Tag Archives: Strategy

Barry’s story – it could have been you! Financial Advice, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Barry’s story was written by the Mark Alexander back in December 2010. It has since been updated and re-published several times. The dates, times and people are fictional but the story is based on real life events.

It’s a modern update of the classic “A Widow’s story”, this time written as a cautionary tale for landlords and their families.

Barry is 53 years old and married to Sharon. They have three teenage children; twin girls aged 15 and a 13 year old son. Barry worked as a self employed salesman in the plant hire business. Sharon had a part time secretarial job in a local school.

Barry and Sharon purchased their first investment property in 1996.

As property values have risen they have continuously remortgaged and used a proportion of the equity released as deposits to purchase additional rental properties. They also saved a proportion of the equity released for a rainy day. To accelerate the growth of their portfolio Barry and Sharon raised extra cash for deposits by remortgaging their home. The profits from Barry’s plant hire business covered the family’s commitments comfortably.

They had accumulated a portfolio of 23 properties with a combined valuation of £1,650,000, against which they had mortgages of £1,400,000.  The portfolio produces rental income of £87,000 per annum. Their rainy day fund amounted to just over £64,000. By having all of the above in place you might be forgiven for thinking that they had set themselves up with a very safe future.

On Sunday 21st December Barry had a bad day. He was on the way home that evening having just been out to fix a tenants leaking shower tray when the traffic on the M6 came to a grinding halt. Barry managed to stop his car, avoiding the lorry in front of him, but the car behind him ploughed into the back of him, wedging his car under the back of the lorry.

The emergency services managed to free Barry from the wreck and his only damage was shock, whiplash and major bruising to his legs. However, two days later Barry collapsed whilst out shopping for last minute Christmas presents. He was rushed to hospital where it was discovered that a blood clot in Barry’s leg had passed to his brain. Barry had suffered a major stroke.

He lost his speech and most of the use of one side of his body. The family were in tatters. Sharon had to give up work to care for him.

Up until having a stroke Barry had managed the property portfolio and taken care of most of the maintenance himself. Could Sharon care for her husband, her family and the management and maintenance of the property portfolio too?

They considered putting the properties on the market but soon realised that after deducting selling costs and CGT there wouldn’t be much money left over. They would also lose their income and they would be leaving their tenants in a difficult predicament too. Sharon has had to employ a lettings agent to manage the portfolio. Since then it has cost the family an average circa £3,000 a month to pay for ongoing maintenance and management.

Fortunately there has been some good news, at least financially. First, low interest rates have meant that Barry and Sharon’s mortgages have got much cheaper than when they started their property rental business. Many of their mortgages have reverted to tracker products due to their fixed rates coming to an end. They are focussing on Barry’s recovery. What will happen when interest rates go back up again though? How will the restrictions on finance cost relief for individual landlords affect them?

The real saviour for the family has been insurance. Fortunately, Barry and Sharon were astute enough to insure against these eventualities. They took out life assurance policies that pay out a regular monthly income right up to Barry’s 65th birthday. These policies were written on the basis that they also pay out in the event of a critical illness. The family are therefore confident that these provisions will see them through these troubled times and out the other side. They will then revert to plan A, which was to live off surplus rental income over and above the mortgage payments on their portfolio or to sell the properties and live off their gains.

What insurance provisions have you made for your family?

How are you investing the windfall of increased cashflow that record low interest rates have produced for your family?

Have you made similar provisions to Barry and Sharon?  If you haven’t it may not be too late, we want to help.  If you have already taken advice and put insurances into place we would like to introduce you to one of our recommended advisers to review your policies and ensure they are competitive. Most important of all, to ensure that the right person gets the right money at the right time.


Looking to get into property investment or expand your portfolio? Buy to Let Property Hotspots, Latest Articles, Property For Sale, Property Sales & Sourcing, Property Sourcing

Back in September 2013 I wrote an about an HMO investment opportunity which could be of interest to people wanting a relatively low risk, low hassle investment so far as property goes. It was a sponsored article and every enquiry raised funds to help support the running costs of Property118. Interest levels were reported to be very high and a sufficient numbers of enquirers went on to purchase these investment to prompt the company to ask us to re-run the article. Looking to get into property investment or expand your portfolio?

You should, of course, do your own due diligence before committing to making a purchase though as we do not take any responsibility for any purchase decisions you make. I’ve used the same PR creative for the deal below where you can request a PDF document containing a lot more details. Please note that the PDF document will usually be sent to the email address you provide within two working days although we are not in control of this process.

[display_iframe src=”/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Keystone118-NEW.html” height=”1060″]


Tax Treatment of Equity Loans for Buy to Let Landlords Advice, Buy to Let News, Commercial Finance, Financial Advice, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Legal, Mortgage News, Property Investment Strategies, Tax and Accountancy, Tax News

I have been posting on numerous forums about the introduction of equity loans into the UK buy to let mortgage market, a common question is the tax treatment.

Equity loans do not attract interest in the normal way, there are no regular monthly payments. One UK lender, funded by USA equity house JC Flower & Co. (a leading financial services investment company with funds in excess of £5billion) has entered the UK market and others may follow. Their return on investment is earned when the loan term expires or or sale or refinance of the property, whichever is sooner. Their return is capital plus a share in capital appreciation equal to double their investment. For example, if they provide top up finance of 10% of a property value their return with be 20% of the increased capital value plus their investment when the funding is redeemed.

