My buy-to-let story………and how I’m now living on a beach!!

NGU Homelettings and NGU Homesales – Customer Review!




My name is Mark Cosgrove and I just wanted to share my experience of Chris and Nigel Fitzakerley and the NGU group:



In 2006 I spent a year working 3 jobs to save up £17k to buy and refurbish a house in Edinburgh in order to get into the Buy-To-Let buisness.



The following year I bought and refurbished it, half-killing myself doing 14 hour days, 5 days a week for a couple of months. My elbows and knees were in agony but I finally managed to complete the job and then nearly defaulted 3 times over the year running out of money on several occasions.

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My top renovation tips!

If you are renovating your property for the rental market, key tips you need to know for a long term approach!



The standard of your property is directly linked to the standard of tenant you will attract. I come across many landlords (I was the same in the early days) who paint the walls magnolia, put cheap carpets in, put the basic/functional kitchens and bathrooms in, get a tenant and have that warm feeling inside. You have managed to develop the property without spending much of your hard earned cash, happy days!

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How do you tell a good Letting Agent from a bad one?

Is your Letting Agent any good, are they a member of the

Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)?



When you seek out a good tradesman, you would ask them questions such as:


1) How long have you been doing this work?



2) What qualifications have you got?



3) Can I see some of the work that you have done?



4) How do I know you are any good?



5) Questions about price?



What I find strange is that when a new landlord comes across to us because they have had a bad experience with another agent, they have not asked any of these questions.  At NGU Homelettings we all work hard and want to be the best in the industry. I personally pride myself on my work ethic, high standards and my relentless will to succeed and never give up. I work from 5:00am in the morning till 7:30pm at night. This work ethic from me and my staff has allowed me to answer these type of questions categorically:

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How to get the right tenant?

When your tenant hands in their notice, as a landlord we all get that dreaded feeling. We know we have to prepare for a void period, the property may need some work and the local council even want to take council tax off you when it becomes empty. 



That feeling can quickly be replaced by feeling warm and cosy when you find a new tenant and all seems well in the world again. While it is nice to have that warm and cosy feeling, it is essential that the tenant that you are putting into your property is suitable and passes the right lettings criteria. If you don’t do the right checks, unless you get extremely lucky, you will get a tenant who will damage your house and have rent arrears.

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Tenant Handbook-tell your tenants how to treat your property!

When a tenant moves into a property managed by us, NGU Homelettings, our key focus will be completing the tenancy agreement and making sure we provide a thorough inventory with photographs. The tenant’s key focus is generally a lot different and they are consumed by the excitement of moving into their new property



Often at the move-in stage, your new tenant will have family members to help them move-in and unpack cars full of furniture. At this stage even though you are trying to highlight the key points to living at your property it generally goes in one ear and out of the other.  It is very important for you and your tenant that you explain HOW your property should be treated so they’ll know what is expected and what isn’t.

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Lettings News in Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Shields, South Shields, Durham, Stockton-on-Tees, Bishop Auckland, Middlesbrough and Darlington

This week I wanted to share with you little tips I have learnt over the years which will help you when developing a property for the rental market:



Top Tips



1. When installing double glazed windows only install locks which are push buttons instead of keys. This will mean that you do not have to worry about lost keys over the years.


2. In your bathrooms install UPVC ceilings. This will mean you will no longer have to paint those condensation marks your tenant(s) may leave on the ceiling at the end of their tenancy.

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North East Letting Agent-NGU Homelettings

A landlord’s experience…………with NGU Homelettings



What one of our landlords thinks of NGU Homelettings!-Antony & Elvina Gilbert, Bury St Edmunds          



Having started buying property in East Anglia in the late 1990s we began to look for opportunities further afield and decided on expanding our portfolio in the North East.



Given the distance and the fact that we have other careers, finding a good management company is of paramount importance. Our experience of agents in the early years was not always positive and we encountered many of the pitfalls of property investment.

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Guides for Tenants-Tenant Handbooks

When a new tenant moves into your property there is a lot to think about-inventory, tenancy agreement, photos, housing benefit forms, etc. If you find that there is a lot of information to take in what do you think your tenants will think? You guessed it – information over-load. That is why at NGU Homelettings we have produced a Tenant Handbook which we give to tenants when they move in. This handbook provides all the information that a tenant will ever need to be able to enjoy living in their property and to make sure that it is handed back in the correct condition or improved. 

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House prices post strongest annual growth in nearly three years Is there money to be made?

House prices have recorded their strongest year-on-year growth in nearly three years, as market activity increases, according to the Halifax.



The rise in house prices is in line with figures published last week by Nationwide, which reported that house prices were now 1.1pc higher than they were a year ago, marking the fastest annual increase seen since November 2011.



The number of mortgages on the market has increased sharply since the Government launched a scheme called Funding for Lending last August, which has given lenders access to cheap finance to help borrowers.

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Fix repairs in your rented property or the Housing Health and Safety Rating System Officer will come to visit – you do not want that!

Think again!



If you are a landlord who is not doing repairs at the moment and they are essential I urge you to think again!



If you do not do an annual assessment of your property in a detailed way to confirm there are no health and safety risks, I urge you to stop and think!



2004 Housing Act




In 2004 the Housing Act changed the way the local council can assess the housing condition of a rented property using a risk assessment approach called the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). If your tenant feels that the property they are living in has health and safety hazards, they can call the council to have one of their officers to arrange an inspection.

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