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Need possession of your property? Here is a guide.

September 14th, 2015

Introduction

This guidance has been prepared for landlords who wish to gain possession of a privately rented property let on an assured short hold tenancy.

You are likely to be letting on an assured short hold tenancy if:

  • you are a private landlord
  • the tenancy began on or after 28 February 1997
  • the house or flat is let as separate accommodation and is the tenant’s main home

Continue reading “Need possession of your property? Here is a guide.”

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Eight things that as a Landlord you should always convey to their tenants …

April 25th, 2014

The relationship you have with your tenants ideally should be a good one, this will help to ensure that your properties are creating income for you. Tenants who are happy with their home and are living comfortably will be more inclined to stay on.  Here is are my four ways of keeping our tenants happy from the outset.

Continue reading “Eight things that as a Landlord you should always convey to their tenants …”

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Court Deposit Legislation in Turmoil – Be warned! Does a Periodic become a new tenancy?

November 18th, 2013

PIMS – Court Deposit Legislation in Turmoil – Be warned !

Major consequences are expected for the private rented industry with the latest Court of Appeal judgement that opens up landlords to legal action from tenants because of unwittingly breaking the law on tenancy deposit protection.
The case that the judgement was passed is “Superstrike V Rodrigues a Court of Appeal Ruling

Continue reading “Court Deposit Legislation in Turmoil – Be warned! Does a Periodic become a new tenancy?”

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Should you use an agent?

November 18th, 2013
Recommendations from other landlords
  • Choose 3 agents in the local area and visit them all in person
  • Check their organisation skills – ask them to do three things. These can be quite small as posting terms & conditions, e-mailing you their contact details and confirming their tenancy deposit scheme. Check that they do this, if they don’t they haven’t noted your request or just haven’t done it – either way this displays poor organisation.
  • Don’t take them at face value – many people can talk a good game but don’t deliver.
  • They should be up to date with Lettings Legislation.
  • Your Agent should have Client Money Protection Insurance for should their business fail you will be an unsecured creditor and liable for losses such as Tenants Deposits not lawfully being held / protected.
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Do you meet all your tenants demands?

April 22nd, 2013

One of the most frequent problems Landlords face is overly demanding tenants making requests for redecoration, double glazing or replacement of appliances.

Landlords have a legal obligation to maintain their rental property, the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act sets out the landlords responsibilities under section 11.

Within this Act landlords must: “Keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes), keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity). Keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.”

Generally as you can see from the section 11 quote above the landlords responsibilities are to maintain the property not to improve it. Redecorating or granting other requests from tenants are completely at the discretion of the landlord. If the property is in good repair legally the landlord has met their obligations.

Normally broken appliances will be replaced by the tenant unless the damage is considered fair wear and tear. If the request is for the replacement of an appliance that could have broken due to normal usage or age, such as a dishwasher or  washing machine it is advisable for the landlord to replace it.

If the request is for an upgrade, such as a new bathroom the landlord has no obligation or responsibility to agree. That said, it is always beneficial to try to maintain a good relationship with your tenants, so for every request you receive consider it carefully before responding. If the request is reasonable and will improve your property for the next tenancy you may wish to go ahead. If the change has been requested by the tenant and is significant, such as double glazing, reasonable tenants should expect their rental to increase slightly. Remember your tenant accepted the property as they viewed it, demands for upgrades are at your discretion.

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A Landlord’s Guide to Maximising Rental Income

March 17th, 2013

Here are some ideas I have out together to help you maximise your property investment.  Being a Landlord myself for the last 13 years, it now feels like quite a long road.  When I first started property investment seemed like an easy vehicle to make money, this was of course due to the property market going up and up.  The refurbishment and then the renting out of the property seemed easy compared to the market today. Students would accept  the regulation corduroy blue carpets and basic amenities, and the professional market thought a dishwasher was a luxury!  Now students also want a decent level of accommodation and  the professional tenants want something a bit special! Whether we find ourselves as an accidental Landlord or we chose this route of investment, we need to avoid those voids and maximise our returns. Some pointers which make very good sense in our current market:

  • When increasing the rent, ensure the tenants are given a feasible reason for this increase. For example you may include some utilities in your rent, and with fuel prices up, this would be a legitimate reason..
  • Don’t increase the rent so much that it is not affordable, and make sure it is comparable to the immediate local market and of a similar standard.
  • Visit your property every quarter, minimum. if you employ the services of letting agency, ensure that this is done and you are informed of any issues. A tenant may notice a leak but not report it until the flat downstairs reports a massive brown wet stain on their ceiling! Noticing issues early limits the big repair bills.
  • Attract your target market. Make your property fit the needs of tenant. This will ensure tenants remain at the property longer and won’t feel the necessity to move on.You will have higher occupancy levels.
  • Minimising void periods. Advertise the property to let ASAP, don’t delay! Make sure the rent is right, too much and you won’t get any interest. If you are made an offer weigh it up sensibly. Have they offered £5o -£100 less, but want to move in back to back with the last tenant, then Think about taking it, how much other interest is there? It is a false economy to hang out for the higher rent and miss a months rent you will never get this money back.
  • Note feedback from prospective tenants who have viewed and tenants who have moved out.  Why are they leaving? Is there something that they think would improve the accommodation? Listen to feed back it counts this is your audience.
  • Make sure your tenants know what is expected of them. Draw a list of things which the landlord will not pay for I.E blocked pump on the washing machine (pockets not being emptied) blocked kitchen sink drain (from foodstuff).
  • Before calling out the electrician etc. talk with the tenant on the phone, get as much info as possible. May be it is just a trip switch? Or something else the tenant can sort themselves. Teach tenants how to do re-light the pilot light for example. Or if you are handy perhaps you can do much of the basic maintenance yourself.
  • Treat tenants well build a rapport. Just not too well that they ring you at 2am drunk when they have locked themselves out of the house!! Some want you as a surrogate mother!

