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Monday, June 30, 2014

World cup land banking fraud

Another fraudulent land banking scheme has left UK property investors out of pocket. This one had a World Cup flavour, with plots supposed;y ripe for development near to World Cup Stadia selling for £10,000.

Pantheon Realty Consultants,  promised UK investors returns of 20 percent, though it has now turned out that these plots are worthless, and will never be developed.

According to the BBC, possibly as many as 600 investors have scored an own goal. The total value of their lost investment as high as £19m, with one investor losing £70,000 on the scheme.

The Financial Conduct Authority warned: "The number of land banking schemes being reported to us has been rising. We estimate land banking schemes have cost UK investors as much as £200m."

Investors are hoping to salvage a result if the companies assets are traced and frozen, but like the England team, I'm guessing they've made and early exit.

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Hull landlord accuses council of BMV offer

A landlord has accused Hull City Council of offering Below Market Value on hundreds of properties set for regeneration.

Landlord, Martin Reeves said: "I believe the council has attempted to purchase my property at considerably under its value and I am concerned the mis-selling of property valuations to innocent owners and members of the public is widespread."

Hull City Council valued a property belonging to Mr Reeves in October 2012 at £25,000. He rejected this initial offer and the council returned with a second offer of £40,000. 

Martin Reeves says of the sudden increase, "The only conclusion I could derive from this was that either the council was attempting to acquire my property at under value or their preferred surveyor was incompetent.

The landlord's own  surveyor, valued the property at £60,000.

Mr Reeves said: "My surveyor came up with a value of £60,000 and provided examples as evidence in support of his valuation."

The landlords valuation has been rejected by the council and the two parties are still in negotiations.

Martin Reeves is wanting to find out if any others have also suffered these derisory offers.

"What I want to try to find out is whether any other members of the public feel they too have been misled regarding the value of their property and been forced to accept its purchase and sale of their property to the only organisation that will buy it."

The council insists the offer it put forward is fair.

Read more on this landlords accusations of below market offers.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

DCLG to end Superstrike anomolies

Plans are a foot by the Coalition in their new Deregulation Bill to strike out the Superstrike anomaly resulting from the Superstrike vs Marino Rodrigues court case.

The anomaly in the legislation arose from the case where a landlord took a tenants deposit before the TDS came into force in April 2007 but where the fixed term ended after this date.

In this case the Court of Appeal ruled that the landlord acted wrongly and consequently was contravening the TDS legislation.  The DCLG are planning amendments which are before Parliament and will in this situation deem the landlord to having complied with the legislation.  Those landlords where the tenancy became periodic and a deposit is still held - will have  90 days after the legislation to potent the deposit.  Most importantly in terms of numbers of landlords,  a deposit where a landlord no longer holds a deposit, the landlord will have deemed to have complied with the TDS legislation.

Some long-term landlords will breath a sigh of life.  For most of us it's an academic exercise.

Landlord insurance - expert advice - online quotes
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quality photos key to property advertising

When advertising a property to rent, it's vital that landlords upload decent photographs. The majority of tenants eat with their eyes.

When taking photographs make sure to show the place off in its best light - attend the property when the property sees the best of the sun. Natural light really enhances any interior photograph. Try and avoid taking pictures at night - flashes can make rooms look cold and unwelcoming.

"Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman

Private renters are not as satisfied

A poll commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Housing, shows private sector tenants are feeling the effects of the high cost of housing. 

Thirty-nine per cent of tenants in the private rented sector agreed they might have to leave their local area in the future because the cost of housing was too high, compared with 20% across all types of residential property ( home ownership and public sector housing ) in Great Britain as a whole.

Tenants in the PRS were also unhappier with their home than the average person, with 18% responding 'fairly dissatisfied' compared to the average of 12%.

19% said their rental property to be in poor condition, compared to the GB average of 11%.

26% said their home was too expensive,  compared to to the GB average of 10%.

29% said their home was too small or lacked space, compared to the GB average of 19%.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Property Manager version in June

We are just going through the final tweaks before switching over to the new look version of our free property management software, Property Manager 3. We have imaginatively entitled the upgrade as Property Manager 3s - following in the footsteps of the big fruit almighty.

