Currently viewing the tag: "windows"
Property Investors Should choose Investment Properties Wisely

Property Investors Should choose Investment Properties Wisely

Property Investors Warned To Choose Potential
Property Purchases Wisely

Savvy property investors know that profit is made when buying property, not when it is sold, as equity can be locked in upon purchasing below market value, giving the property investor greater control of the purchase price by negotiating a deal with the seller, (vendor), rather than what the property eventually sells for on the open market.

Property investors are different from ordinary residential property buyers, as they are of the mindset that the property should meet all the financial requirements of a landlord first & foremost, rather than paying the high end retail price for a property just because it looks nice.

Many new and amateur property investors make the common mistake of falling in love with a property and begin to let their heart rule their head, becoming so emotionally involved that they lose control of their finances and let their emotions win, overspending massively and reducing any potential yield.

Continue reading »

Property Turn Offs Are Good News For Property Investors

Property Turn Offs Are Good News For Property Investors

The Top 20 Property Turn-Offs
That Are Good News For Property Investors 

There are a number of obvious things that can put the general public off buying a property including damp, rotten windows and lack of a garden among the list of deal breakers for potential property buyers.

A survey by popular comparison website gocompare.com found that 70% of potential property buyers would not buy a property which had damp patches or stained walls or ceilings, 63% were put off by properties in a poor state of repair and 15% were put off by clutter.

Properties with problems are good news for landlords and property investors, as they have experience of rectifying issues in order to turn a profit and problems mean discounted sale prices, allowing equity to be locked into the deal from the start.

Generally, ordinary home buyers are afraid to spend money on issues that they know nothing about, however landlords and property investors can see beyond the solution and realise potential profit by fixing the issues that put off everyday home buyers.

Continue reading »

MPPT Spotlight are focusing on Tenants this week with a series of articles on getting the best out of tenant

MPPT Spotlight are focusing on Tenants this week with a series of articles on getting the best out of tenants

Tenants Admit Having Problems With Landlords And Letting Agents

55% of tenants in the UK’s private rented sector (PRS) have experienced problems with their landlord or their appointed letting agents according to the latest research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

The most common issue which affected 31% of PRS tenants was the length of time taken to fix problems in rental properties including issues with boilers, heating and electrical outlets.

Once a problem was raised, tenants have waited an average of 36 days for the problem to be fully resolved. However over 14% of PRS tenants never had their rental property problems fixed at all, according to the research.

18% of tenants surveyed also reported frustrating delays with landlords not replacing worn out fixtures and fittings on demand, including requests to replace old or damaged kitchen cupboards or tired and worn carpets.

14% of the tenants surveyed, felt that their complaints about repair issues were either ignored or brushed off by landlords or their appointed letting agents.

Continue reading »

Flooding Spells Trouble For PRS Landlords

Flooding Spells Trouble For PRS Landlords

Post Flood Checks for PRS Landlords
Of Properties Affected By Flooding

The recent flooding observed in the South of England this winter have seen a large number of landlords and home owners properties damaged by flood water with around 6,500 properties damaged by flood water since December 2013.

This has meant that both landlords and tenants have had to put in a great deal of time and effort to put things right, with landlords spending a substantial amount of time contacting their landlord insurance providers to inform them of the situation and trying to arrange repairs.

However, there are some landlords who remain unsure of where to start when it comes to flood damage, so we take a look at what landlords can do if property has been affected by flooding:

  • Wear waterproof clothing, boots and a face mask
  • Get a qualified person to switch off electricity at mains – don’t touch sources of electricity while standing in water
  • Remove water using pump and generator – position generator outside as it produces carbon monoxide fumes which can kill
  • Only pump out water when flood levels outside house start to be lower than inside – this reduces the risk of structural damage
  • Houses can be cleaned and disinfected using ordinary household products
  • If drying property naturally, keep doors and windows open, if using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows

Severe Flood Damage

Unfortunately, if you own property in the South of England there is a good chance they have been severely affected by flooding, especially if they are located near the Somerset levels or by the River Severn or River Thames.

The Environment Agency (EA) issued 16 severe flood warnings (meaning severe flooding with a danger to life) and 76 flood warnings (meaning immediate action should be taken) in January 2014 for the South West and South East of England.

