Tag Archives: zoopla

Rocketing rents hurt single-earning tenants the most Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property News

Single tenants are finding it harder to afford their rent with rocketing prices, one property platform reveals.

In its latest rental market report, Zoopla says that rental unaffordability for single earners has reached its highest level for more than a decade.

The report points to the average rent for a new letting growing by £117 per month since last year and it is now £1,078 per month.

For a single earner renting on their own, that accounts for 35% of the average single tenant’s income.

And that ratio is at its highest for more than 10 years with a lack of rental supply and strong demand making the situation worse.

Enquiries about homes to rent

However, enquiries about homes to rent per estate agent’s branch are 46% above the five-year average with tenants having to rent longer because of rising mortgage rates affecting their chances to buy.

Zoopla also says that the gap in rental inflation between new lettings and all privately rented homes is also widening.

They say that for the 75% of tenants who do not move each year, their rent rises tend to be much lower at 3.8% in the year to October 2022.

This gap is why a growing number of renters are renewing their tenancies and staying put to avoid rent hikes if they move.

Proportion of earnings needed to pay rent

There is more bad news for single earners because Zoopla has calculated that in 2023, if rent price rises continue at the current rate of 12% – the proportion of earnings needed to pay rent would be stretched even higher to 37%.

This is unlikely, however, since the growing unaffordability of renting means that tenants won’t be able to afford the higher rates and inflation looks set to slow to 5% next year

The report also looks at where rents are growing quickest, and Zoopla says rents have risen by 17% or £273 per month in London over the past 12 months.

In Manchester rents grew by 15.6%, Birmingham 12.3%, Glasgow 14.1%, Bristol 12.9% and Sheffield 12.4%.

‘Renters are paying the price’

Richard Donnell, an executive director at Zoopla, said: “Renters are paying the price for low levels of new investment in private rented housing over the last six years.

“A chronic lack of supply is behind the rapid growth in rents which are increasingly unaffordable for the nation’s renters, especially single-person households and those on low incomes.”

He added: “Renters are having to adopt a range of strategies to deal with rising rents.

“We have seen a rapid increase in demand for one and two-bed flats while some renters are now considering sharing a property to cover the cost of the rent.

“Only a big increase in investment in the sector will ease the pressure on affordability and boost consumer choice.

“In the short term, we expect the growing unaffordability of renting to reduce rental increases in 2023 to 5%.”


Home sellers slash prices to find a buyer House Prices, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Since September, 10% of homes for sale have had a price reduction of 5%, as buyer demand slumps by 44%, Zoopla reveals.

The property platform also highlights that nearly a third of homes in the South East and East of England – outside of London – have seen asking prices being reduced to attract more demand.

It says that the country’s hottest markets have seen the biggest drop in sales volumes – by up to 50% – with property sales being agreed by those who still have low-rate mortgage offers.

House price inflation has slowed to 7.8%

Zoopla also says that the UK’s current house price inflation has slowed to 7.8%, that’s the slowest rate of growth recorded since November 2021, following October’s mini-Budget which then saw the property market stall.

The platform adds that it appears the housing market is transitioning from an unsustainably strong market to one more balanced – nut one with affordability challenges for homebuyers who rely on mortgage finance.

Zoopla is also predicting that mortgage rates will start 2023 at 5%.

The figures also show that more homes are coming to the market for sale with the total stock of homes available up 40% vs 2021 – but still almost 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

But sellers are now having to accept discounts to their asking prices to achieve a sale – a trend that has become more apparent in recent weeks.

‘Likelihood of double digit house price falls’

Richard Donnell, the executive director at Zoopla said: “The housing market is adjusting to a reset in the level of mortgage rates but the likelihood of double digit house price falls at a UK level remains low.

“While the outlook for house prices is weak, we see a shift to more needs driven motivations to move in 2023 and beyond which will support sales volumes.

