STRATFORD LANDLORD PAGES
Updated: Apr 27
This blog follows the buy-to-let market in Stratford upon Avon and the surrounding Warwickshire / Worcestershire / Gloucestershire villages and small towns. You'll find tips, guidance, and analysis that relate specifically to these areas and you'll also find properties from all the estate agents in the town on here that may make decent investments. I operate Cribs Residential Lettings Ltd in Stratford upon Avon and if you're thinking of buying a property to let in the district of Stratford upon Avon, I'm happy to offer a second opinion.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Hi, and thank you for visiting this blog. I have been in the Stratford Property market since 2000. I now own and run with my excellent business partner Liz, the Cribs Residential Lettings Ltd office in Stratford upon Avon. I am very excited about the Buy to Let market and love helping Landlords like you. I have always shared my thoughts on the local property market in Stratford upon Avon with my landlords, I've helped many landlords purchase their first property and helped the experienced landlord to build their property portfolio, but now I want to share with everyone in the town. On this blog, Liz and I will talk about what is happening in the town's property market itself, even looking at specific streets or housing estates. At other times, we will post what we consider decent buy to let deals that will be on the sales market with other agents in Stratford upon Avon and the surrounding area. We like to look at the whole of the market and give you, what we consider the best investment opportunities. Andy
When was the last time you reviewed your rental portfolio? Please book your free 30 minute strategy call today 01789532707 / firstname.lastname@example.org
LANDLORD GUIDES FACTS & FIGURES
Use the drop down list to view the following articles
A Landlords Guide To Rent Increases - 16 November 2021
The uptick in inflation, along with pressure on interest rates, means that many landlords will be considering rent increases right now.
Before deciding on a course of action, here are some points to consider.
Why would a landlord raise rents?
Rising mortgage and maintenance costs.
Tax and legislative changes that impact profitability.
Changes in the supply of and demand for rental properties in the local market.
When can a landlord raise rents?
It depends on the terms of the contract. Your tenancy agreement should clearly state how and when rents can be reviewed, and the notice period required for an increase.
It’s vital that you understand the terms of your contract and – unless you enjoy messing with lawyers and tribunals – abide by them.
If you’re unsure where you stand, contact us here at Martin & Co for independent advice.
How much should you raise rents?
It’s a balancing act as an OTT rent hike could cost you more in the long run.
To hold on to top tenants and enjoy good returns, do your research and play fair.
Look at what other landlords are charging for comparable properties in Chelmsford. Be honest about the condition of your property and determine your price accordingly.
Telling your tenant
Be upfront and start the conversation sooner rather than later. That way, your tenant will have time to adjust to the idea and budget accordingly. Always serve written notice within the required notice period.
What if my tenant is unhappy?
Explain that you’re facing rising costs and talk about any improvements you’ve recently made to the property.
If a tenant is happy and settled, they’re unlikely to bother with the expense of moving if a rise is reasonable.
If your proposed rise causes a stir, make a judgement call. Weigh up the costs of finding a new tenant and the risk of having the property sitting empty against the extra income you stand to make.
Look at the big picture. If your tenant is a keeper, consider negotiating. If you’ve had issues with them in the past, maybe it’s time to part ways.
Where problems occur
Issues arise when:
A landlord is missing in action for a couple of years and then springs a massive hike on a tenant to make up for lost time.
The rent is set too low initially, and the landlord tries to play catch-up by introducing a big hike when they can.
Tenant/landlord relations are so poor that rational conversation isn’t possible.
A landlord doesn’t understand their contract and tries to bulldoze through a hike at the wrong time.
To avoid these issues:
Get professional advice from an experienced letting agent so that you set the rent at the right level the first time.
Have a long-term rental strategy. Some landlords, as a rule, increase rents incrementally every year or two to cover rising costs.
Ensure your contract is watertight and that you understand it.
Communicate regularly with your tenant. If you’re time-poor, a letting agent can do it for you.
