Buy an investment property in Nuneaton without spending a penny!

With house prices at all-time highs, many homeowners are likely to find they have a good amount of equity in their home (particularly having repaid some of the mortgage over the years).

Even those who bought as recently as five years ago have seen house prices increase 24.2% in Nuneaton (31% nationally).

This, coupled with historically low interest rates, could mean there are ways to increase your exposure to the property market by purchasing a buy-to-let property, without using any of your own money.

Let me explain with an example of a landlord I helped recently (who also took advice from a mortgage broker, IFA and accountant) before going ahead with the plan to invest for their long-term security; without costing them a penny!

They had purchased a house in 2012 for £250,000, with a £50,000 deposit and a £200,000 mortgage. Just five years later, their mortgage balance was £166,000, whilst their home was now valued at £350,000.

This means if they were to re-mortgage their home at its current value, on the same 80% loan-to-value as they had done five years ago, they would receive a surplus of £114,000 above their current mortgage balance. A five-year fixed rate mortgage at this level would come with an interest rate of just 2.1%

In this case, £95,000 of the surplus funds was used as the deposit for a £270,000 buy-to-let property whilst the £175,000 balance was leant by a bank at a cost of £379 per month (2.6% interest-only, fixed for five-years).

With both mortgages fixed for five years they knew exactly what needed to be paid, knew they could afford the repayments on the residential mortgage and that the rent would cover the interest on the buy-to-let mortgage (and give them some money left over each month). They also had £19,000 left to cover the mortgage arrangement fees, stamp duty and legal fees, meaning they paid absolutely nothing to purchase their £270,000 buy-to-let property.

They’ve obviously taken on debt to do this, but with the payments fixed (at record low rates) and a surplus being generated each month from the rent, they are now set to make £2,700 for every percent the property increases in value, at no cost to them.

This is the same principal that I and many other long-term landlords have used; refinancing their rental properties to buy more. I believe there is now an exciting opportunity for a far wider audience to prosper due to the current climate of low interest rates and recent property price rises.

If you’d like to have a chat about how this could work for you feel free to get in touch on 02477 674545 or pop in and see us on Bond Street.

Have you heard about ‘Rent To Own’ in Nuneaton?

When we had someone come into our office a few weeks ago, complete overwhelmed by the prospect of thinking they had to sell their house in order to tie up everything before emigrating, the feeling of being able to take that pressure off them was a good one!
The story goes a bit like this…
Said homeowner didn’t particularly want to sell in order to emigrate as the property was in negative equity. She had only lived there 5 years and by all accounts had paid over the odds for the house. We explained to her that she didn’t have to sell now, nor did she have to rent it out (knowing that she is making a permanent move, it’s a property she wont be returning too) however, she does want to sell the property eventually.
We told her about ‘rent to own’ and how it works. That we would find her tenants who would rent the property for 5 years, knowing that at the end of the 5 years they would be buying the house off her. It’s a no brainer. Tenants move in, knowing the house will be theirs to own in a few years, looking after it in all aspects from cleaning to all maintenance , and paying the set rent per month for 5 years!

Want to know more about how this could work for you?… So many vendors are now choosing this route, and the great thing is, there is an influx of tenants who want to buy, but currently are not in a position too, who are also very excited about this opportunity. Give us a call today on 02477 674545 to find out more!

Landlord Horror Stories

While children are excitedly preparing to dress up as scary mythical creatures ready for Halloween, many Landlords are faced with the far scarier reality of damaged property, rent arrears, disruptive tenants and all the other fears associated with managing their own property.

If you are currently experiencing any of the above issues, please read on. If you are not experiencing any of the above, you may as well read on because sooner or later you will most likely need to read this…

Damaged Property

If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend a lot of time ensuring that your rental property looks clean and presentable for your new tenant. Now, there’s nothing more annoying or upsetting than people not respecting your property or maintaining it to the standard that you gave it to them….am I right? Ok, so rent arrears are probably No.1 but we’ll get to that in a minute.

When a tenant moves out is you as the landlord should deep clean; kitchen, bathroom, carpets…the lot. It also can be important to also carry out some mold testing and even test the electrics of the house to make sure it is all working properly. You ideally don’t want to have to be spending money redecorating the whole place again. So, avoid the heartache and arguments and ensure you do a thorough Inventory before the tenant moves in. Also, make sure you secure a deposit (and secure it with a recognised deposit scheme). With these two things in place, you can claim the cost from the deposit and use your inventory as proof.

DO NOT- Think “Oh they seem like good people; I don’t need an Inventory or Deposit”. Assume all people are Witches and Ghouls because things can turn ugly and scary VERY quickly!

This is advice from an experienced Landlord…take it, please!

Another aspect of damaged property is one that not many people think about — if your previous tenants have been ignoring a leak or haven’t told you about certain issues then this damage can get worse over time. In the past, we’ve seen tenants not tell their landlords about a leak in their attic and when they moved out a year later, the leak had caused such a big issue that the roof needed to be replaced. On top of that, the weather can damage your property and cause costly repairs. If you get to the point where there are so many issues with the property that you just don’t want to deal with, go to a home buyer like Ben Buys Indy Houses to take the work off your hands. Sometimes, the ROI of repairs just isn’t worth it.

