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Lettings Agent Issues Landlord Warning As Immigration Act Comes Into Effect

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

As The Immigration Act 2014, which came into force on December 1st, continues to spark confusion among landlords UK wide, one Nottingham based property consultancy is warning landlords about the implications of not meeting their legal obligations.

PWR Lettings with offices in both Nottingham and Mansfield has been inundated with enquiries from worried landlords, who are unsure of what is required of them legally, and is offering free advice to those with concerns.

Simon Perkins, Partner at PWR, said: “The Immigration Act 2014 was piloted in the West Midlands from December 1st, with a view to it being rolled out nationwide next year.  Despite this, many landlords remain in the dark about their responsibilities.”

Under the act, potential tenants will need to be vetted to check if they have the right to live in the UK.

If this investigation isn't carried out and it is revealed later down the line that the tenant is in breach of the Immigration Act, then a landlord will face a fine of up to £3,000.

Simon added: “Here at PWR Lettings, we are particularly concerned about the DIY or first time landlord.  These groups of people may not be aware that The Immigration Act even exists, and be hit with a costly fine.  If the potential tenant has a UK passport then these checks should be an easy job, but if they do not hold this or an equivalent, then it will prove to be a tough task – something that will require advice from a professional agent.

“We are inviting any landlord unsure of their obligations to get in touch with us for free and impartial advice.”

Richard's management skills highly commended

Monday, December 8, 2014

It takes several traits to be an effective manager and many find this considerably hard to master, with some never quite finding the knack to be as effective as they should be. Over the years both inside and outside the lettings industry, Simon and I have had the misfortune of witnessing people placed in positions of authority; that should never have been given the opportunity to be so and the effect on the staff which they have managed has been somewhat catastrophic.

A managerial position is something that the ambitious strive to be in, mostly because of the monetary gains and the kudos associated with a position of authority, but it is only the destined that flourish in the managerial position when they are actually placed in the role. The recipient of November's Top Dog award made it very clear from the outset that he was an ambitious individual who had designs on being in a position of authority one day.  Although we recognised in Richard very early on that he had the potential to be a good leader, his ambition somewhat outweighed his foresight for what was required to be an effective manager in the beginning.

Richard has been on the brink of winning the Top Dog award for sometime, as the positive effect of his presence at the Nottingham office was evident from the start, but it is the recent change in Richard that has impressed all that voted for him the most. For all that know him, Richard is an individual who without a doubt is keen to impress and has always aimed to attain a first class level in everything that he does. Throughout his time at PWR he has been resolute in seeking the answers both personally and professionally to rectify any weakness and the fact that he has developed a humility which has allowed him to be more proficient in his new role is indicative of his persona as a whole.

Since accepting the position to manage the property management department in January this year, Richard has to be highly commended. He has not only taken on board every bit of coaching and criticism bestowed upon him; he has naturally set aside his own ambition and replaced it with a desire to work to understand the needs and desires of others. Although Richard is still in his infancy in his role as manager and has not mastered all of the attributes needed to be a strong leader,  it has to be said that he has many of the core skills to be exceptionally good in his role.

It goes without saying that Richard's flexible and adaptable approach to dealing with unexpected and uncomfortable situations has created respect amongst his colleagues, but it is his innate desire to ensure that everyone around him are comfortable and effective in their own roles that has made him such a worthy recipient of the award. Richard not only guides and supports his staff on a daily basis, he goes to great lengths to recognise the endeavours  of others and reinforces their achievements through praise wherever possible. As a result of showing admiration and respect for the work of his colleagues, Richard has gained respect in return; something that is not easily achieved and something which he now sees has to be earned and is not just a given for people in positions of authority.

We are very proud of Richard, he has come a very long way since joining the company at the tender age of 16 and has throughout his five years with PWR, developed into a key member of the PWR team. Richard has embraced the guidance given him, absorbed the knowledge available to him and now bestowed the same ethos onto his staff.   He is a prime example of what we want for the young people who join our company to become and we thank him for that.

