Tag Archives: Rightmove

Rightmove profit takes off in soaring market Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Market News

Year on year profit before tax rose 31 per cent to £59m with total revenue increasing by 20% to £80m as Rightmove benefit from the rising housing market

This is partly due to an increase of over 25% in users to 22 million for the first half of the year, and the average revenue per customer increased by 13% with most choosing to purchase additional advertising packages. The number of Estate agents advertising on Rightmove is now 19,000 an increase of 3%. Page impressions on are up 13% to 8.1 billion from 7.2 billion.

Rightmove’s shares were up 4% to £22.65 following the profit announcement. However, share prices had previously fallen 20% since the Bank of England announced it would use new measures to cool the housing market in February.

ONS (Office for National Statistics) data shows average UK house prices are up 10.5% in the last year skewed by a London market that has increased by as much as 20%.

From next January Rightmove will face new competition from a start up property portal called “OnTheMarket” which is being backed by some of the Uk’s biggest estate agency chains.

Rightmove CEO, Nick McKittric said “the prospect of potential future competition from OntheMarket had been a factor in Rightmove’s recent share price decline.”

He confirmed they would be using new technology such as instant alerts to maintain a competitive advantage as 40% of its views come from mobile devices and there has been 7 million downloads of its app.

McKittric said “it’s about standing out in the biggest market place and winning new business to sell more properties.”Rightmove


Property Research Tool Latest Articles

UK Property Research Tool
What you need to know and where to find the information

This Property Research Tool is for the benefit of all property buyers, landlords, tenants, owner occupiers and professional advisers associated with property.

Thanks to business sponsors and Property118 Members for their incredibly generous donations making the development of this Property Research Tool.

Property Research generally begins online

Far too many people fall into the trap of not doing proper online research, they see a property they fall in love with or meet a sales person they trust and the deal is done. For those of us who have learned our lessons the hard way, it still takes a long time to wade though websites to complete thourogh due diligence. The really annoying part for me was finding each website individually and then having to enter the same postcode into each one over and over again to find the right pages. For these reasons I wanted to have a system built as a convenient Aide-mémoire (check-list) for every internet user to be able to use and to provide access to to the websites containing vital information with the minimum number of clicks. Property Research Tool

Essentially the Property Research to is a pop up page, called a modal, which consolidates key information used by landlords and other property purchasers to assess properties. Any website can incorporate this technology free of charge. The functionality works best with Google Chrome and Safari internet browsers.

The only data input for users is the Post Code of the area. The key benefit is the ability to access all information required to complete desktop due diligence without having to remember visit multiple websites, thus saving considerable time and effort. The information is called from several websites which provide insight into the location being searched.

Enough of me trying to explain what it is, why not see for yourself?

If you run a website yourself why not write a review and grab the embed code to install the Property Research Tool functionality on your own website? We even have a widget which creates a “call to action” button (like the one below) which you can size to your requirements.

Want to learn even more?

My buy to let property investment strategy is documented and constantly updated in the Advice section of this website. To get back to the main menu >>>

 

Landlords Buy to Let Property Investment Strategy


Choosing a property location Latest Articles

My buy to let property portfolio is within three miles of my main residence but I would venture further out. My main concern is that I won’t know other areas as well. Choosing a property location

In the past I’ve looked at Rightmove to understand how much properties can be rented for and how many have been let recently. Also, whether its close to a mainline station, town centre and access to motorways for commuters.

With living in the south, places are more expensive and therefore require a bigger deposit.

What are the key things other landlords/investors research when identifying new opportunities with limited knowledge on location?

Thanks

Paul


Consent to Let – Should I tell my residential lender I am now letting the property? Landlord News, Latest Articles

Should I obtain consent to let” has been a very common question over the years asked by both accidental landlords and portfolio landlords who are moving, but wish to keep their property as an investment.

The very easy answer is yes you are contractually obliged to tell your lender and I would not give any advice other than to do so.

However, I understand that some people find themselves in the position where they have already let the property and fear lenders declining the request with no ability to remortgage due to a high loan to value, or being unable to afford an increase in interest rate. Other borrowers also do not realise they have a responsibility to tell the lender, or don’t think they will ever find out.

From conversations I know that many people have “got away with it” for some time, but that does not mean they could be unlucky and the lender finds out tomorrow!

It has been reported in the press recently that mortgage lenders are launching a new crackdown and in an effort to catch borrowers are trawling the electoral register, social media websites and online letting portals such as Rightmove for evidence that a property has been put up for rent.

Having worked in the banking industry myself I know many lenders have quite large fraud departments often headed up by ex-police officers that would probably be used for this type of exercise. This risks of getting caught are not just the issues that may be caused with the property in question, but also being black listed with all lenders using their shared Hunter system.

