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Monday, September 30, 2013

Buying is cheaper than renting

Buying a property is  ten per cent less per month than renting according to Halifax data. 

The Halifax worked report that the cost of purchasing a three-bedroom house in the UK would require £673 per month on a typical mortgage,  £72 less than the expected rent for the same property.

It should also be noted that Halifax is a company that profits from people buying and not renting property.

Lies, damned lies and statistics...

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Labour's promise of new homes

Labour's promise of 200,000 new homes each year of their next government is another political promise just waiting to be broken. To achieve it, the current planning legislation would have to be driven over by one gigantic stream roller. It's the exact same promise they made in their last government, but never managed to achieve.

Unsurprisingly, it leaves me feeling flat ...

Read more in RICS

Read more in  Planning

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Student property future returns

The Financial Times does a piece on the returns on student property partly based on the recent report on student property from Savills.

The report warns of increased competition from the growing supply of institutionalised student provision from the likes of Unite.

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Landlords jailed for fire death

Northamptonshire landlord Ajit Singh has been given a 12 month jail following a fire that caused the death of a tenant's child. 

Ajit Singh, 50, has been found guilty of letting out a portfolio of fourteen properties, largely HMOs that contained a catalogue of  health and safety shortcuts. The rental properties were described as ' death traps'. 

The devastating result of the landlords negligence was when one of his portfolio, a terraced house in Kettering suffered an electrical fault last year, it resulted in the death of a seven year old boy.

Singh's was found guilty of not providing adequate smoke detectors nor a safe means of escape to the terraced rental property. The only smoke detector was found to have had its battery taken out, there were no fire doors and the main door of the house required a key to exit.

Two property managers who worked alongside Singh were also sentenced, both men received fines and suspended sentences.

The chief fire officer of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, Martyn Emberson, said

'I hope it sends a clear message to landlords and managing agents across the county.'

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

FPC vigilant on housing bubble

The Bank of England has dismissed calls to act to slow rampant property market inflation. All pins are been kept hidden at this point in time, although they are monitoring the potential growth of another housing bubble.

The Financial Policy Committee concluded that it would remains "Vigilant to potential emerging vulnerabilities,"

If the FPC does begin to see the emergence of a dangerously inflated market then it could force changes in banks lending criteria, regarding deposit amounts and affordability multiples.

Read the full FPC statement here

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HMO landlord fined £34,000

A Norfolk landlord has been fined £34,000 by West Norfolk Magistrates’ Court, in Lynn. Carmine Salamone, admitted breaking the Housing Act 2004 on nine counts.

The offences related to five houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).

Read the details of the offences here

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

CGT liability as clear as mud

The question of capital gains tax liability is one that plagues many small portfolio landlords. Many have found themselves moving in and out of properties they might own, then renting them out to tenants in between.

When it comes around to finally selling a property, landlords are left in confusion, as to how to best minimise CGT. The answer is, as is often the case with tax - complicated.

It made me chuckle reading this response in the Guardian. After first frame working a specific case study the tax advisor finished off with, in truth, it all depends...

Well, I hope that clears it up - 'clear' and 'mud' comes to mind.

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West Brom BS set to raise rates

There is some unwelcome news heading for landlords doormats who have a BTL through West Brom BS. It turns out that the BS of building society also stands for something else. The mortgage lender has announced it is going to add 2 percent to all its BTL tracker mortgages starting in December.

Their current tracker rate stands at just 1.65 percent but this is set to more than double to 3.65 percent.

The building society have responded by saying: 'We believe it is very clearly stated in terms and conditions about the circumstances in which changes to the rates could happen.'

'These changes, which are permitted under the terms and conditions of the accounts, are a reflection of market conditions and the need for us to carry out our business prudently, efficiently and competitively.'

This move follows the Bank of Ireland's increase in their rates earlier in the year and could be the start of a worrying trend in BTL lenders shifting their agreed rates / goal posts.

It should come as a warning to landlords who are gearing heavily on their investments to read the terms and conditions of their BTL mortgage agreements. 

