Tag Archives: residential

Remember our background is in BuytoLet and Commercial finance Buy to Let News, Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

PartnersRemember our background is in BuytoLet and Commercial finance Mark, Mike and I met through the common background of BuytoLet and Commercial Finance. Over the years through The Money Centre and now Property118 we have literally helped 10s of thousands of Landlords, developers and investors start and grow their property businesses.

Unfortunately we are now old enough to have seen, done and bought the t-shirt for most things in the property finance industry including Mark and Mike being founder members of the NACFB (National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers) and working with Nationwide Building Society and Paragon Mortgages on the concept of Forward Buying Facilities.

We have been sharing our experiences and strategies for property finance as much as we can with readers, but there is always a time when you just need some help.

To start with we have our own BuytoLet mortgage sourcing system and calculator, which we designed ourselves and I keep updated. This will help you see how much you could borrow, what the costs would be and which are the most popular Lenders and Products.

We have a team of highly experienced NACFB member commercial finance Brokers who can advise you on and source the best Commercial, Development finance and BuytoLet deals.

If you need help with…

Buy to Let mortgages  : info@property118.com

Commercial Mortgages CLICK HERE

Development Finance CLICK HERE

Bridging Finance CLICK HERE

…. or guidance regarding property finance you can email us on : info@property118.com Call Property118 on: 01603 489118

Or contact me directly on npatterson@property118.com.


Capita TDP to be taken over by MyDeposits Landlord News, Latest Articles

The Capita TDP (Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme) has been closed to accepting new deposits since the 14th of September this year.

Capita a corporate giant and FTSE 100 company was only awarded the contract by Government to operate the scheme from the 1st April 2013 (no pun intended) in an effort to increase competition and drive down costs for this service. Mydeposits has however stepped in to take over responsibility for Capita TDP protections in England & Wales after confirming their withdrawal from the market.

All of Capita TDP’s existing deposit protections will be automatically transferred to mydeposits from 1st December 2013. Landlords, agents and tenants in England &Wales will also have access to the scheme’s dispute resolution service. Capita TDP has now written to all existing members informing them of the news.

All transferred deposits will continue to be protected throughout the duration of the fixed term tenancy. my|deposits will also reissue a new Deposit Protection Certificate (DPC) and the relevant Information for Tenant’s leaflet for each protection.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of mydeposits, said: “Capita TDP’s existing landlord and agent members can rest assured they’re in safe hands with mydeposits. The experience and knowledge we derive from partnership with the both the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) means we’re well placed to manage the handover following Capita’s withdrawal.”

“Landlords, agents and tenants will also have access to our free award-winning dispute resolution service, giving them peace of mind that the deposit will be returned fairly if they’re unable to reach an agreement over its return.”

“We’re on hand to speak to existing Capita members who have concerns regarding the transfer of their deposits. Landlords, agents and tenants can also visit our website www.mydeposits.co.uk where they can find details of the scheme and a range of useful guidance and advice on deposit protection issues”.Capita TDP


Record levels of Bridging Finance used by Landlords Buy to Let News, Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

In the last year Landlords borrowed £640 million on Bridging finance for the purposes of Buy to Let.

The use of Bridging Finance by Landlords has increased significantly in the last few months with a record total for July and August alone coming to £194 million, which is an estimated 36% of all bridging loans drawn down during the same period.

Figures supplied by the West One Bridging Index show that over the twelve months to August, industry gross bridging lending was £1.79bn. Compared to the previous twelve months, to August 2012, this represents annual growth of 26%.

Duncan Kreeger reporting on the index figures said “Landlords don’t just need mortgages. To expand portfolios, landlords are increasingly converting properties from other uses or from a dilapidated state.”

“The trouble is that standard mortgages were never really set up for that sort of loan, and the financial crisis has made lending criteria even stricter. For example, it’s practically impossible to get a high street mortgage on an ex-office – or a flat with no bathroom.

“Working alongside mainstream finance, short-term, secured loans increasingly bridge that gap. There are more and more landlords who want to grow their portfolios in more intelligent ways. Most vitally, this can actually expand the stock of available properties.”

If you need help with…bridging dinance

Buy to Let mortgages : info@property118.com

Commercial Mortgages CLICK HERE

Development Finance CLICK HERE

Bridging Finance CLICK HERE

…. or guidance regarding property finance you can email us on : info@property118.com

Call Property118 on: 01603 4891181


Development finance using Equity instead of Liquid Cash Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

I have an example of how the commercial market is changing. Some lenders are now taking a risked based view of using second charges over equity as security for development finance rather than only relying on pure cash being put up as collateral by investors.

Example of a recently completed case, as follows:

A builder/developer was looking to buy a property to renovate for a long term investment and once complete take out a Buy to Let mortgage based on its new and improved value (and if possible have additional funds returned too).

He was very limited in the cash deposit he had, as all his money is tied up in other properties which he lets out, however he had a good level of equity in his main residence, which has a value of £600,000 and an outstanding mortgage with the Halifax for £300,000

He found a property which needed heavy renovation including a full new and extended kitchen, and also a new bathroom. The purchase price was £150,000 in its current state and the cost of renovation was £40,000 (as he would be able to do it himself). Therefore, the total borrowing required was £190,000

He ideally wanted to borrow 100% of the purchase price and 100% of the renovation costs using both properties as security, including using the equity in his home as additional security.

Once renovated he required a quick solution in changing the bridging loan into a Buy to Let mortgage

He was able to borrow 75% of the new purchase – which gave him £112.5k on a bridging rate of 1.15% for 3 months. A very keen rate for refurbishment deals.

The short fall of £37.5k towards the purchase and the £40k needed for the renovation works was raised by adding in the additional security via a 2nd charge on the client’s main residence by the same Bridging company.

He was offered a 2nd charge bridge on his residential property up to 70% LTV (although he did not require as much as that) including his existing main residence mortgage at a cost of 1.4% per month. This meant he could raise up to up to a max £120k from this property, more than enough to raise the required 100% of the purchase together with 100% of the renovation costs.

The valuer was booked to attend the property within 72 hours. In the meantime the shopping list of requirements was quickly collated and submitted.

Working closely with a solicitor that understood the speed required for a bridging loan, the deal was completed within a few weeks enabling him to ‘do up’ his new property, increasing the value to £300k.

3 months later he was then able to change the bridging loan product to the lenders the same lenders Buy to Let product at 4.10%, releasing 75% of its new improved (and surveyor agreed) value. This released £225,000 back to the client, enough to clear the bridging loans and put some money back into his cash flow.

Summary of Deal:

  • Liquid Cash available £0
  • Purchase Price £150,000
  • Costs £40,000
  • Gross Development Value £300,000
  • First Charge Bridge £112,000 at 75% LTV
  • Second Charge Bridge on Main residence £77,500 at 70% LTV
  • BTL on completion of works £225,000
  • Liquid cash released £35,500

The set up costs not including interest were:

  • 1st Charge on property of £150k = valuation £330
  • 2nd Charge on residential property of £600k = valuation £540
  • Legal fees = £780
  • Total = £1,650

Buy to Let 3 months later:

  • Property now worth £300k = valuation £360
  • Legal fees = £540
  • Total = £900

Could this be of interest to you?

If so, check our my member profile, linked from my author profile at the top of this article.liquid cash


Rant About Scottish Letting Regulation Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

As the Scottish Government gets set to embark on the regulation of letting agents – regulation which is badly needed in my view – I fear that my worst nightmare may be about to become true.

Why? Well, let’s look at what’s happened already with Scottish renting legislation.

