Post Miliband Relief

May 18, 2015

I was in New York for the general election and had the luxury of watching the results at the leisurely time of 5pm onwards.  I was as shocked as everybody else when I heard the broadcasters’ exit poll and watched in amazement as the results unfolded.  I suspected that we might find ourselves in a 1992 scenario where Labour support had been overestimated and so I wasn’t totally surprised that the Conservatives were the largest party, though I didn’t expect them to get a small working majority.
What dawned on me the next day [...]

The Biggest 12 Risks For First Time Landlords

May 6, 2015

Property can be like a game of snakes and landlords. When you’re new to the business hopefully you will climb a few ladders, but you can be particularly vulnerable to slithering down the occasional snake.  Here are my tops tips for avoiding the pitfalls.
1. Tempted By New Build
NLA research tells us that 80% of smaller landlords with between one and four properties have new builds.  These shiny new properties can be very tempting particularly when they are promoted by skilled marketing teams.  Buyers are often tempted by the prospect of a low maintenance, [...]

Farewell Section 21

April 3, 2015

Most tenancies in the private rented sector can be brought to an end by a section 21 notice provided the contract has come to the end of its fixed term or if it is held over on a month to month periodic basis.  The tenant then has two months to vacate.  Introduced by the 1988 Housing Act, the section 21 notice was intended as a no fault fast track to gaining possession of a property.  It played an important role in increasing flexibility and growth in the private rented sector: landlords could let [...]

An End To Borough Wide Licensing?

March 23, 2015

Some good news at last from the government as they announce that local authority powers to introduce selective licensing schemes will be severely curtailed. The purpose of selective licensing was to deal with anti social behaviour or low housing demand as a last resort in targeted areas. But following Newham’s lead, a number have decided to introduce borough wide schemes requiring all privately rented properties to be licensed.  What exactly are the changes that are being proposed?
Firstly any scheme that aims to license more than 20% of privately rented properties in a borough [...]

Dealing With Tricky Tenants

February 17, 2015

There are some scenarios that can challenge even the most experienced landlord or agent.  I’m not thinking so much about legal matters, more those grey awkward management issues that we may have a clear policy or procedure for, but in the end it’s the way we manage the situation that wins the day.
I was recently asked to talk about dealing with tricky tenants for Greenwich Business club and I put together four classic scenarios: moving extra people in, dealing with noise, untidy tenants and failure to report maintenance issues.  I think the first [...]