10 Kitchen Design Tips…..

1-Think ahead

When redesigning a kitchen, put function first. There’s no ideal kitchen shape. Whether it’s a galley or U- or L-shaped, plan for the sink, fridge and cooktop to form a triangle, with no more than 6 feet between each for ease of movement.

2. Make room for storage.

The biggest mistake people make at the planning stage is not allowing for enough storage. Use every nook and cranny. Put overhead cabinets right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a gap on top that collects dust. Consider deep drawers for easier access to pots and pans, and include enough storage for appliances that otherwise would clutter up countertops.

3. See the light.

Unlike in other rooms of the house, overhead lighting is insufficient in kitchens. In the kitchen, you don’t want the light behind you, casting a shadow on the workspace. You need it positioned to fall in front of you. Under-cabinet lights are ideal because they shine directly on countertops.

4. Power play.

Be sure there are appropriate power sources for relocated or new appliances. Many people realize too late that they don’t have the right gas or electric lines. Measure appliances to ensure that they fit comfortably into allocated spaces. If a dishwasher is crammed in, it could push up against the hose and won’t drain properly.

5. Space and surface.

There’s no such thing as too much counter space. Choose a surface that’s easy to work on and care for. But keep in mind that grout between tiles is hard to maintain and that stainless steel will scratch very easily.

6. Start fresh.

Don’t reuse appliances or items from the old kitchen. It may seem as if you’re saving money, but an old appliance will stick out like a sore thumb in a new environment. Find other ways to economize. “You don’t have to spend £100 on a drawer handle when cheaper ones still look fantastic. The same goes for countertops.

7. Safety first.

Make your kitchen as safe and family-friendly as possible by planning for good visibility to backyard and indoor play areas from the cooking area. Also consider such safety-conscious elements as rounded countertops, slip-resistant flooring and ovens located at adult height to minimize the chances of accidental burns.

8. Clear the air.

A range hood helps ventilate cooking odors, says appliance consultant. Buy one that’s efficient, quiet and vented outside.

9. Trash talk.

Don’t forget to plan for garbage and recycling bins. Do you want built-in bins cleverly disguised behind a cabinet door, or a sleek, stainless-steel garbage container that’s positioned out of the way?

10. Look out below

When it comes to flooring, consider slip-resistance, ease of maintenance and porosity. Stone floors, which are somewhat porous, for instance, may need periodic resealing. If so, ask how often, and think about whether you want to deal with that process. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but be aware that they wear out faster by the fridge, stove and sink than other areas. Hard, natural stone works wonderfully, and the earthy look and feel of it is very popular.

If you have any questions regarding property refurbishment and property management, please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 7327 or pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

12 Ways to Save Money on Your Bathroom Remodel…….

Have a Plan Before You Start

Working with a designer or architect may seem like a pricey move right out of the gate for someone wanting to remodel their bathroom on a budget, but it is money well spent. Having a plan you’ve worked out with a professional will assure you that your design, budget and timeline are realistic, and it will give you a goal with a path to get there. Hiring a designer saves you time and money in the long run, so you don’t make expensive errors.

Keep Plumbing Where It Is

Another reason to work with a designer on your bathroom renovation: Using the existing piping will save you big bucks. Relocating utilities like the toilet and the bathtub are no small task.

Mirror Frame-Up

Dress up that builder-grade mirror with a fantastic frame, and at a fraction of the price of sourcing a huge hanging mirror. A frame will also hide any age-related wear. Add a frame around the mirror to hide the flaking that can happen around the edges, and to give it a more updated look.

Don’t Toss Money Down the Toilet — Update It

Here’s some potty talk you won’t want to miss: When remodelling your bathroom, consider replacing your toilet seat and lid instead of tossing out the whole porcelain perch. Just changing out these two tops can give your toilet a fresh look without buying a new unit, which saves you plumber installation fees, too. Try boxing in the pipes if they are visible.

Hit the Salvage Hard

You can find a large piece of salvage barn wood to serve as a shower curtain valance. It looks like a pricey piece and serves as a focal point, but it is definitely a budget item. Salvage can be intimidating, but if you start by checking out antique stores, flea markets, resellers and auctions, you’ve already got the idea. You just have to go do it to really figure it out … and that’s how you score the really great items. You can also salvage and redo cast iron tubs, light fixtures, even sinks … basically anything that fits your style and you want to put the effort in to saving and making it your own!

