(covering SK1, SK2 and SK3)

Category: ASK GEMMA

Is your rental income protected?

Mitigating risk as a letting agent or landlord is key, but when job cuts are taking place at major companies such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco, House of Fraser, Poundworld and BT the risk of tenant defaults is creeping up.

A recent report suggested that more than 5 million working tenants are at possible risk of not being able to pay their rent if they lost their job.

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What landlords need to think about for 2018

It looks as though 2018 will be a mixed year for landlords. Some will start to feel the pinch of the legislation that’s recently come into force, such as the loss of mortgage interest relief, while a number of tenants may give notice, due to incentives to buy. At the same time, there are likely to be some good deals around for landlords looking to expand their portfolios. For the rest, who may not have the means to buy in the next 12 months, it’s a good opportunity to take stock of their portfolio and make small improvements where needed to help translate rental income into better profits.

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Top Tips for Landlords over the Christmas Holidays!

This time of year of my most exciting time of year!  I love the festive period and dressing up in my Christmas Jumper and eating mince pies – delightful!  It’s a great time and everyone is thinking about their Christmas Dinner, getting the family together and opening their gifts.  But this means that lots of people will be packing up their homes to meet up with family and therefore leaving their homes vacant over Christmas and New Year.  This is important to consider if you are a Landlord as your rental home could be being vacated for a couple of weeks and with Christmas ultimately comes the potential for bad weather be it snow, or icy conditions.

So, with this in mind I have put together a list of top tips for my Landlords this Christmas.

1. driving home for Christmas… Christmas is a busy season for burglars, so if your tenants are going away and leaving the property empty, make sure to remind them to secure the home properly. That includes closing all doors and windows, and even asking the neighbours to keep an eye out for you.

2. shine bright, dazzle dazzle… For added security, it may be worth setting a timer so lights come on at random if your tenants are away for an extended period of time.

3. its going to be warm this winter… As a landlord, you’re responsible for the maintenance of gas appliances, ensuring they’re kept in a safe, working condition. It’s usually at Christmas that boilers start playing up, so it’s worth checking the heating system is in order before things get really chilly.

Keeping heating on zero during a cold spell can cause damage to your heating, so if your tenants are spending Christmas elsewhere, it’s advisable to programme the heating to come on for an hour a day.

4. chestnuts roasting on an open fire… Make sure that tenants avoid fire risks and unplug electrical appliances – including Christmas lights – if they are heading home for Christmas. (This doesn’t include large appliances like the fridge or freezer!)   If your tenants are hosting Christmas at their rental property, ensure all alarms are in working order – not just for the turkey’s sake!

5. this year, to save me from tears… Landlords should ensure regular checks are carried out on boilers, showers and washing machines by qualified tradesmen. During the winter period, we advise all our landlords to ensure all pipes and tanks exposed to cold temperatures are well lagged. If your tenants are away for a long time, it may even be worth turning the stopcock off to minimise the chance of a water leak.

6. silent night!  Finally, if you’re jetting off to sunnier climes or retreating to the parents’ place, make sure the tenants have someone to contact – like a managing agent – if they are staying in London. There will always be a tenant who loses their keys after a festive Christmas do – so having somewhere nearby where spare keys are held is advised.

If you have any Christmas concerns or are thinking about having your property managed by a local agent then please do contact me for lettings and/or property management advice on 0161 474 8668.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


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Keeping money aside for expenses

Renting a property is as simple as purchasing the property and letting it out, you need to ensure the property in maintained and that you money set aside to cover these expenses. Although lenders will typically require the rental income of your investment property to be at least 125% of your mortgage payment amount, this doesn’t always mean that the property will generate positive cash flow or give sufficient net profit to cover all the expenses of maintaining the rented property over the typical 15 to 20-year ownership.

As well as regular and one-off maintenance expenses, allowances need to be made for times when there may be no rental income. Tenants may stop paying their rent and the property is sometimes empty between tenancies, and you still need to be able to cover the mortgage and other costs during this time.

It is therefore vital that you budget properly to ensure that the investment is worthwhile and not going to cost you money month-on-month, before you commit to buying a property to let.

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What to know more about Inventories? What they are and why they are so essential… listen to Gemma Lowe’s Video

On a large number of the valuations that I carry out, Landlords ask me what an inventory is and why they actually need it.  I truly believe that this document is as important as a Tenancy Agreement as it directly affects the deposit.  I therefore decided to record a series of video’s about Inventories, what they consist of, why they are so important and what details they include.  I hope you enjoy my video, but if you would like to ask me any questions about this subject matter, or for more information about Lettings please call me on 0161 474 8668.

Thanks, Gemma

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What your responsibilities as a Landlord

Want to find out more about how to be a fit and proper Landlord and what your responsibilities as a Landlord are? Look no further! Our Lettings Manager at Stockport Exchange, Gemma Lowe has detailed everything you need to know in this video. To find out more information about Letting your property out please call one of our experienced Lettings Managers in Branch.

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which landlords insurances are available?

Landlord insurance is similar to your normal home insurance but is designed to cover rental properties. Your standard home insurance will not be adequate for covering buy to let properties also.

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handy tips for landlord’s

Here’s a short video I have put together to help Landlord’s out, whether planned Landlords or accidental Landlords. I have included some tips on how to be a good Landlord to ensure you get the most out of your rental property! Stay tuned as I have more video’s to come.

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i have just purchased my first btl property and would like to know what reference checks you conduct on tenants?

We employ the services of an external referencing agency to ensure thorough checks are carried out on every applicant. These include, full credit checks, employment references, affordability checks and previous accommodation reference. We are also required under the immigration Act to check each applicant has the Right to Rent in the UK. As an agency it is important for us that we find you the right tenant for your property.

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