New networking lunch club goes down a treat with Nuneaton businesses

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/

Nuneaton private landlords do not panic. We are here to help!


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.

Do Nuneaton Landlords need letting agents?


The short answer is that landlords don’t need to use the services of a letting agent. Many landlords decide to be hands-on and undertake the whole lettings process themselves.

I started investing in buy-to-let property ten years ago and I was keen to learn and control the whole process myself. I was wary of entrusting others with what was ultimately my financial future, something no agent could possibly care about as much as me.

I appreciate that other landlords may share a similar viewpoint, wanting to do all the work themselves. I am happy to point this type of person in the right direction, ensuring they approach the magnitude of letting a property in the right way. For example, I would strongly advise joining a landlord association, which goes a long way to providing you with the tools and documentation required to do the job, alongside keeping you updated on the latest legislation.

One major difficulty for today’s private landlord is finding the best tenants in the quickest time possible. Traditional classified adverts have largely made way for an increasingly online society, whereby tenants (particularly the better quality ones) are now using the property portals (e.g. Rightmove) and social media (e.g Facebook) to find their next home.

To help connect Nuneaton’s DIY landlords with tenants, we set-up a Facebook group called ‘Nuneaton Houses To Let, For Sale or Wanted’, which is free for everyone to join and participate in (search for it on Facebook and click ‘join’). It allows landlords to post details and photos of their available properties and for tenants to post their requirements for property, in and around Nuneaton.

For many though, buy-to-let is seen as an investment rather than a second job. These landlords appreciate that a (good) letting agent is better equipped to take on the process as they often don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to do the work themselves.

For these people, who often lack the hours required to conduct viewings, undertake thorough tenant referencing and keep on top of the admin involved in managing a rental property, whilst staying up-to-date with the ever-changing legislation, they may want to use a letting agent.

A competent letting agent who is diligent, pays attention to detail, treats each property as if it were their own, carries out a rigorous referencing process, makes their charges crystal clear from the outset and deals with maintenance issues quickly should be well worth the fee they charge to a landlord who simply doesn’t have the time or desire to take this on.

If you’d like to talk to me about how to do the job yourself or whether I, an experienced landlord and property manager (and all round superwoman), can help you with the management of your property, please feel free to give me a call on 02477 674545

Japanese Knotweed found in Nuneaton rental property

We recently discovered that one of our rental properties in Nuneaton has Japanese Knotweed growing in the garden. My immediate thought was “ouch this is going to be expensive and potentially very troublesome!”.
I knew from watching various TV programmes how much damage Japanese Knotweed can cause, especially if it gets under the structure of the property. If found on a survey, mortgage lenders won’t even consider lending so it could potentially leave your property with zero value!

What is Japanese Knotweed?
“Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a weed that spreads rapidly. In winter the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge from rhizomes deep underground to shoot to over 2.1m (7ft), suppressing all other plant growth. Eradication requires determination as it is very hard to remove by hand or eradicate with chemicals. New legislation now covers its control”- The Royal Horticultural website

What are the treatments?
Herbicidal Irradication- A selection of herbicidal treatments can be sprayed on the affected area. This treatment is often lower on cost but is not always recommended depending on what is found.

Stem Injection- “There are occasions where a specialist company may approve a stem injection methodology where only the Japanese Knotweed plants are targeted leaving all neighbouring vegetation unharmed by the applied herbicides. Unlike foliar applied eradication methods, stem injection targets the application of a controlled quantity of herbicide directly into the core of the plant. This direct targeting of the herbicidal application enables stem injection to be the least insidious method of Japanese Knotweed eradication.” (http://www.ecocontrol.co.uk/residential/)

What is the cost?
Well, like most things, the cost will vary depending on the situation. From my own experience it is costing just under £2,500 for the stem injection treatment, which will be done over two years. A percentage 20-30% is charged per visit so the costs are spread over the duration of the treatment, which doesn’t make it as painful!

Is it guaranteed?
The Company I have instructed comes with their own 10 year, £5 million warranty, which was successful in obtaining over 600 mortgages last year. So, even though I’m not planning to sell any time soon, I know that it’s good for the next 10 years.

This is not something to be taken lightly and please make sure that you DO NOT stick your head in the sand and hope it will go away because it won’t. It will only get worse. No one wants to pay out thousands of pounds for a spot of gardening but I’d rather do that than have a property that I can’t sell!
I hope this is something you never have to deal with (in your rental property or family home) but, if you do suspect, please get it checked out and get a professional company to do the work.

Plans to build even MORE new homes in Nuneaton

We were really shocked (as I’m sure many of you were) to hear about plans to build 220 ‘places to live’ on the grounds of the North Warwickshire and Hinckley College campus on Hinckley Road, Nuneaton.

There were more than 200 people who attended a discussion about the proposed development (hats off to you all). Understandably, the local residents were concerned about several issues such as flooding, increase in traffic as well as other concerns for future students who will not be able to benefit from the sports pitches and other facilities that will no longer be available due to the development plans.

