Tamworth Property Market and Mysterious Politics of the General Election

As the dust starts to settle on the various unread General Election party manifestos, with their ‘bran-bucket’ made up numbers, life goes back to normal as political rhetoric on social media is replaced with pictures of cats and people’s lunch.  Joking aside though, all the political parties promised so much on the housing front in their manifestos, should they be elected at the General Election.  In hindsight, irrespective of which party, they seldom deliver on those promises.

When will politicians take the housing crisis seriously?
When will politicians take the housing crisis seriously?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housing has always been the Cinderella issue at General Elections.  Policing, NHS, Education, Tax and Pensions etc., are always headline grabbing stuff and always seem to go ‘the ball’. However, housing, which affects all our lives, always seems to get left behind and forgotten.

Nonetheless, the way the politicians act on housing can have a fundamental effect on the wellbeing of the UK plc and the nation as a whole.

One policy that comes to mind is Margaret Thatcher’s Council House sell off in the 1980’s, when around 1.4m council houses went from public ownership to private ownership.  It was a great vote winner at the time (it helped her win three General Elections in a row) but it has meant the current generation of 20 somethings in Tamworth (and elsewhere in the Country) don’t have that option of going into a council house.  This has been a huge contributing factor in the rise of the private renting and buy to let in Tamworth over the last 15 years.

Nevertheless, looking back to the start of the Millennium, Labour set the national target for new house building at 200,000 new homes a year (and at one point that increased to 240,000 under Gordon Brown for a couple of years).  In terms of what was actually built, the figures did rise in the mid Noughties from 186,000 properties built in 2004 to an impressive 224,000 in 2007 (the highest since the early 1980’s) as the economy grew.

Then the Credit Crunch hit.  It is interesting, that the 2010 Cameron/Clegg government did things a little differently.  The fallout of the Credit Crunch meant a lot less homes were built, so instead of tackling that head on, the coalition side-stepped the target of the number of new homes to build and offered a £400m fund to help kick start the housing market (a figure that was a drop in the ocean when you consider an average UK property was worth around £230,000 in 2010).  The number of new houses being completed dipped from 146,800 in 2011 to 135,500 the subsequent year.

So, one might ask exactly how many new homes do we need to build per year?  It is commonly accepted that not enough new properties are being built to meet the rising need for homes to live in.  A report by the Government in 2016, showed that on average 210,000 net additional households will be formed each year) up to 2039 (through increased birth rates, immigration, people living longer, lifestyle (i.e. divorce) and people living by themselves more than 30 years ago).  In 2016, only 140,600 homes were built … simply not enough!

Looking at the numbers locally in Tamworth and the surrounding area, it is obvious to me, that we as an area, are not pulling our weight either when it comes to building new homes. In the 12 months up to the end of Q1 2017, only 120 properties were built in the Tamworth District Council area.  Go back to 2007, no figures were submitted by the Council, 10 years before that in 1997, 260 new homes and further back to 1988, 450 new homes were built.

Number of new homes built in Tamworth council area
Number of new homes built in Tamworth council area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knows if Teresa May’s Government will last the five years?  She will think she has bigger fish to fry with Brexit to get bogged down with housing issues.  But let me leave you with one final thought.

The conceivable rewards in providing a place to live for the public on a massive house building programme can be enormous, as previous Tory PM’s have found out.  Winston Churchill in 1951, asked his Minister for Housing (Harold Macmillan) if he could guarantee the construction of 300,000 new properties a year, he was notoriously told: “It is a gamble—it will make or mar your political career, but every humble home will bless your name if you succeed.”

Isn’t it interesting, that the Tories remained in power until 1964!  Mrs May will have to work out if she wants to be the heiress to Harold Macmillan or David Cameron?

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Ask Lorraine – I’m renting to my cousin surely I don’t need to complete The Right to Rent Checks?