Some lenders are more helpful than others though, allowing borrowers to let with a “consent to let” form allowing a 1- 2 year period of grace with no increase in interest rate under the understanding that the loan will be repaid or remortgaged to a Buy to Let within this period. However some lenders will charge and increase in interest rate by as much as 1.5% in the case of the Nationwide.

The Chelsea Building Society actually impose a 1% penalty if a borrower has not told them on top of the standard 1% interest rate increase.

I do not want to panic anyone in this situation, but it is important to understand the implications and risks involved.

We already have a very well read and commented on article concerning this called “Letting my house out without telling the lender“, so for continuity I would be most grateful if you could post any comments on that thread please CLICK HERE to commentconsent to let


What is an amateur landlord? Latest Articles

The phrase “amateur landlord” annoys me, I really wish people would stop using it.

First off, if you were a tenant would you want to be dealing with an amateur landlord?

I don’t recall ever seeing an advert on Rightmove or Zoopla which reads “Amateur landlord offers this stunning 3 bed ……” do you?

Would you put the words amateur landlord in you to let advert?

The phrase smacks of the landlord behaving amateurishly or not having a clue about what they are doing doesn’t it? What is an amateur landlord?

Dictionary definitions of the word amateur include:-

  • activity as a pastime rather than as a profession
  • one lacking the skill of a professional
  • not professional; unskillful

Are these the descriptions that people with just one or two rental properties wish to affiliate themselves with?

A landlord who owns just one property should still act professionally shouldn’t they?

I don’t really understand why the phrase “amateur landlord” ever came about. People who rent out property take an income from the rent, some spend any profits, some reinvest them and all are hoping for capital growth. Whilst this may not be their main profession, and often isn’t, surely they can’t claim to be amateurs? Why would they want to?

Perhaps they don’t want to be called professional landlords in the hope that Consumer Laws will protect them? Well there is no legal definition for what a professional landlord is anyway so I can’t see how that makes any difference. The legal case of OFT vs Foxtons ruled that landlords can be protected by consumer laws, however, the case didn’t set any a criteria for what constitutes a landlord no longer being a consumer.

Would these be consumers?

1) Let’s assume a person earned £500,000 a year as a banker and owned 30 investment properties making a net profit of a further £50,000 a year would that person still be a consumer?

2) Turn the numbers around and let’s assume the banker is making £500,000 of net profit a year from his property portfolio and £50k a year from a non-exec Directorship, what then? Logic might suggest he can’t possibly be a consumer any more because the vast majority of his income comes from being a landlord right? Well I’m not so sure about that either.

3) What about a housewife who owns one property making £50 a month profit after all expenses and has no other income?

The housewife with one property might be the better landlord too, hence more professional?

So is it number of properties which should set the precedent of whether a person remains a consumer or should it be based on what percentage of their earnings relate to rental properties. Based on the three examples above I can’t see logically how it could be either of these.

So, with no precise legal definition for what is a consumer landlord why do we have all these other tags?

Why aren’t landlords referred to as landlords?

If we must have further definitions I suggest the following:-

  1. Accredited Landlord – I like this one providing it refers to accreditation by education, not some “jobs for the boys” Council run scheme which inspects properties. I think it should be compulsory for all landlords to be accredited if they wish to manage their own properties.
  2. Rogue landlord – this is meaningless, either they are criminals or they are not.
  3. Portfolio landlord – a person who owns three or more properties (still a consumer though)
  4. Accidental landlord – that’s almost as bad as amateur isn’t it?
  5. Landlady – such a people run pubs or Guest houses. The legal definition of a female who rents out property is a landlord.
  6. Consumer – a landlord who is protected by unfair consumer contract terms – legal definition is required
  7. Sophisticated investor – a landlord who is not a consumer

Thoughts please?

.


Housing Bubble fears – genuine or an overreaction? Latest Articles, Property News

There has been a great deal of commentary in the press the last couple of days raising fears of a housing bubble.

Rightmove increased its forecast for the year from 4% to 6% leading to headlines calling for government to do something about concerns of a debt fuelled crisis in the housing market.

Yes prices are rising, but we are seeing sustained recovery for the first time since the credit crisis outside the economic microcosm of London?

It is this recovery for most of the country, in areas where prices have fallen or been static for a long time and not just one area, that has surely seen the forecast rise recently.

Rightmove report asking prices in London are up 8.2% on a year ago with:

West Midlands up 6.8%

South East  up 5.6%

Wales up 3.8 %

East Anglia up 0.8%

The North 0%

Yorkshire and Humberside fell 1.3%.

