Landlord News

How to Screen & Select Stellar Tenants

The relationship between tenants and landlords isn’t always a whirlwind romance. Often, it begins with a blind date that turns into an “I don’t, maybe I should see him again” situation. Landlords have a lot to deal with when finding and renting their property. From landlord’s property insurance to finding and screening tenants, it seems like their work is never done. Before you decide to accept an application for your property, we have a bit of landlord advice to throw in your direction: screen them! While landlord action offers you some protection, preventative care is the best route to take. Here’s how to professionally screen and select tenants for your property. Conduct background checks   While they are time-consuming, background checks save you significant heartache. Many landlords pass the costs of background checks off to tenants, and if you choose to go this route you won’t have to worry about extra expenditures. Whatever way you go about it, don’t skimp on having one done. Familiarize yourself with local landlord laws   Besides landlords property insurance, you’ll also want to get informed on local laws regarding breaks in the lease, what your rights are as a landlord, and your responsibilities. Do […]

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Marketing Strategies to Get Your Property Let or Sold

All good landlords want a good tenant to let their property to. The ROI for your property is strictly based on the quality of your tenant and the lease you set forth. Before you can sign any contracts, however, the first step is to figure out how to generate interest in your property. At Landlord Syndicate, we’re well known for our endless volumes of landlord insurance advice, tips, and articles. One of the most important aspects of owning any investment property is marketing, something we felt the need to discuss in today’s post. Check out a few marketing landlord tips below to get started on the right foot. Choose the right marketing agency   First and foremost, if you’re going to partner with a marketing agency make sure they are the right one. Professional marketing agencies come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to investigate specialties, pricing and experience. Any additional investment in a marketing agency only consumes more of your profit margin, so make sure you’re getting real results. Consider your audience   One of the factors mentioned most in our landlord forum is finding the right audience for your property. For example, if you’re located in […]

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Call to address ‘ problem of rogue tenants ’

The growing problem of rogue tenants needs addressing and the Housing and Planning Bill should be amended to address them, according to one organisation. The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says the legislation is aimed at tackling rogue letting agents and landlords but there should be measures aimed at tackling rogue tenants too. The new law has proposals that would both fine and ban criminal letting agents and landlords and bring in rent repayment orders and place details of blacklisted landlords and agents onto a database. The plan is for the database to be maintained by local authorities so they can keep track of offenders. However, while the new law will help deter rogue landlords, there’s still a lot that needs to be done with the problem of rogue tenants. Banning and blacklisting criminal letting agents and landlords   The AIIC’s chair, Patricia Barber, said: “We are aware that banning and blacklisting criminal letting agents and landlords from letting property is necessary. “But the Housing Bill is one-sided and suggests that it’s only letting agents and landlords who cause a problem during a tenancy. We know this is not true from experience and I have come across horror stories […]

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Pensioner buy to let landlords ponder selling-up

Despite offering a valuable retirement income, more than 40% of retiree landlords are considering off-loading their buy to let property, according to a survey. Responsible Equity Release also found that seven in 10 pensioner landlords said that without their rental income they would struggle to get by. More than 1,000 retired people who owned a rental property were surveyed and 92% of them said mortgage interest relief changes would have an impact on their profits. The situation is so worrying, says the firm, that pensioner landlords are now wondering whether it is worth hanging on to their buy to let property at all. Pensioners with a buy to let property   The firm’s managing director, Steve Wilkie, said: “For a lot of pensioners their buy to let property has helped because of low interest rates while savings have struggled and attract little interest, their property income is strong. “Many say they would really struggle to make ends meet without their buy to let income boost.” He said that it appeared the Chancellor George Osborne has forgotten that his new tax on buy to let properties will not affect wealthy landlords. Mr Wilkie added: “The changes will hit hard-working honest people […]

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Landlords urged to be wary of creating a limited company

With the various changes to the tax regime for UK residential landlords, one lettings agency is urging landlords to be wary and calculate carefully before opting for incorporation. The appeal for creating a limited company to hold a landlord’s property portfolio has been growing in recent months as a means to avoid some of the changes and save the landlord money. Among the changes are to the wear and tear allowance and from next year, landlords will be restricted on the amount of mortgage relief they can claim. However, unlike many property professionals and accountants who have been urging landlords to incorporate to save on their tax bill, Benham & Reeves says landlords should be more cautious. Indeed, a lot depends on a landlord’s personal circumstances as to whether setting up a limited company makes financial sense. Landlords would need to ‘sell’ their property portfolio   The letting agency says that landlords would need to ‘sell’ their property portfolio to the new company which would incur stamp duty land taxes (SDLT). They say that the savings that can be made on mortgage tax relief will not be enough to mitigate the SDLT’s charge of between 5% and 12% on the […]

