Jo Westlake

Registered with
Saturday 27th June 2015

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 66

Jo Westlake

11:25 AM, 13th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Personal borrowing hampered by BTL mortgages?

It can be a problem as credit reference agencies only look at debt, not income. Also if you buy property as a couple both of you will have the entire joint debt listed on your personal credit report. If you buy in four names (which can be good for CGT purposes) all four of you will have the entire debt listed against each of you.
For mortgages it isn't too bad if you deal with a company where the underwriters are willing to phone you to discuss their concerns. Some lenders will, others just say no. For other types of finance it can be a nightmare. The last thing any of us want is a hard search that doesn't result in the finance we have applied for.
Nationwide are unpredictable. I've had an account with them for about 30 years and sometimes they'll lend to me, other times they won't. No obvious reason, it's just the way they are. As a bank they have their uses but I wouldn't want to have them as my only bank account. Although they are a big BTL lender they are sometimes very harsh with their attitude to BTL income. They are also very good at doing a hard search before saying no.
Banks all vary in their attitude to landlords so just because Nationwide is being difficult for you it doesn't mean all banks will be equally difficult.... Read More

Jo Westlake

10:48 AM, 13th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

POLL - What is the ROOT CAUSE of increasing homelessness, lack of supply of quality rental properties and rising rents in the UK?

The extra 3% SDLT wasn't on the list but is a massive barrier to enlarging our portfolios.

Also that experienced portfolio landlords have to pay higher interest rates than novice first time landlords and can only borrow from a very limited pool of lenders.... Read More

Jo Westlake

14:36 PM, 6th May 2022, About 3 weeks ago

The Council has no workers?

You're lucky in one respect the council have admitted the fence is theirs.
One of my flats had the dividing fence come down between it and the council owned flat next door and when I asked the council if it was theirs or mine they said it wasn't up to them to sort out. It was up to the tenants!
Have you asked if they will pay for it if you organise the replacement? Not ideal but it might get the job done. However, you've already said neither of you can get a contractor.... Read More

Jo Westlake

9:09 AM, 3rd May 2022, About 4 weeks ago

BTL and Solar panels - Are there easy tax answers?

I'd really like a definitive answer to the same question for BTLs in England.
I've had solar panels on 3 houses for 10 years and they're great. I'd certainly like them on 2 or 3 other houses, either as a way of improving the EPC or because bills are included in the rent.
When I had the first lot installed my accountant said they weren't tax deductible but the Feed in Tariff wasn't taxable so it all kind of balanced out.
Now the Feed in Tariff doesn't exist for new installations has the tax treatment of solar panels changed?... Read More

Jo Westlake

9:39 AM, 29th April 2022, About 4 weeks ago

What Section 8 Notice improvements are soon to be required?

Section 8 needs to be swift and certain for removing rogue tenants. Not a maybe if the judge is in the right mood concept.
Rent arrears are easy to prove now everything is paid by Standing Order, Direct Debit or online bank transfer. Gone are the days of hiding behind the sofa when the rent collector was due or the dog eating the rent book. Even if a tenant can't afford the full payment on the correct day due to the very strange way UC payments are made or an unexpected emergency they can pay something and keep arrears as low as possible.

Anti social behaviour also needs swift eviction. It can be difficult to prove due to fear of reprisal so thought needs to be put into the balance of suitable proof and the communities right to live in a safe, peaceful environment.... Read More