Essential Tips for New Landlords

September 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Real Estate

Many people are opting to rent out their properties to the bad sales climate within the property market. However they are not always familiar with the legal obligations and paperwork that is part of being a landlord.

You must first decide if the rental route is financially viable for your current situation. Consider the amount of time, money and effort you will need to dedicate to managing your role as a landlord, as well as the property itself. Finding suitable tenants can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, which is not advisable to rush through and simply choose the first applicant that wants to rent your property. Void periods, where you are receiving no rental income, are a hazard that comes with renting. This can be costly, and you will need to factor this into your business plan, in addition to the maintenance, upkeep and conversion costs of making your home rental friendly. It is a good idea to contact several local agents to get realistic evaluations of your expected rental income. Your tax bill may increase due to any rent you receive being counted towards your annual income and taxed accordingly. However you can offset mortgage interest payments, letting agency fees and maintenance costs.

It is worthwhile investing in your property to make it attractive to prospective tenants. A well-maintained, cared for flat is more likely to interest responsible renters as opposed to a run-down shabby apartment. See how competing local properties compare to the standard of your accommodation. Keep your target market in mind when giving the property an update. It is wise to keep the décor neutral and don’t over furnish.  As is there is a trend for more people to rent long-term before affording their own home, many already have their own home wares and furniture they will want to add to the property to create a homely atmosphere. By allowing this you will encourage them to stay longer, meaning less stress for you and lowering the risk of void periods.

Ensure that the entirety of the property is suitable for tenants to live in, keeping safety in mind at all times. This will be of paramount importance to families looking to rent your home, especially young parents. Remember that just because you have found something acceptable to live with whilst you are inhabiting the property, not all tenants will have the same view. Obtain a gas safety certificate from a CORGI registered engineer, as well as a hiring an electrician to check the wiring system throughout the property. It is also a good idea to install of at least one smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector. Furniture and furnishings should also have a fire safety label.

Inform your mortgage lender, in some cases your mortgage lender will remain the same. Most have separate mortgage plans and criteria for rental properties. You may find the lender forces you to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage with a higher interest rate. However you shouldn’t be tempted to keep quiet about the change in your circumstances. If you fail to inform them about it, you will be in breach of your mortgage conditions and your insurance may be invalid. This can be a costly mistake if you need to make a claim. You will need to change your insurance policy when you become a landlord and the use of the property becomes rental. You will still be responsible for buildings insurance on the property, as well as your own contents, fixtures and fittings. Specialist landlord insurance is created for this to cover eventualities.

Always treat your rental schemes as a proper business venture, with formal paperwork and procedures. This is especially important if you are renting to friends and family. These are arrangements are the most likely to go wrong and can lead to awkward confrontations. Create a formal tenancy agreement, the assured shorthold tenancy agreement is the standard for a minimum of six months lease, and guarantees you will get your property back at the end of the rental period.  Adapt your standard tenancy agreement to suit your needs and the specifics of your property e.g. if you have a garden, include regular maintenance of the garden and outside areas.  It may also be wise to include the requirement of a professional clean once the tenants have vacated the property, as everyone’s idea of clean is different. Keep your paperwork organised and easily accessible, as well as creating a detailed inventory upon each new tenant letting the premises. Making regular inspections of the property is a good idea, and you should also inform the tenants of any scheduled maintenance or improvements.

You should always add a guarantor as part of your rental agreement. This helps prevent any potential problems with missed rent payments leaving you out of pocket.

Opting to use a property management service can be of great benefit to novice landlords as they ensure all the correct paperwork is filed, as well as acting as a mediator between you and the tenants. This can be helpful if you befriend the tenants but need to enforce maintenance repairs or cleaning bills.

Author Bio: James is an experienced landlord and property manager. He is the CEO of his own residential block management company and has given advice to many tenants and landlords over the years.

How Long Will it Take to Sell Your House?

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Real Estate

When trying to sell your home or property before you rent your truck rental, the speed at which it sells is always an important factor and something that everyone tries to make happen as fast possible. Currently the average time it takes for a house to sell is 10 – 12 weeks, more than 4 -6 weeks longer than the national average two years ago.
However there are a number of things that can either help or hinder the length of time it takes to sell a house and should be adhered to if you want that quick sale.

