Landlord`s bizarre tenancy rules- Property Management Agency

A prospective tenant who was looking for a flat posted a list of house rules online.
A house hunter who was looking for a room to rent was shocked when the landlord handed her a list of 31 house rules.
The instructions included fines of £100 for using additional heaters in bedrooms and £15 if a tenant left dishes in the sink.
The rules even stipulated that tenants were not allowed to shower for more than 15 minutes and visitors needed to be approved two weeks in advance.

A prospective tenant who was looking for a flat posted a list of house rules online.
A house hunter who was looking for a room to rent was shocked when the landlord handed her a list of 31 house rules. 9 Signs of a good tenant
The instructions included fines of £100 for using additional heaters in bedrooms and £15 if a tenant left dishes in the sink.
The rules even stipulated that tenants were not allowed to shower for more than 15 minutes and visitors needed to be approved two weeks in advance. How to attract the best tenants?
No pets are allowed, cooking must be limited to 30 minutes and pork was banned entirely.
The list, which was posted on Twitter by the prospective tenant, added that any personal belongings left in communal areas would be “thrown out as junk”.
Miss Evelyn, an actor and a proof reader, uploaded the image with the words: “Need a room to rent? I was given this upon a recent viewing. This is not a joke!.” How to ensure buy to let success?
Unsurprisingly, Miss Evelyn turned down the room.
If you are looking to rent a room or a flat, it is worth knowing your rights.
As a tenant in a private rented property, you have the right to a tenancy agreement, it should be fair and comply with the law.Why do you need a property inventory?
You also have a right to live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair, challenge excessively high charges, be protected against unfair eviction and unfair rent and have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends and in some circumstances have it protected.
West London Property Networking

Please contact Pelin Martin to book a 30-minute free property consultation on

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

Tips on how to refurbish rental properties- Residential Property Management London

A businesslike attitude to refurbishing rental properties needs to be at the forefront of the landlord’s mind when organising works.

Doing refurbishments to your rental property which use the space creatively can present opportunities to raise the capital value and rental value of a property.
You can add value to your rental properties by installing a breakfast bar in a large hallway leading from the living room to the kitchen. By doing this you can make use of a large space that was essentially not being used and tenants could use the living room as a second bedroom. Another tip is to take down walls to create a more attractive space. I turned a pokey one-bedroom basement flat into a light and spacious studio by removing walls and excavating to allow in more light. As a one-bed flat it was hard to let and it is now one of the properties we find easiest to let out.”

A businesslike attitude to refurbishing rental properties needs to be at the forefront of the landlord’s mind when organising works.

Doing refurbishments to your rental property which use the space creatively can present opportunities to raise the capital value and rental value of a property.
You can add value to your rental properties by installing a breakfast bar in a large hallway leading from the living room to the kitchen. By doing this you can make use of a large space that was essentially not being used and tenants could use the living room as a second bedroom. Another tip is to take down walls to create a more attractive space. I turned a pokey one-bedroom basement flat into a light and spacious studio by removing walls and excavating to allow in more light. As a one-bed flat it was hard to let and it is now one of the properties we find easiest to let out.”

How to design a dream bathroom?
Planning is key
Refurbishing a property before it is rented out will save you time and money. Unless it is really necessary, bringing in the builders during a tenancy should be avoided as it is bound to interfere with your tenants’ lives, and give rise to complaints if the work takes longer than initially expected (as it invariably does). NLA Property Woman of the Year 2009 Shona Davison advises:
“Before you own the property or while you still have a tenant in it paying rent, get organised!  Make a project plan, include every task organised by room, research your prices for buying supplies, and negotiate prices for labour. The best way of saving money is to not waste time while the property is empty as lost rent can be one of the biggest costs.”

How to update your kitchen on a budget?
Refurb basics
It’s important to be clear about priorities when embarking on a refurbishment, so that the key elements, such as repairing structural defects, are dealt with and the property becomes marketable.

Simple steps for essential property maintenance
Tax deductions when you refurbish
All your expenses associated with refurbishing a buy-to-let property are tax deductible and will either be treated as repairs (which are deductible from rental income) or capital expenditure (which is tax deductible only when you sell the property).

Renovation Pitfalls
Repairs. This is a complex area of tax, but generally speaking expenditure will be considered a repair if it generally restores the property to its previous condition, for example replacing an old carpet with a new one, repainting the walls or fixing a damaged roof.