For those landlords looking for a re -mortgage use our free search tool to search the whole of the market.

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Best student cities for gross rental yield

Glasgow has topped the list of best cities to invest in student property according to Zoopla statistics.

The rating is based on gross rental yields.

It is surprising that the top ten isn't entirely northern.

Here's the top ten in order

The top ten cities had a heavy northern bias, with, 1 Glasgow, 2, Hull 3, Manchester 4, Cheltenham, 5 Cambridge, 6, Buckingham, 7, Luton, *, Bristol, 9, Lincoln, 10, London

Read more in the Telegraph

Read more in the Independent

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Most popular BTL mortgages

Max LTV Initial Rate Term Completion fee Booking fee Incentives Overall Cost for Comparison Lender
85% 4.99% Fixed 2 Years 2.5% £130.00 No 6.8% APR Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85% 5.99% Discount 2 Years 2.5% £130.00 No 7% APR Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
80% 0% Variable 0 Years £1999 £0.00 Free legal fees for remortgages 5.2% APR Aldermore Mortgages
80% 4.14% Fixed Oct 31 2015 2.5% (min £595) £0.00 No The Mortgage Works
75% 2.84% Fixed Oct 31 2015 2.5% £195.00 Paid standard valuation (No maximum) Accord
75% 2.88% Tracker 2 Years 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation for purchases and remortgages & free legals on remortgages 5.3% APR Mortgage Trust ltd Edition Exclusive
70% 4.09% Fixed Nov 1 2015 £995 £0.00 £750 cashback Virgin Money
65% 4.2% Tracker 2 Years 3% £150.00 No 5.4% APR Paragon
60% 2.45% Discount 2 Years £1950 £250.00 One free Valuation on properties valued up to £1,000,000 5% APR Hinckley & Rugby Exclusive

Tel: 01494 894639

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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Monday, September 23, 2013

Do letting agents rip you off?

Lovemoney have entered the debate on whether letting agents rip off landlords.  Property Hawk has warned landlords many times about the fact that using a letting agent particularly on a full management contract can be an expensive indulgence.  Here is a detailed financial assessment of the costs of using a letting agent vs managing the tenancy yourself.

Letting agents - is yours overcharging on maintenance work

Fifteen percent management fees (more if you are London) will depress your net yields and obviously your rental profits.  It also highlights a classic con that Letting Agents working for a landlord and who recieve money for sourcing and managing tradesmen will then inflate the tradesman charges by demanding a commission.  As if plumbers aren't expensive enough!

Renewal fees 

We have covered in details the Foxtons case which highlighted the fact that some letting agents were charging landlords and tenants needlessly for renewing a tenants AST when both would be happy for it become a periodic assured shorthold tenancy.

It highlights the fact that the devil is in the detail of the contract and also the fact that when people pretend to help you out they very rarely do it for FREE. Or am I just a hard bitten old landlord?
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tenant all washed up!

Friday night and I was trying to relax watching some late night T.V.  Then ping.  A text message from one of my tenants.  He's sprung a leak.  Well not him but the washing machine.  Luckily, he managed to switch off the water and prevent my buy-to-let being submerged in water.

It highlights that landlords, just as any other small business owners are never off duty.  It's a good jobs that house price rises don't keep normal business hours too.

Happy landlording and enjoy your weekend....even if technically it might not be a 'weekend off'.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

EU mortgage directives limp one step closer

The new EU mortgage directives have moved one stage closer to being finalised.

The current draft that is pushed around the various member states thankfully still excludes BTL mortgages.

Don't expect it to be signed off anytime soon, negotiations started in 2005, so it could be a few years yet before we can fully breath easy.

Read more in This is Money

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ARLA call for mandatory regulation of letting agents - again

ARLA continue to call for mandatory regulation of letting agents in this piece in the Independent.

Will ARLA gain from mandatory regulation - mmmm, I wonder?

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'Bedroom tax' - arrears

Six months after the introduction of the so called  'bedroom tax' for LHA tenants it has resulted in thousands of tenants going into rental arrears according to the latest reports from the BBC.