Whatever the economic climate, we should always be looking at ways we can save money!

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Property refurbishment

September 19th, 2011

Accidental investors are now cashing in on the high demand for good quality rental property.  They are realising that if they refurbish their property to a high standard, they will be able to benefit from the excellent rents we are able to gain on their behalf.

Railton-Meeks is refurbishing many properties for clients, and ensuring through good management practice that client’s properties are kept in optimum condition and not left to get shabby.

Contact Railton-Meeks to day for a free no obligation appraisal of your rental property.

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Are you trying desperately hard to sell your apartment?

May 25th, 2011

Have you had your apartment on the market for more than 6 months? Are you desperately wanting to move on, but cannot see how to move forward?

Railton-Meeks may have the answer.  We have professional tenants who are waiting patiently for more apartments to come on the rental market.  Demand is currently outweighing supply particularly in Didsbury & Chorlton.  Railton-Meeks have a fabulous mortgage broker who is specialising in Let-to-buy mortgages, with your situation in mind.

Railton-Meeks will offer practical advice and a wealth of experience in helping you turn your home into an investment for the future.

Please telephone for a no obligation assessment of your home as an investment vehicle.

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CALLING ALL LANDLORDS ……… have you purchased a HMO or holiday let in the last 5 years?

March 13th, 2011

If you are a landlord who has purchased a HMO or holiday let in the UK in the last five years, then you could be able to claim up to 50K back in capital allowances.  You maybe thinking ‘surely my accountant has this covered?!’.  Well not necessarily, accountants generally don’t like to get involved with pursuing this form of tax refund, mainly due to the fact that it can be time consuming.  Capital allowances can come in two forms, a percentage of the purchase price and a percentage of the initial refurbishment costs.

It is a good idea to employ an expert in this field, Tara at Railton-Meeks can put you in touch with a company who specialises in this field, and will work along side your accountant.

Please telephone or email for further details tmeeks@railtonmeeks.co.uk

Tel:  0161 448 2154

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Thinking of letting your property?

November 1st, 2010

If you think that letting your property might be the answer to your problems, then make sure you know your market!

It might seem like the ideal solution if you’re having trouble selling your property, but prospective tenants are fussier than they used to be, and if the house or flat isn’t up to the standards they are looking for, you could be left with an empty property and no potential income from it.

What are Potential Tenants looking for?

The main factors that will influence whether your property is suitable for being let is its location, the type of property it is, and the physical condition it’s in.

 

If you’re lucky enough to own a large house with several bedrooms, close to transport links and local universities/colleges, you could have a ready-made income from the student market. What are the selling points of the property – how close is it to local shops and leisure facilities?

You might find that in your area family homes are really sought after – or commuter-friendly one bedroom flats could be at a premium. So it is a good idea to speak with a couple of agents who specialise in the area your property is in.  They will tell you firsthand what the demand is.

Is your property in the centre of busy commuter village easily accessible to the city? If so the chances are this will be an area which is popular with professionals, and there will be lots of similar properties on the market.  Your property therefore has to be a very good standard suitable for this market.

What is the condition of your property?

People won’t settle for badly kept properties any more – there’s too much competition in the rental market. Tenants are usually looking for a property with, at the very least, a clean modern bathroom and a fitted kitchen.

When it comes to the fixtures and the decor, don’t cut corners. Try and get higher quality appliances, and bathroom fitting, and make sure that the property looks good when you show people around. Redecorate in neutral colours and replace any tatty carpets or curtains.

These little details may seem insignificant but they will make the world of difference to a potential tenant. Remember that it’s not like selling a house where people can see the potential to ‘do up’ a property – as tenants rather than owners they will have to live with those carpets or that wallpaper and if they hate it, they will pass.

Prospective tenant like to see the finished article, they don’t want to imagine what the property will be like when it’s finished! You will miss out on many opportunities to let your property if it isn’t ready!

Is it suitable for the student market?

Letting out your house to students has long been seen as a good but-to-let investment idea, and it’s always going to be a popular way of making money from rental. If you live in a town or city with a thriving student population (Manchester for example), it could be a way to make some significant money from your property.

To be able to let your house to students you’ll need to be in an area that’s popular with the student population, the areas that attract them are usually close to the universities and colleges themselves, and within easy reach of all the local amenities (and pubs).

City centres are also very popular with students, with purpose built university apartments now being offered with en suite facilities, and now much more affordable.  With this in mind, if your property is a traditional property and not a new-build, then these in particular have to be of a very good standard.  Students expect a lot more these days, any property which is in disrepair or shabby will not let!  You have to go make sure it is appealing with up to date appliances, WIFI connections and even SKY TV packages.

There is also a huge amount of legislation covering the student property market, and if your property is over 4 beds then it must adhere to HMO legislation.  RM can is expert in this field and can advise you in depth.

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