The Vanity of Furniture

Want to upgrade your tired vanity? Try hunting vintage and antique dressers at flea markets and antique stores. It’s not difficult to cut out the space to hide the plumbing and seal drawers that need to stay in place, and you can set a sink in it or on it. No one will have another one like yours, and you won’t have shelled out big bucks for a run-of-the-mill piece.

Alternatives to Tile

The bath doesn’t have to have tile to the ceiling: consider alternatives like reclaimed wood panels, board and batten, or bead board as high-end looking tile replacements. Wood requires more maintenance, but also gives off a much warmer, comforting vibe than tile.

Consider Open Shelves

The bathroom is a private place, but open shelving can create the illusion of space in smaller square footage, and with a less weighty wallet hit than cabinets. A few drawers or covered baskets on high shelves can house your private items, and your colourful towels, pretty soaps and washes, and other bathroom décor don’t have to hide in a dark closet any longer!

Let There Be Lighting

Builder-grade lighting is one of the first things many people want to change in a bathroom renovation, and with good cause: The fixtures rarely hold much aesthetic appeal. Adding lots of light to a bathroom is one of the most valuable changes a homeowner can make, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Shop sales at lighting and home improvement stores, and if your bathroom has easy roof access, consider bringing the outdoors in with a budget skylight.

Punch It Up With Paint

Don’t underestimate the impact a pop of colourful paint can have in a small space. If you coordinate with a detail like your tile work, it can bring an entirely new dimension to your bathroom that you might never have noticed before.

Count on Countertops

If your vanity is the main focal point of your bathroom, then choosing granite might not be such a splurge. It would give your bathroom a ‘wow’ and save a lot of money.

Look Online for Leftovers

When you find a tile you like, check Craigslist and eBay to see if anyone is selling their leftovers. People will buy more material than they need and they often can’t return it so they try to sell it online at a deep discount just to get rid of it. Buy what you can at the fire-sale prices, then finish out what you need by matching at your local store.

Simple Steps for Essential Property Maintenance…….

Keeping your property in a good condition helps your house keep its value and reduces the amount of costly repairs you’ll need to do. It also gives your tenant a safe, habitable living environment – which they’re entitled to by law. Here are our top tips for maintaining your property:

  • Invest time and money. You need to dedicate enough time to keeping your property in good condition and be prepared to pay for its upkeep (it’ll save you expensive repair bills in the long run). It’s a good idea to put aside three months’ rent to cover emergencies, or if your tenants leave. If you own an old property then don’t forget it’s more likely to need more in the way of maintenance.
  • Shop around. There’s never any point cutting corners and paying less for a shoddy job. But you can get plenty of quotes from reputable tradespeople so you’re getting the most cost-effective job.
  • Build relationships. You’re likely to work with the same tradespeople time after time, so try to keep your professional relationship friendly and productive. Try to build up a few contacts, so you have someone to fall back on if your regular person can’t handle the job.
  • Act quickly. Don’t be tempted to let a problem fester in order to save money. It won’t go away and will just end up costing you more.
  • Service regularly. Boilers and cookers need frequent servicing to keep them safe – and reduce the chances of anything going wrong.
  • Carry out inspections. You need to inspect your property regularly. Tenants don’t always know how to carry out even basic maintenance on a property, and often won’t tell you about problems until they leave. Regular checks will give you a good idea about the state of your property.

If you have any questions regarding property refurbishment and maintenance, please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 7327 – pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

Renovating a home. Top 10 DOs and DONTs…….

When renovating a home it’s essential to carefully plan and budget for your project. Make sure you follow our Top 10 Dos and Don’ts when renovating a home:-

There are lots of things that you need to do when considering a property project, but here are our Top Ten Tips to get you started:-

1. Do make a list of everything that you want to do, not just in one room, but around the rest of your home too.

2. Do write down a priority order of what needs doing. For example, do you renovate room by room, or get the home painted throughout first?