Landlord Clinic 'Just What The Doctor Ordered' For Nottinghamshire Landlords

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Nottingham based property consultancy is celebrating the success of its free ‘Landlord Clinic’ today, after landlords labelled it ‘just what the doctor ordered’.

PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, began the drop in sessions a few months ago, with both landlords and investors being invited to attend its offices between 11-1pm each Tuesday for free advice.

Simon Perkins, Partner at PWR, said: “We are delighted with the resounding success of our landlord clinics, and feel that it is important to offer expert hints and tips to those new to the lettings market, and indeed those more seasoned investors. The property market is constantly changing in terms of legislation, and it is vital that landlords stay on top of their obligations to avoid either the financial or legal pitfalls associated with property management.”

The sessions covered topics including, what is required for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme cover at the end of the fixed term of a tenancy?, what is required by the landlord for electric safety testing in residential rented properties?, and what action can I take if a tenant suddenly stops paying their rent?.

Adam Kingswood, Nottingham Branch Manager said: “We had a local landlord visit our free clinic to seek advice on how to extend his tenancy agreements for a number of his properties, which he had let and managed himself. The tenancies were currently rolling month by month statutory periodic tenancies.

“It is vital to consider the tenancy deposit scheme cover and deposit 'prescribed information' for the scheme, as part of a tenancy extension, so after giving this particular landlord the advice regarding this procedure, what his particular tenancy deposit scheme states and what the market rents were for his properties, he approached his tenants about extending their tenancies and then tailored Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements, were prepared for him.”

Simon added: “PWR have experienced ARLA qualified staff and are a regulated firm, so we offer expert honest advice, we would encourage any landlord with a property dilemma to get in touch with us.”

Adam goes above and beyond the call of duty

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This month's worthy recipient of the Top Dog award is given to Adam Kingswood. Adam is a remarkable young man, who on a daily basis goes above and beyond what is expected of him in his role. For the majority of people who work in the demanding and hectic world of residential lettings their working day finishes at 5.30 and starts at 8.45 but for the few it is an ongoing and integral part of their lives.

It is not just the fact that Adam chooses to work longer hours to ensure that the job gets done that has secured him the accolade this month, as many of our loyal staff would no doubt do the same if it was warranted. It is what he is doing inside and outside of the office hours that makes him stand out. Adam’s relaxed approach to networking with people who have property, backed up by his understanding and knowledge about all aspects of the business has resulted in him successfully bring in new landlords which has seen the number of units occupied in the Nottingham office grow from 130 to 437 in just 4 years.

Adam is undoubtedly a natural networker who has a real passion for property, but it is his loyalty to PWR that makes him special. He truly believes in what PWR represents and never misses an opportunity to promote us, whether that be during his normal working hours or when he’s attending networking events in the evenings and early hours or just down at his local at the weekends. Adam never needs to be asked to do the extra things needed to bring in the business, he just does it because he wants to and because he knows that the business will benefit greatly from it and because PWR is part of him.

Adam is a tremendous advocate for PWR and we are extremely proud to have had the opportunity thus far of developing someone with such a thirst for excellence since joining us in 2005. We were impressed from the outset by Adam’s determination to learn all he could about residential lettings and property management and we had no doubt that should he choose a career with us that he would grow to become a fundamental member of the PWR team.

Adam’s career ambitions were not always property related, as for a short while he had aspirations of joining the fire brigade. However, It did not take Adam long to fall in love with property and over the years he has developed a genuine passion for the business. Although it was obvious from the beginning that he was determined to progress in the business, we have always been impressed by his contentment to progress when we felt he was ready to do so and not run before he could walk, a noteworthy trait for an ambitious young man.

Adam is a deserved recipient of the award as everyday he strives to be the best he can be. For an individual who has been so successful in getting his team to perform above expectations month on month he still maintains an air of humility. He recognises his weaknesses and daily strives for self-improvement. In the nine years that we have had the privilege of working with him he has maintained the drive and enthusiasm to not only succeed as an individual but to make PWR one of the market leaders in Nottingham.

