Thanks for letting us know!

We recently received a letter from a large property company thanking us for notifying them in advance that one of our Clients was intending to submit a planning application for alterations to their apartment. They went on to tell us how rare it is that they are notified. This surprised us for two reasons. Firstly […]

Asbestos in property

The continued attention of Government upon the private rented sector should be an appropriate prompt for landlords to ensure that their buildings are compliant. There seems an almost insatiable appetite to demonise landlords currently and so it is more important than ever that you meet your obligations as a property professional. This month I thought […]

When should you extend your lease?

Over recent months I have seen an increase in the number of leaseholders contacting us for advice on how to extend their lease. In many respects this is unsurprising given the proliferation of leaseholds created in the 1980s and 1990s means that all of these leases are now at the stage where renewal should be […]

Reclaiming Tenant Deposits

 I’ve little confidence in predicting the effect of Brexit on the property landscape and so I thought I would focus on something  which I can write about with some authority. Tenant Fees Ban: 2019 has been the year that we have seen the introduction of the tenant fees ban. Possibly bad news if you have […]

What is Section 20?

For those of you with many years experience in the property game there are two answers to this question. The first could be the section 20 notice which, prior to the Housing Act, needed to be served to indicate that the tenancy which was about to be created was to be an assured shorthold tenancy. […]

Dilapidation Surveyors and why they’re needed.

What are dilapidations? Dilapidation Surveys are performed by independent dilapidation surveyors on behalf of the landlord or tenant to assess the condition of a commercial property. The highly detailed survey looks at the current condition of the building from the physical structure and installations to issues involving furnishings and general wear and tear. The subsequent survey report will therefore detail the […]

Who benefits from Mentoring?

Whilst I have run numerous training sessions for property people, it is quite some time since I have directly mentored someone. Recently, I responded to a request on one of the social media platforms from an individual who was looking to undertake his submission and professional interview in advance of membership to one of the […]

Wind of Change

Few can deny that the Buy to Let and the property sector generally have sustained significant change over the last few years. Indeed our current economic and political environment are such that further change is almost inevitable and so this month I thought we could take a look at some of those potential changes as […]

Too good to be true

With many estate agents reporting a slow down in transaction levels there are an equal number of property investors who believe that 2019 will be a year of opportunity to source out a nervous seller, a fed up landlord or some BMV opportunities. My lesson for this month is that whilst it is fabulous to […]

Getting out the ground

A new build development is one of those milestones that almost all property investors aspire to undertaking.  Those that do achieve this goal should be justly proud of themselves, as it is more than simply obtaining planning permission and sourcing a builder. This month we are going to consider the work which could be required […]

The Pre construction checklist

Many of us start our property journey with the simple redecoration of a property or the installation of Kitchen and bathroom fittings. For those not put off by their early endeavours, most move on to more ambitious projects and those which require employing one or more contractors. Such a move obviously requires additional organisational skills […]

A new decade – and more changes for landlords!

A new decade and more changes affecting landlords. 2020 is proving to be another year which will see further regulation impacting the private rental sector. Whilst the threats of a tenants right to buy and stringent rent controls appear to have subsided at least for the time being, there are a number of changes which […]

Rights of Light

Rights of Light and how they could affect your development plans. Many property investors will be familiar with the term “rights of light” but far fewer will be able to honestly say that they have given the matter any thought when assessing the development viability for a new build or refurbishment scheme. The existence of […]

Dilapidations in Kent Commercial Premises

Dilapidations in Kent Commercial Premises, some thoughts if you are a commercial landlord or tenant. Dilapidations in Kent Commercial premises are the subject of much debate however if you are a landlord of Kent commercial premises or a tenant occupying Kent commercial premises then it is imperative that you have an understanding of dilapidations and […]

Fitness for Human Habitation

Fitness for human habitation Fitness for human habitation is clearly the absolute minimum standard that a residential tenant can expect and accordingly on 20 March 2020 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into full force. The Fitness for Human Habitation Act gives new rights to tenants and therefore additional compliance obligations for […]

Planning Conditions

Planning Conditions are an important part of the pre construction, due diligence process. The conditions imposed as part of the planning consent must be observed to avoid enforcement action by the Local Authority. We at Graham Kinnear Property Consultant understand that upon receipt of a planning approval, Clients are generally very keen to appoint a […]

Party Wall Surveyors

Party Wall Surveyors are regularly engaged where work is to be carried out to a wall shared with another owner. Also where excavation is due to take place within 3 or sometimes six metres of a neighbouring building. Demystify Party Wall Surveyors To try and demystify the works of party wall surveyors we have decided […]

Post lockdown programme

It appears that the current efforts of lockdown have yielded a positive result with incidences of corona virus reducing. Property folk will therefore be turning their attentions to a post lockdown environment and so this month I wanted to review some of the actions that should probably be on your “To do” list. Legionella: The […]

