It’s good to see the Christmas appeal for the children’s hospice is now at £1,100. I’ve tried to thank everyone (who has contributed) on a one-to-one basis but cannot identify one or two members’ email addresses and there are a few anon contributions as well. Thank you very much if you have made a donation. If not, can you help to get us to £1.500? Not far now.
Give us a hand at www.justgiving.com/iain-c-maitland
Just a reminder that you should not automatically rush in to make an offer as soon as a property hits the market. In Scotland, Registers of Scotland reports that the average Glasgow property sells for £10,000 less than its asking price. However, the gap between asking and selling prices is closing there. More to come on this topic – one of our correspondents is drafting a piece for the December newsletter.
We are looking to update our old BTL course for first-timers for early 2014. Are you a first-time buy-to-let investor who might benefit from such a course? If so, please do drop us a line. If there are, say, 100 or so members who are interested in it – yes, it’s free – we will do an update over the Christmas and New Year break.
On that subject, we note that National Landlords Association (NLA) Chairman, Carolyn Uphill, has been in the news lately talking about going into BTL. ‘First of all, it’s imperative that prospective landlords don’t underestimate what they’re getting into. At the end of the day, it’s a business and landlords should know what they need to do to make that business succeed.
Before starting out, I advise to research thoroughly, understand the market and what sort of tenant you’re aiming the business at, and finally, to make sure you seek out the best advice possible.’
‘If you don’t want to manage your property, there are good agents out there, but you must make sure the agent is member of a professional body like UKALA before taking that route. However, it’s important to fully understand your legal obligations as you will still be responsible for certain things even if you use an agent, for example, making the home fit for habitation, ensuring there are no category one hazards which can cause injury, that gas safety appliances are properly tested and in working order, that the property’s Energy Performance Certificate is up to date before you rent.’
‘Finally and most importantly, being a successful landlord requires effective communication which, in turn, can help to reduce missed payments and voids that can have severe financial implications. With all tenancies, it’s important to establish a good, professional relationship from the start. It is also essential that you set out fair terms in your tenancy agreement and that both landlord and tenant understand their obligations throughout the tenancy. If you get this right, then the tenancy is likely to run smoothly.’ For more information, visit landlords.org.uk.
Cambridge Building Society has reopened its buy-to-let range and has launched a number of new products for landlords. There are fixed and discount rate products available to 75 per cent loan-to-value with a maximum loan size of £750,000. Included in the range is a two-year discounted rate at 3.59 per cent with a £199 application fee and a 0.5 per cent completion fee. A reduced-fee option is offered at 4.09 per cent with a £99 application and a £200 completion fees. A two-year fixed product is priced at 3.84 per cent with a £199 application fee and a 1 per cent completion fee. The same fees apply for a three-year fixed rate at 3.99 per cent though a reduced-fee option is available at 4.49 per cent with a £99 application fee and a £200 completion fee. As ever, talk to your broker.
If you missed the November newsletters – UKPA and IPA – please do email back and we will send these to you on an individual basis. Feel free to send them on to friends and colleagues alike. Ask them for a fiver please for www.justgiving.com/iain-c-maitland