NLA Upturn Report Highlights Need For Professional Advice Claims PWR

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As the National Landlords Association (NLA) declares that three in 10 landlords (31pc) say they will look for additional buy to let lending or to re-mortgage in the next three months, despite struggles to obtain finance, a Nottingham based property consultancy is advising investors to seek professional advice.

PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield has backed recent reports, which claim that with rental returns continuing to outstrip the dismal returns from banks and building societies that many landlords are seeking to invest in further acquisitions, especially in HMO’s.

The findings from an NLA survey show that 31 per cent of landlords will look for additional buy-to-let lending or to re-mortgage in the next three months with a view to making further property acquisitions.

Simon Perkins, Partner at PWR, said: “It is a startling fact that a sixth of the population – around 10 million people – now live in accommodation rented from private landlords, and this is fantastic sign for the residential landlord.  This upturn is of course a very positive sign, but with this upturn will come an increase in the number of landlords failing to comply with their legal obligations, and an increase in the number of inexperienced landlords who end up with inadequate protection.”

Many mortgage lenders now perceive buy-to-let to be less risky than standard mortgage products and are currently offering hundreds of different buy-to-let mortgage products at historically record low borrowing rates for both fixed and variable deals. Yet, the NLA survey found that many investors are concerned that they will not be able to gain access to finance, due to tighter restrictions.

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman, NLA said: “A significant number of landlords are having trouble accessing finance and expanding, which is a major concern because the private sector is vital in meeting the ever increasing demand on housing at the moment.”

Simon continued: “Many of the landlords we encounter are frustrated with regards to securing finance, and this is where PWR can help.  We can offer unrivalled advice to the landlord regarding when and where to buy, the finance options available and full property management if required.”

For more information, please visit www.pwrlettings.co.uk

Champagne Winner Announced....

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

PWR Lettings is pleased to announce the winner of its champagne prize draw, which took place at The 2014 East Midlands Expo, on Thursday 6 November.

After asking visitors to place business cards into a free prize draw, the PWR team are pleased to announce that the winner is Adam Girling at AM Girling & Co Accountants.

The show celebrating its 15th anniversary was a huge success for the team who hoped to meet with new clients and raise the firms profile.

Adam Kingswood, Nottingham Branch Manager at PWR, said: “The property and business show was very popular this year, and was a fantastic opportunity to network with landlords and property professionals."

PWR To Appear At The 2014 East Midlands Expo

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

PWR Lettings is set to appear at The 2014 East Midlands Expo at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham on Thursday 6 November.

Alongside a major movement in the economy, the East Midlands has seen a big boost in business development opportunities in the region. The very popular property and business investment show has been blended with The East Midlands Network Trade Fair, further extending the events interest into B2B sales.

The show is celebrating its 15th anniversary and PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield will be on stand B2 at the event, which starts at 9.30am, finishing at 4pm. The property consultants hope to raise brand awareness and connect with potential landlords at the event.

Adam Kingswood, Business Development Manager at PWR, said: “The property and business show is very popular in the East Midlands as it is fantastic opportunity for organisations to meet new clients and interact with other businesses. PWR is hoping to raise its own brand awareness at the event and network with landlords.

The East Midlands Network is based s based on a 5500+ member Group on LinkedIn. Members of the virtual Group who encourage trade within the Region saw the opportunity to face2face.

PWR Lettings will have a champagne raffle draw for people who leave their business card or contact details at the stand and will also have marketing leaflets, brochures, pens and trolley coins on display.

Both entry and parking for the event is completely free of charge for pre-registered visitors for details and registration: www.businessshowsgroup.co.uk & www.propertyandbusinessinvestmentshow.co.uk/

PWR Welcome Move For Redress Schemes To Reduce Landlord And Tenant Complaints

Thursday, October 30, 2014

In light of recent figures from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) claiming that complaints against letting agents have risen by 37 per cent this year, a Nottingham based property consultancy welcomes moves for a redress scheme.

PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, is backing a new scheme to ensure that tenants and landlords have a straightforward option to hold letting agents to account after it has been found that there was a sharp increase in consumer complaints.

