I can’t sell my Nuneaton Buy To Let because of my Tenant!

We were recently instructed to sell a property but the Vendor had a bit of a dilemma. She had a tenant in situ who was not happy about the property being sold. She told the vendor that she would not move until she was evicted by the bailiffs, a process we all know can take quite a long time as well as being costly.

After talking in more depth with the Vendor we had to inform her that the notice she had already served on her tenant was void because she had not done any of the things she was required to do (by law) at the start of the tenancy. This did not go down well but she was grateful to find out now rather than at court when the judge would roll his/her eyes and just dismiss it.

Now, it’s important to remember that although this Vendor was clearly distressed and worried about the whole situation, the tenant would be feeling incredibly vulnerable and angry that she was, in effect, losing her home.

At this juncture in a tenant/landlord relationship, it’s so easy for things to get nasty but no one likes to be victim to an aggressive text or phone call. The landlord often starts threatening the tenant and in return the tenant digs their heels in and insists on staying for as long as possible, just to spite the landlord (or, in most cases, it’s because they’ve been instructed by the housing department to “stay put” until the bailiffs come knocking…*SIGH*).

So this was the situation that our Vendor found herself in.

She asked for our advice and I told her that although this is a very stressful time for her, she needs to remain as calm and level headed as possible, which is easier said than done. I’ve been in this situation myself many years ago and, I’m usually a very calm and loving person but I felt so much anger to the point that I thought I was going to take Hulk form and start hulk smashing everything! (I’m glad to say, I did not turn green or start smashing things!)

I suggested to the Vendor that she avoid contact with the tenant for the next day or so and just consider her options, a couple of which were:

1. Instruct a professional company / solicitor to serve the relevant notices (after having resolved the gas cert and documentation issues)
2. Ask the tenant nicely and calmly to sit and have a chat to go through their options, which were:
a. Service Notice, Court Hearing, public humiliation by Bailiff eviction (no one wants this)
b. The landlord could offer to pay a deposit on a new property for the tenant. After all, paying £600-£800 is better than forking out court & bailiff fees while the tenant sits in the house refusing to pay the rent!

The Vendor felt quite frustrated that one of the options was to GIVE the tenant money after she’d caused such a fuss. Why should she be out of pocket? But, after talking her through the whole dragged out process of eviction, she decided this would be best and save her time, stress and money in the long run.

After a day or so of calming down, the Vendor managed to meet with her tenant. I’m happy to say that the tenant accepted the waving white flag and agreed to accept the deposit money for a new property and even thanked the landlord for helping her.

I’m also happy to report that the property sold during the first viewing…for £10,000 more than the asking price! So, the Vendor was not out of pocket after all and she’s thankful that she made the right decision to allow the house sale to go through.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your buy to let property, please feel free to give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to offer some advice and help you going forward. Either pop into our office on Bond Street, Nuneaton. Call us on 02477 674545 or email info@qthomes.co.uk

*INTERVIEW* Advice for Nuneaton Landlords (what is taxed, what you can claim for etc)

As promised, here’s another interview for you to take some guidance on. I interviewed Sophie Vanes, an accountant from the SFB Group in Nuneaton about tax implications for Landlords, what they can claim for, what and how they should account for costs relating to their buy to let investment and much more.

See the full video here

As always, I hope you enjoy and find the video useful. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any ideas about who I should interview next.
T: 02477 674 545 E: m.maycock@qthomes.co.uk

Has the Nuneaton Property Market slowed down because of the ‘B’ word??


I’m not afraid to admit that we’ve noticed a recent dip in enquiries from Rightmove and Zoopla for our properties for sale. Other agents might not admit it, but they’ve felt the ice cold breeze of the silent treatment too!

It’s not just Nuneaton though, I’m hearing the same from other Agents across the UK, which makes me think it’s more of a national thing rather than just local.

I can’t help but think it might have something to do with good old Mark Carney saying that, in the event of a no deal Brexit, the house prices will crash substantially next year. Now, before you sigh and switch back to facebook, hear me out (trust me, I’m sick of hearing about Brexit too…just get on with it people and stop talking about it!).

