Tag Archives: buy-to-let property

Squatters now face prison sentence if found squatting in private property

May 14, 2012

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After much deliberation a new law regarding squatters rights will come into action within the next few months.

This new legislation, which ministers want to be actioned within two months, has received Royal assent in Parliament so this will now come under the legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders act.

Many court battles have been seen over the years with squatters, squatting at the moment is only a civil offence.

When the new law is actioned squatters can be faced with a prison sentence if found squatting.

Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina said the decision “should prevent landlords and homeowners having to enter into lengthy and expensive legal battles”, but he urged property owners not to be complacent and to avoid void periods that may attract squatters wherever possible.*

 

*Source – Stride

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Insurance providers are increasingly buying into the property market

December 29, 2011

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Buy – to – let insurance providers are increasingly looking into investing in the residential property market. Also banks and fund managers are following suit.

An increase in interest from the three sectors are due to demand and rental yield increase, making them want to join the market.

In the last financial year the above three have spent £2.2 billion on residential property, up from £765 million in 2009/10 making it up to the highest level post – credit crunch* (according to city law firm Wedlake bell).

“Institutions are being attracted to residential property because of improving market fundamentals, including high tenant demand, high rents and a supply shortage.”*

Average rents have been pushed up to £720 a month due to a supply shortage.

 

*Quotes from stride.co.uk

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Landlords encouraged to buy and renovate disused buildings, then let to students

November 18, 2011

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Have you ever wanted to renovate a building for student use? If you do and you go for it make sure you take out a landlord insurance policy.

Property expert, Stephanie Sowerby, has said that disused buildings are ideal for student accommodation. Ms Sowerby, Marketing Director for Fresh Start Living has pushed this as there is great demand for student properties in university towns and cities.

Developing these properties could be cost-effective she goes onto explain, councils may be swayed more to say yes to construction and provide planning permission on brownfield sites

“There is a huge demand (for such properties) from investors because of the return on investment potential that is offered,” the specialist stated, noting there is a shortage of housing for students in city centres.

With universities wanting to save cash, they are selling their living spaces because their government funding was cut. This means that private investors are seeing more university students who need a place to live.

Landlords who are thinking of letting out their property may want to join a new scheme which has been set up by accommodation for students and unipol, they accredit property which is up to a certain standard.

To protect your property against damage by students you may want to look into landlord insurance (mentioned at the top of this article). We also have a specialist students contents insurance cover, this is for students who want to protect their goods while living in your property.
Source- Simple

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Hidden costs you shouldn’t miss!

November 16, 2011

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Hidden costs should be looked into when landlords come to invest in a property. This has mainly been aimed at landlords taking out landlord insurance and going into the buy-to-let property market.

Additional charges like fees and taxes will be charged to landlords on top of what they have already had to pay for real estate.

A lettings expert has warned those who are entering the industry for the first time. An extra 4% will be charged on top of the price of the abode on stamp duty for buyers of £500,000 properties.

The fee then drops as the value of the property does, 3% for £250,000 and 1% for £125,000. Buying a property also brings up other costs such as a solicitor fee, mortgage and administration charges. Buyer who have bought apartments or flats may have to pay charges to a management company.

With a rise in house prices in October of 0.4%, these extra costs are certainly something to look into. Cheaper landlords insurance will give you extra peace of mind and more money left in your pocket.

 

Source- Simple

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National Landlords Association warn tenants to be protected!

November 15, 2011

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Potential sources of carbon monoxide in the home

The National Landlords Association have warned tenants that they must make sure that their landlords are protecting them in their homes.

In the winter months more care and attention is needed, last year a lot of properties had water damage because landlords hadn’t told their tenants how to switch off the water supply when there was an emergency.

Tenants should also make sure that their landlords have given them advice on what to do over the Christmas period. The tenants may want to go away so they need to know how to use their central heating system properly.