As you may know, I was previously a former commercial finance broker. When I was practising I was renowned for digging into complex funding, tax and legal structures to explore opportunities and threats which others may never have considered.

Note to all – I no longer provide advice and this post must not be treated as advice.

The tax treatment of the redemption of BTL equity loans will be very interesting.

Let’s use this example. Equity loans can sit over and above traditional interest bearing mortgages but for the sake of simplicity I have based the following example on equity funding only.

Property value at outset £100,000
Equity loan at outset £20,000

Property value at sale £200,000
Capital gain £100,000 (or is it and if so how is it shared? – see below)
Equity loan capital repaid £20,000
Profit on Equity loan to lender £40,000

Now does the £40,000 profit on the equity loan to the lender reduce the owners capital gain to £60,000 or is the owners gain still treated as £100,000?

The lender operating the first of these schemes has already stated they will bill their return as interest at the point of loan redemption. However, that’s not to say HMRC will see it that way, only time will tell. Therefore, my suggestion to all landlords considering this type of finance is to plan for the worst and hope for the best in terms of tax treatment. As has been proven many times, the law says you can call something pretty much whatever you like but case law or legislation will determine what it really is. Case in point, advance rent or deposit? – see Johnson vs Old

So will profits made by equity lenders need to be used to offset rental profits? If so there could be a substantial paper loss created in the year of redemption. Unused losses may be rolled forward, assuming losses are made, but such losses are only offsettable against future rental profits. No problem, in fact potentially very advantageous, IF you continue to make rental profits going forward. However, if this was your only property you may be stuffed by having to pay CGT on the full £100,000 of gain and not being able to utilise the carry forward losses. Note that rental losses can not be used to reduce other taxable income.

I can’t see HMRC allowing landlords to choose how they apply the lenders return to suit their individual circumstances, i.e. as either interest or a share of capital gain,  but we can live in hope, not that that’s a good strategy of course! If HMRC do allow a choice to be made that would be utopia from a tax planners perspective 🙂

What I would suggest to all considering equity loans is that they should plan for the worst case tax scenario and hope for the best case tax scenario. In other words, make decisions based on the worst case tax scenario and if that works then fine. Obviously there are many other aspects of the deal to consider too which is why I am an advocate of taking professional advice as opposed to taking a short sighted approach and simply jumping into deals unadvised just to save initial fees.

If you are a portfolio landlord who makes good rental profits then treating the lenders return as interest could be extremely tax advantageous if the tax regime remains as it is today. This is because income tax rates are greater than capital gains tax rates for higher rate tax payers.

Therefore, for landlords who will continue to make rental profits, post redemption of their equity loans, this is particularly attractive in my opinion. At worst, if HMRC decide to treat the lenders returns as capital gains, landlords will pay a lower CGT bill and not be able to offset interest. For a landlords with no ongoing rental profits post redemption of an equity loan, having the lenders return treated an interest charge is highly unlikely to be attractive whereas having the returns treated as capital gains will be far better for them.

If, of course, your equity loan is secured against your private home then no CGT is payable on sale anyway.

Tax Treatment of Equity Loans for Buy to Let Landlords

Tax is not the only consideration.

I have listed 11 good reasons for considering the product and 9 downsides in my main post about equity loans. That’s not to say that everybody should think equity loans are the best thing since sliced bread just because my list of pro’s and cons is 11 vs 9, it doesn’t work that way. The reasons for NOT doing something can be very different to reasons FOR doing something, they are not necessarily like for like considerations. For example, I also prefer a strategy of high gearing combined with high liquidity over a low gearing strategy because that’s what suits me and my attitude to risk. It does not mean that people who prefer a different strategy are either wrong or right, it just proves we are all different, hence we have other preferences such as careers, holidays, cars, films, food and where we live.

For further information and discussion about equity loans please CLICK HERE.


A well considered BuytoLet strategy is essential Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles

Provision for regular investment into rental properties needs a well considered BuytoLet strategy.

A sensible Rainy Day fund is essential and prudent investors will factor this in when purchasing their rental investment and adopt an on-going approach to property upgrades.

This is very much in keeping with Mark’s advise in the Basic fundamentals of a buy to let property investment strategy.

Standards in the BuytoLet market have improved and tenants are less willing to accept sub standard and unloved properties paying a higher rent for well presented and well located properties. Specification of the property is important and landlords need to consider regular upgrade and maintenance works at the very least between tenancies and every three years.

Zoe Rose, head of lettings for Strutt & Parker said “if you regularly maintain your rental property on an annual basis, even when your tenant is situ, then overall you are likely to spend less than a major upgrade every three to five years. You are also sending a clear message to your tenant that you are a conscientious landlord that cares about them and the property. They in return are likely to look after your investment and appreciate their surroundings and do their very best to keep your property in immaculate order.”

“We do have a few clients that have enjoyed healthy rent increases over three to five years linked to RPI without doing much to their property during the tenancy. When the property comes back to market, they are shocked to learn that they need to spend significant funds in order to support the same level of rent achieved before.”