Imagine you were all ready to move house, you had your agreement in principle ready to flash around to the Estate Agents, your solicitors had the paperwork ready to stuff into an envelope to send out to you, but then you hear the Governor of the Bank of England saying that HOUSE PRICES WILL CRASH (that’s NOT actually what he said but that’s what people hear) then you would hold your horses and reassess the situation. “Do we really have to move now?”, “we’re alright here for another 6-12 months, let’s see how Brexit goes and move after”.
Cue the silence and tumble weed….

However, on the flip side, there are those who are not phased by the scaremongering, those who just want to buy a new home whether it’s a first time buyer or a growing family. Last week we sold 3 properties all within the first viewing. All buyers were in their mid to late 20’s and were super keen to snap them up (ranging from £115,000 – £300,000)!

Maybe it’s a generation thing?

The youngsters are cracking on with it and not letting the political drivel affect their property ladder progression, whereas the older generation might decide to stay put, see out the Brexit storm, which, by the way, will pass.
But, let’s face it, us Brits aren’t the best at weather forecasts so it might just be a bit cloudy with light rain after all that fuss and bother!

I’d love to hear what you think about the situation. Are you letting Brexit hold you back from your dream home?

If you’ve got any concerns or questions about the Nuneaton Property Market, feel free to give us a call or pop in for a chat 02477 674545

*INTERVIEW* information to help Nuneaton’s first time buyers

I did an interview recently with Becky Cutting GCILEx from Willsons Solicitors in Nuneaton to help first time buyers understand a bit more about the conveyancing process. It’s so easy to just pass everything to your solicitor to sort out but do you know what’s actually involved? Now you will…

Check out the video here

I’ll be doing more videos in the coming months with various professionals relevant to the property sector (both sales and lettings) so, keep and eye out or SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out!

I hope you enjoy them and find them useful and if you have any ideas about who to interview next, please let me know. You can call me on 02477 674545 or email m.maycock@qthomes.co.uk

Stockingford, Nuneaton- Watch this space!

Do you have a property in the Stockingford /Grove Farm area? Are you thinking of selling …or maybe in 2 minds as to whether to sell or rent? Well, hopefully reading this will help you decide.

Many months ago I wrote an article on plans for a new train station to be built in Stockingford, in fact there used to be one where the Aldi is now (many moons ago).

The plan is to have the station up and running by 2023 and will be on the Cross Country route to Birmingham with one train running per hour initially.

Cllr Philip Johnson, chairman of the communities overview and scrutiny committee said: “A new station in west Nuneaton will have a really positive impact on that part of the town.
“It would increase connectivity by providing access to important destinations such as Birmingham, Coventry and further afield which is essential for ongoing development of the local economy.”

It is hoped that another station in the area would significantly ease road congestion in the area, resulting in an estimated saving of 520,000 road vehicle kilometres a year by 2023, rising to 1.5m km a year by 2029 and with all the new builds popping up so fast this will hopefully be a huge relief on congestion in the town.

So, going back to your property in this area. My recommendation, to anyone who is looking to move but doesn’t necessarily need to sell their current home to do so, is to keep it!

Keep it and rent it out!

Many people have a misconception of this part of town but I can put my hand on my heart and reassure you that rents in this area are just as achievable as any other part of town, and there are ample tenants looking to rent in this area too!

Similarly if you are an investor, I would strongly suggest investing here NOW before everyone clocks onto the fact that in a few years’ time this is going to be a hot spot area for commuters to live in, from both near (Birmingham etc) and far (London).

If you would like to speak to us about investing in Nuneaton, or you have a property that you would like to rent out, we are currently running a summer offer whereby if you sign up by 7th September 2018 we will fully manage your property for 10% a month including VAT with no initial set up fee to you!

If it goes ahead, the new station, which could open as early as 2023, would be on the CrossCountry route to Birmingham, with one train running per hour initially. Exciting times ahead folks! Don’t miss out.

