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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interest rate zombies

The thought of a rise in interest rates to hold off inflation are perceived to be unlikely when the British property market is drenched with 'Zombie households' (great term).

Ian Spreadbury, a Fidelity fund manager talking at Fidelity Funds Network investment debate said the BoE was unlikely to adjust its current monetary policy to tackle inflation because of the spectre of "zombie households".

"People are at the edge of what they can afford to pay right now and even modest increases in the base rate could see a catastrophic fall in house prices.

"The UK economy is incredibly sensitive to rate rises. I would be very surprised if in a years time rates were any higher than one to 1.5 per cent more."

Read more in FT Advisor

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Property price twitter - boost

Time for a boost?

House prices edge up but are nervous - Telegraph
Sluggish property market predicted by Nationwide -BBC
UK property market falls again according to Hometrack - Bloomberg
Land registry - House prices fall 0.8 percent on February - Guardian
Irish house prices slump as Frances boom - Thisismoney
Britains cheapest properties - DailyMail
Osbornes budget boost for house prices - Citiwire
Hidden boost for house prices in budget - Telegraph


See all the property price tweets

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BTL mortgages - most popular

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/mortgages.aspx 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 or you can submit a quick enquiry directly to the team by filling in our online enquiry form.

Interest RateOverall Cost for ComparisonMax LTVProduct DetailCompletion FeeEarly Repayment Charges
3.49% Fixed5.4% APR75%Fixed rate of 3.49% until 31/05/2012 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 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 4.99%. Any application fee will apply.3.5% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 31/05/2012
3.59% Tracker4.8% APR60%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.09% (capped at 5.59%) until 31/03/2013 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 £700 for purchases and remortgages and free legals for remortgages only. This rate 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.£9994% of amount being repaid until 31/03/2013
3.88% Tracker4.2% 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. The completion fee is payable at offer stage. Refer all cases for fees, maximum LTV and loan amounts.0%1% of original balance being repaid for 1 year
3.99% Discount5.4% APR75%Exclusive discounted rate of 3.99% (1.65% discount off the lender's SVR) for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 5.64% for the remainder of the term. This product has no early repayment charges. It is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 135% at payrate. There is a booking fee of £250 and an application fee will apply.£2499No
4.49% Tracker5.1% APR60%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 3.99% until 30/04/2013 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.99% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation and free legals for remortgages. This product is available up to 60% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at the lender's standard variable rate (currently 4.99%). An application fee will apply.0%4% of original balance being repaid until 30/04/2013
4.8% Fixed5.2% APR75%Fixed rate of 4.80% until 01/06/2013 then reverting to a variable of BBR + 4.24% to give a current rate of 4.74% for the remainder of the term. The product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at the payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%3% of amount being repaid until 01/06/2013
4.8% Tracker5.6% APR75%Variable tracker rate of LIBOR + 4.00% for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate of 4.60% + 0.25% to the end of year 5, then for the remainder of the term, the lender's standard variable rate of 4.60% + 0.75%. The product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 130% at a notional rate of 7%. Please note that the completion fee will increase by 0.25% on applications for HMOs, freehold houses split into flats and limited companies. An application fee will normally apply.2.25%3% of amount being repaid for 2 years
4.95% Discount6.1% APR70%Exclusive discounted rate of 4.95% (1.04% discount off the lender's SVR + 0.3%) for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate (currently 5.69%) + 0.3% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation up to £335 for purchases and remortgages and free legals on remortgages only. This product is available up to 70% LTV and the rental calculation is 130% at payrate. There is a booking fee of £199 and an application fee will apply.0%Tapered charges of 3/2% of the amount being repaid for the first 2 years
5.59% Fixed5.2% APR70%5.59% fixed rate until 01/06/2013 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.79% for the remainder of the term. This product is available to first time buyers and up to 70% LTV. The rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.£19954% of the outstanding balance as of 1st January until 01/06/2013
5.99% Fixed6.2% APR85%Fixed rate of 5.99% for 2 years then reverting to a variable rate of LIBOR + 5.00% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 85% LTV and the rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%5% of amount being repaid for 2 years

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/mortgages.aspx 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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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shelter criticise PRT, again


Shelter continue to scare and doom monger about the private rented sector. As with all campaign groups it thrives off sensationalism and the spot lighting of individual extreme cases, never a balanced view. I guess that's what they do, so fair enough.