Unexpected costs of being a landlord
Improvements. Any expenditure which improves the property beyond its previous condition will, on the other hand, be treated as capital expenditure. Clear cut cases of capital expenditure are, for example, adding an extension to a property, doing a loft conversion or putting in central heating to a property that did not have any.
Acklands Accountants advises that a like for like replacement such as replacing one kitchen for another is treated as a repair, while replacing a carpet for wooden floor could be presented as an improvement, unless the carpet was in such bad shape that it had to be replaced in which case it might well be seen as a repair. Thus works that are undertaken because the landlord chooses to do them, rather than because they had to be done in order to make the property habitable can be treated as capital improvement.
One of the key ways therefore to distinguish between repairs and improvements is to consider whether the property is uninhabitable and not available to let in which case works done would be seen as an improvement rather than a repair.

Renovating a home-Top 10 Dos and Donts
Using tradesmen
It is very important to use trusted contractors. Landlords are advised to work, wherever possible, with contractors whom friends or colleagues recommend, and ask them for additional references before going ahead.
Where relevant, landlords should use qualified tradesmen (e.g. Gas Safe and NICEIC) and check that they have all the relevant public liability insurance in place.
Safety
Gas, asbestos and water management are very high priorities to consider when refurbishing.
You must ensure that a residential property is safe and healthy for occupiers. This includes checking that electricity and gas supplies and the sanitation (drains, basins, sinks, baths and WCs) are in working order. The property needs to be free from damp, with adequate heating which ideally means controllable central heating and insulation, with equipment and the fabric of the building in good repair. The property should also be safe from trip and fall hazards and fit for general purpose.
You may want to add to your checklist repairing or replacing damaged or rotten floorboards, and changing the locks, and (where appropriate) installing exterior lighting and/or an alarm system. Gas, electrics and plumbing Before completing any property purchase, consider commissioning a full fixed wire report or Periodic Inspection for the electrics and a gas safety inspection so you know what to expect in advance, and these can be good negotiating points if major works are required. If you already own the property it will give you a definitive list of essential works that are required to bring the property up to current regulations.  This is the advice of Rhonda Kneller of NLA Recognised Supplier Landlord Response who says “Any responsible landlord wants their tenants and their property to be safe and these comprehensive tests will highlight any safety issues.”
She also suggests considering a good quality breakdown cover on your gas, electrics and plumbing so you can plan your budget and ensure you are fully compliant year on year.
Digital TV
With digital switchover a fact for all households in the UK using televisions from now until 2012, it will be financially advantageous and generally easier to pre-wire flats if they are going through a full refurbishment so that cables can be concealed in the ducting along with other electrical wiring. It is suggested that if the install is more of a retrospective project then landlords should arrange for either the Integrated Reception System (which is externally cabled), or a shared dish system which only requires cabling to a communal TV dish when residents subscribe to Sky. Landlords should ensure the property is surveyed to establish what system is currently in place, if any. Sky recommends contacting its network of Sky approved engineers for advice on either 08442 410 388 or visit http://communaltv.sky.com/contact.aspx
Damp
If damp is visible, or a potential problem, you need to deal with this as soon as possible to avoid it becoming a problem in your property post-refurbishment.
Do take precautions to prevent refurb changes actually increasing the likelihood of damp: “As we seal up our homes to make them more energy efficient through loft and wall insulation and double glazing this results in a cling-film effect. By gently introducing fresh filtered air into the home at a continuous low rate the moisture-laden air is diluted, displaced and replaced. This reduces the relative humidity, condensation cannot form and mould spores dry out into a powder which can be brushed off.”
Decorations
Sprucing up your property through interior décor, fittings and furnishings should be seen as an investment as this will make the property more appealing to prospective tenants as well as sparing you future complaints when they have already moved in.
Remember always that you are preparing the property for tenants not for yourself so the decoration and standard of fixtures should be of an appropriate standard for your target market, and you should aim for a light, cheerful and uncluttered impression. Just “keep it simple, fresh and neutral, allowing tenants to personalise their new home with their own style of furniture. In my experience, tenants appreciate this approach and tend to stay longer.”
Insurance considerations
Landlords need to be aware that any refurbishment to the property, regardless of how minor the work is, can affect their insurance policy.
The main problem is the fact that the property is unoccupied, possibly for long periods of time and can therefore be an easy target for opportunist thieves, or worse still, squatters.
It is advised that anyone undertaking refurbishment of a property between lets to firstly contact their insurers. The first question most insurers will ask is what type of work the landlord is intending to undertake, and the second is how long will the work take. Both questions give the insurers an idea of the extra risk involved and whether additional terms such as restricted cover or a higher excess should be applied. Usually if the work is of a purely cosmetic nature a standard landlords policy will automatically extend to cover this period of unoccupancy and minor works for up to 90 days.
Landlords ought to bear in mind however that even if the policy automatically covers this, there may be additional terms or conditions applied so it is essential that they check their policy carefully so as not to fall foul of these. It is also the landlord’s responsibility to inform insurers when the work is completed and the property becomes occupied, and not the insurer’s responsibility to keep chasing the landlord for updates.
For landlords having their property refurbished by a third party the above would still apply. However it is recommended that landlords advise their insurers of the full schedule of works and, more importantly, make sure the builder or contractor undertaking the work has Public Liability cover in place. Apart from protecting members of the public whilst they are undertaking work at your premises landlords should be mindful of the fact that they cannot claim from their own property insurance for damage that the contractor does to their property or even a neighbouring property.
If undertaking a major refurbishment, such as structural alterations or extensions, the above should apply, but in addition a joint contract insurance (JCT as it’s more commonly known) should be arranged between the landlord and the builder or contractor. This will protect the landlord for work in progress and would usually make allowance in any claims settlement for materials on site and work in progress (which may have already been paid for by the landlord). In addition to this it will also protect the landlord should the property or a neighbouring property be damaged as a result of the builders’/contractors’ actions.