“Like any investment the return can go up or down and you wouldn’t run any other assets dry and expect to maintain the same level of return. It is the same with rental property. You need to keep aside sufficient funds to upgrade and reinvest in order to optimise the returns.”

Stephanie McMahon said “the increase in the Private Rented Sector across London with 79% more household renting in 2011 than 2001, shows just how large the market is. In these types of conditions investors must put back more to reap the financial benefits. Tenants are looking for longer leases too, with 17% increase in those taking longer leases in the third quarter of 2013. Therefore landlords need to invest more to fight for those tenants.”

“It is much better to plan properly than be stung with an extended void period or accepting a very low rent just to secure a tenant. Having a well thought out maintenance and upgrade plan really does pay dividends in the end.”

Landlords CalculatorThe Landlords Calculator designed for Property118 readers is very easy to use and can help you with your own BuytoLet strategy. You don’t need to download any extra software whatsoever. It allows you to analyse returns and other important numbers relating to any residential investment property deal with ease.

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Rent to Rent Discussed on Radio 4 today in the next few minutes! Landlord Action, Latest Articles

This Broadcast was meant to be last Wednesday but is instead being run today  between 12pm-1pm.

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action will be taking to the airwaves on BBC4’s You and Yours show, to highlight the shocking risk to landlords of the latest money making strategy to sweep the property industry, “Rent to Rent”.

It’s a simple concept: Rent a house, then sub-let the rooms to sub-tenants and make as much profit as possible. Rent to Rent Discussed on Radio 4 today

This is a mushrooming phenomenon which has seen hoards of “experts” writing blogs, books and seminars on how to get started and even running courses costing up to £500 on how to bring in tens of thousands of pounds with virtually no out-lay. One such “guru” includes Daniel Burton who claimed he earned £35,000 a month from the get-rich-quick scheme.  Last week, The Guardian revealed he has gone missing, leaving tenants and landlords across London hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

The idea behind how it works involves a tenant (or “renter”) offering a landlord a guaranteed amount of rent for a set period, say three years. “This amount is likely to be less than its actual market value but the landlord, in theory, is happy because the property is let and he does not need to worry about lost rent, void periods or tenant issues for the foreseeable future” says Paul Shamplina.  The tenant agrees to look after the property, take care of maintenance issues and in some cases even carry out a refurbishment on the property. Then, the tenant sub-lets as many rooms as possible to willing sub-tenants who are happy to rent a converted lounge or dining room and live in a house shared with six other strangers. The “renter” then creams a profit on the difference between the rent he is paying the owner/landlord and the rent coming in from the sub-tenants as a result of the multi-let.

Mr Shamplina has been asked to discuss the latest craze and how landlords might get unwittingly caught up in this scam and, what they should do if they are. He comments “I have several concerns over the legal practices of this process and how it affects the very landlords it claims to ‘support’. In my view, if it is not carried out diligently the landlord loses control of the property which is where the problems begin.  I suppose I speak from being at the sharp end of dealing with evictions but I would advise any landlords entering into such an agreement to tread very carefully.”

To hear Paul’s views on rent to rent, tune in to You and Yours on Radio 4 from 12pm on Wednesday 16th October 2013.

In the pre-recorded interview Paul Shamplina mentions various tips for property owners considering Rent to Rent, one of which is not to accept Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement as these are not the appropriate contracts. Recently, Landlord Action announced they are now an alternative business structure regulated by The Law Society and have joined forces with The Law Department, headed by solicitor Justin Selig whose name you will recognise if you are a party to the Class Action groups fighting the West Brom Mortgage Company and Bank of Irelands decisions to increase the margins on their tracker mortgage products.

Having recognised a need for a professionally drafted commercial lease template to be readily available to Rent to Rent companies and property owners Property118 teamed up with Justin Selig to produce one.

The lease contract templates, guidance notes and notices are now available for immediate download for just £97 exclusively via Property118.com

The reason the contract templates are so competitively priced is due to economies of scale, the real cost of drafting a contract of this nature is thousands. Sufficient pre-orders of the contract template via Property118 made it viable to produce the documents and to share costs to arrive at this incredibly low figure.

If you are a property owner and you are being offered a “Guaranteed Rent” deal which allows your tenant to sub-let then this lease template is also for you as it protects your interests. If your tenant wants permission to sublet and you’re being offered a Company Letting Agreement or an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, that’s the wrong contract and should sound warning bells.
Guaranteed Rent to Rent Lease Contract Templates now available for download

Order the "Rent to Rent" lease contract template

 


Case Study – 100% funding – Full transparency Advice, Buy to Let News, Commercial Finance Broker Blog, Financial Advice, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

Case Study - No Money Down - Full transparency

We’ve all heard of those ‘no money down’ schemes (mortgage fraud scams) where a ‘property sourcer’ has negotiated a discount and the buyer and his friendly mortgage salesman gets a mortgage based on the normal market value.  Many were very active in this market, some still are, however ……

….. what is not so widely reported – mainly because the shrewd investors who use the following strategy don’t normally shout about it – is the ‘cross charging’ 100% capital raising process which allows for the full purchase price, refurbishment costs and subsequent buy to let remortgage (if keeping the property) all to be arranged in a transparent and legal process, often all with the same lender.

