Common Rental Scams to Avoid

Common Rental Scams to Avoid

With so much of today’s property hunt taking place online, there’s a real opportunity for scammers to capitalise on unsuspecting tenants. Thankfully, users remain vigilant and sham lettings are well documented. If you’re on the property hunt, here are the common rental scams to avoid.

Gumtree Landlord Scam

This trap is aimed at those living overseas who seek accommodation in the UK. A landlord will publish an ad on Gumtree featuring accredited NLA (National Landlords Association) logos. They will discuss the property in question with the individual and request payment before they move to the UK. Upon arrival to the country, the landlord is nowhere to be seen.

This is a popular scam in the lettings sector. It can be entirely dismantled by asking to see the property first. If you’re looking to rent a room or flat, you have the right to view it before paying any kind of deposit. If you’d like to find out whether a landlord is a member of the National Landlords Association, you can do so here.

The Fake Property

This is a dangerous one which is really tough to notice at times. This scam involves the landlord going a step further than just advertising a property. The scammer will have access to an empty property which they’ll show you around. Unfortunately, the building isn’t actually theirs to rent out. By the time you come to move in, the property’s already occupied.

It can be really difficult to actually recognise this until it’s happened. It’s always important to be suspicious if the landlord is pressing for you to pay a security deposit/first month’s rent immediately.

Unsatisfactory References

Now this is a clever scam, which again is pretty difficult to spot. A tenant will go through the motions of renting a property and everything will appear legitimate. Coming to the reference check stage, the prospective tenant will sign a contract which says that if the references aren’t acceptable the deposit will be returned minus a fee for reference checks. This sounds reasonable – besides, you’ve got good references so don’t mind signing. Unfortunately, they’ll be deemed as unsatisfactory by the landlord. When you receive the deposit back, it’s a fraction of what you initially paid. If you’ve been bitten by this, it’s illegal and you have a right to be frustrated. Seek assistance immediately.

Going After the Guarantor

This is a particularly nasty one. The landlord will claim there’s no need for a security deposit. It sounds like a perfect situation – you just need to have a guarantor. When the tenancy comes to an end, the guarantor will be hit with a wave of unnecessary charges for repairs. This scam highlights the importance of inventory services.

Illegal Charges

Dodgy landlords are big fans of adding illegal charges to the tenancy agreement. Be wary of anything you sign your name to. If the charge is in your tenancy agreement and you sign it, you’re agreeing to pay. If you’re unsure whether a charge is necessary, do your research before signing. If a landlord tries to charge you for something which isn’t in the tenancy agreement, you don’t need to pay.

It’s Not All Dodgy Landlords

It’s a two sided coin – tenants can scam landlords too. One of the most common includes a tenant who asks to pay a deposit via Western Union or some other similar service. They pay too much ‘by mistake’ and ask the landlord to send the extra funds back. By this time, the landlord’s made the payment and the original payment has bounced. This leaves the landlord out of pocket and red faced. If you find yourself caught up in this, don’t pay any additional funds back until the initial payment clears/bounces.

What to Look Out For

It’s important to be vigilant when it comes to lettings scams. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:

  • Free listings – scammers love sites like Gumtree which allow free listings. Always be extra wary of rentals advertised on these websites.
  • Multiple ads for the same property – these can sometimes have slightly different descriptions or pictures.
  • Poorly worded ads – does it read like it was written by someone who isn’t fluent in English?
  • Unnecessary description of landlord – often scams will make the landlord sound respectable and fair. If this feels a little unnecessary, consider why this information is being communicated to you.
  • Lettings agency with little online presence – sometimes scammers will create their own lettings agency to appear legitimate. Google the company and see what’s online about them.
  • Very low price – it’s the age old saying; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Pushy landlord – if the landlord is pushing you to pay money immediately, there’s likely to be an issue.
  • Pictures – are the pictures different to the property? Do the pictures look fake or unnatural?
  • They ask for money up front – Never pay anything before a viewing!

Unfortunately, scam landlords give the profession a bad name. The truth is, scammers are few and far between though tenants are not always aware of this. This is why it’s even more important to get your inventories right. By turning to No Letting Go for our inventory services, you remove any possibility of deposit disputes and also reassure tenants of your legitimacy. Find out more about our services here.