For any further information, please fee free to get in touch with Melissa or I on 02477 674545

The trials and tribulations of one of Nuneaton’s accidental Landlords


I wanted to share with you a story that I feel a lot of landlords could benefit from. Some time ago we had a phone call from a panicked Nuneaton landlord (and avid blog reader) . They are one of the many accidental landlords in Nuneaton and their story goes a bit like this…

(Just out of interest, see how many mistakes you can spot along the way)

They were left a property by a family member who sadly passed away and, rather than selling, they thought “why not rent it out?” so, with a WH Smith tenancy agreement in hand, they let the property to an applicant they found on Gumtree, took a deposit and kept it safe in their savings account. Does anyone else see where this story is going? I’m not mocking them. Even I made mistakes back in the day when I first started out with my first investment property (14 years ago…wow that makes me sound old!). I’m happy to report that I am wiser and (sadly) older now and there are no school girl errors!

Anyhoo, I digress….As is usually the case, their tenant was absolutely great for the first few months and then the late rent payments started (although they were still paying intermittently). When the landlords went round to do an inspection they were incredibly disappointed to see that the house was not being looked after. So, after some deliberation, they decided it was best to ask them to leave.

You must see where this is going now?…

They spoke to the tenant a few days later and told them that they were giving them one months’ notice to leave the property. After a month, the tenant had not left the property and had also completely given up on paying the rent. The landlord told them that if they didn’t move out, they would keep their deposit as compensation for lack of rent.
This went on for a further 2 months before the landlord got in touch with us as they were at the end of their tether.

Ok, now’s the time to see how many mistakes you noticed (red pens at the ready). We had to tell them in the nicest possible way that, without seeking legal advice and support, they would only continue to struggle getting the tenant out and it would probably end up costing them more than legal fees in the long run.

Mistakes:
1. WH Smith Tenancy agreement (not sure how up to date they are but they change quite often!)
2. Gumtree (say no more)
3. They didn’t secure the deposit in a recognised scheme
4. Landlords give tenants 2 months’ notice. It is Tenants that can give one months’ notice
5. The landlords would not have been able to keep the deposit because it was not protected properly (even though there were rent arrears and damage to the property)
6. There were several other mistakes the landlord made at the start of the tenancy with regards to certificates and paperwork as well (but these weren’t mentioned)

What they did right:
Seeking advice as quickly as possible

Landlords are often incredibly embarrassed and ashamed when things go wrong with a tenancy and often feel incredibly isolated but, it’s happened to thousands of landlords. The best thing you can do is seek advice as quickly as possible.

It’s great when people self-manage their buy to let investment but it’s only worthwhile if you do it properly and understand EXACTLY what is expected of you.

I’m happy to report that said landlord did seek legal advice and did manage to get the tenants out. We now manage the property for them so they can sit back, relax and enjoy the monthly rental income (which is guaranteed!).
If you have had issues similar to this, please feel free to get in touch to see how we can help. It is incredibly stressful and you don’t have to carry the burden on your own.
We’d love to hear from you 02477 674545

Is your Nuneaton buy to let attractive to Tenants?

One of our tenants has decided to move out because they need a bigger place due to their expanding family. I’ll be sad to see them go but, said I’d help in any way I could to help find them somewhere to suit their family’s needs (because I’m just nice like that).

So, I got to looking at some properties to rent in Nuneaton and was pretty surprised by the condition of some of them and it got me thinking how much rent landlords are missing out on because they don’t want to spend money making the place look a little more modern and attractive. Yes, they might be an accidental landlord and just not have the cash to inject into the place or, they may just be quite happy paying a low mortgage, getting a decent enough rent and letting the money come in each month.

Me, personally, I like to ensure my properties are done up to a certain standard and we also choose to work with like-minded landlords when it comes to the properties we manage.

If I let a property, I always ask myself the question, “would I be happy living here?” Or “Would I be happy for my son to live here?” It doesn’t have to be a palace (although that is what I’m accustomed to….in my dreams!) but something light, airy, spacious, clean, modern enough not to be embarrassed to invite friends over etc.

The condition of the property also reflects the rent that you will get for your Nuneaton buy to let investment. Now I know most of you are thinking “well duhhhh, of course” but you’d be surprised how many rental properties that we have been to, valued according to its condition and the landlord has said, “well the one down the road gets £95/month more rent” and I have to politely explain that the one down the road has a new kitchen, more modern bathroom and doesn’t have a brick featured wall and fireplace in the lounge, is freshly decorated and doesn’t have carpets from the 60’s. The rent reflects the condition and there’s no doubt about it.