If your rental properties have been affected by severe flooding then there is the likelihood that the tenants will have already been evacuated.

UK PRS landlords may find that they have to foot the bill to re-house tenants while their property is unfit to live in, and even after the flood waters have receded and it could still take months for damage to be repaired.

It is important for landlords to keep in constant contact with their landlord insurance provider and their tenants in order to make sure the restoration process runs as smoothly as possible.

Traditional brick or concrete walls will generally dry out well so long as they are clear for ventilation.

Wall cavities need to be inspected by an expert to ensure walls are secure and any damaged wall-cavity insulation will also need to be removed.

Internal walls, damaged plaster, plasterboard and wallpaper will have to go. Holes might also need to be drilled through plasterboards or dry linings to drain trapped water and aid ventilation, and timber partitions may rot if not dried properly and property owners are advised not to redecorate for at least three months after walls have dried and repairs have been done.

Modern wiring can withstand a short period of flooding, but if a property has been flooded for more than a few hours, it will probably need rewiring – downstairs at least. An electrician will also need to give junction boxes, socket outlets, light switches and ceiling connections a thorough check to ensure there is no water trapped inside them.

Moderate Flood Damage

Properties have been affected across the whole of the UK, even though properties worst affected by flooding are mainly in the South West and South East of England. Many of these properties are still habitable, however there are a number of other issues that landlords have to deal with.

Flooding can destroy the fabric and structure of property if left and it’s hard to be sure how solid a property’s foundations are after flooding, as some problems may take years to materialise.

There can be subsidence – which causes foundations to “sink”, and heave – which forces foundations upwards. Subsidence occurs when the ground under a building “shrinks” through lack of water, whereas heave occurs when the ground expands because of excess water. There is also the possibility of sinkholes and signs to watch out for are cracks and general movement in the building, but both can often remain undetected for some time.

Other indicators of structural damage include buckling of walls, bulging or dislodged sections of property and new cracks above windows or doors

Tenants will often get in contact immediately if they feel that their property is affected by flood water, and landlords should try to get as much information as possible about the amount of damaged caused.

Small amounts of water in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms are less disastrous than in carpeted areas such as bedrooms or living rooms, and if it is safe to do so you can advise your tenants on how to contain flood water.

Landlords should keep in regular contact with tenants in the worst hit areas to monitor the situation and make preparations to re-home them if necessary.

Minimal Flood Damage

Rental properties built on high ground, away from lakes and rivers, will probably be unaffected by flooding. However, with the high winds and increased rainfall over the past few months there is still a danger of damage, so landlords need to make sure that basic checks are carried out to assess the damage when they are able to.

Roof tiles, chimney stacks, gutters soffits, and window frames can be adversely affected by strong winds and continuous heavy rainfall. If left in unchecked these minor issues can become major problems in the future.

Tenants may have noticed small leaks in garages and lofts during heavy rainfall, which should be treated as warning signs.

Unfortunately, nearly every landlord across the UK right now needs to have some sort of plan in place in case their properties are affected by flooding; otherwise they could find themselves in a difficult situation.

The Environment Agency website is updated on a regular basis with information concerning flood warnings and what to do in an emergency.

The new “Flood Re” proposals intended to replace the current statutes of the Water Bill will leave landlords high and dry as insurance companies withdraw insurance for rental properties in areas prone to flooding.

Protect Your Rental Property From Opportunistic Thieves

Protect Your Rental Property From Opportunistic Thieves

Help tenants protect your rental property
whilst they are on holiday

The last 2 weeks in August are usually one of the busiest times of the year for people taking holidays, and tenants in rented accommodation are no exception.

However, it is also a very popular period for opportunistic thieves too, according to price comparison website, Gocompare.com, who reckon that 1 in 5 homes in the UK have been subject to vandalism or theft from gardens whilst the occupants were away on holiday and the average value of possessions either damaged or stolen equates to just over £300 (GBP), however, in 16% of UK insurance claims, damage or theft losses totalled over £500 (GBP).

