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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Gas Safety – A Landlord’s Responsibilities

As a landlord it is quite likely that you will have gas coming into the property that you are renting out to one or more people. This gas could be used to cook with or provide heating. Hopefully, you will be complying with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998? This covers your responsibilities to ensure that gas flues, fittings and appliances are safely maintained for the protection of your tenants. After all, you would not want them to suffer carbon monoxide poisoning. Accommodation covered by the above includes the likes of local authority housing, private landlords, housing associations and hostels. It also covers holiday properties being rented out such as cottages, boats and caravans, hotels, bed-sits and private houses/flats/bungalows. Not only are you responsible for the appliances and flues but also you must ensure the pipework is well maintained. You must have the gas appliances serviced on a regular basis by an engineer that is Gas Safe registered. Every 12 months a gas safety check must be undertaken of all the gas appliances and flues. Following such a check being carried out you have a period of 28 days in which to provide your tenant with a copy…

Are You Trading Profitably?

When you purchase an investment property to let out, presumably you are doing so to make money. If you have bought the property with the assistance of a capital and interest buy-to-let mortgage you will, at very least, be looking for the rental monies to cover the mortgage repayments and any other related expenses. If you have bought an investment property outright from savings you will be looking for the rental income to provide a greater return than you were getting in your savings account and also cover the expenses involved in renting out a property. It is interesting to hear that, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA), there are 27% of landlords who own and rent out a single investment property who are either trading at a loss or are breaking even. Furthermore, 19% of landlords who own between two to four investment properties that they rent out are either loosing money or are just breaking even. These statistics are concerning and, in some cases, it begs the question as to how much research and planning some landlords have carried out when assessing the viability of a particular property as to its suitability for renting out. It would…

Are Potential Tenants On Benefits Being Discriminated Against?

YouGov was commissioned by Who Benefits? to carry out a survey into how people living on working age benefits such as housing benefit, tax credits and incapacity benefit were dealing with such things as housing and employment. The report does make interesting reading for a number of things but we wished to focus on what was highlighted with regard to those on benefits finding suitable housing to rent. You may not have been aware but Who Benefits? was set up in late 2013 by five charities to provide a voice for those people on benefits. The survey was undertaken in July 2014 and concentrates on 461 respondents who presently are in receipt of benefits. It was interesting to read that a number of people on benefits felt that they were discriminated against when trying to find suitable housing. Some 16% of those respondents said that letting agents or landlords refused to rent a property to them because they were on benefits. Of course, it is obviously up to the landlord as to who they will rent their investment property to. After all, the owner of the property has undoubtedly spent an awful lot of money in both buying and fitting…

The Benefits Of Landlord Emergency Cover

As a landlord, you will want to ensure that should your rental property, fixtures and fittings and possibly contents that you have invested a considerable amount of money in be damaged due to the likes of a fire or flood that you have suitable insurance in place. This will be in the form of a landlord insurance policy and there are many companies providing such valuable cover. However, what would you do if a domestic emergency occurred at the rental property such as a problem with the plumbing or drains? What if the central heating boiler stopped working or the electricity supply ceased to work? The tenants may have lost their keys or there may be an issue with the drains becoming blocked. The toilet may cease to function and if that is the only one in the property it would need sorting out quickly. Yes, of course, you could dig into your savings, use your credit card or overdraft facility to meet the cost of one or more of these emergency repair jobs but the amount involved could be significant. Another possibility is to add Landlord Emergency Cover to your landlord insurance policy as an optional extra as this…

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