How do I know about this?

Because we’re doing it, and I have a case study to share with you …

Case Study for a 1st and 2nd Charge combined arrangement

Our client required a deal they couldn’t get via their usual high street lender. He was looking to buy a property, renovate and then take out a BTL based on its new and improved value.

Crucially, and the main issue that nearly caused him to lose this opportunity, is that he was also limited in the cash required to secure this deal, although he had a good level of equity in his main residence.

Our client ideally needed to borrow 100% of the purchase price and 100% of the renovation costs using the equity in his home as additional security. Once renovated he wanted a quick solution in changing the bridging loan into a BTL.

  • Our client owned his residential property with a value of £600k
  • Mortgage outstanding £300k with Halifax
  • Purchase price of the property currently worth £150k
  • Refurbish costs £40,000 – Renovation including new kitchen and bathroom
  • Total borrowing required £190k

The solution?

First, to borrow 75% of the new purchase which gave him £112.5k

Second, the shortfall of £37.5k towards the purchase and the additional £40k needed for the renovation works (£77,500 in total) was raised by adding in the additional security via a 2nd charge on the main residence.

He was actually offered a 2nd charge bridge on his residential property up to 70% LTV, which meant he could, if he wanted to, raise up to £120k from this property (70% = £420k, his existing mortgage is £300k), far more than enough to make up the required difference (£77,500) to cover the full 100% of the purchase and 100% of the renovation costs.

The valuer was booked to attend the property within 72 hours.  In the meantime our client was quick in supplying the shopping list of requirements required and forunately instructed a solicitor who understood the speed required for a bridging loan. The deal was completed within a few weeks enabling our client to ‘do up’ his new property, increasing the value to £300k.

Three months later our client was able to change the bridging loan product to the lenders BTL product, releasing 75% of its new improved value. This released £225,000, enough to pay off the bridging loan and put some money back into his cash flow.

This is the intelligent, new improved, ‘no money down’ style of investing and refurbishing which is helping many savvy investors to add property to their portfolio without laying out any of their own liquid cash.  Instead, they are letting their own existing bricks and mortar do that for them.

We are now very closely associated with a leading and award winning bridging loan / short term lending packager who specialise in these cases.

We have a very simple enquiry / AIP process and as highlighted above, cases can be processed very quickly indeed.  In this case, after 12 weeks of work, our client ended up with another property in his portfolio and also approximately £20k in cash (after fees etc) as well.

Could this be of interest to you?

Contact Howard Reuben

Mortgages, Commercial and Bridging Finance, Life Insurance, Wills, Trusts and LPA's
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PRS Industry spokesman – please stand up! Latest Articles

Can you help me? Who would you consider to be the official spokesperson/body for the lettings industry? I’ve only been in this industry for 12 months, so I’m still relatively a novice compared to most! But I would have thought ARLA? Yes? Anyone else?

I’m still fuming after only just catching up with the Watchdog / Rogue Traders episode from earlier in the week, when the last comment to screen was some ‘Letting agents, don’t act illegally’ – or words to that effect…so now 4.5m viewers think that most of the lettings agents are criminals! Yes I know it makes good TV, but where was the industry spokesperson saying that 99.5% of the industry aren’t like that?

If this was a business that had been featured, there would have been crisis PR in action immediately. Take Johnson & Johnson or EE who were also covered on that programme – there was an immediate response (albeit a bit wishy washy in some cases), but at least there was a response and not complete radio-silence. There wasn’t a single reference to this episode on the ARLA website this week (apologies if I’ve missed it and it was there).

So when did the PRS get such a bad rap? I read a thread somewhere that it was around a year ago that it started getting really bad in the media. I know we aren’t going to stop bad stories being publicised – nor should we, it’s a free country & a media-driven culture after all – but the industry needs to at least stand up for itself a bit more. I know that idiot company weren’t ARLA, they probably weren’t even regulated by TPO, but there needs to be an industry spokesman/body who stands up for the whole industry. Who is it?PRS Industry spokesman - please stand up

The benefit of being new to this industry is that I can look at it with the benefit of the experience of other sectors – and I can assure you that if it was a solicitor or an accountant that was being shown up on Watchdog, those trade bodies would have their PR teams all over it! (and I’m no particular fan of the way ICAEW run themselves, but I’ll give them their due – they are very vocal & have helped over the past 100+ years to form the way their industry should be portrayed). We are still a relatively new sector – we need the same strategy! The majority of us want to increase standards across the board – let’s shout that from the rooftops (even more!)


Newbie Questions re Capital Repayment Latest Articles

I would really appreciate some input having read though the “Advice” articles here.

I currently own my own home outright without a mortgage. I was thinking of remortgaging to release some equity which combined with a small pot of cash I have available could be used as deposits on two small BTL properties (in the region of £140-£150k each). I have actually had a mortgage agreed in principle by my bank in order to do this, being totally upfront about what I am remortgaging for. The LTV is low, circa 35% and they have no problem with it.

My question relates specifically to whether to have this remortgage aspect on a capital repayment mortgage or interest only? I was intending to have the remortgage element on capital repayment and any BTL mortgages on interest only (BTL mortgages would have LTV of close to 60% in order to take advantage of good rates I have been offered, again by my bank).

