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?

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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!

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Top 5 tips when tenants give notice on your property

Top 5 Tips when Tenants give Notice on your Property




I wanted to share with you some top tips that I have found very useful this week when dealing with tenants that have given notice. Remember I am not just a letting agent but also a landlord as well and like you – live and breathe the problems that you encounter! My top tips are only small bits of advice but they make such a difference!




So here are my golden top five tips of the week:



Key questions to ask when your tenant has given notice and you have organised a first meet at the property to confirm its condition before the move out date:

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Changes to council tax payments

Be aware of further changes to council tax payments 



As landlords, you will all be aware that last year in April there were changes to council tax on empty properties.  Traditionally you were given a 6 month exemption when a property was unfurnished & empty before you were liable for council tax.  This has now changed!!



You are now liable to pay for council tax on your property while it’s empty, sometimes from day 1. Below is a reminder of when council tax is liable from the date your property becomes empty.

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Buy to Let Lending Update

As the Bank of England reports residential mortgage lending has hit the highest level in more than five years, buy to let lenders have made little changes in rates and deals for landlords. December was the busiest month for mortgages since January 2008, with 71,638 loan applications rubberstamped by lenders. The Mortgage Works, the buy to let lending arm of the Nationwide, has reacted with a revamp of rates and offers for buy to let landlords.




These new deals hit the market from the lender:

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Beware of Unexpected Empty Property Costs



Do any of your properties have pre-payment meters? If so, you may also be aware of how they work, but of late, utility suppliers are clamping down on how they deal with these. Sadly, like a lot things, these are not in the landlords favour. A Pre-payment meter works on a “pay as you go” basis so that tenants can put money on the key and the card, and they are in control of how much they are using. Once the property is empty and a tenant leaves, there is a daily standing charge which is for things such as maintenance, the cost of keeping you connected to the network and various operating costs.

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Free Council Grants in Newcastle upon Tyne for Landlords- Lettings Breaking News

Get FREE money from the council if you have a property in Newcastle!



Newcastle council are currently offering a FREE grant to develop your rental property if it has been empty for over 6 months. This is not a % grant (you pay 20% they pay the rest). This is free money up to £3,000! 



If you have a property in the following streets and it has been empty for over 6 months then you will qualify for this:




North Benwell Terraces


Arthurs Hill Elswick Triangle
Barnesbury Road Beaconsfield Street Hartington Street
Benwell Grove Belsay Place Kinglsey Street
Canning Street Bishops Avenue Longley Street
Colston Street Brighton Grove Normanton Terrace
Condercum Road Callerton Place Vallum Terrace
Dolphin Street Chelsea Grove
Ellesmere Road Crossley Terrace
Fairholm Road Croydon Road
Farndale Road Dilston Road
Hampstead Road Gainsborough Grove
Ladykirk Road Graingerville North
Normount Road Northcote Street
Strathmore Crescent Philip Street
Wellfield Road Prospect Place
West Road Sidney Grove
Stanhope Street
Stanton Street
Tamworth Road
Wellesley Terrace
Westgate Road






Your property could also qualify for a FREE boiler via the new GREEN DEAL / ECO DEAL. We have set up a relationship with the second largest provider in the UK who offers FREE cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and combi boilers via a government backed grant scheme.

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Protect your DEPOSIT – get the starting point right!

People often ask me – how do you win your deposit disputes? How do you manage to get your tenant(s) to rectify any damage they may have caused before they move out? 



The answer – get the starting point right!



Give guidelines to your tenant(s) when they move in!



We do this and the guidelines are the first page of our inventory. The guidelines you should give to your tenants when they move in, should include the following:



Examples of the most common deductions that a tenant can be charged for. What may be common sense to you will not necessarily be common sense to your tenant?

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Make sure you give your tenant(s) a Tenant Handbook!

Everyone knows you should draw up a tenancy agreement before a tenant moves into your property – right!



YES – we all know the basics, but here’s my golden nugget of the week!



Do we provide our tenant(s) with something that provides all the information that they will need to be able to enjoy living in your property and makes sure that it is handed back in the correct condition or improved? 



The answer is – give your tenant(s) a TENANT HANDBOOK.

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