Buying Tenanted Property

As the host of the Question and Answer session at a local property meet, I am asked a myriad of questions about property matters. I find it useful to understand the concerns of fellow investors as well as getting a feel for the market in various areas. One common thread of late has been questions […]

Fire Precaution in High Rise Buildings

At a number of events I have spoken at I have been asked about Article 14 which related to the fire safety for high rise blocks over 18 metres and in particularaimed to provide guidance for building owners with aluminium composite material (ACM) in their external wall systems, including cladding and insulation. On 20th January 2020, […]

Hiring a Professional

Many of you will be familiar with the phrase “If you thought hiring a professional was expensive, try hiring an amateur”. I recently received an appointment to monitor a construction project from someone who is both experienced and knowledgeable on construction matters. This chap is in a small minority as many people involved in property don’t […]

Green Homes Grant

Historically, some Government supported energy measures have been introduced prior to the public interest really being there to support them. I am sure I am not alone in confessing that I only began to seriously consider solar panels on my properties after the feed in tariff had been significantly reduced! Accordingly, I think it is […]

A Commercial Opportunity

When I first started investing in property in the late 1990s, commercial premises which were let to Banks were considered to be one of the safest and most hands off property investments available. The considered view was that the chance of the bank defaulting on their rent was minimal and the chance of the bank […]

Balancing the Books

It will come as no surprise to learn that Local Authorities have experienced a vast reduction in the monies they have collected since the start of the Covid- 19 pandemic. Reductions and exemptions on business rates, reduced parking income as a result of locked down town centres mixed with the likely increased spending on Universal […]

Electrical Safety for tenanted properties

Many people, including myself, thought it strange that an Approved Code of Practice (ACoP L8) was introduced to address the risk of Legionnaires disease in tenanted property before mandatory electrical checks became law. This conundrum has now been resolved as the Electrical Regulations 2020 now apply to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and […]

Selling in 2021

There is an enormous amount to think about when you are embarking on a development and it is important to consider every eventuality before you get too progressed in a project. Not only will forward planning ensure that you have an accurate overview in terms of costs but it can also reduce the issues you […]

What is the new normal?

This time of year is traditionally one where us property folk look to make plans and set targets of what we want to achieve with our property business in the coming year. I suspect this year will be different. Many of us have found this year to be very difficult due to the Covid 19 […]

Listed Buildings and what to do with them

With an estimated 680,000 in the UK, it is likely you may have considered purchasing a listed building. The process of listing a building started after the second world war with the aim of protecting buildings of architectural merit.  92% of listed buildings are known as Grade II listed and these are described as “nationally important […]

The Party Wall Act – What you need to know.

This month I have been involved with two party wall cases where significant dispute and unhappiness has occurred but in both instances it was fuelled purely by a lack of knowledge by the parties involved. So here is a quick tour of the Party Wall Act – what you need to know. The first involves […]

Project Manager for Construction Projects- do I need one?

In this newsletter we deal with the role of a project manager for construction projects and whether you should appoint a project manager for your next building project. At a time of such considerable expense, many people often feel this Project Manager role is one that they can do without or one where they believe that […]

Abolition of Section 21 – we reveal our view.

The property forums are filled        with comments about the proposed abolition of Section 21 notices to bring assured shorthold tenancies to an end. In this newsletter we share our opinion on the matter. The Section 21 notice is known as the non fault notice and was designed to be used by a landlord who wished to […]

Party Wall Schedule of Condition

Should you have a schedule of condition undertaken? This first part of the party wall process is for the Building Owner to serve notice upon their neighbour to advise them of their proposals and where necessary, seek their consent.  The Party Wall Notices which are served, require the neighbour to confirm their position in writing […]

What Do Party Wall Surveyors do?

THE PARTY WALL ETC. ACT 1996 EXPLANATORY GUIDE  Graham Kinnear BSc (Hons), CBuildE, MCABE, AssocRICS, ACIArb, MRPSA, FPCS, CPEA, CRLM, MGIS, CeMAP, FPC, MLIA(Dip), DipDEA, MInstDEA, DipGDA, FFPWS, FIPWS, MPWAc, AIRPM, MIFSM, MITOL, CertDOCEAhas spent over 20 years involved in the property market and has both experience and formal training in party wall matters. He is […]

Property MOT

Many property landlords feel that the amount of legislation that they are obliged to comply with has increased manifestly over the last few years. Others think that some of legislative decisions are inconsistent, such as requiring a landlord to produce a Gas Safety Certificate at the start of the tenancy but not requiring the landlord […]

The tenancy move in pack

When I first started in lettings, aside from a tenancy agreement, a gas safety certificate and perhaps a brief inventory, there was little that was required for a tenancy to get set up! As the years rolled on we have seen the introduction of the Housing Act 2004, Deregulation Act 2015, Energy Performance of Buildings […]

The highs and lows of 2017

As 2017 draws to a close I thought I would reflect on the various events of 2017 from a property investors point of view. Perhaps it will allow us to learn some lessons which will enable us to improve our business or perhaps it will show a pattern to enable us to more accurately judge […]

Starting a Letting Agency

Many letting agencies are started by those who began as Buy to Let Investors.  There is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is understandable that a landlord does a fantastic job with their own properties and feels that they can provide that level of service to others. The reality is often very different. It […]

Working with Agents

Now that the Summer is over many investors will be looking for that Autumn project to keep them busy until the Christmas countdown commences. Therefore this month we are going to look at how best to work with Estate Agents to ensure that you get access to the properties that you want. As an ex […]

Selective Licensing – coming to an area near you!