Having now read your article I am now doubting this approach is correct, I was wondering that your thoughts were?

My goal if that is helpful is focussed on longer term, pension planning planning.

Any steer would be gratefully received. Newbie Questions re Capital Repayment

Thanks

Helen


How to get 6 BTL mortgages with BM Solutions Buy to Let News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment News

So many buy to let borrowers get frustrated because BM Solutions will only allow them to have 3 buy to let mortgages. However, now they have removed their minimum income requirements, this criteria is very easy to overcome for many borrowers.

The answer is to own the properties in your individual names. That way a couple can have three mortgages with BM Solutions each. Hey presto, that’s six mortgages with BM Solutions.

The are also many other advantages of owning the properties in individual as opposed to joint names. For details of this see my Landlord Tax Strategy.

If you would like to discuss further borrowing strategies why not have a chat with my business Partner, Neil Patterson. His contact details are npatterson@property118.com or you can call him on 01603 489 118BM solutions logo


Is 100% buy to let leverage a good idea or not? Latest Articles

I’m looking to do my first time buy to let by releasing c. £25,000 -£37,000 equity from my main residence and the remaining £75,000 to £113,000 on a buy-to-let mortgage to buy a 2 bed property costing c. £120,000 to £150,000. Is 100 percent buy to let leverage a good idea or not

Mark suggests always having 20% cash in the bank but that would mean delaying my purchase by 2 years.

Looking for advice on whether to get going now or keep saving?

Regards

Clod Hopper


When to sign the AST and taking holding deposits Latest Articles

I have read that on no account should a landlord sign a new tenancy, unless he has vacant possession of the property.Even if good tenants have given notice in writing, it doesn’t mean they will actually move out on the day they say they will. On that basis it makes sense that new tenants should sign the new tenancy on the day of moving in. When to sign the AST and taking holding deposits

I have had problems in the past however, when tenants go through all the motions of wanting to take a property and then pull out, leaving us with lost rent and lost potential tenants.

What do others do to protect themselves ?

In Mark’s excellent Tenant Referencing Using Common sense’ he says …..”Once referencing is accepted …..we ask for the deposit to be paid to hold the property, we immediately protect the deposit….”

What is best practice if taking a so called holding deposit ?

When is a deposit just a holding deposit and not a tenancy deposit and should this ever/always be protected?

Can a deposit really be protected before a tenancy has been created (the DPS ask you to fill in the tenancy start date) ?

If the deposit was taken more than 30 days before the start of the tenancy wouldn’t it need to be protected and the Prescribed info served before moving in?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Many thanks

Mike


Mortgage Express or Mortgage Distress? Advice, Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Financial Advice, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Mortgage News, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies

The Mortgage Express exit strategy has been a hot potato since at least 2011 when they first met a group of 70 landlords at an event organised under the Property Tribes banner. Mortgage Express or Mortgage Distress

They have been slated by landlords for imposing terms and conditions which were buried in small print and which are no longer adopted by the mainstream buy to let lenders.

The bottom line for MX though is that their loan book is now the property of the UK tax payers and the organisation is pretty much run by Civil Servants, accountants, debt collectors/councillors and insolvency practitioners.

The Government have imposed tough targets and deadlines on the new MX team to reduce the loan book and therefore, it was inevitable that strong arm tactics, which many would describe as bullying, would be used.

Naturally they have gone for the easy targets and started by selling the concept of making over-payments to people who were too naive to work out that repaying a loan which typically costs 2.25% rarely makes sense. It’s possible to get a better return on that with a cash ISA or a deposit account in a bank or building society!  MX appear to have had scant regard to advising their clients to pay off more expensive credit first and they were never going to suggest investing any surplus into anything but reducing a debt with them were they?

The strong arm tactics have extended to imposing their “Right to Consolidate” which their contracts say allows them to use 100% of any sale proceeds to repay debts owed to them. It has even been implied on many occasions that if a borrower redeems one mortgage with Mortgage Express they can call in the rest! I’ve not seen these terms challenged in Court yet but I have come across borrowers who had stood up to Mortgage Express and there are quite a few examples on internet forums of MX having backed off. Bullies don’t like people who fight back.

Mortgage Express Reviews

General sentiment of landlords is that Mortgage Express borrowers should avoid reviews like the plague. The conspiracy theorists, of which I am one, are that MX have a very simple agenda and it’s not based on helping borrowers despite how they pitch it. It would appear the entire purpose of the meeting is for MX to persuade you to pay off or reduce your debt and/or to look for you to trip yourself up by admitting to breaching mortgage conditions which you were not necessarily aware of. Examples include:-

  • living in a property financed as a BTL
  • Letting a property which was financed as a private residence
  • letting to tenants which are now claiming benefits
  • where a property is an HMO

Would you know whether your tenants were claiming benefits though? What if they started claiming benefits after the tenancy started? What if the property became an HMO due to your local authority imposing selective or additional licencing?

Is it fair that MX could find one little problem, call in that loan and then call all the others in based on their right to consolidate conditions?