“Ongoing pandemic impacts, increased labour market flexibility plus more retirement will continue to encourage moves.”

He added: “Cost of living pressures will compound these trends encouraging homeowners to consider their next move.

“The rapid growth in rents, which shows little signs of slowing, will add to cost-of-living pressures and add continued impetus to first time buyer demand.”

‘Runaway house prices have given way to runaway buyers’

Sarah Coles, a senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Hikes in mortgage rates mean runaway house prices have given way to runaway buyers.

“Demand has plummeted by almost half since the mini-Budget, and one in four sellers are being forced to cut their prices. And this is just the beginning.”

She added: “On the face of it, house price growth is still 7.8% over the past year, which seems relatively healthy, and Zoopla says it’s not seeing price falls in any area.

“However, over the past three months, prices are up less than 1%, and all the signs point to a market that’s starting to struggle.”

‘Demand has collapsed since the mini-Budget’

Ms Coles continued: “Demand has collapsed since the mini-Budget unleashed chaos on the mortgage market.

“Meanwhile sales are down – in some areas as much as 50%.

“Even once a sale is agreed, the proportion of sales that fall apart during the buying process is rising – and has hit 15%.”


Zoopla Making £29.5m From Landlords and Tenants While Driving Rents UP Latest Articles

I didn’t want to start a New Year talking about a negative issue but this is too important to ignore.

The biggest change that has happened to my business in the last few years is being able to find great tenants through property letting web sites at a cost of less than £100. Previously I was paying a High Street Agent an average of £600. I did not use their tenancy agreements; I only use National Landlords Association ASTS because I know that they will be there to support me if the AST fails me. I did my own referencing because I want to speak to previous landlords and get a feel for their relationship with prospective tenants, credit referencing costs me less than £10 and I check my prospective tenants with LRS to make sure that I am not taking another landlords bad tenant. I like to do my own viewings because I am more experienced than most Agents, having been in the business for almost 42 years, and I am good at picking up on “fairy stories”. I need to know that I am comfortable handing over my expensive investments to a stranger. I protect my own deposits because I will be managing the tenancy and I will be the person who prepares the Inventory and inspects the property when they move in and out. I only used a High Street Agent to find tenants because I could not advertise my properties on the big letting web sites and I was prepared to pay an average of £600 for this privilege until my High Street Agent let me down for the second time.

The first time the agent signed up a tenant for 6 months, took their fee from the first month’s rent and deposit. The tenant did not pay the second month’s rent and I spent weeks chasing him, he did not pay the third month’s rent and I served a Section 8 Notice. I called the Agent to be told “We are not managing the property and we let it in good faith so there is really nothing we can do”. The tenant moved out at the end of month 3 taking all the keys to the house and the only keys to the garage. I had 6 weeks rent as a deposit (the Agent kept the first month to cover the fee &VAT) and by the time I paid the lock smith to gain access and change the locks on the garage (I always change locks on the house anyway) I had 5 weeks rent to cover a total of 3 months occupancy – I cleaned the property myself. I called the Agent who offered me 10% reduction on the next let!!! I should have left them at that point but I will always allow for one mistake.

The second time the agents let a house, agreed a move in date, this meant a month’s void but the Agent said that this tenant was the best person who had viewed and would be a good long term tenant. On the day before the move in date I called the Agent to find out why the AST had not been signed. The tenant told the Agent that he had decided not to move in!! The Agent told me that they would start marketing the property again and offered a 10% discount. I asked for the rent that they had taken from the tenant who had not moved in and I was told that they had only taken a holding deposit, equivalent to one months’ rent, and this was theirs to cover the work that they had done letting the property. I pointed out that they had not let the property ….I won’t bore you with the rest.

At this point I began searching on line for another Agent and I found an Online Agent who would place my properties on Rightmove and Zoopla, vet the enquiries and pass on prospective tenants to me all for less than £100. I was delighted, I had not heard of online agents until then. I have been using this agent every since and I have taken on some great tenants. without losing a month’s rent in fees every time I turned a tenancy or paying 10% management fees throughout the year, and this has enabled me to keep my rents below the market rates while offering nice homes.