Overall in the UK asking prices are 4.5% higher than this time last year and have increased on average by £16,000 so far in 2013.

So the questionare:-

  • are we right to be worried?
  • what factors are involved
  • and can we do anything about it?

First of all we need to consider what is really causing prices to rise. Is it demand lead where we are all earning more money, unemployment is down and mortgages are easier to obtain?

Alternatively is it the lack of supply in new housing that is putting the upward pressure on prices?

In terms of industry sector contribution to GDP (Gross Domestic product – the output of the economy) it is the building industry that suffered the worst during the recession and is taking the longest to recover.

In terms of scale, the supply side of new housing has suffered more than any recovery in the economy recently, so it may be this which is the biggest factor for the country as a whole. However, in London there have been many reports that foreign money, especially from Arab states and China, is being invested into the London housing market and could be an external factor fuelling demand lead increases that we can’t control.

At some point limiting factors such as purchasers income and the size of deposits required will come into play with income multipliers and maximum LTVs only able to sustain a certain level of house prices before demand slows back down. This is where regulation of lending could dampen an over heating market putting in place restrictions on lending criteria.

One of the biggest and most immediate fears of property investors is the Bank of England increasing the Bank Base Rate to curb any house price inflation. This is now less likely as the BofE are no longer just targeting inflation levels, but also have the wider remit of encouraging the growth of GDP. Therefore it is less likely that they would consider harming the recovery by increasing interest rates, and more likely that they would look to use regulation of lending to control this specific inflationary pressure.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee will meet tomorrow, when it will reportedly discuss the issue of a housing bubble and what action it could take.

I certainly see no evidence that we need to panic yet, but it would be very interesting to get readers thoughts on this subject.Housing Bubble


Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense Advice, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Common sense tenant referencing was pretty much the only option available when I first became a landlord and started letting property in the late 1980’s. Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense

In this article I am going to explain what my family do to find the next perfect tenant, right from the day an existing tenant let’s us know that they want to move out. More often than not these days, tenants think they can serve notice with just a phone call, email, facebook or text message – more about that later. Continue reading Tenant Referencing Using Common Sense


Rightmove report holiday season price drop Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Rightmove report a drop in August of 1.8% (-£4,459) in new sellers’ asking prices, which is the first monthly fall recorded in 2013.

However the recovering market means the traditional holiday season price dip is less pronounced than usual as the underlying recovery in the housing market continues, with the price of property coming to market up by an average of 8.8% (+£20,210) in the first eight months of the year.

August also saw a new record asking price for ‘flats and apartments’ property type. Buyer demand is set to increase further when Help to Buy starts assisting purchasers of second-hand property in January, highlighting the need for greater property supply to meet growing demand and mitigate unsustainable upwards price pressure. It is imperative that Government communications around January’s extension of Help to Buy do not neglect the need to stimulate supply as well as demand.

  • Demand from home-movers is already returning with the number of email leads sent from Rightmove to agents and developers up 17% year-to-date.
  • Property transactions are also up 5% while the supply of property coming to market lags behind increasing by a mere 0.2% so far this year – record prices for flats highlight the issue.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments:

“A holiday season price dip is the norm in August, with an average drop in the last five years of over 2%. Even with this month’s below par 1.8% fall, the national average asking price is still up by more than £20,000 so far in 2013. Demand is already on the up, and that’s before the roll-out of phase two of the Help to Buy stimulus. It is now critical that the supply of property improves so that the goal of a significant increase in transaction numbers is not over-shadowed by an unsustainable boom in property prices. Flats are most in demand by first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors and we have seen prices for this property type hit their highest ever level as supply fails to keep up with an increase in demand at the bottom of the market.”

The peak holiday month of August is traditionally volatile, with asking price falls recorded every year since 2007. Fewer sellers come to market, down 8% on last month, with discretionary sellers more focused on holidays and content to wait for the busier Autumn selling season. Sellers who do come to market during August tend to have a more pressing reason to sell and consequently price more aggressively.

Shipside observes: “The underlying recovery in the housing market continues, with the price of property coming to market up in seven out of the first eight months of the year. However, outside of London and the South East it is weaker than the 5.5% annual gain headline figure suggests. Prices in the capital are 10.2% higher than this time last year compared with an average of just 2.8% for the rest of the country. While prices are up, transaction volumes still remain constrained by risk-averse lenders’ high deposit requirements and a lack of fresh property supply”.