We really think we've improved the interface. The software now has interactive screens for both portfolio, property and tenancy, that bring together any related data.

We've also introduced a more consistent menu system, retaining a left hand menu with a permanent  horizontal button bar running across the top of the main body to help reduce user head scratching. 

So, until next week, here's a shot of the new Tenancy Details screen … excitement builds.

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Croydon to bring in landlord licensing

Croydon are to introduce mandatory licensing for all private residential landlords. Landlords will be required to obtain a licence to rent out property in the area.

Rental properties will need to meet health and safety standards ( don't they need to do this already? ).

The licensing scheme is part of a wider project - 'Don’t Mess with Croydon' that is aiming to improve the area's private rented accommodation.

Landlords will need to pass a ‘fit and proper’ check. ( i.e. criminal record check, forty press ups and an ironed shirt )

Landlords failing to obtain a licence face a maximum fine of £20,000.

Councillor Alison Butler says -

“This council is determined to improve the quality of homes for all and this scheme will provide a range of benefits and drive up standards in the private rental sector.”
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Are Garden Cities the solution?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Property prices under the coalition

The proposition that landlords are making a stack of money under the Tory coalition is further quashed by this chart tweeted today - London landlords yes, the rest of us….

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London landlords embrace Airbnb

The Guardian's research has found many of the properties listed on the site are from professional landlords. Of the 13000 London listings,  6,600 were renting out an entire home or flat and not just a spare room, and more that 1500 people were listing multiple properties.

Some users have dozens of rental properties across the city, with one user listing more than a hundred.

The British Hospitality Association aren't happy with what they insist is unregulated competition.

"We are very concerned that large numbers of private homes are being let on a semi or even permanent basis to tourists because it's unlikely that any of these properties have ever had any fire risk or health and safety checks," said the organisation's legal and policy director.

"76% of fire deaths in the UK last year were in the home and if you have strangers staying there who aren't familiar with how things work, the risks could increase."

My thought is, it might be a way of profiting from a scheduled void period between lets.

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Retired landlords predict a Bon Voyage

Landlords are predicting that their BTL property will support half their pension income. Five hundred landlords were asked to predict what  annual retirement income would come from their rental properties by Platinum Property Partners. Their  average 'guess-timate' was £19,785.

According to their predictions, their BTL property would bring in 56% of their overall annual retirement income, which they hoped to be £35,600, with  £15,815 of that coming from other investments, savings and pension payments.

This projected pension income compares with the £19,300 that the  ONS put as the figure for UK average pension income

At this level, landlords are predicting they will be nearly twice as well off in their retirement than the national average.

Bon voyage!
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Landlords avoiding benefit tenants

A survey from an online letting agent confirms what we have known for some time more and more landlords refuse to take tenants on benefits. Some 82% of landlords questions would refuse to let their property to tenants in receipt of benefit. Is this fair or reasonable?

Tenants on benefits don't have money
The facts are that many tenants are on benefits because simply they don't have very much money. It's a simple fact of life that if you let to a tenant that has a limited income, probably no savings that when things get tight something is going to have to give. This normally means not paying some or all of the rent. I don't think that landlords can be criticised for making a rational economic decision when clearly tenants on benefits pose a greater financial risk to their letting business. Having said that many landlords target specifically benefit tenants seeing them as a steady income stream if and when they can get the benefit paid directly to them.

Benefit cuts affecting landlords 
Recent Local Housing Allowance benefit cuts have reduced the amount and attraction of these tenants. The introduction of Universal Credit threatens to reduce the attractiveness of tenants in receipt of benefit still further. Would you let to tenants letting on benefit. Can they make good tenants and is it wrong to tar all benefit tenants with the same brush let us know your thoughts.