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Visit No Letting Go at The Franchise Show – 17-18th February

the franchise show no letting go

No Letting Go is pleased to announce that we’ll be exhibiting at The Franchise Show on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th February. The event takes place at the Excel in London, and it’s one of the biggest shows of its kind in the UK. You can come and see us between 10am-5pm, where we’ll be talking about the lucrative opportunities that await in property inventory. The Franchise Show is completely free to attend and there are lots of useful seminars, workshops and even an advice zone for those who are considering buying a franchise.

This is the largest Franchise Show in the UK, and visitors will find plenty of useful information, no matter what stage of franchising they’re currently at. Come and say hello to the No Letting Go team to find out about the growth of the inventory market and whether this is the right industry for you. We’re always looking for the right people who we can work with who will be successful. Becoming a franchisee with No Letting Go could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

If you’re interested then make sure you read up on our information about building a business in property services, and make sure you come and say hello during The Franchise Show 2017.

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Should I Rent to Students? Landlord Advice

Should I Rent to Students? Landlord Advice

If you’re a landlord in a university town or city, you’ve probably seen the potential in student rentals. There are plenty of advantages in renting to students. Having said this, there are some pretty awful issues you could encounter too. Are students really as bad as people make out? Is your investment safe with them? If you’re sat asking yourself ‘should I rent to students?’ we’ve got a little advice and guidance to help you find the right answer.

The Strange World of Students

Students can seem like an entirely different species. Thankfully, they’re actually pretty simple. For most, this will be their first time living in private accommodation. They’ll need a little hand holding but this tends to come from the parents. They’re often told to ask specific questions, they’ll be informed of what to say and they’ll pour plenty of time over their contract. They may take longer in the initial signing process but remain supportive and up-front – they just want to make sure you’re not a cowboy.

Usually students aren’t too fussy – they’ve heard the horror stories and are happy to find your property clean and warm. If you can offer a tidy and furnished house with warm running water, they’ll be content.

Be warned though, not all students are the same. There are some very obvious cues worth noting. First of all, if you’re renting to a group of eight boys, all of which are on the university’s rugby team – expect lots of parties. Use your common sense with this one. You may well want to rent to a group like this, just know what to expect.

Party, Party, Party!

Right, let’s get this out in the open now. It’s very likely your student tenants will throw a party or at least invite friends over for a night of intoxicated fun. We highly recommend banning parties in the tenancy agreement – this is there more as a deterrent than something to enforce. The sooner you accept that parties will take place, the easier it will be letting to students.

House Party (Image Taken from Hexjam)

Image taken from Hexjam

Advantages of Renting to Students

There are some serious advantages that come with being a student landlord, here are some of the more notable points:

  • Demand – If you own a property in the heart of a town/city’s student area, there will always be a demand for housing irrelevant of any ongoing economic difficulties.
  • Duration – Students tend to rent for 12 month periods. No long term contract obligations.
  • Predictability – The student rental market is one of the most predictable, always handy for landlords hoping to rest easy at night.
  • Imperfections – The beauty of renting to students is that your property doesn’t need to be perfect.
  • Furnishings – There’s no point investing in expensive furnishings. Head to Ikea and buy cheap.
  • High yields – There’s often more students living in a house than there would be in a regular tenancy.
  • Intelligence – Students by nature are intelligent (there are exceptions). This means any issues tend to be resolved relatively simply with open communication.

Disadvantages of Renting to Students

All sounding too good to be true? That’s because it is, there are some very clear drawbacks in renting to students:

  • Furnishings – All students expect a fully furnished property which entails the upkeep and maintenance of white goods.
  • Wear and tear – All student properties are more prone to wear and tear. Expect phone calls out of the blue about a broken sofa or bed.
  • Repaint – We know plenty of student landlords that have to pay for a fresh lick of paint on the walls every year.
  • Wannabee lawyer – Some students can get a bee in their bonnet about the contract. They’ll become adamant you’re trying to mess them over. The wannabee lawyer can be a particularly frustrating student to let to.
  • Private halls – Private accommodation for second and third year students is on the rise. Usually students prefer the experience of living in a house with friends but private halls are a real threat that’s worth your attention.
  • Maintenance bills – Maintenance bills are usually more expensive than those in a regular tenancy.
  • Screening – You can’t reference or credit check students, this can be worrying.
  • Finance – Students are notoriously poor with money. Their finances can come from student loans, grants, part-time jobs and parents. This instability can be a little frightening to landlords.
  • Summer holiday – Depending on the tenancy agreement, you could experience void periods during the summer holiday.