Landlord Registration has for the most part been startlingly ineffective in raising standards. In fairness, that perhaps was not its prime purpose (having been introduced under anti-social behaviour legislation) but the fact that we now have a national database of private landlords should allow national and/or local government to target those landlords with awareness-raising advice, invite them to seminars and so on. Those unfortunate tenants who suffer at the hands of malicious or, more likely unaware, landlords need that to happen. I’m fairly sure there must still be many landlords who are not yet registered. The fact that Scottish Government hiked the penalty for non-registration up from £2,000 to £50,000 must surely indicate that registration is seen as important. The requirement to quote registration numbers in property advertisements seemed a pretty good way of bringing all landlords into the system. Yet, how many adverts still appear with no registration numbers? How many unregistered landlords have been fined?

No. I see poor practice flourish aplenty and registration requirement ignored. I see responsible landlords pay their dues while the irresponsible carry on regardless. I see local authority Landlord Registration teams funded by those responsible landlords and, it seems, doing not a great deal to bring all within the net.

Why not simply legislate to make it a requirement that for any individual to rent out a property he or she must either use a regulated agent (when that’s in place) or achieve accredited landlord status (or commit to a time-limited accreditation path)? Overnight, poorly performing landlords would be outlawed.

Look at Tenant Information Packs. Of course it’s good practice to pass incoming tenants information and advice relative to their tenancy and their new property. Responsible agents and landlords have been doing so for years as a matter of course. So surely it’s good that all now have to do so?

In theory, yes, but from our perspective as a letting agency we now find ourselves managing a parallel process issuing the mandatory Tenant Information Pack (TIP) alongside our own one, as the mandatory one is so stodgy as to be a turn-off to most tenants, contains errors, and imparts nothing of substance about the property. The effect of this has been to sap resources, particularly time – our scarcest resource – and so impact negatively on our finances. So a highly responsible agency, regulated by RICS and licenced by ARLA is being forced to go through an ineffective process which hampers business efficiency while less regulated or less responsible agents who decline to do so, or are even unaware perhaps that they need to, sail on in the same old way. How many letting agents have been taken to task for failing to issue a TIP? How many who fail to do so, use a low-fee basis as a means of attracting clients? The answers to those questions are unknown, but I’m pretty certain the first is zero or we’d have heard about it.

Simply Let pays about £2000 per year in professional membership subscriptions and regulation levies. We do that because we believe in high standards, and in demonstrating that we hold that belief. We undertake continuing professional development. We do so because we need to be fully informed in order to serve our clients well. We cannot give our landlord clients and their tenants the service they deserve on a low fee basis.

If a landlord’s agent fails to fulfil one of his client’s statutory obligations, it will be the landlord who is held responsible. Are all landlords aware of this? How many agents are playing fast and loose with their obligations to their clients? Again I don’t have an answer to that. If an agent lands a landlord in trouble as a result of negligence or incompetence does that landlord have recourse to a complaints redress mechanism? If that agent goes bust or even runs off with the cash is the landlord’s money safe? Does the agent have client money protection? Unlike estate agents selling houses, a fairly straightforward one-off task, letting agents have on-going management responsibilities which require detailed knowledge of complex housing law. Currently anyone can set up as a letting agent without any qualifications or training whatsoever and without any insurance or external monitoring and take on responsibility for managing clients’ major financial assets and ensuring tenants’ safety in the home.

You can see then why we favour regulation of letting agents. With a level playing field, landlords and tenants could go about selecting an agent knowing that all agents had the basics in place. Why then do I fear, as I said at the beginning of this blog, that my nightmare is about to be realised?

In my nightmare, responsible and already regulated agents found themselves obliged to register and of course to pay a recurring fee for doing so. In my nightmare less responsible agents continued to operate without appearing on the register. The third strand of my nightmare is that nothing much else happened.

It’s turned out like that with Landlord Registration so it’s perfectly possible that Letting Agent Regulation will go the same way.

Why not simply make it a requirement that in order for any letting agent to practice he or she must have in place:

  • A minimum level of relevant knowledge
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Client money protection
  • A complaints redress mechanism
  • Evidence of continuing professional development?

All are currently available to any responsible agent.

The private rented sector involves the very basics of life: a tenant’s home and a landlord’s financial investment (and possibly pension plan). It is critical therefore that all who manage any part of that process, landlord or agent, have the knowledge and capability to undertake their role to a high standard and fulfil it in a professional manner. It is critical too that those who entrust their lot to an agent have the benefit of certain basic protections. So my plea to the Scottish Government, when it develops letting agent regulation, is to make it impossible for any agent who can’t deliver those five elements above to continue in practice. The country and its tenants deserve nothing less. Rant About Scottish Letting Regulation

John Gell MRICS


CAMPARI – old school lenders underwriting Commercial Finance, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property News

CAMPARI stands for Character, Ability, Means, Purpose, Amount, Repayment, Interest and Insurance CAMPARI - old school lenders underwriting

It was also a popular drink in the late 70’s and early 80’s but that’s not what this article is about LOL

If you are applying for a commercial mortgage facility, chances are the person making the decision will be trained to use the CAMPARI underwriting method. Knowing how they will assess your application will improve your chances of success as you will be able to structure your business plan accordingly 😉

C=Character
The background and experience of the individuals or business can be a pointer to the potential for success. This includes integrity, past performance, and evidence of financial acumen. No business proposition can be viewed in isolation from the people who will put it into action, and the bank manager will scrutinize both closely.

A=Ability
The likelihood of the business being able to repay the money. This will often depend on the skills and abilities of the owners. On the personal side, intelligence, training and determination should all be considered.
On the business front, the bank will look at profitability, capital requirements, and above all cashflow.

M=Means
The means and resources to run the business, and to do so in a way that allows the bank to see what is going on. You may be asked for quarterly or monthly summaries of how the business is doing. Could you provide them?

P=Purpose
Explain in detail why you wish to borrow money. The bank will want to know that you have thought it through, and that it seems sensible.

The banker may comment on your purpose in general terms. Remember that you ought to know far more about your type of business than any banker, and treat any advice accordingly. Bankers can offer you knowledge of business theory but they have no practical experience of running their own businesses. Asking for practical business advice from a banker is like seeking guidance on seduction techniques from a eunuch.
However, the bank should tell you whether the form of finance you have asked for is the most suitable.

A=Amount
Make sure that you establish the correct amount you need, allowing a margin for error in your forecasts. Be realistic: don’t ask for too little or ‘just enough to get by’. If you have to come back for an emergency second bite, the bank will really have the drains up to see what’s gone wrong.
The bank will look to the business to put some of its own money in. This shows the borrower’s commitment.

R=Repayment
You will usually need to fill in the bank’s cash flow forecast forms, to show that your business can afford repayments on the amount you wish to borrow.

I=Interest and Insurance
Many lending schemes offer reducing loans over an agreed period and have fixed rate of interest. If you are borrowing on overdraft, the bank will set the interest rate to reflect its view of the risk – and what it thinks it can get.
Risk takes us to insurance. The bank may ask if security is available. They may also ask you to consider taking out insurance cover, against illness for instance. Illness of a key player can be a major risk to a new business.

If you need any assistance with a Commercial Mortgage application please Click Here

Development finance please Click Here

Or

email: info@property118.com

Tel: 01603 489118


Alternatives to Landlord Licencing Schemes Latest Articles

The alternatives to Landlord Licensing Schemes require joined up thinking, changes to data sharing protocols within local authorities and revised high level directives and strategies which must begin at Government level. 