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Top Landlord Tips You Need to Know About

The business of letting out your property is complicated. Property-owners starting out need professional landlord tips and strategies to empower their business. As experts in landlord management services, we thought it right to offer some advice for landlords who might be confused about what the next right move is for their business. Review our top tips below. Full Disclosure is a Must   When tenants come to tour your property, be honest about where the property fails and what they can expect upon move in. Dishonesty breeds unhappy tenants who may not see their lease through. Full disclosure also prevents you from being liable should a problem arise. Determine Flooding Risks   There are an estimated 2 million homes in the UK at risk for flooding. Find out if your property is one of them through the Environment Agency’s flood map on their website. Be Available to Tenants   Your tenants want to know that you are just a phone call away. Make yourself available to them and let them know you are more than willing to answer any questions or concerns they may have. Landlord management services   Choose landlord management services that add value to your business. Whether […]

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Your Guide to Landlord’s Home Insurance

What happens if your tenant has a run in with your home’s carpet? Or what if they forget to lock the doors to the building and a burglar destroys your property? Are you covered? Landlord property insurance differs in coverage from policy to policy. While landlord insurance quotes can help you determine a budget, you need to understand what’s covered and what’s not in your policy. The moment you become a landlord your rights and coverage change. Often, the laws that govern your coverage changes annually as well. Besides keeping you up-to-date with the latest landlord news, we also want to help you understand your current policy. Consider the following to better understand your options. When Building Contents isn’t enough   As a landlord you lose the protection offered by standard building’s insurance. If you fail to inform your insurer that you’ve become a landlord and rented your property, you risk serious financial and legal battles. Another important point is that whether you are renting out your property or are building a portfolio, your money is linked to each building you own. You obviously don’t want to risk your investment by choosing a cheaper policy. The next right step then, […]

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Landlords urged to check their tenancies are ‘compliant’

Landlords are being urged to check that their tenancy agreements are legally compliant after an investigation revealed that one in 10 landlords do not have any form of legal contract with their tenants whatsoever. The findings come from insurance firm Direct Line for Business who say that landlords may be unknowingly using tenancy agreements for tenants to sign that are not legally compliant. Of the landlords questioned, 58% said they were using modified agreements based on an old letting agent’s agreement, while 38% used tenancy agreements from other landlords. Landlords are using a tenancy agreement they found on the Internet   However, 20% of landlords are using a tenancy agreement they found on the Internet. Direct Line says that from its investigation it is apparent that when landlords start out they utilise the services of letting agents and then use their original tenancy agreement as a template when renewing a tenancy. The lack of having a legally reviewed tenancy agreement might help explain why 13% of landlords confess to having difficulties with disputes that arise from a tenant’s agreement, says the firm. The survey also reveals that 9% of landlords admit to not telling their tenant that they were legally […]

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More landlords are winning deposit disputes

Landlords and letting agents are increasingly winning deposit disputes for the first time since their introduction in 2007, according to research. The Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS) says that last year nearly 20% of deposit disputes raised by landlords saw a 100% pay-out to them whereas 20% of deposit disputes raised by tenants saw them receiving a full pay-out. The remaining 60% of disputes saw the deposit being shared between landlord and tenant. That’s a slightly better result than was seen in previous years when tenants generally were awarded the full deposit more often than landlords were. One big reason for the increase in landlords being successful in claiming the deposit to cover repair costs is the growing popularity of having documented information for adjudication. Landlords are increasingly using digital inventories   Indeed, letting agents and landlords are increasingly using digital inventories and increasing the number of mid-term inspections which is helping the balance shift in favour of landlords. It’s crucial that landlords record properly the condition of their property when a tenant moves in and provides a comprehensive inventory which also states the condition of furnishings and fittings. There should also be a thorough checkout report conducted too. The chief […]

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Rents Will Be Pushed Up By Stamp Duty Charge

Tenants face paying more in rent because of stamp duty reforms on buy to let properties, says the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). In their latest report, the Association says that 57% of its members say rents for tenants will rise after the stamp duty hike comes into effect with landlords having to push their increased costs onto tenants. In addition, 52% of letting agents have seen an increase in buyers wanting to invest in buy to let property and beat the stamp duty deadline. When questioned further, 63% of letting agents say that the supply of buy to let property will fall after the stamp duty deadline passes in April, after that landlords will be slowly forced from the market. Stamp duty changes will hit small landlords   ARLA’s managing director, David Cox, said: “The stamp duty changes will hit small landlords and also institutional investors and our members report landlords are rushing to snap-up buy to let properties but it’s likely that we will see the market fall like a stone after April and, probably, it will not pick up again until 2017. “This will almost certainly mean rents will increase as supply drops and competition intensifies […]

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