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.
As our avid readers will know, this is not like one of our regular posts on the blog. However, we felt it was important enough to share in the hopes that it might encourage some local Nuneaton business owners to come along, meet us in person and Network!
We’re really looking forward to meeting some more fantastic people at the next event.
The press release below was written by Linda Ram from Procopy Creation…
Businesses looking to grow and develop, make new contacts and benefit from mutual advice and support are invited to a new networking lunch group in Nuneaton.
The Nuneaton Business Networking Luncheon has been set up to bring businesses together in a relaxed, comfortable and supportive environment where they can make useful new connections.
The new group is being sponsored by Alsters Kelley – one of the largest and most established solicitors’ firms in the region – and QT Homes Lettings, a successful independent sales and lettings business based in Nuneaton.
It takes place monthly at The Fuzzy Duck Pub & Kitchen, where attendees can enjoy a hot lunch and refreshments while meeting new business people from across the area.
Melissa Maycock, director of QT Homes Lettings Ltd, who set up the estate agency business with her sister, Mariam Fraser, four years ago, said: “As a relatively new company we appreciate how lonely it can be running your own business and we’re really passionate about supporting other local businesses and letting them know that support is out there.
“We’ve spoken to so many small businesses who have tried the larger networking events and have found them very intense and formal, with a certain amount of pressure, and they haven’t wanted to return. We want business owners to enjoy our informal meetings as well as finding it useful and enabling them to grow their business.”
Alsters Kelley has offices in Nuneaton, Coventry, Leamington Spa and Southam, offering a wide range of legal services for individual and corporate clients.
The firm’s business development manager, Julie McGarrigle, said: “Although Alsters Kelley is very established in the local area and beyond, we understand the need to continue to build relationships not only to help us evolve and grow, but also to support the wider communities that we live and work in. For that reason, business networking is an integral part of what we do.
“As well as making useful new connections for our business, it means we can also share some of our knowledge and expertise with the small businesses who contribute towards a successful and vibrant local economy.
“We wanted this new group to be extremely useful, but also relaxed. Having it at lunchtime means people can make some new contacts and get helpful tips for their business while enjoying a hot meal during an extended lunch.
“The first event went really well with some great positive feedback so we’re looking forward to welcoming more businesses to the second one this April.”
The inaugural event took place in March and was attended by more than a dozen people, despite wintry weather, who went away with some fantastic new contacts and ideas to implement in their businesses.
The Nuneaton Business Networking Luncheon includes tea/coffee and networking, followed by brief introductions and the sharing of positive news and information relevant to the town’s businesses.
Attendees then enjoy a hot lunch, followed by more networking opportunities and a useful activity designed to help businesses grow and develop.
Delegates at the first meeting were able to share advice and ideas on particular areas of their business that they would like to improve.
Melissa added: “We’re very much focussed on encouragement, growth, support and positivity and we would definitely recommend that businesses come along and see what we’re about. I’m certain that everyone will go away feeling positive about something, whether it’s an idea to implement in their business, or a fantastic new contact they would not have met otherwise.”
Businesses of all types and services are welcome to attend whenever they are able to. The next meeting takes place on Thursday, April 19, from 12.30pm. Tickets need to be booked in advance. More information and booking details are available via the Nuneaton Business Networking Luncheon Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NuneatonLuncheon/
After hearing many a story about landlords thinking of selling up to avoid any implications or fines that may come their way as result of being a private landlord I came across an interesting article , which suggested that landlords could indeed be selling up their buy-to-let investments due to increasing burdens on them in the buy-to-let market. Their findings suggest the number of new properties that came onto the market nationally (for sale) jumped by 11% across the UK as a result. These findings however do not specify if the increase in properties that have come onto the market are in fact residential or current buy-to-lets… so as ever, I suggest we don’t all go into panic mode but instead take the precautions necessary in order to keep your investment!
Those increasing burdens include new tax rules coming in over the next 3 to 4 years and the announcement that all self-managing landlords (i.e. landlords that don’t use a letting agent to look after their buy-to-let property) will soon need to register with a compulsory redress scheme to resolve tenant arguments and disputes; as Westminster wants to heighten standards in the Private Rented Sector.
A few weeks ago I was chatting with a self-managed landlord from Coventry who didn’t realise the other recent legislations that have hit the Private Rented sector, including the ‘Right to Rent’ regulations which came in to operation last year. Landlords have to certify their tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. This includes checking and taking copies of their tenant’s passport or visa before the tenancy is signed. Of course, if you use a letting agent to manage your property, they will usually sort this for you (as they will with the redress scheme when that is implemented).
If you are a self-managed landlord though, the consequences are severe because if you let a property to a tenant who is living in the UK illegally, you will be fined up to £3,000 – this came to a huge shock to said landlord!. That same landlord contacted me last week, and I checked all his paperwork to ensure he was on the right side of the law going forward – and I offer the same to any landlord in the Nuneaton area if you want me to cast my eye over your buy to let matters (and at no cost – maybe just a cream cake to have with a lovely cuppa)
If you are a self managed landlord and feel that the burden and risks involved to you personally with all these changes might be too much, just give us a call on 02477 674545 and we can make the whole process stress free for you, and you can just sit back and enjoy the rental income each month.