Perhaps the first question to ask is what is Landlord Licensing all about? Is it really about raising standards or is it more to do with raising funds?Alternatives to Landlord Licencing Schemes

Funding

If society as a whole desires that people should not be subjected to sub standard housing conditions then society as a whole must pay to enforce this (howsoever that might be done) whether the money is raised at a local level or centrally.

It is both unacceptable and wholly undemocratic that landlords should be singled out by Government, Councils and Local Authorities to pay stealth taxes badged as licensing fees on the pretence that the money will be used to fund enforcement related initiatives.

Costs associated with licensing schemes imposed on landlords are funded through increased rents. Neither landlords nor tenants want this, particularly as there is clear evidence (demonstrated in this article) that landlord licensing schemes have proven not to be an effective solution to problems in the Private Rented Sector.

Recycling of Court awarded penalties

The high costs associated with prosecuting criminal landlords is borne by Local Authorities, however, fines and penalties go to the treasury. If these funds were to be redirected to the prosecuting authorities this would assist funding of additional prosecutions and create incentives to bring more criminal landlords to task. Continue reading Alternatives to Landlord Licencing Schemes


Development Finance – Where do you start? Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

Borrowers are still being frustrated by the banks’ continued reluctance to lend on development finance projects, but reality is that if you know who to ask they are actually eager to lend on profitable projects to experienced developers.

It is navigating a way around the maze of lenders, different products and finding the finance that enables your project to be finished that can seem impossible. Many new lenders have entered the market since the Credit Crunch which has increased competition and resulted in various pricing structures.

I get to chat with many readers about their development projects, but the simple fact is that unless you do it day in day out, which I don’t, it is impossible to know which lenders have funds to lend, and on what type of projects and industry sectors they want to lend on.

I know the basics to ask, such as purchase price, planning permission, development cost, Gross development value, working capital, previous experience etc. This then gives a picture of whether a project is likely to be considered as viable for development finance, but is only really the first step on the ladder.

This is where my Colleague Cliff from Brooklands Commercial Finance comes in as he can navigate this maze of knowing which banks are lending. Cliff has established strong links with many lenders based on the quality of our introductions over many years and understands how to present robust propositions to lenders, each of whom have a specific target audience. This is the key to putting you, in front of the lender who is most likely to offer a finance package to support your project.

Cliff can help with:

  • Residential and commercial property development – rates from 4% over base
  • Structured loans from £75,000 to £25,000,000
  • Development projects throughout England, Scotland and Wales
  • Individuals, companies, partnerships
  • Terms from 1 month to 3 years
  • No exit fees
  • Flexible underwriting and the best deals
  • Unusual proposals
  • 90% property development loans available
  • Mezzanine finance and second charges
  • Joint venture funding
  • Guaranteed exit strategies
  • Residential, mixed use, leisure, health, offices, industrial, etc.
  • Conversions*

*There has been a relaxation in planning regulations in respect of office conversion to residential accommodation.

Brooklands Commercial Finance are Whole of Market Independent Commercial Brokers and if you would like to chat with Cliff please Click Here

or email info@property118.com

or call us on 01603 489118Development FinanceDevelopment Finance


How to help bring about changes to legislation post “Superstrike” Buy to Let News, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord Action, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Legal, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property News, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

One of the things that are uppermost in landlords’ minds at the moment is the concern that we are vulnerable to possible litigation following the “Superstrike” case. The degree of that vulnerability varies from landlord to landlord and of course some landlords are not at all clear where they stand.Mary Latham

All of the deposit protection schemes and large landlords associations are working behind the scenes to persuade DCLG to tweak legislation to prevent courts being overrun with cases from tenants who have not actually been deprived of their legal rights but have become aware of the loophole that Superstrike highlighted.  In other words they are not asking for a change in the law which would enable those landlords who do not/did not protect their tenants deposits (HA 2004 & Localism Act 2012) to get away with it.  What they are asking for is a change which prevents those landlords who believed that they were acting within the law from facing litigation from their past and present tenants. These are the landlords who do/did protect their tenants deposits and provided the tenant with the Deposit Protection Certificate and Prescribed Information for Tenants within 30 days of having received the deposit but who were unaware that they needed to provide the documents again, despite the deposit protection continuing and no new paperwork being issued, at the point at which the fixed term of the tenancy ended and a Statutory Periodic Tenancy began (HA 1988). There are also those landlords who have tenancies that began before the Deposit Protection legislation came into affect (HA 2004) and therefore did not protect their tenants deposits. These landlords were also unaware that if the tenancy became a Statutory Periodic Tenancy at the end of the fixed term after the law changed that they should have protected the deposit and served the documents on their tenants. This last point was the crux of the Superstrike case.

In addition to the concerns many of us have about the potential litigation (it has not yet been established that there is actually a threat beyond the circumstances of Superstrike) is the issue of not being able to regain Possession of properties using Section 21 (HA 1988)

In order to convince Government that this is a major problem in the PRS they need to be shown actual evidence and the only people who can give them that evidence is us (landlords and letting agents).  All of the organisations involved in the discussions have produced a short survey to gather the facts.

The combined results will be present to DCLG.

The survey will take just a few minutes of your time and will not ask you to identify yourself.

If you do not take the time and trouble to complete the survey we may lose the argument and fail to get the legislative changes that we all need. 

Please follow the link  below and do your part to bring about a solution for us all before the Courts are filled with cases brought by the “No Win No Fee” people that have sprung up to make easy money from landlords who have simply made a mistake and have not in any way deprived our tenants of their legal rights.

Please also send a link to this article to every landlord you know to make certain they aware of this very important survey.

Click this link >>> https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NLASS

When I completed the survey I found that I needed to read it first then work out which category my deposits fell into before going back and completing it – which took less than 2 minutes. By doing the calculations for this survey I am now clear of where I stand with each of my tenancies.

This was a useful exercise and may help me going forward when the inevitable happens and a landlord is sued by a tenant for one of the possible scenario.

I think that you may find this helpful too.


Rent arrears stats are improving says the NLA Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

According to the latest research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), incidences of arrears have fallen to their lowest level for over two years.

39 per cent of landlords have experienced instances of rental arrears in the last 12 months, down nine per cent year on year and back to levels previously seen in quarter one 2010.

Void periods in private-residential property have also fallen, down five per cent since last Quarter to 33 per cent, a low last seen in 2012.

At a regional level, voids are greatest in the North East of England where 60 per cent of landlords have experienced empty periods in the last three months and lowest in the South West of England where only 20 per cent of landlords have experienced voids over the same time frame.

The research results also established that seven in ten voids are unplanned. And landlords are covering the financial impact of voids using various means:

• 33 per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using rent from other properties

• 10 per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using their other income or salary

• Nine per cent of landlords cover the costs of a void period using funds from their savings

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA, says:

“It is positive to see reductions in the instances of arrears and voids. This demonstrates that long term, enduring tenancies are on the rise as it is in every landlords’ business interest to maintain good, long lasting tenancies and avoid voids.

“However, it is worrying that void periods often come as a surprise to landlords. Whilst voids represent more of a problem in the North than in the South, where demand is far higher, it is imperative that empty properties are filled quickly, following any necessary maintenance and improvements.

“The NLA’s advice to landlords looking to minimise void periods is to talk openly with their tenants about their future plans. This will give the landlord some idea of when the property might next be empty and allow them to make any improvements and plan advertising activity in good time. It is also wise to budget for 11 months’ rent per year to avoid needing to find additional funds to cover outgoings if a void does arise.”


