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Landlords’ Questions Answered – Smoking

Last week I was called by a new landlord asking for advice.

She was one of what’s been commonly described in the media as an ‘accidental landlord.’

Having bought a flat ten years ago, met a gentleman, got married and recently bought a home together she still has her flat.  Read more...

Why we won’t just work with any or every landlord

The ability to have the freedom to have and make choices is one of the most taken for granted aspects of our society.

During the 28 years and counting I’ve been a letting agent I’ve come across and worked with hundreds of landlords.

Those years of experience have taught me that there are certain types of landlords that are best avoided. Being well established and with a relatively large number of long term clients I’m grateful to be in a position where I can choose who I work for and with.  Read more...

Spring 2016 Update on the Lettings Market in Chiswick and West London

Earlier this month (March) I was asked by the estate agency’s leading magazine, The Negotiator, to share my opinion and insights into the property market in Chiswick and West London.

It was humbling to be approached and my answers to their questions were based on 28 years of experience serving landlords and the local lettings market.

Here’s a summary of it and some additional thoughts I’ve had since.  Read more...

Eight easy ways for landlords to save money.

We’ve had more than a week now to digest the Chancellor’s budget.

It’s not just the proposed ‘sugar tax’ that’s caused indigestion in some quarters.

For landlords, who seem to be a recent target for George Osborne, there was no good news.  Read more...

Are landlords the Government’s Public Enemy Number One?

You wouldn’t have to be the ace detective Columbo to work out the Government has landlords fixed in its cross hairs.

The clues are plentiful, there are the tax hikes, stamp duty increases and relentless regulations.

Add to that the media being filled with stories of rogue landlords, rocketing rents and young couples priced out of the market due to property investors.

Now, I have great sympathy with young couples, families and anyone who struggles to find suitable homes.  Read more...

Landlords Insurance – A waste of money?

There are plenty of things in life that turn out to be a waste of money.

Such as buying shares in the social networking site Friends Reunited just before Facebook rose to absolute dominance.

Or the scores of unknown footballers around the World bought for millions by English clubs and who never even graced our green and pleasant pitches.  Read more...

Small is Beautiful when it comes to looking after landlords

I’m always looking for ways to improve my service to landlords and tenants.

Whether it’s making sure our property management systems are regularly reviewed, ensuring our contractors remain firmly on the ball or providing up to date information on lettings law and regulation changes.  Read more...

Renting out property – It’s a business not a love affair

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and our minds (well some of us) turning to thoughts of love, relationships and romance.

During my 28 years as a letting agent and property manager I’ve seen many times when people who have decided to rent out a property can’t ‘let go of it’ emotionally.  Read more...

A Taxing Time of Year for Landlords

For many people the end of January can mean a frantic rush to get their tax returns completed and sent off to HMRC.

Just last week I was reminded of how some landlords are less prepared than others when it comes to filing their returns.  Read more...

Why it pays to choose a Licensed Letting Agent

I’m proud to be a member of several organisations which represent the property lettings and management industry.

I’m a member of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), The London Rental Standard and The Property Ombudsman.

Quite shockingly in my opinion there is currently no mandatory regulation of letting and property management agents in the UK.  Read more...

Could your ‘best tenant’ become your worst nightmare?

Like any walk of life the business of being a letting agent in West London has its fair share of misconceptions and even a few myths.

The most prominent of these myths is one I hear rolled out by agents on a regular basis.

It’s along the lines of ‘The best agency is the one which can get you the highest rent.’   Read more...

How to Avoid a Property Crisis at Christmas

It’s the call every landlord dreads.

It’s Christmas afternoon, you’re taking your seat at the family dining table. A fabulous feast awaits you when your phone rings.

Your heart sinks when you see the number, it’s one of your tenants, you know immediately something is wrong. Otherwise why would they call on December 25th?  Read more...

Big national chain V small local independent – the TWO Main Differences

I was having dinner with a friend last week when he asked me what the difference in terms of service is between a ‘big’ national chain and a small, local independent letting agent.

I’m by no means criticising my colleagues in the industry who work for national, multi-brand corporations but I believe there are two main points of difference in favour of bespoke agencies like mine.  Read more...

A Stamp of Approval – Reaction to the Autumn Statement

It’s just over a week since the Chancellor, George Osborne, surprised many in the property industry by increasing Stamp Duty on Buy to Lets (BTL) and second homes from April 2016.

My initial reaction was shock followed by a weekend of thinking this was a terrible move for the industry.

Adding 3% in stamp duty on top of the existing rates seemed like a nail in the BTL coffin and another assault on the lettings industry.   Read more...

​Stamp duty land tax (SDLT): additional properties

Following the first Autumn Statement and Spending Review of this Parliament, which took place on Wednesday 25 November, if you're thinking of buying additional residential property doing so before 1 April 2016 might save you 3% of stamp duty. The following information note has been provided by accountant Tony Tesciuba, of Tesciuba Limited:    Read more...

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