Make your house sellable! Too many people try to sell their house just as they live in it. This means clutter in the lounge, dishes in the sink and a grimy bathroom with dirt in the sink. This is not going to impress anyone. If you are lucky enough to have people through the door, then try to maximize the sale and wow them. Show them its full potential; make sure the house is spotless. If there are any minor damage or repairs that need to be made, then invest the time and money before you try to sell. Make it a show home.

The right price. Do not overprice your property. Do your research of what the property is currently worth and stick with it. Unfortunately house prices are not what they were 5 years ago, so don’t expect to ask for it. Look around at other houses in your area that are similar in size to gauge their asking price and get at least 3 valuations from 3 different estate agents to get an average.

Marketing. Do your utmost to get as many people looking at your property as possible. Ensure you use a reputable estate agent who will make sure your home is listed on all the relevant websites and is telling people about your property. One page in their office window is not enough. List it in local newspapers and even use social media to promote the sale. The more people who see your house, the quicker it will sell.

Chain reaction. Although its not always easy, try not to get caught up in a long property chain. The slowest person in a chain is the person controlling the speed at which all other sales and completions will take place. If there are a few people interested, then try to see what their current situation is. Sometimes going with the highest offer is not the best option if it means the sale will take 5 months to complete.

Although there is never guarantee for a really quick sale, if followed these simple and effective tips will definitely help. Good luck and happy selling.

Author Bio
Jess Collins is passionate about home design, property and consumer rights. Preparing your property for sale is an essential step if you want to sell your house. By following this advice you can be sure of getting the best deal and the quickest sale when you sell your home.

Saving Money When Moving

November 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Moving Tips, Real Estate

We all know that the housing market is in trouble. We hear it on the news each night and we see it in the paper each day. Families everywhere are facing foreclosures and the need to move. Moving, for such families, is just an added cost at a time that people are already financially burdened. Because of this situation, saving money on relocation is paramount, and is the most important aspect of the move. Make sure to consider using a moving budget as well as the following tips.

Cheap Moving

There are many methods of moving out there, but if you want to save money, you need to do as much of the move as you can on your own. In most cases, this means that you need to get a truck rental. Getting a rental will allow you to pack and move your things on your own and only have to pay for the truck. By using this method, families can use whatever packing supplies and materials that they can find rather than having to pay for premium supplies so that the moving company will insure things.

Not having to pay for the labor costs involved in a professional moving company is also a major benefit to getting a moving truck rental. While it might be difficult for you to pack and load everything on your own, this is a huge money saver when moving. Even getting the help of friends and family in return for a pizza party will end up being a lot cheaper than hiring a company to do the work for you.

Cut Costs, Not Corners

Families these days need to cut moving costs without risking damage and loss of their goods. In order to do this, they need to cut costs without cutting corners. One way to save money on moving is to get used supplies. Many retailers are happy to give away boxes that will just get thrown away anyways. Other retailers get rid of paper and padding that people can use to protect fragile items when moving.

Using linens instead of furniture padding can be a great saving money when moving step as well. Renting furniture pads from the rental company can cost twenty or more dollars each. Hand trucks and other items can quickly add up and make a move more expensive than you thought it might be. In order to prevent this, people really need to consider what supplies they will actually need, and what supplies they can do without.

Travel Costs

Make sure to plan ahead on a route and time to get from your location to your destination. Many moves these days are local, so try to scout out where the cheapest gas will be along the way. Collect coupons for food and even the truck rental itself. Stick to your moving plan so that you don’t incur costs that were not thought of before. Make sure to consider multiple trips for local moves with a smaller truck versus one large truck and a single trip. Figure the costs out beforehand so that you can choose the cheapest way to go when you are looking at saving money when moving.

Difficult Times

While the finances of the country are not at their best, it is still possible to save money when you need to move. Many families are finding that they need to live in a place that costs less, and moving locally is becoming quite common. Saving money when moving is vital to these families survival in many cases. If you find that you are in such a situation, using the tips above can really help make this time in your life just a little bit less difficult.

Time to Move

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Real Estate

As the housing market softens across the country, now is the time to relocate. National Relocation is a great tool to assist you in your move. With this tool, you can research schools and neighborhoods, find a realtor, get multiple quotes from movers, and find home inspectors, as well as many other services you may need when relocating. You can also research our huge inventory of foreclosures and get quotes for mortgages. With National Relocation, you can search for rentals, both houses and apartments, if you’re not quite sure you want to purchase a home at this particular time. You can find other information to assist you in your move, including information on insurance agents for your home, auto, life, and other insurance needs.