On 9th December I read an article on Estate Agents Today which made my blood boil. In a nutshell the High Street Agents have put pressure on Zoopla who have decided to stop online letting agents advertising on their site unless they change their business model to offer the same services as a High Street Letting Agent and of course that would mean charging self managing landlord the same fees for services that we don’t want or need. What is the Officer of Fair Trading (OFT) doing allowing Zoopla to have this impact on free trade? The online agents are paying them their fees, they are placing ads in the same way as a High Street Agent, they are complying with ASA standards and all of this is very much the business of Zoopla. What is NOT the business of Zoopla is the service that the online Agent offers to landlords and tenants.

Imagine this:

BP Will No Longer Sell Fuel to Drivers of Private cars.

From January 2014 BP will only sell fuel to drivers who offer lifts to strangers in exchange for a fee. Those who use their cars only for themselves and their families and friends will no longer be able to buy fuel from BP services stations or those that they supply.

The move comes after mounting disquiet by Taxi and Private Hire companies Only days ago Mr Important of the Taxi Owners and Private Hire Self Interest Association criticised the big fuel suppliers for allowing “what are, essentially, private vehicles to buy fuel at the same pumps as professional drivers ”.

This could not happen because of conclusion of the last OFT investigation of the industry in May 1998

ANNEX 3.1 – FUTURE MONITORING OF THE UK PETROL MARKET

1 We see the purpose of any further monitoring of the market as being to determine whether any participants are singly or collectively abusing a dominant position and thus reducing choice to consumers and forcing up prices. Monitoring will thus concentrate on any prospective structural changes to the market, crude oil prices, margins, pump prices and site closures and openings.

2 Mergers which qualify for investigation under the mergers provisions of the Fair Trading Act will be closely scrutinised to see whether they should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission for investigation. (Mergers qualify for investigation where two or more enterprises cease to be distinct and either the gross assets of the acquired enterprise exceeds £70 million or a market share of 25% or more is created or enhanced.)

Why then do the same rules not apply to Property Advertising sites?

In June 2012 Zoopla and The Digital Property Group, who own Prime Location, FindAProperty and Globrix merged with approval from the OFT. At that time David Dutton, Chairman of Digital Property Group, said,

“This is an exciting day. Our combined businesses have the scale and the resources to transform the online property sector for the benefit of consumers and advertisers alike. We are committed to providing the most innovative products and the most cost-effective advertising propositions, which will give our users and members a genuine powerful alternative in our marketplace.”

In their notes to Editors they said

“At Zoopla.co.uk we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike.”

What this actually should have said is that they would now have the power to control the property letting industry and would use that power to force landlords and tenants to use High Street Letting Agents thus increasing costs to consumers. What next? High Street Agents will only deal with properties that are offered to them on the basis of full management?

Thousands of landlords and tenants choose to use High Street Letting Agents and those who do a good job enable busy people to become landlords, but thousands of us choose to manage our own properties and I, for one, resent having this choice taken away from me. There has been a lot of pressure on Government this year to regulate Letting Agents and in particular, to stop some of them charging unreasonable fees to tenants. Self managing landlords don’t usually charge fees to tenants and this, coupled with the fact that we can keep our rents down because our overheads are lower, gives tenants the chance to rent a home without finding huge amounts of money before they can even move in. Zoopla are taking away the choice of tenants too.

I am pleased to say that Righmove has not indicated that they intend to take the same action, though I have no doubt that they will be under a great deal of pressure. If they have the courage to continue to allow a free market I will not really care about Zoopla because most tenants come to me having used Google or Rightmove to find properties for rent in my area and if Rightmove are still advertising my properties they will be let anyway.

