to-let-brick-houses

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

Street parking enforcement

Should landlords keep quiet about parking restrictions?

The rapid spread of on-street parking restrictions along many of Britain’s residential streets is helping to make properties on them unpopular among tenants as a small army of wardens descend on them in a flurry of rage-inducing tickets. Also, such is the often high cost of permits and administrative hassle for tenants living in controlled parking zones that some landlords gloss over these... Read more

worried-woman-on-the-phone

Guest post: How safe is your area?

Whether you have lived in the same place for a number of years and intend to stay put, or are looking to up sticks to somewhere new it is always a good idea to get informed about the area in question. Making yourself aware of the crime rates could determine future decisions or simply give you a realistic view of certain areas, as the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ doesn’t always... Read more

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Why is landlord insurance more than normal home insurance?

If you’re in the property game you will have noticed the large price difference between landlord insurance and those for owner-occupied properties. On first inspection both look similar and offer ‘buildings and contents’ cover should there be a fire or burglary. So why is landlord insurance often up to 20% more? Trawl around in the policy detail and it becomes clear why. Most landlord... Read more

Plumber

Does landlord repairs performance need fixing?

It is the phone call that every landlord hopes takes place only occasionally – there’s an emergency at your buy-to-let property such as a burst water pipe, electrical black-out or collapsed ceiling and action needs to be taken immediately. Research by home repair network HomeServe reveals that such events are more frequent than landlords might hope. Researchers found that 34% of tenants... Read more

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Are tenant’s cycling needs worth appealing to?

Listings for rented property often go to great length to attract car owners be it access to a garage, a large front drive or free on-street parking. But how often do you see mentions of bike storage? The answer is, fairly infrequently which is baffling given the number of bikes sold in the UK outnumbers cars (3.7 million versus 2.2 million), cycling ownership is rising fast and some 13 million... Read more

moving day box

Guest post: Storage in small apartments, a solution to improve living standards

Storage space is always a consideration for tenants looking to find a place to live, and often new-build apartment blocks are not built with enough storage space to house the components of modern day living. When potential tenants view a property they will be mentally checking whether the wardrobes and cupboards are big enough for all their clothes as well as considering where they can keep their... Read more

Out of Pocket

What happens next if a tenant fails reference checks?

Running credit and background checks on tenants is an essential part of managing a tenancy successfully, but what does a landlord do if a tenant fails them? This question is one faced regularly by many landlords regardless of which lettings sector they operate in – people from the bottom to the top of the tenant pool may have had problems in the past when a landlord looks into their banking,... Read more

noisy-neighbours

Must landlords use a deposit protection scheme?

Government approved deposit protection schemes have been around since 2007 but despite this some landlords still believe it’s adequate to bank their tenants’ deposits and not bother with one of the three official schemes. But the Housing Act 2004, which introduced the tenant deposit legislation, is clear about the penalties should a landlord fail to comply with the regulations. These... Read more

Hotel-Room

Guest post: 3 Reasons Why Your Property Doesn’t Look Like a Showroom (And How It Can)

Showroom designers are experts in making mock-ups of rooms that look warm and inviting. They understand how to work with limited space and resources to turn a fake room inside a large department store into a place that shoppers envy. While the challenges of designing for a department store are different to the challenges of designing a room for a real home, you can use some of the tricks of the... Read more

house-updated

Guest post: Heat Loss Around The Home

Last year the UK experienced the coldest winter on record, so knowing how to keep yourself and your tenants warm and cosy is crucial to keeping your relationship with them smooth and keep them, above all, happy. Heat can be lost in several ways around the home, so figuring out what parts of the home need attending to can help you to be the best landlord you can possibly be. Most of us use more... Read more

lotw-after-2

Is PAT testing compulsory for rental properties?

Portable Appliance Tests or PATs are an electrical check carried out on ‘movable’ items such as kettles, microwaves, hoovers, table lamps, toasters and coffee machines and many electricians will tell you they must be carried out before tenants move into a property. Legally speaking this is not true. There is no law that says PAT checks must be carried out, something the government recently... Read more

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Are dishwashers and microwaves essential or a luxury?

There is no legal obligation for a landlord to provide any white goods within a property. Despite this, and particularly given the ongoing competitive market, both landlords and tenants consider fridge freezers, washing machines and ovens to be standard issue whether a property is advertised as furnished or unfurnished. Not providing such ‘basics’ may severely reduce a property’s appeal... Read more

Minimalist Interior

Guest post: Top tips for creating the perfect minimalist interior

Minimalism involves clutter free, clean and simple décor, perfect for both rented and owned properties. However one mistake that many people make is assuming that "bare" and minimalist are the same thing. Minimalistic design is simple, but successful design involves more than just taking things away. Here are some tips to help you achieve success with your minimalistic designs to either... Read more

Hotel-Room

Do you allow tenants to put nails in the walls?

One of the more difficult questions landlords field when conducting viewings is whether it’s OK for the tenant to hammer nails into their walls. On the one hand it’s lovely to hear how keen potential tenants are to make the property their home and give it some personal touches. But it tends to leave walls covered with a forest of nails and, if the tenants possess poor DIY skills, lots of... Read more