We are already seeing early signs of demand outstripping supply and the Government needs to ensure that the current new build Help to Buy scheme, and its extension in January to second-hand homes, deliver more properties onto the market as well as boosting demand. The number of properties coming to market so far in 2013 is up just 0.2% on the same eight months in 2012, an increase of just 1,664 properties. However, this marginal improvement in fresh supply is outstripped by a 5% jump in transactions1 and a 17% annual increase in email leads to agents and developers from Rightmove so far this year. The natural lag between an increase in demand and a corresponding increase in supply could cause a short-term step-up in house price inflation over and above what is currently being seen. When, or if, property supply responds will be key in determining how long and how marked any inflationary period might be.

It is therefore vital that the Government’s communication around the January extension of Help to Buy encourages sellers to take advantage of increased demand and put their property on the market, thus increasing supply. Economic recovery, low interest rates and Help to Buy are all positive factors boosting housing demand. However, to improve muted transaction volumes further and satisfy pent-up demand it needs to be balanced by more existing home-owners trading up, more landlords selling, more homes

Rightmove house price index

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Retaliatory eviction – possibility of civil litigation? Latest Articles

We’re a professional couple with a limited company which provides a technology solution to the NHS. It suits our circumstances to rent at this moment in time. Retaliatory eviction

We had a 4-year rental of a lovely apartment until last Summer, when the owner decided to downsize and move back into the property. It was a good relationship, we had treated the property as if it had been our own investment and we parted as friends – with our deposit paid back in full.

After much searching we found a 3-bed town house which appeared to offer us everything we needed. The letting agent was a member of NAEA/ARLA and appeared to be respectable. There were some agreed remedial works to be dealt with and we were given assurances that these would be attended to in due course. We moved into the property in late August 2012.

Sadly, by the beginning of November, it was apparent that the property had some significant problems. There was extensive water penetration upstairs and a rising damp problem to the ground floor. The letting agent was informed immediately, with photographic evidence and a request for urgent assistance. We moved our furniture from the 3rd bedroom.

A ‘trades-person’ appeared in due course, with a notepad and pencil but with no damp meter. A report was promised, but was not forthcoming. The letting agent promised to send another contractor. This one only worked weekends and couldn’t agree a time to call; that visit never took place.

I called the landlords contractor to arrange the remedial work to be completed – missing doors, exposed wires, etc. He visited early November, measured up, made notes, promised to return – but failed.

We spent the most horrendous Christmas and New Year in the house. There was serious damp penetration, black mould which was constantly being removed. Slugs were climbing the walls. The house was very cold and the more that we heated it – the worse the damp became. We telephoned, wrote, sent photographs, yet the letting agent did nothing; there were plenty of replies – unbelievably stating that they were attempting to do everything as quickly as possible. We initially resigned ourselves to getting out of the house at the end of our AST.

In early-February, I wrote the strongest letter to letting agent with photos. A survey was made by Peter Cox, a pretty damning report which agreed with our complaint – serious damp and rain penetration. I wrote again, asking for compensation and a reduction in rent. This was refused. The letting agent had said that the landlord was absent; it transpired this wasn’t the case.

We tracked the landlord down and demanded a meeting. The landlord appeared, agreed with us in full and said that it was the first he knew of the problem. He agreed that we should be compensated and that this was the letting agents responsibility. Our landlord sat in our home, apologising and promised us both that this would be resolved. He remarked how clean we kept the property. The next day he had changed his mind and said that our grievance was with the letting agent. The following day – the EHO (Environmental Health Officer) inspected. That week, the missing doors and exposed electrics were attended to. We sent 2 requests to the letting agent, for the landlords address – these were refused.

A week later we received a section 21 notice to quit. The landlords address was given as c/o a family member in the South – presumably to thwart a legal action by us.

It turned out that the landlord had known of the problems. He’d applied for a grant for roof insulation, in my name – without my knowledge – and prior to our first meeting. It transpired that the letting agents were not members of ARLA or NAEA and we contacted both organisations and Rightmove to get these false affiliations removed. The letting agent claimed an oversight.

We spoke with our MP who has written to the CEO of the local authority, in order to push the EHO. The EHO wrote to the letting agent and the landlord but there was no response. We then began to receive threats from the letting agent to enter the property to inspect and allow viewings; we made a formal complaint to the Police and this is logged with a fast-track number in the event that they continue. We threatened to change the locks and the letting agent replied that this was not necessary.

We defended the section 21 notice on the grounds of incorrect dates and continued to pay the rent. We were not going to be forced out and subjected to costs or inconvenience due to their incompetence. The weather had improved and the house was drying out for the summer and we would tough it out now – having gone through the worst. We have since redecorated all damp affected walls as it is unnecessary to be reminded every day.