The biggest question raised was, Is there a need for these 220 residential properties???
Those of you who saw my article recently about the other 850 houses due to be built (not far from the college site), will know what my answer would be!

How will this affect the Nuneaton Property market?
Well, in my opinion, local residents wishing to put their house on the market may very well suffer (despite the area and catchment for the secondary school) temporarily due to the proposed plans as well as during the building phase.
I can imagine that most houses in the area will struggle to sell with the amount of New Builds going up. House prices may drop slightly due to an oversupply of properties compared to the amount of demand, which again will impact on local residents who wish to sell their home.

The one plus side to the development is, that if you buy one of these properties on the college grounds, your child won’t have far to walk to college.

I know I had a bit of a rant the other week about the other (mammoth) development on The Longshoot, but I am all for supporting first-time buyers and we all deserve the chance to be able to get on the property ladder. The question is, are these properties affordable for first time buyers and, if so, how many?

Zoopla recently reported that, Nationally “Only 37% of people aged between 25 and 34 now live in a property they own, down from 57% in 2006/07. At the same time, the proportion of this age group who are renting a home in the private sector has soared from 27% to 46%, according to the English Housing Survey, which investigates people’s housing circumstances and the condition of properties in England.”

So, currently BTL investors are benefiting from the millennials inclination to rent / inability to afford to get on the property ladder. From a Letting Agents perspective, we know that there is an incredibly high demand for property in Nuneaton compared to a relatively low supply.

We’ll see how things progress and I will definitely be doing another blog article post development to see what impact it has had. Watch this space!

It would be great to hear what you have to say on the matter. If you would like to get in touch, please email me m.maycock@qthomes.co.uk For any other property requirements (sales or lettings) please feel free to get in touch on 02477 674545 or visit our website

Letting it and getting it RIGHT


We have so many landlords come to us when things go wrong with their tenants. This video aims to help you get it right from the start. If you would like to discuss anything mentioned in this video, please feel free to give us a call on 02477 674 545 or visit our WEBSITE

Nuneaton rents predicted to rise by 8.9% in the next 5 years!

It’s now been a good 12/18 months since annual rental price inflation in Nuneaton peaked at 3.3%. Since then we have seen increasingly more humble rent increases. In fact, in certain parts of the Nuneaton rental market over the autumn, the rental market saw some slight falls in rents. So, could this be the earliest indication that the trend of high rent increases seen over the last few years, may now be starting to buck that trend?

Well, possibly in the short term, but in the coming few years, it is my opinion Nuneaton rents will regain their upward trend and continue to increase as demand for Nuneaton rental property will outstrip supply, and this is why.
The only counterbalance to that improved rental growth would be to meaningfully increase rental stock (i.e. the number of rental properties in Nuneaton). However, because of the Government’s new taxes on landlords being introduced between 2017 and 2021, that means buy-to-let has (and will) be less attractive in the short term for certain types of landlords (meaning less new properties will be bought to let out).

Interestingly, countless market experts assumed at the start of 2017, that the number of rental properties would in fact drop throughout the year. The assumption being as the new tax rules for landlords started to kick in, landlords looked to kick their tenants out, sell up and invest their capital elsewhere. (Although ironically that would lower supply of rental properties, decreasing the supply, meaning rents would increase again!).

Circumstantial evidence suggests, confirmed by my discussions with fellow property, accountancy and banking professionals in Nuneaton, that Nuneaton landlords are (instead of selling up on masse), actually either (1) re-mortgaging their Nuneaton buy-to-let properties instead or (2) converting their rental portfolios into limited companies to side step the new taxation rules.

The sentiment of many Nuneaton landlords is that property has always weathered the many stock market crashes and runs in the last 50 years. There is something inheritably understandable about bricks and mortar – compared to the voodoo magic of the stock market and other exotic investment vehicles like debentures and crypto-currency (e.g. BitCoin).
Remarkably, there is some good news for tenants, as Tory’s recently published the draft Tenants’ Fee Bill, which is designed to prohibit the charging of tenants lettings fees on set up of the tenancy. However, looking at evidence in Scotland, I expect rents to rise to compensate landlords, thus hammering faithful tenants looking for long-term tenancy agreements the hardest. This growth will be on top of any usual organic rent growth. It really is swings and roundabouts!

So, what does this all mean for landlords and tenants in Nuneaton? In my considered opinion,
Rents in Nuneaton over the next 5 years will rise by 8.9%, taking the average rent for a Nuneaton property from £675 per month to £735 per month.

To put all that into perspective though, rents in Nuneaton over the last 12 years have risen by 20.7%. In fact, that rise won’t be a straight-line growth either, because I have to take into account the national and local Nuneaton economy, demand and supply of rental property, interest rates, Brexit and other external factors.

In the past, making money from Nuneaton buy-to-let property was as easy as falling off a log. But with these new tax rules, new rental regulations and the overall changing dynamics of the Nuneaton property market, as a Nuneaton landlord, you are going to need work smarter and have every piece of information, advice and opinion to hand on the Nuneaton, Regional and National property market’s, to enable you to continue to make money.