ASK Lorraine:
“Hello Lorraine,
I’m a Tamworth Landlord, manage my own property portfolio and have done so for a number of years.  My question is, these recent guidelines that I read about called  ‘Right to Rent check’ –  must I now do this for any new tenant, is this compulsory? Why I’m asking is that I’m considering renting out a property to my cousin. Surely the Right to Rent check does not include family and friends.
Thanks
Alan”
Lorraine’s Answer:
Hi Alan,
The Right to Rent checks were introduced to Tamworth as of 1st February 2016. It’s part of the Immigration Act 2014 which is to ensure that no Landlord or agent permits any adult to occupy a dwelling unless they have a ‘Right to Rent’ in the UK.
The responsibility for these checks has been passed down from the Home Office to the Landlord or agent acting on behalf of a Landlord. Checks MUST be carried out prior to the start of the tenancy. All adults must be checked regardless of nationality,ethnicity or blood group, so even though you are looking to rent to your Cousin you should keep on file a copy of his/her passport. Under age children do not need checking, you should verify their age and keep a note on file. All pertaining  paperwork should be retained on file for as long as required. 
It is a criminal offence if you are seen to be making exceptions to the checking process i.e people who appear to be English.  So if you make it statutory as part of your business process to check every man and his dog,  you will not fall foul of the law.
Passport
So who has the right to rent?

 

 

1/A British citizen.
2/A European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national.
3/Has a right to rent in the UK e.g has a valid visa which expires after the proposed tenancy end date.
There are a number of documents which can be used to check the Right to Rent, the usual ones being passports, identity cards and visas, for more information and a full list , check out the governments website.

Should you not feel confident to carry out  the checks yourself, there are many referencing companies who will complete these checks on your behalf.

If you have any further questions, feel free to drop me an email or give me a call. Email me on lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or  call on 07531484956.
Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Tamworth Property News.
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Tamworth’s 2,884 Mortgage Time-Bombs?

According to my research, of the 30,379 properties in Tamworth, 13,351 of those properties have mortgages on them. 91.8% of those mortgaged properties are made up of owner-occupiers and the rest are buy to let landlords (with a mortgage).

… but this is the concerning part .. 2,884 of those Tamworth mortgages are interest only. My research also shows that, each year between 2017 and 2022, 35 of those households with interest only mortgages will mature, and of those, 9 households a year will either have a shortfall or no way of paying the mortgage off. Now that might not sound a lot – but it is still someone’s home that is potentially at risk.

Tamworth mortgages and the proportion of repayment & interest only mortgages.
Tamworth mortgages and the proportion of repayment & interest only mortgages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theoretically this is an enormous problem for anyone in this situation as their home is at risk of repossession if they don’t have some means to repay these mortgages at the end of the term (the typical term being 25 to 35 years). Banks and Building Societies are under no obligation to lengthen the term of the mortgage and, when deciding whether they are prepared to do so or not, will look at it in the same way as someone coming to them for a new mortgage.

Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, when endowment mortgages were all the rage, having an endowment meant you were taking out an interest only mortgage and then paying into an endowment policy which would pay the mortgage off (plus hopefully leave some profit) at the end of the 25/35-year term. There were advantages to that type of mortgage as the monthly repayments were lower than with a traditional capital repayment and interest mortgage. Only the interest, rather than any capital, is paid to the mortgage company – but the full debt must be cleared at the end of the 25/35-year term.

Historically plenty of Tamworth homeowners bought an endowment policy to run alongside their interest only mortgage. However, because the endowment policy was a stock market linked investment plan and the stock market poorly performed between 1999 and 2003 (when the FTSE dropped 49.72%), the endowments of many of these homeowners didn’t cover the shortfall. Indeed, it left them significantly in debt!

Nonetheless, in the mid 2000’s, when the word endowment had become a dirty word, the banks still sold ‘interest only’ mortgages, but this time with no savings plan, endowment or investment product to pay the mortgage off at the end of the term. It was a case of ‘we’ll sort that nearer the time’ as property prices were on the rampage in an upwards direction!

Thankfully, the proportion of interest only mortgages sold started to decline after the Credit Crunch, as you can see looking at the graph below, from a peak of 43.81% of all mortgages to the current 8.71%.