Here are a couple of properties that I have found to explain what I mean…
£675/month
£595/month

Those of you who know Nuneaton and are thinking “well these two are in different areas”, yes they are but, there’s nothing stopping the Heath End Road house getting a much higher rent if it was more modern.

The condition of your property also reflects what type of tenant you will attract so, keep this in mind.

If you get a good agent on board who will, not only assess the suitability of the people who apply but use their instincts to find you the right tenant, do regular inspections and keep up with any maintenance work (which should be minimal if you’ve done things to a decent spec) then your property will be in good hands.

If you have any questions about this article or are looking to let your Nuneaton property, please feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to come and advise you on value as well as what improvements could be done (within your budget) either now or over time. We’re just by the train station in Nuneaton or alternatively, you can call us on 02477 674545

It’s been a pleasure as always folks. Until next time…

Nuneaton HMO’s are growing increasingly popular…Have you got the bug?

A Nuneaton property, which we recently sourced for an Investor, has just completed. While we were discussing the project management details to transform it into a 5 room HMO, we got to thinking about the rest of our lovely blog readers and thought we would share why, we believe, we are having a sudden influx of calls from investors looking for property in Nuneaton.

Over the past 5 months it has become very evident that investors from near and far (mostly from the Capital) have been contacting us and coming to speak with us about investing in property in Nuneaton. For those that don’t know, Nuneaton is smack bang in the middle of ‘the midlands’ , a small town with a population of around 87,000 with great transport links to the bigger cities such as Birmingham, Leicester and, even London can be traveled to in around an hour by train!
Nuneaton has primarily been a sought after area by investors for your typical 2/3 bedroom terrace houses which would then be rented out to families, however, in the past few months investors have seen the benefits in not only buying here, but also turning said terrace properties which come onto the market into HMO properties.

Here’s the money part:

3 bed terrace property purchase price £130,000 – monthly rent of around £650-£695 PCM = an annual yield of 6.2% ( at a rent of £675).
3 bed terrace property purchase price £130,000 , £10,000 (roughly) spent on HMO licence and making the property compliant /furnishing etc, turning it into a 4 bed HMO by utilizing the front reception room and then charging around £375 PCM including all utilities, per room, giving you an annual yield of 13.8%.

You can see why investors are so attracted to the idea of buying these types of houses at these kinds of prices to achieve these kinds of yields!

If you would like to join our database of investors please feel free to give us a call for a chat on 02477 674545 so that we can understand your requirements in order to be able to help you best.
Not many of our readers are aware (as we don’t like to harp on about ourselves TOO much) but we are able to help source investment properties and project manage the refurbishment as well as fully manage the property to a very high standard giving you peace of mind that your investment is in very good hands….good ‘ey!

What type of property makes the best Nuneaton Investment?


I bumped into an old school friend the other day and he said “Ohhh, I’ve been reading the blog and I wanted to come and talk to you about investing a couple of properties in Nuneaton. I’m thinking of doing it as a little retirement plan for the family. I’ll catch up with you to find out what properties would be best to invest in and we’ll go from there”. Well my friend, this article is for you!

Now a couple of years ago I would’ve said, get a 3 bed terraced at a good price and it’ll be a nice little earner with an annual yield of around 7-8%. Is it still the same now?

Well I got to doing a bit of research and looked at the following property types within a mile radius of Nuneaton town centre: 2 bedroom terrace, 2 bedroom semi, 3 bedroom terrace and 3 bedroom semi. I looked at the cost to buy as well as how much rent they are going for at the minute (I know, you’re thinking “blimey this lady is efficient”. I thought that too!) and this is what I found (please note this research was done 25th April 2018):
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT…

What I was most surprised by in my research was how VERY similar the prices are for 3 bed terraced and 3 bed semi-detached properties. At the minute, the most popular price for both seems to be £149,950.

So this has blown my original theory from two years ago out of the water….or has it?

If someone had bought a 3 bed terraced house as an investment a couple of years ago they would’ve paid, on average, just over £100,000 (based on sold prices in 2016 for 3 bed terraced properties). So if I gave you that advice two years ago and you’re now nearly £50,000 richer, you are welcome!