West London Property Networking

Please contact Pelin Martin to book a 30-minute free property consultation on

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

Tenant Screening UK:The exhaustive list of 16 red flags

Any property manager can tell you how critical tenant screening is to successful property management. The wrong tenant in a property can create enormous losses that could take a landlord years to recover. A good property management company cannot afford to take on risky tenants, and neither can a landlord. However, with proper diligence and knowing what signs to watch out for, the pendulum swings way over to the landlord’s side, making it possible for real estate to become a very successful investment.

Below is our comprehensive list of sixteen warning signs for tenant screening applicants.

Each of the following carries different weight in the screening process. Be aware that while some can be automatic deal killers, others must be considered only in conjunction with the other red flags. 9 Signs of a good tenant

1. Bad credit.

By far and away, the single predictor of tenants who will pay their rent on time is their credit report and credit score. A bad credit score is a deal breaker in itself. Bad credit score? STOP. Don’t rent to these people! In general, we look for a minimum credit score of 620.  It’s a passing grade but not great, so it must be supported by the absence of any of the other items on this list. How to choose your estate agent?

2. Low income.

You don’t have to be a mathematician to understand that if tenants are not making enough in their monthly paycheck, they will not be able to pay the rent. In general, look for a minimum income that is at least 2.5 to 3 times the monthly rent. 5 top tips for having happier tenants in 2017

3. Criminal history.

A criminal conviction can be a huge red flag. Get more information and evaluate carefully. How to attract the best tenants?

4. More than 3 convictions in 5 years.

If has applicants have more than 3 convictions for anything other than traffic violations, it is an indication that they cannot obey rules. Do not look for them to obey your lease. This includes any disturbances, DUIs, driving without a license or insurance, or worse. Count all cases, including any that are “dismissed with conditions” or similar. Do not count speeding tickets or expired tabs in this category. Open and/or pending cases should be counted as convictions until they have been completed in their entirety. Why buy to let?

4. A prior eviction.

Such applicants might as well be wearing a sign that says, “I don’t care about ripping you off.” These are people who defaulted on their lease but would not make good on it by moving out voluntarily. Evictions kill profits, and you can’t afford to take the risk. Beginners Guide to Landlord Insurance

5. Bad landlord references.

First of all, if this is your main indicator for determining the eligibility of applicants, you are making a big mistake. Far too many landlords ask tenants to leave, only to give them a great reference. Further, tenants can ask friends to pretend they are a landlord and say great things about them. Still, sometimes you can get important information.

Was the entire deposit returned? If not, why? Not getting most of the deposit back is a huge red flag. Late payments are a problem. Terminating a lease early is a problem. Not giving proper notice is an issue. Move on to someone who understands how to be a renter.

6. Aggressive or large breeds of dogs.

Tenants who own pit bulls, rottweilers, chows, Akitas, any cross-breed with a wolf, or any mix of the above could be a problem. There have been studies about what kind of people are likely to own these breeds, and these people tend to favour riskier lifestyles. You do not want those types of people. If your tenant applicants have an aggressive breed of dog, avoid them at all costs.