How To Prepare Your Property For Winter - 16 November 2021
With winter officially only a few weeks away, the time is now ideal for landlords to take steps to ensure their properties are prepared for whatever December to February serves up.
By putting a winter property maintenance plan in place, you’re setting yourself and your tenants up for a trouble-free winter period.
Begin with boilers – The best time to service a boiler is in September, ahead of it being plunged into constant action in the months that follow. The second-best time to service a boiler is right NOW. By keeping on top of boiler and heating maintenance, you’ll save a lot of money and avoid hassle in the long run.
Remember your radiators – Bleeding your radiators is a simple, yet effective way of ensuring they are working as well as they should be.
Look at lagging – Frozen pipes that burst are the stuff of nightmares for any serious landlord. So, take the time to ensure pipes are wrapped in lagging to reduce the risks of freezing and potentially bursting.
Go to guttering – Don’t wait until the weather turns before you clean out your gutters. Blockages can build up over time and slowly cause unseen damage.
Insulate everywhere – Insulating a loft is an excellent way of keeping the warmth in and the heating bills lower. But don’t forget that even insulating against draughts can be a small way of making a big difference to how warm a property feels.
Fix that fence – The stronger seasonal winds love claiming a poorly maintained fence as one of its victims. So, act now to ensure any weak spots in your fencing are ready to stand up to whatever the winter winds throw at it.
Check it out – If your property is vacant for any sustained period over the winter months, diarise weekly or fortnightly visits to it to keep an eye on things. If you can’t do this, then it’s the kind of thing a good, local letting agent can do for you.
Your rental property is an asset, and having happy tenants is a key part of making the most of it, so take the time and spend the money on creating a safe, comfortable home for them this winter.
And don’t worry if you’re not a Handy Andy or a DIY Diana. At Cribs. we have good working relationships with maintenance people who can do all the work for you.
Record House Prices For All Regions - 16 November 2021
Despite the Stamp Duty Holiday ending, recent reports indicate that all regions of Britain have seen major increases in property values.
The latest research shows that property prices have risen by £5,983 this month alone, which is 1.8% more than the month prior.
This is the highest monthly increase for October since 2015.
The number of sales approved in September was up by 15.2%, when compared to the same period in 2019. This is due to a supply and demand imbalance caused by an increase in motivated homeowners looking to move post-pandemic.
The ongoing imbalance grants opportunity for sellers looking to move this season, who will be able to take advantage of the increased prices and quick selling times
Privately Rented Homes Have Most Serious Health Hazards - 10 December 2021
More than one in 10 (13%) of privately rented homes have serious health hazards, compared with 10% of owner-occupied homes and 5% of social housing, according to the National Audit Office’s (NOA) report on private renting regulation.
There are an estimated 4.4 million households in the private rented sector (PRS) in England, renting from an estimated 1.5 million landlords.
The report found that 23% of privately rented homes were classified as non-decent, rising to 29% for those renters receiving housing support.
On average, private tenants spent more of their income on housing (32%), compared with those living in their own properties (18%) or social housing (27%).
When asked about renting to non-UK citizens, 25% of English landlords said they are unwilling to let their properties to non-UK passport holders.
The estimated amount of housing support paid to private renters or directly to private landlords in England in 2020-21 was £9.1bn.
Out of the 308 local authorities in England, 65 were identified as having run a landlord licensing scheme beyond minimum requirements since 2010.
Since banning orders were introduced in 2016, 10 landlords and letting agents have been banned.
The 18 months to September 2021 was the duration of longer notice periods for evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Renard, housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), said: “Councils want all tenants to be able to live in safe and secure, high-quality housing and can play a key role in driving up standards in the private rented sector.
“With more powers such as the freedom to establish landlord licensing schemes, councils would be better placed to support a good quality local private rented offer in their communities.
“Where councils need to take action, some issues may be resolved without the need for inspection and enforcement is a last resort when all other options fail.