National Landlords Association

The chairman of the National Landlords Association, David Saludbury, has urged landlords to properly insulate their properties and become more energy efficient.

“A higher energy efficiency rating, which is measured by an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), may also benefit the landlord by making a house more attractive to prospective tenants,” he added.

A step that could save lives is checking the carbon monoxide alarm in the property. Safety charity CO – gas safety has told tenants to get this checked if they haven’t already done so.

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Are you prepared for winter?

November 14, 2011

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Before the cold weather really takes hold, check that your boiler is up to date and everything is in full working order.

The time has come, it is now officially winter. The daylight hours are fading fast and the weather is getting colder everyday.

Now is the time to think about how you can protect your property, just like we prepare ourselves with warm clothing properties need the same type of care.

Getting the right insurance policy for your boiler and making sure your pipes are properly insulated are all steps you need to take to make sure you are covered in all eventualities.

 

Protecting yourself from crime

During the first week of November (from October 30th – November 5th) the UK has the highest average weekly crime rate, and it seem that as the days get darker crime rates increase. Covering yourself with the correct home insurance, especially around Halloween and bonfire night is essential. Always check exactly what you are covered for.

Protecting yourself against burst pipes

One of the most common home insurance claims is for burst pipes, most insurers will allow you to have home emergency cover for this and any damage created by storms. A burst pipe is where the water freezes inside the pipe, it then expands and then bursts. An average claim on home insurance for a burst pipe is £15,000. Insulating the pipes will help protect them, also taking the extra step of insulating your water tank will cover you and stop even more damage occurring.

Protecting yourself from a blocked gutter

Blocked gutters can also create a lot of damage to your home, gutters blocked with leaved and debris could create a back log of water which will eventually freeze and put pressure onto your pipes. This could also cause damp to grow in your property because of the water seeping through the roof.

Protecting yourself from a broken boiler

Before the cold weather really takes hold, check that your boiler is up to date and everything is in full working order. Replacing a boiler at this time of the year can be very expensive and it is also a stressful experience. If you are a tenant, your landlord or local housing association should make sure that the above is done. Paying for a boiler inspection can be expensive at the time (between £50-£80) but it will be worth it in the long run as it can make your insurance premium cheaper as you are preventing it from breaking down.

Protecting yourself from roof damage

Making sure your roof is watertight is essential as heat can escape and any effort you have put into insulating your property will go to waste. Have your chimney cleaned and make sure any debris is cleared, it is best to get rid of any potential hazards and any risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. Damp can be a big problem during the drizzly winter months, check for cracked tiles and gaps on the roof.

 

Source- Moneyexpert

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CIA Insurance- Students Contents Insurance

November 12, 2011

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Student Contents Insurance

If you’re a student living in rented accommodation and you’re after students contents insurance then you’ve come to the right place.

CIA’s Contents Insurance for Students

Whether you live in halls of residence, private rented accommodation or a shared house, you should protect your precious possessions (including things like laptops, ipods, TV equipment) with a specific policy designed for students.

With cover for all your possessions up to £15,000 and the option to increase this if required, this is a comprehensive students contents insurance policy.

Policy benefits such as accidental damage, employers liability insurance and away from home protection are all available, while contents cover is on a new for old basis excluding clothing and fabrics.

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Protecting your property investment

November 11, 2011

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If you are looking to maximise your income from your expanding portfolio or becoming a landlord for the very first time, you may want to look into the many ways you can protect your investment.

 Landlord insurance cover

There are a number of possible outcomes that landlord insurance can cover you for. Anything from burst pipes to mould on walls. You may have to serve an eviction notice to your tenants due to their behaviour or your property could be damaged by fire. Landlord insurance should be the very first thing you look into because any of these outcomes could cost you a lot of money

Be energy-efficient

There are plenty of products out there to make you an energy-efficient landlord, these cosmetic changes could make your property more appealing to potential buyers or tenants. You should always make sure that you have insulation installed around your property, things like solar panels and heat pumps make energy bills cheaper and also makes your property more attractive in the long run.