My Preferred Mortgage Express Exit Strategy

It has been mooted on several forums that MX have a target to collect a percentage of their loan book. I’m not aware whether the percentage target has ever been published but I’ve heard figures as low as 25% banded about. I suspect it’s much higher than that, otherwise, why would they carry the heavy administrative costs of their current activities as opposed to simply selling their loan book for 25% of it’s value? Perhaps they could and it’s a simple case of government ineptitude and politics preventing this from occurring? More likely, in my opinion, is that the government want to be seen to try to recover as much as possible of the tax payers bail out money.

If we knew what the desired recovery percentage was we could make suggestions. Let’s suppose the figure is 60%. Most buy to let landlords would happily refinance if their loans were discounted by far less than that. I’d certainly consider moving for a 25% to 30% write off of debt. Not every borrower would want or be in a position to go for such a deal but if only half did so, the remaining book, which I suspect would include a lot of toxic dent and low value assets due to negative equity, could still be shifted. They may only get 40 pence in the pound for these assets as a block sale but those extra 10% to 15% figures they would get from borrowers taking up their offers directly could well make up the balance.

Why don’t Mortgage Express just exit now?

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before Mortgage Express start offering golden goodbye deals to borrowers, it’s just a case of satisfying the tax payer that they’ve tried everything else first. Mortgage Express were given 7 years to exit and it is because we are into the final states of that period we are seeing them apply increasing pressure. Those of us who can survive the next few years will, I suspect, come out of this with a great deal but in the meantime we should expect the unexpected as well as underhand tactics.

What would you do if you were Mortgage Express?

What do you think Mortgage Express borrowers should and should not do to protect their interests?

Don’t be bullied by Mortgage Express

Before you agree to do anything with Mortgage Express talk to your fellow landlords. Go along to Landlords Association meetings or post comments/questions below or on Property Tribes. If Mortgage Express do bully you, fight back. If you don’t want to meet them don’t meet them. If they get aggressive with you just bear in mind that there are thousands of other Mortgage Express borrowers who are likely to have had similar experiences. Focus on the ideas that are legal and make the most sense. There are reported to be in the region of 50,000 Mortgage Express buy to let borrowers.

Via this link we have an excellent story as it unfolds of a landlord who was being forced to sell his home by Mortgage Express. It’s a very long discussion thread which was contributed to by several landlords and property professionals. To cut a long story short the landlord got his MP on side and Mortgage Express backed off.

Mortgage Express problems - You are NOT alone

 


My tenants have asked about taking in a lodger Latest Articles, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

I have rented a 4 bed house to four professional sharers for the last 7 years. Three of the sharers have been in the property from day one, the remaining tenant has been there for two years. My tenants have asked about taking in a lodger

When the new tenant moved in two years ago they were given a new six month AST, they were served a section 21 notice in accordance with my strategy and then given a 5 year Deed of Assurance which assured them that I would pay compensation of £3,000 if I obtained possession within 5 years for reasons other than default.

The tenant who moved in 2 years ago has now decided to buy a flat. The remaining tenants want to stay. They have found a replacement but he has failed financial referencing and now they, like me, are unsure what to do.

The reason the new person has failed referencing is that he has only been in the country for 4 months and his employment contract is temporary.

If the new tenant had passed referencing the plan was to issue a new AST, serve a new section 21 (1) b and grant a new 5 year Deed of Assurance.

Given that such an arrangement would make all tenants jointly and severally liable this concerns the original three tenants. A default on the part of the new tenant would leave them out of pocket and I might have to seek possession in the event of the new tenant defaulting if they don’t pay his rent. They are actually more concerned about this than I am. Apart from that they are very comfortable with the new tenant as he is a long standing friend of one of the existing tenants cousins and they all get on well with him socially. He also works for the same employer as two of the existing tenants.

One solution we have considered is for the three existing tenants to stick with their existing contract which is now a statutory periodic tenancy and with the benefit of their Deed of Assurance for three remaining years. The proposal is that I would give them permission to take in a lodger and they would have a lodger agreement with the incoming tenant.

The benefit of this arrangement is that if the incoming tenant defaults my existing tenants could throw him out within a week and then find another lodger, thus protecting their tenancy and Deed of Assurance.

In principal I am comfortable with this arrangement but I would like to share this concept with the Property118 community to see if you can think of any complications which I might have overlooked.

One question which is bugging me is whether I should get the outgoing tenant to sign a Deed of Surrender and how this might affect the remaining three given that the AST is joint and several.  Would I also need to get the remaining three tenants to sign something to release the outgoing tenant from the joint and several liability and for them to accept the liability is now joint and several between the remaining three? We could just start a new AST and Deed of Assurance with the remaining three tenants, however, this is not preferable to me not them. The reason is they would be tied in for 6 months and I wouldn’t be able to seek possession for 6 months either.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Kind regards

 

Mark Alexander


Ready Made Property Tweets Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies

If like me you are a big fan of Twitter you will no doubt enjoy sharing information with your fellow landlords.

I have just completed the mammoth task of completely updating my buy to let property investment strategy and I will be tweeting about it over the next few days.

Below are some of the tweets I’ve already sent. By all means use them to link through to any articles that might interest you and/or click the re-tweet button Ready Made Property Tweetsat the bottom right of each tweet.