“Longer term, the key to increasing housing security is to address the unaffordability of housing.
“Giving councils the powers and resources to build 100,000 social homes for rent a year would go a long way towards tackling this urgent issue.”
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, added: “Regulation of the private rented sector needs to ensure that homes are safe and meet all required standards. Too often the approach to this has been piecemeal.
“It has led to a proliferation of initiatives such as licensing, banning orders and a rogue landlord database with little evidence to show they are working.
“We support the NAO’s call for a more strategic approach.
“There is a pressing need for a better evidence base to ensure the system focuses on rooting out criminal and rogue landlords who bring the sector into disrepute.
“Too often councils focus much of their time regulating compliant landlords who are easy to find.
“The NAO is right also to call for better enforcement of the regulations already in place.
“This needs to include tenants better understanding their rights and responsibilities.
“To improve enforcement, we are calling for the development of a meaningful national redress scheme for the sector as part of the government’s forthcoming White Paper on rental reform.”
Rents To Increase Firmly Over the Next 12 Months - 10 December 2021
The latest market snapshot from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggests that rents are to increase “firmly” in the near future.
The November sentiment report produced by RICS today shows that tenant demand saw another solid monthly increase with a net balance of +48 per cent of agent respondents citing a rise.
Meanwhile, landlord instructions fell according to a net balance of -24 per cent of participants.
Given this mismatch between rising demand and dwindling supply, RICS says: “Rents are anticipated to increase firmly over the near term, returning a net balance +49 per cent.”
Over the next 12 months, RICS agents says they expect around four per cent growth in rents at the national level, with increases expected to average roughly five per cent per annum over the next five years.
The sales side also shows a significant and growing mismatch between demand and supply.
Those responding to RICS’ late-November sales survey reported a net balance of +13 per cent in new buyer enquiries, a slight increase on the +11 per cent reported in October.
But there’s a net balance fall of -9 per cent in agreed sales – this is the fifth time in a row a negative result has been reported.
Respondents frequently said the continuing drought in new listings was a significant factor holding back the market nationwide – with a net balance of -18 per cent of respondents noting a deterioration for an eighth consecutive month.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, comments: “The issue of supply is gathering ever more importance … the theme runs strongly both through the latest set of contributor comments as well as the data around new instructions and the decline in inventory on agents books.
“Unless this trend is reversed soon, transaction levels may flatline in 2022 with limited choice proving more significant than any shift in the interest rate environment for new buyers.
“The imbalance compared to the demand trend is, meanwhile, likely to continue to be a key factor supporting prices and indeed, even if the cost of mortgage finance does begin to edge up, it is likely that house prices will continue to move higher through the coming year, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than over the past 12 months.”
Should You Buy A Property Using a Limited Company Or Your Own Name? - 17 December 2021
In brief: If you are running a Buy-To-Let (“BTL”) business, you need to consider whether to purchase property in a personal capacity or through a limited company. Depending on individual facts and circumstances, using a limited company may result in significant tax savings, particularly over the longer-term. To help you decide which option might be right for you, let’s consider some of the pros and cons of each approach.
It used to be the case that only a minority of property investors would purchase property through a limited company; most investors simply bought property as an individual. However, changes to mortgage tax relief over recent years have initiated a shift to greater numbers of property investors using limited companies.
Mortgage tax relief changes
Section 24 of the 2015 Finance Act (introduced in 2017) replaced a landlord’s right to deduct mortgage interest and other finance costs (such as mortgage arrangement fees) from rental income when calculating taxable profits with a tax credit equivalent to 20% (the basic rate of tax) of the mortgage interest and finance costs. These changes apply only to individuals i.e., not to companies.
Using a simple example, assuming you have annual rental income of £10,000 and mortgage interest of £8,000. Prior to the introduction of Section 24, accounting and taxable profit would have been £2,000 (£10,000 less £8,000). As a higher rate taxpayer (perhaps because of your employment income), you would pay tax of just £800 (£2,000 x 40%).