 Landlord insurance - niche brokers - professional rates
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Most popular BTL mortgages

Max LTV Initial Rate Term Completion fee Booking fee Incentives Lender
85% 4.99% Fixed 2 Years 2.5% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85% 5.99% Discount 2 Years 2.5% £130.00 No Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
80% 3.99% Fixed 2016-10-31 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
80% 3.75% Tracker 2 Years 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation Mortgage Trust Exclusive
80% 4.87% Fixed 2019-08-31 £995 £0.00 No Saffron BS Semi Exclusive
80% 4.47% Fixed 2017-03-31 2% £0.00 No Saffron BS Semi Exclusive
75% 4.69% Discount 3 Years 2% £0.00 No Saffron BS Semi Exclusive
75% 2.88% Tracker 2 Years 2.5% £150.00 Free valuation for purchases and remortgages & free legals on remortgages Mortgage Trust Exclusive
65% 5.27% Fixed 2017-03-31 2.5% £0.00 No Saffron BS Ex-Pat Semi Exclusive
60% 2.45% Discount 2 Years £1950 £250.00 One free Valuation on properties valued up to £1,000,000 Hinckley & Rugby Exclusive
IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice. 
Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available.
Search the whole BTL mortgage market free

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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Landlords invest locally

Latest landlord research shows that three quarters of landlords intend to invest locally and buy their next buy-to-let property in the area where they currently live.

Ten percent consider that they might cast their investment sights up to a 100 miles radius of their home.

Just nine percent of landlords would consider buying property further afield.

Mortgage Search - finance my investment
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Helpline report rising rent arrears

The Money Advice Trust's, National Debtline has reported a rise in calls about rent arrears. The number of calls have increase by 40% over the past 2 years, and are up 13% in the last year.
The charity's chief executive, Joanna Elson said: “Rent arrears are now the fastest growing debt problem we help people with and we are in danger of falling into a rent debt crisis."

“Housing costs are the most important household bill of all, and to see such increasing numbers of people falling behind on rent payments is indicative of how the cost of living squeeze has hit many families very hard since 2007. We hear from thousands of people every month about the difficult decisions they have to make just to hold their family finances together.”

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UK building Europe's smallest homes

It comes as no surprise that UK homes have been classified as the smallest in Europe.
I remember looking around one new house that called itself a 'two bed'. The second bedroom was 5'6'' across... I'm 6'2'', now that doesn't fit.

The research from the University of Cambridge found the average new build property covered just 76 square metres. That might sound spacious for one, but that's a squeeze for a family of four, as for the dog, he's going to have to go to the 'dog house'.

The building of smaller and smaller homes has bought the average UK property down to 85 square metres.

One animal is celebrating. Incidents of cats getting swung about have fallen for another year.

Following the release of the research, fresh calls have been made for the mandatory inclusion of floor areas to be included on property sales details. You have to list the weight of a packet of cornflakes so it would make sense to know just how much property you were buying.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BB contestant faces shock eviction

Big brother contestant is facing an eviction of another sort as a result of his real life landlord seeing him on the Channel 5 program.

Scouser Mark Byron was spotted by his landlord David Dowie who is still owed £1,414 of rent arrears.  Dowie has already gone to the court for a money order and a court spokesperson has confirmed that a warrant has been issued against the 24 year old BB contestant.

Unusually for an absconding tenant, who typically disappear without a trace, the landlord knows exactly where his tenant is, and is probably backing him to go all the way to the last eviction night to give him time to serve the papers at his new Elstree TV studio address.

Landlord insurance - professional rates - online brokers 
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Leeds BS cuts BTL mortgage fees

Landlords interested in a low cost buy-to-let mortgage product will be interested to know that the Leeds Building Society has reduced it's fees on it's low cost buy-to-let mortgage.

The mortgage fee on both its 3.24% 2 year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage and it's 2.84% 2 year tracker have come down to £199.  The mortgages include a free standard valuation up to £335 and free in house legal services for the mortgage.  Usefully, for a landlord the mortgage allows up to 10% capital repayments each year.

The downside to this mortgage is that its loan to value (LTV) is low at 60% maximum and it has a relatively low ceiling of maximum loan size of £500,000.

Mortgage Search - FREE SEARCH - expert advice
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Monday, June 16, 2014

LGA call for bigger fines for landlords

The Local Government Association (LGA) have called for magistrates to increase fines for 'rogue landlords', arguing most fines handed out are to small to deter those landlords from exploiting tenants.

The LGA have condemned the legal process for taking landlords to court as frustrating and overly complicated, and has compiled a folder of cases to represent examples of where landlords had got away with a "slap on the wrist" after renting out 'hell holes'.

The Government response had been the announcement that it will legislating for a fourfold increase in the maximum fines available to magistrates.

