Ask Lorraine – My sole trader letting agent has died and his accounts are frozen!!

🙋 Landlord’s Question: 

“I’m a landlord of two houses. I use an agent to manage them. He is a sole trader and really the business is him. RIP
He was a terrific man and sadly he died last week.
I spoke with his widow when the rent for one of the houses didn’t come to me. She explained about his death and that the bank account to which the rents go to have been frozen by the bank.
I want to support her as much as I can, but at the same time need to ensure that I can recover any monies due to me and all future monies are not frozen.
Can you help?”

ask Lorraine

Lorraine’s Answer

This is very sad for all concerned.

If he was a sole trader, then all contracts that you had with him ceased at the point he died.
If the account was frozen, the tenant should have had the money returned to them. However, if any money is still sitting in his account owable to you, you may find it trickier to claim, although I am sure that his executor will be cooperative.
I think that the money might need to be returned to the tenant and for you to then have them pay you directly.
Obviously important to get new payment details to the tenants as well.

As he was a sole trader, anything he owed to you must now be paid to you by his estate. Write to the executor and / or his wife asking for the money, albeit with some tact.

As the management contract was ended by his death, you are free to make arrangements with any other agent you wish.

Until next week.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

Buy to let investment – Freville Close, Tamworth – Gross Yield 6.21%

One of my clients happened to be in the hairdressers the other day and we got talking about the Tamworth property market. She wanted to know about the implications of the Stamp Duty hikes and new taxation rules coming in to force in April. Was it all doom and gloom for private landlords.

Well despite these changes coming into force, landlords are still investing in buy to let, so I spent a good 10 minutes trawling through the portals and spotted this cracking 3 bedroom semi  that would make an ideal long term rental investment.

Located on Freville Close  which is  just a short walk to the town centre, train station and local shops.

In good overall condition and coming in with 710.01 sq ft of space, a slight freshen up and the property is ready to be rented.

The rent on this property is going to be £725 pcm and based on the asking price, if you pay £140,000  that will give you a gross yield of 6.21% .

On the market with local agents Bairstow Eves .

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-64739660.html

B79 Tamworth
Freville Close

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Tamworth Property News.

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Tamworth Unemployment Drops to 3.1% and its effect on the Tamworth Property Market

 

It was late May 2016, The Right Hon. Member for Tatton, Mr George Osborne, published an official HM Treasury analysis stating UK house prices would be lower by at least 10% (and up to 18%) by the middle of 2018 compared with what is expected if the UK remained in the European Union. So, eight months on from the Referendum, are we beginning to show signs of that prophecy? The simple answer is yes and no.

Good barometers of the housing market are the share prices of the big UK builders. Much was made of Barratt’s share price dropping by 42.5% in the two weeks after Brexit, along with Taylor Wimpey’s equally eye watering drop in the same two weeks by 37.9%. Looking at the most recent set of data from the Land Registry, property values in Tamworth are 1.19% down month on month (and the month before that, they had grown with a increase of only 1.3%) – so is this the time to panic and run for the hills?

Doom and Gloom then? Well, let me consider the other side of the coin.

Well, as I have spoken about many times in my blog, it is dangerous to look at short term. I have mentioned in several recent articles, the heady days of the Tamworth property prices rising quicker than a thermometer in the desert sun between the years 2011 and late 2016 are long gone – and good riddance. Yet it might surprise you during those impressive years of house price growth, the growth wasn’t smooth and all upward. Tamworth property values dropped by an eye watering 2.39% in April 2013 and 1.39% in January 2015 – and no one batted an eyelid then.

You see, property values in Tamworth are still 7.57% higher than a year ago, meaning the average value of a Tamworth property today is £201,500. Even the shares of those new home builders Barratt have increased by 43.3% since early July and Taylor Wimpey’s have increased by 37.3%. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the Government Spending Watchdog, recently revised down its forecast for house-price growth in the coming years – but only slightly.

The Tamworth housing market has been steadfast partly because, so far at least, the wider economy has performed better than expected since Brexit. There is a robust link between the unemployment rate and property prices, and a flimsier one with wage growth. Unemployment in the Tamworth Borough Council area stands at 1,300 people (3.1%), which is considerably better than a few years ago in 2012 when there were 3,500 people unemployed (9.8%) in the same council area.

unemployment, Tamworth, average house price, inflation, Tamworth housing market

However, inflation is the only thing that does worry me. Looking at all the pundits, it will get to at least 3% (if not more) in the latter part of 2017 as the drop in Sterling in late 2016 renders our imports with higher prices. If that transpires then the Bank of England, whose target for inflation is 2%, may raise interest rates from 0.25% to 2%+. However, that won’t be so much of an issue as 81.6% of new mortgages in the UK in the last two years have been fixed-rate and who amongst us can remember 1992 with Interest rates of 15%!