Percentage of interest only mortgages taken out since 2007 in the UK
Percentage of interest only mortgages taken out since 2007 in the UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increasing the length of the mortgage to obtain more time to raise the money has gradually become more difficult since the introduction of stricter lending criteria in 2014, with many mature borrowers considered too old for a mortgage extension.

Tamworth people who took out interest only mortgages years ago and don’t have a strategy to pay back the mortgage face a ticking time bomb. It would either be a choice of hastily scraping the money together to pay off their mortgage, selling their property or the possibility of repossession (which to be frank is a disturbing prospect).

I want to stress to all existing and future homeowners who use mortgages to go in to them with your eyes open. You must understand, whilst the banks and building societies could do more to help, you too have personal responsibility in understanding what you are signing yourself up to. It’s not just the monthly repayments, but the whole picture in the short and long term. Many of you reading my blog ask why I say these things. I want to share my thoughts and opinions on the real issues affecting the Tamworth property market, warts and all. If you want fluffy clouds and rose tinted glasses articles – then my articles are not for you. However, if you want someone to tell you the real story about the Tamworth property market, be it good, bad or indifferent, then maybe you should start reading my blog regularly.

For more thoughts on the Tamworth Property Market – visit the Tamworth Property Blog on http://www.Tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Ask Lorraine – My tenant may be going to prison, can I get my Tamworth property back if he does?

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

“Dear Lorraine

I recently found out that my tenant may be going to prison, I won’t go into details as I’m not the kind of person who likes to tittle tattle.

I would like to know where I stand should he be sent to prison. Will the authorities continue to pay his rent, if not can I take the property back?

Thank you Xiang”

Sentenced
Lorraines Answer:

 

 

Xiang,

As a landlord, you will have many matters to deal with over time and dealing with a tenant who has been sent to prison could be one of them.

I’m afraid the tenancy does not end should the tenant be imprisoned and you would need to follow strict guidelines should you wish to end it. If the tenants possessions are left in the property, you would have to apply for a court order.  Should the tenancy be within the fixed term, you would be unable to serve a Section 21 Notice.

If there are rent arrears of 2 or more months, you could  apply for a possession order using the rent arrears ground. The Eviction Notice would have to be served on the tenant whilst in prison, you will find that if you notify the authorities they will probably serve the notice on your behalf.

You could ask the tenant if he would voluntary surrender the tenancy in return for you agreeing to right off any rent arrears. If the tenant was to be in agreement, the surrender of tenancy should be completed formally to ensure there was no question of any wrong doing on your part.  if you are a member of a landlord organisation, they may have a ” voluntary surrender of tenancy” form that you could download and use.

If the tenant does not agree to your suggestion and rent is owed, you should get an eviction order.  I personally think the possibility of recovering any of the rent arrears is the much like seeing a flying pig so I would recommend going for the eviction order as soon as possible.

Until next time.

Unhappy with your Property Manager? The best time to switch Letting Agents is mid-tenancy. Take us up on our offer and allow us to take care of the switching process….call 01827 425195 or email info@hallandthompson.co.uk

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Tamworth Baby Boomers vs. Tamworth Millennials (Part 2)

Well last week’s article “The Unfairness of the Tamworth Baby Boomer’s £2,573,260,000 windfall?” caused a stir. In it we looked at a young family member of mine who was arguing the case that Millennials (those born after 1985) were suffering on the back of the older generation in Tamworth. They claimed the older generation had seen the benefit of the cumulative value of Tamworth properties significantly increasing over the last 25/30 years (which I calculated at  £2.57bn since 1990). In addition many of the older generation (the baby boomers) had fantastic pensions, which meant the younger generation were priced out of the Tamworth housing market.

 

 

 

 

I replied there should be no surprise though that the older members of our society hold considerably more of our country’s wealth than the younger generation. This wealth is accrued and saved across someone’s life, and reaches it’s peak about the time of retirement. If we are to comprehend differing wealth levels between generations we need to compare ‘apples with apples’. It is much more important to track the wealth held by different generations at the same age, i.e. what was ‘real’ wealth of the 30-something couple in the 1960’s compared to a 30-something couple say in the 1980’s or 2010’s?