However they never seem to recognise that the private rented sector is a competitive flexible market place that allows tenants to pick, choose and move on.

It's flexibility also enables tenants that do fall into the arms of this mythical 'much touted rogue landlord' to move out relatively sharpish and hopefully learn from their experience. As well as a clear legal process that enables the tenant to report any broken regulations or illegal practices by the landlord and a very balanced tenancy deposit scheme that will prevent a landlord trying to profit from any unreleased deposit.

Seems pretty fair to me, not perfect I admit, but neither are any of the professions, police, NHS, teaching, lets be honest are full of imperfections of the most extreme levels.

Maybe we all need to recognise that life's not perfect, and it wont be made any better by making everyone carry badge or a certificate to say there are safe to wipe their own backsides.

Thankfully Grant Shapps seem to be a man who lives in a real world and has become far less interested in listening to Shelters further calls for a ridiculous and wasteful landlord licensing scheme.

Maybe we need some kind of accreditation of common sense and living in the real world, something the likes of Shelter and Ed Balls and the majority of the Labour cabinet would struggle to achieve.

Read more about Shelters "survey"

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Research, research, research


No it's not a new Kirsty and Phil show, (but I'm sure it will be eventually as they continue to stretch their TV brand with the upcoming series Vacation, Vacation, Vacation, nice work if you can get it).

No I'm talking about the primary secret to successful BTL investment.

It's what Propertyhawk has been banging on about for the past five years, the secret is knowing your market in detail, and that means specific areas, even specific streets, so research, research, research!

Don't just take our word for it, ARLA has just stated: "The rental market does suffer ups and downs and behaves very differently from region to region, so it's critical that you select the right property in an area you have researched in detail."

After me, ....research......research......research, and again ..........

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Tenant revenges landlords

A tenant who blamed his landlord for neglecting to secure his property well enough after been burgled has been prosecuted after attempting to steal from his landlord in revenge.

The tenant seemed to hold an eye for an eye philosophy on justice.

Read of the bizarre capers up in Blackpool

It might be worth mentioning the importance of tenant referencing at this point.
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I’ve Lost My Deposit Dispute

Tip 37: I’ve Lost My Deposit Dispute. What Can I Do?
Let’s say you are a landlord. You have received your decision in the post and you did not win. You are out of pocket and annoyed. What options are open to you? Not much, if I’m honest...
Appeal?
We covered this last week. There are no appeals in the deposit protection dispute system.
Complain to the scheme
There is some mileage in this. If the scheme has genuinely made an error, and they can’t find any way to hide behind their carefully drafted terms and conditions, you might get one of three things:
  1. An apology. Always nice to have
  2. You might persuade the scheme to change their procedures in some way so other landlords don’t suffer the same fate. Definitely worthwhile.
  3. Under certain circumstances, some people have received money. The schemes don’t like to talk about it, but it does happen once in a while. This is not a likely outcome, however, and you will need to construct your argument very carefully.
If you choose to complain, do so in writing, email is best, and try to be polite and objective. The schemes all have a complaints procedure.
Take the tenant to court
Technically, there is nothing to stop you starting a money claim against the tenant after exhausting the deposit dispute process, but you had better have a good answer ready for when the judge asks you why you are not abiding by the adjudication decision. There are some very good reasons, which might include the adjudicator not having all the evidence, or the sum involved being larger than the value of the deposit.
Take the scheme to court
This is not at all advisable under normal circumstances. The schemes are large organisations with deep pockets and skilled legal departments, so you had better know what you are doing. That said, I imagine that that the schemes fulfil the definition of public bodies and so it is probably only a matter of time before someone takes them to judicial review...
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an experienced deposit protection adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes. Tom helps landlords to claim money through the deposit protection schemes.



