Every once in a while we get an employee who shows true dedication to their career and the recipient of September’s Top Dog award does just that. Although she has only been with the company for over a year, she has proved to be a fundamental asset to the Mansfield team. On a daily basis Laura aims to excel in what she does. She is a determined and loyal individual who is willing to accept any challenge put her way. Enthusiastic to the core, her passion for property is evident as she strives to impress in every element of her role.
Laura has passed her NFOPP level 2 examinations and now as an individual member of ARLA she can proudly have the initials MARLA after her name. It is not just the fact that Laura has passed the examination that impressed us all, it is the fact that she passed within such a short timescale and that she wanted to be one of the first in the country to pass. We are pleased to say that she has achieved her goal two fold as she takes top billing in the ARLA magazine.
In addition to her extra commitment, Laura has accepted the challenge of taking on the responsibility for the extensions covering both Mansfield and Nottingham offices. The general consensus has been that Laura has done a superb job and everyone is impressed with her dedication and commitment. Laura has not only listened carefully and applied what she has learnt effectively she has been mature enough to seek guidance to ensure that everything is correctly executed and that the standards are maintained. It is clear that Laura is ambitious but what is special about her is that she is aspiring to be someone who is well thought of and not simply motivated by the monetary rewards that her success brings. Despite the extra workload Laura has not compromised on her contribution to the office as a whole, as she consistently lets properties on a monthly basis above our expectations.
Laura struck us as a little fire cracker when she interviewed with us in 2013 and although we knew that she was a diamond in the rough we never expected her to excel or make the huge self- improvements that she has in both her professional and personal life. We are very proud of Laura she is one of PWR’s success stories and we are thrilled that we have thus so far been able to support her on her journey.
Demand for rental properties in Nottingham has soared in the past twelve months, something echoed in a national report claiming that as many as seven tenants are trying to lease each new property
The rise in demand has seen rental prices increase as properties to let rose by 18 per cent in July on an annual basis and seven per cent since June across the country. A tenant in the East Midlands pays on average £704 a month to rent a property. Even though demand for properties has increased so dramatically in the past year, supply has fallen by 19 per cent.
Despite the increasing demand for rental properties, PWR Lettings is still renting properties on average within seven days, Simon Perkins, partner at PWR said: “We are finding similar trends to the national trend here in Nottingham. At PWR Lettings demand is strong for rental properties and we are renting properties here on average within seven days. We let over 20 properties every week across Nottinghamshire and North East Derbyshire.”
Strength in the rental market usually signifies that there is less desire to purchase properties. It appears however that demand to buy is still strong but there is a lack of rental supply that is pushing up the prices of rental properties.
Many landlords are applying for more buy-to-let mortgages as demand for rental properties is increasing radically with applications rising 20 per cent year on year.
The recent relaxation of pension rules has encouraged people in Nottingham and across the UK, to invest heavily into property to earn money through retirement. Due to this and the continuing applications for buy-to-let properties, which have increased three per cent since June, the supply of rental properties will increase reducing the shortage.
PWR manage in excess of 1300 properties for their clients and are specialists in acquisition, letting and management, for more information or to get the most out of your investment contact PWR Lettings.
Four courageous professionals from PWR Property Consultancy plan to take to the sky in a bid to raise money for local visually impaired people.
Daredevil staff from PWR Lettings, who have offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, will take part in a fundraising skydive to raise money for My Sight Nottinghamshire.
Taking place on October 18th at Langar Airfield, Adam Kingswood, Laura Coakley, Natalie Ford and Simon O’Neill from PWR Lettings will be raising money for the charity’s Nottingham centre. The centre provides emotional support as well as a range of accessible sport and leisure activities for blind and partially sighted children and adults across the county.
Lillian Lintwhite, 83, uses the services that My Sight Nottinghamshire provide and was just one of many local visually impaired people to nominate them as PWR charity of the year said: “My Sight Nottingham is a truly wonderful charity that deserves the funding boost after all the support they’ve given me over the years.”