Forget Brexit and yes inflation will be a thorn in the side – but the greatest risk to the Tamworth (and British) property market is that there are simply not enough properties being built thus keeping house prices artificially high. Good news for those on the property ladder, but not for those first-time buyers that aren’t! In the coming weeks in my articles on the Tamworth Property Market, I will discuss this matter further!

don’t forget you can keep up to date with all our articles on the Tamworth Property Market here….https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

 

 

 

Ask Lorraine – My tenant is refusing me access so that I can do my annual checks. What can I do?

🙋 Landlord’s Question: 

”Dear Lorraine,

My tenant is refusing access so that I can do my annual checks. What can I do to ensure they give me access?”

Lorraine’s Answer:

At this time of year, we often receive calls from landlords about problems they are facing in gaining access to rental properties.

When a landlord lets a property he is agreeing to give the tenant exclusive possession of that property and quiet enjoyment.

Check your tenancy agreement that you have a section which covers right of entry. Without the tenants permission or unless of course there is a real emergency you could be charged with trespass and the tenant could well claim damages against you or your agent. Not a nice thought when you are only trying to do your job!

Access is only permitted in one of two ways – a provision in the tenancy agreement or where the law grants a right of access, for instance, an emergency or to inspect or carry out repairs.
Landlords and agents should always give tenants notice of their impending visit, check your tenancy agreement as to the amount of notice you have to give. If the amount of notice is not stipulated on the tenancy agreement, landlords can use s11, Landlords and Tenant Act 1985 which allows access for repairs as long as landlords or agents give 24 hours notice prior to entering a rented property.

Landlords and agents should always look to give reasonable notice for access, keeping on friendly terms with tenants does help, however if the tenant is being unreasonable and constantly refusing access then the landlord or agent faces a very difficult situation. Speak to the council they may be able to help, after all if the tenant makes a complaint about the disrepair of the property to them, the council are quick to act then. Last and my least favourable option, due to the expense is to seek an injunction in the court to force your access.

It won’t hurt to be a good and friendly landlord, after all a bit of sugar goes a long way.

Until next week.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

£5.46bn – The total value of all Tamworth Property Market

Tamworth property market value

“How much would it cost to buy all the properties in Tamworth?”

This fascinating question was posed by the 14-year-old son of one of my Tamworth landlords, he’s telling me that he’s going to be a property tycoon. I thought to myself, that over the weekend, I would sit down and calculate what the total value of all the properties in Tamworth are worth … and just for fun, work out how much they have gone up in value since his son was born back in the autumn of 2002.

In the last 14 years, since the autumn of 2002, the total value of Tamworth property has increased by 79% or £2.41 billion to a total of £5.46 billion. Interesting, when you consider the FTSE100 has only risen by 68.9% and inflation (i.e. the UK Retail Price Index) rose by 38.7% during the same 14 years.

When I delved deeper into the numbers, the average price currently being paid by Tamworth households stands at £201,732.… but you know me, I wasn’t going to stop there, so I split the property market down into individual property types in Tamworth; the average numbers come out like this ..

Tamworth Property Market
Average Value of a Detached Property Average Value of a Semi-Detached Property Average Value of a Terraced/Town House Property Average Value of an Apartment
£293,535 £148,868 £150,210 £114,056

… yet it got even more fascinating when I multiplied the total number of each type of property by the average value. As detached houses are so expensive, when you compare them with the much cheaper terraced/town houses and apartments, you can quite clearly see how valuable detached properties are in terms of total pound note value, when compared to the value of the terraced/town houses and apartments.

Total Value of all the Tamworth Detached Properties Total Value of all the Tamworth Semi-Detached Properties Total Value of all the Tamworth Terraced/Town House Properties Total Value of all the Tamworth Apartments
£2,215,602,180 £1,740,564,656 £1,042,457,400 £462,383,024

 

Total Value of Tamworth Property by Property Price

So, what does this all mean for Tamworth?  Well as we enter the unchartered waters of 2017 and beyond, even though property values are already declining in certain parts of the previously over cooked Central London property market, the outlook in Tamworth remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market was a lot more sensible than central London’s.