After the introduction of Section 24, accounting profit remains at £2,000, but taxable profit becomes £10,000 as mortgage interest can no longer be deducted. A higher rate taxpayer would now have a tax liability of £2,400 (being £10,000 x 40%, less a tax credit of 20% x £8,000). As this is more than the accounting profit of £2,000, you would have to find an additional £400 just to pay your tax bill!
Notwithstanding the above, good reasons to buy property in your own name continue to exist.
Buying property in your own name
Cash buyers. If you (a) are not using a mortgage to buy a property and (b) have no intention of taking out a mortgage on the property in the future (perhaps to finance another project), then Section 24 does not impact you. Purchasing the property in your own name will avoid the burden and costs of administering a company. However, a limited company may provide you with other benefits, so keep reading…
Mortgage costs. Interest rates on for BTL mortgages for individuals (Retail lending) are typically lower than those for companies (Commercial lending). At the time of writing, you can expect to pay ~1% less on a retail BTL lending arrangement. On a £100,000 mortgage, this equates to an annual saving of £1,000. This could change in future years as financing BTL mortgages using a limited company becomes more popular and mortgage providers to become more competitive.
You already own the property. My clients often ask me if they should transfer their existing personally owned property into a limited company. The answer depends very much on their individual facts and circumstances. The ‘transfer’ essentially equates to the limited company purchasing the property from the individual. This will likely result in (a) individual capital gains tax liability crystallising on any increase in the market value of the property since original purchase (the market value cannot be understated), (b) the company paying stamp duty on the deemed purchase price of the property, and (c) the incurrence of legal fees. In such instances an analysis should be performed over both the cashflow implications and the level of costs in relation to the associated mortgage interest relief savings. Ask your accountant to help you with this analysis.
Buying property through a limited company
Protecting your profits
Mortgage interest relief. Unlike individuals, companies continue to benefit from mortgage interest relief such that they can deduct mortgage interest from rental income to calculate taxable profit.
Corporation tax. Companies are subject to corporation tax on their profits, the rate for 2021/22 being just 19%. This is lower than personal tax rates, particularly for higher rate taxpayers who are taxed at 40% (plus national insurance). Although the main rate of corporation tax is expected to increase to 25% in 2023/24, small companies with profits of less than £50,000 will continue to benefit from the 19% rate. A sliding scale will apply for companies with profits between £50,000 and £250,000.
Profit extraction. Companies allow for greater flexibility when paying yourself by using a tax efficient combination of dividends and salary/Director fees. Further benefits can be obtained if your spouse or other family members are involved in your business, who might have personal tax allowances available or are lower rate taxpayers. Furthermore, the timing of such payments can be flexible to ensure tax allowances are fully utilised each year. This is a significant benefit given that profits from personally owned property become taxable immediately.
Profit reinvestment. Rather than extracting profits, many property investors prefer to reinvest profits to grow the business over the long-term. As corporation tax rates are lower than personal tax rates, a greater proportion of profits can be retained and reinvested.
Limited liability. A limited company is legally separate from your personal affairs, meaning that you are less likely to be personally liable for losses or legal claims.
Administration. Setting up a limited company is a relatively cheap, quick and straightforward task. Once your company is registered, you will have additional responsibilities. For example, you will need to (a) prepare and file accounts with Companies House, and (b) submit company tax and corporation tax calculations to HMRC. You may need the services of an accountant to complete these tasks. If you already use an accountant, the fees for preparing accounts for limited companies may be higher.
the Property Tax Accountant’s view: As is always the case with complex topics such as this, planning is of utmost importance. Ideally, you should consider your long-term goals for each property you intend to purchase and assess the pros and cons of buying that property in your personal name or through a limited company. Not doing so can lead to expensive mistakes. As one-size does not fit all so an accountant specialising in property can help you consider the pros and cons of each option in detail, considering your individual facts and circumstances.
