Tony Atkins

Registered with
Wednesday 3rd July 2013

Trading Status
Sole Owner

Providing essential rental accommodation since

Insures properties through a broker recommended by Property118

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 363


6 days ago
Can I move back into my BTL to minimise my CGT liabilty

If there's anyone reading this who is married and owns a property in their own single name, it is possible to transfer part of the ownership to your spouse's name by using a Deed of Assignment; there's no need to change the records at the Land Registry or with your mortgage provider.

However, if you want to claim two sets of CGT Allowance and Lettings Relief to accompany the new shared ownership, I believe it's the case that the transfer into joint ownership must occur whilst you are resident at the property, not before or afterwards.

Can anyone confirm this and/or point to HMRC advice on this matter?... Read More


2 weeks ago
12 Bed property needs housing association

I'm unclear why you need to work with a housing association in particular; are you wanting to run a social enterprise with this 12-bed property, or just looking to maximise income and capital gains for yourself?

Have you thought of going into business with a private landlord or small renovator/developer who has experience of creating and running houseshares/HMOs?

I'm a private landlord and small developer based in Oxfordshire, and I've renovated quite a few houses to make them useable as shared housing. There must be similar landlords in Birmingham, though whether they would want o buy the property from you, rather than ran it with you as a business partner (largely silent, given your confessed lack of experience?) is a different question.... Read More


2 weeks ago
BTL Oxford or further afield?

I live near Oxford and have rented out an HMO there. I agree with MarkW and Jonathan Clarke: for your first property, *always* buy near where you live! You will have a head-start on understanding the sale and rental markets, you can develop a network of trusted tradespeople who are likely to be fair to you as you live nearby, you can learn to fix all sorts of little problems yourself and thereby save money, and if the worst comes to the worst, in a financially sticky period you could even live in it (with your mortgage provider's permission) and have lodgers instead of tenants.

Oxford is very expensive - more expensive relative to incomes than much of London - and there are reports of over-supply with HMOs aimed at students, now that the universities are building more halls of residence. Long-term though it's a pretty reliable investment: the jobs market is very healthy and there simply isn't enough space for more housing in Oxford. Yields are low, so you need to hold for long-term capital gains.

A cheaper alternative would be to look at some of the surrounding towns, where many perfectly well-paid workers are forced to live due to the lack and price of housing in Oxford (hence Oxford's traffic problems). Keeping in mind the need for easy access for yourself, have you thought of Abingdon or Thame? Witney and Bicester are other possibilities, but you would need to research local supply and demand and what sort of housing is needed: for example, houseshares/HMOs work well in Oxford for young professionals, who like the city's studenty vibe and don't mind sharing provided they get a more affordable rent, but HMOs are much less common in the surrounding towns and tend to attract less affluent tenants that may give you problems.... Read More


2 weeks ago
Should I let my HMO tenants choose their new flatmate?

I agree that it can work well if you let the tenants conduct the viewings and interview the candidates: they tend to choose someone they like, and everyone feels a greater sense of investment in their tenancy. It can also save you a lot of work if you don't live close to the property. However I always tell the tenants that I will be checking references and reserve the right of first refusal on their choice of housemate.

You also need to be prepared to step in and do everything yourself, if you realise that the existing tenants are being too picky or are poor at attending meetings and reaching agreement. The rules of this particular game need to be made clear at the outset to the existing tenants.

I would never use a letting agent to do viewings of an HMO, unless they can demonstrate they understand the market and that they will only charge a finders fee.... Read More


2 weeks ago
Misinformation, government propaganda, hyperbole and irrelevance!

The Economist claims "Institutional investors are . . . hoping to benefit from their economies of scale to offer better housing to tenants." The writer of this article clearly knows nothing about the BTL market. Institutions very rarely buy the sort of bog-standard two- or three-bed semi or terraced house owned by small BTL landlords, which are the sort of houses that the mass of renters prefer and can afford. Institutions merely cherry-pick - they build and run small expensive on-campus bedsits aimed at overseas students, or expensive city-centre apartment blocks; their cost base for maintenance is naturally higher than a typical "amateur" landlord because they have to pay wages to their employees and generally work with larger VAT-able tradespeople. BTLers, in contrast, put in a lot of unpaid work and box clever with their local contacts to use affordable, reliable tradesmen and women.

I've also yet to see a single REIT or other property investment company run an HMO. Like council housing departments and housing associations, they view HMOs as too risky and too much like hard work. In these institutions' neglect of young single people wanting an affordable rent lies small landlords' opportunity.... Read More