Mezzanine Finance for Developers Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

(By Malcolm Jones of Brooklands Commercial Finance)

Despite the Banks recent profit announcements, Developers are still being frustrated by their continued reluctance to lend. When Banks are prepared to lend on development projects the percentage of costs or of the Gross Development Value (GDV) is often so low that it is not workable.

Many borrowers are now turning to Commercial Finance Brokers such as ourselves to assist with raising the total finance required.

Most property development loans can be broken down into Senior Debt loans and Mezzanine Loans. The Senior Debt element is the amount lent by the bank or finance company and this is often limited to 60% of the costs. Mezzanine finance is a second charge loan that sits on top of the senior loan and hence the name “Mezzanine”.

Mezzanine Finance

Due to the dramatic drop in bank lending to the property sector in recent years, many successful and profitable residential developments have made use of Mezzanine finance. With the Senior debt lender funding 60% of the costs the Mezzanine lender will often lend 30% of the costs, leaving a requirement of only 10% from the developer.

The finance can cover the costs of the land purchase, site and infrastructure costs, build costs and professional fees.

By using Mezzanine finance the developer is able to reduce his equity contribution, spread his risk and considerably enhance the percentage return on his own invested funds. Although Mezzanine finance is more expensive than Senior debt, there are many financial advantages.

For example:

Mr A goes for low gearing Mr B goes for high gearing
Mr A invests £200,000 in building 1 house Mr B invests £200,000 in building 6 houses
The GDV is £600,000 The GDV is £3,600,000
Finance at 50% £200,000 Finance at 90% £1,800,000
Finance cost £50,000   Finance cost at £450,000
Net Profit £150,000 Net Profit £550,000
Gross Profit 33% Gross profit 33%
Return on developers money 75% Return on developers money 275%

Because of the increased risk to the mezzanine company, they look for experience developers, good projects and a reasonable profit level.

If you require any assistance with Development finance please Click Here

Mezzanine Finance


NLA warns landlords of “no win no fee” deposit protection lawyers Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

Speaking recently on BBC Radio 4 Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the National Landlords Association (NLA) warned landlords to ensure their tenants’ deposits are properly protected and that they’ve fully complied with Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) law.

The warning comes after a growing number of information requests to TDP schemes from ‘no win no fee’ claims companies who, on behalf of tenants, are targeting landlords who may not have fully protected deposits.

All landlords in England and Wales must by law protect their tenants’ deposits within a Government authorised TDP scheme and must also ensure that they pass on important information about where and how it was protected – known as the Prescribed Information – to the tenant within 30 days from the start of the tenancy.

Failure to do so could lead to heavy penalties and claims companies seem to be inviting tenants who haven’t received their prescribed information to make a claim against their landlord – even if the deposit is protected.

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA said:

“You have to ask where the financial loss for the tenant is. The majority of tenant’s deposits are being protected and ninety nine per cent of tenancies end without any issues over the return of the deposit. Where problems do arise, the tenant has access to a free and impartial decision using the scheme’s dispute resolution service.

“Of course, where there is blatant disregard for the law landlords can have no argument and must be brought to rights. However, these claims firms are looking to exploit those landlords who have protected their tenant’s deposits but may not have properly issued the prescribed information.

“In practice this could simply mean not providing their tenant with a leaflet about where the deposit is protected.

“This sort of action is morally questionable, unnecessarily punitive and will only work to undermine the good relationship that exists between the majority of landlords and their tenants”.

Eddie Hooker, CEO of Tenancy Deposit Scheme my|deposits, also commented:

“It has always been the landlord’s responsibility to protect the deposit and a vital part of the process is to pass the Prescribed Information on to the tenant.

“Landlords must be aware that they are ultimately responsible even if they use a letting agent. Our advice is to check with your agent or directly with your deposit protection scheme to ensure all of your deposits have been properly protected.

“Those who fail to comply with either step of the legislation leave themselves open to potential fines of up to three times the deposit value and could fall prey to these kinds of claims companies.

Mark Alexander, founder of Property118 recently highlighted the marketing activity of these companies – see this thread.

Mark Alexander also commented:-

Following the case of Superstrike Limited vs Rodrigues at the Court of Appeal it is now unclear whether landlords should have re-issued Prescribed Information when when a tenancy became Statutory Periodic at the end of a fixed term. The ruling was that deposits taken pre April 2007 should have been protected when a new statutory periodic tenancy came into being after Tenancy deposit Protection laws came into force. This is because it is now clear from legislation that a Statutory Periodic Tenancy is a new tenancy and that all deposits taken in respect of new tenancies should be protected. What is not clear is whether a deposit which was protected and remained protected needs to be re-protected and new deposit protection certificates and prescribed information to be served. The guidance issued by the Deposit Protection Schemes is  unclear on this point and concludes that only new legislation or a ruling in the High Courts will clarify this matter. To date, no lawyers have publicly announced a solution which could protect landlords and letting agents from claims if such a ruling goes the wrong way.

Tenants Claimline

 


12.5% return on cash invested on a newly refurbished Manchester based development Commercial Finance, Latest Articles, Property For Sale

Last week I was presented with a Manchester based buy-to let investment opportunity which looks particularly attractive. The gross yield is just over 11% but with the benefit of gearing, and having allowed for all costs, the cash on cash returns are coming out at 12.5%. Manchester Buy to Let

I have done some due diligence (you should always do your own though, please don’t rely on mine) and part of that was checking out the availability of finance on these properties.

The only possible drawbacks I can see thus far is that the maximum mortgage is 65% of value plus a lender fee of £995 added to each loan. This is due to the properties being priced at £42,500 and being sold as a new development. The issue with this is that BM Solutions are the only lender offering terms. As BM Solutions are part of the Lloyds Banking Group that can sometimes cause problems due to the group having a rule not to provide more than three mortgages to any one client. The Lloyds Banking Group includes Lloyds Bank, BM Solution, The Mortgage Business, Halifax and C&G.

If you can live with that, and especially if you are married or have a partner, and you and your partner have no mortgages with any of these companies, you could, theoretically at least, buy six of these properties, i.e. 3 each.

The alternative, of course, is to buy the properties for cash and then look to refinance them based on market value after say 6 months.

In the meantime, these are the numbers that came out when I analysed the deal using the Property118 Landlords Calculator:-

Property valued at £50,000 each (15 available, 18 already sold at full price)

Discount offered to Property118 to sell the remaining units 15%

Net price £42,500 each

Monthly rent £400 (based on comparables provided by local agents)

Gross rental yield 11.29%

Mortgage £28,620 based on 65% borrowing plus £995 lender fee added to advance

LTV 67.34%.

Deposit required for each property £13,880.

Interest rate 4.84% (Loan via BM Solutions – IFA to advise best product, this one was selected at random for illustrative purposes)

Mortgage interest £115.34 per month

I have estimated that 35% of rental income will be required to fund the costs of; advertising/letting, management, Gas checks, maintenance, ground rents, service charges and void periods This equates to a monthly averaged cost of £140.

Therefore, cashflow based on the current interest rate is £144.57 per month

Based on these figures the return on equity is 12.5% on cashflow alone. This is net annual cashflow expressed as a percentage of the equity in the property. This calculation is also referred to as; return on cash, cash on cash return, return on capital employed/invested, ROC and ROCI. A 12.5% return on equity is far better than you would get in a bank account and far greater than you can borrow money for too. Over the long term you may also wish to factor capital appreciation into the equation too.

This deal breaks even when interest rates hit 10.9%

If this is of interest and you would like to download details of the development with a view to arranging a viewing and/or making an offer please complete the form below.

