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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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:
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.
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:
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.