Looking back over the last 120 years at various economic studies, this growth in wealth from one generation to the next (at the age range), only happened over a 30 year period of between 1960 and late 1980’s. Since the 1990’s, wealth has not improved across the generations, in the same age range.

So could it be all about these people saving? The fact is, in the last 10 years, UK households have saved on average 7.5% to 8% of the household income into savings accounts, compared to an average of 6% to 7% in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The baby boomers haven’t been actively squirreling away their cash for the last 30 or 40 years in savings accounts to accumulate their wealth. Most of their gains have been passive, lucky bonuses gained on the back of things out of their control (unanticipated and massive property value rises or people living longer making final salary pensions more valuable) – it’s not their fault!

…and herein lies the issue … it is assumed that these Millennials aren’t buying property in the same numbers like the older generation did in the past (because most of their wealth has come from house price inflation). The Millennials have often been described as ‘Generation Rent’, because they rent as opposed to buying property – because we are told they cant buy.

However, when Tamworth mortgage payments are measured against monthly income, home ownership is affordable by historic standards because mortgage rates are currently so low. As you can see, the ratio of average house price to average earnings in Tamworth hasn’t vastly changed over the last decade …

  • 2008 average house price to average earnings of a single person in Tamworth 6.21 to 1
  • 2017 average house price to average earnings of a single person in Tamworth 6.75 to 1
average house price to average earning ratio of a single person in Tamworth
average house price to average earning ratio of a single person in Tamworth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(i.e. in 2008, the average house price in Tamworth was 6.21 times more than the average person’s salary in Tamworth and this has only risen to 6.75 in 2017 – and all this off the property boom of the early 2010’s)

95% first-time buyer mortgages were reintroduced in 2010. The average interest rate charged for those 95% FTB mortgages has slowly dropped from around 5.5% in 2009 to the current 4% rate. Back in the 1980’s/1990’s mortgage interest rates were between 8% and 10%, and one time in the early 1990’s, reached 15%! The main difference between the two periods was the absolute borrowing relative to income is greater now than in the 1980’s. They call this the ‘mortgage to joint household income ratio’. In the 1980’s the mortgage was between 1.8x to 2x joint income; today it is 3.4x to 3.6x salary.

The simple fact is, in the majority of cases, it is still cheaper for a first-time buyer to buy a property with a 95% mortgage, than it is rent it. The barrier for these Millennials, has to be finding the 5% mortgage deposit – instead of being able to afford monthly mortgage outgoings at the current 95% mortgage rates?

Millennials make up 5,567 households in the Tamworth Borough Council area (or 17.6% of all households in the area).  However, behind the doom and gloom, surprisingly, 42.5% did save up the 5% deposit and do in fact own their own home (that surprised you didn’t it!)

Nonetheless, the majority of Millennials in the area still do rent from a landlord (1,735 Millennial households to be exact). Yet, they have a choice. Buckle down and do what their parents did and go without the nice things in life for a couple of years (i.e. the holidays, out on the town two times a week, the annual upgraded mobile phones, the £100 a month Satellite packages) and save for a 5% mortgage deposit … or live in a lovely rented house or apartment (because they are nowadays), without any maintenance bills and live a life with no intention of buying (because renting doesn’t have a stigma anymore like it did in the 1960’s/70’s (secretly hoping their parents don’t spend all their inheritance so they can buy a property later in life – like they do in central Europe).

Neither decision is right or wrong – although it is still a choice. Until Millennials decide to change their choices – that is the reason why the country’s private rental sector will continue to grow for the next 30 years – meaning happy tenants and happy landlords.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one 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.

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Ask Lorraine – What Documents do I need for my Tamworth property before renting it out?

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

“Dear Lorraine,

I have just bought my first buy to let property in Tamworth, it’s  a two bed semi detached in Amington.  I’ve find out what type of tenants I can attract to the property and also what rent I can hope to achieve.

