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How to avoid it going wrong in the first place

Prevention is always preferable to cure and it’s particularly true for landlords given that the average cost of evicting a tenant is £900 for court fees and – with an average of four months’ lost rent per eviction on top – a total of £3,500. Therefore, to avoid such financial horrors, the best strategy is to try and reduce the likelihood of an eviction. Here’s our guide to the... Read more

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What to do when tenants stop paying?

What to do when tenants stop paying Tackling tenants who can’t or won’t pay their rent is a possibility every landlord dreads but for nearly 100,000 a year it is one that turns into reality, it was revealed by the Rent Arrears Tracker report published recently by a leading chartered surveyor firm. The eviction process is long and drawn out and at a minimum takes two months to complete even... Read more

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Lending to landlords jumps by £1.1bn

Recent figures from the Bank of England reveal that new lending to landlords has jumped by 1.1 billion year on year, confirming that the buy to let market ‘boom’ continues despite worries over future interest rate rises. From April to June of 2012 buy-to-let lending totalled £3.9 billion while, for the same period this year the total was £5 billion, an increase of 28%. All the dials... Read more

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Guest post: Rental property market increases by 89%

New research findings show that more and more people are renting their homes, and in the last ten years the number of people renting their homes has risen by an astounding 89%. The new data also shows that increasingly more areas are proving popular with renters, and not just in London. People are choosing to rent all over the country, largely because high house prices are excluding them from... Read more

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A quick guide to landlord insurance

As the number of landlords has increased in recent decades from a couple of hundred thousand in the 1970s to over 1.5 million today, so the range of policies and number of insurers within the landlord insurance market has increased. Once a market supplied mostly by smaller and specialist insurers and brokers, as the lettings market has expanded so landlord insurance is now a competitive... Read more

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Are landlords to finally get a real rental index?

One tricky task that self-service landlords face is to gauge what their property should be put on the market for. Happily, this conundrum is to be solved soon by a government rental index set to be soft-launched later this year. This follows a two-year review of all housing indexes by UK National Statistician Jil Matheson who, as well as making a national ‘private rental index’ one of the... Read more

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Will Britain soon be a nation of renters?

Much has been made of ‘generation rent’ in recent years created by the struggling economy and continuing high house prices but figures just out put some shocking numbers on the issue. The existing ones were already dramatic enough; the number of households in England that are privately rented rose from 2.4 million in 2005 to 3.8 million in 2011/2012, a 58% increase. But now, in a poll... Read more

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Yes minister? Prisk embraces a rental revolution

Housing minister Mark Prisk has given an enthusiastic welcome and £3 million to support reform of the rental sector which, if the suggested changes go ahead, would see landlords face substantial change in the way they do business. Following a detailed review of the lettings market which included a visit to Germany, MP and chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee Clive Betts... Read more

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Revealed: when tenants search for a home

So you’ve just put your property on the market, but when will people be enquiring and asking to come for viewings? Research published recently by Upad reveal that Saturday is the most popular day for viewings, some 82% of those who took part said, followed by Sundays (72%) and weekday evenings (50%). Times when viewings are least popular include weekday morning and afternoons which only... Read more

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THE ‘Bulk buying’ BUY-TO-LET STAMP DUTY DISCOUNT

Last week former Chancellor Norman Lamont flagged up his worries about an over active buy to let market but not so long ago his fellow politicians were encouraging the lettings industry. One output of this was a Stamp Duty ‘multiple purchases’ discount brought in during late 2011 following a campaign by the British Property Federation. This relief, which many landlords are unaware of,... Read more

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Buy to let tax: Why the way you file receipts is vital

A gentle warning to all landlords – beware the power of the receipt; these easily-lost slips of paper have a vital role in reducing the amount of tax you pay each year, but not in the way you think. The trick is to allocate each expense to the correct type of tax claim. The folk at HMRC have made this clear; each expense must be claimed either against ‘income’ or ‘capital’– an... Read more

Money

Landlords claim £12.3 billion a year in tax relief

Figures released recently by the government show that UK landlords last year claimed tax relief on mortgage interest payments and other financial costs totalling £5.3 billion plus a further £7 billion for other costs such as repairs and professional fees. The figures, which were released by the HMRC following a freedom of information request by website Exaronews.com, suggest that there are... Read more

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Buy to let tax breaks: the big three

Mortgage interest relief Happily for landlords, the cost of borrowing money to buy a property is allowed as a legitimate running cost that can be offset against their income tax. Last year this saved landlords some £2 billion overall, according to government figures. But beware – this only relates to the interest payments, not the capital repayments; a trap some landlords have been known to... Read more

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90% Increase in Tenants over 50 Years Old

Legal 4 Landlords has produced a report to show a sizeable shift in the tenant ages recorded in their tenant referencing database between 2011 and 2013 to date. The data shows significant shifts across all of the age ranges, with the largest increase recorded in the over 51 years age range, which in 2011 accounted for just 5% of the overall number of tenant references, increasing to 9.5% so... Read more

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Buy to let tax guide: the basics

Sadly the tax burden of being a landlord is a relatively heavy one; the Inland Revenue takes a sizeable bite from the two main sources of wealth derived from buy-to-let property – rental income and capital gains. Happily, the Inland Revenue allows landlords to legitimately reduce their tax under many circumstances. Here we explore in brief the most popular. Managing your debt Any landlord... Read more