Student Rental Action Points

So you’ve decided to take the dive and let to students? Here are a few action points to set you on your way:

  • Go to a shop like Ikea or Argos to buy your furniture. Don’t spend much money on this at all, you want something cheap and cheerful.
  • Get students to provide a guarantor, this will usually be their parents. Do this and you’ll get your money even if the student can’t pay up.
  • Become a university approved landlord. There’s often a few checks needed but this is worth doing to market your student let.
  • Hold your student’s hands. Remember, they’ve probably not done this before – help them. Reassure them throughout the process. Go a step further and include a welcome pack for when they move in. In this, you can feature a few rules and even instruct them on how to use the boiler, heating, washing machine, etc.
  • Consider the possibility of dropouts. It’s worth including a clause in the tenancy agreement which states it’s the tenants’ responsibility to find a replacement housemate if one drops out.
  • Licence your property as a HMO (house in multiple occupation). Local councils have differing regulations for this but it cannot be ignored.

Student lets are prone to sudden and dramatic damage. The inventory process is imperative with this type of let. Remove the stress and any potential disagreements with No Letting Go’s inventory services. Find out more about how we can help protect your property investment here.

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It Pays to Rent! The Advantages of Renting

It Pays to Rent! The Advantages of Renting

Renting gets a bad rep! Everyone speaks of the advantages of owning property, the need to get your foot on the ladder and have your own piece of the pie. The truth is, it’s very easy to get caught up with this societal expectation without first asking, ‘is it right for me?’ There’s a lot of advantages of renting and you could find that in your circumstances, it does in fact pay to rent! Here’s a little more about why you shouldn’t jump at the first chance of home ownership.

Slash Those Maintenance Costs

Let’s face it, property maintenance doesn’t come cheap. If your boiler brews up a temper or your roof is a little leaky, there’s a landlord who’ll pick up the bill for repairs. If you own a property, this is all down to you. When renting landlords have certain obligations to you – for example it’s unacceptable to let tenants live in an unheated or poorly maintained property. If you’re a home owner and you can’t afford boiler repairs, your best option is to grab the closest blanket. Of course there are plenty of insurance providers that can help homeowners but ultimately the financial responsibility relies with the individual.

Can’t Afford to Buy

Here’s one of the biggest issues with home buying. It’s so expensive! Even if you manage to build up enough cash for a deposit and you secure a mortgage, there’s a strong possibility you couldn’t afford to live in some of the more desirable areas. Of course rent prices rise when you approach a more sought-after area but it remains a more obtainable option.

Minimal Upfront Costs

One of the most unattractive parts of buying a home is the huge upfront costs that come with it. There’s lots of hidden charges just waiting to sneak up and bite you. When you’re renting, the upfront payments tend to remain pretty standard; a secure deposit, a month’s rent and any fees the Lettings Agency charge.

Sudden Change of Circumstances? No Problem

Life’s unpredictable, circumstances can change dramatically and without warning. A spouse leaving or sudden change of job can be traumatic for homeowners. If you can’t pay your mortgage, your home will be repossessed. If you move, it’s going to be a very stressful time in your life. Renters on the other hand can find a stable footing quickly. Usually tenancy agreements will have a break clause and within a month you could find something more affordable.

Scared of Commitment?

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to settle down or doesn’t want to plan too far in the future, renting is the best option. You can jump ship (reasonably) easily and without financial burden. The lack of a need for long-term commitment makes renting a far more flexible and attractive option – especially for the younger generations.

Regulations

As a tenant, you can sleep easy at night knowing there are regulations keeping you safe and secure. We mentioned earlier about how landlords have obligations to fulfil, this goes further than just maintenance and upkeep. Gas, electrical and fire safety standards must all be adhered to. There are a lot of legal requirements put in place specifically to protect the wellbeing of a tenant.

If you’re interested in staying in the rental sector, don’t let inventories become a thorn in your side. No Letting Go’s inventory services can remove this necessary but frustrating part of the rental process. Whether you’re a landlord, tenant or lettings agency find out more about how we can help you here.

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Mansoor Zaman joins No Letting Go in Kensington & Chelsea

No Letting Go are delighted to welcome their 55th franchisee into the team. Mansoor Zaman is opening a No Letting Go branch in Kensington and Chelsea this month, and he can’t wait to get started. Mansoor was looking for the ideal opportunity to build his own business, and the combination of a business sector he was familiar with, plus the strong brand and reputation of No Letting Go, made it an obvious choice for him.

no letting go franchise business propertyMansoor is currently undergoing training in the NLG Training Academy and he’s looking forward to rolling his business out within the coming weeks. He has previously worked within lettings, and was really impressed with the quality of service when he used the No Letting Go franchisees in the Docklands area. This led to him exploring the business model and wanting to get involved himself.