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Worried about Tenant Arrears?

Reports are saying that the average rent increase in England and Wales rose by 0.2% this February, with rents now 3.9% higher than this time last year.

Unfortunately for most tenants their finances aren't increasing as the same rate, and in many cases tenants are struggling to pay rent.

There is very little you can do with regard to the tenant's financial situation, however as a Landlord you need to remember that you are a business not a charity, keep a close eye on rent payments, and if there is a default act sooner rather than later. Liase with your tenant and work out a manageable payment plan for the arrears.

However, if your tenant is ignoring your calls and failing to make payments act as soon as possible to bring the tenancy to an end. Reports are also saying that there is an increase in demand for rental properties, cut your losses and get a tenant who can pay the rent.

Rebecca Brough is a Solicitor at Fidler and Pepper who deals with Residential Landlords on a daily basis. Rebecca offers landlords requiring legal help a Free initial consultation.

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Not the best Angle

Angle Street in Burnley has come out as the cheapest street in Britain according to the recent Mouseprice property price survey. The average property in the street is worth £32,400.

Judging by the screenshot and the number of boarded up properties it has seen better times, but maybe the photo was just taken from a 'bad Angle'.



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Irish buy-to-let opportunities

We all know about the collapse of house prices in Ireland as the Celtic economic miracle was exposed as nothing more than a huge debt fueled property bubble.

Prices are down a staggering 38% since the 2006 peak and continue to fall.

In the capital Dublin prices fell by 15% in 2010.

Those property investors like myself who are looking for bargains after the fall out may be interested in the auction of Irish properties being staged by Allsops in Dublin on the 15th April.  Having looked at some of the let properties projected yields on the reserve price are up to 10%.

If you believe that the Celtic Tiger will recover it's roar some time in the future then adding a Dublin property to your property investment portfolio may be a shrewd long-term play.



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Sunday, March 27, 2011

1st time buyer discrimination

The latest raft of announcements aiming to help first time buyers highlights the paradox in any policy to assist first time buyers getting on the housing ladder.

By boosting the potential demand for housing any scheme will artificially inflate demand.  Thereby increasing values and making them less not more affordable.

My argument against this measure is it's a dressed up subsidy and it is discriminatory.

Why are these measures only available to first time buyers?

Why not second time buyers or even landlords?

You may remember MIRAS.  This was another subsidy given to homeowners during the 70s and 80s.  The very fact that it wasn't available to landlords distorted the housing market and partially led to the decline in the private rental sector.

To me there should be no subsidies to any group in the housing market.  If you can't afford a property the answer is simple - you rent until you can afford to buy.

If I wanted to buy a Porcshe; would the state step in and provide a subsidised loan so that I was able to do so.  Of course they wouldn't!

I've never understood why we should treat housing as a special case.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

1 million housing shortfall

The Government announced a number of changes to stimulate house building and conversion in the budget.

It may be too late to avoid a huge shortfall in housing provision over the next fews years.

This projected shortage is likely to be good news for landlords with continuing strong demand for rental properties.  In addition we all know that restricted supply tends to push up prices.

Ching ching...


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Friday, March 25, 2011

Rents up a bit

February saw a small rise in new tenancies and an increase in average rent to £684, up 0.2 percent on the previous month according to LSL.

This is an increase of 3.9 percent from this time last year.

LSL also recorded another increase in tenant arrears during the month, indicating that many renters are struggling with the rising cost of living.

Read full article in the Guardian

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Budget BTL windfalls

The Chancellor has shown a mass of support in his budget for the BTL sector,

Including proposing changes in stamp duty for the purchase of bulk property portfolios.

The new proposal will allow investors to only pay stamp duty at the rate of the average property price and not the total value of the portfolio. This could bring the stamp duty down from 5 percent to 1 percent if the average property value is less than the £250k threshold.

The British Property Federation welcomed the changes, whilst rubbing it's hands together vigorously. Read more in the Telegraph

Aviva also backs the government changes - Read more on this

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Positive thoughts on BTL

A positive spin is been placed back on to the BTL market in recent weeks.

Mortgage brokers are expecting that the that they will see an increase in the numbers of new landlords coming into the market this year or maybe it's just wishful thinking.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Changes to the TDS

Under the old rules of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme you had 6 months from the end of the tenancy to get your disputes referred to the scheme.
From 6 April 2011 the time frame is reduced to 3 months from the end of the tenancy, although this is only applicable to new tenancies from that date onwards, it doesn't apply to renewals or extensions of tenancies. The 6 month rule still applies to existing tenancies.
What this will mean is that landlords will have to make sure they collate all their information as soon as possible, 3 months may seem like quite a long time, but if you are waiting for tradesmen to do repairs, time can pass quite quickly.
The best approach is to get into the property as soon as possible, decide what evidence you need, ie quotes and/or invoices and get these actioned as soon as you can. If it is not possible for the repairs to be carried out and invoiced within 3 months, get a detailed quote instead.
Once you have got your information together make sure you then send it to the TDS promptly.
Rebecca Brough is a Solicitor at Fidler and Pepper who deals with Residential Landlords on a daily basis. Rebecca offers landlords requiring legal help a Free initial consultation.

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Distressed seller opportunities

I like many landlords love reading local property supplements.

Buried in the column inches of identikit semis and flats for sale is the occasional advert for an investment gem.

This could take all forms.  A potential conversion opportunity, repossession or a number of distressed sales from cash strapped builders who have run out of cash and are unable to complete their development project.

I was recently emailed this residential opportunity from Allsopp.

1 Fairfield Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8
Modern Freehold Residential Block comprising Four Vacant Townhouses and Three Vacant Apartments

4 x three bedroom townhouses 2 x two bedroom apartments
1 x one bedroom apartment

Internal finishing required throughout

It might be one to check out for southern based landlords further details from:

Robbie Underhill
Email: robbie.underhill@allsop.co.uk
Tel: 020 7344 2659

Daphne Mahon
Email: daphne.mahon@allsop.co.uk
Tel: 020 7344 2617

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 36: Appeals

Tip 36: Appeals


The rule of thumb is that there are no appeals in deposit protection disputes.
A common situation involves a landlord who receives a decision in the post which awards some or all of the deposit money to the tenant. The decision explains that the landlord lost on point X because they hadn’t submitted any evidence, such as photographs, to show the condition of X at the end of the tenancy. The landlord then sends a number of photographs of X to the scheme with a note explaining that there had been an oversight, or that the landlord hadn’t realised that they were supposed to have sent in the photographs earlier. 
In this situation, it is already too late. The scheme will already have paid the money to the tenant and are not in a position to look at the decision again.
In deposit disputes, it is paramount that you send all of your evidence in the first time, because once the decision has been made, it is too late to add any further evidence to your claim.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an experienced deposit protection adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes. Tom helps landlords to claim money through the deposit protection schemes.


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Top 10 places to buy

The towns with the highest rental yield have been revealed by research carried out by property website www.home.co.uk.

They are as follows:

Bootle 7.7 percent

Hamilton 7.4percent

Thamesmead 7.3 percent
Mansfield 7.0 percent

Manor Park 6.9 percent

Brentford 6.7 percent
Becton 6.7 percent
Dundee 6.6 percent
Central London 6.5 percent 

Hull 6.4 percent.

Whilst a high rental yield is a good measure of an investments income generating abilities it often has an inverse relations with the properties future potential for capital gains.

Have a look at the ongoing debate over 'cashcow' vs 'trophy asset'

With the benefit of hindsight trophy assets have held up better than the cheaper areas.  Just look at the strength in the so called 'Teflon Towns' and central London.  Something that property investors should bear in mind.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

BTL mortgages - most popular

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/mortgages.aspx 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 or you can submit a quick enquiry directly to the team by filling in our online enquiry form.

Interest RateOverall Cost for ComparisonMax LTVProduct DetailCompletion FeeEarly Repayment Charges
3.88% Tracker4.2% 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. The completion fee is payable at offer stage. Refer all cases for fees, maximum LTV and loan amounts. REFER1% of original balance being repaid for 1 year
3.99% Discount5.4% APR75%Exclusive discounted rate of 3.99% (1.65% discount off the lender's SVR) for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 5.64% for the remainder of the term. This product has no early repayment charges. It is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 135% at payrate. There is a booking fee of £250 and an application fee will apply.£2499No
4.49% Fixed4.9% APR60%Fixed rate of 4.49% until 31/03/2013 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 £700 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 booking fee of £250 and an application fee will apply.£9994% of amount being repaid until 31/03/2013
4.59% Tracker4.8% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 4.09% until 30/04/2013 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.50% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation and free legals for remortgages only. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 6.75%. An application fee will apply.£19993% of amount being repaid until 30/04/2013
4.8% Fixed5.2% APR75%Fixed rate of 4.80% until 01/06/2013 then reverting to a variable of BBR + 4.24% to give a current rate of 4.74% for the remainder of the term. The product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at the payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%3% of amount being repaid until 01/06/2013
4.8% Tracker5.6% APR75%Variable tracker rate of LIBOR + 4.00% for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate of 4.60% + 0.25% = 4.85% to the end of year 5, then for the remainder of the term, the lender's standard variable rate of 4.60% + 0.75% = 5.35%. The product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 130% at a notional rate of 7%. Please note that the completion fee will increase by 0.25% on applications for HMOs, freehold houses split into flats and limited companies. An application fee will normally apply.2.25%3% of amount being repaid for 2 years
4.95% Discount6.1% APR70%Exclusive discounted rate of 4.95% (1.04% discount off the lender's SVR + 0.3%) for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate (currently 5.69%) + 0.3% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation up to £335 for purchases and remortgages and free legals on remortgages only. This product is available up to 70% LTV and the rental calculation is 130% at payrate. There is a booking fee of £199 and an application fee will apply.0%Tapered charges of 3/2% of the amount being repaid for the first 2 years
5.09% Fixed5.5% APR75%Product for first time landlords only. Fixed rate of 5.09% until 31/05/2013 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 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/04/2013
5.59% Fixed5.2% APR70%5.59% fixed rate until 01/06/2013 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.79% for the remainder of the term. This product is available to first time buyers and up to 70% LTV. The rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.£19954% of the outstanding balance as of 1st January until 01/06/2013
5.99% Fixed6.2% APR85%Fixed rate of 5.99% for 2 years then reverting to a variable rate of LIBOR + 5.00% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 85% LTV and the rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%5% of amount being repaid for 2 years

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/mortgages.aspx 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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Census warning for landlords

Landlords with an empty property shouldn't forget that they need to fill in a census form for the property on Sunday 27th March.

This is a legal requirement.

The property owner needs to fill in the form - either the paper version or online - for any unoccupied rented property.

The sections that need to be completed are:
H1                    (tick the last box in the list)
H4                    (tick the last box in the list)
H7 to H11


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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peveril in administration

Housing Management business Peverel which many landlords with leasehold property's will have come into contact with, has been placed into administration.

Some landlords who've had experience of Peverel and their escalating service charges may be thinking that it's poetic justice.

The business was owned by Vincent Tchenguizs the older of the two Iranian brothers who road the property and finance boom of the previous 15 years.

Looks like there is a sound of popping going on and it's no longer the champagne corks!


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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cannabis claims increase 30%

Landlord insurance company Aviva has warned that cannabis farms are still on the increase.

They reported 92 cannabis farming claims last year, the highest Aviva has ever recorded.

Spokesman Matthew Gordon said:

“Almost all of the properties were residential and we often find that it is part of a larger operation or that the policyholder has had a couple of properties affected. Cannabis farming comes with serious risks for landlords; properties can be completely ruined inside to make space for plants, water damage can occur and fire poses a risk due to interference with electrics or strong lighting left on for a long time.

“Property owners must be vigilant and there are some simple steps that can be taken. We would advise thorough checks on tenants and regular visits to properties - both internal and external inspections. Permanently closed curtains, blacked out windows and strong smells are all signs that there may be a cannabis factory on your premises.”

To find out how to avoid a cannabis farm.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Interest rate questions

As interest rates remain fixed at a minimal figure for the millionth month in a row the head scratching continues as to what to do and what to advise landlords.

Firstly, interest rates would need to go up to at least 2.75 per cent to make it worthwhile for home owners fixing their mortgage, figures suggest. - Read more

So that begs the question when will interest rates start to rise?

Who knows?

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Property price twitter - highlow

......I'll take the high road if you take the low road.........

Planning changes threaten housing targets - BBC
FTBs offered deposits by councils - Telegraph
Councils to give financial support to first time buyers - Guardian

House prices fall again - Guardian
Mixed picture for housing market - BBC
New lending rules threaten Scottish house prices - Scotlandonsunday
House for sale but no buyers - FT
Mortgage data reveals sharp drop in house sales - Guardian

CML reveal sudden drop in mortgage lending - BBC
Welsh housing market has gone very, very quiet - BBC


See all the property price tweets

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Landlords fined - again

North West landlords have been fined a total of £4000 for letting out unsuitable rental properties.

Now there really is no excuse, come on fellow landlords let's bring some humanity to the business of letting property, I mean in one property the tenant was living with no running hot or cold water, no working toilet or bathing facilities, no heating and smashed windows.

When returning to re-inspect the property following the initial recommendations the council found that the property continued to break regulations stating that the property still required works to address several hazards relating to damp and mould growth, electrical safety, entry by intruders, excess cold, falls, fire, food safety, personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage.

I mean what's left on the list, an unexploded bomb and an infestation of scorpions, it really isn't good enough.

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Doubts raised on video inventories

An inventory business has cast doubt on the effectiveness of video inventories.

To check out our views have a look at this recent article.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Letting agents complaints increase

Christopher Hamer was featured this morning on Radio 4 Today programme announcing that complaints to him are on the rise.

Currently only 60% of letting agents are registered with an ombudsman scheme.

Anecdotally, he recalled that one of the most common complaints by landlords against letting agents is that the letting agent fail to reference their prospective tenants properly.  The result being that tenants are taken on that lead to problems with the tenancy at a later date.

The Ombudsman has no powers to fine letting agent but he does have powers of redress that includes paying compensation.

The Property Ombudsman has recently dispelled two letting agents one in London and one in Torbay

To make a complaint.


Property referencing - online
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BTL mortgages - most popular

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/mortgages.aspx 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 or you can submit a quick enquiry directly to the team by filling in our online enquiry form.

Most popular buy-to-let mortgages
Interest RateOverall Cost for ComparisonMax LTVProduct DetailCompletion FeeEarly Repayment Charges
3.88% Tracker4.2% 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. The completion fee is payable at offer stage. Refer all cases for fees, maximum LTV and loan amounts. REFER1% of original balance being repaid for 1 year
3.99% Discount5.4% APR75%Exclusive discounted rate of 3.99% (1.65% discount off the lender's SVR) for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 5.64% for the remainder of the term. This product has no early repayment charges. It is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 135% at payrate. There is a booking fee of £250 and an application fee will apply.£2499No
4.49% Fixed4.9% APR60%Fixed rate of 4.49% until 31/03/2013 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 £700 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 booking fee of £250 and an application fee will apply.£9994% of amount being repaid until 31/03/2013
4.59% Tracker4.8% APR75%Variable tracker rate of BBR + 4.09% until 30/04/2013 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.50% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation and free legals for remortgages only. This product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at a notional rate of 6.75%. An application fee will apply.£19993% of amount being repaid until 30/04/2013
4.8% Fixed5.2% APR75%Fixed rate of 4.80% until 01/06/2013 then reverting to a variable of BBR + 4.24% to give a current rate of 4.74% for the remainder of the term. The product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at the payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%3% of amount being repaid until 01/06/2013
4.8% Tracker5.6% APR75%Variable tracker rate of LIBOR + 4.00% for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate of 4.60% + 0.25% = 4.85% to the end of year 5, then for the remainder of the term, the lender's standard variable rate of 4.60% + 0.75% = 5.35%. The product is available up to 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 130% at a notional rate of 7%. Please note that the completion fee will increase by 0.25% on applications for HMOs, freehold houses split into flats and limited companies. An application fee will normally apply.2.25%3% of amount being repaid for 2 years
4.95% Discount6.1% APR70%Exclusive discounted rate of 4.95% (1.04% discount off the lender's SVR + 0.3%) for 2 years then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate (currently 5.69%) + 0.3% for the remainder of the term. There is a free valuation up to £335 for purchases and remortgages and free legals on remortgages only. This product is available up to 70% LTV and the rental calculation is 130% at payrate. There is a booking fee of £199 and an application fee will apply.0%Tapered charges of 3/2% of the amount being repaid for the first 2 years
5.09% Fixed5.5% APR75%Product for first time landlords only. Fixed rate of 5.09% until 28/02/2013 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 75% LTV and the rental calculation is 125% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5% (min £595)5% of amount being repaid until 30/04/2013
5.59% Fixed5.2% APR70%5.59% fixed rate until 01/06/2013 then reverting to the lender's standard variable rate which is currently 4.79% for the remainder of the term. This product is available to first time buyers and up to 70% LTV. The rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.£19954% of the outstanding balance as of 1st January until 01/06/2013
5.99% Fixed6.2% APR85%Fixed rate of 5.99% for 2 years then reverting to a variable rate of LIBOR + 5.00% for the remainder of the term. This product is available up to 85% LTV and the rental calculation is 120% at payrate. An application fee will apply.2.5%5% of amount being repaid for 2 years

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/mortgages.aspx 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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Property investor show - London

The Property Investor Show storms in to town on the 18th and 19th of March.

The show is being held in London's Excel Centre.

There will be a range of seminars at the event and on Friday Graham Penny of 'Homes under the Hammer' will be conducting a live residential property auction.

Check out the details on their website.


Landlord insurance - price beat quotes
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 35: Seeing The Tenant's Evidence

Tip 35: Seeing The Tenant’s Evidence

Sometimes, for whatever reason, the tenant will start the process and give their evidence first. Being in the position of responding to their claim can be an advantage.
If the tenant submits their evidence before you, you should be able to see a copy of their actual evidence in time to draft a response. At least one of the schemes posts electronic copies of the evidence to a web page that you can view and download at your leisure. Another scheme will routinely send you a summary of the claim against you. 
The summary tends to be just one or two paragraphs and isn’t always that helpful for analysing the evidence against you. If you ask, and sometimes you have to ask more than once, they will email you the actual statement and evidence. 
Once you have copies of the evidence and detailed information about the claim, you are in a much better position to formulate your defence. Use your knowledge of the tenant’s claim to draw attention to shortcomings in their arguments and to point out any holes in their evidence.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an experienced deposit protection adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes. Tom helps landlords to claim money through the deposit protection schemes.


Free property management software, Free tenancy agreements
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Where to invest?

Anybody investing in residential property is always faced with the conundrum of where to put your money.

Do you buy cheap and hope that the low value property will catch up with higher valued areas?  Or is it best to back the more expensive proven winners, anticipating that they will continue to out perform.

Well if the latest report from Savills is anything to go by we are still in the invest in the best faze of the property market revival.

Landlord insurance - leading rates
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