3. Do work out how much you have to spend – keeping up to 30% of the budget as a contingency.

4. Do write down a list of materials that are required and start to work out and then find out the difference in value versus quality

5. Do make sure you shop around for materials – or if professionals fitted ask them to list and break out cost of materials and labour

6. Don’t employ a tradesperson or professional company, unless you are sure you have read and both parties have signed a contract.

7. Don’t pay for work upfront, agree stage payments for work and make sure you keep 10% of the final cost back until the work is finished to your satisfaction.

8. Don’t skimp on items that need to last such as taps or showers

9. Don’t keep changing your spec throughout the project – you will go over budget and annoy the trades people!

10. Don’t try to do too much in one go, do things in the right order and take one step at a time.

If you have any questions regarding property refurbishments, please contact Pelin Martin on 0208 994 7327 – pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

Property Renovation Checklist…..

 

PLAN

Make a Wish List

In one column, put your wants. In the other, your needs. That way, when faced with tough choices down the line, you’ll have a clearer picture of your priorities—what has to happen now and what can wait. (A second bathroom upstairs might be a must; a stainless steel Viking range, maybe not so much.)

Determine Your Budget

Before you meet with a contractor or an architect, you’ll need a ballpark estimate—then both of you will be able to talk honestly about what’s possible. (P.S.: It’s a good idea to build some padding—at least 10 percent is recommended—into your number, for all those unexpected uh-ohs and might-as-wells that will crop up.)

Check Your Calendar

What is your timeline for the renovation? If you want the living room done for, say, Jenna’s graduation party, don’t wait until spring to start talking about it. Likewise, you won’t want to install a new roof when a New England winter is looming—or schedule any major demolition a month before you host a family reunion.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Begin Looking For a Contractor

This isn’t the time to crack the Yellow Pages. Ask everyone you know in the area about their experiences, good and bad. You should also consult the websites for the National Association of Remodelers (nari.org) or the National Association of Home Builders (nahb.org); the professionals belonging to these organizations are bound by strict codes of ethics and business practices.

Start Interviewing Contractors

REMODEL

Examine the Fine Print of Contract

Finalize Household Arrangements

Now that you know when the work will begin, make any additional plans, such as reserving storage space for furnishings or booking a hotel room for the day when the water will be turned off.

If Possible Create a Haven For Yourself

Select a room that will remain relatively untouched by the chaos and equip it with whatever you might need to keep yourself sane for the duration. (A DVD player, electric teakettle, yoga mat, earplugs, etc.)

If you have any questions regarding property refurbishments please contact Pelin Martin on 02089947327 – pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Renovation pitfalls…….

Renovating a home can be a tricky business.  Whether you’re looking to modernise a whole property or you simply want to update a single room, there are a number of potential pitfalls to be aware of when embarking upon a property refurbishment.

Don’t end up on the listed blacklist: before starting any work, check to make sure your property isn’t listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest.  You can find out if your building falls into this category by consulting the National Heritage database.  If your home is a listed building, you will need to get listed-building consent before undertaking any work involving demolition or partial demolition, internal and external alterations or extensions.  It is an offence to carry out any work on a listed building without the relevant consent so make sure you are certain about your property’s classification before you begin.

Get the relevant planning permissions/check permitted development: The same goes for any relevant planning permissions or notifications required to refurbish or update a property.  If in doubt always check with the local authority.  A good builder will be able to advise you accordingly and provide an outline of which permissions you will need to apply for if applicable.

Hire a reputable company to carry out the work: make sure you do your research on the company undertaking any renovation and refurbishment work on your behalf before you instruct them.  Be sure to get recommendations and references from their previous clients.  If possible try to view examples of similar projects they have completed previously and do not be afraid to ask questions.  Any legitimate tradesperson will be happy to demonstrate they are reliable, trustworthy and can complete your project on time, within budget and to a high standard.

Factor in a contingency budget: it’s always difficult to know precisely how much a project is going to cost you by the time it is completed so a contingency budget is essential for any refurbishment or renovation project.  Use the estimate of potential costs from your builder as a benchmark allowing for a contingency of between 10% and 15% on top of the total amount.  It’s a good idea to prepare your own budget for any other items and materials you may require.

Keep in close contact with your builder: make sure you are on hand throughout the project to answer any questions or queries the builders may have.  Remember, your choices may not always be immediately apparent to those working on site.  Make sure your requirements are clear from the outset and always update them with any changes you may make along the way as it may have a cost implication for you.  Schedule regular meetings with the project manager and ensure you get daily updates on progress.  Good builders will want to communicate with you so that you are delighted with the end result.

If you have any questions on refurbishments, please contact Pelin Martin on 02089947327 – pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk – www.bluecrystallondon.co.uk

14 kitchen decorating ideas on a budget to make your tenants happy!

From our experience, here are 14 kitchen decorating ideas on a budget to make your tenants happy!

  1. Paint your cabinets. Painting your kitchen cabinets is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to create a new look. With a cream background, it’s easy to give your kitchen a fresh feel by choosing from the latest colours available.
  2. Install new worktops Dramatically change the look of your kitchen by replacing your existing worktops. Laminate is the most cost-effective to purchase. If you have spare cash, consider extras, such as heat rods that can be fitted into the surface for a permanent pan stand or a built-in draining board. How to avoid tenancy void periods?
  3. Update your kitchen floor. If your current kitchen floor is letting the scheme down, you don’t need to go through the hassle of taking it all up as you can lay new flooring on top. Most kitchen designers will advise that you can simply run it underneath the plinths, instead of wall-to-wall, which cuts your costs further. How can you keep your tenants happy
  4. Improve Kitchen Storage. It’s amazing how much we accumulate over the years. Try setting aside an afternoon to sort out your kitchen cupboards, then organise them so you have access to the things you use every day. Clearing your worktops can also instantly improve your kitchen and it won’t cost you anything at all. Alternatively, try rethinking your storage solutions. Pull-out drawers in a cupboard instantly make every spare inch of space usable. Unexpected costs of being a landlord
  5. Create a feature wall. Wallpaper is a great way to add colour and vibrancy to an old kitchen. You can either cover the entire wall, or create a feature wall for a cheaper but equally stunning look. Make sure you choose wallpaper that is specially designed for the kitchen so it is heat and steam resistant. Signs of a good tenant?
  6. Change your cabinet doors and handles. If the basic structure of your kitchen is in good condition, you can change the look of the room by simply replacing the cabinet doors and handles. You could even try a mix-and-match look by replacing just the wall or base cupboard doors of your existing kitchen. Sleek white doors and handles will give you a modern feel, while inexpensive wooden or distressed doors can bring a county look to the room. How to handle bad tenants?
  7. Liven up your scheme with accessories. Accessories will brighten your kitchen in an instant and you can choose a theme to bring the look together. Display selected items on open shelves and think about reorganising your worktop so you only have your favourites on show. If you have a dresser, this is the perfect place to show off neat stacks of crockery, cups and glassware. Tax implications of being a landlord
  8. Buy new appliances. New appliances and can refresh your kitchen without changing any of the furniture. You’ll need to ensure that they will fit into the existing space, though,. Freestanding appliances can be replaced more easily. Also, consider upgrading to energy-efficient models to save on electricity.
  9. Install extra lighting. Ideally, you should have task lights, such as spotlights, over the worktops, halogen bulbs on the extractor and overhead lighting with ambient light in a dining area. Always use a qualified electrician for anything complicated – visit the Electrical Contractors’ Association at www.eca.co.uk to find one in your area.
  10. Update kitchen walls. Painting the walls is a great way to give a kitchen a fresh, new look without breaking the bank – and, best of all, you can do it in a day. If you have wooden units, opt for a splash of colour and paint a feature wall, or all the walls, in one of the season’s latest shades.
  11. Refresh the sink. Sinks add distinctive character to a kitchen and you can change the feel of yours in a jiffy by adding a white butler sink for a country look, a stainless steel design for a contemporary feel or a distinctive copper one to make a real statement. Think carefully about how you use your sink – you might find one with a large double bowl or an integrated drainer is more practical if you don’t have a dishwasher.
  12.  Introduce vintage furniture. It’s easy to give an industrial slant to your kitchen and introduce a completely different feel with vintage furniture. Scour charity shops, car boot sales, reclamation yards and even skips (ask the homeowner first before you take anything) – after all, what’s one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure! Old stools teamed with a row of stylish pendant lights can be used to create an edgy breakfast bar.
  13. Make a statement with lights. Shed new light on a kitchen scheme by incorporating dramatic ceiling lights. Oversized metal pendants are the perfect way to make a statement and introduce an industrial feel. Hang them over a table or island to create a focal point and provide both task and mood lighting. If you choose a smaller design, follow the stylist’s tip and hang them in threes for maximum impact.
  14.  Alter the splashback. Splashbacks are perfect for protecting kitchen walls. Glass and stainless steel can be expensive options, but sometimes less is more and you can use a small amount to make a statement. Tiles, on the other hand, are a good budget buy and a great opportunity to add colour and pattern, although grouting needs to be regularly cleaned to prevent mould and mildew. Take your pick from the standard size, mosaic or brick, and a selection of materials including ceramic, glass and stone.

