Ask The Expert - Property Matters & Lettings

Letting specialist in Bournemouth

Another Happy Landlord!

Please see below, feedback from a Landlord who decided to let his property out, and have a full managed service while he lived in Egypt...

Hello Gina,

Glad to report that I know I could not have had better support from the entire Move on Team, over the last 5 years or so, when I took the plunge and had extended holidays in Egypt!

I was fortunate that I never had any problems with rent being missed or delayed, no doubt due to the effective screening of my tenants.

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renting in Poole

Diary of a Letting Agent

A piece of journalism caught my eye recently, with regards to buildings and tenants insurance on a rented property which most landlords hope will never happen to them.

A couple who had lived in their home for 30 odd years decided to go abroad to do voluntary work for a charity. They rented out their treasured home to a couple. All was well for the first 2 years and then one of the tenants lost their jobs. Despite claiming housing benefit, the rent was not paid and the arrears got out of hand. The couple decided to come back and try and sort things out.

To their dismay, they found their home had been transformed into a cannabis factory and a substantial amount of damage had been done to the property. The tenants not only refused them entry but refused to move out, so the landlords had to have them evicted through the judicial system which took some five months at a cost of around £2,500.

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letting in Poole

DIARY OF A LETTING AGENT

Letting Specialist in Poole

Is Property still a Good Investment in Poole and Bournemouth?

If there is one thing you could say about working in the lettings industry - there are no two days the same!

Over the last couple of years, I have written various articles and Q&A’s to which I know has attracted a good following. Over the next few months I will be bringing you ‘Diary of a Letting Agent’ which will combine my snippets of good information with some insight of my life!

So what have I been up to? Well, I recently presented a Power Point presentation to a group of property investors (which I have been doing for 3 years on a monthly basis). The group meet and listen to expert leaders within the Industry. I give an update on what is going on in the lettings world – and there are always lots to tell!! This month though I delved a bit deeper and looked at property prices within the Poole and Bournemouth conurbation and the latest projections from other experts in the industry to house prices!

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lettings in Poole

Is your tenant hiding something?

Lettings in Bournemouth

I was recently shocked to discover some of the lengths tenants will go to find a property to rent.

On my Facebook page I was recently invited to a discussion group and asked if I could help someone find a property to rent. This particular person was a working single mum, with one child, a guarantor and a cat. The reason they asked if I could help was because she was struggling to find a property that would accept the cat. She had attempted to go for a couple of properties that indicated in the advert they would accept a pet, but was let down because the landlords had a choice of applicants and decided to go with the applicant who did not have a pet.

This in itself did not surprise me as landlords presently do have a pick of tenants, what was the advice she then received from her friends. A few said ‘don’t let them know you have a pet, the landlord never checks anyway’, ‘I never tell them I have a dog, and I have been doing it for years’, ‘definitely lie about it, it is the only way you will get a property’ and someone even gave the following advice ‘if you need payslips to show you are on more money, you can go to a website and they will give you payslips for the last 3 months from top companies.’

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property to rent in Bournemouth

Starting 2014 with rent arrears?

Renting in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch

As we have left 2013 and entered 2014, how are your tenants doing with their rent? In January 2013 a total of £326million in rent was either late or unpaid according to survey by LSL Property Services. This had increased by nearly £100million because of Christmas 2012.

There was an article in the Independent in December 2013 of a council in London sending out Christmas cards to their 17,000 tenants reminding them to pay their rent before splashing out on festivities, the card had a picture of a pound coin fizzing in a glass with the message ’Don’t over indulge this Christmas – pay your rent’. Hammersmith and Fulham Council reportedly have 49% of their tenants in arrears; however the tenants themselves found the card insulting.

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Letting specialist in Bournemouth

Prospective Tenants...Q & A

Question...

We have been approached by a prospective tenant who wishes to rent out our 3 bedroom property for herself and her children. It would appear she has recently split from her partner. She would like to move into the property with her ex-partner paying the rent. What is the procedure in doing this correctly? Do we issue a Tenancy Agreement in both their names? Are there any pitfalls we should be aware of?

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renting in bournemouth and poole

Can they sell the property that I am renting?

Question

I have just been told by my landlord that he wants to sell the property I am renting from him. What are my rights and how much notice can I expect from my landlord to move out? Also, I have repeatedly asked my Landlord for a copy of the Certificate showing where my Deposit is, but to date have not received one, how do I know it is safe?

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tenant services Bournemouth

Late return of keys 'v' extra rent

Q

My girlfriend and I moved out of our property last month at the end of our tenancy. We then went on holiday for two weeks and realised we had not handed in our keys, which we duly did on our return. The landlord is insisting on charging us two weeks extra rent and wanting to deduct it from our deposit. Can he do this? I have looked all through my tenancy agreement and cannot find any details on this.

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landlord services in Bournemouth

How much notice should I give to leave?

Q I have been renting a property for the last two years and I am presently in a rollover tenancy, my initial tenancy was for six months. I pay my rent on the 15th of each month. I recently gave my landlord a month’s notice on the 25th April to move out on the 25th May, however, I have been told that it should be given on my rent due date of the 15th and I must also give two months’ notice. I really need to move out, is this correct?