Forgetful Tennants
This is somewhat continuing on from the last point, but there is potentially nothing more worrying for a landlord than a forgetful tenant who loses keys and forgets to close the windows. This possibly causes stress for both tenant and landlord and may even invite burglaries, which adds to any current difficulties, but depending on the type of contract agreed upon between both parties, may lead to extra costs in damage repairs for the landlord.

A possible solution could be found for this tricky scenario. In regard to the keys and leaving doors unlocked, as a landlord you may want to consider investing in something similar to a smart lock. These smart locks don’t just need a key, and can mainly be opened using a recognised smartphone or a thumb/fingerprint in some cases. This might be beneficial as even a forgetful person will possibly need their phone to be on them regularly and therefore hopefully should have a harder time misplacing the means to enter the property. You could find a recommendation, if this option was of interest to you through reading about systems similar to L700 LightAccess Pro, a digital key used to open encrypted light signals, or you could speak to a security company to hear their own recommendation if that was more withing your preference. With regard to windows open this one is harder, but potentially having widows that can only open to a certain extent might be a useful solution as this could minimize the ability of a potential burglar to use the window as an access point.

Rent Arrears

This is probably the scariest thing about managing your own property and can quickly turn into a real-life horror movie before you know it. If a Tenant doesn’t pay the rent, who pays your mortgage? Of course but it’s a serious financial struggle and, in some cases, an impossibility that leads to very serious financial problems.

ALWAYS- make sure you do full reference checks on your tenants. Be wary of certain situations e.g. someone who says “I’ve been living with parents”. This is sometimes code for “I’ve racked up thousands of pounds in rent arears with my previous landlord and he won’t give me a reference”….funny that!

Insist on rents being paid by standing order and keep on top of rent payments! The second they are a day or two late, get on the phone. If they don’t respond, email them. If they still don’t respond call their next of kin and say that you are concerned because you can’t get hold of your tenant. Etc etc etc

You also have to be incredibly careful with the notices you serve; some have to be served on a specific date, some you can serve at any time but they need to be in 2 months rent arrears, by which time you’re struggling to pay your own mortgage let alone two. And the horror continues.

Disruptive Tenants

Put your hands up if you’ve had one of these….oh come on, get your hand up, I know you’ve had at least one?!

Well these tenants are the equivalent to vampires; only awake at night time and are intent on causing disruption to the entire village!

There should be a clause in your Tenancy agreement regarding noise and nuisance to neighbours. Tenants must agree not to make unnecessary noise which could disturb neighbours.

If neighbours do come to you with a complaint about your noisey tenants, ask them to talk to them about it. If they do not feel comfortable about this you should discuss the issue with your tenant in a calm and reasonable manner.

What to do now?

Although I enjoy writing to you lovely readers and, lets be honest….you’ve enjoyed it, I am also a Lettings and Estate Agent in Nuneaton. Don’t sigh and switch off!

If you are looking for an easier life whereby you kick off your shoes after a long day at work and just sit in front of the fire with your family chilling out, give me a call. We can take care of absolutely everything for you from finding a suitable tenant to collecting the rent, managing the maintenance and even guaranteeing the rent.

No more horror stories for you. We’re more like a fairy tale; after you have a chat with us at QT Homes you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside *cheesy smiles*

I hope you’ve enjoyed my article. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or worries about your current tenancy and I’d be happy to have a chat about it.

I look forward to hearing from you 02477674545

Always read the small print!

At a family Birthday party at the weekend, my brother-in-law pointed out the promotion on the pack of a popular crisp snack; “Collect 3 packs and get a free Bluetooth speaker***

Except the *** referred to a host of terms and conditions including the fact you need to pay 3 towards postage. Why not just say “Collect 3 packs and get a Bluetooth speaker for 3!?

And it reminded me of some letting agents’ promotions. 0% management fees to landlords, free management and free this and free that. All with the caveat that it’s only for a certain time frame or that other fees apply, making the saving completely redundant.

The simple answer as to why companies do this is it is attention-grabbing marketing, designed to get people to contact the promoter, who then has one foot in the door.

I feel there is a lack of transparency amongst some letting agents in regards to the fees they are charging (to both landlords and tenants), which was one of the reasons we started QT Homes Lettings in 2013.

Even though it is now a legal requirement for letting agents to publish all their fees to both landlords and tenants on their website and in their offices, many don’t comply and the authorities seem to do nothing about it. Price on application or fees negotiable by property type is not permissible and contracts should be free of hidden nasties tucked away in the small print.

The roles of letting agents are unambiguous. They are responsible for managing the properties on behalf of the landlord, handling the legal responsibilities, and finding the right tenant. They are contractually obliged to put the best interests of only the landlord and not themselves. For tenants, finding the right agent is also very important. They have to do enough research before narrowing down their search to one or being conned from one.


It was sad to hear recently from two sets of prospective tenants who were shocked to find their previous letting agent was withholding a reference unless they paid them a fee. I believe in the notion of charging a fair and transparent price for a great service and not trying to make a few extra quid in the short-term just because I could.

You can find a full list of our services and fees on our website –

And that’s my business model – simple and transparent; take on nice properties (there’s lots of these around Nuneaton), choose good tenants (lots of them around Nuneaton too), keep my overheads low and my service levels high.

If you’re a landlord and wish to work with a letting agent who is passionate about providing a good service to everyone at a fair price, without the hidden complexities you sometimes find in the industry, please give me a call.