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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Snagging

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Building a safer future

No one will ever forget the awful scenes at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington on 14 June 2017 and all would agree that we should lessons from this disaster. The Government have very recently (Dec 2018) produced a document entitled Building a Safer Future which details some of the fire safety measures that are being […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The effects of Brexit on Property

Unsurprisingly, this month I thought we could consider the effects of the Brexit vote on our individual property plans. As we prepare to move into unchartered territory many people seem to be transfixed with the potential downsides to the property industry. There has been anecdotal evidence in the press since the referendum of over £1bn […]

Read More

Build-To-Rent: Why Sell if You Can’t Find Another Property to Buy?

Many people I have spoken to over the years say that their biggest property regret is the properties they have sold. Whilst it may be true to say that you can’t keep them all, with property remaining a good hedge against inflation and having the ability to provide an income, you can easily understand this […]

Read More

The Highs and the Lows of 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, I thought I would reflect on the various events of 2017 from a property investor’s point of view. Perhaps we can learn a few lessons to improve our businesses, or perhaps the exercise will reveal a pattern to help us more accurately judge what the future may hold. As […]

Read More

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – admittedly a fairly cheesy corporate slogan apparently credited to Benjamin Franklin but incredibly apt for anyone considering a property development. Due in part to the permitted development rules and the ability to use the prior notification method for gaining consent for development, many BTL landlords are now […]

Read More

What return is available without buying a property?

With the new stamp duty rules and the proposals to prohibit landlords from offsetting mortgage interest against their profit, many landlords I talk to are considering how to maximize their portfolio in what could be described as a potentially new economic and political landscape. Some are looking to further develop sites they already own and […]

Read More

Letting Agents, Luxury or Necessity?

This month I want to visit the role of letting agents and to establish whether they are a luxury to assist your business, or an indispensable part of your business. A recent report from the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) stated that 47% of landlords would forego the services of their letting agents if […]

Read More

Starting a Letting Agency

Many letting agencies are started by people who begin 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. Reality is often very different. It is […]

Read More

Good Tenant or Bad Tenant?

If being completely honest, mostlandlords can probably admit to allowing a tenant to move into a property without undertaking particularly thorough checks. Maybe the tenancy went well, or maybe with hindsight it was the most foolish thing you ever did! Referencing your potential tenant is a vital part of the tenancy process. It is like […]

Read More

The Tenant who Stole the House

Buy to Let is one of the most popular forms of investment but can also be fraught with danger. Recent research by Credit Expert shows that nearly half of all identity theft victims who knew their impostor were landlords. Indeed an alarming 40% of identity fraud is conducted by a tenant posing as the landlord. […]

Read More

Legislation the Landlord must be aware of

The amount of legislation that landlords have had to adopt over the last few years has been quite staggering. Indeed, just in the last decade we have had to get used to Deposit Registration, Energy Performance Certificates, HMO Licensing and Selective Licensing to name but a few. This month we are going to look at […]

Read More

Guarantors: The Essential Safety Net

I am continually surprised at the number of landlords who do not insist on having a Guarantor in place to support a tenant application even when the tenant referencing results may have recommended one. So this month we will look at how you can use a Guarantor effectively in your tenancies. For the novices amongst […]

Read More

Fire Risk Assessment

This month we are going to look at the regulations regarding fire safety for landlords or agents who are in control of either a block of flats or an HMO where there are communal areas. Many landlords will be aware that from October this year there will be a requirement to provide main smoke detectors […]

Read More

Working with Estate 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-estate […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Tenant Eviction Do it Right or Pay the Price!

In previous months we have looked at what you should do prior to the start of a tenancy to minimize the risk of that tenancy going wrong. Whilst due diligence will doubtless reduce the risk of problems later on, it is still the case that tenancies can deteriorate due to a change in circumstances of […]

Read More

EPCs – Energy Performance Certificates or Extra Property Costs?!

If we are honest I think that there are some landlords out there who see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as a worthless document and an additional administrative chore which has to be undertaken. As an energy surveyor myself I really do see the merit in them and see the advantage for a more energy […]

Read More

Nothing is So Painful to the Human Mind as a Great and Sudden Change

Landlords, as most people, are creatures of habit and often do not respond well to the need for change. But it is such inertia which will cause landlords pain and suffering if they fail to adapt and change in the face of an enormously fluctuating landscape. The last twelve months have seen the introduction of some […]

Read More

Appearances can be Deceptive

This month I want to share an experience that happened to me so that we can all learn some lessons. One of my properties had been let for twelve years and the tenant vacated. It was a while since I had been to the property or the area, so for the reletting I selected an […]

Read More

The Future of Buy to Let

It seems impossible to open a newspaper or internet news feed without seeing a case study of the impacts of the proposed tax changes on landlords. Indeed we are seemingly being bombarded by information detailing that we will be running our portfolios at a loss once Clause 24 comes into effect, meaning that landlords can only […]

Read More