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News

Posted by on in News

Hundreds of thousands of buy-to-let homeowners will have to pay  a “green tax” of up to £5,000 to make their properties more energy efficient, the Telegraph has learnt.

Landlords will have to pay upfront for measures such as insulation, cavity wall filling and new boilers from 2018. Until recently they could apply for loans from the Green Deal scheme for improvements, which are then repaid by tenants who benefit from lower bills. But the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is proposing owners provide the money.

The move will affect 330,000 buy-to-let landlords who own homes that are less energy efficient, often from the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

 

In a briefing to buy-to-let landlords the Government proposed a “hypothetical £5,000 spending cap”. It insisted most landlords will have to pay no more than £1,800 to meet the standards. However many efficiency measures cost much more.

 

Read more from the Telegraph by following

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/30/green-tax-to-hit-landlords-with-5000-bill-on-buy-to-let-homes/

 

Posted by on in News

While confidence remains low among landlords after recent government interventions in the buy-to-let (BTL) market, buyers are slowly returning, according to research from Paragon Mortgages.

Following an increase in the rate of stamp duty payable on BTL purchases, and with a staged reduction in income tax relief available on rental income due to start next year, landlord confidence remained low during the first quarter of 2016.

A survey of more than 1,000 private rental sector landlords undertaken by BDRC Continental revealed 41 per cent rated their prospects as being either ‘good’ or ‘very good’, down from 65 per cent during the same period last year.

Indicating that falling levels of confidence may have stabilised, the figure is just a 2 per cent fall on the fourth quarter of 2015.

The first quarter of this year also saw landlords’ property purchase intentions edge above selling intentions, reversing the situation seen in the fourth quarter, when more landlords were looking to sell property than were looking to buy.

Nearly a fifth indicated that they intended to purchase a property in the coming year, up from 17 per cent in Q4 2015, while 16 per cent stated they intended to sell a property, down from 19 per cent in the previous quarter.

Driving this trend, Q1 2016 saw an increase in tenant demand, with 39 per cent of landlords reporting demand as increasing either slightly or significantly, up from 34 per cent in Q4 2015.

Despite negativity persisting around business expectations over the short term, rental property as an asset class is still viewed favourably by landlords, with 38 per cent of landlords polled believing the private rented sector to be ‘much better’ than other investment options.

“The main driver of this recovery remains, as ever, tenant demand, which has risen in Q1 2016, along with yields. Landlords are clearly taking the view that BTL remains an attractive long-term, demand-driven investment, which continues to outperform other asset classes.”

 

To read more please follow the link: http://www.ftadviser.com/2016/06/08/mortgages/mortgage-data/btl-landlord-confidence-returning-YRc5unk81S6Cd747KxNMHI/article.html 

Posted by on in News

Snagging is a term we use for the reporting of defects in the month following a tenant moving in to a new property. A bit like the good old days when you had to ‘run in’ a new car to ensure that all the components behaved as they should.

The correction of a defect in a property once a tenant has moved in can be more costly than having a clear run at the job whilst the property was empty. It can also cause unrest to your tenant and it can, on occasion, lead to the tenant giving notice at the earliest opportunity.

In the list below I have included what typical snagging events we get informed of by our tenants. Snags and costs that may have been avoided at the pre letting stage.