Mike Jones, who chairs its environment and housing board, said:
"Councils are doing everything they can to tackle the rising levels of rogue landlords caused by the housing crisis. However, they are being hamstrung by a system racked by delays, bureaucracy and feeble fines.

"We need a new streamlined system which is much fairer, faster, more efficient and treats the criminal abuse of tenants seriously. Prosecution in its current state simply is not seen as an effective deterrent by rogue operators."

Buy-to-let Mortgage Update

Andy Young, at Property Hawk Mortgages says:

The buy-to-let mortgage market has been relatively stable over the last month or so without any dramatic rate changes or surprising lender announcements causing big waves. This is not to say that it has been a sea of total calm as there will always be some ripples in the marketplace.

The fact remains that there is now a high number of lenders and products available for landlords to choose from, to suit a wide range of circumstances. Property Hawk Mortgages currently has over 500 products available from 25 different lenders.

No fee/ low fee products

Landlords are often interested in products that have no lender completion fee in order to minimise the upfront costs associated with taking out a new mortgage. With completion fees as high as 3% with some lenders, this equates to a fee of £4500 on a buy-to-let mortgage of £150,000. Some lenders allow you to add this fee to the loan but then, of course, you will be paying interest on this for the term of the loan.

There is currently a good selection of ‘no completion fee’ products from 10 different lenders including Natwest, Virgin Money, Godiva, Platform and The Mortgage Works.

There are also some competitive rates available from Accord Buy to Let which have low completion fees and come with incentives such as a free valuation and cashback.

Natwest – 3.59% tracker until 31/10/2016 up to 70% LTV with no completion fee

Platform – 4.04% fixed until 31/07/2016 up to 75% LTV with no completion fee and free legals for remortgages

Godiva – 3.69% fixed until 31/07/2016 up to 65% LTV with no completion

Accord – 3.69% fixed until 30/06/2016 up to 75% LTV with a £195 completion fee, free valuation and £300 cashback

Additional niche lender

Property Hawk Mortgages has recently added another lender to its sourcing system to provide more options for landlords looking for specialised buy-to-let finance. Market Harborough Building Society has products available for limited companies, expats and holiday lets.

New exclusives with Mortgage Trust

Property Hawk Mortgages has just launched two market-leading exclusive buy-to-let mortgages with Mortgage Trust which are available up to 80% LTV:

Mortgage Trust – 3.75% 2 year tracker up to 80% LTV with a 2.5% completion fee and a free valuation

Mortgage Trust – 3.99 fixed until 31/10/2016 up to 80% LTV with a 2.5% completion fee and a free valuation

Search the whole BTL mortgage market free

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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Rightmove reports cooling June prices

The property market is cooling off. June data from Rightmove reports a UK rise of just 0.1%.

Some regions experienced falls, including a 0.5% drop in London following a surge in supply in the capital.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: 

“The London market powers the rest of the UK but is starting to run out of steam. While the legacy of rises in central London continues to ripple out to its better-value commuter-belt, fuelling price increases in all southern regions, London itself is now marking time. It’s an example to the rest of the country of what happens when affordability and common sense get stretched too far. Through luck or judgement it appears that the timing of the Mortgage Market Review, more property for sale in all regions, and a tail-off in pent-up buyer demand are alleviating some of the upwards price pressure. This will come as a relief to the Governor of the Bank of England and the Financial Policy Committee, who have cited an over-heating housing market as a serious threat to economic recovery and have further powers to use should it get out of hand."

He goes on to say

“The Bank of England has now reported three consecutive months of falling mortgage approvals and a major factor in this is the clumsy and apparent over-zealous implementation of MMR. It is certainly causing a major headache for some estate agents with U-turns by lenders meaning sales falling through and heartache for buyers and sellers who thought they had a deal agreed. The MMR deadline has occurred at the busiest time of the home-buying year, without a co-ordinated consumer communication plan, and some ill-prepared lenders are struggling with new underwriting rules, shortages of appropriately qualified staff, and the work involved in processing the additional paperwork. When they do all get to grips with it, there is the possibility that this will turn out to be more of a temporary lull rather than a major reduction in demand. However, at present it offers the FPC a reason to delay more stringent measures and hope that the balance between demand and supply is heading to a level where the more rampant price increases are being controlled.”
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New Government guide on renting

Housing Minister, Kris Hopkins has released a new downloadable 'Guide on How to Rent'.

