PropVestment Guide: Top Tips for Property Listings

Top Tips for Property Listings

With so much online and offline marketing now available through traditional estate agent, and corner shop window listings, through to listing online or Zoopla, Right Move, Gumtree, Findaproperty etc…It is vital your listings catch the attention of viewers and then that attention must be converted into interest. Here is a basic guide of some of the essentials you must get right whether listing to sell or rent, offline or online to get maximum impact.

  • Be Simple & Truthful
  • Lots of Photos & Map
  • Eye catching Title
  • Appropriate contact information
  • Content
  • Technology, Video & Social Media Read more

Today: New Laws for Landlords, All Tenancy agreements upto £100k become ASTs

Landlords and tenants should be aware of significant new changes around tenancy agreements as of October 1, according to The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS).

From Today, shorthold tenancies where the annual rental amount is above £25,000, but not more than £100,000 a year, will become Assured Shorthold Tenancies and this will apply retrospectively.

However, tenancy deposit protection should not apply retrospectively and, therefore, only new deposits and renewals taken on or after October 1 will definitely need to be protected. The advice from The DPS is to protect all deposits now as it is better to be safe than sorry.

Going forward, this closes a loophole that previously left many of the most vulnerable tenants with no protection. Higher rate tenancies were not originally included under tenancy deposit legislation, which only covered ASTs up to £25,000. Tenancies valued higher than this were seen as contractual tenancies and deposits did not need to be protected.

But this situation, according to The DPS, left some groups such as students or large house-shares vulnerable.

The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) is calling for all landlords, and tenants, to be aware of this change and also to protect themselves until there has been clarity in this policy area.

This does mean extra paper work for Landlords but it is better to be safe than sorry, the procedure of registering and updating details on the DPS website is very easy and straight forward,

Your tenants can also check if they are covered and overall gives a Landlord a much more professional impression. Make sure you are registered and upto date with all the latest legislation. Do not hesitate to email us: if require any advice, its free!

Protect Your Property and Finances: Landlord Insurance

PropVestment: Cover yourself for the rainy day

Are you covered? Do you know your BSI for each property?

Many Landlords, me included, have not always got the right insurance in place for their properties and portfolios. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of information available in the everyday press, news and media. It is not like normal insurance which is shoved down your throat at every bank, supermarket or post office you visit. It is more specialised and can be tailored very much to your needs and you’ll be surprised at how many companies do provide it, and the reason it has come to my attention is I drove past a Direct Line Landlord insurance bill board yesterday.

There are many different types of Landlord. From the individual who is renting out their second home to the ambitious property tycoon with an ever-increasing portfolio of trendy dockside apartments. The common theme for all landlords is the need to purchase landlords insurance to protect their investment.

As a landlord, you are effectively using your property as an extra source of income – and this needs to be protected. A normal home insurance policy is not valid when you are taking an income from the property. A residential landlord policy is what is required.

With the correct landlords insurance policy in place, you can relax knowing that should any damage be caused to the property you are protected against the financial consequences. With this peace of mind in place, you can worry about running your property and nothing else. Read more

SAVE up to £1,500 per Property in Tax relief by Being GREEN

Save money Saving the environment

Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) is a tax allowance of up to £1,500 per property that private landlords can claim when they install energy efficiency measures in their rented properties.
So for a portfolio of 10 properties that’s £15,000 tax savings. Being Green and energy efficient is important, this added financial incentive is easy to take advantage of, but it won’t be around for ever. Further at present in the economic climate it easy cheaper and easier to get improvements done, and do not forget winter is coming.

In 2004 the Government introduced a tax allowance called the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA), allowing private landlords to claim back money when they improve the energy efficiency of their rented properties. This is a very simple process with expenditure offset against tax through your annual Tax Return form, up to a maximum of £1,500 per property. Read more

HMO: Huge Money Opportunity?

Although Multiple Occupancy can achieve huge rewards in the form of rents, in particular student lets, Landlords must take the required legal procedures to ensure it is all above board. In our experience it is easy to gain over 50% premium on rental income under HMO. There are now professional agents that can take care of the managements and legalities but here are some basics you must know. Licenses are only £335, so get them and don’t risk fines or prosecution when the outlay is so small.

The returns can significant, raising the ROI above any other residential investment, letting are very easy through university listing or sites such as  Please get the relevant advice and don’t take short cuts in the pursuit of profits.

After reading this nitty gritty we offer a fantastic investment opportunity at the bottom of the article.

Here is the Basics

What is an HMO?

HMO stands for House in Multiple Occupation and generally refers to one of the following:

  • A house split into bedsits
  • A house or flat share where each tenant has their own tenancy agreement
  • Students living in shared accommodation Read more
First time buyers face scarce supple due to council property

London Property has No Recession: Observations from Savills Auction

On Monday I went to The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington to the Savills Residential Property Auction. The atmosphere of auctions has changed, and there were some shocking observations I made, both subjective and objective.

Key Points: First 50 Properties

Average Guide Price £259k
Average Bid (Sold) £288k
Average Bid(RNM) £324k
Average Highest Bid £301k
Average increase on Guide by Highest Bid 19%
  • Sellers’ Auction, High Prices & Reserve not met too often
  • Properties sold up to 205% of guide price
  • Reserves not met on over a third of properties Read more

How to calculate your REAL return on Investment: 5% can becomes 35%

The REAL return on Invetsment

Traditionally property return on investment is calculated by rental yield, especially when it is being compared to returns of other types of investments. However I believe it is a much more exact science, and can vary significantly depending on specific properties and on how the investor structured the deal when purchasing the property. A traditional yield of 5% can actually be 35% if the deal is right.