The 2004 Housing Act introduced a raft of new legislative frameworks and was arguably one of the most significant measures of Housing law of recent time. One of the more significant matters to emerge from the Act was the introduction of Selective Licensing schemes which were enabled from April 2006. Government research had identified that […]

Project Management

With the relaxation of planning regulations by way of prior notification and permitted development, together with the escalating prices of existing properties, many of us property folk have turned to the development of sites, refurbishment of property or the conversion of existing buildings to secure that elusive profit or to obtain a reasonable yield. This […]

When the sum of the parts

The subdivision of buildings retains its popularity amongst developers either through the creation of apartments, HMOs or in certain circumstances the creation of terraced housing through the subdivision of a detached building. The rewards can be significant. The rental return of the parts is likely to significantly exceed that of one larger unit and the […]

Don’t let arrears get the better of you

I have recently been involved with a case where a landlord unlawfully evicted their tenant. The tenant had been in the property for three months. The second months rent was overdue and the third month about to fall due. Instead of waiting for the third month to be unpaid and then serve a Section 8 […]

Could your portfolio generate more?

Living by the Coast I have been thoroughly enjoying the recent spell of sunshine and seeing all the visitors who are heading to our town to enjoy the beach and all the East Kent Coast has to offer. We have recently seen the reopening of a theme park in our area and have subsequently seen […]

Room for Improvement

This month we are going to look at keeping our tenants happy and ensuring the longevity of a tenancy. As landlords we must agree that the worst thing for us is vacant properties producing no income. Actually that is probably the second worse thing – the worse being occupied properties producing no income! Initially let […]

Enforcing a Section 21 Notice

As property investors we have had to undergo significant change to our business model over the last ten years to adapt to the raft of changing legislation. We have seen the introduction of the tenancy deposit schemes, energy performance certificates, right to rent, as well as new measures to deal with identity fraud and money […]

Listed Buildings – Pitfalls and potential

Most of us will at some stage want to progress to bigger or more complicated developments. It’s all part of our personal development throughout our property journey. This month I am going to share with you a cautionary tale of a developer who had undertaken a couple of property conversions and developments and who subsequently […]

How effective is your power team?

It is beyond argument that on our own we are unlikely to possess all the knowledge and skills necessary in order to progress in our property journey. To that end we all seek to assemble a so called “power team” to plug the gaps in our skillset, allow us to maximise the use of our […]

What to ensure when you insure.

This months focus is on buildings insurance and why you should review your existing cover. A critical issue is to ensure that the insurer is aware of all of the details of your property including its build date, type, any areas of flat roof, construction method and the terms of its occupation. I am concerned […]

Serviced Accommodation

This month I want to discuss the topic of serviced accommodation, a property strategy which has seen considerable growth over the last two or three years and one which, on the face of it, can really enhance the financial return for a property compared with an assured shorthold letting. A strategy which also seems to […]

Jet to Let

Property forums and meetings are awash with tales of investors who have invested in off plan and other opportunities in overseas countries with often disappointing results.  Indeed many of the overseas real estate firms have adapted their marketing away from an investment market and focused solely on the holiday home hunter. I wonder whether that […]


Over the last few months I’ve been involved with the snagging of a variety of building projects including both refurbishments of existing buildings and new builds. I think there are some valuable lessons for those of you who are embarking upon more significant projects. The first thing to bear in mind is that the word […]

Moving out of your comfort zone

Given that three of my Clients have mentioned to me in the last month that they have started to look at property outside their immediate geographical area for investment, I thought I would take a look myself to see what various areas have to offer and therefore this month I thought I would share some […]

EPC Assessor In Thanet – Monitoring your energy levels.

EPCs have been around for a decade now and many people have simply ignored them citing them as an unnecessary cost associated with dealing in property. This position will doubtless change with the introduction of the 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations. Most landlords are aware of the new Minimum Energy Standards which come into effect this […]

Does Buy to Let still work?

As I write this, we have just received confirmation that the Tenant Fees Ban is due to become law on 1st June leaving landlords, who have their properties managed, with the potential of increased letting agent fees as Letting Agencies try to balance their books. In the alternative, self managing Landlords  are charged with the […]