 

 

 

 


Rent to Rent Success Stories Advice, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News

There have been some real horror stories of Rent to Rent hitting the press of late and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it raises awareness of the strategy.

However, what I’m looking for now are some success stories from property owners, investors and tenants.

I know for sure that the “Guaranteed Rent” business model, badged “Rent to Rent”, “rent2rent” or “r2r” for short over recent years has been operated for decades by some major operators.

Some examples which immediately spring to mind are Northwoods Letting agents which operate a Guaranteed Rent model on an agency basis.

Housing Associations and councils also offer fully repairing leases to property owners and then sublet the properties and that also fits within the rent 2 rent business model. Generally these schemes are utilised to increase the availability of housing stock required to accommodate vulnerable tenants.

Group 4 security are another major player in the sector. They typically offer landlords 5 year FRI leases with permission to sublet too. G4 then utilise properties they are leasing for rehabilitation purposes.

For some property owners I can see the attraction, although it’s not a business model which appeals to me personally.

The allure of guaranteed rent, albeit below the market rental value, sometimes significantly, has to be one of the main features of attraction. For property owners who don’t see themselves as landlords, the ability to offload everything related to regulation must also be attractive.

My research has uncovered two business models to date. The first is the commercial lease model. This is where the investor leases a property from the owner and takes on the responsibility for all compliance as well as returning the property to the owner after an agreed period in the same state of repair. The contract terms for these arrangements tend to be for 5 years or less. This is so that notice can be served to enable the property owner to contract out of the provision of the Landlord and Tenant Act so that the owner does not become obliged to extend the lease. The responsibilities relating to being a landlord are transferred from the property owner (the lessor) to the investor (the lessee) in much the same way as when a leasehold flat is purchased. For example, if the property is sublet without a Gas Safety Certificate and subsequently explodes in the middle of the night killing all occupants, it would be the lessee who would be responsible, not the freeholder/owner/lessor of the property.

The second business model is a management contract which is the model used more traditionally by letting agents offering Guaranteed Rent. In this instance the landlord remains ultimately responsible for the laws governing landlords but could sue his agents for negligence if necessary. This arrangements, is therefore, inherently more risky for nproperty owners. They should do their due diligence such as checking contracts to be clear on who is responsible for what and to ensure that the investor/management company they are working with are adequately insured for professional negligence under their professional indemnity insurance policy.

Clearly there is huge demand for rent to rent, otherwise we would never have seen the likes of Northwoods having built such a successful business on the back of it, neither would we have councils, FTSE 250 companies and Housing associations offering varying for of rent to rent deals.

As for the privateers, well there will always be good and bad ones and without any form of regulation it really is a case of caveat emptor.

So, to end I have two requests:-

1) Please share any rent to rent success stories you are aware of

2) Please share the questions you would ask as part of your “due diligence” if you were considering rent 2 rent, either as a property owner, investor/manager or a tenant.

If you want to share cautionary tales regarding rent 2 rent please see THIS THREAD as any comments which are not relevant to this particular thread will be deleted. 

Details of how to get hold of professionally drafted Rent to Rent contacts can be found via THIS LINK.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Regards

Mark Rent to Rent Success Stories


Having problems with a Rent2Rent kind of company Latest Articles

Looks like my first attempt to enter the rental market has turned into a disaster. I just completed a flat purchase and made two agreements (AST and Letting Agency Agreement) with Rent2Rent company – they were supposed to sub-let the flat to their corporate client. This was nearly a month ago

Easy way to enter a market, I thought. It turned out to be not so. Their tenant moved in last week (after paying a deposit to them 3 weeks ago!). I have not signed any agreements with that tenant and I still haven’t received any payment, not even a deposit. Despite my request to pass me deposit directly, the company has has protected it with mydeposit.co.uk. When I said I do not agree with that, they promised to send me the money but nothing came my way.

I would like to know where to start. From reading some posts here I now understand that AST I signed with with the Rent2Rent company is not appropriate as they are a limited company, however, I don’t know exactly what it means to me. Does it mean that document has no legal meaning to either side?

The second agreement I signed, Letting Agency Agreement, is very simple. It states that they will retain my first month payment from the tenant and give subsequent 11 payments to me. It also states that they will pass the deposit to me to put into DPS.

I spoke to the local solicitor today who advised me to look in this forum for advise or similar cases. I hope someone can help me to get started on this.

I met the actual tenants and they are nice people but it looks like they also got themselves into a bit of trouble. In addition to paying first month’s rent and 6 weeks deposit (for which I believe they still have not received the protection evidence), the Rent2Rent company managed to convince them to pay extra 3 months in advance to save £50 a week so they will not be happy moving out.

My first mortgage payment came through yesterday, I will struggle to afford the second one if I don’t start getting money.

What happens if the Rent2Rent company never pays me but keeps on collecting money from their tenant – will I have no choice but default on my mortgage?

The Rent2Rent seem to have an office in the town, perhaps I can just go there and sit until I get paid – perhaps not the best strategy though.

Please help

N NeugomonneyHaving problems with a Rent2Rent kind of company


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


Latest PRS advice concerning ASTs, Voids, Referencing and Rent2Rent (e-news compilation) Latest Articles

compilation

Rent2Rent contracts – if you’re going to to it do it right

Rent2Rent companies are using the wrong letting contracts Whilst I have never been a fan of the Rent2Rent scheme I have to accept that a lot of investors are using Rent2Rent as part of their strategy.