“I can see great potential for providing an excellent service to letting agents, property managers and landlords within this area,” said Mansoor. “It’s exciting starting my own business, but with the backup of a strong brand and great support behind me.”

Are you interested in following Mansoor’s example and starting your own business in property services? The lettings market is exciting and growing, and at No Letting Go we’re always looking for the right people to work with. We’ll provide you with the support you need to be successful, and if you’re interested then we’d love to hear from you. Take a look at our short video below to discover the benefits of being a No Letting Go franchisee, and get in touch with a friendly member of our team today to find out more.

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The 10 Most Expensive Places to Rent in the UK

The 10 Most Expensive Places to Rent in the UK

Last month we brought you an article about the 10 cheapest places to rent in the UK. In case you want to flash the cash and live in one of the country’s more pricey regions, we’ve brought you a list of the 10 most expensive places to rent in the UK. This list is done slightly different to the last. Firstly, we’ve considered London as a collective whole. If we didn’t do this, the majority of our list would be full of London boroughs. This research comes from numerous sources including Rightmove, Love Money and the BBC.

10. Bushey, Hertfordshire

The small Hertfordshire town of Bushey may be tranquil but it’s also pretty pricey too. The average asking price of a two bedroom property in this peaceful part of the country comes at a stomach churning £1,330 per month. The town’s close proximity to numerous film studios (Elstree and Borehamwood) has led it to be the backdrop for many film and TV scenes.

9. Windsor, Berkshire

Quaint, historic, royal and of course bloated with tourists, Windsor was guaranteed to feature on the list. Boasting the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world, Windsor also offers beautiful Thames-side walks, picnic spots and shopping. Oh we’re not done yet. Windsor is also the home of Legoland and the Royal Windsor Racecourse. All this makes for a vibrant town but also one which doesn’t come cheap. A two-bedroom property will come to an average of £1,351 per month.

8. Egham, Surrey

Sitting in the North East of Surrey, Egham is famously the site where the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. Considered a university town, Egham is home to the campus of Royal Holloway, University of London. For the steep average price of £1,353 you can get a two bedroom property in this historic town.

7. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Recently voted by The Times as one of the best places to live in the English Countryside, Henley-on-Thames is renowned for its spectacular beauty and serene riverside location. Not only is it a place of beauty, it’s vibrant too. The Henley Royal Regatta is the world’s greatest rowing spectacle and has been cemented as such over its 175 year history. The average price of a two bedroom property here is £1,385 per month making it seventh on our list.

6. Ascot, Berkshire

For an average of £1,412 per month, you can rent a two bedroom property in Ascot, a deeply affluent town in East Berkshire. Only a stone’s throw from Windsor, the town is most commonly known as the location of Ascot Racecourse.

5. Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Marlow is a small but deeply alluring town alongside the River Thames. Surrounded by meadows and woodland, it’s home to historic streets of Georgian architecture. With plenty of chain and independent places to eat and drink, you won’t go without. It’s also one of the most expensive locations to rent in the UK, a two bedroom property will set you back £1,424 per month.

4. Weybridge, Surrey

A two bedroom property will cost an average of £1,446 per month in Weybridge and it’s no surprise. The Georgian town is stooped in history and is certainly pleasing to look at. There’s a strong community feel to the area which is seen as a large draw to outsiders.

3. Oxford, Oxfordshire

Dubbed as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’, Oxford boasts 1,500 listed buildings from all major periods from the 11th Century onwards. Renowned for its attractive streets, it’s most famous attraction is the world renowned University of Oxford. Easily accessed by train from London and Birmingham, the city offers excellent transport routes. A two bedroom property is likely to cost around £1,612 per month.

2. Esher, Surrey

Sitting 14 miles South-West of London, Esher is a commuter town that’s blown up in popularity. With excellent comprehensive schools, royal residences and private estates, Esher is the perfect upper class hideaway. The demand for properties is said to be so high that homes are often sold before being advertised. If you can find one available, a two bedroom property will set you back £1,913 per month.