West London Property Networking

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

 

 

 

Property Refurbishment tips to make a profit when selling a home

Here are our top tips for property maintenance and refurbishment that will help you make a profit when selling your home.

1. If you are planning major redevelopments, make sure that you have the finances in place to cover the entire works, including a decent sized contingency fund in case things don’t go entirely as expected. A property that is stuck at the halfway point of property refurbishment is likely to be worth less than you originally paid for it!

Here are our 6top tips for Rental Property Refurbishment and maintenance that will help you make a profit when selling your home.

  1. If you are planning major redevelopments, make sure that you have the finances in place to cover the entire works, including a decent sized contingency fund in case things don’t go entirely as expected. A property that is stuck at the halfway point of property refurbishment is likely to be worth less than you originally paid for it! Top 10 tips on buying an investment property
  2. If you are buying property with the intention of refurbishing it and selling it to make a profit, you need to make absolutely sure that you buy the property as cheap as possible and cut costs as much as you can when carrying out the works. Doing the work yourself and saving the cost of expensive tradesmen will enhance your profit margin, but remember all works must be completed to a good standard. If you do not have the property maintenance skills to complete the job, it is better to employ someone in the first place, rather than having to pay someone to rectify any mistakes you may make. Tips on keeping tenants happy
  3. Don’t take on a property refurbishment project that you can’t handle. If you are new to the world of property maintenance it’s best to start with less challenging properties. Ideally, properties that just need decorative work are the best starting point. This type of property puts off the majority of buyers as they are ugly, by today’s standards, and most people are looking for a property they can move into straight away. As you get more experienced in renovating property you can take on houses with more work needed and potentially make bigger profits. How to successfully manage my property?
  4. The best way to add value to a property is to add square footage. Extending a property, when done right, will automatically boost its value. It is important to thoroughly research how much it will cost and how much value it will add to the property first, to ensure that it is a viable option. You don’t want to spend £30,000 adding a bedroom only to find out that it only adds £20,000 to the value. You also need to make sure that it will appeal to its target market. For example, dramatically increasing the number of bedrooms, but not living space is a bad idea as not many families will want a 5-bed house with only one reception room, unless it is priced cheaply. Do you need smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in rental properties?
  5. Always keep in mind the end goal: selling the property to make a profit. It is very easy to get too attached to the project and fit it out with fixtures and fittings that are to your own taste. It is important to remember that a neutral theme will always sell better at the end of the process and it is not worth paying more for a kitchen because it is the one you would want. If you fall foul of this trap you will be lucky to recoup the money you put into the project, let alone make a profit. Do you know the rules of becoming a landlord?
  6. If you are not planning on selling the property once refurbished, but want to rent it out instead, you need to think about the on-going property maintenance that may be required. It could well be worth refurbishing the property with more hardwearing materials in the first place, as you will only incur extra costs to replace worn or broken items in the future. A good hardwearing carpet and durable paint are worth paying that little bit extra for, as it will reduce the cost of the on-going property maintenance required. Expat landlords-Factors to consider when moving abroad

Whatever your reasons for refurbishing a property, it is always important to decide on a budget and then stick to it. Keep track of your outgoings and keep an eye on the housing market to ensure that you do not lose money, as so many new property developers do. Property refurbishment can be a very stressful and costly process and you need to make sure it is going to be worth your while.