Let me start with a simple example. A two bedroom flat, bought with standard Buy-to-let 75% finance, at 5% interest only for £200,000 that is renting out for £10,000 per year. Traditional yield will be 5% (rent/value=10/200=5%). Under the way I calculate it, the rent less the mortgage interest divided by initial money in, therefore for this deal ((£10,000-£7,500)/ £50,000) so its 5%. The “real” return on investment is still the same.

But wait, what about capital gains, this is still a form of returns even though they may only be realised at a much later stage when selling and that will be liable for Capital Gains Tax. Well that is not strictly true, if the investor remortgages again after a year with similar terms, 75% of the capital gain can be realised. So if we make a very conservative and modest assumption in present gloomy market conditions of a 5% increase in value that is £10,000 and if we take 75%, and add it to the surplus cash from earlier that is a total of £10,000 return, effectively 20% return on the deposit paid. That is an amazing return, which I can’t see any other form of investment where the risks are so low and the investor has so much control over the asset.

There are certain things we have not considered like remortgage costs, legal and stamp duty, maintenance, and tenants. These will of course change calculations. Also the reason I simplify with a interest only mortgage, because if it was repayment that add to the capital or equity of the property so in effect cancels out the cost, although in realisation it will only be 75% realised when remortgaged.

Let’s be a bit more adventurous now, and add a few more clever changes to the model. We have to cap the borrowing at 75% LTV because that is the realistic maximum in the current lending condition. Let’s say the purchase price was 15% BMV (below market value) but the Mortgage was LTV, and the investor used a £10,000 personal loan at 10% compounded with capital and repayment due in two years, to part gather the deposit. So the initial investment in, is £10,000, the rest is the personal loan and the BMV saving. Assuming rent is steady; let’s look at the situation in 2 years time.

Property value in two years is now £220,500, so a refinance would raise an £15,375, less the loan that needs to be paid back (£12,100), plus £5,000 rent surplus which means £8,275 cash inflow, or 82.75% over two years on what was invested, so that is 35% return on capital invested per year.

There are incredible deals available; you can look around yourself, internet sites, auctions, personal contacts. If all else fails, contact us, You have to be clever with the way you invest, market condition are against us so we must beat the system and be innovative in our thinking.

Please take caution in tricky deals and do all your due diligence, the figures I use are fictional but are close to what is really possible.

How do you calculate your return on investment?

Two Sides of the Coin: Landlords should be the Heads

Your call, Heads or Tails?

There has been a great deal of negative press associated with the property market over recent weeks. But I believe every cloud has a silver lining, every disappointment is an opportunity and that there are always two sides of a coin. Head and Tails. I like to consider myself along with fellow investors as the heads side. Here’s a few instances where this is the case.

  • Tails: Headline says “No Buy-to-Let”

Heads: High Rental Yields. It is true that banks have been very tight on buy to let mortgages, and we haven’t seen anywhere near the 85% lending we did a few years back, moreover many deals fall through because valuators are being very pessimistic with valuations. So what does this mean, well if the number of buy-to-let properties is not increasing that means supply is not increasing. Demand in the UK continues to rise, especially in London and the South East, this is pushing up rents as there is more potential tenants for each property, this is great news for Landlords. It means properties can be let faster and rents will be higher also. In my opinion Investors should embrace this and make it a win-win situation, hold steady and enjoy the higher returns on your investment.

  • Tails: Headline says “Falling House Prices Falling- Negative Equity

Heads: BUY BUY BUY. If House prices are falling, if you have the ability and cash, you should buy, these lower prices will only be a short term phenomenon, and they will recover strongly, land is a scarce resource especially in our ever growing cities and the populations are rising, its simply economics that prices will rise. Furthermore lower house prices only affect you if you want to sell, why would an investor sell and face such high capital gains liabilities. It’s about building a strong portfolio over time that can provide a steady income stream for years to come. Negative equity is meaningless and lower prices means greater rewards in the future, so buy.

Where to Invest your Money: Property or Pension?

Property is the way

Lots of companies have massive holes, gaps, shortfalls in their pension funds because the stock market has performed so badly, or the decisions made on where to invest have been very poor by the company.

If you are like the masses you probably have a defined contribution pension scheme.  The risk falls 100% to you. All the scheme defines is what you have to give them!

Let us do the maths, making a few assumptions along the way, based on our experiences. Read more

Landlords: How to Protect Against Bad Tenants

In these modern times, where recession has bitten and made people desperate and bitter, we have a new phenomenon: The Professional Bad Tenant.

They go from property to property without paying any rent, leaving bills and council tax arrears, and they successfully do it for a living, leaving behind a trial of innocent landlords in debt.

Unfortunately, this is becoming common practice, and these professionals seem to be getting away with it. How do they do it? These professionals have become all too familiar with the legal system and know every trick in the book. Every time a landlord attempts to evict them, they appeal with various excuses for example “I didn’t pay rent because the property was in bad condition.”

The problem is, every time a tenant appeals eviction, the process of eviction is lengthened because the court needs to look into the issue before being able to dismiss it. The claims usually get dismissed because they’re fictional, but by the time each appeal goes to court, months and months pass, leaving the landlord severely out of pocket while the tenant still remains. The system definitely isn’t perfect by a long way, but it is what it is, unfortunately. Sometimes as a Landlord you almost wish it was like the good old days where you could send a couple of big lads round to shake the rent out or throw the tenant out, however that is not something that is advised or endorsed my us.

Top Tips:

1. Be wary of cash payers

2. Don’t accept the first tenant that comes along to avoid costs

3. Take into consideration your tenants employment and social status

4. Credit Checks

5. Employment records

6. Be Wary of DSS tenants

7. Get References

Read more