1. London

Of course London comes first on this list. Could it really be anywhere else? The problem with discussing London in this list is that its boroughs differ so greatly. Now we’ve been talking about two bedroom properties for every other place on this list. In some areas of London, the average one bedroom flat greatly exceeds these figures. In Kensington and Chelsea a one bed will set you back around £2,134 a month which can be compared to the cheapest borough in London where the same size property would be around £1,341pcm. Eye-watering prices which aren’t necessarily in keeping with the extra income a London job offers.

So there you have it, the ten most expensive places to rent in the UK. If you’re looking to rent or let, remove the stress of inventories and deposit disputes. Take a look at No Letting Go’s inventory services to find out exactly how we can help ease the process.

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Now Hiring: Kaptur Sales Recruitment Vacancy

Kaptur Property Inventory Software - Recruitment Vacancy

Kaptur is the latest mobile software released by No Letting Go. It provides quick, easy and compliant software for residential letting agents to complete compliance reporting in house. The system is unique in that it also gives the client the ability to outsource to a network of professionals as and when they wish. The software can provide different report formats for different uses, is workflow driven saving time and cost for clients and has a comprehensive editing and management suite to ensure reports are managed effectively.

The software is currently used by all No Letting Go offices, some external inventory clerks and residential letting agents throughout the UK. The system is also integrated into key suppliers such as Fixflo.

The opportunity for Kaptur is in the residential lettings market, residential sales market, block management and commercial property markets. No Letting Go see Kaptur as a partner to help save costs and develop efficiencies and as a tool to help generate stronger relationships with the market that will help grow all sides of the business. It is also an entry point tool for new markets and is by its very nature, very scalable.

This is an excellent opportunity to be part of a great new product that you can make your own.

Scope of the Role

The role is to initially establish Kaptur as one of the key mobile compliance/inventory software providers by selling the solution to potential agency clients. Using existing contacts, the No Letting Go franchise network and your own existing or developed relationships, you will sell the service to meet your targets. This will initially involve following up on leads, completing online demos, setting and managing trials, carrying out face to face client meetings but you will be expected to carry out industry presentations, source and develop partnerships and manage these to a profitable outcome.

Whilst the software is already being used by the market, January 2017 sees the release of the IOS version of the software with several new enhancements for the android versions. Your role is to build on the successful launch of the software by developing existing and new accounts and developing long term relationships, building a strong pipeline.

You will be required to deliver projected revenue and deliver on other key performance indicators related to the ongoing growth of the business. The role will require you to work closely with the CEO, Marketing Manager, Customer Support Teams and the No Letting Go franchisee network.

Target Markets: Business-to-Business Residential and Commercial Property Management Market, PRS, Student Market.

Key Accountabilities

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Monthly Revenue
  • Client Retention
  • Franchisee Kaptur revenue
  • Activity (demos, trials)
  • Number of new clients
  • Growth of existing accounts
  • Source and develop new partners
  • Marketing Manage costs of service delivery

As the key sales person, you will also play an active role in the development of the brand. This will involve business development including:

  • Developing and rolling out national marketing campaigns for your target markets working with the marketing department.
  • Identifying opportunities for campaigns, services, and distribution channels that will lead to an increase in sales.
  • Working with nominated franchisees to deliver on budgeted growth targets, maintain communication and increase profitability for all parties
  • Set up meetings between client decision maker and key franchisees and/or management team.
  • Managing and nurturing the client relationship team to ensure the highest productivity whilst keeping motivation levels high.
  • Submitting monthly progress reports and ensure accuracy of all data (pricing, invoicing etc.).
  • Attend all shows/seminars/conferences.
  • Attend some regional franchise meetings.
  • Monitor daily and weekly deliverables.

Personal Attributes

This person needs to be a self-starter, disciplined and very driven to meet targets, someone that can work well with people and get the best from them.

The key initial requirements of this role will be for a person with an excellent telephone manner, who can quickly build rapport with a prospect quickly and be viewed as knowledgeable and trustworthy. In addition, it is essential that they are organised and administratively competent.

The successful applicant will be required to learn the fundamentals of the inventory business with respects to SaaS.

Requirements

The candidate is likely to come from either a property, property services or software services/licensing background with a good understanding of SaaS. Will have a proven sales track record at all levels, excellent communicator both internally and externally, excellent telephone skills and able to represent the company at the highest levels.

The successful candidate will be one who can show that they can work from the bottom up, make sales and develop new business accounts for the long term. We are looking for the candidate to be passionate and enthusiastic, wanting the service to be a success.