The benefit changes, introduced in April aimed at reducing the benefit bill mean that tenants with one spare bedroom have lost 14% of their housing benefit, or £14 a week on average for someone in a council house. Those in housing association accommodation have lost an average of £16 a week.
Anyone with two or more spare bedrooms will have lost 25% of their housing benefit.
According to the National Housing Federation 25% of tenants affected by the spare room subsidy has gone into arrears for the first time.  Clearly this will have a big impact on landlords letting to tenants on benefits. Is this affecting you?  Post your views and comments below.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BTL - can you afford not to?

The Telegraph 'big up' BTL investing here.

The article puts  forward an investment argument that describes investing as a one way ticket to a fortune.

NB. These same newspapers were writing of the 'Death of BTL' a few years back - the fickle bunnies they are.

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Becoming an ethical landlord

The Guardian has written a piece on how BTL landlords can be more ethical. 
The articles suggests landlords should -

1, Rent to tenants on benefits 
2, Let on longer term tenancies
3, Keep letting fees down by landlords covering costs
4, Don't but any properties that a first time buyer might be interested in
5, Look after it and keep it well maintained

All those points sound fair and reasonable, especially when its not their money at risk. If profit is not your only goal - Read the full article here 

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Is landlording becoming too litigious?

When Joe Bloggs turns into Judge Judy. Is landlording becoming too litigious?
photo courtesy of Commons

The number of solicitors in the UK has tripled in the last 30 years. According to experts, it’s a by-product of British society following its transatlantic cousins down a road where legal action is the default position when something goes wrong in life.

Until quite recently, you couldn’t turn the radio or TV on without hearing “Have you been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault?” And lo, solicitors sprang up all over the place to encourage the ‘slightly vexed’ into a ‘don’t get mad, get rich’ state of mind which clogged the courts up for years and has been cited as one of the reasons for rising insurance premiums.

Indeed, policy makers have identified the draining effect this trend has had on ordinary consumers and victims of crime, who suffer long delays in getting their case heard due to court backlogs. The move to eradicate ‘no win, no fee’ lawsuits  promises to reverse this ‘see you in court’ culture.

Four legged fury

I pondered this trigger happy attitude to legal action the a few weeks ago, when I was accused of being a ‘puppy killer’. Having replaced the leaky roof on my tenant’s shed some months ago, I went round to do a routine visit to the property where I was met with unexpected ire from the next door neighbour. “You killed my pups!!” he shouted at me over the garden fence. And slowly, the story unfolded.

Allegedly, according the neighbour’s impassioned account, when the shed roof was fitted months ago, some wood on the neighbouring roof came loose, which later caused it to collapse, killing the puppies the neighbour (a dog breeder) was keeping in there. The neighbour was clearly so devastated by this, he waited two months to tell me about it, in spite of having my mobile number at his disposal after unsuccessfully applying to rent the house next door from me last year, only to renege after realising he couldn’t stretch to the deposit. Claiming to have photos of the poor dead pups and the loose wood, he confronted me with the 64 million dollar question: “What are you going to do for me?”

Cue the “che-ching” sound effect as said neighbour waited for me to buy his silence with a wad of cash. I politely invited him to contact my solicitor. I await his call....

I don’t know if the puppies ever existed, or if the wood came loose. What I do know is that unfortunately, many people go through life seeing compensation as a source of regular income. Time to check if my landlord insurance covers legal expenses methinks!

Have you been embroiled in tenuous legal proceedings? Post your comments to help fellow landlords stay vigilant against would-be Judge Judys in our midst...

Alison Doering is a north east landlord who caught the BTL bug three years ago and has never looked back. Going from zero to six properties in three years and juggling a high pressure job in marketing means every day is a school day; there’s always something new to lock away in that mental filing cabinet marked “Never do that again!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Never do business with family

Chatting with a fellow landlord this week, I was shocked to hear of his experiences with a tenant who
photo courtesy of Philip Taylor PT @ Creative Commons
repeatedly fails to pay his rent on time in spite of being asked nicely, quite nicely, and as time goes on, less nicely, by his landlord.