Our MP has pushed for resolution; this has mustered a stronger letter from the EHO. There has been no response other than a second section 21 notice. The dates are once again incorrect. The letting agent has put our deposit into a DPS but did not provide the Deposit Protection Certificate or prescribed information until we requested it after five months of tenancy. The prescribed information appears to be incomplete. I doubt that any s21 is valid until deposit is returned and the landlord might be liable for 3x under the Localism Act? Our claim should also be for a reduction in rent back-dated to 11/2012 and should provide compensation for immense stress and upset – particularly to my wife – for the repeated inconvenience, small damage, etc.

We’ve spoken with experts in Landlord/Tenant issues, they’ve seen our file which is very complete and have passed it onto Barristers to evaluate. We have a strong case apparently, but would incur costs of circa £7k to seek compensation/enforcement of duty to repair; we’ve been told that there is little likelihood of being awarded costs – if successful. That’s an expensive ‘point of principle’ for us.

It seems a dreadful situation. We actually like the house and the worst of the problems could be so easily resolved. We must now consider vacating the property before the bad weather sets in again – to remain longer would weaken any case against the landlord and the letting agent. The landlord is inexperienced and his conduct and concern for our welfare has been quite despicable. The promises that he made to my wife and I were instantly forgotten and we would like to do whatever might be done, so that he is taught the lesson.

Please accept our apologies for the long post, is there anything that we could do, other than what the landlord and letting agent expects – that being to vacate and walk away? I feel that someone needs to make a stand here, to create some solid case law if necessary – to protect others faced with similar problems in the future.

Thanks in advance

Roy and Tania


Is this “The DSS Landlords Ultimate Letting Package”? Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management

Letting Supermarket have launched a new scheme which they have labelled “The DSS Landlords Ultimate Letting Package”. 

The package includes:-

  • Visiting your property, taking particulars and floor plans.
  • Setting up an online account to store your documentation so it can be accessed at any time.
  • Advertising on all major portals including Rightmove and Zoopla
  • Viewings
  • Carrying out an inventory and schedule of condition at the property on check-in with the tenants. Inventory prepared by a qualified inventory clerk
  • Referencing tenants
  • Gas Safety Certificate as required (additionally charged)
  • Tenancy Agreements and guarantor agreements
  • Rent collected in advance with invoice and rental statement.
  • Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses Cover (now available for applicants claiming benefits)
  • Check in / check out
  • Interim viewings
  • Rent collection
  • Deposit protection (if required). Note that most landlords taking this scheme do request deposits

The charging structure is quite complex as this is dependent upon the number of tenants, whether RGI can be offered and/or is taken up, whether some or all of the costs are to be passed onto the tenant etc. Needless to say, with Letting Supermarket it is always going to be extremely competitive. Quotations are obviously available upon request.

This new package is being released on 1st August 2013.

Letting Supermarket is a member of ARLA and carries professional indemnity insurance and client money protection.

Insurance is underwritten by DAS and administered by Let Alliance.

To register your interest please complete the form below.LettingSupermarket

How to save money and stay protected

Please complete this form if you would like further information
  • Please enter a number from 1 to 999.

 


Buy to Let Property Sales – Partnering With Estate Agents Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Development, Property For Sale, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Earlier this year we spotted an opportunity to set up a buy to let Estate Agency. However, due to lack of resource (time) very little has been done other than a dozen or so sales on behalf of developers, plus setting ourselves up with The Property Ombudsman Service and organising Professional Indemnity insurance to keep ourselves legal of course.Buy to Let Estate Agency

The reason we haven’t got around to growing the buy to let Estate Agency business is that our passion is facilitating the sharing of best practice amongst landlords and letting agents on the Property118 forum which I set up just over two years ago. Prior to that I was a commercial finance broker and I’ve been a landlord since 1989.

The opportunity is a very simple one. Nearly 200,000 landlords and associated professionals subscribe to our daily newsletters and engage on the Property118 forum. Some of these people are no doubt in the market to buy more property. It occurred to us that most properties are sold with vacant possession, however, for landlords that can be a bit of a nightmare as both the vendor and the purchaser both experience costly void periods.

Rightmove and the Zoopla Property Group portals are ideal to sell properties with vacant possession but if a landlord wants to sell or buy a tenanted property these portals are far from perfect as there’s no search facility for buy to let property. Furthermore, their interfaces are not geared up to show rental yields, returns on capital invested, costs of letting etc. At Property118 we have created a landlords calculator to work all of these things out

As we haven’t got time to source properties to sell, never mind to prepare sales particulars, do floor plans, arrange viewings and progress chase offers through to completion, our idea is to work on a split commission basis with other agents.

We will showcase properties on the Property118 forum and link to them in the daily Newsletters. Enquirers will be landlords who may well already own properties in the area, hence for agents who partner with us on this venture, all referrals will be good leads for future sales and letting opportunities as well as prospective purchasers of the property which is being marketed.