7. Asking to pay the deposit after move-in.

If tenant applicants don’t have the full deposit at move in, do not rent to them. You will likely never get the full deposit. And you will have a very risky situation.

8. Looking to move in less than a week.

If tenant applicants need a place right away, it may not be a godsend for your vacant rental. Instead, it could be another red flag. Why do they need a place so soon? Did they just get a cure/quit notice? Did they realize they couldn’t pay their rent and needed to move out? Are they going to stiff their current landlord and move out without notice?

9. Living with relatives or in a motel.

When people are living with relatives or in a motel, it is a red flag. Did they just need a fast place to stay because of a cure/quit and did not have time to look? This is a common theme among people who are getting evicted. They move in with relatives and try to save money. After a few months, they attempt to move out. Solid tenants always have a place, and it is usually not with friends and relatives.

10. Owing money to the government.

If tenants have unpaid traffic tickets or fines, it is a problem. Do you think that they will pay your past due rent if they risk being arrested for having an unpaid fine?

11. A tax lien.

This is a big red flag. If HMRC can’t collect on your tenant applicants, how do you suppose you will?

12. Incomplete application.

People who won’t fill out the complete rental application should be turned away. It’s a sign of false identity, a bad history, or just plain apathy. Whatever their reason, they are not the right applicants for you.

13. Needy, demanding.

If your very first interactions with tenants leave you wanting to pull out your hair, just imagine what it will be like when they have a legal right to the property. Save yourself the headaches.

14. Planning to move mid-lease.

If their rental application shows they are looking for a place well in advance of their current lease termination, they may repeat the pattern. Find out more before you get into trouble.

15. Not likely to follow your rules.

If you smell cigarette smoke on applicants who are renting a non-smoking unit, or they are covered in cat hair but swear they don’t own a pet, you have a problem. Casual liars make bad tenants.

16. Changing jobs too often.

Prefer applicants with careers, not jobs. Look for applicants who are employed at places that have paid vacations, sick days, health insurance and paid holidays. Otherwise, you may find rent late due to Christmas, kids getting sick, taking time off to go to a wedding, etc. Prefer not to rent to applicants who are a cashier today, a tire changer tomorrow and a burger flipper in six months. If they change jobs that often, you will soon be without rent when they are between jobs. Look for at least 12 months at the same job or career. It is a lot tougher to track down a judgment and get a garnishment with a job hopper.

West London Property Networking

Please contact Pelin Martin to book a 30-minute free property consultation on +0208 994 7327 – pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

How to attract the best tenants…..

property management london

That means constant cash flow for you, low maintenance bills and no voids. So how to do you find them and make sure they want to rent your property?

First things first… although you’re probably raring to go, before you start marketing your rental property you MUST make sure that it (and you, as a landlord) complies with all the legal obligations.

Present the property well

Make sure the property is clean and odour free- inside and out. If it’s been vacant, arrive early and open the windows to allow some air to circulate, and pick up any post that’s collected. Don’t forget about the garden and also make sure there’s somewhere for the prospective tenant to park their car – even if that means you parking round the corner!

Rent – be competitive

Ask for a realistic level of rent and review if necessary.

Appeal to your target market

Be clear on who your tenants are likely to be – young professionals, families, etc. – and make the property appealing to them. Décor, fixtures and fittings, furnishings and any included extras could make the difference between yours and another property. Consider what incentives you could offer. Think about putting in cable or satellite TV, or perhaps including council tax or particular utility bills in the rent.

Know who your tenants are

Before you accept tenants, make sure you get as clear a picture as possible as to who’s moving into your property.

  • Before you accept tenants, make sure you get as clear a picture as possible as to who’s moving into your property.
  • Check your tenants’ past and current employment status
  • Take up references from previous landlords
  • Arrange for a 3rd party to carry out a credit check

Keeping your tenants happy

Once your tenants are in the property, carry out periodical checks and make sure you keep the tenants informed of when you’ll be visiting. Poor maintenance and management is one of tenants’ biggest complaints about landlords, so respond to queries or complaints as soon as possible and keep on top of any necessary repairs and replacements.

Being a successful landlord is all down to planning. If you follow the above steps and keep your tenants happy, you’re more likely to have a stress-free time and reap the rewards of your property investment.

West London Property Networking

Please contact Pelin Martin to book a 30-minute free property consultation on

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk