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Sheffield Lettings Market June 2020

 

The lettings market in Sheffield is booming!

After lockdown measures have been relaxed the lettings market is starting to boom again in Sheffield. Viewings and house moves are allowed to take place, but they still need to be managed carefully, and adhere to social distancing measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. There’s also a couple of big legislation changes on the horizon that you should be aware of.

Electrical Safety Standards Regulations
We’ll be making sure that all of your tenancies are compliant with the new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, which will apply to new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and to existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. The new regulations require landlords to ensure that all electrical installations in their rental properties are inspected and tested by a qualified person every five years. Reports of each inspection to be supplied to all tenants of the property within 28 days of the inspection, and retained by the landlord until the next inspection takes place. Breaches of the regulations could result in financial penalties of up to £30,000.

End of transition period for the Tenant Fees Act
The Tenant Fees Act was introduced in England last year, banning letting agents and landlords from charging tenants any fees other than those expressly permitted under the legislation. There was a one-year transition period for existing tenancies, which ends on 31 May 2020. This means that, from 1 June 2020, all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs), student accommodation, and licences to occupy housing (including HMOs) in England will be subject to this legislation, regardless of when the tenancy agreement was originally entered into and any payment term in a tenancy agreement that’s prohibited by the Tenant Fees Act – even one that was entered into before 1st June 2019 – will not be binding. We’ve updated all of our processes and contracts to ensure that your tenancies are compliant with the Tenant Fees Act at the end of this transition period.

Viewings allowed to take place
Physical viewings are allowed to take place, however, they must take place by appointment and should only involve members of a single household. When viewing a property, everyone should wash their hands and avoid touching any surfaces and social distancing rules should be followed wherever possible. Agents can accompany people on viewings, but again, social distancing rules will need to be followed. It is highly recommended that viewings take place virtually first and prospective tenants should only visit a property in person if they are serious about making an offer. Here’s more detail on how we are managing this ever-changing situation to protect our staff, tenants, and your properties:

Keeping house moves safe
Removal firms are allowed to operate, but they may need to adjust their processes to make sure moves happen as safely as possible. Tenants should contact removal firms as early as possible to organise their move. They should try and do as much of the packing as possible themselves and clean their belongings with standard cleaning products before they are handled by anyone else. While the removers are in their home, they should ensure any internal doors are open and seek to minimise contact with the crew, maintaining a distance of at least two metres where possible. Everyone should wash their hands and avoid touching surfaces where possible to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Removers should have access to hand washing facilities, with separate towels or paper towels if possible, which should be washed or disposed of safely afterwards.

Inspections, repairs, and maintenance
Routine inspections, essential and non-essential repairs and maintenance (both inside and outside the home), and gas safety checks can now resume, as long as letting agents, landlords, and contractors are following the guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.

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Tenancies During The 2020 Lockdown

2020 lockdown renting advice.

Moving House

As at the time of this post the government advice is to only move properties if it is absolutely critical, i.e. for key workers to get nearer a place of work or for people with existing health issues.

We are still offering video viewings of properties we currently have for rent which can be found on the property listing. Enquiries are still dealt with as normal via the web form or email.

Rental Payments

Tenants should continue to pay their rent as normal.

If you are directly affected by the 2020 lockdown and are unable to make full rental payments you should contact us as soon as possible, we are hear to help!

It may be possible to arrange a payment plan with the Landlord but these are taken on a case by case basis.

Payment Holidays

Tenants and Landlord rent and mortgage “holidays”
Those unaffected by the coronavirus should continue to pay rent as normal.

Ultimately, any rent that is deferred during this period will still be expected to be paid back later as part of a payment arrangement.

The Landlord can approach their lender and ask for help with payments, but any amounts deferred will be added to the Landlords loan and paid back with interest.

Each Lender will have different criteria and treat each application on a case by case basis with evidence provided by the tenant/s with regards to their personal situation.

Government Help

The government has pledges to try to help renters whether employed or self employed via a few routes and official guidance can be found here

SSP
Furloughed workers
Universal credit

Government guidance and support for employees

Giving Notice

This really would be a worse case scenario for all parties involved and we encourage you to seek help if possible via the above given link.

If the help available is not applicable and you would like us to contact your Landlord on your behalf then please let us know.

We can work something out by working together!

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What Is An Energy Performance Certificate?

Rules and regulations for EPC’s

When it comes to property, do you know what an Energy Performance Certificate is?

Hello, my name is Bevan Mottram, at Kelham Square Estate Agents, trusted in managing property for over 10 years in Sheffield.

What is an EPC? An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate which gives a rating for your property on a scale of A to G. One for energy and one for carbon dioxide emissions. A, being the most efficient, and G, being the least efficient.

Now, what we’re concerned about, for the purpose of this video, is the energy rating. New regulations from April 2018 may require your rented property to be rated a minimum rating of E. This means if your property falls below that minimum level and is rated an F or a G, further works may be needed to increase that property’s energy efficiency.

Works could include loft insulation, they could include wall or floor insulation, or maybe a mechanical heating appliance such as the boiler actually needs updating. Let’s say, for example, it’s 15 years or older, it may be as simple as just replacing the boiler to get that energy rating up to the required standard.

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Why Should I Invest In Property?

Are You Thinking About Investing In Property?

Hello, my name’s Bevan Mottram, owner of Kelham Square Property Management here in Sheffield.  

I think you should think exactly why you want to invest specifically in property.  Maybe you have a particular passion for property or maybe somebody’s just sort of said to you “oh you must invest in property, bricks and mortar, it’s a safe investment etc., etc.”.

Have you considered other investments, for example stocks and shares?  Have you got a pension? Do you want to invest in properties specifically for your pension?

So before you do actually start thinking about investing, just think why property and not any other investment vehicle.  

I really hope this short video was useful and you’ve picked up some small nuggets of information that will help you along your property investment journey.  If you decide that you want to pass over the management of that residential property to a qualified person or specialist, then please feel free to give us a call to chat over your needs and requirements.  

You can contact us 24 hours a day here on our website http://www.kelhamsquare.co.uk .  You’ll also find general information for landlords and for tenants, and you’ll also be able to browse our current properties to let.

Once again, thank you again for watching and good luck with your investments.  

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What Are The Benefits Of Property Investing?

What benefits are associated with property investment?

Hi, my name is Bevan Mottram, owner of Kelham Square Property Management here in Sheffield.

Okay, so what are the benefits of investing in property, pre-2008 historical figures gave us or kind of said that every seven to ten years property doubled in value. Now do bear in mind that was pre-2008, it’s certainly not been the case in more recent years, so you have to consider property investing as a long term medium. I’d say at least five years to ten years.

Your return on investment can be good. Your yield on the property, if for example you’re looking to invest in Sheffield, should be anywhere between six percent and twelve percent, depending on property type.This is better than many current accounts or many savings account.

The other benefit of investing in property is that you are in control. It’s a physical bricks and mortar investment, so you’re responsible for the maintenance of the property, your obligations as a landlord and it can be a benefit for some that there’s no actual fund manager involved other than maybe a block management company or indeed, your letting agent. As an actual investment to yourself, you are in full control.

I really hope this short video was useful and you’ve picked up some small nuggets of information that will help you along your property investment journey. If you decide that you want to pass over the management of that residential property to a qualified person or specialist, then please feel free to give us a call to chat over your needs and requirements.

You can contact us 24 hours a day on this website kelhamsquare.co.uk. On here you’ll also find general information for landlords and for tenants and you’ll also be able to browse our current properties to let. Once again, thank you for watching and good luck with your investments!

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What Are The Risks Of Property Investment?

What are the risks involved in property investment?

 

What are the risks involved in property investing? It’s 2017, and tax and stamp duty for example, they’re on the rise this year for landlords. My advice would be before you even consider buying your first property, speak to an accountant, or someone qualified to give you specific financial investment advice. Everybody’s situation is different. For example, you might be self-employed. You might own a business and employ other people, or you might be employed. Everybody’s tax position is different, so again, before you make any investment choices, speak to your accountant or person qualified to give you that financial advice.

Interest rates currently are at an all time low. The Bank of England base rate, for example, February 2017 is a quarter point, so 0.25%, which is an all time low, but with other considerations to think about, such as Brexit, what does that mean? What does that mean for the interest rate? What happens if you make an investment today and then the interest rate shoots up overnight, which can happen? It may go from a quarter point, and it might shoot up to 3%, 4%. You need to factor in the interest rate.

Of the risk associated with property investing are the more well known. Your first one is arrears. What if, for example, the tenant stops paying you rent? Again, for whatever reason, the tenant may lose a job. They may become ill. Many factors why the tenant may stop paying you rent, but if they do, what do you do? If, for example, you’re in week six now, and the tenant still owes you rent, and you’ve not taken action as yet, things could get a little tricky, so you really need to be aware of rental arrears and how to deal with them.

Damages can be expensive, which is why it’s important to get a good tenant in the first place. Again, it is a risk involved in investing, for example, a broken lock, a broken door, broken glazing can all be expensive, and if you factor this in over the year on top of other financial considerations such as block management charges, letting agent fees, there are a whole host of fees to consider during that time of that investment.

Void periods, another thing to consider. Void periods are the amount of time your property isn’t paying you rent. Let’s say, for example, a tenant leaves. Everything is fine, that property goes back on the market. It may be that it does take a while for that property to let. It could be four weeks, it could be six weeks. It’s quite common, for example, a client to come to us with a property to manage and their rental income is, say, 475 pounds per month, but your actual mortgage payment on a monthly basis is 450. There’s a very small profit involved sometimes in property investment. Can you afford to be six weeks short of rent?

I really hope this short video was useful, and you’ve picked up some small nuggets of information that’ll help you along your property investment journey. If you decide that you want to pass over the management of that residential property to a qualified person or specialist, then please feel free to give us a call to chat over your needs and requirements.

You can contact us 24 hours a day on this website, kelhamsquare.co.uk. On here, you’ll also find general information for landlords and for tenants, and you’ll also be able to browse our current properties to let. Once again, thank you for watching, and good luck with your investments.

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What Is Due Diligence In Property Investing?

What is due diligence and how do I use it?

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Okay. When it comes to the more enjoyable aspects of property investing, it’s important to be aware of a term known as due diligence. You often talk about investors paying due diligence, so this basically means your ability to research. Research, research, and research some more.

There are property investment clubs. There are so-called gurus, buy to let gurus that take your money and then give you advice. Be wary of these types of people and courses, and again, pay your due diligence on these guys. Just Google them. Have a look at reviews, for example, on property investment clubs, property investment gurus. It is, after all, it’s your investment. It’s a journey if you like, and it may be a learning curve for some, so enjoy the process. Take your time and learn as much as you can before you actually start investing in property.

Okay. Budget. How much have you got to spend on a property? It’s important to have a budget in mind for one specific reason. Budget will dictate an area. It will dictate a property type that you need to be looking at.

Okay. What area are you going to invest in? For example, Sheffield. Sheffield is the … I think it’s the fifth biggest city in the UK, so each large cities have micro-markets within them. What I mean by that is, say for example, you highlight, or you choose one area to invest in. That one area could have, for example, two streets 100 metres apart, one street’s a definite yeah, it’s a good investment. The other street is not so good an investment. Again, paying your due diligence is very important.

Talk to local people. Talk to the neighbours. Talk to the local shop owner. Talk to the local postman. These are all sources of really good information that you’ll not really find out about the area. Is it near other amenities which make a good investment? Good local schools, tram routes, bus routes, parking. Parking’s a major consideration.

I really hope this short video was useful, and you’ve picked up some small nuggets of information that’ll help you along your property investment journey. If you decide that you want to pass over the management of that residential property to a qualified person or specialist, then please feel free to give us a call to chat over your needs and requirements. You can contact us 24 hours a day on our website kelhamsquare.co.uk. On here, you’ll also find general information for landlords and for tenants, and you’ll also be able to browse our current properties to let. Once again, thank you for watching, and good luck with your investments.

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What Do Letting Agents Charge Landlords?

What do letting agents charge?

Are you thinking about letting your property out for the first time or are you wondering what letting agents charge for their services?

Well, maybe this short video will answer a few of your questions.

Hello, my name is Bevan Mottram, owner at Kelham Square, and we’ve been managing property in Sheffield for over 10 years.

The first question we get asked by prospective landlords is: How much do you charge? Well, that all depends on what level of service that you actually require. Typically, letting agents in Sheffield and across the UK offer three main levels of service, the first one being fully managed, the second one being tenant find only, and the third one being a rent collection.

So what exactly does each service mean? Well, the fully managed service deals with the whole process from marketing the property, finding a tenant, making sure your property is legally coherent, day to day maintenance and regular inspections all done for you.

The tenant find only service, maybe you’re an experienced landlord and/or you have a little bit more time on your hands. This service would market the property and find you a good tenant, then leaving you to deal with the day to day management of that tenancy.

The rent collection service: exactly what it says on the tin, really. Collection of rent on a regular basis, chasing any arrears, and again, then leaving you to manage the property on a regular basis.

So, what do these services cost?

Typically, for a managed service you’re looking at 10% of the monthly rent collected, plus a setup fee to cover administration and marketing costs. For the tenant find only, typically 400 to 500 pounds, and for the rent collection, again, typically around 5% of the monthly rent collected. Obviously, the prices quoted may be subject to be VAT.

If you’d like to discuss your requirements further or you have any other questions whatsoever, please feel free to visit our website http://www.kelhamsquare.co.uk.

Thank you for watching. It’d be great to speak to you soon. 

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Get A Rental Valuation Sheffield

What happens at a property valuation?

Do you want to know how much your property will rent for?

Or maybe you’re fed up of unrealistic valuations. Well, this short video will tell you what happens at a rental valuation.

Hello, my name’s Bevan Mottram, owner of Kelham Square and we’ve been managing property in Sheffield for over 10 years. So the first question that we always get asked is, “How much will my property rent for?” So of course we can give you an estimated market rental valuation, but in order for us to help you further it’s always a good idea for us to visit you at your property.

During the visit, the first thing to do is actually have a look around the place so that we can get a good idea of the general condition of decoration, any appliances, any furnishings, and maybe your property’s got a hidden selling feature that might have been overlooked. Next up is health and safety.

Now, health and safety legislation does tend to change quite often. So depending on what services and appliances are actually installed, your property, specific advice here will help you make the next decision on how you can comply with the legal requirements.

Okay, listen improvements, it’s always a good idea to get another person’s opinion of any improvements that might be needed within the property. So maybe it needs a fresh decoration, maybe a new carpet, whatever somebody thinks may improve your chances of renting the property. An important thing to remember is, there is no actual definitive list.

When you’ve had the chance to talk through the main points, such as condition, health and safety, and any improvements that may need to be made, an accurate market rental valuation can be established, helping you make your next decision.

So if you would like to discuss your requirements or you have any other questions, please feel free to visit us at our website, kelhamsquare.co.uk. Thank you for watching and please let us know if we can help. 

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How Do I Choose An Online Agent?

What should you be looking for?

So you’ve decided that you need an agent to help you let or manage your property.

You may also be considering the offerings of a so-called online or hybrid agent. Well hopefully this video will help you decide what’s really important when choosing an agent.

Hello, my name’s Bevan Mottram, owner of Kelham Square, and we’ve been managing property in Sheffield for over 10 years. Okay, so let’s say you’re looking for an agent to let or manage your property, and you’ve looked around the area ideally where your property is, and you’ve come across the offerings of an online or a hybrid agent. A hybrid agent. What? So I think there are three very important things to consider when choosing your agent.

Number one is local knowledge. It goes without saying that you need an agent that knows the local area well, but how well do they actually know the streets and the development that your property is in? You see, the fact is all agents are online. We’ve all got websites and we’ve all got online services, but is this level of knowledge right down to street and development knowledge, is it even possible if that agent is not based in the area where your property is, even more to the point they may even be based miles away in a different city.

We know from over 10 years experience that it’s not good enough just to use a property portal to come up with rental price comparables you have to know right down to the street level detail how much rent the property is realistically able to achieve, and especially if you want the property let quickly and putting cash in your pocket as soon as possible.

Oh okay, so you’re online and you operate nationwide. Really?

Number two is property knowledge. Is the agent really willing to get to know your property right down to details such as the appliances, the parking arrangements, right down to the alarm system and access details? And definitely if the agent is unwilling to meet you at the property, then the chances are they live absolutely nowhere near the property, and they don’t even know where it is in the first place.

Number three, personal point of contact. Absolutely essential is the ability to be able to speak directly to the agent, a key contact at the agent’s that will know your property and any ongoing issues that you may have with your property, especially important when we’re talking about property management.

The same applies for accounting. You simply cannot afford to be a reference number and passed over to some sort of call centre, especially when you’re talking about your rents and money that should belong in your pocket. The chances are if it’s a larger national or corporate agent, your accounts are actually outsourced to somewhere, well somewhere other than not in the local branch.

So if you would like to discuss your requirements, then why not contact us? You can visit us at our website http://www.kelhamsquare.co.uk. Thank you for watching this video, and goodbye for now.

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