So far nothing surprising. The shocker in all this is that the tenant in question is the proud owner of not one, but two supercars! So clearly, not short of a bob or two then

To add insult to injury, said tenant is the landlord’s brother-in-law! Well I never, if you can’t trust your supercar-owning brother-in-law to pay his rent on time, what hope is there?

Family ties

The problem is, if your nearest and dearest are looking for a place to rent and they’re interested in one of your properties, what can you say? You can hardly turn them down without causing offence, can you?

I once had that scenario, not with a relative, but a neighbour’s son. He was, how shall I put it, ‘of dubious character’ and I didn’t fancy getting into any landlord/tenant disputes with him. In the end, I managed to make my excuses without ruining an otherwise great neighbourly relationship, but it was one of those moments where you wish someone had written an guide tolandlording etiquette to help you navigate such situations. Now there’s an idea.....

Have you ever rented your property out to loved ones?

Were they the ideal tenants or did they stretch family loyalty to the limit? 
Send us your stories and change the names if you need to!

Alison Doering is a north east landlord who caught the BTL bug three years ago and has never looked back. Going from zero to six properties in three years and juggling a high pressure job in marketing means every day is a school day; there’s always something new to lock away in that mental filing cabinet marked “Never do that again!"

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

My tenant demands a view!

No, I'm not talking about a the ability to put forward his opinion.  Thank God though in the UK we have the right to freedom of speech and expression.  Something we take for granted when we moan on about our country and our lot.  No - I'm not talking about high brow principles of emancipation.  The fact is that a couple of my double glazing units have blown resulting in  occasional bouts of condensation.

What is my tenants view
Now I'm not sure what he expects to see out of the window in a pretty bland part of suburban Nottingham.  Perhaps herds of wildebeast sweeping majestically across the plains of West Bridgford!  Anyway, I've got it on my radar to get it fixed before the Winter sets in.  Once I get this fixed and he can see into the great beyond no doubt the next complaint will be:  "that garden is a mess!  Can't you get it landscaped?"

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

How to Keep Your Tenants Happy In Your Buy-to-Let Property

Getting hold of the perfect buy-to-let property is an exciting time for a landlord, but if this is the first time you have rented out a property then it can be difficult to understand what is required of you.

The best way to figure out how to be a good landlord is to listen to the wants and needs of your tenants. Naturally, not everything they want is feasible, but it is a good place to start.

Would you live there?

This is a fantastic acid test for the letting situation. If you buy a property and you think it would need ‘doing up’ before you’d be happy to live there, then it probably needs to be done before putting it on the market.

Bad paintwork, lifted floorboards and general disrepair should be fixed if you want your tenants to be happy living there. Remember, if a house or flat is in good condition when tenants move in, they will want to keep it that way for when they move out. If it is not, what is the need for them to look after a place if you haven’t?

Keep paperwork in order

Nothing screams “bad landlord” than poorly completed, half-completed or missing paperwork. Most tenants will have ben told what to expect from their landlord and if anything is not as it should be they will know about it.

Having to be chased up for paperwork, receipts of deposits or anything else will not make you look very professional and will get your agreement off on the wrong foot. Even if you think that there is too much paperwork being given to the tenant, this is a far better scenario than not enough.

Maintenance and garden

Depending on the type of property there might be a maintenance fee to be paid, which is taken into account when calculating rent costs. An owner-occupier is far more likely to want to ensure the upkeep of the garden and outside of the property, with a tenant not really having much need, or obligation, to do so.

As the owner, it is your responsibility to make sure the outside of the building and the garden is being maintained as they should be. If you do so, your tenant will be grateful that the property is kept in good order and they will ensure the inside is too.

It is important to remember that accidents can happen and sometimes problems will develop with your property. Make sure you have sufficient insurance in place to cover unexpected changes. This will provide both you and your tenant with financial security. Landlords insurance from The Co-operative Insurance offers competitive rates to help you get peace of mind.

