The pitfalls of Buy to Let - BBC programme

There was an interesting programme on recently about Buy to Let.  It was on the BBC as part of its Inside Out series of programmes. The programme focused on the fact that a lot of people still believe that Buy to Let is a great way to get a good pension pot, which it is; however it showed that its not always a walk in the park! There can be major pitfalls to becoming a landlord and it can cause some major headaches!  70% of landlords are amateur landlords and according to Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action there has been a 30-40% increase in evictions recently. We have recently had a situation where our LHA tenant had her housing benefit stopped. She refused to go to the council to fill out a form to get it reinstated.  Therefore we have had no rent paid to us since July 2014.  She has also...
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Landlords urged not to dismiss tenants on housing benefit

According to the poll of 1500 landlords, more landlords are turning away housing benefit claimants than ever before with almost six in 10 landlords (57%) refusing to accept anyone on benefits.
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Chasing Your Ex-Tenant

   From dealing with landlord and tenant cases from the age of 18, while working for a firm of solicitors, I’ve seen a lot with regard to bad tenants and rent collection.  But I must say since I started Landlord Action in 1999, in the last 6 months our Rent Recovery Department has never busier in respect of ex-tenant tracing to a new address and rent recovery, like issuing small claims summons, attachment of earnings, third party orders, information hearings, charging orders and bankruptcy demands, which we offer for fixed fees and is carried out by a qualified solicitor. I believe now landlords are less tolerant with tenant owing rent arrears and want to chase tenants down to new address and try and get a money judgement against them and enforce it at court, even on some cases when they know it will be very hard to collect, but want a...
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Property Expert, Paul Shamplina, helps mop up the mess of generation rent

    On 18th July, founder of tenant eviction specialists Landlord Action and leading property expert, Paul Shamplina, will be featuring in a one hour documentary, ‘Meet the Landlords’ on BBC 1, looking at the possibilities and pitfalls of being a ‘generation rent’ landlord.    Landlord Action, an organisation which has acted on more than 20,000 problem tenant cases, says the buy-to-let boom, which has lead to over 8.5 million people in the UK now living in a rented property, is the result of a cocktail of factors. These include; a lack of house building, less affordable housing, restricted funding in the mortgage market forcing more people to rent, tougher austerity measures leading to cuts on housing benefits, stagnant wages, increased cost of living and rising unemployment.   The documentary will meet the new army of private landlords who are riding the rental boom, both making and losing money as they...
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50 tips for renters

We found this on the Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert site and thought it was very useful for Landlords to read also.  Renting rights - you dont need your landlords permission to save money The number of people renting is rising, as are rents in this fiercely competitive market. Dont feel flat (sorry). Our new 50 Renting Tips helps, heres a starter: 1. Renters have a right to switch and save on energy (even prepaid). If you pay the gas & electricity bill directly (not via landlord), you can and should compare and switch. Dont stick with the previous tenants supplier as often its costly. Always do a meter reading as soon as you move in. Speedily find your cheapest tariff: The MSE Cheap Energy Club checks youre on the cheapest, and if not, compares across the market to find it (check the top picks tab for fixed deals which...
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Could Universal Credit Lead To Higher Rent Arrears?

  Could Universal Credit Lead To Higher Rent Arrears?   Landlords need to protect their interests as Universal Credit comes into force.   Patrick Butler pointed out in a recent Guardian article, Under the new system, tenants in receipt of housing benefit will have their money paid directly to them, rather than, as now, (with vulnerable tenants) direct to the landlord... Southwark council, which is one of six areas piloting the change, says that arrears have soared since it started testing direct payments.   Every savvy landlord knows that people who have difficulty managing money wont change just because Government wants them too.   Rising rates of rent arrears makes it even more important that landlords follow the rules under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Scheme. If they take a deposit from tenants, it is a legal requirement to secure it in a special account until the end of the tenancy and, to be able...
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Social landlord speaks out on housing benefit nightmare tonight on BBC’s The One Show

  A landlord from Bracknell, Berkshire, has spoken out about her nightmare ordeal after her housing benefit tenant failed to pass on the payments. This issue has been widely reported and discussed within the buy-to-let industry but now a landlord has come out publicly to talk about it. The non-payments left Mrs Trivedy and her self-employed partner in an extremely difficult financial position. As a result of the welfare reforms and implementation of Universal Credit thousands of ordinary landlords fear that they will see more of this kind of problem. It is expected to affect the whole country and BBC1 are covering the issue on The One Show tonight, Thursday 2nd May at 7pm. They will feature Mrs Trivedy and Landlord Action, the problem tenant specialists, who she went to for help. After meeting her current partner, Mrs Trivedy decided to sell her four bedroom house in Bracknell from a...
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Landlords welcome direct payment announcement

A Government move to allow automatic direct payments of housing benefit to landlords, has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA).
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HMO’s... (House of multiple occupancy ) 5 ways to make managing them, stress free.

