2015 is set to be a very interesting year for the property market.
The General Election is scheduled for May, and housing will undoubtedly be a top 3 issue on the political agenda.
Whether you have just the one BTL (Buy to Let) property, or are a portfolio landlord, the new year is likely to bring both threats and opportunities and it is vital to be aware of these and plan accordingly.
Here are our Top 6 New Year’s resolutions for landlords – to ensure that 2015 is a productive and profitable year
1. If you are not already a landlord, then 2015 is a great time to start!
Demand for rental properties continues to be high. This year saw the private rented sector take over from social housing as the largest sector of tenure and demand is set to continue due to people struggling to get onto the property ladder.
Perhaps you are thinking of investing in property in 2015. If so, then we can help you source a suitable property, possibly even with a tenant in situ with Guaranteed Rent!
This makes your first steps as a landlord very simple and stress-free, as we give you complete peace of mind that the rent will always be paid on time.
If you are thinking of letting out your own home, then you need to take certain steps to ensure you do it in a compliant manner. See our helpful blog “How to let out your own home safely“.
2. Never worry about a void or late rental payment again!
Recent research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), reveals that 32% of landlords in the UK, admit that they have experienced rent arrears in the past 12 months.
The research shows that a typical landlord faces £1,649 of outstanding rent each, totalling £850 million worth of rent arrears across the UK.
The NLA research also shows that 22% landlords in the UK, approximately 300,000, are worried that their tenants won’t be able to keep up rental payments over the next year.
This is where our Guaranteed Rent service can give landlords complete peace of mind in 2015. Why not join over 15,000 other landlords in 2015 who never worry about a void or late rental payment?
3. Keep up to speed with legislation
The landlord legislation landscape is constantly changing and up-dating and you need to keep up to speed with this in order to run a safe and compliant business.
For instance, are you aware of “Right to Rent” legislation that will be rolling out across the U.K. in 2015?
There are also such issues as mandatory landlord licencing, changing tenancy deposit legislation, and the roll out of Universal Credit.
If you are on a fully managed service with Northwood, then we will ensure that your properties and tenants are fully compliant with the latest statutes.
4. Make sure your tax affairs are in order
HMRC is intensifying their “Let Property” campaign targeting landlords who have not been declaring their rental income.
The taxman has already raised £7.9 million in additional tax as a result of a crackdown on landlords with undeclared, or under-declared, rental income.
Ignorance is not an acceptable defence and the penalties are harsh if you are found to have been with-holding income information.
If you are in receipt of rental income or capital gains from sale of a property, you must declare this on a Self-Assessment tax return. The deadline for on-line filing is 31st January 2015.
If you are in any doubt, seek specialist property tax advise from a company like Rental Income Tax Advisors, who are the preferred tax advisor of the Residential Landlords Association.
5. Work with a mortgage broker to advance your portfolio
Recent research suggests that over 50% of landlords are thinking of buying at least one or two further properties in 2015.
New data from Paragon Mortgages, has also revealed landlords prefer to source buy-to-let finance via intermediaries, with 60% in agreement that brokers are valuable in finding the best buy-to-let deals.
Working with a broker ensures that you find the best mortgage products for your circumstances and you may also learn of new financing strategies such as using bridging finance or specialist deal structures or products that are only available through an intermediary.
6. Mend the roof while the sun is shining!
Whether you have one property or 100 BTL properties, interest rate rises are the biggest threat to landlords, although they are not expected to rise until late 2015 at the earliest.
This gives landlords the early part of the New Year to review their portfolios, and change onto fixed rate mortgages. Again, seeking the advice of a specialist broker can be invaluable in making such decisions.
Recently there has been a trend in landlords choosing to sell their rental properties, and many Northwood offices offer this service.
At Northwood, we can offer a review of your property portfolio, advise if you are achieving the maximum market rent and generally help you ensure that your properties are delivering the greatest return on investment possible all whilst being compliant with both current and new legislation.
Next year we will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary in business and you can keep up to date with all the landlord news via this blog.
Seasons Greetings to all our landlords and tenants!
*DOWNLOAD Northwood’s free guide: How to find a professional letting agent*
Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised lettings agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.
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