From the landlords perspective, they will be presented with properties which are already let and will have no void periods and perhaps most importantly, without any buyers premium attached to them. The sales particulars will include details of the tenancy including:-

  • rent currently being paid
  • profile of the tenant
  • time already in the property
  • management fees currently being charged
  • other expenses relating to the management/maintenance of the property

This information, together with an indicative financing quotation will enable us to calculate not only rental yields but the cash on cash equivalent annual returns after all costs including mortgage, insurance, lettings and management, a sensible maintenance budget and where appropriate any ground rents or service charges. This will enable investors to compare cashflow returns on their money to the returns they are currently receiving elsewhere on their investments. The potential for capital growth is obviously a primary reason for people to invest into property too of course.

We will not allow this activity to overwhelm what we do here at Property118, therefore, we will cherry pick the properties we want to promote based on those which we believe make sense to buy as investments.

It is unlikely that we will be in a position to accept instructions directly from landlords to sell their properties due to the lack of infrastructure to provide a sufficiently professional service, i.e. floor plans, viewings, for sale signs etc. Therefore, any such enquiries will be referred back to the agencies we end up partnering with. Landlords are, of course, also welcome to introduce us to any agencies they are already working with as we will not get tied into any exclusive contracts. Our independence is vitally important to us.

I would like to have a chat with any agents who see some mileage in this opportunity. I have some ideas on splitting commissions but I am very open minded at this stage as the project is very much in its infancy.

Mark Alexander - Your Property ConciergeIf you would like to chat please comment below, email me  – mark@property118.com or call me on 07834 754 223.

Regards

Mark Alexander – founder of Property118.com


Rightmove moves to real time uploads Latest Articles

Every renter can profess to the frustration of seeing a property listed online and calling up just to be told “sorry, that’s just gone, but if you would like to register with us.”

Imagine if prospective renters and buyers were sent an update the moment a landlord or vendor instructed their agent.
Rightmove are currently testing a ‘Real-Time Data Feed’ (RTDF), allowing agents to list property instantly.

While a real-time listing API (Application Programming Interface – allows computers to talk to each other) is overdue, Rightmove’s RTDF is well produced as a thoroughly modern JSON-based API.
Rightmove are the current dominant property portal in the UK, with Zoopla quickly coming up in their rear view mirror. With both services providing near identical experiences for consumers, innovations like these could be key.

In a world of instant data and a fast-moving property market, those agents who can list live to Rightmove, will get applicants and enquiries before they return from their appraisals/valuations.

Take up of the new service will be dependant on the 350plus agency software companies that feed listings into portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. Comments on Zoopla’s public API forums indicate Zoopla has no plans to provide a listing API (http://developer.zoopla.com/forum/read/160852).

There are many property tech start-ups in London making noise about replacing Rightmove. This new listing ‘standard’ may prove an opportunity to tie closer with both portals and agency software providers, giving their own innovations easier distribution to agents.stopwatch


Rightmove doubles 2013 forecast for house prices Latest Articles, Property Market News, Property News

Rightmove doubles 2013 forecast for house prices as it reports ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ fueling a predicted 4.8% annual growth.

There have been seven monthly rises on the trot and two consecutive record months as the price of newly marketed property increases by 0.3% (+£860) in July boosting year-on-year growth to 4.8% (+£11,561)

Rightmove’s 2013 forecast has been increased from 2% to 4% as latest increases fuel recovery of the housing market.

There are signs finally of a broader-based recovery with all regions up year-on-year for the first time in nearly three years contributing to the positive national picture. Confidence in the market is said to be on the up with the proportion of people expecting average prices to be higher a year from now doubling compared to this time last year, now at 62% from 31%.

Rightmove reports an increase in movers and predicts more to come as property transactions are already up 5% year-to-date and lead indicators suggest more in the pipeline. Email enquiries to agents and developers are up 18% on 2012, new sellers up 5%, mortgage approvals up 6%.

It has already been reported that Surveyors are struggling to cope with the increase in demand with waiting lists for surveys pushing up into weeks. This is however also due to the number of Surveyors who have left the market since the Credit Crunch.

Rightmove along with many financial analysts predict a positive borrowing window as markets do not expect a base rate rise for three years. Funding for Lending competition is easing rates and availability of finance, plus the ‘brick-shortage success’ of Help to Buy!


Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords Buy to Let News, Latest Articles

Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlordsI am a non-exec Director of Letting Supermarket, an ARLA member letting agency which we have been recommending to Property118 readers since the end of 2012.