HMO’s can provide the savvy investor greater cash flow returns than single let properties, however many investors are put off using HMOs to expand their portfolio because they view them as being a hassle and less consistently full.    The key to successful investing in HMO’s is all down to experience. It is worthwhile paying an experienced property management company the management fee, unless you are willing to put the effort in and be proactive all the way.  Young people are still finding it extremely difficult to find the deposit to purchase their own property; they are also struggling to pay the increasing rents which Landlords are demanding for self contained properties. This situation has strengthened the case for HMO’s making excellent investments. However choosing the correct property in the right area with an excellent management company is key to the success of your investment. So where does one start?  1....
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60 Seconds with James Davis, Upad

WHAT IS UPAD IN A NUTSHELL? Upad is the UKs largest online lettings agency. We help landlords let and manage their properties nationally, and because weve grown so large, we can pass on massive savings to landlords.
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Spare rooms big business in lettings market

A recent survey by easyroommate, has shown that there are now around 4 applicants fighting for each room on the market to let, an increase of 58% in the last year.
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101 Essential Tips for investing with high cash-flow

I’m always being asked how to make more money from property as this is something I’ve been specialising in, and I decided to give away some of my top tips to help investors do this. I have attached here some of my 101 Essential Tips for investing with high cash-flow, and this section is for use particularly with tenants claiming benefits. It’s not all bad, and if done in the right way then you can make much more money with less tenants.  We also have the opportunity to have some rent direct from the council and most tenants are happy to have the money paid direct to our bank account. The main difference is that it is paid every 2 weeks for job seekers allowance and every 4 weeks for housing benefit, so we’re really flexible and help the tenants to be able to pay the minute they get paid –...
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Housing Benefit Changes from April 2011

From April 2011 a number of changes will be introduced to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) scheme. The majority of Housing Benefit (HB) customers who are assessed under LHA arrangements will see a reduction in the amount of benefit they receive. John Paul, The LHA Expert stated that there are three changes being introduced that will lower the levels of LHA that they pay in County Durham (for your geographical area you can go to https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/Secure/Default.aspx •    the removal of the £15.00 top up •    the setting of LHA rates at the 30th percentile •    the removal of the 5 bedroom LHA rate Customers affected by the last two changes will be given some transitional protection. The key changes from April 2011 are: LHA levels will be restricted to the 4 bedroom rate and a new upper limit will be introduced for each property size, with upper limits (capping) set at:...
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Housing Benefit Update - Landlord Action Seminar

Landlord Action are running an LHA Seminar on the 29th of October in London.
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More than 750,000 impacted by HB cuts - John Paul from Castledene comments

John Paul from Castledene comments on yesterdays news story - more than 750,000 people face homelessness under the governments decision to cap housing benefits.
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Confused by the new Local Housing Allowance measures?

Heres a summary: From April 2011 i) Local Housing Allowance levels will be restricted to a maximum of 4 bedrooms as opposed to the current size maximum of 5 bedrooms. ii) Local Housing Allowance upper limits will be introduced for each size of property as follows: - £250 a week for a 1 bedroom property - £290 a week for a 2 bedroom property - £340 a week for a 3 bedroom property - £400 a week for a 4 bedroom property iii) The excess of up to £15 per week which claimants could receive where their LHA was greater than their contractual rental charge will be abolished. The LHA will be reduced to match the contractual rent if the latter is the lower of the two. iv) The size-criteria will be adjusted to provide for an additional bedroom for a non-resident carer where a disabled claimant has an established need for...
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Emergency Budget: So how has it affected the Property Investor

The coalition governments first budget was finally announced yesterday, an emergency budget after the election win that was talked about so much for its predicated impact on the UK in order to reduce the current debt levels. We have picked out the following key points from a pure Property perpective.
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