over-50s

How to use property as a pension

We’re always been told to save for our old age, but it’s so hard for many of us to get our heads around pension plans that property is increasingly being seen as an alternative way to save for our old age. However, if you’re going to rely on property providing you with an income in retirement you need to make sure you’ve got your strategy right and that you’ve planned far enough... Read more

house-rental

How, when and if to raise the rent

With so much talk in the media of rising rents (certainly in London and the southeast) you wouldn’t be alone if you were itching to ask your tenants for an increase, but you need to be wary of appearing too greedy, which might drive decent tenants away. Before you do anything, look at asking prices of similar properties in your area on rental sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to make sure that... Read more

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Guest post: Parents become landlords to offset children’s Uni costs

As the academic year draws to a close, the summer holidays see both new and continuing University students investigating accommodation for the year to come. With subsidised halls the choice of first year ‘freshers’, finding their feet at Uni, students starting subsequent years often seek more independence by living with their now-established friends. Student rental prices increased 3.1% in... Read more

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5 ways to increase your BTL profit

You could buy another property, but you wouldn’t necessarily make any more money, so how about squeezing more profit out of the property you’ve already got? There are two ways to do this, you can increase your yield and/or cut your costs. 1: Add bedrooms Extensions and loft conversions are the obvious way to add more space to your property and increase its rental value, but these are... Read more

students-small

Student tenants: Are they really the pits?

They’re young, have little or no income and some are barely house-trained since they’ve never lived away from home before, so what’s to like about students ? Well, for a start, there are an awful lot of them around so if you decide to let to students you’ll be opening yourself up to a much wider market. If you’re offering budget accommodation, it could be perfect for this market. As... Read more

noisy-neighbours

5 early warning signs your tenant’s a bad ‘un

Every landlord worries about getting stuck with a tenant who doesn’t pay the rent or doesn’t look after their property, such concerns are only natural, but you can act swiftly to stop a bad problem from getting worse if you know the tell-tale signs to look out for. These are: Late Payments: Alarm bells should start ringing if your tenant is consistently late paying their rent. Don’t... Read more

Out of Pocket

Upad Survey April 2014: What’s important to tenants

Last month Upad asked 740 tenants who had recently moved about their experiences. They found that a third rated high street lettings agents as either 'poor' or 'terrible' and only a third rated their experience 'good'. On average, those tenants surveyed had been charged £210 in "admin" fees. With over 1 million tenancies created in the UK each year, tenants are being charged at least £210... Read more

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Tips for landlords – Guest post: Make your property sing with wall art

When it comes to letting properties, bare beige walls have become the standard interiors choice for any landlord showing off their space to tenants. Whilst the benefits are clear – presenting a blank canvas, easy to refresh etc - beige does nothing to make your property stand out from the crowd. If you’re offering a property part or fully furnished, the walls are the largest area where you... Read more

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Should you furnish your rental or leave it empty?

One of the biggest decisions a landlord has to make is whether to furnish their rental or leave it empty and let the tenants provide their own furniture. So what should you do? Well, there are pros and cons to both. Letting a property unfurnished is obviously the cheapest and easiest option. In general, you won’t get any more rent for furnished accommodation and latest research from Upad... Read more

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The Pros and Cons of Corporate Lets

What landlord wouldn’t want a tenant whose rent is guaranteed by his or her employer? We’re talking here about a corporate let and they’re generally seen as highly desirable, but when offered such a deal it’s important to proceed with care. A corporate let, in case you’re wondering, is where a company secures the property on behalf of their employee, usually because they’re... Read more

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Guest post: How local authorities collaborate with landlords over Health & Safety issues

Plymouth City Council helping landlords meet health and safety requirements It is well-known that some people in the private rented sector (PRS) live in dangerous houses. The Gas Safe Register recently found that more than 20% of all PRS households contain dangerous gas appliances, with research from Shelter and British Gas finding that at least 10% of tenants do not have their gas boilers... Read more

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Guest post: dressing properties to rent calls for a targeted approach

Ben Hall MD of LOFT Interiors- www.loft-interiors.co.uk - landlords’ go-to furnishing specialist for rental properties - shares his views on why landlords shouldn’t rely solely on refurbishments to secure long term tenants- stressing the need for a targeted approach to dressing your property and catering for the market. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET MARKET By dressing your property to cater for... Read more

Quizzical

Guest post: Buying a House to Let – What You Need to Know

With lower house prices, rising rent costs and improved deals on mortgages, we are currently in a time where buying-to-let has become an attractive income investment. If you are planning on investing in property in the near-future, you should be aware of the obligations that you will be taking on and the key factors you should consider before purchasing a property and moving a tenant... Read more

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Are new-build homes the best property to let?

One of the liveliest debates among landlords is whether new or older properties make better buy to let properties, so here’s how we believe the pros and cons of both stack up. New-build properties Pros Fixtures, fittings, equipment and appliances are the latest, which is a major tenant draw. Leasehold periods tend to be longer than older properties. Developers often offer 'landlord'... Read more

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Do ‘accidental landlords’ really need to get a buy to let loan?

One of the big challenges for many of Britain’s accidental landlords – as those who rent out former homes are known – is to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage to replace their traditional homeowner loan. A quick look at the market will reveal dozens of mortgage providers happy to lend money but unfortunately for landlords, matters are not that simple. Buy-to-let lending is much tighter than... Read more