Blogs and advice on Residential Property Management London
Landlords must ensure mandatory electrical inspections are carried out in rental homes by qualified inspectors as of 1st July 2020. Landlords can face tough financial penalties if they fail to comply with the new regulation, which is part of the government’s commitment to drive up standards in the sector.
This is to put measures in place to identify the minority level of landlords who rent out unsafe properties. A transitional period will apply in the first two years, where the new rule will affect all new private tenancies in the first year and then extend to all existing private tenancies in the second year.
Properties with an existing electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not be required to replace it for five years from the date they were carried out. For new and fully rewired properties, an Electrical Installation Certificate can be presented in place of an EICR provided the date of the next inspection mentioned on the certificate has not elapsed.
For landlords, experiencing occasional void periods is inevitable. However, there are actions you can to tempt tenants to stay for longer, extend tenancies and hopefully reduce void periods.
As a landlord, when your property is vacant, not only are you not collecting rental income, but you could also still be paying certain costs such as mortgage instalments, ground rent and insurance, as well as council tax, gas and electricity bills.
It is therefore critical to minimise void periods where possible, especially if your buy-to-let properties are single tenancy. While the end of all tenancies cannot be avoided – people move on, buy their own home and circumstances change – there are ways to keep tenants for longer and reduce void periods.
Not only is it the start of a new year, but a new Decade, and in a few years time, we will look back at 2020 and realise that it was probably one of the best investing opportunities of this Decade. The question is, are you ready for 2020?
In this first article for 2020, I want to explain why this month (January) in particular is so important and why it will create a huge opportunity for you if you are ready for it. Unfortunately, many people will miss out on this opportunity and I don’t want that to be the case for you, so please make sure you read this article carefully to really understand the opportunity in front of you.
When I first wrote my book “Property Magic” I wanted to come up with some simple guidelines which would help investors to minimise the risks of investing and maximise their returns. I observed that most investors, myself included, made some common mistakes which could easily be avoided by following these principles:
Always Buy from Motivated Sellers
Instead of looking for a property you like, and then negotiating with the seller to try and get a discount, I have a smarter strategy. Look for motivated sellers, who will be flexible on the price/and or the terms of the sale.
Once you have found a motivated seller you can decide if you want to buy that particular property. For a quick sale, the owner may sell it at a discounted price. The amount of discount will vary on their motivation and the general market conditions.
In a rising market you may be happy with a 15% to 20% discount. In a falling market you would want a bigger discount of 25% to 40%. This is to give you more of a safety buffer in case prices come down further.
There is a huge amount of uncertainty in the current property market. There are potentially lots of landlords looking to sell up early, over the next year or so.
The next 12-18 months could be the buying opportunity of the Decade.
Increasing rent can be a complicated issue, especially with your existing tenants. However, often landlords need to increase rent over time, to keep up with the level of inflation or cost of living.
It’s actually better to gradually increase rent rather than holding back for a couple of years and then increasing it by a significant amount- that will be a lot more difficult for your tenants to accept. So generally speaking, regular increases are normal and healthy.
For periodic tenancy contracts landlords can typically only increase rent once a year without the tenant’s agreement. It is therefore imperative to find the right time to discuss rent matters with your tenant as you will only have one opportunity per year. It is adviced to approach this situation with sensitivity, as telling your tenants that you intend to increase their rent costs could cause anxiety if not done carefully, even if you are within your legal rights to do so.
However, for fixed-term tenancies, which run for a set length of time typically ranging from six months to a year, landlords can only increase rent at the end of the fixed term, never during. The only exception to this rule is if there is a specific clause in your tenancy agreement that clearly states that you can increase the rent during the fixed term.
A good reason to review your rent may be if the popularity of your area increases, are there are a lot of new developments being built. These can be viewed as indicators that it is time to re-evaluate your rent prices.
You have certain rights and responsibilities when you are a tenant in privately rented property.
When renting a residential property through an AST the landlord is responsible for certain repairs to the property, including the structure and exterior of the property. The landlord is required to keep the equipment for the supply of gas, electricity and water in a safe and good working order.
The tenant must ensure the property is kept clean and carry out any minor maintenance repairs as well as any other responsibilities which may be stated in the tenancy agreement.
Everybody is talking about the impact of section 24. Is it another tax change? Section 24 tax change will not make a difference to the landlords with no mortgage. However, other landlords are likely to see a big rise in their tax bill and a big hit to their profits....
Extensions are a great way to raise a property value or increase rental income though landlords should be careful not to overdevelop or comply with local planning rules. There are points to consider when carrying out an extension at your property;
1. Understand market needs
The best time to extend is when you’re changing the property materially for a different demographic or market. For instance, if you have a two-bed house and you know the local market is short of three-bed properties. But be careful not to overdevelop the property so it is bigger than everything else in the street; some areas have a value limit. Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and flat-shares generally make more sense to extend than family homes, because if you add another bedroom the rent increase will be incremental rather than marginal. An extra tenant in an HMO will earn you an extra room’s rent, whereas an extra bedroom in a family home is unlikely to increase your rental income by more than 10-20 per cent.