Tamworth house values will remain resilient for several reasons. Firstly, demand for rental property remains strong with continued immigration and population growth.  Secondly, with 0.25 per cent interest rates, borrowing has never been so cheap and finally the simple lack of new house building in Tamworth not keeping up with current demand, let alone eating into years and years of under investment – means only one thing – yes it might be a bumpy ride over the next 12 to 24 months but, in the medium term, property ownership and property investment in Tamworth has always, and will always, ride out the storm.

In the coming weeks, I will look in greater detail at my thoughts for the 2017 Tamworth Property Market. As always, all my articles can be found at the Tamworth Property Market Blog www.Tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

Ask Lorraine – My Tenant Had A Pet In The Property & I Don’t Allow Pets!!!!

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

”Dear Lorraine,

My  tenant had a pet in the property I own. Their tenancy agreement stated that pets were not allowed at beginning of tenancy and at no time did I agree to allow a pet into the property.

I was rather remiss in carrying out inspections. Now they have moved out that I’ve noticed evidence of pet damage to doors, carpets and the general smell of the property. They have lived in the property for 2 years.

Please Advise.

Lorraine’s Answer

I hear this story so many times from self managing Landlords who have neglected to carry out regular inspections.

I would say that any damage caused by the tenant  or their pets are  the tenants liability and this is where the deposit can be used  (and if not sufficient deposit, the tenant can be pursued for the shortfall). If you have taken a deposit and can provide evidence that the tenants, while in occupation have caused the damage, you should be able to claim.  Do you have the time and inclination to pursue, if not, it’s a valuable lesson learned and it’s time to move on!

Until next week.

 

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

 

£23m a year black hole in the Tamworth Property Market – Is Buy to Let Immoral? (Part 2)

 

An Englishman’s Home is His Castle as Maggie Thatcher lauded – everyone should own their own home. In 1971, around 50% of people owned their own home and, as the baby-boomers got better jobs and pay, that proportion of homeowners rose to 69% by 2001. Home ownership was here to stay as many baby boomers assumed it’s very much a cultural thing here in Britain to own your own home.

But on the back of TV programmes like Homes Under the Hammer, these same baby boomers started to jump on the band wagon of Tamworth buy to let properties as an investment. Tamworth first time buyers were in competition with Tamworth landlords to buy these smaller starter homes … pushing house prices up in the 2000’s (as mentioned in Part One) beyond the reach of first time buyers. Alas, it is not as simple as that. Many factors come into play, such as economics, the banks and government policy. But are Tamworth landlords fanning the flames of the Tamworth housing crisis bonfire?

I believe that the landlords of the 3,300 Tamworth rental properties are not exploitive and are in fact, making many positive contributions to Tamworth and the people of Tamworth. Like I have said before, Tamworth (and the rest of the UK) isn’t building enough properties to keep up the demand; with high birth rate, job mobility, growing population and longer life expectancy.

According to the Barker Review, for the UK to standstill and meet current demand, the country needs to be building 8.7 new households each and every year for every 1,000 households already built. Nationally, we are currently running at 5.07 per thousand and in the early part of this decade were running at 4.1 to 4.3 per thousand.

It doesn’t sound a lot of difference, so let us look at what this means for Tamworth …

For Tamworth to meet its obligation on the building of new homes, Tamworth would need to build 264 households each year. Yet, we are missing that figure by around 110 households a year.

For the Government to buy the land and build those additional 110 households, it would need to spend £23,199,927 a year in Tamworth alone. Add up all the additional households required over the whole of the UK and the Government would need to spend £23.31bn each year … the Country hasn’t got that sort of money!

The bottom line is that, as the population grows, there aren’t enough properties being built for everyone to have a roof over their head. Rogue landlords need to be put out of business, whilst tenants should expect a more regulated rental market, with greater security for tenants, where they can rely on good landlords providing them high standards from their safe and modernised home. As in Europe, where most people rent rather than buy, it doesn’t matter who owns the house – all people want is a clean, decent roof over their head at a reasonable rent.

So only you, the reader, can decide if buy to let is immoral, but first let me ask this question – if the private buy to let landlords had not taken up the slack and provided a roof over these people’s heads over the last decade .. where would these tenants be living now? ….. because the alternative doesn’t even bear thinking about!

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

Ask Lorraine – I’ve Let My Tenants Gas Safety Certificate Expire, Will He Have Any Recompense?