The guide is for both tenants and landlords and includes -

  • Advice about tenancy deposit schemes, bills and tenancy agreements
  • A checklist of paperwork the landlord must give to tenants
  • Details of repairs the landlord must make and the right of a landlord to enter a rented home
  • How to end tenancies and return deposits
Kris Hopkins said: 

“The new guide will give tenants the knowledge they need at their fingertips and help raise the game of landlords who may not know what is expected of them.”

“We are doing all of this without the need for excessive state regulation that would destroy investment in new housing, push up prices and make it far harder for people to find a flat or house to rent.”

“This government is turning up the heat on the small minority of rogue landlords that are not playing by the rules and giving tenants a rough deal.”

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My friend made 120k on his BTL

"My friend rented out his old flat in Ealing, and it's gone up 120k in three years.

I hear it all the time. Everybody wants to buy a BTL property because their friend has done well.

Should you get a BTL?

Stop and think carefully. Just because your friend has done well it doesn't mean you will. There are reasons why this might not be a good time to buy. The inevitable interest rate rises are looking likely to be this year. This could change everything. Relative returns could take a beating.

Landlords have seen an increasing portion of their investment returns coming from capital growth and not rents. Particularly in London, where the majority of a landlord's return's have come from the boom in property prices.

This boom cannot last. Property prices are already bubbling over, with Rightmove's June figures indicating a fall or flattening off. The interest rate rise will be the pin, that may not pop it, but will surely give it a slow puncture.

So without capital growth to rely on, let's look to rents.  Again, thanks to our failure to build, alongside  unprecedented rates of immigration, rent affordability is already stretched. I can't see how we are going to get anything more than inflation levels of rent increases unless wage inflation suddenly picks up.

Meanwhile, rising interest rates will revitalise other saving investments. Bank rates will go back up and look increasingly attractive.

So back to the question, 'should I get myself a BTL property like my friends?'. Well give them another ring. Ask them if they've had any problems with tenants or with managing their rental property. Have they ever had a blocked toilet or a tenant not paying the rent?

I bumped into a friend the other day when I was walking the dog. He has a couple of BTL properties. It turns out that one of his tenants has stopped paying the rent. Apparently she lost her job, the LHA calculation came short of the required rent, and for some reason she stopped paying the rent altogether.

My friends has received no rent for three months. He served her a free Section 21 Notice downloaded from our site and is now waiting for the court to award him possession. Meanwhile he has been having to pay the BTL mortgage payments from his savings.

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Engage with Property Hawk on Google+

Landlords who want to engage with other landlords and property investors should connect with Property Hawks new Google+ page.

Keep up to date with all the latest in buy-to-let news, expert views on the residential investment market along with the development in our FREE Property Management software.

If you have a question about letting your buy-to-let property legally why not join up to our landlord forum and get a free expert legal view.

Landlord insurance - professional rates - instant quotes
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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Interest rates could rise

What is the likelihood that interest rates are likely to rise this year? This is the question that is on many landlords lips who are trying to plan their mortgage strategies going forward into next year. Mark Carney at his Mansion House speech last week told his audience of big wigs but really it is aimed at us all; that the journey back to normalised interest rates may start earlier than you think (in essence later this year). We have ruminated before on where next for interest rates as it is the most important economic variable faced by any geared landlord.

My view is that Carney is marking the end of this historic period of low interest rates without choking the normalisation of the property market and the rest of the economy.  How should landlords respond? No landlord should panic and over react.  Having said that I will be making sure that I finish my application for my 5 year fixed rate mortgage at just over 4% this weekend.  I'm pretty sure that this rate wont be around for much longer and in a couple of years time we will all be look back with incredulility at how low the fixed rates really got.

Mortgage Search - best fixed rates - expert advice

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Booming property price making more returns

Countrywides latest quarterly letting index report that landlords are seeing an increasing return on their investment when factoring in property values. 

The average total return for landlords is now 12.2%, when both the rental yield and capital appreciation are added together, compared to a figure of 6.8% a year ago.