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letting agents in Bournemouth

Warning on electrical appliances

Landlord Services in Bournemouth

Landlords and Letting Agents are being advised to look at the electrical products in their properties after a number of fires have been attributed to white goods. Only last week, Dorset fire and rescue were called to a serious house fire caused by the tumble dryer

Appliances to look out for are fridge freezers, cookers, tumble dryers and washing machines (existing or recently new)

The warning comes after a continuing spate of safety alerts and product recalls. However, despite this, a large number are not registered with the manufacturer when bought by the landlords (or their agent, if they are buying on their behalf), so cannot be contacted.

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let your home Bournemouth

HMRC warning on second homes

Lettings Advice in Bournemouth

The HMRC have given a deadline to all property owners who received a rental income either here in the UK or abroad. This applies to any property that is not a main residence, including holiday homes. They have pledged to crack down on any buy-to-let property owners who are trying to get away with capital gains tax avoidance.

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lettings in Bournemouth

Futile Landlord Counting the Costs

Expert Letting Agents in Bournemouth

A local landlord is counting the costs of his futility and refusal to play by the rules.

The Landlord had originally protected a deposit given to him by a tenant through MyDeposits; however the Landlord did not renew his membership the following year and despite MyDeposits writing to him and advising of the consequences, the landlord neither renewed nor joined another scheme.

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property agents in Bournemouth

Rent arrears and Eviction Notices on the rise

Quality Letting Service in Bournemouth

25,422 landlords sought possession of their rented properties in the second quarter of 2012, this was a slight increase from the first quarter, and steadily rising since 2010, according to the Governments quarterly Court statistics.

The rate of growth in the number of tenants in serious rent arrears is showing signs of slowing, but nevertheless up by 1.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2012. 99,000 tenants are in arrears of two months or more, the highest since 2008 and an increase of 15 per cent from the previous year.

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renting a property out in Bournemouth

Deposit certificate for Landlords and Tenants

Property Agents in Bournemouth

Since April 2006, if a Landlord or letting agent takes a deposit from a tenant then this must be protected by law. Up until now, the penalties imposed for not doing so has been severe. Although, still severe if not protected the amended legislation has closed some loopholes, where landlords have successfully appealed against the penalties imposed on them for protecting the deposit late. Currently a deposit must be protected within 14 days from receiving the deposit late. Currently a deposit must be protected within 14 days from receiving the deposit, failure to do so means a Section 21 notice (absolutely vital if you need to evict a tenant) would not be recognised in a court of law and the tenant was entitled to three times the deposit given plus their deposit!!

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Rent Arrears

Q. We have been renting out our property to the current tenants for the last 3 years. Unfortunately due to a recent job loss they are now in arrears with their rent. Thy look after the property well and have always been on time with their rent; however we are concerned that if the arrears are not paid up this will put financial burden on us as we have a mortgage to pay. Can you advise?

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Property Repairs: Landlord Responsibilities

Q. Earlier this year the combination boiler in our rented house stopped working, so we had not hot water or central heating. We rang our landlord and he said it had happened before and said we needed to top up the water pressure in the boil via small tap on the boiler. We could not find this tap anywhere and called him back. He then said he was not prepared to pay a plumber to come out for such a small task and said he would come over the next day. Five days later he turned up saying he had something in his eye and had to go to hospital and could not drive. Meanwhile we had had no heating and no hot water for almost a week during one of the coldest parts of the year. Can I refuse to pay rent for those five days or reduce my rent, or even end my contract early?

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Renting a Spare Room

Q. We are thinking of renting our spare room. Please can you advise of any legal implications we should be aware of, what happens if we don’t get on with the person and where do we stand with regards to declaring the income?

A. Renting out a spare room is a great way of bringing in some extra revenue and many more people are doing this now. I cannot stress enough how important it is to check the references of the lodger. This person is going to be living in you home and will have access to all your personal possessions when you are not there.

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Property Abandonment

Q . We think our tenants have left without saying anything. They are still in a Tenancy Agreement, are two months in arrears and we have not been able to make contact with them. Unfortunately we do not live locally, but the neighbours who are friends of ours say they have not seen them around and having peeped through a window it looks as if most of the furniture has gone. Where do we stand legally?

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Move On Rentals Logo

Shared Accommodation Rate for Under 35s

Question:

We currently rent out a one-bedroom flat to a single person. We have always received the rent on time and the gentleman looks after the property well. Unfortunately, he was made redundant recently and will have to claim Housing Benefit whist looking for another job. My concern is that he is 31 years of age and I have been told there have been changes to the legislation on single people under the age of 35. Can you tell me what those changes are and how they will affect my tenant and us? Many thanks.

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Move On Rentals Logo

Taxman to Target Buy-to-let Landlords

HMRC have launched 12 task forces aimed at targeting landlords with 3 or more properties in 2011/12 and more in 2012/13.

The buy-to-let taskforce will specifically target tax evasion among buy-to-let landlords who own or rent out more than three properties. HMRC taskforces form part of the government's aim to raise an additional £7bn a year by 2014/15 through tackling tax evasion, avoidance and fraud.

Mike Wells director of risk and intelligence at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is quite clear: "If you deliberately seek to evade tax we can and will track you down and you'll face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well."

The Task forces will gain information from:

Banks Mortgage applications
Land registry Electoral rolls
Council tax records Letting agents

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