  • GROUTING – “there is water coming through the ceiling!” is a frequent call. In older properties the grouting of tiles around bath and shower units have often dried out and shrunk. It only takes a few days of regular use of the appliance for the damage to be done. By then it is not just a case of re-grouting. It is drying out of a ceiling and later redecoration. In one case the tenant claimed costs from the landlord for damage to their possessions (this is why landlords insurance is a must as well as tenants insurance)!
  • JUNK – once any restoration work has been done then your tools and equipment need to be moved from the property. For example it is not OK just to leave the old lawnmower in the shed. If you do you will be liable for its upkeep and for its electrical certification PRIOR to the let commencing.
  • WHITE GOODS – you may buy a property with some white goods already in place. Think long and hard as, like the lawnmower, you need to get electrical certification prior to the let but as the tenancy goes on you will be called upon to pay for investigations, repairs and replacements as the appliance slowly wears out. As a rule of thumb it is best to leave the white goods out of the equation. Typically in a kitchen the only appliance regarded as a standard is the cooker/oven.
  • WATER – water coming under roof tiles and sheds leaking. Have a good external look at the roofing of the property and investigate in the loft space for evidence of previous water entry.
  • POOR PLUMBING – the first thing a tenant will want to do is to install their dishwasher or washing machine. Quite often the original plumbing connections to appliances are old and not fully functional. We had to attend at a flat where this was the case and the water leakage had entered another property and the landlord had to pay for the drying out of it and the redecoration.
  • POOR FITTINGS – curtain poles, shower rails, towel rails and anything that is fixed to the walls. Give them all a tug to see if they are up to the purpose for which they are designed

The old adage that you look at a rental property with your head rather than your heart is true to an extent- but do also think of what would make you upset if you were to rent this property in question and then determine what you will do about it?

Posted by on in News

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Call us a one stop shop if you will.

We are a family run business who aim to please and get the best results for our clients as well as being a place to call on in times of trouble. From our 6 days a week opening to our in house mortgage advice from our sister company, Oaktree Mortgages we aim to please.

Our director and Lettings Manager are landlords in their own right which means they have experienced the worries and concerns you may have when letting a property so with that we have designed our service to address all these concerns. As a company with over 30 years presence in the property sales market we are pretty good at that also!

Hancocks are members of NAEA and as such we abide by their code of practice and that extends to the protection and ring fencing of client monies and looking out for the rights of buyers, landlords and sellers alike.

Being an long established agent in Melton it does not mean that we can’t move with the times. Our Social Media presence is being managed by our newest member of staff, Ben Scarborough. This means we have presence on Facebook, Twitter, a blog site and most recently a YouTube account where you can see videos of some of our properties.

 

Something we hear from potential landlords is…“But switching agents is a nightmare”

Not anymore it isn’t…

We only need 3 signatures from you. The rest is all dealt with us whilst you sit back and relax, for example: we will contact your existing agent for contracts, tenancy agreement, inventory and then the deposit to be transferred over! As well as contacting your current tenant to advise of the changes.

Times of changing agents being difficult have moved on, it really is as simple as 1,2,3.

If you would like to find out more then pick up the phone and call me on 01664 563481 or drop me an email at Emma@hancockproperty.co.uk

Posted by on in News

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Speaking on behalf of the apprentice, Ben, who is learning all the small print of renting, it can be a minefield to get things right, let alone if they go wrong!

Arguably the biggest fear a self-managing landlord might have will relate to unpaid rent, complaints from neighbours of loud arguments/parties and loads of mess everywhere.

A ‘traditional’ way to regain possession of your property is to issue a ‘Section 21’ notice to your tenant then after two months you will be able (hopefully) to repossess your property. BUT and it’s a big BUT, with the ever changing world of rental property management it has become harder to evict your tenant. You can’t serve a section 21 until 4 months have passed since starting the tenancy, so you may have to tackle the problem by the issue of a Section 8 notice that will indicate your intention to start eviction proceedings.

If you are asking yourself “what is a Section 21 and a Section 8 notice?” then you really need to be with a Managing Agent.

If it was me as a first time landlord I would say to start with a Managing Agent. I would want the support and guidance that they can offer. I would also say that if you don’t have some form of Rent Guarantee policy then you should do so. Typically, for an annual cost of just under £200,  you can get cover that will include loss of rent, court costs and use of a solicitor should the worst happen.  Well worth it when a full blown eviction can cost in excess of £2000 in fees and lost rent!

This is yet another reason why serious consideration should be taken into having an agent manage your property.