How do you get Housing Benefits paid directly to the Landlord?

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – In what situations can it be paid DIRECT to the landlord?



There are many ways that LHA can be paid direct to a landlord, most of which are considered to be ‘Safeguarding’. 



Another way is where the landlord reduces the rent to the same level of local housing allowance, applicable to the size of the property. But not all councils will accept this and I predict that within a year a further reduction may be sought if a new application for LHA is submitted.

read more

What You Should Always Ask When Screening Tenants?

When interviewing prospective tenants, there are some questions you should ask to help determine if the tenant will be a good fit for your property. These qualifying questions can be asked over the phone. By doing this you can save the time of physically having to show them your property by qualifying a prospective tenant first.




Basic Questions to ask a new tenant



  1. Why are you moving?
  2. What is the earliest you could move into your new property?
  3. What is your monthly income?
  4. Can you pay the money up front needed for the property?
  5. How many people will be living in the property?
  6. Can you provide references?
  7. Can we do a credit and back ground check on you?
  8. Have you ever been evicted before?
  9. Do you have any pets?



Detailed Questions to ask a new tenant that will help to prevent rent arrears and your property getting trashed

read more

Developing Rental Properties for the Long Term in the North East

For those of you who have been receiving my e-shots for a while now, you will know that I like to share best practice when I come across it. In this week’s e-shot I want to share with you some new property development tips that I have come across this week. While they may seem simple, they are invaluable pieces of advice that will save you money in the long term when dealing with tenants and how they’ll treat your rental property over a 10 year period. 



Top Tips



Pull Cords in bathrooms

read more

Top Weekly Maintenance Tips for Landlords

Exterior Wooden/ UPVC/Composite Door



Wooden – Wooden doors may be the cheapest option but think again when it comes to the long term maintenance involved. Wooden doors will need painting over the years and swell due to weather conditions. You may end up paying for a joiner to come back out when the door has swelled and it becomes jammed shut. Wooden doors will also let in the cold and with the cost of gas going up each year, tenants will start thinking about how economical their property is. 

read more

A New Approach to getting Tenants from Down South & Receive £2k on-top!

A New Approach to getting Tenants from Down South & Receive £2k on-top!




We have just signed up to a Landlord Accreditation Association in a London borough which allows us to take tenants who can no longer afford housing in the south-east of England due to the benefit caps.  We have just accepted our first tenant, who used to live in Middlesbrough, and would like to relocate back to the area.  The landlord has won on two fronts since:




1. We managed to MAXIMISE the rent from the advertised figure of £395 to £495, since the tenant was allowed to receive more housing benefits.

read more

Help to Buy Scheme – Mortgage Guarantee

Overview: Help to Buy Scheme – Mortgage Guarantee



What does the Scheme do?



To allow buyers to purchase any property under £600,000 – a new build or pre-owned home with as little as a 5% deposit.




How Can it Benefit Buyers?



The scheme is intended to increase the availability of mortgages at competitive interest rates for buyers with a minimum of 5% deposit. Previous to this scheme there were very few lenders who offered 5% deposit mortgages. Those that did typically had high interest rates. The mortgage guarantee scheme means that mortgages will now be more readily available to buyers with improved interest rates and there will be no additional paperwork or charges to the buyer though there will be inflexible criteria that buyers must meet in order to qualify.

read more


A boiler is probably one of the most essential and expensive single investments in any rented property; not only to install but also to fix when they go wrong. Yet many Landlords do not spend the time needed to maintain their boilers, until a hefty bill comes in…



Is Servicing My boiler Really That Important?




As Landlords you should all be well aware of your legal responsibility as per Gas Safety (installation & Use) Regulations 1998 to ensure your boiler is safe by organising an annual Gas Safety Check; which was previously known as a CP12 under CORGI, prior to April 2010. Yet as with your car MOT; the Gas Safety Check only looks at the immediate safety of your boiler. It is the boiler service that ensures the boiler is functioning properly and in line with manufacturer guidelines; which could prolong boiler life and reduce the risk of faults and expensive repairs at a later date.

read more

Is it worth pursuing my Rental Debt?

In 2013, spread over 157 properties, we have only wrote off £53 of rent debt! – THAT’S 3p per property per month!! 



How have we accomplished this?



1. We have the right criteria when taking on new tenants – our starting process is correct!


2. Exceptional operational procedures in place to deal with rent debt when it happens – because it does!


Well that’s the GOOD, THE BAD, what about the UGLY- what do we do when the tenant does a runner and owes rent?

read more

Benefits Street- on Channel 4 – Would I take benefit tenants as a landlord?

Benefits Street- on Channel 4 – Would I take benefit tenants as a landlord?



The new program which aired last week on Channel 4 has hit the internet and the media with a storm. If you have not heard about this program where have you been? It is about a street in Birmingham where the vast majority of households are on housing benefits



Click the below link to watch the program on channel 4oD if you have missed it. It lasts approximately 45 minutes so set some time aside and enjoy!

read more