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Change in Capital Gains Tax Rules for Non-UK Resident Landlords

Change in Capital Gains Tax Rules for Non-UK Resident Landlords

Change in Capital Gains Tax Rules for Non-UK Resident Landlords

Last month – 6th April 2015. the legislation concerning Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for Non-UK resident landlords came into force, which may seriously affect Non-UK property owners when it becomes time to sell their property assets in the UK.

Any sale of residential properties in the UK concluded before the date of the legislation change, whether the property concerned was a main residence or an investment property and owned by Non-UK resident, should not incur any additional tax charges. 

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Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Complaints About Lettings Agents  On The Rise
According To Property Redress Scheme

Due to the fact that more tenants and property owners are now aware of their consumer rights, especially the right to redress, there has been a month on month increase in the number of complaints being made against lettings agents, property management companies and estate agents.

The Property Redress Scheme, (PRS), is just one of three consumer redress schemes set up by the Government to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between the public and property agents.

From 1 October 2014 it became a legal requirement for all lettings agents, property managers and estate agents, as defined by legislation, in England to belong to one of the three Government approved redress schemes, which are:

The number of complaints raised with the PRS is increasing month on month. Of the complaints raised so far,

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HMRC want to sell tax details to private sector companies

HMRC want to sell tax details to private sector companies

HMRC Want To Share Your Data With Private Companies …For A Fee, Of Course

New proposals could see HMRC sharing personal tax data with private sector companies, if the plans being considered by Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) come to fruition.

If the proposal gets the go-ahead from the Government it would allow HMRC to lease  tax data to third party companies including private firms, researchers and even public bodies, earning them a nice amount of additional revenue.

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Evolution of a letting agent

Letting Agents - Survival Of The Fittest

Over the last few years, the UK media have spread fear and panic among the renting public, reporting doom and gloom about the state of the property sales market and countless news stories about letting agents closing down, failing their landlord clients and taking hundreds of thousands of pounds of client funds with them.

Reports like these have led the British public to believe that anyone with a passing interest in property or business can set up a property management or lettings agency.
That may or may not hold true, depending on the experience of the individuals concerned, but in reality, what does it take for a property professional to be able to maximise the potential of a rental property business and provide a reliable quality service for their landlord clients and their tenants?

Many self managing property investors and landlords had viewed property management companies and lettings agents as a money grabbing, larger business concern designed to accommodate all sections of society who treated all parties with whom they did business, with equal disdain.

Is this 1970’s Rachmanian stereotype really true? ….. Of course it isn’t!

However, it does take a certain kind of person to make a property lettings business successful?

Among other attributes, a good letting agent needs to be:

  • A Good communicator – Must be able to speak to investors and landlords as well as tenants
  • Customer orientated –both landlords AND tenants are your customers, so you need to find a happy balance
  • Analytical –Especially if you are dealing with the rents
  • Systematic – Capable of following systems and dealing with problems
  • Sales driven – you need to sell your services to prospective landlords and tenants to generate business.
  • Focused – Providing good quality of service requires determination and concentration
  • Professional – Every aspect of the business needs to be conducted to protect the clients best interests.

 

How To Get The Best Out Of The Business

Unless the property rental business is in the fortunate position of being able to employ staff, with the relevant skill sets needed, from day one, then the business owner will need to be master of all of the above skills, or at least be competent, otherwise business will be lost.

When starting any business, the main aims and objectives of the venture need to be clear, including identifying the niche it will operate in. If this is not done, how can the business push forward and in the right direction?

There are thousands of UK letting agents managing Billions of pounds (GBP) worth of property out there, so what separates them?
Why should landlords and property investors choose your letting agency instead of anyone else’s? Are you a HMO specialist, do you manage top end properties? Do you deal with LHA tenants?

New letting agents spring up and disappear again within 6-12 months because the business owners did not know enough about the local property market, the lettings industry in general, the niche market of the area they were operating in or even the demographic of their client base, in other words they did not have enough forethought to be able to survive and profit. In business, failure to plan is planning to fail!

If information and responsibility is not handled correctly, it can be a very steep and expensive learning curve for a new property lettings business, leading to a host of financial and legal issues that interfere with client’s expectations and obligations. Such matters could also force the closure of the business, costing your landlord clients dearly.

Knowledge and experience are the keys to success so business owners need to realise where their knowledge is lacking and plug the gaps with employees or other members of a support network, such as solicitors, insurance brokers, mortgage advisor, builders etc.

Landlords using an ill advised or ill equipped letting agency, (forced to close because they failed to move with the times), risk finding themselves with no tenancy agreements, (AST), no gas certificates (CP12), no rental income, no deposit and no fallback plan. In cases reported by the UK media, some failing letting agents had stopped paying rents to Landlord clients several months prior to closing, meaning that the landlords ended up falling foul of the law and many thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Don’t Let This Happen To You!

To be successful in property lettings, as with any business, you have to have knowledge and experience, not only the practical side of property management but also on the legal side, and keeping up with the latest government legislation, including all welfare reform changes and their impact on landlord clients, can be a minefield at times, but knowledge is power and only the strongest survive.

 

Letting agents can also get help is by joining the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) and/or the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

The British Property Federation (BPF) handed a bit of good news to UK landlords who may have been struggling to make ends meet, after it was revealed that the UK coalition government may review imposing powers forcing landlords to share information on changes of tenancy with water companies, as well as making them liable for a defaulting tenant’s debts.

The failure of tenants to pay water bills for the property they are renting costs landlords and other home owning customers around £15 extra per year.

The new Flood and Water Management Act would mean that the government could make landlords and property owners pay water and sewerage bills if specified details of tenant occupiers are not forwarded to the relevant utility company departments.

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, explained: “Government policy in other areas is pushing for personal responsibility and the same should apply here that landlords should not be held liable for their tenants’ debts, which is simply unfair. We therefore welcome this review and agree that water companies could do more to limit bad debts. Landlords already provide a lot of information voluntarily, though this could be much easier and transparent with the right systems in place”.

Legal 4 Landlords advise all UK landlords to inform all utility companies (Gas, Electricity and Water) at the start and end of every tenancy as normal practice for all tenancies.

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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