As it is the mission of Property118 to share best practice, helping these investors to get their paperwork right fits within our mission, regardless of any the other misgivings I might have personally have about the scheme. read on

Unfair Section 21 Notice – Tenants Cry for HELP!

My landlord has issued me with a section 21 because I have asked for certain information regarding where my deposit is and to see a copy of the gas safety certificate.

I am devasted with this as I have a chronically ill daughter whom is on full disability and the house is perfect for her. read on

Referencing Services for Landlords

Referencing services for landlords come in several varieties and with numerous options and price structures.

You can get anything from a credit check for a fiver through to full referencing which guarantees rent on the due date if your prospective tenants and guarantors are considered to be a good risk. read on

Reduce your voids – the “move in free” business model

We have recently experimented with a “move in free” business model for tenants. We were asked to let several properties where the entire block had been purchased by investors.

Only two were let and that was creating a stigma for the block so we needed to get creative. read on

Tenancy agreements – At the end of the fixed term (by Tessa Shepperson)

All good things come to an end – and in due course your tenancy agreement’s fixed term will end too. What happens then?

When the fixed term ends Some people assume that the tenancy will end and that if the tenants stay on they will be squatters who can be easily evicted. However you will probably realise that this is very far from the case! read on

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Shared student house let for my son – strategy advice request Latest Articles

I have a house for my student son and three friends.

My question is quite simple. Would you do a three room tenancy agreement for three students renting part of the property and use of the communal areas, or a whole house tenancy single tenancy for the four (with the higher rent)?

If there is a whole house tenancy, in theory I would be taxable on the one quarter rent I never receive. I would argue against that as the contract is just a legal arrangement and there never was an intention to collect the rent from my son, which I would be paying anyhow.

Presumably I should only claim three quarters of expenses in either case.

So which approach would you take and why?

Thanks

RichardShared student house let


Rent2Rent contracts – if you’re going to do it do it right …. Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Landlord Action, Landlord Law, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Legal, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News, Property Sourcing

Order the "Rent to Rent" lease contract template

Rent2Rent companies are using the wrong letting contracts

Whilst I have never been a fan of the Rent2Rent strategy I have to accept that a lot of investors are using Rent2Rent including Housing Associations, Councils and FTSE 250 companies as well as privateers. As it is the mission of Property118 to share best practice, helping these private investors to get their paperwork right fits within our remit, regardless of any other misgivings I might have personally have about the scheme.

What is Rent2Rent?

The way the scheme generally works is that a contract is entered into whereby a property owner rents or signs up to a management contract for his/her property with an investor/manager which includes permission to sublet in return for promises of guaranteed rent, maintenance, management etc. A profit element is built into the deal by investor/manager in the form of a below market rent.

Rent2Rent problems

An example of how things can go horribly wrong is explained in this thread. A property owner was asked to sign an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. To cut a long story short there was a dispute over deposit protection which went to court and the property owner won, even though she had not protected the deposit. She could have claimed substantial damages against the Rent2Rent company but in this instance chose not to. Big lesson learned for the property owner and also the Rent2Renter too!

What are the correct agreements to use for Rent2Rent?

I have consulted with Tessa Shepperson at Landlord Law regarding which type of tenancy agreement should be used. The conclusion was that neither AST’s nor corporate letting agreement are appropriate agreements for the owner and the Rent2Rent company to be using. What is required is a commercial lease drawn up by a corporate property lawyer. Tessa doesn’t get involved with corporate property law so I called in the help of Justin Selig, a qualified and practising corporate property solicitor with The Law department and Landlord Action.

Justin has agreed that subject to demand he will create a legal document template which Rent2Rent companies can  download from Property118 for £97 including VAT. The document will be copyright protected so it can only be used by the person who pays for it and any company in which that person owns more than 26% of the shares. It can, however, be used as many times as that person needs to do so. Therefore there is not a requirement to pay £97 each time the document template is used.

If enough people order the agreements they will be available for download by 31st July 2013. If by 22nd July 2013 there are not enough orders it will be deemed that there is insufficient demand, the project will be scrapped and everybody who has paid will receive a FULL refund.

UPDATE – 23rd July 2013

Sufficient orders have been confirmed and paid for and Justin Selig will have the contracts prepared and ready for us to deliver by the end of this month (July 2013)

UPDATE – 29th July 2013

“Rent to Rent” Lease contract templates are now available for immediate download using the embedded order form below.

Tenancy Agreements between Rent2Rent company and tenantsRent2Rent scheme letting contracts

These will typically be standard AST’s, but there are many kinds. Licences may also be applicable if the tenant has another home. A great article to read about tenancy agreements is this one written by Tessa Shepperson.

VAT on Rent2Rent

Some Rent2Rent investors have set their arrangements up under management contracts and fallen foul of VAT. I have spoken to my accountants and had it confirmed that a commercial lease will get around this problem as the owner of a residential property can not elect to tax for VAT purposes. Therefore, the head lessee (the Rent2Rent investor) doesn’t need to charge VAT to tenants either on this basis.


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