Induction and Training

A detailed induction programme will be compiled involving all parties involved. This will include IT support, Marketing and Management.

Reporting Line

Initially to CEO and Marketing Manager.
Salary: £25k + commission, OTE £35k + company package.
Offices are based in Swanley (National travel will be required)
Office hours are 09.00-17.30 Mon-Fri

How to Apply

To apply, email your CV to nicklyons@nolettinggo.co.uk.

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The 10 Cheapest Places to Rent in the UK

Buying a house is becoming less and less possible to many people in the current climate. More of us are abandoning the mortgage and sticking to the rental arena for much of our lives. But where are the cheapest places to rent in the UK? Furthermore, what are they actually like? Take a look at our definitive list for more insight. All average rent figures are from the Valuation Office Agency’s 2015-2016 data. 

The 10 cheapest places to rent in the UK - picture of Hull town centre

10. County Durham – £450pcm

Before the £450pcm rent and £1.30 pints get you too interested, we must warn you County Durham isn’t for everyone. Durham is deemed to be the most beautiful Cathedral city in the UK. Despite this, the traffic is a huge turn-off for some, while the university student vs local youth rivalry is claimed to regularly bubble over on Saturday evenings.

Having said this, there are plenty of great reasons to pack up your bags and head to Durham. The area offers beautiful sights, especially at night. While the country walks and close-by national parks propose a more refined social life, the buzzy Newcastle is easily commutable. The injection of students to the city lend it a lifeline from its ageing appeal.

9. Darlington – £440pcm

Close neighbour to tenth spot, Darlington is described by The Guardian as an ‘unexpectedly pleasant town’. Parts of the centre are politely labelled as ‘dreary’ while the winters are considered devastating to the uninitiated. If you can look beyond this, you’ll see a high employment rate of 72% and a life expectancy slightly higher than the national average. Cost of living is cheap and residents seem both cheerful and patriotic in their support of the area.

8. Barnsley – £427pcm

There’s a lot of negative chat about Barnsley. Once a British powerhouse with strong industrial, agricultural and mining roots, today the town is in need of a bit of TLC. Despite the need for revival, a £427pcm average rent is still attractive. If you look a little further into the area, you’ll see it has a lot to offer. Luscious countryside and excellent transport routes to key cities like Sheffield make the town more appealing.

7. Bolsover – £435pcm

Another former mining town, Bolsover is also a mixed bag when it comes to resident reviews. Some cite its troublesome youth culture while others completely dismiss such comments. An overall pleasant feel is said to infect the town while its community spirit is strong and prosperous.

6. North East Lincolnshire – £425pcm

North East Lincolnshire has some pretty reasonable rent at £425pcm but it also has a pretty bad rep among some residents. One of the more noticeable issues is its poor mobile coverage. The area gets only 87% coverage which sounds high but the majority of areas in the UK receive 99%. The average income is higher than its surrounding areas while employment rate is spot-on average. Overall, it seems to offer a positive vibe which reverberates through internet comment pieces and resident forums.

5. Stoke-on-Trent – £435pcm

Stoke-on-Trent gets a lot of bad press online. In fact, the town was recently the topic of fierce debate after being labelled as the eighth-worst place to live in the UK according to website ilivehere.com. Thankfully though, a handful of resolute residents came to the town’s support. Dwellers of the Staffordshire city praised its friendly citizens, luscious green spaces and ‘overall nice feel’. One person even dubbed the town ‘a real place, for real people, in the real world’. For an average of £435pcm on rent, there’s plenty of reasons to head to Stoke-on-Trent and pledge your support to the town.

4. Pendle – £435pcm

Say what you want about Pendle, parts of it are truly beautiful. The Lancashire Borough was referred to as the most anxious place to live in the UK according to an Office for National Statistics study but we’ll look beyond this. The truth is, if you’re the type who loves the feel of former mill towns and socialising with strong jawed no-nonsense villagers, you’ll love it here.

3. Hyndburn – £435pcm

There are two ways to look at Hyndburn. Either you look towards the desolate streets of Woodnook, Accrington that are filled with boarded houses and industrial age architecture. Or you look towards the low unemployment rates, low crime rates and general community spirit of the wider Hyndburn area. Now may even be the perfect time to move to the borough. Some of the vacant areas including much of the empty homes in Woodnock are set to see a revamp in the coming years. Who knows, your £435pcm rent could be a steal in years to come.