This surge in fortune has largely been driven by the boom in property prices during the early part of this year, though recent RICS data points to a slowing market.

There continues to be regional variations, London's rental yields are low, but  prices rises are continuing to out perform all other areas. The average London landlord had seen three quarters of their total return produced by capital growth, with just a quarter coming from rent payments.

Countrywide's rental data show the average UK monthly rent has increased 4.6% over the past year, largely again driven by booming London, whereas much of Northern England, particularly the North East is seeing falls in average rent. Some larger city centres are fairing better,Birmingham (+3.9%), Manchester (+3.7%) and Leeds (+3.6%).

Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director, Countrywide plc, said:

“Yield and prospects for capital growth are both important components of a rental property investment. When weighing up an opportunity would-be landlords need to balance both the achievable yield and the prospects for capital appreciation before striking a balance between the two. For landlords looking to invest over the medium to longer term the prospects for capital appreciation becomes increasingly important.

“Since 2013, capital growth has formed a growing part of the return for landlords across London and the South East of the UK. Although rents, alongside wages have grown strongly, they have lagged behind rising house prices. While inevitably this has led to a degree of yield erosion, when looking at yield and capital appreciation together, the total returns have increased by 45% over the past 12 months. Conversely, parts of Northern England and Wales have seen yields grow as house prices have recovered much more slowly. In 2013, rising rents outstripped house price growth across most of the North.

“While total return forms the bottom line for landlords, landlords also need to take into account other practical considerations to ensure this return is realised. For instance, many landlords with smaller portfolios choose to purchase near to their own home in order to be able to manage or keep an eye on their property investment. Equally, for landlords looking to invest over a relatively short period of time, the ability to sell quickly is important to minimise void periods during the sale process and to realise value growth.

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Council take over management of HMO

Camden Council has taken over the running of a large HMO after the landlord, Stephen Paul Gethin, was found guilty of managing an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation and convicted of 14 other housing offences at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in April. 

The large HMO, Happy Vale Hotel in Mornington Crescent, was described as ‘dangerous and cockroach-infested’ conditions.

The council has placed an interim management order on the old hotel where 17 people are living, and a program of emergency repairs will be carried out to make the place safe for the tenants. 

The property was blighted by raw sewage, cockroach and mouse infestation, fire doors wedged open, failed emergency lighting, not working properly and extensive disrepair.

The landlord has been made to pay more than £20,000 and the council are currently considering how the long term management of the rental property will be resolved.

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Savills video on Irish property market

A Savills video on the Irish property market.


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More people in debt

The Money Advice has reported a 140% rise in those experiencing debt.

The type of debt problems they are dealing with are increasingly concerning energy, water, telephone, council tax and catalogue shopping bills. The charity are reporting fewer problems with traditional credit products such as bank overdrafts, loans and credit cards.

"The gradual erosion of some families' surplus income in the face of rising prices has led to a new generation of debt problems – one to which more people are vulnerable, one which is harder to resolve and one which has no definitive solution," said Joanna Elson, the trust's chief executive.

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Slowing market is good for landlords

Latest data is pointing to the property market cooling a little.

RICS reported a fall in the number of buyer enquiries, saying affordability, lack of supply and new restrictions on mortgage lending was slowing the market.


The last thing landlords need is for a market boom to force the BoE to raise interest rates.

I'm happy if everything stays nice and flat for many years to come.

Steady as she goes.

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Spotlight on student letting

This spotlight on student letting examines the global trends and demand for student property.

Student education is a global business and catering for student accommodation is the same.

Have a look at our guide on letting to students but the free spotlight on student letting produced by Savills makes an interesting read.

Landlord insurance - professional rates - instant quote

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Landlords earn double average wage

Landlords earn double the average national income according to recent research. My experience in recent years that bucks for effort my property portfolio generates far more cash per hour work than my other ventures.

Research on landlord income
The research from BRDC indicates that the average landlord takes almost £60,000 in rental income from a portfolio valued at £1.2 million and comprising of 8-9 properties. This is over double the average wage of £27,174.  I'm guessing that the average is inflated considerably by the London effect but I would agree that it certainly is in the right ball park.