The feedback received from landlords we’ve referred has been superb with savings of 50% or more being reported when compared to other ARLA member letting agents. Continue reading Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords


Negotiating with estate agents Latest Articles

Negotiating with estate agentsOver the last few days a newbie property investor called Craig has been picking the brains of myself and Mary Latham by email. Yesterday we got talking about negotiating with estate agents and the advice we shared with Craig is well worth sharing here so that others can benefit from it too in my opinion. Between us, Mary and I have 64 years of experience in buying property as an investment. This number will grow massively as others share their opinions and as more questions and answers are added to this thread.

Negotiating with estate agents

Having viewed properties which match your requirements in terms of attracting the right tenants – a good agent will always call to you to ask for feedback. When they do, tell the agent that you really liked the property and would love to buy it but you think it’s priced too high for you to want to make an offer. Continue reading Negotiating with estate agents


Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent - one packageHow difficult can it be to advertise property to let on all the major rental portals, reference the tenants properly and guarantee the rent and legal expenses in one package with money back guarantees?

It shouldn’t be difficult should it?
Continue reading Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package


The 2013 buy to let goldrush Buy to Let News, Buy to Let Property Hotspots, Commercial Finance, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property For Sale, Property Market News, Property News, Property Sales & Sourcing, Property Sourcing

The 2013 buy to let goldrushI have had a ‘gut feeling’ that the property market would turn in 2013 for at least four years, however, until now I have not been able to provide any real justification as to why I believe the 2013 buy to let gold rush will occur.

A recent comment on our forum got me thinking about this again. It said something along the lines of …

“do you think property values will rise when the governments incentives to help fund deposits for first time buyers kicks in next year? I’m seriously thinking about bringing my plans forward and buying now in advance of the next property gold rush” Continue reading The 2013 buy to let goldrush


Guaranteed Rent – A Warning for Landlords Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Guaranteed Rent Warning for LandlordsA growing number of Landlords are falling for a “Guaranteed Rent” scam which enables a landlord or an agent to sublet a property.

There are several examples of how this works, below is a relatively “clean” one, I will share a much nastier example of how landlords are being stung as comments begin to appear in the forum thread below this article:- Continue reading Guaranteed Rent – A Warning for Landlords


Latest Newsletter dated 22nd February 2013 Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

NEWS from Paragon Mortgages for Professional LandlordsThis week 29 pages have been added to Property118.

(Links to the relevant pages are in blue and underlined).

5 Readers Questions Articles and Discussions

  • I think my tenants removal company knocked my garden wall down
  • Legal advice required on Scottish HMO issue
  • Shared ownership – can this be done on leasehold flat?
  • Should I sell tenanted or serve notice and sell with vacant possession?
  • Parting company with my letting agent

3 New Auction Catalogues for you to download

  • Network Auctions 6th March 2013 – Glaziers Hall, London SE1 9DD Commencing: 1pm
  • Pearsons Property Auction 5th March 2013 – 11am Hambledon Suite, The Solent Hotel, Fareham, PO15 7AJ
  • Salter McGuiness Property Auction 5th March 2013 – 1.30pm Quality Hotel, Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 0NH

11 New Articles containing News and Reviews:

To keep you up to date and help you to save money, minimise risks and maximise returns

Some good News for Landlords in Scotland at last

I keep in touch with what’s going on in the lives of my fellow landlords North of the border via my friends at the Scottish Association of Landlords…

Kent Reliance release new buy to let range for portfolio landlords

Buy-to-let products with no restriction on the size of the landlord’s portfolio. They are available for loans of up to £1m at 85% LTV, and at 75% TV for loans over £1m.

Property Portfolio Review Spreadsheet – FREE Download

This property portfolio review spreadsheet calculates your rental yields net of voids, the interest rate which will make your portfolio cash neutral and the true costs of rental void periods

Suffolk Holiday Homes on sale at bargain prices

You could own one of these 3 bed, brick built, double glazed Suffolk Holiday Homes for personal use or as an investment for just £55,995. That’s not the deposit, it’s the cash price!

A Landlords Mid Life Crisis

OMG, what have I done to this poor landlord! I wrote an article a while back called 10 things landlords must do before it is too late.

Tenants in Scotland missing vital deposit protection information

Tenants in Scotland could be missing vital information which can affect the return of their deposits at the end of the tenancy.

LANDLORDS – don’t let tenants steal your property

Is it even possible that tenants could steal a property you might ask! As part of its campaign to stamp out property fraud, the Land Registry has just set up a dedicated phone line.

Oxford – Not Hot But Always Warm!

I am often asked why Oxford represents such an attractive option for buy to let property investors.

Wealth Tax proposed by Lib Dems could affect Landlords

One of the best forum posts I’ve ever seen on the topic of economics and  the proposed new Wealth Tax.