There are a couple of things that you, as the landlord can do to ensure the continued security of your rental property, such as

  • Make sure your Landlord Insurance is valid and up to date
  • Install security lighting
  • Use thorny or prickly plants at boundary edges, such as Roses or Pyrancantha for defensive planting
  • Repair any broken fences or boundary gaps to deter opportunist thieves.

If you know that your tenants are going away on holiday, there are a few simple tips you can help them with that can stop them avoid becoming victims of opportunistic thieves

  • Ask tenants to ensure they have Tenants Contents Insurance in place
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure
  • Where practical, put lights on automatic timers to make it appear that someone is home.
  • Ask neighbours to keep an eye and an ear on the property, better still ask a neighbour that the tenant trusts to go in and open and close curtains and switch on random lights at different times of the evening.
  • If the property is alarmed, put it on and inform the neighbours, but make sure they have the landlords contact details in case it goes off.
  • Lock sheds and entrances to the garden.
  • Pack away any garden tools or equipment and make sure they are well out of sight
  • Secure expensive plants with wire pegs dug into the ground around the root ball
  • Use a security pen to mark valuable items, like plant pots, garden furniture, ornaments or garden play items such as trampolines, with the postcode of the property.

According to the research carried out by GoCompare, the top five items stolen or damaged from gardens were:

  • Bicycles (20%)
  • Garden sculptures or ornaments (16%)
  • Trees or shrubs (15%)
  • Garden furniture (12%)
  • Lawn mowers (8%)

To emphasise the point about needing landlord insurance, below are some statistics compiled about 2012 burglary hotspots, by postcode.

Burglary Hotspots in 2012
Burglary Hotspots in 2012

Don’t become another statistic, act now
and get the best price for your Landlord Insurance

Is Your Rental Property Safe?

Is Your Rental Property Safe?

Landlord fined for ignoring dangerous hazards in rental property

The national press have recently reported that a landlord was handed a £2,745 (GBP) legal bill for renting out a dangerous property to tenants, highlighting the need for all landlords and their appointed lettings or property management agents to ensure that their rental property is safe to live in.

According to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), landlords and lettings agents ignore potentially dangerous and potentially life-threatening hazards all too often.

The AIIC report that the most common dangers found in a rental property are:

Continue reading »

Timely repairs can increase buy to let rental yields

Timely repairs can increase buy to let rental yields

Reducing repair and maintenance costs for a Buy-To-Let landlord can make the difference between a property producing a healthy yield or being a lemon with a high void rate and a poor return.

With this in mind, property repairs and maintenance can be a crucial focal point for landlords when analysing the potential rental yields from any buy to let property.

Ensuring that all windows are energy efficient and watertight is just one area for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their rental property. It only takes a missing piece of silicone or a small hole in the grouting for water to seep in and pool under tiles or floor boards. If left, the minute leak can become an expensive disaster.

Landlords should always make sure that all areas exposed to the elements remain water tight whatever the weather before a tenant moves in as putting it right when tenanted can cause a great deal of time lost and damage to the professional relationship between landlord and tenant.

When a rental property becomes vacant at the end of a tenancy, landlords or their agents should ascertain the overall condition of the property and identify any potential work that may need doing to get it ready for re-habitation, and that work should be carried out by qualified and trusted tradesmen.

The overall condition of a private rental sector (PRS) property can often attract a similar quality of tenant. If the rental property is in need of a number of repairs or overall improvement and landlords fail to carry out the necessary works, more often than not, the type of tenant attracted will be of a lower standard and they may not be bothered with maintaining the upkeep of the property, causing further financial headaches for the landlord.

Improving the look and quality of a rental property can often be achieved through quick and inexpensive jobs being done such as repainting walls and gloss work and thorough deep cleaning of high use areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Landlords should include clauses within the tenancy agreement (AST) to make the tenants responsible for some of the upkeep of the property and these points should be highlighted to new tenants when they are preparing to sign the AST.

Such things as regular cleaning and cutting the grass can be included and it should also be clearly indicated in the tenancy agreement that any changes to the property must be put in writing to the landlord or letting agent.

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

MyPropertyPowerTeam.co.uk helps property investors and landlords build their own property power team to enable them to profit from property - Visit our main site now!