Produced by the Property Tax Accountant UK
We are constantly searching the whole property sales market in the Stratford upon Avon district in order bring you our recommended 'next best property investment deal'.
CLICK ON THIS LATEST VIDEO TO SEE A CRACKING BUY TO LET DEAL THAT WE HAVE FOUND FOR YOU.
Latest Video Dated: coming soon
As always our recommendation is that you give the respective selling estate agents sales team a call and view the property with them. Let me know your thoughts and I will help you make the right decisions. You can contact me anytime on any of the following:
Tel: 01789 532707 WhatsApp: 01789 532707
Live Chat button on website
QUICK CHAT & CONVERSATIONS
Use the drop down list to view the chit chat
Who Is Renting in this Area?
A new investor landlord, whose only previous knowledge of Stratford upon Avon was from visiting as a tourist during the Summer, came into the office to speak with me about investing in a buy to let property in the town. Her main question was ''If the town is predominantly a tourist town and therefore most people would come here for short term / holiday lets who is renting on longer term residential tenancies?''
In reply I explained, over a fresh cup of coffee, that from my experience, the town's demand for rental properties has always been very strong, in fact far outweighing supply for as long as I can recall. Some towns are reliant upon a particular category of tenants, for example a town might be reliant upon student lets, I find that Stratford however has always benefited from a good attraction from a wide range of categories. Yes, it is a tourist town and some tourists do come to experience the district for longer than just one- or two-weeks holiday, the town has some large companies attracting employees to the area including the likes of Jaguar Land rover, RSC and NFU. There is a good college and a University Institute bringing students into the area. I have always felt that the town's sales property market is high when compared to average salaries in the area and with that many local young people moving out of their family homes initially look to the rental market. We have some large cities very close by including Birmingham and Coventry where many people travel to work each day but perhaps don't wish to live in those areas and so choose to reside in Stratford upon Avon and the beautiful surrounding Warwickshire villages. Lastly, we are very lucky to live in a wonderful popular town and many people simply want to experience the lifestyle it brings.
The prospective new landlord was delighted with the information I was able to provide to her, she returned to me to take advantage of our property sourcing expertise and is now an established client building up a property portfolio.
Our advice is free for anyone who needs it, we encourage you to take advantage of our experience and come and have a chat with us.
How Do We Find Our Tenants?
A current valued landlord client of ours was commenting on how impressed he was with both the quality of tenant we have sourced for his properties and the speed at which we are able to achieve this, he said to me ''I guess you just stick them on Rightmove don't you''. I took a deep breath and began to explain to her that Rightmove does not dictate the market and is certainly doesn't dictate our business.
We are not so naïve to suggest that Rightmove along with the other leading property portals does not play an important role in our industry, there are however a multitude of avenues we constantly access to achieve the best for our landlords.
I went on to explain where our tenants come from, how they get to see our property listings and how we can ensure we find the very best tenant/s for each property. It all starts with creating an A4 property detail which is factual, informative, short, and sharp as well as creating a welcoming introduction to a property. Care is taken to ensure the photographs we can take always show the property in its honest light, nothing is misleading, tenants get a fabulous first impression of what we are trying to present. Each property receives a full video walkthrough which goes further than photos can to truly give an insight into what the property has to offer in way of layout and space. Once we have the perfect marketing details, we can upload these to the property portals that tenants use including the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla, Boomin, Prime Location to name a few. Every property is added to our property listing pages on our own popular website ww.cribsresidentiallettings.co.uk
We have a database of prospective tenants that we are constantly reviewing to ensure that it remains up to date, from this we can property match as soon as a new property comes onto our books, this means that anyone who is registered with us will receive details of new properties before they reach the open market. These prospective tenants have aften already been verified and sometimes even fully referenced by us, so we are confident of their suitability. Additionally, we can communicate with HR departments of those larger local employers as well as having some very strong connections with the leading relocation companies in the area who rely on us to source their clients with new homes.