Don’t ignore the tenant

Sometimes things go wrong with a property, which is only natural. Instead of arguing every point with your tenant, keep their trust by arranging to fix any problems. If you are worried they will take advantage then organise regular inspections. It is your right to check the property but you must give your tenants at least 24 hours notice before doing so.
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Most popular BTL mortgages

Max LTV Initial Rate Term Completion fee Booking fee Incentives Overall Cost for Comparison Lender
85% 4.99% Fixed 2 Years 2.5% £130.00 No 6.8% APR Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85% 5.99% Discount 2 Years 2.5% £130.00 No 7% APR Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
80% 4.14% Fixed Oct 31 2015 2.5% (min £595) £0.00 No   The Mortgage Works
80% 0% Variable 0 Years £1999 £0.00 Free legal fees for remortgages 5.2% APR Aldermore Mortgages
75% 2.84% Fixed Oct 31 2015 2.5% £195.00 Paid standard valuation (No maximum)   Accord
75% 2.88% Tracker 2 Years 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation for purchases and remortgages & free legals on remortgages 5.3% APR Mortgage Trust ltd Edition Exclusive
70% 4.09% Fixed Nov 1 2015 £995 £0.00 £750 cashback   Virgin Money
65% 4.2% Tracker 2 Years 3% £150.00 No 5.4% APR Paragon
60% 3.49% Discount Aug 31 2015 0% £99.00 Free valuation for purchases and remortgages and free legals on remortgages only. £99 cashback 4.9% APR Principality BTL
60% 2.45% Discount 2 Years £1950 £250.00 One free Valuation on properties valued up to £1,000,000 5% APR Hinckley & Rugby Exclusive

Tel: 01494 894639

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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A Landlord’s Guide to Student Lettings

September is an extremely busy time for a number of landlords as it’s the month where students move back to their university towns and into their private rented accommodations. We often hear scare stories about student landlords such as that it is an extremely difficult profession and that students are unreliable when it comes to paying rent. However, the reality is that being a student landlord can be extremely lucrative, so if you are thinking of joining the sector here’s some advice:

Know your Audience 

When most people think of students young, messy and loud generally come to mind, however don’t forget that this is a generalisation and that there are many different types of students. Of course, there are those that spend most of the day sleeping and their nights partying, however there are also students that spend their time in the library, playing sports for their university teams and even working to afford their degrees. If you are thinking of becoming a student landlord it’s important that you always keep this in mind and treat each set of tenants you meet the same way you would to non-students.

Research the Laws 

Most of the time student properties contain a number of students and so they become what are referred to as Houses in Multiple Occupation or HMOs. In order to let a HMO you need to apply for a licence from your local council otherwise you will be letting your property illegally. When applying for your HMO the council will decide whether the property is suitable for the amount of people you are planning to let to and if it includes enough space, kitchen facilities, toilets and safety features. To find out more about what is required for an HMO property visit the government’s website or contact your local council.

Take time with your Tenancy Agreements 

Even though all students are different there are some issues that are more common than others which is why it’s important that you protect yourself against them with your Tenancy Agreements. For example, as most student houses have a number of people living together there is a good chance that disagreements will happen and one of your students will choose to move out. In order to make sure you don’t lose out if this happens you need to make it clear in your Tenancy Agreement that you expect payment for the whole term of the tenancy regardless if one of your tenants moves out. Your Tenancy Agreements should also contain information about missed rent payments and damages caused to the property.

Just Landlords work with a wide range of landlords and provide a range of landlord insurance policies that can protect student landlords.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Japanese knotweed – affecting mortgages and property prices

Japanese knotweed (fallopia japonica) has become public enemy number one in the botanical world recently and this destructive weeds infamy appears to spreading into the property sector.

Since the RICS (Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors) introduced their own guidelines on Japanese knotweed, there have been an ever-increasing number of banks and building societies refusing to lend against properties affected by the dreaded Japanese knotweed.

But is this widespread panic justified?

Issues with mortgages & lending

It is the case that Japanese knotweed can cause serious problems, it grows very quickly and is capable of breaking its way through the smallest of cracks in concrete and masonry, so getting rid of the stuff should be a high priority for affected homeowners.

This has led to lenders such as Woolwich, Coventry Building Society, Saffron, BS and Precise Mortgages stating that they will refuse to lend against any property suffering from a Japanese knotweed issue until treatment has been implemented by an approved company.

Other large lenders like Natwest and Nationwide say they will consider properties on a “case-by-case” basis.

This reaction has provoked many key industry figures to demand clear knotweed legislation to help the issue. Stuart Gregory from Lentune Mortgage Consultancy says “It is a grey area. There needs to be clearer policy. It can be very unsettling for borrowers”.

Japanese knotweed – “not house cancer”

Despite concerns from lenders, experts within the Japanese knotweed industry are urging homeowners not to panic.

japanese knotweedSteve Hodgson, chief executive of the Property Care Association (PCA), has attempted to quell fears by stating that Japanese knotweed is “not house cancer”.

Hodgson believes many industry figures are overreacting because they do not understand Japanese knotweed or Japanese knotweed treatment: “Now the risk and the solution have become apparent, perhaps they [banks and building societies] should reassess their protocols on whether they should lend on properties with Japanese knotweed.

“It [Japanese knotweed] doesn’t mean the property is worth less it just means something needs to be done to make sure the value is maintained.”

The Property Care Association launched a new course on Japanese knotweed removal this week with the emphasis being on the effective treatment and removal of the plant from people’s properties.

Find out more about Japanese knotweed with this infographic
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Deposit despair

If I asked you if you’d like £400, what would you say? Well of course, you’d say yes. So why, why,
photo courtesy of Pierre-Olivier @ Creative Commons
why does my tenant show no inclination whatsoever to reclaim her deposit from the DPS? Two months after moving out, and in spite of two letters, two phone calls and a text message, she still hasn’t called them to claim her refund.

“Why do you care?” I hear you ask. Well, I don’t know. I suppose I just hate that feeling every time I log on to the DPS website, I’ve got ‘awaiting tenant response’ blinking at me. Call me a pedant, but I just don’t like loose ends.

But hang on, now I think about it, I know exactly why it bothers me. If I’m honest, it’s the fact that this tenant never paid on time in full. Never. Always an excuse, from “dog ate my homework” to “rent? I have to pay rent?”. So having pleaded poverty on many an occasion, it irks me all the more that her £400 is sitting in the DPS’ coffers and the tenant clearly has such a surplus of cash that it’s not worth her claiming back a mere £400. Nice position to be in.

DPS difficulties

The DPS is the scheme I use for all my tenants, and recently I’ve tried for the first time to claim a portion back through the Single Claim Process. I must admit, I haven’t found it easy. Especially if your tenant doesn’t have internet access, it can be a complicated affair and the helpdesk staff don’t seem to be able to compute that a person might not have access to a computer.

I may be doing something wrong, but the instructions on the website seem ambiguous and it’s not clear who has to do what and when. Fellow landlords who have attempted to claim part of the deposit to cover damage have told me that with hindsight, they shouldn’t have bothered and it was more effort than it was worth.

If you’ve claimed for damage through the DPS scheme, how was it for you? 

Comments always appreciated.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Higher yields - student rents

Well shock horror the latest pearl of wisdom form the NLA is that student rentals offer comparatively high yields.  The average is 6.7% compared to the average in the UK of 6.1%.

What they don't mention is the increased costs of renting to students.  If I was only getting a 6.7% gross rental yield on my student let unless I was in central London I'd be very disappointed.  Try double digits to compensate you for the additional costs and hassle!

Landlord insurance - professional rates - expert brokers

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Monday, September 09, 2013

Rental fraud up 92%

The latest stats and we love a good stat here at Property Hawk ..... from the Office of National Statistics no less reported that rental fraud has increased by 92% over the last two years.  Rental fraud is where someone purporting to be a Landlord or Letting agent deceives unsuspecting tenants into parting with money and paying for upfront fees relating to say a non-existent property.

