Property rental activity update -Rental management for landlords

As Rightmove figures suggest….

Pace of annual rent rises now lowest since 2014

0.7% annual rate of increase in national asking rents (excluding London) in 2017, the lowest since 2014
Asking rents in London ended the year 1.2% higher than at the end of 2016, the first time the annual rate in the capital has been in positive territory in nearly two years
South East and Yorkshire and the Humber are the only two regions to end 2017 with asking rents down, while the North East saw rents rising at the highest rate, up 3.3% on 2016
Farnham in Surrey recorded the highest rental growth outside London at 9% in 2017, followed by Corby in Northamptonshire, up 8.2%.

As Rightmove figures suggest….

Pace of annual rent rises now lowest since 2014

  • 0.7% annual rate of increase in national asking rents (excluding London) in 2017, the lowest since 2014
  • Asking rents in London ended the year 1.2% higher than at the end of 2016, the first time the annual rate in the capital has been in positive territory in nearly two years
  • South East and Yorkshire and the Humber are the only two regions to end 2017 with asking rents down, while the North East saw rents rising at the highest rate, up 3.3% on 2016
  • Farnham in Surrey recorded the highest rental growth outside London at 9% in 2017, followed by Corby in Northamptonshire, up 8.2%.

How to make a long distance property rental work?

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How do you decide whether you need a property manager or not?

National average asking rents (excluding London) rose by just 0.7% in 2017, a much more muted increase than the annual rises recorded in 2015 (+3.7%) and 2016 (+3.0%). Over the last three years tenants have therefore seen landlords increase asking rents by 7.6%. With that equating to a budget-stretching average increase of over £50 per month, a slower pace of rises is understandable.

How to avoid tenancy void periods?

The asking rents of new rental properties coming to market in London are rising again, leading to the first increase in the annual rate of growth since the start of 2016. The uplift comes following a few years of the market readjusting downwards from the heady annual rise of 8% recorded in 2014. The falling rents were also aided by the surge in rental supply in 2016 from landlords who had rushed to buy up properties to rent out before the additional stamp duty on second homes came in.  As supply has tightened prices have started to increase again.

Landlord Insurance for beginners

The South East seems to be mirroring the downward trend we saw in London, with the region ending the year down 0.7% on 2016. The overall regional trend masks some of the key commuter areas that continue to perform strongly, with Farnham in Surrey coming top for rental price growth in 2017, up 9% on 2016.

Rightmove Director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside comments: “Nationally rents have been holding pretty steady over 2017, retaining the 3% plus rises seen in both 2015 and 2016, and adding a more modest 0.7% in the last twelve months. Increasingly stretched tenant affordability, and the surge of buy-to-let property supply beating the stamp duty tax hike deadline, have acted together to mute landlord pricing power. In contrast, after a few years of falling rents in London they’re back on the up again, due to a combination of tightening stock available to rent and strong demand.

9 Signs of a good tenant

“While the 2017/2018 tax year will see the start of the government’s changes to tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages, we don’t think this first phase will have that much of an effect on many landlords’ portfolio decisions until another year down the line. From speaking to some landlords they’re unlikely to make any decisions to sell up until they see in real-time how much of an impact it has on their finances, with many choosing to take a wait and see view rather than looking at short-term gains or losses. However, agents report that there are some highly-geared landlords with large loans looking to reduce their exposure to loss of tax relief by cashing in and selling some properties.”

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

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

Do you need smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as a part of rental property management?

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are non-negotiable for health and safety purposes. It is not possible to monitor 24/7 for fire and air poisoning unless you have an alarm. Statistics revealed that we are 4 times more at risk in the absence of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Check out the importance of check in inventory

What do we need to do to be compliant with current smoke and carbon monoxide detector regulation?
 A tenancy must ensure that during any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015

A smoke alarm must be  equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.

A carbon monoxide alarm must be equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. Importance of sum insured on a rental property?

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are non-negotiable for health and safety purposes. It is not possible to monitor 24/7 for fire and air poisoning unless you have an alarm. Statistics revealed that we are 4 times more at risk in the absence of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Check out the importance of check in inventory

What do we need to do to be compliant with current smoke and carbon monoxide detector regulation?

 A tenancy must ensure that during any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015

A smoke alarm must be  equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.

A carbon monoxide alarm must be equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

Importance of sum insured on a rental property?