West London Property Networking

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

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

 

Is buy to let dead? Our views on the Buy to Let strategy

As an income investment for those with enough money to raise a big deposit buy-to-let looks attractive, especially compared to low savings rates and stock market swings.

Meanwhile, the property market bouncing back has encouraged more investors to snap up property in the hope of its value rising.

Mortgage rates at record lows are helping buy-to-let investors make deals stack up.

But beware of the low rates. One day they must rise and you need to know your investment can stand that test.

The Buy to Let strategy looks attractive as an income investment for those with enough money to raise a big deposit. This is especially tue, compared to low savings rates and stock market swings.

Meanwhile, the property market bouncing back has encouraged more investors to snap up property in the hope of its value rising.

Mortgage rates at record lows are helping buy-to-let investors make deals stack up.

But beware of the low rates. One day they must rise and you need to know your investment can stand that test. Read more: How to ensure your property is safe

Buy to let strategy for expats

There is also a new tax rise came in as of 1st April 2017: a 20 percent tax credit will axe and replace the buy-to-let mortgage interest relief.  Additionally, from April 2017 landlords now have to pay an extra 3% on stamp duty on property purchases. 

Recent history provides an important lesson in how returns can be hit. Many buy-to-let investors who bought in the boom years before 2007 struggled as mortgage rates rose. A sizeable number were thrown a lifeline when the base rate was slashed to 0.5 percent. Rates stuck there until this summer and then they were cut again after Brexit, but remember they will rise again.

The importance of check-in inventory

buy to let mortgages how many can I have

It’s also worth noting that the Bank of England has buy-to-let mortgages in its sights.

Yet despite the tax changes and potential for buy-to-let mortgage costs to rise, there are positives.  Greater demand from tenants, rents that should rise with inflation and the long horizon for interest rate rises, meaning buy-to-let will still be a tempting option for many investors.

Landlord Insurance for beginners

If you are planning on investing, or just want to know more, we can tell you the ten essential things to consider for a successful buy-to-let investment.

Like any investment, buy-to-let comes with no guarantees, but for those who have more faith in bricks and mortar than stocks and shares then this is the way to go.

West London Property Networking

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

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

 

Beginners` Guide to landlord insurance- How best to manage my property?

Landlord insurance is a crucial consideration for anyone renting out their property.

Even with the most well-intentioned tenants things can go wrong and cost a significant sum to put right.

In the event of issues as diverse as accidental flooding and failed rent payments, the right cover can provide important peace of mind.

‘Landlord insurance’ is a broad term, and cover will vary from policy to policy.

Rather than being a single product, it’s usually a combination of different insurances, tailored to fit the needs of individual landlords.

Landlord insurance is a crucial consideration for anyone renting out their property.

Even with the most well-intentioned tenants things can go wrong and cost a significant sum to put right.

In the event of issues as diverse as accidental flooding and failed rent payments, the right cover can provide important peace of mind.

‘Landlord insurance’ is a broad term, and cover will vary from policy to policy.

Rather than being a single product, it’s usually a combination of different insurances, tailored to fit the needs of individual landlords.

Comprehensive policies will cover most eventualities, while basic policies usually offer the opportunity to add on extra benefits. Landlords should consider the following elements of cover:

Where to invest?

Landlord building insurance

Banks and building societies are likely to insist on building insurance as a condition of a mortgage – particularly a buy to let mortgage.

Even if you own your rented property outright, buildings insurance is likely to be the most basic and important sort of cover you’ll want for such a valuable asset.

The right buildings insurance will cover the cost of rebuilding or repairing your property following events such as:

  • Storm, floods, lightning or earthquakes
  • Subsidence
  • Damage to water, drainage or heating installations
  • Collision by vehicles, machinery or animals
  • Falling trees or branches
  • Vandalism or other malicious acts
Buildings insurance often covers malicious damage by tenants and, in some cases glass, lock and key replacement as standard, but you should check your policy to be sure.
Building insurance cover is sometimes unlimited – meaning you needn’t estimate the cost of rebuilding your property – but other insurers will ask for a rebuild value.This is not necessarily the same as the market value property, nor how much you bought it for. You may want to think about using the rebuild calculator supplied by the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS), commissioned by the Association of British Insurers.