I’m still rather perplexed with all the legislation over renting and what documents I need inorder to rent my property out.

What documents and checks do I need to do before I can move my  tenants in?

Angel’’

What Documents do I need for my Tamworth property before renting it out?
What Documents do I need for my Tamworth property before renting it out?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lorraines Answer

Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step of becoming a landlord, however with it comes lots of legal hoops to jump through to ensure the property you are renting is safe for your tenants to live in.

You will find some  are some legally required while others at present, are recommended as best practice.

Gas Safety Certificate

As a landlord, you have a legal responsibility to instruct a Gas Safety registered engineer to carry out the checks and provide the certification. You need to give this certificate to the tenant when they move in. You also need to make sure that  the gas  safety check is carried out annually with a copy being given to the tenant.

Legionella Risk Assessment

Landlords are responsible for keeping properties safe and free from health hazards, including from the risk of  legionella.

Legionellosis which is found in water  is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria. This includes the most serious legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever.

As a landlord, your responsibility is to have a competent person carry out a risk assessment to assess the risk of exposure to Legionella. Many landlords choose to carry out the assessment  themselves, however the buck then stops at their doorstep. If you decide to carry out the risk assessment yourself please ensure you know what you are doing. For the sake of approx. £50 It may be safer to use a contractor to carry this out.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

The energy performance certificate is required if you sell or rent a property. You should have one from the purchase of your recent buy to let property.

The certificate is to check the energy efficiency of your property. They last for ten years and grade your property on their efficiency.

Regulations came into force as of  1st April 2016, whereby tenants can request consent from their landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their properties. The request should have no cost implications to the landlord, unless of course, the landlord agrees to pay towards the works.

From April 2018, your property will need to have a minimum rating of E, which means a lot of older and poorly insulated properties may struggle to achieve the  E or above rating.

Electrical Certificates or PAT Tests

Electrical Certificates are  currently best practice, however it is legally required that any electrical installation is safe and in full working order at the beginning and during the  length of the tenancy.

Recommendations suggest having a professional carry out the electrical certificate every five years.

In single let residential property, there is no current  legal requirement  to carry out a PAT test. If you do supply portable appliances and don’t have a PAT test carried out, you should carry out visual inspections to ensure there are no cracks or burn marks to sockets and the wiring is not damaged.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

A smoke alarm is required on each floor level, they must be checked to ensure they are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.

Carbon Monoxide (CO2) alarms are only legally required where there is a solid fuel burning appliance . As gas is not a solid fuel, there is no legal requirement. Best practice would be to install a CO2 alarm within close proximity to a gas boiler, manufacturers instructions will advise.

So a lot to think about and sort before renting out your Tamworth property.

Good luck Angel and enjoy your property journey.

Until Next Week.

If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you prepare your property and find the best tenants for it, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

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Cheeky little number in Amington, Tamworth – Buy-To-Let

A three bedroom semi detached house, Rosemary Road, Amington, Tamworth.  The guide price  is £145,000 with Mark Webster & Company and it’s being sold by the Modern Method of Auction.

Property details are here  ...http://bit.ly/2upw3Bp

The Woodlands Community School is a short walk away and has recently received a good Ofsted report. An added benefit, the school is not oversubscribed.

 

 

Nestled in the highly popular and a very desirable area of Amington, speaks volumes as to the location and therefore the potential for long term letting.

 

 

 

 

The property stands on a good sized plot with a sizable front garden and has a single  detached garage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would certainly get rid of the obtrusive conifers.

Interested? then why not contact Mark Webster & Co. of Tamworth and book yourself a viewing.

*** 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***

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The Unfairness of the Tamworth Baby Boomer’s £2,573,260,000 Windfall? (Part 1)

Recently I was having a chat with one of my second cousins at a big family get-together. The last time I had seen them their children were in their early teens. Now their children are all grown up, have partners, dogs and children. Gosh – how time flies!

So, I got talking over a glass of wine with my 2nd cousins and a couple of their children, about the times of 15% interest rates and how the more mature members of our family had to endure the 3 day week, 20% inflation and the threat of nuclear annihilation in 4 minutes .. so, foolishly, I said what with all the opportunities youngsters had today, they had never had it so good!

Trust one of my cousin’s children to have gained some financial/economics qualifications before going to Law School, as they debated with me the genuine economic predicament of Millennials and how a combination of student debt, unemployment, global proliferation, EU migration and rising house values is reducing the salaries and outlook of masses of the UK’s younger generation, causing an unparalleled disparity of wealth between the generations. So of course I asked why that was?

Baby Boomers and the Tamworth property market
Baby Boomers and the Tamworth property market

They said Millennials were paying the price for the UK’s most spectacular bookkeeping catastrophe to date (bigger than the Bank bailout after the Credit Crunch). Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, nobody predicted us Brit’s would live as long as we do today, and in such abundant numbers. The OAP pensions that were promised in the past (be that Government State Pension or Company Final Salary Schemes) which appeared to be nothing fancy at the time, are now burdensome and  over-lavish, and that is hurting the Millennials of today and will do so for years to come.

Bringing it back to property, the young 2nd cousin once removed ‘soon to be’ lawyer, stated that baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 have been big recipients of the vast rising house prices over the 1970’s/80’s/90’s and 2000’s. Add to that their decent pensions, meaning cumulatively, their wealth has grown exponentially through no skill of their own.

This disparity of wealth between the older and younger generations could have unparalleled consequences for the living standards of younger Millennials…. So Houston Tamworth – do we have a problem??

Well Tamworth Property Blog readers, you know I like a challenge. I can’t disagree with some of what the younger family member said, but there are always two sides to every story, so I thought I would do some homework on the matter ..

Since 1990, the average value of a property in Tamworth has risen from £72,000 to its current level of £209,600. As there are a total of 18,701 homeowners aged over 50 in Tamworth; that means there has been a £2.57bn windfall for those Tamworth homeowners fortunate enough to own their own homes during the property boom of the 1990s and early 2000’s.

Average value of property in Tamworth 1990 - 2017
Average value of property in Tamworth 1990 – 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit that the growth in property values in the 1990’s and 2000’s certainly helped many of Tamworth’s baby boomers. The figures do appear to put into reverse gear the perceived wisdom that each generation gets wealthier than the previous one  … and so with all this wealth, the figures do back up the youngsters argument that Millennials are being priced out of home ownership.

Or do they? Are they?

Next week, I will carry on this discussion where I will give the Baby Boomer’s defence to the prosecution’s case!

 

If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you find the right tenant for your property, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

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Ask Lorraine – Our Tamworth tenants have moved out leaving belongings

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

“Good Evening Lorraine

Our tenants appear to have moved out without paying last months rent. We are being advised by neighbours that they have moved to Spain. They left behind items i.e washing machine, dishwasher, 3 piece suite, a very nice patio set, garden shed and quite a lot of rubbish.

We need to relet this property as soon as possible as we are paying a mortgage on it so our priority is getting rid of the items they have left behind.

Unfortunately we didn’t take a deposit and know we are unlikely to recoup the owing rent or for damage to the living room carpet.

What is our position regarding disposing of the goods left behind?

We have no contact address for them, emails and phone calls are not being responded too and my wife has attempted  to connect with them on facebook.

Steve”

Tenants have moved out and left belongings
Tenants have moved out and left belongings

🙋 Lorraines Answer

Steve, you appear to have got off  relatively light.  In lots of eviction cases the tenants remove everything they own from the property including items that do not belong to them and go as far as trashing the property.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, next time take a deposit 1.5 – 2.0 x the monthly rent.

As a landlord you do have a legal obligation to take care of the goods and to make reasonable attempts to trace the tenants in order to return the goods. See Tortes  Law (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 which makes provision for abandoned goods under S12.

Under S12 of the Torts Act, if the  tenant (known as bailor) breaks an arrangement to take delivery of the goods, or the landlord (bailee) is unable to trace the former tenant, then the landlord is permitted to sell the goods, provided he gives notice.

The landlord (bailee) can sell the goods at auction and deduct any auction charges incurred, storage costs can also be deducted. Full clear and concise records should be kept ensuring that the tenant cannot come back at a later date asking for recompense for the cost of the goods.

Any monies made from the sale of the goods can be used to offset rent arrears and damages as long as your tenancy agreement has these stipulations noted.

Before disposing of any goods, even when the tenants cannot be traced there is a prescribed form of notice, which must be followed.

1. In writing by registered post or recorded deliver.

2. Full names and the address of the tenants,  full details of the goods held and the address where they are being held.

3. Mention that the goods are ready for collection or to be delivered to the tenant (bailor).

4.  The place of sale and the date on or after which they will be sold, as well as any costs which will be deducted from the sale proceeds.

The notice  must be attached to the property so that it can seen, perhaps on the front door and downstairs windows. 

Unless noted in your tenancy agreement, there is no set notice period, 14 days is the norm,  however the notice should give the tenant (bailor) a reasonable time to take delivery of the goods.

Even if the tenant can’t be traced following guidelines above will ensure that you don’t fall foul of the law.

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.

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Living on a Narrowboat in Tamworth – The Ups & Downs

My good friend Paul Morris who is an Estate Agent for  narrowboats, yes really there is such a job! Anyway Paul was trying to convince me, why living on a narrow boat is such a wonderful carefree experience and why he would choose a narrowboat over a house.

I asked him to write a blog putting his side forward as to why owning or renting a narrow boat is preferable over a static house, does it convince me?

rosie and jim
rosie and jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Is it cold in winter? Where do you go to the loo? The two most commonly asked questions of people who live on narrowboats. To answer the first, No, it’s great as long as you have a log burner. Added to which you’ll find people will be GIVING you wood to burn, a bit different from British Gas? To answer the second question, usually it’s a cassette toilet, a portable loo, you have to empty into a tank every week or so. It’ not pleasant, but like changing nappies it’s something you get used too.

Other down sides include the lack of space So if you’re a hoarder think about decluttering or putting extra stuff in storage. On the upside you don’t have to pay Council Tax on a rental narrowboat.

If you don’t like your neighbours or change jobs you can pull up the proverbial anchor and sail on somewhere else (check with your landlord/landlady) If you’re a nature lover nothing can be better than being on the canal with moor hen, yin, and swans as your neighbour.

Plus if you fancy a day trip/weekend you can take the boat out, without worrying about accommodation.

Much like renting a house it’s the ‘unseen’ bills that can cause problem. It depends on the deal you set up with your landlord/landlady. Like renting a house you’ll be liable to be credit reference checked and pay a returnable deposit.

As well as mooring fees, which is the charge to park the boat long-term at a marina, there are other costs which you might be liable for.

Canal & River Trust Licence: This is the canal and river version of road tax. The amount paid varies on the size of the boat but it can cost  hundreds of  pounds a year.  For more information see:

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/boating/licensing-your-boat/choosing-and-buying-your-licence:

Boat Safety Certificate

This certificate is required to prove that the boat you are renting is safe to live on. The cost of this should be met by your landlord/landlady

Insurance

The narrowboat should be insured against fire/damage etc by your landlord/landlady. But you might want insure your possessions on the boat with some of your own contents insurance.

Utilities

Electric usually comes from a plug in type arrangement at the marina, and is payable by the renter. Most cookers run on Calor Gas bottles which the renter buys. Water is usually included in the mooring fees. For internet/Wifi, there’s no phone point so you would need a mobile Wifi solution.

Editor ….Paul Morris 

I can certainly see why living on a narrowboat ticks quite a few boxes, perhaps Tamworth Council should think about narrowboats for renters, after all they aren’t building nearly enough houses.

Does one have to purchase a TV licence on a narrowboat??

It appears that Landlords of narrow boats also have  lots of regulations to comply with, why not contact Paul if you need advice.

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