Checks must be made by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.

Tenants must be informed that they must regularly check that the smoke alarms are in working order. The guidelines state that tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test the alarms regularly. It is recommended that your tenant tests the smoke alarms once a month.

Why do you need a property inventory?

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

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk

 

The importance of a tenancy inventory check-in for your rental property

If you want to minimise disputes with your tenants over the deposit return, prepare a detailed tenancy inventory at the start of each tenancy.

If tenants are aware that the state and contents of the property have been itemised, they are more likely to ensure that the property is left in the same condition in which it was originally let. Tenancy inventories are particularly important now that tenancy deposit schemes are in place across the UK as they form critical evidence in cases of disputes.

(Read more: Make your property more attractive to tenants)

At the check-in, the tenancy inventory details the current state of the property, including descriptions, age and condition of the fixtures, fittings and furnishing. This helps landlords and letting agents compare the state of the property at check-in and at check-out property inventory. Make sure the tenancy inventory is written in simple language and defines the terms used to report the condition or cleanliness of items in the property. It must be clear enough for a third-party to understand without them being present.

(Read more: Do you know how to ensure buy to let success)

If a tenancy inventory is not carried out, or if it was insufficiently detailed, then it may not be clear how the property should be left before departure, which could lead to a deposit dispute. Dealing with a deposit dispute can be stressful and costly for those involved so it’s always preferable to avoid this. Do you need a property manager?

Prepare for the tenancy inventory check-in for your rental property

Doors and walls

  • Check doors open, close and, where necessary, lock properly.
  • Deal with any signs of mould or damp on the walls.
  • Note the condition of skirting boards and door frames.
  • Look out for any marks, stains or damage to shelves, surfaces, ceiling, painted areas or wallpaper.

(Read more: How to avoid tenancy void periods?)

Flooring

  • Look for any stains on carpets and any rips to the flooring or carpets.
  • Check for holes and stains on the floors and look for chips or signs of stained grout on tiled floors.

(Read more: Landlord Insurance Guide)

Windows

  • Check all windows open and close properly and are damage free. Note any damage or staining to curtains, rails and blinds.
  • Deal with any signs of condensation, damp or mould.

(Read more: Unexpected costs of being a landlord)

Kitchen

  • Check the state of the cupboards and worktops, make sure all white goods work, are clean and clear of mould or damage.
  • Make sure the oven, grill and hobs are clean and in full working order.

(Read more: How to evict a tenant in the UK?)

Bathroom

  • Make sure the taps work and sinks and bathtub drain properly.
  • Check the shower works, the doors, showerhead and curtains are fitted properly and are clean.
  • Ensure the toilet is clean, in good working order and flushes properly.
  • Note any stains or damage to the toilet, sink, bathtub, any mirrors or tiles.
  • Deal with any areas with mould.

Outdoors

  • Make sure that drives, gardens and paths are presentable, with no rubbish or unwanted items and that they are damage free.
  • Check that fences and garden walls are intact.
  • Inspect any garages or sheds for damage and for clutter that may have to be removed.
  • Check that any side gates are secure.

Utilities

  • Make sure that all essentials are in working order, that all the lights work, bulbs are in place, fittings are secure, and plug sockets are fully functioning.
  • Also, let a professional check the boiler and the radiators are functioning.
  • Tenants will need to know the location of all meters and how to take accurate readings to pay for energy and water consumption.

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

West London Property Networking

Long Distance property rental for expat landlord property management

Making Long-Distance Property Management Work For You
Supervising a rental property from a distance can be difficult, but it’s do-able. With trustworthy tenants, you might discover having an out-of-town property to be no more work than having an in-town one. Whatever the case, make it easy on yourself by being prepared for emergencies, maintaining regular communication with tenants, finding reliable repairmen, or opting for a property manager to supervise your property. Find out how to make your property more attractive to tenants

1- Ask Someone to keep an eye on your property
Flats are shared dwellings, any misbehaviour of your tenant can theoretically be reported to the local council and block management company and leaving you with issues to deal with. What are block manager responsibilities
A house offers more privacy for your tenant though gives them plenty of room to disobey rules. It would be wise to select a neighbour to keep an eye on your property. If there is a problem such as vandalism, unsociable behaviour  etc. your property manager or yourself would be notified immediately. How to ensure buy to let success
2- Select decent maintenance companies
Maintenance, repairs, and other complaints all come to you as the landlord of a rental property. When you are out-of-town, you have to find other ways of dealing with these situations.
You need a handyman, electrician, and a plumber you can rely on. If there is ever a leak or electrical problem that needs to be fixed immediately, you can call them to get the job done immediately.