This does not alter the fact that Zoopla are using their muscle to drive costs up, in a business to which they are only a service and which has provided them with £29.5m profits this year, all this will be at the expense of tenants who will see rents increasing to cover the additional overheads – I hope that tenants become aware of this a boycott their sites. I wonder what Shelter will make of this?

This move must be investigated by the OFT which exists to protect consumers from Giants who use their market position to push prices up and choice down and there is no business more fundamental than the supply of homes.

Zoopla will not want the adverse publicity ahead of a potential stock market listing that could value the property website at over £1bn and this is the best chance we’ve got to stop them. Come on Property118 use your considerable marketing skills to protect our freedom of choice – Please.Zoopla


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


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?

.


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


Locating the highest yielding locations for buy to let Latest Articles

As a relative newcomer to buy to let investment, but a seasoned hand at web development, I decided to build a website that would help me find the highest yielding areas of the UK. The result of this is http://www.dontbettolet.comLocating the highest yielding locations for buy to let

By leveraging Zoopla’s property data, the site compares the average rent versus asking prices in a given area. Obviously where no properties are available to rent or buy, there is no data.

You can search by postcode, view the Top10 areas, and also view a breakdown of London yields.

I will be adding further filters in the coming months.

Hope it’s of use, and any feedback gladly received.

Thanks

Will Ogden


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


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


Globrix & findaproperty – advice to letting agents Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

GlobrixLetting Agents using the Globrix and findaproperty logo’s on their websites might wish to consider updating their logo’s.

The firms were acquired by the Digital Property Group which has itself recently been renamed the Zoopla Property Group.

Agents can find the latest set of logo’s for the Zoopla Property Group with a Google search for “Zoopla Marketing” or via THIS LINK

Find-a-propertyIf you now search Google for Globrix or findaproperty you will see that Zoopla is the first listing.

Similarly, if you use the old Globrix URL of http://www.Globrix.co.uk or the old findaproperty URL of http://www.findaproperty.co.uk you will also find that you are redirected to the Zoopla website.

It will be interesting for you to note how up to date your own letting agents are next time you visit their website. If they are still showing the Globrix or findaproperty logo’s please mention this article to them 🙂 Our mission at Property118 is to share best practice. Please also mention The GOOD Landlords Campaign which is now attracting a lot of attention as can be seen from our forums.

If your letting agent is using the most up to date suite of logo’s to advertise their affiliation with the Zoopla Property Group it will look like the image below. As you will see, Globrix and findaproperty logo’s are nowhere to be seen.

Zoopla Property Group

 


Has your property got the U-Factor? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Has your property got the U-FactorForget streets with the X-factor, living on a street with a name beginning with the letter ‘U’  could mean your property is worth a lot more, according to new research from property website Zoopla.co.uk.

Average property prices on streets that start with a ‘U’ currently stand at £251,307 – the highest of any letter in the alphabet and £25,503 more than the current average UK property value of £225,804. Zoopla.co.uk analysed average house prices of the more than three quarters of a million streets in the UK. The most expensive street beginning with ‘U’ is Upper Phillimore Gardens where the average home is worth £5,640,496. Continue reading Has your property got the U-Factor?


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


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


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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Special Offer for Property118 Readers via Let Rent Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property News

Special Offer for Property118 and Property Tribes ReadersLetRent.co.uk have a special offer for Property118 readers and are giving both landlords and letting agents an opportunity to trial their new lettings portal FREE OF CHARGE for a whole year.

LetRent hopes one day to compete with the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla, however, the owners recognise the need to prove their concept before they can charge for the service. Continue reading Special Offer for Property118 Readers via Let Rent


How private landlords can beat the rent arrears problem Advice, Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

How to beat rent arrearsRent arrears are every landlords worst nightmare.

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! Continue reading How private landlords can beat the rent arrears problem


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?

What will happen to landlord confidence when such a package is available do you think?
Continue reading Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package


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