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Landlords Warnings – Will You Survive the Mayhem? Latest Articles

Have you read the book recently published by Mary Latham yet?Mary Latham

I’ve been talking to Mary about some of the topics in it this week and O – M – G this is going to ruffle feathers!!!

This is certainly not your bog standard “how to buy to let” book by all accounts, but if you know Mary you’d never expect that of her either. If that lady has a bee in her bonnet best stand well back I can tell you.

I have to confess to not having read the book yet as I’ve been off on tour around Eastern Europe but I will be getting hold of a copy very soon as it’s been getting some amazing reviews.

I could have done with having this book with me whilst flying to Russia or the Czech Republic over the last few weeks. We all know how boring flights can be don’t we? I’ve also heard that reading this book is a great way to avoid getting DVT as it will get your heart pumping LOL.  As there are just 147 pages of content is just about right to read on a flight, a long journey or if you are off to a nice beach this year ….

Based on the reviews I’ve already read I am looking forward to getting stuck in yet slightly pensive at the same time. When an ordinarily optimistic landlord like Mary Latham, who has with 40+ years experience in being a landlord, says she see’s the storm clouds gathering and explains why we should ALL take notice.

The book is available as a paperback for £4.64 including delivery and just £1.36 if you are happy to read it on Kindle or the Kindle App for iPad. Either way, click here to order your copy.

Reviews posted on Amazon.co.uk

5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read for those wanting a balanced view of the property market in the UK,
A detailed thoroughly researched book from an experienced landlord.

This book although in some parts quite technical covers the parts that all the get rich quick schemes manage to miss out. The questions that they ask you to save to the end of their presentations and never manage to answer and the risks that many will look into – when they come to it.

Mary covers the latest legislation, the impact of austerity measures, the banking crisis and the topics that would be almost unbelievable if it were not true! (Landlords being charged thousands to dispose of their tenants rubbish bins and recycling) to the impact of Universal Credit on Landlords and those that are unfortunate enough to have to claim benefits.

Some say the combination of these factors will create the perfect storm and others a tornado that will impact our lives significantly. Whatever boat you’re in this book is essential reading to ensure you understand the facts and then put countermeasures in place to ensure you are not a victim of this crisis. Written by a true expert and recognised as such by the National Landlords Association and Homestamp – ignore this perspective from a full time landlord at your peril.

5.0 out of 5 stars A well worth read!

As an established landlord I was unsure whether the book would be worthwhile to me. How wrong could I be!!! I benefited from an insight into a seriously experienced property guru who briefed the reader in a clear and coherent way of real life experiences, past and present legislation as well as money saving tips and references for landlords. The money I have already saved by following just a one of her expert tips has already compensated for the cost of the book twenty fold. Unlike a text book, the author writes in a light hearted way but with an underlying seriousness. I would unreservedly recommend this book to any landlord whether they are a novice just starting out or a well established agent/landlord.

Lots more equally positive reviews here.

When you have read the book yourself please do me a favour and post a review in the comments section below as well as on Amazon.

PLEASE buy this book (and READ IT!), if for no other reason than to help me say thank you to Mary for posting over 600 helpful comments on this website alone!  We are talking about less than a fiver people – COME ON!

This is the link to Amazon to BUY THE BOOK

PS – best to do it now whilst you remember.

Mary Latham


Private Rented Sector Review – Conclusions and recommendations Landlord News, Latest Articles

The Private Rented Sector Review conclusions and recommendations published by the Communities and Local Government Committee:

Simplifying regulation

1.  We recommend that the Government conduct a wide-ranging review to consolidate legislation covering the private rented sector, with the aim of producing a much simpler and more straightforward set of regulations that landlords and tenants can easily understand. As part of this review, the Government should work with groups representing tenants, landlords and agents to bring forward a standard, plain language tenancy agreement on which all agreements should be based. There should be a requirement to include landlords’ contact details in tenancy agreements. (Paragraph 13)

2.  We recommend that the Government consult on the future of the housing health and safety rating system and the introduction of a simpler, more straightforward set of quality standards for housing in the sector. The Government should also ensure that planning and building regulations are consistent with standards for the quality and safety of private rented housing. (Paragraph 18)

Increasing awareness

3.  We recommend that, once the review of the legislative framework we have called for is completed, the Government, working with tenants’, landlords’ and agents’ groups, establish and help to fund a publicity campaign to promote awareness of tenants’ and landlords’ respective rights and responsibilities. Our recommendation for a wholesale review of the regulation in the sector provides the obvious platform on which to base a publicity campaign. (Paragraph 24)

4.  We recommend that the Government bring forward proposals for the introduction of easy-to-read key fact sheets for landlords and tenants, and consult on the information these sheets should contain. The sheets could include links to further information available online. As a minimum, the sheets should set out each party’s key rights and obligations, and give details of local organisations to whom they could go for further advice and information. This fact sheet should be included within the standard tenancy agreement we propose earlier in this chapter. (Paragraph 25)

Raising standards

5.  Some local authorities are doing excellent work to raise standards in the private rented sector, but there appears to be more scope for sharing this good practice, so that all councils are performing to a high standard. The Local Government Association should, as part of its sector-led improvement role, make sure that mechanisms are in place to ensure all councils learn from the good practice and take effective steps to improve standards of property and management in the private rented sector. (Paragraph 30)

6.  We are concerned about reports of reductions in staff who have responsibility for enforcement and tenancy relations and who have an important role in making approaches to raising standards successful. Given the financial constraints that councils face, it is important to identify approaches to raising standards that will not use up scarce resources. One approach is to ensure that enforcement arrangements pay for themselves and help to fund wider improvement activity. Therefore, where possible, the burden of payment should be placed upon those landlords who flout their responsibilities. (Paragraph 31)

7.  We recommend that the Government consult on proposals to empower councils to impose a penalty charge without recourse to court action where minor housing condition breaches are not remedied within a fixed period of time, though an aggrieved landlord would have the right of appeal to a court. (Paragraph 33)

8.  We recommend that, where landlords are convicted of letting property below legal standards, local authorities be given the power to recoup from a landlord an amount equivalent to that paid out to the tenant in housing benefit (or, in future, universal credit). We hope that such a measure will help to prevent unscrupulous landlords from profiting from public money. Local authorities should be able to retain the money recouped to fund their work to raise standards. To ensure a consistent approach, those tenants who have paid rent with their own resources should also have the right to reclaim this rent when their landlord has been convicted of letting a substandard property. (Paragraph 37)

Illegal eviction

9.  We do not agree that a statutory duty to have to take steps to tackle illegal eviction should be placed on local authorities, as it would be inconsistent with a localist approach. Nevertheless, it is again important that local authorities learn from each other and share best practice on tackling illegal eviction. The Local Government Association should ensure that lessons on illegal eviction are learnt and disseminated. (Paragraph 38)

10.  We are concerned that the police are sometimes unaware of their responsibilities in dealing with reports of illegal eviction. We recommend that the Department for Communities and Local Government work with the Home Office on guidance that sets out clearly the role of the police in enforcement of the Prevention from Eviction Act 1977. (Paragraph 39)

Licensing and accreditation

11.  The idea of national licensing has some merit, and such a scheme could bring a number of benefits, particularly if introduced alongside an effective system of redress. It is clear, however, that the Government has not been convinced by these arguments, and we have some sympathy with the Minister’s assertion that a national scheme could be very rigid. Having tailored local schemes may bring its own costs, especially for landlords operating across several areas, but on balance we would prefer to see local authorities develop their own approaches to licensing or accreditation in accordance with local needs. The Government’s focus should be on giving local authorities greater flexibility and encouraging the use of existing powers. (Paragraph 43)