Buildings insurance often covers malicious damage by tenants and, in some cases glass, lock and key replacement as standard, but you should check your policy to be sure.

Loss of rent insurance

Loss of rent insurance covers income lost if your property becomes uninhabitable and your tenants are forced to move out while another claim is honoured. This is usually included as part of your buildings cover.

Landlord contents insurance

The level of contents insurance you need is largely dependent on whether you’re renting your property furnished or unfurnished, but it’s important to think about in either case.

If your property is unfurnished, you’ll still need to consider cover for white goods, carpets, curtains and blinds.

You should note that some building insurance policies include a level of contents insurance as standard to cover basic items such as carpets and white goods. This will typically be capped at a certain level, perhaps £5,000.

If your rental property’s furnished, you’ll need to think about cover for furniture, electrical items, pictures and ornaments, too.

You needn’t insure your tenants’ possessions, though – that’s their responsibility.

The amount you’ll pay for landlord contents cover can vary depending on the location of the property and the type of tenant in it – cover for professional tenants tends to be cheaper to arrange than for students, for example.

Tips on keeping tenants happy

Accidental damage insurance for landlords

Accidental damange is usually included as part of a building or contents insurance policy, but not always, so be sure to check. It should cover damage not caused by negligence, recklessness or misuse.

For example, spilling nail varnish on a carpet should be covered by an accidental damage clause in a contents insurance policy, whereas a foot through the ceiling while in the attic should be covered by a buildings insurance policy.

Landlord Insurance Guide

Landlord emergency cover

Landlord emergency cover could help in the event of a crisis such as a boiler breakdown, burst pipes or even simply lost keys – levels of cover that could prove particularly valuable if you’re not employing a letting agency.

This type of cover could give your tenants round-the-clock access to a network of qualified tradespeople who will fix urgent problems without charge.

Some policies will cover the cost of alternative accommodation for your tenants if the problem makes the property inhabitable.

Landlord liability insurance

Landlord liability insurance could cover you in the event of the injury or death of any individuals on your property, and also protects you against litigious tenants who may try to sue you following an accident.

If you rent your property to students or individuals on housing benefit, the university or local authority may stipulate a minimum level of liability cover.

You might also want to consider employer`s liability insurance, which offers protection in the event of the death or injury of any person you employ on a casual basis at your property, such as a cleaner, handyman or gardener.

A good landlord policy should include liability insurance. If yours doesn’t, you might want to think about taking out a stand-alone product.

How to attract the best tenants?

Rent guarantee insurance

There’s often a great deal of confusion surrounding rent guarantee insurance, which is regularly confused with loss of rent insurance.

Rent guarantee cover can offer compensation for the landlord if tenants default on their rent payments. Payments are typically capped at a certain amount and/or for an agreed period.

Legal expenses insurance

Legal expenses insurance is either purchased as an individual product or bundled together with rent guarantee insurance and is designed to cover the costs incurred by landlords taking legal action in court.

Legal costs can, of course, be hugely expensive, and landlords may need help when it comes to dealing with issues such as disputes with tenants, evicting squatters, repossessing property and defence against any criminal action.

This type of policy can also be extended to cover the costs of recovering outstanding rent owed by tenants.

Investors-Where to invest?

Unoccupied property insurance

Most insurance providers regard a property as being unoccupied if no-one has lived there for 30 consecutive days, at which point standard insurance becomes invalid.

After all, an empty property can be more of an insurance risk due to burglary, vandalism and weather-related damage.

If your property is going to be empty for an extended period – perhaps because of renovations or tenant changeover, for example – you’ll probably need to arrange an additional, specialist unoccupied property insurance policy to make sure your property is still adequately covered.

Simple steps for essential property maintenance

Key landlord insurance points to remember

  • Landlords need insurance designed for landlords – a standard home policy is unlikely to be sufficient
  • Your insurer must be notified every time a tenancy change take place. If not, claims may be void
  • Many insurers will offer discounts if you buy building and contents insurance together (or with any other ‘add ons’), as well as special deals on insurance for multiple rental properties

West London Property Networking

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

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk