Nuneaton rental market during COVID 19 & Christmas

Considering the months of lockdown and working from home, we’ve been pretty busy at QT Homes Lettings (working in the garden and from the paddling pool clearly didn’t adversely affect my ability to work!…I might make it an annual thing).

Our new clients have all raised the same concerns so I thought it would be best to share their concerns with all of you because you may all be wondering exactly the same thing…

Q: Are you still going to be able to find me a tenant during lockdown and on the run up to Christmas?

A: Yes. Absolutely!

We have not seen a decline in enquiries for rental properties AT ALL during this lockdown. It has been business as usual (other than working from home and turning up to viewings looking like some kind of scary crime scene investigator in my mask, gloves, shoe coverings as well as pointing a thermometer gun at people!)

Renters are as desperate as ever to find properties in Nuneaton and I’m confident that even during the December weeks, we’ll still be doing viewings and taking applications ready for the new year.

Recently, we had a 2 bed flat to rent and it was viewed, referenced and the tenant moved in within 3 days! This was super speedy and I can’t promise that they will all be this fast but it just goes to show that the desire from renters is there to commit and get in as quickly as possible.

A 3 bedroom terraced house in Stockingford, Nuneaton had 26 enquiries within a couple of days of listing it. Someone has applied and is going through referencing as we speak and they hope to move in on 1st December so, from start to finish, that will have been 2 weeks.

Don’t despair and think that COVID and Christmas will slow things down for you and your rental income.

If you’re planning on doing things in house then great! If you’re looking for an Agent to find you a tenant in super speedy time then I know a really good one 😉

Stay safe All!

Melissa

Which areas of Nuneaton are best for property investment?

The short answer to this is- all areas!….the end.

Only Joking! What a boring blog post that would’ve been.

We have investors from all over the place contacting us to find out where in Nuneaton they should invest. Those of us who live in Nuneaton and know the areas well may have our own ideas but, as a Letting agent who has had properties all over Nuneaton, I can assure you that any area of Nuneaton is popular for rentals.

A quick breakdown for you:

Properties near the town centre (CV11 4 and CV11 5)- usually get let before we even get to advertise them! People love the terraced houses skirting the town centre. Mostly because of the convenience of town (especially if they don’t drive), being close to the train station is usually a winner for those who have to commute for work, there are several good primary & secondary schools close by and people often like to be close to all the local amenities just a stones throw away.

Stockingford (CV10 7 and CV10 8)- slightly out of town but it comes with it’s own benefits like access popular commuting links. George Eliot hospital is close by so you usually get a lot of medical professions enquiring about the Stockingford properties. Once again, there are several schools, local amenities and people often like to live there for the convenience of being close to family/friends or they may have grown up there and are looking to move out but want to stay in the same area. Stockingford will also soon have it’s own disused train station revamped and allow residents of Stockingford and galley common to access links to Birmingham and potentially further afield for employment.

The more affluent areas (Weddington & Whitestone)- These are also popular for families with a higher income but can some times take longer to rent out.

The question to ask is not what area is best but, what type of property is best. From experience, the 2-3 bedroom terraced properties (annual average yield of 6-7% at the minute) will rent all day long and the 2-3 bedroom semi detached (average of 4-5% annual yield at the minute) with a drive way and garage are also popular (in all areas) but, it’s when you start getting to the 4-5 bedroom properties that things start to slow down a bit. Anyone who can afford to rent a 4-5 bedroom house can afford to pay a mortgage on one so, it is often the case that these are more difficult to rent out. It’s not impossible but it does take that little bit longer and you find that the tenants don’t stay long (maybe they’re having renovations done on their own property, they have sold their house but not found anywhere to move to, they are here on a 12 month contract for work etc).

Not a lot of investors would start racking up the 4-5 bedroom detached properties, which I appreciate but, it’s worth knowing.

If you have any questions about specifice areas of Nuneaton and what the rental yield will be, please get in touch and have a chat. We’re always happy to help.

Melissa

Have you protected the income from your Nuneaton property investment?

I’m sure you’re all aware how difficult things are becoming with rental properties (thanks to COVID-19). We’re now having to give tenants 6 months notice and can’t accelerate evictions until they are in 6 months rent arrears!! Like it wasn’t bad enough before when tenants were in arrears!

So, with this in mind, I thought it would be the perfect time to encourage you all to look into rent protection, which can be added onto your building or landlords insurance from around £5+/month.

It’s worth every penny if you ask me. Especially with what’s happening at the minute. Our lives are changing on a weekly basis and many people are sadly loosing their jobs, which will inevitably impact the landlords who are renting out their investment properties.

The rent protection that you get may even cover legal expenses and eviction costs so please, take some time and get a quote for this to help protect you and your investment income.

I know I often have an air of sarcasm in my blog posts but I feel it I have to say to everyone out there….Be Kind! It’s such a rubbish time at the minute, for all of us so, let’s all do our bit and be the best people we can be.

For more life coaching and motivational talks, please get in touch ;-)….there’s the sarcasm again!

If you need contacts for quotes on insurance, please let us know and we’re happy to recommend.

All the best,

Melissa

New notice period for rental properties- Nuneaton Landlords…Listen up!

I wanted to get this VERY important information out to you as soon as possible and make it as detailed as possible, so…… I copied it from HMRC website. I know, I know, that’s so un-original! But it’s important so, read on…

“The provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 have been extended meaning that from 29 August 2020, landlords must provide six months’ notice to their tenants in most circumstances. However, there are some serious cases where it is right that landlords are able to start progressing within a shorter timeframe. This is because of the pressures these cases place on landlords, other tenants and local communities.

These changes mean that from 29 August 2020:

  • For notices in relation to anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, rioting and false statement, the required notice periods have returned to their pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 lengths. In some cases, this means that proceedings for anti-social behaviour can be brought immediately after notice has been served. Notice periods on these grounds otherwise vary, depending on the type of tenancy and ground used, between two weeks and one month.
  • Where at least six months of rent is unpaid, a minimum four-week notice period will be required. If less than six months of rent is unpaid, then the notice period is six months.
  • Where a tenant has passed away or is in breach of immigration rules and does not have a right to rent a property in the United Kingdom then a minimum three-month notice period is usually required.
  • Where a social tenant has an introductory or demoted tenancy (used by local authorities), for cases concerning anti-social behaviour (including rioting) and domestic abuse, a four-week notice period will be required. Otherwise, notice periods for Introductory and Demoted Tenancies will be six months.
  • A six-month notice period is required for all other grounds, including Section 21 notices and, as highlighted earlier, where accrued rent arrears are less than the value of six months’ rent.

At the expiry of the notice period, a landlord cannot force a tenant to leave their home without a court order. When the notice period expires, a landlord would need to take court action if the tenant was unable to move. We strongly advise landlords not to commence or continue eviction proceedings during this challenging time without a very good reason.

Where appropriate, if disputes over rent or other matters persist, landlords and tenants are encouraged to consider mediation. Mediation allows an independent third-party to assist those involved to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve their dispute, without the matter needing to go to court. While early mediation may be most beneficial in helping parties come to an agreement, this can take place at any point during the possession action process.”

It’s me again now. So, that makes for an interesting read, doesn’t it. All i will say is, if you are managing properties yourself just KEEP IN TOUCH with your tenants. Please be understanding, be supportive and make compromises. I know there will be some people out there who go on the defensive and demand the rent but, trust me, that definitely will not help! If tenants know that you are on their side, they will be so much more cooperative to help you too.

If it’s not the rent that’s the issue but it’s antisocial behaviour then you will be able to get some additional support for that.

Good luck out there! It’s a crazy world we’re living in at the minute.

Melissa

What exactly is happening to Nuneaton house prices post lockdown?

What will house prices do this year? Do we sit and wait patiently for the much-predicted house price crash in the next few months, or will the UK property market bounce back following the stamp duty holiday announcement?

If, like me, you are confused by the latest figures released by Rightmove, which show a 2.4 per cent house price surge compared to March in the month leading up to 8th July 2020. This number comes in only a few weeks after other house price data was showing a steady decline, with the first annual house prices fall (of 0.1 per cent) since 2012. Buyers and sellers alike are struggling to get their heads around these fluctuations understandably!

It would seem that the government’s stamp duty holiday plan is paying off, at least in the short term: the cancellation of all stamp duty payments on properties up to £500,000 has inevitably resulted in a spike of buyer interest – and in sellers being able to raise asking prices, bringing up the average property price in the UK to £320,265.

To find out more about the effect this is all having on Nuneaton house prices whether you are buying or selling, please feel free to drop us an email at info@qthomes.co.uk

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…

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.

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

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