Keeping your property clean and fresh

In the case of looking for new tenants to rent your property it is the little things that go a long way. Making sure the carpet is clean (invest in a carpet cleaner), fresh and neutral paint on the walls and some garden maintenance can improve the look of a property but also keep costs minimal. If you are looking for buyers to sell your property to, more may need to be done to keep your property modern and fresh. Cosmetic changes in bathrooms and kitchen seem to be the most popular areas to focus on.

Choosing the right tenants

You must think about the kind of tenants you would like to rent out your property to. You must make sure you ask for referenced, run all of the credit checks that you need to and if you are still unsure or like to play it safe ask for a guarantor. Also make sure your tenants pay their rent on time and these steps will protect your property investment.

Source- hip-consultant.co.uk

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Buy-to-let landlords must look into all factors of their insurance

November 9, 2011

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Buy-to-let property landlords have been advised to look at all of the factors when taking out insurance to protect their portfolio.

 Landlords have been urged to check how long their properties can be vacant for, loss of rent cover, damage caused by tenants and employers’ liability issues. This has all been analysed by Defaqto a research company who researched 87 buy-to-let policies.

Mike Powell, Defaqto’s insight analyst for general insurance, said: “It is important for amateur landlords to consider specialist insurance for their property portfolio as there are a number of key risks that are specific to rental situations.”

He added: “In general, buy-to-let insurance provides cover over and above regular home insurance policies when it comes to rental situations, and it would be dangerous for someone to assume that their home insurance would provide adequate cover for their buy-to-let property.”

Source – news.assetz.co.uk

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West Midlands property business praised for energy saving scheme

November 9, 2011

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Stewardson Properties are among the first private landlords to have solar panels fitted onto their properties

A property business in the West Midlands are to be praised in Parliament as a ‘fantastic’ example of innovation.

The property business, which is in Cradley Heath near Birmingham, is run by Phillip and Mark Stewardson. Stewardson Properties are among the first private landlords to have solar panels fitted onto the properties they rent out, which then makes fuel costs cheaper for the tenants who work there.

A converted pub in Birmingham, which has been turned into the companies offices and four flats, have recently had panels fitted. A 16 panel installation was rolled out and had saved an estimated £400-a-year in costs.

Phillip and Mark are now planning to extend the scheme to as many of their properties as possible. Their money-saving scheme has been commended by James Morris, West Midlands MP.

Mr Morris, who represents Halesowen and Rowley Regis, said: “It is fantastic that a local company is leading the way in making the benefits of solar power available to their tenants, having seen how much the company saved from having panels on their own offices.

“Support from Government means that homeowners and landlords get paid for the electricity that their solar panels generate, whilst tenants benefit from cheaper electricity bills.

“I will be raising this in Parliament as a fantastic example of local landlords taking innovative action to help their tenants and the environment.”

Phillip Stewardson, 47, has said that this is a “win-win” plan after Government backing, but not all of their properties will get the solar panels installed. He said: “As a businessman it makes perfect sense. Not only do the tenants get the benefit of cheaper electricity, but we get paid by the Government for installing the panels.

“It’s win-win. It’s a green initiative and we’re reducing the carbon footprint of all out properties, plus it adds between one and two percent to our annual yield.

“We won’t be able to install them on every property we own because not every roof is suitable and some of our buildings are listed. But we will be doing surveys and putting them in where the survey is favourable and the tenants want the installation.”

The ‘Feed In Tariff’, which was launched by the Government last  year, will give people who are generating their own electricity with solar panels and other energy-saving products a payout.

Users of these products will be paid for the power they produce, the Governments are calling this a ‘sweetener’ for installing the energy-saving products. All additional electric is sent back to the National Grid.

 

Source- Landlord & Buy-to-let

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