My strategy
My strategy over the next few years is to fix some of the mortgages I have to lock myself into the low interest rate environment and also pay down some of my debt by transferring some of my mortgages to repayment from their current interest only status.  In this way I'm hoping that my rental portfolio continues to generate a significant income even after the current interest rate environment normalizes over the next few years.

MORTGAGE SEARCH - whole market - expert advice

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Most popular BTL mortgages

Max LTVInitial RateTermCompletion feeBooking feeIncentivesLender
85%4.99% Fixed2 Years2.5%£130.00NoKent Reliance Semi Exclusive
85%5.99% Discount2 Years2.5%£130.00NoKent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
80%3.99% Fixed2016-10-312.5%£150.00Free valuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
80%3.75% Tracker2 Years2.5%£150.00Free valuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
80%4.47% Fixed2016-11-302%£0.00NoSaffron BS Semi Exclusive
80%4.87% Fixed2019-08-31£995£0.00NoSaffron BS Semi Exclusive
75%2.88% Tracker2 Years2.5%£150.00Free valuation for purchases and remortgages & free legals on remortgagesMortgage Trust Exclusive
65%5.27% Fixed2016-11-302.5%£0.00NoSaffron BS Ex-Pat Semi Exclusive
60%2.45% Discount2 Years£1950£250.00One free Valuation on properties valued up to £1,000,000Hinckley & Rugby Exclusive
IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice. 
Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available.

Search the whole BTL mortgage market free

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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Exclusive BTL mortgages with 80% LTV

Two excellent buy-to-let exclusives from Mortgage Trust up to 80% LTV and with a free valuation – available via Property Hawk Mortgages.

These buy-to-let exclusives with Mortgage Trust are available up to 80% LTV, including a 3.75% 2 year tracker and a 3.99% fixed rate until 31/10/2016. Both products have a free valuation.

An application fee will normally apply.

Search the whole BTL mortgage market free

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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Rent growth slows

We have been warning landlords that the largely reported myth of spiralling rents would soon be exposed. Away from the Westminster Bubble and the billionaires living in Knightsbridge the rest of us in 'main street' UK know that rents have not been if a Landlord was lucky keeping track with inflation but no more.  Property Hawk's Rentindex reveals that rents are flat in monetary terms year on year even if there has been the expected seasonal adjustment that occurs during the Spring & Summer letting market.  Government figures on rents provided by the ONS show that rents are only up 1% over the year.

FT reveals rents reverse

The latest rent figures featured in the FT reveal the reality that rent rises across England and Wales have slowed to their lowest annual rate in over 4 years.  The data provided by LSL Property Services also showed that rents in March were only 0.9 per cent higher than a year ago.  This is the slowest growth rate since January 2010. The figures from LSL show that the average rent now stands at £741 per month. On a monthly basis, rents actually fell by 0.2 per cent between February and March.

Property Hawk View

It will be interesting to see if any of the Labour Politicians are listening to the facts that rents across the UK are flat or falling (in real terms) before they continue on their crusade to bash landlords for exorbitant rental increase or will they just put it down to an inconvenient truth!

Landlord insurance - protect your rents - rent guarantee insurance

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Landlords can be part of the solution

The Telegraph has called for more help for small scale landlords to invest and build in new build property to ease the housing problem.

It's nice to see an article that recognises that landlords can be part of the solution to the shortage of housing crisis and are not as we are so often referred to as the sole problem.

To the read the full article have a look at the Telegraph.

Landllords Insurance - online brokers - professional rates

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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Best ten rental yields in London

The cheaper areas of the capital obviously continue to bring in the best rental yields according to the latest HSBC data on rental yields. Newham came out best with a relatively decent yield of 6.0%, though it's still lags a long way behind the likes of Southampton and rental yields in the other best performing cities. I'm sure London investors have had the shortfall in yields more than compensated for by their recent capital growth in the booming London market. 

Auction results - rental yields fall

The latest results from London based property auction house Allsop on the 29th May showed a considerable tightening of the rental yields of properties being let with Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements. 

Rental yields have dropped a full 2% from the results announced at the end of 2013 which were still registering a double digit yield. 

The figures reflect the rising property prices in London and the South East and the renewed interest of buy-to-let property with residential investors.

Mortgage Search - finance my investment

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