Scottish landlords want at least three things from their tenants:-
– Rent paid on time
– Respect the property
– Respect the neighbours
There are many ways to find these perfect tenants and to insure against the risks of any problems. The cost of full property management in Scotland has been increasing as agents are having to pass on costs landlords previously paid by tenants. Continue reading Lettings package exclusively for Scottish Landlords
Corporate investment in student letting was up 50% to £1.15 billion last year as rents and yields continue to go through the roof.
The flood of institutional money into student accommodation has continued in the first three months of 2012 with nearly £250 million invested, according to property consultants CBRE. Continue reading Corporates sink millions into student letting
Rows of unsightly “To Let’ boards outside buy to let homes could be banned if MPs vote in favour of a proposed new law.
Some cities already have local planning rules limiting the size, colour and number of boards, but Newcastle East MP Nick Brown wants to extend the law nationwide. Continue reading MP campaigns to ban ‘To Let’ boards
After reading Experian launches rent payment profile for tenants, I am perfectly prepared to give a person a chance for a new start but I cannot afford to take people who will not pay their rent. Many landlords feel like this too. Many of us are in a position to pick and choose our tenants and just won’t take a chance but we all need to remember, as the all financial investments warn, “Past performance is no guarantee of future” and those landlords who avoid tenants on LHA are just one P45 away from that tenant. Continue reading Reducing/avoiding rent arrears – I’ll have some of that please
LHA Top Tips for landlords. Article 3 in a series of 8
The longer you keep a tenant the less paperwork and voids you will experience. Start by finding a tenant you feel confident is right for your property and your management strategy and start as you mean to continue.
Continue reading Finding reliable LHA tenants
New online services are springing up that let property people and renters share information about ‘bad’ landlords and tenants – but are the details fair and accurate?
The problem for a landlord is these sites can open the door for equality and diversity claims.
If a landlord acts on the data and refuses to let to someone, they might argue the decision was discrimination based on protected characteristics like age, gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. Continue reading Are ‘rate your landlord’ websites worth the effort?
“How We Recruited Our Property Manager”
Roy Brooks was probably the most famous British estate agent ever. He was famous for being so honest when describing the properties he was flogging (and often their corresponding owners), that he was hilariously rude. People adored him for it, but that was in the good old days.
If you’ve never heard of Roy and haven’t been involved in the London property scene at any time since 1936 (when he threw his office doors open), here are a couple of his property descriptions: Continue reading Legendary Roy Brooks Agency – is rude still vogue?
Landlords and letting agents could see Rightmove’s crown slip in the rental market as a new pretender steps up – if a proposed merger is allowed to go ahead.
Digital Property Group – owned by the company behind the Daily Mail – and Zoopla want to join forces to tackle the undisputed property portal king Rightmove head on. Continue reading Lettings super search engine set to take on Rightmove
Police are on a high after closing 5,000 cannabis factories across the North West in the past three years – and are urging landlords and letting agents to step into the war on drugs.
Police are shutting down an average four cannabis farms a day – with many located in rented homes and commercial properties. Continue reading Police on high after closing 5,000 cannabis factories
The broken housing market is pushing more accidental landlords into the buy to let market, according to lenders and letting agents.
As homes are becoming more difficult to sell, desperate owners who need to move are turning to let to buy mortgages so they can buy a new home while renting their former home out.
Around 20% of buy to let mortgage applications handled by Platform, the Co-Op Bank’s property investment arm, are from let to buy owners who need to move home. Continue reading Let to buy is soaring, say lenders and letting agents
Two landlords were fined £11,000 for breaking house in multiple occupation management rules.
After the successful prosecutions, Newport City Council, South Wales, has warned that local enforcement teams are cracking down on landlords who ignore housing laws.
In the first case, Saeed Zafar was found guilty in his absence by magistrates on charges of failing to licence an HMO and not running the property properly. Continue reading HMO landlords fined £11,000 for mismanaging properties
Police are warning about fraudsters who are ripping off landlords and tenants by posing as bogus letting agents.
Scotland Yard detectives are looking for those behind two scams.
In the first, tenants pay over a deposit and first month’s rent on buy to let homes that are already let. Continue reading Buy to let fraudsters target landlords and letting agents
Rightmove Premium Listings ‘Do they work?’
Rightmove themselves state that their own research indicates that properties with a “Premium Listing” banner generate 21% more enquiries. Of course they have a vested interest because they charge Agents £10 for every listing, which is all extra profit for them.