12.  We recommend that the Government bring forward proposals for a reformed approach to selective licensing, which gives councils greater freedom over when licensing schemes can be introduced and more flexibility over how they are implemented. Councils should ensure that the cost of a licence is not set so high as to discourage investment in the sector. (Paragraph 49)

13.  We recommend that the Government give local authorities a power to require landlords to be members of an accreditation scheme run either by the council itself or by a recognised landlords association. (Paragraph 53)

14.  It is important that local authorities have options and tools to raise standards in their areas. Three particular options are: (1) greater use of landlord licensing schemes; (2) compulsory accreditation; and (3) taking a proactive neighbourhood approach to raising standards. In each of these cases, given resource constraints, the schemes have to pay for themselves, and, as far as possible, place the burden of payment on the unscrupulous landlords, with financial deterrents for non-compliance. Councils should be given the powers to impose heavy penalties on those who do not register for licensing or compulsory accreditation after appropriate notification. Neighbourhood approaches could be funded by local authorities recouping costs from landlords whose properties fail to meet minimum standards. We further recommend that the Government initiate a review of the fines imposed by the courts for letting substandard properties, to ensure they act as a sufficient deterrent. (Paragraph 55)

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

15.  We recommend that the Government conduct a review of the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation. This review should consider, amongst other things, evidence of the effectiveness of mandatory licensing, how well it is enforced, and whether the definition of a prescribed HMO should be modified. (Paragraph 58)

16.  Where there are community concerns about high concentrations of houses in multiple occupation, councils should have the ability to control the spread of HMOs. Such issues should be a matter for local determination. We therefore consider it appropriate that councils continue to have the option to use Article 4 directions to remove permitted development rights allowing change of use to HMO. (Paragraph 63)

17.  Universities have a responsibility to ensure that student housing does not have a detrimental impact upon local communities. They should be working with local authorities and student groups to ensure that there is sufficient housing in appropriate areas and that students act as responsible householders and members of the community. (Paragraph 64)

Safety standards

18.  We recommend that the Government work with the electrical industry to develop an electrical safety certificate for private rented properties. To obtain such a certificate, properties should be required to have a full wiring check every five years and a visual wiring check on change of tenancy. Landlords should be aware of the legal requirement to provide safe installations and appliances. (Paragraph 66)

19.  We recommend that the Government introduce a requirement for all private rented properties to be fitted with a working smoke alarm and, wherever a relevant heating appliance is installed, an audible, wired-up EN 50291 compliant carbon monoxide alarm. (Paragraph 67)

Regulation of letting agents

20.  We recommend that, as part of its consultation on the redress scheme, the Government seek views on how best to publicise such a scheme and what penalties should be in place for those agents who do not comply. The Government should also explore how the redress scheme fits alongside existing arrangements for deposit protection. We further recommend that the redress scheme is accompanied by a robust code of practice that sets out clear standards with which agents are required to comply. (Paragraph 74)

21.  We recommend that the Government make letting and managing agents subject to the same regulation that currently governs sales agents. This includes giving the Office of Fair Trading the power to ban agents who act improperly, and making client money protection and professional indemnity insurance mandatory. (Paragraph 78)

22.  Any proposal to require sales agents to meet minimum professional standards before they begin trading should also be applied to letting and managing agents. In addition, if at any point a requirement for sales agents to be registered with an accredited industry body is to be introduced, this should be part of a wider framework also covering letting and managing agents. We recommend that the Government review these arrangements in two years’ time. (Paragraph 78)

Agents’ fees and charges

23.  We recommend that the code of practice accompanying the new redress scheme include a requirement that agents publish a full breakdown of fees which are to be charged to the tenant alongside any property listing or advertisement, be it on a website, in a window or in print. This breakdown should not be “small print”, but displayed in such a way as to be immediately obvious to the potential tenant. The code should also require agents to explain their fees and charges to tenants before showing them around any property. Furthermore, the code should forbid double charging, and there should be a requirement that landlords are informed of any fees being charged to tenants. If agents do not meet these requirements, the fees should be illegal. Finally, the professional bodies should make a commitment to full, up front transparency on fees and charges a requirement of membership. (Paragraph 83)

24.  We intend to gather further information on the impact in Scotland of the decision to make fees to tenants illegal, and to return to this issue in 2014. (Paragraph 86)

Longer tenancies

25.  The demographics within the private rented sector are changing. No longer can it be seen as a tenure mainly for those looking for short-term, flexible forms of housing. While some renters still require flexibility, there is also an increasing number, including families with children, looking for longer-term security. The market, therefore, needs to be flexible, and to offer people the type of housing they need. The flexibility of assured shorthold tenancies should be better exploited, and the option of using assured tenancies should also be considered where these meet the needs of landlords and tenants. That we are beginning to see some institutions and housing associations offering longer tenancies under the current law suggests that we do not need legislative changes to achieve them. Rather, we need to change the culture, and to find ways to overcome the barriers to longer tenancies being offered. (Paragraph 94)

26.  We recommend that the Government convene a working party from all parts of the industry, to examine proposals to speed up the process of evicting during a tenancy tenants who do not pay rent promptly or fail to meet other contractual obligations. The ability to secure eviction more quickly for non payment of rent will encourage landlords to make properties available on longer tenancies. The Government should also set out a quicker means for landlords to gain possession if they can provide proof that they intend to sell the property. (Paragraph 97)

27.  Some landlords are not able to offer longer tenancies because they are prevented from doing so by conditions in their mortgage. We are pleased that lenders are considering how such conditions can be removed, and that Nationwide Building Society is to begin allowing its borrowers to offer longer term contracts. We urge the Council of Mortgage Lenders to work with other lenders to ensure that they quickly follow suit. Lenders should only include restrictions on tenancy length in mortgage conditions if there is a clear and transparent reason. (Paragraph 100)

28.  We recommend that the Government include in the code of conduct for letting agents a requirement both to make tenants aware of the full range of tenancy options available, and, where appropriate, to broker discussions about tenancy length between landlords and tenants. (Paragraph 102)

‘Retaliatory eviction’

29.  There is a perception amongst some tenants that if they speak out it could result in their losing their home. Tenants should be able to make requests or complain without fear that doing so will lead the landlord to seek possession. We are not convinced, however, that a legislative approach is the best or even an effective solution. Changing the law to limit the issuing of section 21 notices might be counter-productive and stunt the market. Rather, if we move towards a culture where longer tenancies become the norm, tenants will have greater security and also more confidence to ask for improvements and maintenance and, when necessary, to complain about their landlord. Moreover, if local authorities take a more proactive approach to enforcement, they will be able to address problems as they occur rather than waiting for tenants to report them. (Paragraph 105)

Rents and affordability

30.  Problems with the affordability of rents are particularly acute in London and the South East. Although in other parts of the country average rents and yields are relatively stable, we are still concerned that some families are struggling to meet the costs of their rent. We do not, however, support rent control which would serve only to reduce investment in the sector at a time when it is most needed. We agree that the most effective way to make rents more affordable would be to increase supply, particularly in those areas where demand is highest. (Paragraph 110)

31.  There is no perfect way to set rent, but, where longer tenancies are being established, linking increases to inflation or average earnings, or voluntarily agreeing a fixed uplift each year merit consideration and could provide tenants and landlords with a degree of stability, though over time mechanisms may emerge as, for example, in the commercial property sector. Tenants’, landlords’ and agents’ groups should encourage their members to discuss these options at the outset of a tenancy. Existing arrangements for setting and increasing rent are often arbitrary and uneven, and reflect the immaturity of the market. (Paragraph 113)