Finally, we cannot talk about marketing without discussing social media channels. We have our own YouTube channel, Facebook pages, Instagram pages, Linked-In pages and Twitter pages which means we are able to communicate with many different groups of people at the push of a button on creating a post, this is proving to be a very popular source of securing new tenants for our clients and will eventually we believe take over from the online property portals that have dominated property marketing for a long time.
Do I Need To Spend More Money On Refurbishment?
A new investor landlord I was speaking to only a few weeks ago was asking my device on what the would need to do to improve the property they were purchasing in order that it will command the rental level expected and attract the right 'type' of tenant?
In response and as a general guide, fresh and neutral is always the best policy.
Any property will benefit from a fresh coat of white emulsion to walls, ceilings and woodwork (that does mean NO MORE magnolia I'm afraid)! Neutral carpets/flooring with the trend being toward a grey colour finish. I appreciate this is very basic information we are not trying to rewrite history here but it is amazing how many properties we still see with multi coloured wallpapered walls, garish carpets and woodwork that has been left with out a fresh coat of emulsion for such a long time is now yellowing in colour.
Ultimately we all want to attract the best tenants and receive the best rental incomes and these few simple tasks between tenancies will go a huge way to achieving this.
Those small repairs that needed doing a long time ago and you have been putting them off - now is the time to get them rectified. I know they may seem trivial to you and I but as with everything first impression count. If a tenant sees that a landlord is not keeping on top of basic maintenance issues then they will be less likely to report them.
Looking in more detail and of course spending a few more £££'s can certainly help propel your property to that next level. Kitchen and bathrooms should be clean and modern and with fully functional appliances included. Gardens should be easy maintenance, lets face it no one looks after the garden as good as you will ! So lets not over complicate matters by introducing exotics plants and wild growing hedges that your average person is going to find a challenge to keep on top of.
Do I Have To Accept Pets Now?
An existing Landlord client of ours called to tell me they are not happy as they have been told by a3rd party that they have to accept tenants with pets now?
The situation with regards to accepting or declining pets has not changed as at this time. It is perfectly acceptable for Landlords to decline a tenant who has a pet without any implications on them or the property. It is however very topical at present and the Government are trying to actively encourage Landlords to be more open to accepting tenants with pets, they know we are a pet loving nation and in order to try to increase the chances of tenants being able to secure a private rental sector home the Government have created a 'model' Tenancy Agreement which is openly available for anyone to use and in this 'model' agreement Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, landlords will now have to seek consent for pets as the default position, and will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason.
The key change only allows the banning of pets where there is a good reason (such as large pets in smaller properties or flats, or other properties where having a pet could be impractical). The revision encourages landlords to be more open to pet-owning tenants but will not be made to accept a pet if they do not want to, therefore giving landlords the final say. Tenants will also continue to have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property.
There is however no obligation legal or otherwise for any Landlord or Agent to use this 'Model Tenancy Agreement' the Government has created. Most Agents are already set up to receive their legal documents from bodies they are currently associated with such as ARLA, Property Mark, UKALA, NLA to name just a few.
There is always the possibility that the Governments' long-term plans are to introduce and enforce their 'Model AST' to all parties involved in creating Tenancy Agreements, this however would need to be passed through complex law and remains in much debate and sometime away from being statute.
Use the drop down list to view some recommended contacts for all your needs
Mortgage and Buy to Let Advice
Personal Estate & Lifetime Wealth
Last Will & Testament
Lasting Power of Attorney
Protective Will Property Trust
Probate & Estate Administration
Inheritance Tax Planning
Savings & ISAs
Life Insurance & Family Protection
Welcome to our popular newsletters section.
Each month we produce a 'monthly' newsletter for our landlords which is both informative and light hearted in content. Have a browse below at the latest edition.
CLICK THE FILE BELOW
Additionally we produce a Stratford Landlord Pages newsletter which is more detailed and informative to the local area, national trends and legislation updates for all landlords.
CLICK THE FILE BELOW