The report found that 1,187 complaints were resolved in total about both sales and lettings issues between 1 January and 30 June 2014, with 721 complaints (61 per cent) made against letting agents. TPO say that 74 per cent of the complaints made by landlords and tenants against letting agents were upheld.

Simon Perkins, a Partner at PWR, said: “PWR welcome the scheme because our high standards mean that we don’t have anything to worry about. The redress scheme is a fantastic idea and will stop rogue letting agents taking advantage of landlords and tenants.”

Until now there has been no legal requirement for any letting agent to register with a redress scheme, which has left thousands of tenants and landlords unable to access TPO’s free, fair and independent dispute resolution service. The new legislation will put an end to this.

TPO’s redress scheme requires agents to join one of three schemes and letting agents face a fine of up to £5,000 from their local council and could be forced to close the business for repeated abuses of the scheme.

Simon added: “The redress schemes will help ensure standards are maintained and give landlords and tenants assurance as well as some where to go to complain if they feel they are being treated poorly. PWR also suggest that landlords protect themselves by using a professional agent, taking out landlord insurance and by doing proper credit checks on tenants before they move in to a property.”

Letting agents who are using one of TPO’s schemes can be found online through the organisation’s web site. Official figures estimate that the UK has around 18,000 letting agents and at least 5,000 of these do not belong to a redress or client money protection scheme.

PWR Lettings Issue Landlord Warning Amidst New HMO Report

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Following recent reports that HMO investments are out-performing general buy-to-let properties when it comes to gross yields, a Nottinghamshire based property consultancy is advising landlords to invest responsibly.

PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, has seen a large yield increase in large multi unit blocks, including properties with multiple tenancy agreements and student houses.

The report from the Buy-To-Let Index by Mortgages for Business, stated that whilst gross yields on single tenancy agreement properties fell slightly in the third quarter at 5.9 per cent in comparison the previous quarter’s 6.3 per cent, multiple tenancy agreements are generating yields of up to 8.3 per cent which is an increase of 1.3 per cent from the first quarter.

Simon Perkins, a partner at PWR, said: “PWR has seen similar trends in Nottinghamshire. If a landlord decides invest in a HMO, they must make sure it is done responsibly. Often requiring a license from their local authority, HMO's can be a great investment if handled correctly. Landlords will also need a specialist mortgage product for more complex types of property."

Simon added: “As long as landlords go through the stages responsibly and properly by using a professional agent,  they can earn greater yields."

Increasing Tenant Demand Offers Bright Future For Buy To Let Landlords Claims PWR

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Following recent reports that show that show the threat of rising mortgage interest rates, a Nottinghamshire based property consultancy says the future is bright for buy to let landlords.

PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, says that despite the threat of mortgage interest rates increasing, tenant demand is larger than ever and landlords shouldn’t be afraid to increase their property portfolios.

The report comes from a survey by BM Solutions and the research revealed that 42% of buy to let landlords saw strong tenant demand in the past year. More than a quarter of the landlords in the survey are planning to invest in more rental property.

Simon Perkins, a partner at PWR Lettings, said: “Despite the fact that mortgage interest rates are increasing the future is optimistic for landlords as many are planning on expanding their portfolios due to increasing tenant demand. The more properties a landlord has in their portfolio the larger the gross income will be, PWR is confident that any new properties will be leased as demand is that high.”

A deep analysis of the buy to let market across the country found that landlords with portfolios of four or less rental homes paid an average £10,335 a year on buy to let mortgage repayments in the year. The average buy to let portfolio is 6.5 rental homes worth £1,031,000. This average portfolio generates £48,000 a year in gross rents with an average of £20,950 going on mortgage repayments.

The report shows that on average, landlords are paying approximately 40-50% of their rental income on but to let mortgages.

Mr Perkins, added: “The report shows us that the increase in interest rates shouldn’t deter landlords or potential landlords from investing in new properties as demand is that high for buy to let properties. Landlords should be confident that there properties will be leased.”