30 September 2015

Landlords: The deadline is tomorrow, do you know the guidelines?

As the deadline for the new regulations regarding carbon monoxide and smoke alarms gets ever closer, recent research by British Gas has shown that less than 50% of Landlords are aware of them.  There is an element of confusion regarding these rules so we will attempt to simplify things.

What we do know is that Landlords or their agents will, from 1st October, have to be able to provide evidence that a smoke alarm for each floor in a property is in place and working and that a carbon monoxide alarm is in place if solid fuel is in use. 

The Landlord or agent must test the alarms on the day of the tenancy starting, asking the tenant to check is not enough.  We would suggest that a note is made on the inventory stating that the alarms were working on the day of move in and get the tenant to sign to this effect.

Once the tenant is in, it is their responsibility to check / replace batteries but we would still recommend these be tested on inspections and any corrective measures needed are put in writing to the tenant.

For further updates on more up and coming changes, follow our blog..
The full legislation can be found here

28 September 2015

A great little investment property

Now those of you who regularly follow our blog will know I am a great fan of the ex local authority property.  They are generally well made with loads of storage and good sized rooms.  They always rent very well too.

Below is a link to a property I spotted a few days ago which has had a price reduction.  Yes, I accept it needs some work as mock stone effect is not to everyone’s taste!  The work needed is probably mainly cosmetic so not only does it make a great buy to let, you could probably make a little on the re-sale too!  

For any advice on buy to let, pop in and see us at our Bridge Street offices.

23 September 2015

Average void period drops as demand grows

Specialist lender Paragon recently carried out a survey of the private rental sector.  It showed a few interesting facts:
  • The average void period has dropped below 2.6 weeks per year, the first time this has happened since 2002
  • Yields have gone up slightly over the last 3 months from 6.3% to 6.4%
  • Landlords surveyed said that demand was stable although 40% said it was increasing
  • More than half of those surveyed expected to see an increase in tenants looking over the next 12 months.
  • Substantial numbers of Landlords are considering expanding their portfolios.

Perhaps the most interesting fact to come out of the survey is the change in demographic of people choosing to rent.  This, in turn, is starting to affect the way Landlords are thinking and buying.  More are choosing to move away from multi block properties and looking at more terraced housing, suitable for young professional couples and families.

For more advice, pop in and have a chat.

21 September 2015

Tenant demand hits an all time in high across the UK

A recent report by Rightmove has shown that rising property values have pushed more people into the rental market as they have been priced out of the buying market.  This in turn has led to an increase in rent in nearly all areas of the UK as demand continually outstrips supply.

Rightmove report a 52% increase in email enquiries compared to the same period last year.   Prices also increased by 2.7% in the second quarter of the year.

Outside London, average rents increased from £741 in the first quarter to £761 in the second quarter which showed an increase of 4.2% on the second quarter of last year.

The head of lettings at Rightmove, SamMitchell said “Rents have grown this quarter in nearly all regions of England and Wales, fuelled by demand outstripping supply in many of the sought-after areas, especially in the east of England and the more affordable areas of London”.