🙋 Landlord’s Question: 

Dear Lorraine,

I rent out my property and only realised  last week that my Gas Safety Certificate expired in November 2016.

I know being a  landlord that the accountability sits with me, but I would like to know if my tenant can insist on a rent refund or compensation.

 

Lorraine’s Answer

Following the recent deregulation act rules, you may find that if you had wanted to, you could not have issued a Section 21 notice to your tenant. You have left yourself in a vulnerable position and I would strongly recommend you get the certification carried out as a matter of some urgency.

I think as long as everything is checked and certified and there have been no accidents while the gas certificate was out of date, you should be okay. You are required to keep full  records for 2 years.

Many Gas Safe Engineers will text or email landlords to remind them that annual Gas Safety  checks are due, so why not ask you engineer if this is something that he automatically does.

Your tenant may not even be aware that they should receive a copy of the annual Gas Safety Certificate, even if they are, they are not entitled to a rent refund or compensation.

Until next week.

 

 

 

Tamworth’s private renting set to hit 4,653 households by 2021 – Is Buy to Let immoral? (Part 1)

Can we blame the 55 to 70-year-old Tamworth citizens for the current housing crisis in the town?

Also known as the ‘Baby Boomer Generation’, these Tamworth people were born after the end of the Second World War as the country saw a massive rise in births as they slowly recovered from the economic hardships experienced during wartime.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, they experienced (whilst in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s) an unparalleled level of economic growth and prosperity throughout their working lifetime on the back of improved education, government subsidies, escalating property prices and technological developments, they have emerged as a successful and prosperous generation.

…Yet some have suggested these Tamworth baby boomers have (and are) making too much money to the detriment of their children, creating a ‘generational economic imbalance’, where mature people benefit from house-price growth while their children are forced either to pay massive rents or pay large mortgages.

Between 2001 and today, average earnings rose by 65%,

but average Tamworth house prices rose by 111.46%

The issue of housing is particularly acute with the generation called the Millennials, who are young people born between the mid 1980’s and the late 1990’s. These 18 to 30 years, moulded by the computer and internet revolution, are finding as they enter early adult life, very hard to buy a property, as these ‘greedy’ landlords are buying up all the property to rent out back to them at exorbitant rents … it’s no wonder these Millennials are lashing out at buy to let landlords, as they are seen as the greedy, immoral, wicked people who are cashing in on a social despair.

Like all things in life, we must look to the past, to appreciate where we are now.

The three biggest influencing factors on the Tamworth (and UK) property market in the later half of the 20th Century were, firstly, the mass building of Council Housing in the 1950’s and 60’s. Secondly, for the Tory’s to sell most of those Council Houses off in the 1980’s and finally 15% interest rates in the early 1990’s which resulted in many houses being repossessed. It was these major factors that underpinned the housing crisis we have today in Tamworth.

To start with, in 1995 the USA relaxed its lending rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act. This Act saw a relaxation on the Bank’s lending criteria’s as there was pressure on these banks to lend on mortgages in low wage neighbourhoods, as the viewpoint in the USA was that anyone (even someone on the minimum wage) any working class person should be able to buy a home.  Unsurprisingly, the UK followed suit in the early 2000’s, as Banks and Building Society’s relaxed their lending criteria and brought to the market 100% mortgages, even Northern Rock started lending every man and his dog 125% mortgages.

So when we roll the clock forward to today, and we can observe those very same footloose banks from the early/mid 2000’s (that lent 125% with a just note from your Mum and a couple of breakfast cereal tokens), ironically reciting the Bank of England backed hymn-sheet of responsible-lending. On every first time buyer mortgage application, they are now looking at every line on the 20-something’s banks statements, asking if they are spending too much on socialising and holidays … no wonder these Millennials are afraid to ask for a mortgage (as more often than not after all that – the answer is negative).

Conversely, you have unregulated Buy To Let mortgages. As long as you have a 25% deposit, have a pulse, pass a few very basic yardsticks and have a reasonable job, the banks will literally throw money at you … I mean Virgin Money are offering 2.99% fixed for 3 years – so cheap!

So, in Part Two next week, I will continue this emotive article and show you some very interesting findings on why young people aren’t buying property anymore (and it’s not what you think!).

If you are thinking of getting into the property rental market and don’t know where to start, speak to us for impartial advice and guidance to get the best return on your investment. For more information about other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on  01827 425195, you can always email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Tamworth Property News.

Blog, http://www.Tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

Twitter, https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

LinkedIn, https://uk.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2

Website, http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents