24 February 2015

Even more to look our for on property inspections!

An important point has been raised in the recent case of Edwards v Kumarasamy heard at the Court of Appeal which may have huge implications for both Landlords and agents who carry out inspections. 

The case centered on a tenant who injured his knee when tripping on a path outside the block of flats where he rented a second floor flat.  The Landlord did not own the block or the path but the tenant bought a disrepair claim under Section 111 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and was successful in his claim.

This has major implications for both Landlords and agents alike as both can now be held responsible for not dealing with repair issues to areas serving their properties regardless of ownership, should a tenant decide to pursue a claim.

Therefore agents and Landlords who carry out inspections should now also inspect areas over which they have rights.  There is no requirement for tenants to alert Landlords and Agents to any such problems but the Landlord is still expected to get any issues resolved when identified.

Personally I think this is going to be problematic as, most issues will need to be reported to the local authority when dealing with footpaths etc, or block management companies.  I would hope that a little bit of leeway will be granted to both Landlords and Agents that, if they have reported an issue to one of these bodies, from there on they are in that parties hands and cannot drive any repairs.  Time will tell!

18 February 2015

Record number of buy-to-let mortgages are available

A recent report by Mortgages for Business states that there are now 817 products available on the market for buy-to-let investors, up 17% from 707 measured in the 3rd quarter of last year.

A new lender, Fleet Mortgages, who specialise in buy-to-let has also entered the market.

The Managing Director of Mortgages for Business, David Whittaker, said “Lenders continue to compete fiercely for the ever-growing buy-to-let market with more than 100 extra products available in the last three months.

“This unprecedented pick-up reflects the huge increase in demand as well as the wider importance of the buy-to-let industry.

“Looking at total lending in 2014 the trend is clear. For a second consecutive year the value of the buy-to-let market grew by almost a quarter.

“We anticipate further growth in 2015 but at a slower rate as the market takes an inevitable breather after such a huge sustained spurt.”

To our mind this is just further proof of the growing interest in the buy-to-let market for both existing and new investors.

13 February 2015

Town house or traditional. Which makes the best investment?

A landlord came to our office for advice, just after Christmas, asking whether he should buy a three bedroom semi-detached house in the Augusta Park development.

We did some research and found a nice three bedroom semi-detached house on Barley Road for £225,000. We worked out the possible rent for this as £925 per month, which could achieve an annual yield of 4.9%. The properties in this area are quite popular with families and tend to have a great demand with investors and tenants alike, making it a relatively good investment.
A three bedroomed semi-detached town house on Herdwick Road, has a value of £240,000. The possible rent for this property is slightly higher, at £1000 per month, as it is slightly larger than the one on Barley Road. We found that although the rent can be higher, the annual yield was similar at 5%.
This shows that while a property can achieve a higher rents, it does not necessarily mean higher returns.

If you would like anymore advice on buying a rental property comment below or take a look at the rest of this blog.

10 February 2015

Does your tenant have the 'right to rent'?

As promised last year we now have a little more information for you regarding the up and coming new regulations regarding referencing.

A trial is currently being carried out in the West Midlands on behalf of the Home Office and if successful will be rolled out across the country during 2015.

Basically it requires Landlord and Letting Agents to carry out more in depth checks on potential tenants from outside of the EU.  Passport information is to be input into a government database which will flag up any issues which the authorities will then take charge of.  Obviously ID must also be taken and kept on file.

There are mixed feelings surrounding this as arguably the Landlord and Agent are taking on the role of immigration officers.  However, if the Landlord or Agent does not comply and allows a tenant to move in when they shouldn't have done there is a maximum fine of £3000.

We will keep an eye on things and report when this is rolled out across our area. Take a look at our blog for more information on referencing.

5 February 2015

Ludgershall investment opportunity

Ludgershall often offers good buy-to-let opportunities and here is one I found today.

This 3 bedroom flat should achieve around £700pcm on the rental market, giving a very respectable 6.2% yield.  Ludgershall is popular with tenants as it tends to be a little cheaper than Andover but still within easy reach of both Andover and Tidworth for work opportunities.

As with all flats though, check on the length of the lease before committing.  Bear in mind you will want to sell it on at some point and if the lease is short, that limits the number of buyers this will attract.

Comment below if you have any questions.

2 February 2015

Andover Property - Do you know the Facts and Figures?

Here at Martin & Co, we can guide you to the right places to identify property values and yields in Andover and other useful property related information so you can make sure you get all the information you need about your future investments. Here are just a few property facts about our town of Andover....
There are 550 streets in the SP10 postcode with 17,964 households, and just a fairly small portion of all those properties (2,452 to be precise) have changed hands in the last 5 years.  Obviously this number is increasing all the time with the new build estates.

Compared to the national average - Andover has a slightly higher percentage of detached houses (2%), 3% less semi detached houses and 4% more terraced houses. This is a good indicator that Andover is good place to buy property in. If you would like more useful facts and figures or advice on a suitable buy to let property pop in and see us at our offices and have a chat.