2. Burnley – £400pcm

Back in 2007 Channel 4 aired an episode of ‘Location, Location, Location 20 Best and Worst Places to Live’. In this they labelled Burnley as the 19th worst place to live in the UK. What we love about this scenario is how the people of Burnley rallied together and blasted the show for it. It’s clear this town does not lack community spirit.

If you’re keen on a no-nonsense style of living, this is certainly a place for you. Burnley offers a high quality of life coupled with picturesque countryside albeit a little rough around the edges.

1. Hull – £395pcm

Hull is a city to truly divide opinion. Some say it’s one of the best places to live in the UK, others say it’s one of the worst. There’s no denying the city was once considered the butt of many a joke. Though today it’s in the middle of a huge revamp. Initial laughing points like its fishy smell and obesity rates have been replaced with commendation for how far the area’s come. To the extent that it’s actually UK City of Culture 2017. We’re not surprised people are escaping to the city for its average rent of £395pcm and bustling streets.

Want to keep costs down? Avoid the pains of inventories and deposit disputes. Take a look at No Letting Go’s inventory services to find out exactly how we can help ease the process.

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How Much Rent Should I Charge My Tenants?

How much rent should I charge my tenants? No Letting Go

A regular income of rent is one of the joys of being a landlord. Not only does it help your day-to-day living but it’s also essential to the healthy maintenance of your portfolio. So how much rent should you charge your tenants to rent your property? The answer’s far from simple but with a bit of guidance you’ll be on the right track.

There’s a serious problem that comes with discussing rental costs. If you get this wrong, it can have a detrimental effect on your entire business. Also, it’s notoriously difficult to increase the rent when you’ve already set it. Opt for too little and you’re facing a potential loss. Charge too much and you may struggle to fill the property.

Research the Market

This is your best way to gauge an appropriate price. Look at properties of the same size in your surrounding area. If most rentals charge a similar amount then you’re going to have to be competitive.

When researching the market, consider where your property sits. If you can offer something significantly better than your competition, it’s worth placing your property at the upper end of the spectrum. Alternatively, if your house/flat is lacking in a few key areas then it might be worth dropping your price.

Work Out Your Rental Yield

So this isn’t the most attractive part of the landlord role though it’s an essential one. The income is the biggest draw of buy-to-lets. You need to work out your rental yield. In layman’s terms, this is the percentage of your purchase price which you take each year.

There’s a simple formula to work this out. Deduct all costs from the rent you receive. Then divide this into the property value (including any additional purchasing costs). You’re then left with the rental yield (make this a percentage). For example, if the annual rent is £10,000 and your property cost £200,000, you’re left with 0.05 which equates to 5%.

If you’re hunting for the next addition to your portfolio, it can be a headache to go through this equation over and over again. If you’re looking for a quick fix, head over to This is Money and give their Buy-To-Let Yield Calculator a try.

Before you settle on the rent you charge, you really ought to work out your rental yield.

Biggest Factors Affecting Rent

There are numerous key factors that dramatically affect the rent you can charge. Here are some of the most important points to think about:

  • Location – If you own a one bedroom flat in central London, you can charge more than you could for a four bedroom house in Manchester. Don’t consider the national average, think about the immediate area.
  • Is it furnished? – If you’re including furniture in the deal, you can charge more. Depending on the quality of the furniture, this difference can be huge.
  • PetsMany landlords don’t allow pets into their properties. If you choose to let to pet owners, it’s perfectly reasonable to charge more rent.
  • Tenants – If you’re aiming for a specific type of tenant, you can target them with the rent you charge. This effectively opens doors to some tenants by undercutting the competition or alternatively pricing some tenants out the market. Be cautious with this approach.
  • Amenities – What’s close-by? The facilities that surround your property play a big part in the price you can charge. Is it close to a school, has a great access to parking, is near a parade of shops, etc.?
  • Desirability – What’s the state of the local property market? Are rentals being snapped up as soon as they’re on offer or are they lingering for months?

Being a landlord can be very stressful. Don’t let inventories become another addition to this. Find out how No Letting Go’s inventory services can help take the pain away from the process.

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How to Be a Good Landlord

How to be a good landlord

Landlords have a bad rep. Most tenants will happily tell you about their experience with a previous tyrant they rented from. Unfortunately, this isn’t always justified. There’s an inherent contempt for the profession which is hard to evade. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to show you’re actually a professional who’s both fair and respectful. Here are a few tips on how to be a good landlord.

