Currently viewing the tag: "property management"

Local authorities have the power to charge council tax on all rental properties as soon as they become empty, a critical point that will hit landlords hard and give lettings and property managing agents a massive administrative headache.

It used to be that when a residential property became vacant, the owner was automatically granted a period of six months exemption before council tax was payable.

Some local authorities, such as Durham Council, have already implemented this action and have been collecting council tax on empty rental properties as well as privately owned empty residential properties for a number of months.

With the Class C exemption still under debate, have Durham council jumped the gun?

A spokesperson for Durham County Council reckons not: “We have been applying full council tax liability on all empty properties within the 7 boroughs of our region since April and landlords must understand that revenue is due from all residential properties regardless of whether or not they are lived in.”

Now MP’s want to abolish the mandatory 6 month class C exemption period, for all local authorities across the UK, using the Localism Act.

The Government reckon that there is no compelling reason why the first six months should be treated so generously, so their proposal is to abolish the Class C exemption for council tax purposes and replace the exemption with a clause that would let local authorities charge whatever they wanted on all empty properties for the first six months.

Class C dwellings are empty properties that are largely unfurnished. Other classes, which would appear to remain untouched by the latest moves, include homes left empty after someone has become ill or because the property is subject to probate.

The proposal will impact hardest on landlords with void periods, as well as property vendors who may need to relocate quickly for a variety of reasons such as for work or, in the case of older people, to be closer to family.

Meanwhile, the Local Government Finance Bill, currently going through Parliament, will allow local councils to charge higher amounts for residential property that has been empty for two years or more, as well doubling rates for second homes.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said “The proposals could have unintended consequences, but it would be nothing like as complicated as the proposal to abolish Class C”.

In the official consultation earlier this year, 169 local authorities voted in favour of the Class C exemption being abolished with only 25 councils voting against the plan.

Only five property-related businesses responded during the official consultation, with 3 businesses voting against the proposal and 2 for it.

70 members of the public were also consulted, although the proportion of landlords remains unclear. Of these, 11 were in favour of the idea and 59 were against it. Only 1 MP responded, favouring the abolition of the exemption.

With so many local authorities under a great deal of financial pressure during the recession it is hoped that councils will choose not to grant council tax-free periods, because of the major financial implications it will have for landlords and struggling property vendors.

Additionally, there will be an increased administrative burden for letting and property management agents in that they will have to continually revise information of vacant rental properties to local authorities, most of which are often only empty for a few days.

It is also likely that it will cost local authorities more to collect the small amounts of council tax owed than the additional revenue they hope to achieve.

Durham council do appear to have acted independently of all other local authorities in the UK by implementing the abolition of the Class C exemption well before everyone else.

As a landlord with properties within the Durham council area I for one remain unhappy and will be talking to the RLA (Residential Landlords Association) about lobbying the Government to review this ridiculous way of thinking and because the abolition of the Class C exemption is not approved by Government at the present time I will be demanding repayment of unfairly levied Council Tax payments already made.

Become A Legal 4 Landlords Franchisee and Profit!

Become A Legal 4 Landlords Franchisee and Profit!

The premier landlord service provider, Legal 4 Landlords has grown from strength to strength in just 4 short years, thanks to their unique perspective of the UK Buy-To-Let market, smart business practices and a dedicated team of franchisees and affiliates.

Legal 4 Landlords was founded in 2008 by three partners, Binder Dhillon, Sim Sekhon and Stephen Moss, real life landlords who wanted to provide essential, cost effective services for other landlords facing the challenges of the UK property rental market.

The business trio have since expanded the company’s products, services and network of extremely capable service delivery experts to offer fresh, new innovative ideas in an ever changing market place and are now seen as the UK’s premier specialists in landlord services within the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and Lettings and Property Management Industry.

Legal 4 Landlords franchising really works!
The company’s first franchise registered profits of over £50,000 in their first year!

Legal 4 Landlords are market leaders in the lettings industry, with offices throughout England, Wales and Scotland, offering a range of services that help landlords across the industry whilst maintaining uncompromising principles through an extensive and dedicated franchisee network.

Legal 4 Landlords are the UK’s No.1 specialists within the Lettings and Property Management Industry, whether you’re a landlord, agent or tenant, Legal 4 Landlords unique landlord and tenant products and services cater for all needs.

