e-commerce currency conversion Blog | Property Management & Lettings - Part 2

Letting agents worth the fee?

November 10th, 2016

Buy-to-let investors have traditionally had two choices when it comes to finding tenants and managing properties – pay a letting agent a sizeable fee or do it themselves.

Lettings agents will typically offer a “let-only” service, where they will find, interview and vet tenants, do the paperwork and take the deposit and first month’s rent for a fee of around £600 plus VAT. Then there is a “full management”service, which can cost 10 per cent of the rent or more. Here, the agent will continue to collect rent and deal with the day-to-day running of the property.

An agent’s services can be essential for landlords who have properties far away or a large portfolio to manage. But for those seeking a more hands on approach, Railton-Meeks can offer a more bespoke option to the landlord, see our list of services in our management section.

Happy to discuss your personal requirements.

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Are you protecting your deposits within 30 days, if not you are breaking the law!

September 21st, 2016

As a landlord who manages your own properties, are you insuring  your tenant’s deposit’s within 30 days?  If not, you are breaking the law, and you may have to pay a fine of up to three times the amount of the deposit and or the inability to serve a section 21 notice – which actually makes it a lot harder to get your tenants out!

You have a choice you can either insure the deposit with one of the schemes  and keep the funds in your bank account or send the deposit amount to a custodial scheme.

Pass the tenant proof of the protection (called the Prescribed Information) within the same 30 days of receiving the deposit.

The scheme provide you with the majority of this information for you to pass on.

Pass the tenant proof of the protection (called the Prescribed Information) within the same 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Don’t be caught out!   If you have many properties, consider using an agent who is up to date with law and requirements.

Try one of these: –

https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/

https://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/

http://www.depositprotection.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HMO Licence – Does your property need one?

May 10th, 2016

HMO Licence and Licensing

An HMO licence is granted to a landlord if an HMO property meets certain standards that ensure it is safe and suitable for the tenants. In addition most HMO landlords only need to obtain a licence if the property falls into the following criteria:

  • it is a three-storey house (including cellars, attics, basements, mezzanine floors and loft conversions). The definition of storeys includes habitable basements and loft conversions.
  • it is occupied by five (5) or more people from two different households or more
  • tenants share the kitchen, bathroom or laundry area
  • in some cases, a maisonette in a house or above commercial premises may need a licence if similarly, occupied

If your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need a licence for your HMO. This will depend on the area your property is located so is it always best to check with your local council for more information. 

Your HMO licence is valid for 5 years and therefore must be renewed before it comes to an end.

How to apply for an HMO License
The landlord must submit one (1) licence application for every property that will be rented out. A fee will be charged by the council for the processing of licence applications. Processing time can take anywhere between 6-8 weeks. The council will consult with individuals who may be interested in the property and deliberate whether licence conditions should be imposed for the HMO in question.

All licensed HMOs will be inspected to identify any need for repairs, or to assess fire safety, amenity or other safety concerns. Landlords must comply and bring their property up to standard within timeframe that is determined by the council.

The gov.uk website has an HMO guide that covers everything you need to know as property manager or HMO landlord.

New to HMO’s? Looking for a reputable property management agent to manage and maintain your HMO properties? Call HMO specialists Railton-Meeks today to discuss our specialist HMO management services. 

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Considering an HMO property as your next investment purchase?

May 9th, 2016

Are you considering an HMO property as your next investment purchase?

The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new definition of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) from 6th April 2006 in England and 30th June 2006 in Wales.

When you let a property which falls into one of the following types, it is an HMO:

  • An entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
  • A house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.
  • A converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained (i.e. the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form two or more households.
  • A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.
  • In order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants’ only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges.

Whilst there has previously been no specific definition of an HMO in Planning legislation, changes introduced by Government to the Use Classes Order in England only mean that there is now a legal definition for planning terms which means that an HMO has the same meaning as in Section 254 of the Housing Act 2004.

Two specific sets of Regulations have been introduced in England taking effect from 6th April 2010. They are The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2010 and The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2010

Any new property to be occupied as an HMO in England will need planning consent under class C4 (HMOs), but planning consent will not be needed for any HMO reverting back to class C3 (dwelling houses). The Regulations do not apply retrospectively to any existing HMOs.

Tired of the maintenance headaches and regulations that come with managing HMO’s? Let HMO specialists Railton-Meeks manage and maintain your HMO for you, call Sylwia our Property Manager to discuss your requirements. 

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Can I put my rent up?

November 11th, 2015

Landlords can’t just go round increasing their rents whenever they want to. They do, however, have a right to adjust the rent at certain intervals. The way in which they can go about increasing the rent will depend on whether the tenancy is fixed or periodic.

Continue reading “Can I put my rent up?”

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Landlords are you compliant with the new legislation out yesterday? 1st October 15.

October 2nd, 2015

After a long-winded route through parliament, new regulations are now in place which affect all private landlords in the UK. From 1st October 2015 landlords must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.

Continue reading “Landlords are you compliant with the new legislation out yesterday? 1st October 15.”

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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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Now letting for the academic year commencing July 2015!

December 16th, 2014

Manchester Universities Students…

Railton-Meeks are now advertising their South Manchester students houses for the next academic year.  It certainly gets earlier and earlier!  Manchester Universities students are busy searching for their next property prior to the Christmas break.  At this stage in the year, it is true that all the good properties get snapped up!  It is true that the ‘Early bird catches the worm!’

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2 bed terrace refurbished to create 3 bed terrace with open plan kitchen 10% yield.

October 16th, 2014

We are currently in the process of refurbishing a end of two bed terrace, which will be available to let around the 8th November.  The property will be brand new throughout, and will be able to accommodate 3 professionals or students sharing.  As this is a quiet time of year for lettings, this property is available to let from £600.00, which is a bargain, as next summer it will be on the market for £800.00 p.c.m.

If you require more information please email Tara on tmeeks@railtonmeeks.co.uk

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