Placement of homeless households in the private rented sector

32.  We welcome the Government’s use of secondary legislation to clarify when accommodation is unsuitable for homeless households. We expect councils to pay full regard to this order and to ensure that homeless households are only placed in suitable accommodation. Given that many of these households will be vulnerable, councils have a particular responsibility to ensure that the properties they are placed in are free from serious health and safety hazards. We recommend that, as a matter of good practice, local authorities should inspect properties before using them for the placement of homeless households. (Paragraph 117)

33.  All agree that, wherever possible, councils should be placing homeless households within their local area (unless there are particular circumstances that mean it is not in the households’ interests). It nevertheless appears inevitable that councils in areas with high rents, London in particular, will place homeless households outside the area, including in coastal towns. Before any placement, there should be a full discussion with the receiving authority and the prospective tenant and information about the household and its ongoing needs should be shared. The Government should consider making this a statutory duty. (Paragraph 121)

34.  We were pleased to hear of positive examples of work to support homeless households in the private rented sector, including the establishment of social letting agencies and the development of private rented sector access schemes. We encourage the Government to work with local government, the charity sector and industry bodies to ensure best practice is shared and lessons learned. (Paragraph 122)

Local housing allowance

35.  We recommend that the Government take immediate steps to allow councils to apply for a variation of broad rental market area boundaries where anomalies occur. (Paragraph 125)

36.  We recommend that the Government conduct a wide-ranging review of local housing allowance (LHA). This review should assess whether there is greater scope for local flexibility over the setting of LHA rates and the boundaries of broad rental market areas. Local authorities could be incentivised to reduce the housing benefit bill by being allowed to retain any savings for investment in affordable housing. (Paragraph 125)

Data quality

37.  We recommend that the Government establish a small task group of key organisations and academics to consider how data relating to the private rented sector can be improved and made more readily available. In addition, we encourage the National Audit Office to contribute to an effective evidence base about the sector and to draw upon our recommendations when developing studies on housing related topics. (Paragraph 128)

Tax

38.  We recommend that the Government, in reviewing the regulation covering the private rented sector, set out proposals for greater co-ordination between the tax authorities and those regulating the private rented sector. (Paragraph 131)

Increasing supply

39.  We welcome the introduction and expansion of the Build to Rent Fund. The Government should take steps to ensure that the fund makes a net addition to new housing, as well as speeding up the delivery of those homes already in the pipeline. (Paragraph 138)

40.  It remains to be seen how much impact the guarantee scheme for the private rented sector will have in delivering additional new homes. The policy may be well-intentioned in its aim to encourage organisations to have more confidence to invest in the sector, but the Government needs to measure results. We invite the Government in its response to our report to update us on the number of applications it has received for the private rented sector guarantee scheme, and to provide an estimate for the number of additional homes it expects the scheme to deliver. If there is any doubt that the scheme is going to deliver the homes required, we recommend that the Government rapidly explore other options for the use of the resources identified. (Paragraph 142)

41.  We welcome the establishment of the task force to promote and broker investment in build-to-let development, and are pleased that the task force is already in operation. It is important that this task force does not become another quango but quickly delivers on its objectives. We invite the Government, in its response, to set out the progress made by the task force in its first few months of operation. This update should quantify the amount of additional investment brokered, and the number of additional homes it would deliver. (Paragraph 144)

42.  Efforts to promote high-quality build-to-let development have commanded significant amounts of government attention and resources. One of the main arguments in favour of this approach is that it will lead to improved choice, quality and affordability across the whole of the private rented sector. It is too early to assess the impact, but a key part of the evaluation of these measures must be the impact they have on the sector as a whole. If, in a year’s time, there is no evidence of this broader effect, the Government must reconsider its strategy and look to other measures to boost supply across the sector as a whole. (Paragraph 148)

43.  There is an urgent need to boost supply across all tenures of housing. We recommend that the Government revisit the Committee’s report on the Financing of New Housing Supply, and set out proposals to implement those recommendations it initially rejected. (Paragraph 150)commons logo


NLA report on the Private Rented Sector Review Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

Looking at the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s Report on the Private Rented Sector Review, Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the National Landlords Association (NLA) publicises his comments.

“This is a really positive report. It takes the debate around the growth of the private-rented sector out of the 1970s into the 21st century. The Committee clearly understands how the rental market has developed and what it needs to mature, rejecting the pat responses of rent controls, increased tenure and simplistic solutions of importing ideas from other countries.”

“Landlords must respond to the changing needs and demands of renters. The current tenancy legislation is more flexible than many realise, but the Committee is right to highlight that adapting from the accepted norms to use this flexibility will be a challenge requiring “a cultural change and removal of barriers, real and perceived”.

“The NLA endorses the call for better, simpler regulation and for more proactive enforcement from local authorities which targets those who fail to meet acceptable standards.”

“The NLA also supports the Committee’s recommendations for a more comprehensive regulatory framework for letting agents, and we are pleased that its proposals reflect our argument that the requirements should mirror those already put in place by many agent representative bodies, such as UKALA.”

“Overall, the Committee has brought forward a package of conclusions, recommendations and proposals which offer a fair balance to all and provide the opportunity for the industry at large to take the initiative”.House of Commons


New NLA Chairman is Carolyn Uphill Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

The National Landlords Association welcomes the new NLA Chairman, Carolyn Uphill, to the helm of the organisation.

Carolyn, formerly the NLA Deputy Chairman, joined the Board of Directors in July 2011 having worked as a Local Representative in Manchester since 2010.

Carolyn has extensive experience as a successful businesswoman and professional landlord letting student and private residential accommodation in and around Manchester.

Having established her own business in 1978, Carolyn successfully developed the enterprise to become a leading construction equipment manufacturer with a seven figure turnover.

In addition to running the business, which she sold in 2008, Carolyn has served as president of the Stockport Chamber of Commerce and continues to shares her wealth of business experience as a business growth consultant and mentor.

As NLA Chairman, Carolyn is keen to ensure the NLA serves and supports the private-rented sector (PRS) by pushing for continuous improvement of standards, greater recognition of landlords’ contribution to society and the economy as well as more cohesion between the private-rented sector’s representative bodies.

Carolyn takes over from David Salusbury, who is stepping down as NLA Chairman but remaining a Director and continuing as Chairman of my|deposits and the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA). David has led the NLA as Chairman since 2003 and has taken the organisation from a modest membership base of around 4,000 as the Small Landlords Association to a national body working with 39,000 landlords, 21,500 of which are full paying members. As part of its expansion, the NLA has grown to offer a wide range of services and represents landlords’ interests to both local and national government.

Carolyn Uphill, NLA Chairman, says “it is a great honour to be NLA Chairman at such an exciting time for the private-rented sector. During David’s time as Chairman the NLA has become an incredibly useful resource for landlords and an organisation respected by government. I look forward to building upon his success, supporting landlords in their journey towards continually improving standards and ensuring our voice is heard by policy makers.”

David Salusbury, NLA Director and outgoing Chairman, says “chairing the NLA and watching it grow and develop in response to the changing housing market over the last ten years has been a privilege. There have been many challenges along the way and there continue to be hurdles, such as landlord licensing and additional regulations, to address. I am confident that under Carolyn’s leadership the NLA will continue to grow and represent the needs of landlords throughout the country. I look forward to watching the NLA adapt to the needs of the evolving private-rented sector over the coming years.”