In truth, it is impossible to test this independently because no-one can ever run the same listing in parallel as both a Standard and a Premium listing. There is undoubtedly some benefit in featuring a property, and obviously more enquiries means more viewings and the property will therefore be let more quickly. Continue reading Be wary of Letting Agents Pushing Rightmove Premium Listings
So far in these articles we have looked at actions, activities and principles a 21st Century Letting Agency can adopt to deliver a truly 21st Century Service to their Landlord, but how will the landlord ever know if they are actually doing what they say they do? I, among the majority of landlords, have believed the words coming out of a Letting Agents lips only to regret it. From experience I am tempted to apply the old adage applied to politicians ‘If their lips are moving they are lying’ but that is a sad indictment of the industry and not actually true of the majority of agents. The trouble is that landlords are not provided with the means to judge whether the agency is living up to its claims or not. Yet this is the digital age with the internet superhighway and most landlords can access the internet, all sorts of companies provide their clients access to their own secure data. Even the NHS is considering this so why not landlords. Continue reading The 21st Century Letting Agent- Transparency
Last summer I met a very well heeled friend for lunch and listened as she commiserated her devastating investment losses over the past couple of years. She said “I need to get into property! It’s the only thing that I can rely on for the future and I’m fed up of hearing how much money my financial advisor is losing me – and he doesn’t even apologise!”.
I accepted the challenge of preparing a buy to let proposal for her based on the different markets, comparing returns in the local area and seeing whether it was student/HMO, family or renovation projects which would float her boat. Heady days, lying in the garden carrying out research courtesy of wi-fi – what better way to apply one’s brain? It was an interesting exercise as I’m so caught up with HMOs that it’s easy to forget the other markets. Doing the financial analysis vs hassle factor was enlightening too and, not one for numbers, I actually enjoyed fiddling around on Excel with percentage returns! Continue reading HMO Landlady Becomes A Letting Agent!!
Last issue we looked at how a 21st Century Letting Agent utilises new technologies and techniques to maximise the chance of securing a good long term tenant and minimise the periods of voids in the a portfolio.
In this we will look at how 21st Century Agent can- and should- provide a service that keeps both the tenant and the landlord happy with neither of them considering a move away because of the day to day management by the agent. Continue reading The 21st Century Letting Agent -The Day to Day Management
What should a landlord expect?
ARLA have been complaining that the Government should regulate Letting Agents in the same way they have done for Estate Agents. They may have a case, but ARLA standards are still pretty minimal compared to what the best agents are providing already. Landlords often make their own bed by going for the cheapest headline option without looking in detail at the service being provided. Added to which Grant Schapps and the government are not minded to regulate in the near future and with the current state of the economy, I believe they have more important issues to attend to.
Continue reading A 21st Century Letting Agent
Lettings firm Belvoir intends to join the City’s Alternative Investment Market to raise capital for further expansion.
The specialist lettings agency runs 142 franchised offices – and wants to raise up to £8 million from floating on AIM. Continue reading Letting Agent Plans £8 Million Stock Market Float
Landlords can take the strain out of comparing letting agents to find the best deal with a new online service.
The site lets landlords list details of their property for free – and invites local letting firms to pitch their deal against the clock.
Continue reading Getting Letting Agents to Bid for Your Business
I am writing this blog to balance out another article on this website and to raise a question about whether it is reasonable for a business to be exposed to a trial by social media.
Is it even possible that a group formed on Facebook could muster up enough support to potentially bring an established business to its knees without a fair trial? Until this week I would have thought not but I have evidence that it is happening right now. Continue reading Letting Agent Ripped Apart by Social Media
The Localism Act 2011 is another heavy piece of legislation and you might be forgiven for missing a very important detail. It has been overlooked in several articles that I have read this week, but the courts will not forgive you so you’d better read on.
In the Housing Act 2004 it became unlawful to take a deposit from a tenant and not “protect” it through one of the 3 schemes that have Government contracts. The Housing Act 2004 included Tenants Deposit Protection (TDP) because it was perceived that landlords were not treating tenants fairly when it came to stoppages at the end of the tenancy and therefore the tenant needed to be given the opportunity to have independent arbitration in the case of a dispute. The arbitration must be paid for and the landlord was given two options. Continue reading The Devil is in the Detail