Making Long-Distance Property Management Work For You
Supervising a rental property from a distance can be difficult, but it’s do-able. With trustworthy tenants, you might discover having an out-of-town property to be no more work than having an in-town one. Whatever the case, make it easy on yourself by being prepared for emergencies, maintaining regular communication with tenants, finding reliable repairmen, or opting for a property manager to supervise your property. Find out how to make your property more attractive to tenants

1- Ask Someone to keep an eye on your property
Flats are shared dwellings, any misbehaviour of your tenant can theoretically be reported to the local council and block management company and leaving you with issues to deal with. What are block manager responsibilities
A house offers more privacy for your tenant though gives them plenty of room to disobey rules. It would be wise to select a neighbour to keep an eye on your property. If there is a problem such as vandalism, unsociable behaviour  etc. your property manager or yourself would be notified immediately. How to ensure buy to let success
2- Select decent maintenance companies
Maintenance, repairs, and other complaints all come to you as the landlord of a rental property. When you are out-of-town, you have to find other ways of dealing with these situations.
You need a handyman, electrician, and a plumber you can rely on. If there is ever a leak or electrical problem that needs to be fixed immediately, you can call them to get the job done immediately.
3-Direct Debit payments
Getting paid from tenants in another town or city can be tricky if you are used to dealing in cash or cheques.
Set up payments so they are automated and you always get paid on the day your rent is due.

4- Have a Handle on Maintenance
The type of property you’re renting out affects the amount of maintenance and attention you will need to put towards it. Apartments often have block management companies who take care of the outside walkways, gardens, and parking area, communal areas leaving you with less responsibilities to deal with.
Maintenance for detached homes are generally owner’s responsibility unless they are in a gated community. If you are renting a detached home, you might want to hire help to regularly attend and keep walkways clear and safe.
Alternatively, you can negotiate with your tenants and ask them to look after the surroundings of the property
5-Set Strict Lease Terms
Your property, your rules. It’s best to be clear with your rental terms before the tenant moves in and make sure they understand what you will and won’t allow in your property. For instance, you might want to set up a zero tolerance policy on having pets or smoking. Include these terms in your lease and ask your tenant to initial them as proof of agreement.
6- Communicate Often
Long distance communication between landlords and tenants can be difficult, but workable.
As a landlord, it’s your job to establish regular communication with your tenants by phone, email, or text message and maintain this line of communication throughout their tenancy. Provide them with various contact methods, as well as additional contacts in case of emergencies.
If you plan to travel and will not be contactable, inform your tenant.
7- Inspect
As with any rental, near or far, inspections are an essential, inspect the property couple of times a year. Condition of the property before and after tenant move in and out will be recorded by the inventory clerk. Damage payments caused by the tenant can be negotiated based on the report.
8-Get Insurance Coverage
The type and amount of insurance you need will depend on the type of property you are renting. There are insurance for: Hazards, such as fires or sewer backup, flooding, thefts loss of rent, legal protection for landlords, liability insurance for damages, such as falls or slips at the property.
Ask your tenant to get contents insurance as well so their belongings are protected. Importance of sum insured on a rental property
9-Consider Hiring a Property Manager
Managing a rental property from a distance and balancing other aspects of your life, including work, family, and friends, requires expertise time management and a lot of patience.
Attending to your property can save you money, but it also costs you time in the process. Hiring a property management company to oversee your rental may increase your overhead, but it can also be the right option if you don’t have time managing it yourself

10- Choose Trustworthy Tenants
Since you will not be close enough to visit your rental property at a moment’s notice, it’s extremely important that you choose decent tenants.
Make sure you work with a professional estate agency, who a thoroughly reference checks your tenant before allowing them to move in or ask them to complete a rental application, and be sure to contact their references.
If possible, rent to family, friends, or referred tenants. This comes with its own risks, but at least you have a relationship with this person and the peace of mind of knowing that your property is in good hands.

If you have any questions or would like a 30 minute free property consultation, please contact Pelin Martin on

+0208 994 7327

pm@bluecrystallondon.co.uk