The ONS has estimated that rental fraud now amounts to £755 million per year.  There have been over 315,000 cases of rental fraud in the last few months equating to £2,394 per victim.

The moral of this story is that not only 'caveat emptor' or buyer beware renters need to be pretty wary too!

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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Chinese landlords in London

The trend in the Chinese middle classes investing in London property, particularly the off plan new build apartments smacks of
 bubble blowing to me.

The home builder Barratt report that 15 percent of its new builds in the capital are now bought by the Chinese.

Read the full article here

Landlord insurance - expert brokers - online rates

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Tenant given life for murdering landlord

The psychotic tenant that murdered his landlord by bludgeoning him twenty one times with a hatchet has been hospitalised for life. This sad and harrowing story of the Northamptonshire landlord can be read in full here.

The story comes as a chilling warning to those landlords who rent out rooms within a property they share.
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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Property investment - interesting?

Being a landlord isn't difficult.  A healthy dose of common sense and a little bit of entrepreneurial zeal and I'm pretty sure anybody could do it.  It really isn't that difficult.

Once your property is let and you have some reasonable tenants in there shouldn't be that much to do either.

Dare I say it that for many landlords to once you have your investment set up it really isn't that interesting too.  What does amaze me some of the landlord orientated websites that seem to spend hours discussing the minutiae of being a landlord and investment strategies.  Personally, once I've brought my investment property and got them let I'd rather forget about them until the next problem and get on with my life.  Others may have a different view.
Landlord insurance - expert brokers - online rates

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Monday, September 02, 2013

Landlord faces up to cannabis farm

Another landlord has fallen victim to the scourge of cannabis farms set up in rental properties. A nottingham landlord, Jack Carr now faces a refurbishment cost of £200,000 to put the rental property in  Clifton, Notts back into order.
The unfortunate landlord he had no idea of the issue until the call from the police telling him of the discovery of 268 plants inside the rental property.

To make matters worth Mr Carr has been told by his insurer that he is not covered for the damage to the rental property. 

Mr Carr's insurers Towergate Insurance responded with a statement - It is vital for anyone buying insurance to check very carefully the precise cover their policy provides so that it meets their requirements. Unfortunately the let property policy purchased by Mr Carr clearly stated that it will not respond to damage caused by illegal activity to his property.

This story can only act as a reminder to landlords to fully check their landlord insurance and be fully aware that the cheapest landlord insurance is not always going to provide all the cover they require.

Landlord insurance - 5 star Defaqto cover

Fake tanned students stain beds

Student landlords might be advised to add a little extra to rental deposits if their potential tenants are looking too orange. The faked tanned fashions inspired by Only Way is Essex are apparently applied to such extent in many student properties that it causes damage to bed mattresses.

The problem seems particularly problematic in that renowned glamour hotspot - Cardiff. The city streets glow orange at night as Umpa Lumpa students slather themselves in staining lotions. The bed mattresses are then left so badly stained after a year that they need to be replaced between

The advice to landlords is to buy memory foam mattresses with covers that can be washed or taken off and replaced for £30.

Read more on the costs of fake tanned students on landlords

Landlord insurance - professional rates
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Autumn auction opportunities

Autumn is on it's way.  So time to pick up a residential auction bargain.  Check out the latest residential auction catalogue from Allsop.  It could be the way to pick up a bargain London buy-to-let.  But remember to do your research first on the area and buying property at auction.

Some of these high brow London auctions can be the place to pick up a provincial buy-to-let bargain as most of the landlords and investors attending will be London and South East focused.  So if you want a nice extended weekend break 'doing the posh' in London.  Why not check it out.

Personally, I was attracted by the renovation project a 5 bed farmhouse, lot 200 in an unpronounceable part of North Wales near Porthmadog where I used to go on holiday with my parents camping.  Perhaps a renovation project with holiday let potential and with a guide price of £100k one to bank for the future?

Free property management software, Free tenancy agreements
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