Tag Archives: Landlord Guide

Top cause of stress for landlords revealed

One of the main causes of stress and worry for the UK’s landlords has been revealed as the controversial ‘Right to Rent scheme’, says a new study. In a report from letting agents PropertyLetByUs, they say that the legislation causes stress for one in three buy to let landlords and for those who have properties in areas with high numbers of immigrants, the situation is acute. Indeed, landlords in London, the West Midlands, the South East, the North West and in the East of England are said to be those suffering the most with the new law. The next stressful problem for landlords is dealing with tax issues with HM Revenue and Customs, then it is raising finance for their portfolio and then having to deal with tenant complaints and problems with void periods. The number one issue for causing stress and worry for landlords   However, according to the study, the number one issue for causing stress and worry for landlords is having to deal with rent arrears and arranging for property repairs. The research also reveals that landlords believe they are paying more than they should do for tenant reference checks which they are now required by law […]

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 […]

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 […]

Serious rent arrears in decline

Landlords around the UK are seeing the number of tenants who are in serious rent arrears beginning to fall, according to a tenant arrears tracker. The data from estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains reveals that in the fourth quarter of last year, around 1,500 tenants moved out of serious rent arrears compared to the third quarter. The tracker reveals that this is a 1.5% improvement over the quarter and is a reverse of the worst arrears trend seen in early 2015. When all private rented households are taken into account, just 1.6% are considered to be in serious rent arrears. In comparison, in the first quarter of 2008 there were 2.9% of tenants in serious rental arrears which was a record high. ‘Unlikely an individual tenant will fall into serious rent arrears’   Adrian Gill, a director of Your Move, said: “It’s extremely unlikely an individual tenant will fall into serious rental arrears and the proportion of those renting who get behind on rent payments has dropped considerably. “The numbers are going the right way too and there are fewer people at risk from the consequences of not paying their rent which is great news.” Alongside this, the […]

Extent of Subletting Without Permission Revealed

The level of subletting by tenants in private rented property without the landlord’s permission has been revealed and it will come as a surprise for many. Research has revealed that one in six tenants have rented out all, or part, of their rented property to someone who was not named on the lease. Of those who did, one in four tenants said they had not checked the terms of the tenancy to see if subletting was permitted. Another 34% of tenants said they had not told their landlord of their decision to sublet. The research was carried out by Direct Line for Business and the firm’s Nick Breton said: “With the average rent standing at £739, a third of a tenant’s income is paying for their accommodation. “Rents grew by 5% on average last year and it seems that a growing number of tenants are looking to offset this by subletting.” Big increase in the number of tenants looking to sublet their homes   Now Direct Line for Business is warning that 2016 could see a big increase in the number of tenants looking to sublet their homes. Their research has revealed that 15% of those questioned said they were […]

Best Landlord Insurance Advice for New Landlords

It is essential that new landlords know precisely what they need to be financially and professionally secure. Total landlord insurance has long since provided expert advice to assist individuals in their newfound work as a landlord. Providing landlord insurance advice is what we do, but we also like to answer some common landlord questions to help steer the way towards successful ownership. Consider the following bits of landlord insurance advice to discover a better way to manage your property. Calculate the Costs   The costs of buying a property is not the only factor to consider. Another important factor is calculating the costs of insuring the unit. Whether you’re purchasing a duplex, a commercial property, or an apartment, it is critical that you calculate the cost of insuring the property before you begin listing it for sale. This is the single best piece of landlord insurance advice anyone will offer you. Start with the costs, and then move forward. Use Contracts   The internet is full of sample contracts that are available for you to download and use to keep your property safe. Some of the most common landlord questions relate back to contracts, which ones are necessary and which […]

Surge in landlords forming limited company to beat tax hike

A growing number of landlords in the UK are considering forming a limited company to run their business and offset tax costs, according to a survey. The National Landlords’ Association (NLA) says that more than 40% of landlords questioned are considering forming a limited company and just 1% of landlords had already done so. The NLA says that this low take-up is down to the complicated process of transferring property into a company. From their survey, 31% of landlords said they had no plans of moving their properties into a limited company while 29% said they were unsure about whether to form a limited company or not. The question of incorporation has come into focus since buy to let landlords are not able to claim mortgage interest relief when it is phased out from April next year. Landlords will not be able to reclaim their mortgage interest costs   Under the new tax regime, landlords will not be able to reclaim their mortgage interest costs before declaring their taxable profits. The NLA says the switch is ‘The Turnover Tax’ with landlords being taxed on their rental income rather than on their profits. This move will move many landlords who pay […]

Buy to let mortgage approvals soar

The latest figures for buy to let mortgage approvals have revealed that numbers rocketed in January as buyers rushed to beat the upcoming stamp duty changes. In research from esurv, January saw 85,400 house purchase approvals – a rise of 20.6% on December’s figure. However, this is the highest number recorded since October 2007 when 87,594 approvals were registered. Over the past year, house purchase lending has risen in the UK by nearly 40%. Rush to obtain buy to let loans   A director of the chartered surveyors esurv, Richard Sexton, said: “Buy to let mortgage approvals have contributed to January’s home lending growth with a rush to obtain buy to let loans before duty changes begin in April. “Many predicted that the buy to let sector would narrow but we’ve seen lending appearing to do the opposite. “The rise in buy to let has not been at the expense of first-time buyers since the number of small deposit loans granted in January has risen and it’s a sign that lenders are giving first-timers a chance.” He added that the surge in buy to let buying has helped to conceal the strength of small deposit lending and the picture for […]

Government warned: ‘Lay off landlords’

The government has been warned to lay off private landlords and told to find other solutions to the UK’s current housing crisis. The warning has been made by LSL Property Services which says that landlords are now targets for the Bank of England and Government despite providing a crucial role in offering homes to 20% of the country’s population. A director of LSL, Adrian Gill, said: “Unconstructive policies and negative campaigns that attack landlords rather than supporting tenants will not help provide more homes or lower rents.” He added that the continuous criticism will have the opposite effect and force rents up for tenants. More than two years ago LSL predicted that the average rent in the UK for a private rented property would reach the £800 a month mark and its latest data shows this has now been achieved. Rents have fallen since September   From their regularly published index, the firm says that while rents have fallen since September, they have risen year-on-year by 4% and there are predicting more rises early in 2016. In addition, the index also reveals that rent arrears are a growing problem with tenant finances worsening and that landlords’ rental yields have also […]

Landlord’s guide to damp and condensation

Damp and condensation can lead to serious problems for landlords, damaging properties and potentially affecting the health of tenants.