Weather Warning for Windsor and Maidenhead Landlord’s Rent at Risk

Landlords protect your rent.

A timely reminder for tenants and landlords with empty properties, recently we’ve had our warning that winter is upon us with a blast of icy cold air from the North and then flooding in Cumbria.

 

Did you know that having a Gas Safe Certificate done does not necessarily include the servicing?

Have you had you’re your central heating boilers serviced recently?

This is the time of the year that the heating gets turned up and the tenants discover the radiators need bleeding or that they are weeping at the bottom union.

Do all the outside lights work? It’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace bulbs but are they accessible?

 

Did you know that there should be in every Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement AST) specific conditions that the tenant’s responsibilities include terms that protect a landlord’s property during the winter months namely:-

………to keep the property at all times well and sufficiently aired and warm during the tenancy. There are two notes here:

a) ‘aired’ implies free from condensation (more of which later

b) That the heating system is adequate and working

. ………not to leave the property vacant for more than 28 consecutive days…….. Note, very often tenants go away for Christmas and the New Year period or take a winter holiday these days. This could invalid a landlords insurance if breached; therefore a timely reminder is in order. In the same way all outdoor maintenance issues should be tackled before the UK goes on its annual holidays and festivities for 2 / 3 weeks.

What makes a good investment in property?

I am often asked this question and of course there is no definitive answer, so my usual response is “Why do you want to invest in property?”

The answer invariably comes back – look at how property prices have gone up I do not subscribe to the maximum mortgage say of 90% on an investment property, wait for the inflationary rise, re-mortgage and repeat the process buying another property, then repeating the process again (ie. A high risk strategy, which relies on a rising market).I remember living in Coventry in 1939, a new build terraced house could be bought for £200. Later in 1959 I built a bungalow in West Yorkshire for £2000. Just take a look at what you could buy around here for £200,000 today in 2015.Perhaps a more significant factor is 70 years ago the borrowing/income ratio was   2.5 x the man’s salary as the maximum that could be borrowed. Today it is calculated on joint salaries of a couple working and can be up to 4 x the loan/value rate.

Like Mark Twain said “Buy land they are not making it any more.”

LANDLORD’S TOP 7 FAQ’s

How much rent can I get?

It will always depend on supply & demand.

The location of the property & its proximity to mainline stations & motorways.

The quality & presentation of the accommodation.

 

Warning! Too many agents over value by as much as 20% to ‘test the market’ (estate agent speak) to obtain the instruction.

 

  1. What do I need to do to prepare the property?

The property should be presented in a good decorative order, good repair and all items supplied in working order

The legal requirements should be met for EPC, gas safe certificate, electrical checks & PAT testing.

Professionally cleaned including carpets.

 

3. How long will it take to rent out my property?

There are far too many variables for certainty, but from a landlords perspective, assume a month could slip by and that a mortgage payment will become due before tenants can move in.

4. Who maintains the gardens?

Tenants like to use the garden but seldom are they prepared to maintain it. If you expect them to cut the grass provide a robust electric mower.

 

  1. What about condensation?

There are two major causes of condensation and tenants nearly always claim dampness in the property. It will invariably be brought about by the lifestyle of the tenant.

  1. Condensation is caused by too much moisture in the air (warm air holds more moisture than cold air).
  2. The other factor is the lack of ventilation.

The biggest culprit is drying washing indoors, drying clothes on radiators and cooking without an extractor on, showering and bathing, the door should be closed and the extractor on (or a window open).

. The problem now is we have double glazing and modern doors that hermetically seal the building to conserve energy – it also conserves the moisture and where there is a cold wall or dead air space in a corner or behind furniture, warm air will condense on the cold surface and eventually mould will become apparent.

6. How do I assess damage at the end of a tenancy?

This is where most landlords and tenants get things wrong and end up in conflict by a lack of understanding.

– Fair wear and tear – must take into account the length of the tenancy

– Betterment – the landlord can not use the deposit to update old or worn out fittings

– Supporting evidence – the claims made by either party must be supported by clear    evidence such as a good inventory and dated photographs.

– The average life span of the carpets, furnishings, appliances etc. (NB. Some carpets just can not be professionally cleaned due to their age & condition).

Remember the deposit is the tenant’s money and if you can’t agree on the deductions and go to ‘Dispute Resolution’ the service to date has always favoured the tenants.

7. What furnishings should I provide if the property is to be let fully furnished?

Most kitchens now have all the appliances built in and bathrooms tiled and fitted with showers. No ‘flatpack’ furniture.

Don’t for heavens sake take up an offer seen recently by Sue Ryder Homes “To kit out a property from £500”

Think about it, you purchase a property for £200,000 – £300,000 then furnish it for £500. You wouldn’t do that would you?

 

NEWSFLASH – COMING SOON

Launching January 2016 there will be a new approach to property maintenance by a local company that will make a Tangible difference, benefitting tenants and landlords but only through selected agents.

 

Call us if you are thinking of investing and you would like a 2nd. opinion on any property, we’ll be happy to talk to you 01753 622686. This blog can be read on our website www.rentahome.co.uk

 

 

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Windsor and Maidenhead Property Blog

This blog will feature all news around property in the Windsor and Maidenhead area. Enjoy!

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