The change of Chairman coincides with the celebration of the NLA’s 40th Birthday.NLA logo colour


Lights! Camera! Landlord Associations! Guest Articles, Landlord News, Latest Articles

Nick Tadd and Vanessa warwick of the Property Tribes Forum

Before we became full-time landlords, Nick and I worked in the TV industry … Nick as a cameraman, and myself as a Presenter/Producer/Director.

When we founded Property Tribes in 2009, it seemed good sense to call on our TV production skills to produce video content for landlords.

Our YouTube channel now has over 120 videos on it, and we have over 100 hours of video viewed per month!

We have recently interviewed several landlord associations, so I thought I would compile them here as landlord associations are a great resource and support network for the smaller landlord.

Residential Landlords Association

National Landlords Association

Southern Landlords Association

A bit different to directing Motorhead’s 25th Anniversary Concert at Brixton Academy or interviewing Marilyn Manson …. !!

EDITORS NOTE – just for a bit of fun at Vanessa’s expense 🙂


National Landlords Association Issues IMPORTANT Message to Landlords Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

On 14th June 2013 Lord Justice Lloyd delivered his judgement on an appeal from the Wandsworth County Court in the case of Superstrike Ltd vs Marino Rodrigues. Since its publication there has been a lot of discussion on the online property forums and at local NLA meetings about the potential impact that this judgement may have on landlords.

Unfortunately, much of this commentary has not fully understood the facts of the case or the way in which a judge constructs an appeal judgement. There is a distinct need for calm and greater clarity about this case. To this end, the NLA has been in discussion with legal professionals and the officials responsible for tenancy deposit protection (TDP) legislation within the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

It is important to understand that appeal judges only consider the case presented to them, not a similar set of circumstances, or a variation on a theme. The precedent they set is therefore only applicable to cases subject to the same set of circumstances. This fact is crucial in this instance as the case of Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues is not representative of all landlords or private tenancies.

The specifics are as follows:

  • The tenancy (an AST) began in January 2007, before the 6 April introduction of TDP
  • The tenancy persisted, on a statutory period basis, without renewal or changes from January 2008
  • No deposit was ever protected in relation to this tenancy, as it was received prior to this becoming a requirement
  • A Section 21 notice was served in June 2011 to end the periodic tenancy

The Judgement concludes:

  • That a statutory periodic tenancy is a new and distinct tenancy, not a continuation of the tenant’s previous status.
  • The legal position was that the deposit held by the landlord at the end of the fixed term was deemed to have been received in relation to the periodic tenancy in January 2008
  • As it was received in January 2008, after the introduction of TDP, it should have been protected.
  • As the landlord did not comply with Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004, they did not have the right to serve a Section 21. This rules the Section 21 invalid.

What it DOES NOT conclude:

  • The ruling does not apply to any deposits taken after 6 April 2007. i.e. it does not introduce a requirement to re-protect deposits held lawfully in accordance with a TDP scheme’s rules when a tenancy becomes periodic. 
  • The ruling does not look into financial sanctions; this case only focused on whether the landlord’s Section 21 notice was valid.
  • The ruling does not look into the need to provide prescribed information .

What does all of this mean?

  • If you have any tenancies which began pre-6 April 2007 and became periodic after 6 April 2007, for which you hold a deposit which was not protected, you may not be able to issue a Section 21 notice.
  • If you do not have any tenancies which match this description, this judgement should have no impact on you whatsoever. Depending on the TDP scheme used, you may receive correspondence in the near future asking you to confirm the status of tenancies for which the fixed term has ended but a request to unprotect the deposit has not been received.
  • Likewise, in the future you may be asked to let the scheme provider know when tenancies become periodic.

If I have pre-2007 tenancies like this, what should I do?

There is no simple answer to that question. Due to the nature of appeals, only the exact circumstances of the particular case in question are examined. The two ways to mitigate the risk of being caught out by this precedent are:

(1)    Return the deposit. This should remove the risk of a future  Section 21 being deemed invalid and is implied by the judgement. However, Justice Lloyd deliberately reserves judgement on this matter.

(2)    Protect the deposit. Likewise this should show intention to comply with the law and remove the risk. However, given the recent amendment to Section 215 of the Housing Act 2004, this may not be sufficient to avoid sanctions. Only a further legal case could determine this.

There is a third option available to landlords affected, which is not intended to mitigate risk and may not be advisable, but could be a valid course none the less, and that is:

‘wait and see’

It is entirely possible that this case will be taken to the Supreme Court, which could overturn the judgement. The NLA is keen to speak to the landlord in this case and is seeking legal advice to determine what options may be available to challenge the decision.

Furthermore, we are keen to impress upon ministers at DCLG that it has a responsibility to regain control over this legislation and should act swiftly to amend the Housing Act 2004 to remove this uncertainty – in the same way it did in 2011 following the Tiensia case.

We will provide regular updates on this matter as soon as more information is available.

EDITORS NOTES

To join is the discussion about this case please CLICK HERE

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Birmingham City Council – “We support good landlords” Latest Articles, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Birmingham City Council - “We support good landlords”Birmingham City Council have sent a strong message to landlords who let in the city – We support good landlords

Senior officers of the city council have been in discussions with the West Midlands Regional Representative  of the National Landlords Association (NLA)  since 2011 when HMO licences were about to come up for renewal but it was not until the NLA proposed a radical new approach to the fee structure that progress was made. Continue reading Birmingham City Council – “We support good landlords”


Precise Mortgages launch Bridge to Let product Buy to Let News, Commercial Finance, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Precise mortgagesThe intermediary only lender Precise Mortgages has today launched the Uk’s only true Bridge to Let Product for development and refurbishment BuytoLet projects.

If  you take out a Bridging loan with Precise Mortgages you will now be able to switch it into one of their Bridge to Let products (effectively a Buy to Let loan) from month four onwards with no additional valuation or legal fees. Customers will be allowed to take the BTL loan out up to 75% of the property’s post works valuation so, if you have enhanced the value of the property, you will be able to withdraw some or all of your working capital.

The lender has combined its Bridging products with its traditional BTL products. The BTL element offers terms of up to 30 years, on an interest only basis, with no valuation or legal fees, and no need to change lender.

This offers a one stop shop for Development or Refurbishment projects where the plan is to keep the property upon completion of works and let out on a Buy to Let basis.

Standard Bridging rates apply starting at 0.85% per month with the Bridge to Let element starting at 4.39% and the 2% Arrangement Fee can be added to the loan.

Prime Bridge to Let product and Criteria details:

  • Rates from 4.39% reverting to Libor (currently 0.51%) plus 4.98%
  • Maximum LTV 75% of the post works valuation
  • Product fee 2% on all products and can be added to the loan
  • Max Loan size £500,000 for 75% LTV or £1,000,000 for 70% LTV
  • No Minimum income requirements, but must be employed/self employed and supply last 3 months bank statements
  • Rental income must cover 125% of the interest payment or reversion rate which ever is the higher
  • Age range 25 to 75
  • Maximum 1 property with Precise mortgages, but unlimited portfolio size with other lenders

Near Prime Bridge to Let Product and Criteria details:

  • Allowable adverse Credit
  • Defaults – none in last 12 months with max 1 default in the last 24 months (max £1500)
  • CCJs – none in last 12 months with max 1 default in the last 24 months (max £1500)
  • Arrears – none in last 12 months and maximum 1 month in the last 36
  • Rates from 5.39%
  • Maximum 1 property with Precise mortgages, but unlimited portfolio size with other lenders

 

If you would like our preferred broker to help raise finance for the above type of project please complete the form below and provide a short overview of the deal and your requirements or call us on 01603 489118 and we will do our very best to help.

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