Sprightly start to 2013 but ‘old hands’ support the market

Rightmove have just released their February 2013 House Price Index which shows a “Sprightly start to 2013”

Residential Property Inventory Services In A Nutshell

What is an Inventory? To sum it up in simple terms, an inventory is a detailed list using specific phrases to describe the features, items and condition of a property.

Good Landlords Campaign Click Here to see Sponsors

We would like to welcome the following new sponsors of the Good Landlords Campaign

  • Peter Harris of Bristol

  • Anthony Altman of Platinum Property Sheffield
  • Brian Turner of SCPR Sheffield
  • Dave Gardner of Top Management Wellingborough

  • Matthew Farrow of Phoenix Independent Advisers Cromer

  • Richard Baker – Northampton and Rugby
  • Oliver Cornes of Juicy Property London

  • Bill Cooper of WDC Rentals Ewloe

  • Glyn Jones of GPJ Ltd Stockton on Tees

  • Ramesh Pindoria of Regal Estates Willesden

Don’t miss this opportunity …….

Don’t miss this opportunity …….

The closing date to become a founder member of The GOOD Landlords Campaign is fast approaching. It doesn’t matter whether you have one property or you are a full time landlord, we welcome anybody who believes in sharing best practice in the UK Private Rented Sector. That includes letting agents and other associated property professionals…


Some good News for Landlords in Scotland at last Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property News

Good News for Landlords in Scotland at last

I keep in touch with what’s going on in the lives of my fellow landlords North of the border via my friends at the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) and via listening to members of the Association, many of whom joined SAL on my recommendation.

Members of SAL tell me landlords in Scotland are feeling the pinch of all the new regulations. Letting Agents fees are rocketing to offset the premiums they used to charge to tenants and many of the online portals have pulled out of working with Scottish landlords altogether.

Just because I don’t own any properties myself in Scotland doesn’t prevent me from keeping an eye on the market to look out for solutions though, my ancesters are Scots so I know that every penny counts.

The new regulations might be a pain in the neck for some (OK most!) but as they say, as one door closes another one opens.

I’ve been discussing the challenges with several of my contacts and one of them, an online letting agent (member of the Scottish Association of Landlords and ARLA), has decided to buck the trend and create a brand new product for Scottish landlords whilst their competitors are exiting the market in droves.

This is an overview of their product and I would be very interested in your feedback, especially if you own and let properties in Scotland.

Scottish Landlords Letting and Rent Guarantee Package

  • Advertising of your property on all the major property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location etc)
  • Tenant referencing
  • Dealing with Deposit Protection
  • Rent collection
  • Legal Expense Insurance Cover and Rent Guaranteed for 12 months up to £2,500 pcm and £25,000 in total (with an option to renew each year)
  • Eviction Proceeding costs covered

What’s more, you remain in control. You do the viewing so you get to look your prospective tenants in the eye and decide whether you want them living in your property. This also helps keeps costs down 🙂

The outcome of a tenancy is set at the beginning I think you will agree? However, on top of the increased regulation in Scotland and the associated costs being passed onto landlords, rent arrears, which are every landlords worst nightmare, are increasing too.

One bad tenant can leave you unable to pay your mortgage with prospects of losing your property and possibly bankruptcy. Worse still the court system can take well over 6 months to achieve eviction!

Add to that extortionate lawyers fees and damage to the property, is it any wonder that rent arrears and rising costs of compliance are the biggest fear amongst Scottish landlords?

The rent arrears situation is getting worse.

Arrears are increasing, courts are closing and the process of re-gaining possession of your property is taking longer and longer…

Is it any wonder that “professional rent dodgers” are having a field day?

Things are now about to change for the better for Scottish Landlords though 🙂

The rent guarantee insurers are happy to partner with the agent offering the above scheme due to their unparalleled tenant find and vetting procedure which provides for low risk letting.  

The bottom line is that if the tenant does not pay – you still get paid, and you still save money :-)

Given that 10% of tenants are in arrears amounting to thousands of pounds, and you get rent protection and legal cover, you’d expect a hefty premium wouldn’t you?

Not so – because of this letting agents bulk buying power already established in England and Wales, all of the above can be offered for a full year for just £247 + VAT. Compare that to the fees that your letting agent charges!

It get’s better though!

The deal even comes with a Money Back Guarantee!

If your property is not “Let Agreed” within 30 days you can cancel your instructions and have a full refund.

It’s a meaningful guarantee too, not from some two bob business operating from a bedroom, these agents are qualified members of ARLA and are also members of the Scottish Association of Landlords.

So, why take the risk with your property when you can use this service and get complete peace of mind at such an incredible price?

To find out more please complete the form below.

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