Despite the average figures as listed above, it’s not to say you can’t still grab a bargain and get a decent annual yield from it. For example, I’ve found a 3 bed Terrace house on Alexander Street (off Edward Street), which is a 5 minute walk to Nuneaton town centre, close local amenities and walking distance to the hospital etc for £107,500. Now it does need a little TLC but it could rent for £625/month (minimum) giving you an annual yield of 6.98%, which is pretty darn good considering the figures above.

So, take from this article what you will. The evidence suggest the yields aren’t great on 3 bed terrace properties, however…and it’s a big however, if you find one at the right price, it could be VERY rewarding because, as we have seen, you get a good annual yield and a decent return on investment…you couldn’t ask for more!

I hope you have found this article useful and it has provided some insight into the Nuneaton property market for you eager property investors. If you would like to discuss anything mentioned in this article or fancy popping in for a chat, we’d love to help. For more info on us and how to get in touch, please feel free to visit out website.

Are you saving money by self-managing your Nuneaton property investment?


I bumped into a couple of our lovely Landlords in town last week and we decided to have a catch up over a Costa coffee (we should really be paid commission from Costa!). Terry and June used our Tenant find service a couple of years ago. As they are a retired couple, they decided they had the time to manage things themselves, which is great.
I asked how things were going with the house and immediately saw on both their faces that the answer was “not great!”. They said “well it’s funny that we’ve seen you today because we were going to pop in and have a chat about finding us some more tenants…and taking over the management for us”.
They went on to tell me that once the tenants had moved in, they had intended to do regular inspections (every 4 months or so) but, when it came time to schedule them in they had unexpected hospital visits (both ok thankfully), family birthday events to attend, last minute holidays…and the list goes on. Anyway, 4 months turned into 6 months, 8 months, 12 months and, before they knew it, two years had passed and the tenants had given their one month notice to leave.
The tenants had been paying the rent each month and had been cooperative when arranging the annual Gas Certificate so, Terry and June just assumed all was well. A mistake that many landlords often make.
When it came time to the check-out June said that she was so upset she nearly cried. They had spent around £4,500 on improvements prior to letting the property and, although the house wasn’t “trashed”, it was not in the same state that it was handed over to the tenants. It was evident that they had been smoking in the property (evident from the smell and yellow staining), the carpets were well trodden and quite mucky (they obviously were a fan of removing their shoes) and they had also noticed a stained patch on the ceiling which indicated a leak somewhere upstairs.
Luckily Terry and June had protected the tenants deposit, however, their inventory was not very detailed and they did not get the tenant to sign the inventory. They knew this was advised but it was just an oversight on their part. Anyhoo, the tenants (who were all lovely and accommodating to begin with) refused to accept responsibility for any of the issues raised and insisted that the full deposit be returned to them. The landlords disputed this with DPS and after months (yes, months) of disputing the matter, they lost and the entire deposit was returned to the tenants.
The reason for this was that the inventory was not detailed enough and there were some things that they did not mention (like the ceiling) and the fact that the carpets were newly fitted etc. The fact that they did not get the tenants to sign the inventory also went against Terry and June who were then left with a grubby house with a leak, no rental income and no funds to claw back for repairs!
The sad fact of property investment is that you often don’t realise how bad things are until it’s too late! Certain things HAVE to be done prior to a tenancy, on the tenancy start date, throughout the tenancy and, if they are not done, the consequences are often pretty horrible but, of course, by then, it’s too late.
Terry and June put it down to experience and they even considered selling the property because of it. However, they know the benefits of investing in Nuneaton property and, in the right hands it can be very successful.
I absolutely admire Terry and June for giving it a go but, it’s not easy. They may have saved themselves management fees in the two years they self-managed but, they worked out that it would’ve cost them just under £1,500 over the two years but it has cost them just over £2,000 to rectify things. They’ve now come to the conclusion that they’d rather pay the monthly management fees and know that everything is in hand rather than worrying that something like this will happen again.
If you have had a similar experience or are considering having your Nuneaton property investment manage, please feel free to give us a call and we’d be more than happy to have a chat with you to see how we can best help.