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Latest Blogs from TurnKey Landlords
The UK has seen some pretty dismal weather in 2014 so far. Though the traditional onset of bitter cold and ice has been delayed, we’ve had to contend with a spate of rather nasty rainfall instead – which has shown our flood defences to be, on balance, rather lacklustre. Flooding poses ...
Good old 2013. If the year of the Immigration Bill, the Tenant’s Charter, the EU Mortgage Directive near-miss, the Superstrike vs. Rodriguez tenancy deposit protection case, the West Bromwich Building Society (and Bank of Ireland) tracker rate hikes and the Newham Regulation Scheme has...
If you are reading this, then in all likelihood, you’re a landlord. It shouldn’t entail a massive leap of imagination to picture a tenant paying you to live in your property, seeing as this is what the investment is all about. What might be a bit harder to imagine is taking that money ...
Investing in London property is not for the faint-hearted. The colossal cost of homes in the capital is enough to put many investors off outright, and because of the outlay required, the yields don’t trend as high as they do in other, cheaper parts of the UK. But something draws invest...
When 2013 took its final bow, it was to a mixed reception. Continued austerity, the climbing state pension age and stinging hikes in energy prices invited a few boos from the stalls, but a slight pickup in the economy and a last-minute fall in unemployment sent a couple of bouquets fly...
There is every chance that, at some point, you might find yourself looking for a new place to live. There a numerous reasons that this might happen. Your relationship might break down, or you might find yourself unable to keep up mortgage repayments on your main home. On the flipside, ...
Winter, as Sean Bean so moodily proclaimed in the first episode of Game of Thrones, is coming – and it’s only a matter of time before the traditional shut-down of the entire UK. But before you don your cleats and grit your teeth for yet another three months of the media pretending that...
When you’ve got a bad tenant, getting rent can sometimes feel like getting blood from a proverbial stone. There’s a perverse flipside to this, however, where taking rental payments is actually not what you want to do. This all comes down to an important distinction between Section 8 an...
I talked last week about gaining access for periodic property inspections. That’s a very simple way to summarise it, because if you read the blog, you’ll know it’s not simple at all – rather, it’s more like a game of tennis with laws instead of rackets and laws instead of a ball and la...
Last week I talked about let to buy and how Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation, among other things, determines why residential and buy to let mortgages are completely separate. I want to go into a bit more depth about what a regulated mortgage is, and what it means for a mort...
If you want to see something mildly funny on the internet, you might just type the word ‘cat’ into Google. You wouldn’t, however, pay a visit to a widely-known property advertisement portal – unless of course you’re an estate agent getting a giggle at your whopping commission. You’d be...
Up until the new tax year started on 1 April 2013, most landlords in the UK could enjoy a council tax exemption for up to six months during rental voids or when the property was empty for a major repair or refurbishment. There were a few details to this rule that I won’t go into becaus...
We don’t always invest for yields alone; many of us buy a property with a view for selling it at a profit later on down the line. However, this means the dreaded T-word that you really don’t want to deal with – Taxes. (If any of you thought I meant ‘tenants’, you should be jolly well a...
In my last blog I spoke about calculating capital gains tax on single and multiple assets, and factoring in losses and deductions. This time, I’ll talk about two types of tax relief that are occasionally available to buy to let landlords – private residence relief and letting relief. P...
Don’t ever think being a landlord is nothing but bad news. House prices may be creeping upwards and threatening to squeeze rental yields, but the buy to let mortgage market is as bold as it has been at any point since the recession, with lower rates and greater availability giving land...
English law is fun, isn’t it? In much the same way as a gavel to the side of the head, I mean. Contractual terms are binding. That is, until statute overrides them; but does that statute come from implied law, or legislation? Has that legislation been superseded by, or is it in conflic...
Most of us know what the term ‘accidental landlord’ means, and more than a handful of us probably are – or were – accidental landlords ourselves. For those who need clueing in, an accidental landlord is someone who doesn’t intend to get into property investment, but by circumstance are...
So, the first six months of the tenancy have passed. Your tenant has paid the rent on time and kept the place in good nick and you, in turn, have been a good landlord whose property they’ve enjoyed living in. In short, you’re both happy with the way things are ticking over. Time to ren...
'Avoiding the voids' is the mantra of every buy to let landlord. Not only do they lose us money, they are a big neon advertising sign to a group of whom all landlords live in dread – squatters. Squatting is more than just the activity of a minority of people hoping to live for free in ...
Just earlier this month Shelter released research telling us that one in ten landlords isn’t gas safe. But there are more threats to your safety than explosions and poisonous gas, and last week the charity discovered that the health of one in nine renters has been affected by the failu...
Back in ye olden times (January), this blog saw its first post – Attracting the perfect tenant. In it, I mentioned the potential benefits of letting to pet owners; you fill properties more quickly, your tenants are likely to stay for longer, and they are more likely to make the effort ...
Were you enticed by the article thumbnail? You don’t have to look for very long to see that it’s not the interior of an actual house, but you might still mistake it for a model of an open-plan new-build. That is, until you notice the artwork – contemporary minimalist, from the ‘massive...
The private rental sector is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, as much is clear. In a country where ownership of property is considered so important, a private rental sector that accounts for nearly a fifth of households (with another fifth accounted for by social housing) looks huge. B...
Recent research from the UK’s largest estate agency group, Countrywide, showed that smaller properties are achieving higher yields. One- and two-bedroom properties are achieving average yields of 6.8% and 6.4%, whilst three bedroom homes are fetching 6.2% and properties with four or mo...
Deposit protection regulations for England and Wales came into effect back in 2007. It was introduced for two reasons: to stop dodgy landlords from finding excuses to withhold deposits without good reason, and to keep disputes about deposits out of the courtroom. You can’t please every...
A tenancy agreement can’t predict changes in circumstances or in the relationship between the landlord and tenant. Let’s say you find out three weeks into the tenancy that your tenant is a qualified painter and decorator – they want to spruce up the property to a professional standard ...
Countryside is a big part of the romantic view of British life. Those in the city go to the country for getaways, those in the country go elsewhere in the country for getaways, and a vast chunk of the population have made their own attempts to tame nature between the four fences behind...
Dodgy Barry here! Do any of your visitors have rentals in a secluded area like a cul-de-sac, where there's little through traffic? If there's a lot of overgrowth in front of it keeping it nice and obscured, that's a plus. What's the electricity supply like? I can offer large sums of re...
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how to get into buy to let without a large deposit. Today, I’m going to discuss how you actually go about finding a low deposit mortgage. In theory, finding a mortgage can be as simple as using a search engine to find the sort of loan you want and hitting ‘...
It’s likely you’ll know what your tenant does for a living, as you’ll have run some detailed tenant checks before signing the contract with them. However, their job and circumstances might change. If you sign on a tenant who works from home, or suddenly discover that your tenant is wor...
Your buy to let property is your investment. It’s only natural to want to safeguard it, and to make sure everything’s running smoothly. However, it’s also somebody’s home. This is why they (hopefully) pay you rent – to be able to live in the place as if it were their own, if only tempo...
When the initial period of your buy to let mortgage ends, you’ll usually go onto your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) and the loan will continue to tick along. This is a simple option, and for many, the easiest. If you can afford to continue repaying your mortgage, why worry abou...
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about calculating the profit of your buy to let portfolio. A few simple calculations can tell you the gross and net yield of a property and give you a decent indication of how much it’s earning. There’s a potential snag, however – the property value. The t...
Back in the 1500s, Dick Whittington slung his bindle over his shoulder and headed to London, where the streets were paved with gold, to seek his fortune. Or so the folk tales say. Things haven’t changed overmuch in the four or five centuries since; granted, you’re more likely to make t...
Unlike residential mortgages, buy to let mortgages are only available for deposits of 15% or higher. This is because lenders see it as higher-risk: firstly, your mortgage repayments are dependent on your tenant’s rent (which isn’t guaranteed); and secondly, if you were in financial tro...
The world seems a little bit topsy-turvy sometimes – like when you spend time, money and effort providing a tenant with a nice property and good service, only for them to do a vanishing act. This happens more than you might think, and leaves landlords understandably perplexed. The firs...
Perhaps you have a tenant lined up who has hinted that they might like to redecorate your property, or maybe an existing tenant has asked if they can nail up some shelves. Whatever the case, it’s hard to ignore nightmare visions of black ceilings, luminescent orange walls and trails of...
A good tenancy agreement is invaluable. You've probably noticed that I mention this once or twice a week. If in the event your tenant has damaged your property, withheld rent, disturbed or threatened the neighbours or used the property for illegal activity, you have a signed and legal ...
Maximising rental income is about more than just regularly raising the rent you charge every 12 months. In fact, if it keeps a good tenant in place, it can even be a good idea to keep the rent as it is. If you do want to increase the rent, you’ll need to use a section 13 notice to info...
You might remember another of our articles in the ‘what do I do if?’ series: What do I do if I have a problem property?, in which we discussed what you can do if you have a home that’s falling apart or failing to attract tenants. ‘Problem property’ is also a term used in local law to d...