Treat It Like a Business

Your property is your business. If your tenants don’t pay, you have to cover your mortgage. If something goes wrong, you’ve got to find the solution. The truth is, you have to go one step further. Put systems in place to cover all possibilities. When you let to someone, there should be an organised and systematic approach. For instance, what plans do you have in place for when you go on holiday? You should inform your tenants and give them an associate’s contact details should they need you.

Don’t Let to Bad Tenants

All landlords are desperate not to fall into a void period. This doesn’t mean you should jump for the first tenant who comes your way. You should always follow a thorough screening process to ensure you’re only letting in the good guys. The last thing you want is to be a babysitter, chasing after overdue payments and cleaning up after people’s mess. This will give you trust issues and could cause you to be unfairly strict to tenants in the future.

Meet Safety Standards

All landlords have obligations to fulfil. One of these is to adhere to correct safety standards. Have a checklist of these and ensure your property meets the expected criteria. Gas and electrical equipment needs to be installed and checked every year by a registered engineer. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted and checked regularly. Record any such activities and make them available for all to see.

Create a Personalised Tenancy Agreement

Most landlords use a standard tenancy agreement which usually covers all bases. The trick is to create a more personalised agreement. It’s certainly best to seek legal advice on this. By giving your agreement a personal touch, you can dispel any ambiguity and irrelevant clauses. Be sure to make it clear who’s responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property. This will prevent any future misunderstandings. We know this goes without saying but be sure to protect your tenant’s deposit in a secured scheme.

Be Approachable

It sounds simple doesn’t it? It is however one of the most neglected characteristics a landlord must possess. When your tenant moves in, show your face. Take the time to ensure they’re happy. It’s often comforting for a tenant to be shown how the heating and hot water work. Give your phone number and email address. Let them know they can contact you at any point with their concerns.

Get Things Done

There’ll come a time when tenants contact you with an issue that needs your attention. Never ignore this or overlook it. If you can’t fix it immediately, let the tenant know. Communication is key. There are going to be things which you can’t deal with yourself – it’s worth having a good relationship with tradesmen of all types. Don’t skimp when it comes to getting a job done. A botched job will cost you more in the long run.

Keep Your Distance

This can be tough for fresh faced landlords. You might want to be sure your property is being properly maintained but you can’t just pop round for a visit. Don’t hassle your tenants, let them feel comfortable in your property – after all, you want them to treat it like their home. By all means schedule an inspection after 6 months but don’t forget to follow the correct procedure for this.

Small Touches

Small touches are the most effective way of battling the bad rep landlords get. This is the perfect way of leaving a lasting positive impression. We’ve heard many stories of landlords going the extra mile to make the tenant feel comfortable. Our favourite has to come from a London based landlord who arrives at every moving day with cups of tea or coffee bought for the tenants from his local café. It’s not much but this small gesture goes a long way. Here are a few other small touches, that’ll help you:
Write a welcome letter – some landlords like to write their tenant a welcome letter wishing them an enjoyable time in their property.

  • Give a tour of the area – if your tenant’s new to the area, it’s a pleasant gesture to offer a few insights into where the best restaurants are, what amenities are around and where to find the closest bus stop. Some landlords even offer a walking tour to their tenants.
  • Stock up on the essentials – we’re not saying you should spend lots of money on this but it’s bound to be noticed. Try adding a roll of toilet paper and a bar of soap to each bathroom. This removes the immediate need for a supermarket shop and will make your tenants feel comfortable from the start. Leaving a bottle of all-purpose cleaner and a cloth also helps to encourage cleanliness.
  • Dress neatly – if you dress like a professional, you’ll be treated like one. We’re not saying you should always wear a suit but a neat appearance will help your credibility.
  • Stay calm – if a tenant calls about an issue that ruins your day, don’t let them know you’re annoyed. Deal with every issue in a professional manner, like a business would.
  • Join an accreditation scheme – Being a member of a landlord accreditation scheme isn’t required by law though it will go in your favour. Joining one shows a commitment to professionalism and quality in your industry.

Inventory

An inventory can seem like a tedious task though it’s a vital one. Without it, a tenant can treat your property with complete disregard and face no backlash. If you don’t have an inventory, you face the possibility of losing any dispute. Why not make the whole process stress free with No Letting Go’s inventory services? Find out more information here.

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