Legal 4 Landlords core service areas range from Tenant Evictions, Debt & Rent Recovery, Tenant Referencing, Landlord and Tenant Insurance policies and specialist Rent Guarantee insurance products.

Legal 4 Landlords offer a range of services that help not only landlords and letting agents across the industry, but also our affiliates. The Legal 4 Landlords affiliate scheme is a very unique service to letting agents, estate agents, mortgage brokers, solicitors and commercial agents or other known associates within the industry.

Legal 4 Landlords have also broken into the tenant market, with great success.
New services are currently being developed and released over time.
Legal 4 Landlords tenant services have been developed to help provide for and protect tenants, which ultimately assist their landlords and agents too.

Legal 4 Landlords are always striving to deliver a new approach to solving the challenges faced by Landlords and Letting and Property Managing Agents; with this in mind, Legal 4 Landlords launched the Legal 4 Landlords Franchise Network in 2009.

Legal 4 Landlords have 50 franchise areas across the UK, with each area created depending upon the number of agents, landlords and tenant evictions registered.

The Opportunity Of A Lifetime

If you operate a business within the UK Buy-To-Let market or in the letting and property management industry and are able to develop good relationships with landlords and letting agents through marketing, networking and word of mouth. Then a Legal 4 Landlords Franchise is definitely for you!

The franchisee’s role will initially be to build solid working relationships whilst selling Legal 4 Landlords services.

As the franchisor, Legal 4 Landlords are here to help with the pre launch of your business, train you on the products and services, develop new products and services, support you with day to day tasks and market the branding on a national scale.

Want to discover more?

Click Here

or Contact

Legal 4 Landlords – Head Office
4 Webster Court,
Westbook Crescent,
Warrington,
Cheshire
United Kingdom
WA5 8WD

Tel: 0844 567 4001

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have delivered a stinging attack on the coalition Government’s NewBuy mortgage scheme, suggesting it could wreck the entire housing market.

RICS are also calling for the regulation of all letting and property management agents, and the introduction of a single, UK regulation and redress scheme to be set up within 3 years.

The RICS says that NewBuy, which offers purchasers of new-build property 95% mortgages underwritten by taxpayers and developers, could reduce demand for ‘second-hand’ property and play havoc with lenders’ affordability calculations.

The RICS says that the NewBuy scheme may not even help first-time buyers when they come to buy second-hand properties because without stimulating the second-hand market as well as new-build, purchasing chains and overall transaction levels will begin to stagnate.

The institute is to include specific guidance to the valuers of new homes, to ensure that they understand the impact of NewBuy and make sure it ‘does not adversely impact the market’.

But while the RICS is calling on the Government to help local authorities introduce more Lend a Hand schemes, where buyers put down deposits of at least 5% and local authorities provide an indemnity of up to 20%, the organisation says the ‘dire state’ of local government finances makes this unlikely.

The RICS are also calling on the Government to amend the Estate Agents Act to bring all property letting and management agents within its scope, in terms of the need to have client money protection professional indemnity insurance and redress mechanisms.

The RICS says it will work with other bodies to establish by 2015 a single industry-wide regulation and independent redress scheme for the whole sector.

It also wants to see the Government encourage more investment in the private rented sector, including encouragement of ‘build to rent’ schemes, and for private tenants to be offered longer tenancies.

Elsewhere in its new housing policy, the RICS calls for VAT on all home repair, maintenance and improvement work to be cut to 5%, and for Stamp Duty to be reformed.

The RICS produced its new housing policy after consulting its members and will now lobby the Government.

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: “To deliver real influence in the corridors of power, RICS needs to have clear residential policy. In putting this landmark work together, we met with our members and firms of all sizes from right across the country. What came across loud and clear is the desperate need to reform sections of the market and generate growth right across the UK. We will now take these recommendations to the Government with the aim of helping them to improve the residential property sector for those operating within the industry and the public as a whole. Change needs to happen if we are to see an economically viable and professionally driven residential sector, and I stand ready to work with members, government, other industry bodies and consumer organisations to achieve this.”

Landlords advised to seek student tenants

Landlords advised to seek student tenants

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has issued advice on the UK student lettings market to first time landlords.

