to suffer from weakness. The latest views from respected City figure Neil Woodford Invesco Perpetual's head of investment indicate that he expects house prices to fall over the next couple of years by between 5 & 10%. If that's the case investment yields will continue to strengthen.

For landlords looking for good income producing investments, the current climate looks pretty positive.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bricks & mortar board returns

Globrix the property listing site has just released figures revealing which University cities deliver the highest returns for buy-to-let investors.

There are two elements to their figures. The first is the gross rental yields which vary between 4 & 6%. The other element of a landlords returns is the change in the house price or capital value of the investment.

The combination of the two gives the total returns experienced by a buy-to-let investor.

Southern and scottish university towns have generally done best.

Globrix tips Sheffield and Glasgow as offering some reasonable potential for future investment locations.

To see the full article.

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