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Hit the beach…

Brighton HousesLandlords should invest in Britain’s coastal cities for the best returns. That’s according to new figures from HSBC.

Coastal cities often have plenty of cheap property. At the same time, rents are often relatively high. This may be because they often have young and transient populations who are keen to rent, but not to buy. Continue reading

Pests and your Properties

mouseThere is nothing worse than finding out that one of your properties has become subject to a pest infestation, especially as it means that not only will you have to organise removing them but potentially also move your tenants out of the property until the pests are gone. Often pests can be dealt with easily, but there are ways to prevent them in the first place. Here we look at what you need to know about pests in your properties: Continue reading

Landlords face HMRC crackdown

HMRCLandlords are being warned that the HMRC are looking to crack down on those who don’t pay enough tax. It’s easy even for conscientious landlords to sometimes fail to pay their dues, especially as tax affairs can complex and difficult to manage. But with HMRC targeting landlords now is a good time to make sure you’re paying enough. Continue reading

Should Landlords Take Pets?

puppyIt is standard for rental contracts to not allow tenants to have pets. It is obvious why: pets have claws which can damage furniture and decor, they have fur that can be almost impossible to clean away, and they can cause a nuisance to neighbours.

Most tenants understand why landlords are generally reluctant to take pets, but that does not mean that they are always willing to give up their furry friends when they move into a new rented property.

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Rental Market Hit By Scammers

The UK property rental market is one of the country’s biggest. Many of us will spend most of the wealth accumulated in our life time on either a mortgage, rent or home improvements of some kind. This is however proving to be a lucrative market for scammers and con-men who are using fake identities to coax landlords into providing them with housing.

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Empty Homes, the True Cost!

When you think of empty houses, you immediately think of problems regarding squatters and others trespassing on your property. Whilst certain landlords insurance policies may cover these eventualities, you may not always be fully protected , especially from the social repercussions which are generated by partially vacant neighbourhoods.

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The Value of Buying Abroad

Many of us dream of owning a property outside of the UK after having had a taste of life abroad. Whether it’s a family trip to the Algarve or a romantic holiday in Dubrovnik, the thought of having an abode outside the rainy British Isles is quite appealing. It is easy though, for sentimentality to get in the way of a good purchase. Sentimentality can add value which would otherwise be absent in the market in question, something which is often exploited.

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Friday Five: Tips for negotiating a purchase

If you’re looking to get your perfect house, and you think you’ve found the one, how do you get it for the best price possible? The current housing market is somewhat unpredictable, but as it gets better and house prices start to rise again, negotiating the right price for a property becomes harder. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your money.

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Utilities being cut off

It’s a phenomenon that many of us will have considered, but few have actually had this happen to them. Many months of unpaid bills; letters from water companies, then suddenly a call from your tenants saying they have no water. Having your water cut off can be more than just a nuisance. What can you do to rectify the situation where tenants are not paying their bills?

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The top 5 things that devalue your house

We know that adding value to your home is best done by adding floor space via conversions, but how is your home devalued most. Where should you spend that cash to make sure you don’t lose out on a best price? These are the top five ways to not splash your cash meaninglessly, instead, tastefully adding value to your home. Remember, not everyone will have the same tastes as you. For certain repair work, you may be eligible to claim for property insurance too.

5. External Paint

A bad paint job is up there in deterring house buyers. Having flakey paint is likely to leave any buyers under the impression that if you can’t look after the outside of your house, the inside isn’t going to be much better. The buck doesn’t stop there though. Even if you’ve just painted your house, painting it the wrong colour will likely offend any potential buyers. Try and stick to neutral colours if possible.

4. Distasteful Interior Aesthetics

Once you manage to get a buyer into the house, you can’t slip up on interior aesthetics. Anything over done, too brightly coloured, ageing, badly colour coordinated, from the 1980’s or any sort of strange textured wallpaper is a definite no no. Keep it inviting and not too lived in.

3. Disrepair/ Unfinished repairs

Getting this wrong is going to certainly put off potential buyers. Leaving serious repairs on show will put off most people. We’re talking heating, exposed plumbing, structural repairs, bad DIY work and even mould problems. It may cost you a few thousand to repair, but you can be guaranteed to lose a lot more than that in price offers if you don’t keep your property in good repair for viewings.

2. The Kitchen

Now we’re not saying remove the kitchen. That would be ridiculous. We’re talking kitchen’s that you’ve built to your own specification, kitchens which are slightly unique and even kitchens which are too high-spec. Kitchens are one of the most carefully analysed parts of the house. To get this room could mean you’re losing or even wasting your money. Don’t assume everyone has the same tastes as you do and whatever you do don’t splash out on an expensive kitchen as you may not see a return. Quality components can add value but what we’re saying is, don’t go overboard. Oh and, make sure it’s clean, free of marks and in good repair.

1. An overdone bathroom

Keep it simple. Much along the same lines as the kitchen, bathrooms are carefully looked at by prospective buyers and overdoing your bathroom can be problematic. You want to make sure your bathroom is neutral and not to gaudy. Make sure your bathroom is in good nick and you may want to invest in new flooring, tiles or a thorough tile re-grouting. Avoid Vinyl or Carpet in the bathroom (as with the kitchen) and stick to tiles or even a wood floor (depending on your property). Again, make sure its spotless.