If you would like to discuss any of the subjects raised in the article, I would be more than happy to have a chat with you and see how we can help.
T: 02477 674545
W: www.qthomes.co.uk

The BIGGEST Housing development Nuneaton has seen in years is set to be given the Go Ahead!

Now, I wasn’t sure whether to publish this article as it really is only my opinion but I figured “hey why not, I’m entitled to an opinion”…right? and I want to share it with all of our lovely readers and would love to know what you think. Here goes…

There was an article in the Coventry Telegraph quite recently (and you’re probably already aware of this) about a new housing estate to get given the go ahead in Nuneaton. Well, it’s not just any housing estate, it’s more like a village….on the Longshoot (up to the A5).

Now I have my own views on this as well as an objective view. I’m going to start with my view first (as my husband knows only too well) be prepared for sarcasm and ranting;

Those who bought their house on the longshoot a good few years ago when they looked out their window and saw green fields and had some sense of enjoyable environment must look out their window now and be furious! Faced with congested traffic throughout the day and hundreds of new homes (most of which look the same) and hundreds of new neighbours (that they probably didn’t want!).

Well these people are in for an even bigger shock when this plan gets approved (I say ‘when’ because, let’s face it, it’s GOING to happen…there’s so much money to be made!) because there will be another 850 houses to accommodate and, I imagine, at least double the amount of vehicles (if not more) to add to the, already congested, roads every day.

It’s ok though because they’re building a primary school as well *sigh*. I’m not entirely sure where the children will go when they’ve completed primary school because the other schools in Nuneaton are already overcrowded. Hopefully they will have learnt enough by the age of 11.

What surprises me the most is that there have only been 18 letters of objection to the proposed new Longshoot City! I think some of the other objections were ‘filed’ away…in the “we’ve already decided it’s going ahead” folder!

I also think this new development will really hinder any local properties from selling if people decided to up and leave the craziness of the longshoot. I feel genuinely bad for those who live nearby because the last few years have been chaotic enough with the, now built, developments on the longshoot and now they’re proposing even more upheaval! If you live on the longshoot or close by, you have my utmost sympathy.

I find all this talk of building hundreds more homes to help first time buyers very amusing. Are these houses REALLY going to be affordable for first time buyers or are they just going to be REALLY profitable for the developers and anyone else who’s ‘involved’?!

I may be an Estate Agent but I’m also a human being, a mother and have lived in Nuneaton all my life and I’m genuinely concerned that there won’t be a patch of grass or tree left in Nuneaton by the time my son grows up. I also feel genuine sadness for those who live nearby.

Nuneaton is fantastic place to invest in properties, there’s no doubt about that, and there are always going to be people wanting to rent, but what benefit will these 850 homes bring to Nuneaton? If anyone has walked around the town recently (to visit Poundland or the several hundred charity shops we have) you will know that a lot of time and money is better invested in our Town first before accommodating another 850 households.

I know I said I had an objective point of view but I really don’t. This one’s all personal.

*Please note that my personal views are just that, my personal opinion. I do not mean to offend or upset anyone by this article*

To read the full article by the Coventry Telegraph please click here

I’d love to know what you think so, please feel free to get in touch by phone 02477674545 or send me an email.
Melissa

BEWARE- Changes to HMO licencing may apply to your Nuneaton Investment

Recently, we’ve had a lot of interest from investors (locally and from further afield like London) looking to buy property in Nuneaton to turn into a House of multiple occupancy (HMO). Most of whom are aware of the current regulations and what does and doesn’t need to be licenced. This lead me to write this article to make people aware of what changes are afoot for HMO’s.

As of April 2018 new measures affecting HMO’s will impact around 160,000 landlord houses that have, to date, not been caught by the mandatory licencing scheme.

What are the changes?
Previous Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, announced that as from April 2018 landlords renting out ALL multi-occupied properties in England occupied by five or more people, from two or more separate households, whether they are one, two or three storeys, will need to hold a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence. Minimum room size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to help prevent overcrowding are also due to be brought into force.

What’s the difference?
Under the current administration any landlord with a property that has three or more storeys has to apply for a HMO licence. With the new changes ALL properties with 5 or more tenants from two or more separate households will require a HMO licence.

Why are these changes being made?
Currently far too many people are being exploited by rogue landlords whose goals are to get as many people in one space as possible to benefit from as much income as they can. These overcrowded spaces are often filthy, neglected and dangerous.

This new measure follows and consultation and is yet subject to parliamentary approval, however, I personally believe that this is something that is needed and will be approved. Tenants are entitled to a safe and comfortable living environment and, I’m sure, the GOOD landlords will be more than happy to adhere to these new regulations to ensure their tenants are provided the best possible living space as well as making a profit.

If you would like to discuss anything in this article, please feel free to give us a call on 02477 674545
QT Homes Website