UK Landlords should look to the student lettings market in order to get their empty properties rented out, according to ARLA.

With over 600,000 students starting university courses in major UK cities this September, the student lettings market is a thriving business sector.

UK landlords who are used to renting to working tenants and securing the rent with Rent Guarantee insurance may be wary of entering the student rental market but ARLA insist that the student rental market is a thriving business concern.

ARLA has issued advice on the best steps to take when renting to students that is invaluable information, especially for new or first time landlords.

Guidance for landlords includes ensuring students understand their obligations as tenants, (even when they are likely to be away from the property during long university holidays), joint or several liability clauses, in case students leave the property unexpectedly and conducting a comprehensive inventory, as students don’t always have the best reputation for looking after properties.

Specialist UK Landlord and Letting Agent service providers, Legal 4 Landlords, also urge new or inexperienced landlords to seek advice from a reputable property managing agent, with a proven track record in successful HMO and student lets, before entering the student lettings market and advise landlords to enquire with the relevant local authorities about licensing and compliance with any local legal requirements.

Looking for a dynamic, forward thinking, customer focused Property Management Company?

Fed up with having to manage your existing letting agent?

Castledene Property Management offer an award winning structured and systemised approach to property management, treating every property as an individual business, maximising profits for landlords by reducing voids, maintenance costs and increasing rents.

Castledene Property Management are proud of their award winning customer focused services and invest heavily in staff training and development so that they can offer UNRIVALLED Property Management.

  • Continuous Staff Development
  • Total Protection of Clients Funds
  • Dedicated Portfolio Managers
  • We Advertise on ALL Major Property Portals
  • In House Legal Department
  • Unrivalled systemised Approach To Property Management
  • Portfolio Managers Trained To ARLA Standard
    If you are a landlord looking for professional property management contact us

Branches at:

Easington – 0191 527 4000 – enquiries@thecastledenegroup.com

Seaham – 0191 581 5709 – info@interlet-northeast.co.uk

Bishop Auckland – 01388 608523 – bishop@thecastledenegroup.com

South Shields – 07970 952404 – southshields@thecastledenegroup.com

Halifax – 01422 321114 – yorkshire@thecastledenegroup.com

Leeds – 0113 3350549 –

Manchester – 0161 777 8844 – manchester@thecastledenegroup.com

Belfast – 02897 521283

*Hartlepool – Opening Soon!

Award Winning Property Management Services

Unrivalled Award winning Property Management

 

Unrivalled Property Management

Unrivalled Property Management

 

 

Professional Property Management in Manchester

Professional Property Management in Manchester

 

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 professional letting agent - Castledene Property Management Ltd

Good Agents Don't Happen By Accident

It is widely thought that anyone with an interest in property and business can set up a property management company or a lettings agency. But, are there pitfalls in the process for new letting agents?

Over the last few years, the UK media have run countless news stories about letting agents failing their landlord clients and closing down, taking hundreds of thousands of pounds of client funds with them.

Many landlord investors seem to think that all lettings agents in the UK are equal, but is this the case? Does it take a certain kind of person to make a property lettings business successful?

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.

Unless the business is in the fortunate position of being able to employ staff, with the relevant skill sets needed, from day one, then you as the business owner will need to be master of all of the above skills, or at least be competent, otherwise you will lose business as a result of your failings.

When starting any type of new business, you need to know what the main aims and objectives of the venture are and what niche will it operate in. If you don’t, how can you expect to be able to push the business forward and in the right direction?

There are already thousands of UK letting agents managing Billions of pounds (GBP) worth of property out there, so what separates you from 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 often 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.

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 your client’s expectations and obligations. Such matters could also force the closure of the business, costing your landlord clients dearly.

Landlords with an ill advised or ill equipped letting agency, who have been forced to close because they failed to move with the times, can find themselves with no tenancy agreements, (AST), no gas certificates (CP12), no rental income, no deposit and no fallback plan.

In fact, in some cases reported by the 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.

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.

In business, failure to plan is planning to fail and monetising your skills and knowledge is not a crime. 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. Letting agents can also get help is by joining the National Approves Letting Scheme (NALS) and/or the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

If you have property for rent anywhere in the North of England or Wales contact Castledene Property Management Head Office on 0191 527 4000 who will be more than happy to help!

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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