After being selected back in March, for its fantastic support and services for blind and visually impaired children and adults across Nottinghamshire, PWR officially announced, My Sight Nottinghamshire as its charity of the year.
Mrs Lintwhite added: “Losing your precious eye sight is a terribly frightening experience and My Sight Nottinghamshire is a real life line, I simply couldn’t live without it and the advice, support and services it provides; that’s why I decided to nominated it as PWR Charity of the Year.”
After naming My Sight Nottinghamshire as PWR charity of the year, the property management company have arranged two big events in the last few months, donating £1278 to the charity.
Mrs Lintwhite said that she was absolutely delighted to hear that the PWR team is keeping up the good work and continuing to raise funds for such a worthy local cause. She said: “I and the thousands of other visually impaired people across the county who benefit from the charity’s services wish the brave skydivers every success in the daredevil venture. A big thank you to everyone involved!”
For information and to donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/PWRLettings/
In light of recent figures highlighting that thousands of landlords take out the wrong buildings and contents insurance for their properties, leading to significant personal and financial risks, one Nottingham based property consultancy is warning of the pitfalls.
PWR Property Consultants, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield has now agreed with figures from leading insurance firms, that landlords are price-led and often purchase the cheapest coverage, often resulting in the wrong policy.
Simon Perkins, partner at PWR Property Consultants said: “Many landlords do not realise that standard home insurance policies do not cover letting properties, meaning that in the unfortunate event of a personal claim, they are unlikely to pay out and it may result in a landlord settling claims out of their own pocket."
Insurance giant AXA recently reported that one in four new landlords had the wrong insurance, or worse- no cover at all.
A spokesperson for the company said: "When you first start renting out a property, you may not realise all the legal implications and duties involved. Last year, for instance, we found that a third of these landlords are inadvertently breaking laws on safety checks, and a quarter had the wrong or no insurance."
Simon at PWR added: “I cannot stress that it is critically important to be insured by the right company that guarantee coverage instead of the wrong insurance provider not covering your damages, which may lead to financial ruin.At PWR we offer expert advice on property management, to offer landlords information on the right landlord insurance, to ensure financial protection.”
For more information, visit www.pwrlettings.co.
As a national survey revealed that 92 per-cent of letting agents believe the national buy-to-let sector will grow by at least five per-cent this year, a Nottingham property consultancy is encouraging potential investors to use a professional letting agent to have the best chance of tapping into this potential growth.
The Buy-to-Let Survey 2014, commissioned by The Mortgage Works, also showed that two thirds of rental intermediaries believed that first time landlords and those with small portfolios were going to be key growth areas for the buy-to-let industry.
PWR Property Consultants, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, has warned that potential investors should use an agent with a wealth of experience in letting properties expediently and avoiding the potential pitfalls, to reap the full benefits of the buy-to-let sector growth.
Simon Perkins, partner at PWR Property Consultants said: “2014 looks to be a year of strong growth in the buy-to-let sector. However, that does not mean every landlord will benefit. Our comprehensive service based upon years of experience offers property listing within 24 hours, property management, mortgage finance advice and acquisitions, meaning that our landlords will be able to fully realise the potential growth in the buy-to-let market.”
The report listed that the three main concerns of letting agents were incoming buy-to-let regulation, base rate increases, and the growth in housing prices.
Simon added: “At PWR, our wealth of experience from letting and managing over 1,300 properties locally,means that we are likely to understand how any arising concerns in the buy-to-let industry are likely to impact on our landlords' investment. When landlords entrust their properties with us, they can be safe in the knowledge that there is a greater chance of maximising the return on their investment than with a less reputable agent, or by themselves.”
For more information, please visit www.pwrlettings.co.uk
The recipient of August’s Top Dog is Sam Pynegar who is based at our Nottingham Office. Since joining us in March 2014 Sam has made steady progress in his property management role and has already become proficient in many aspects of his job; but it is not just his performance that has gifted him this accolade, it is his superb attitude that gave him a unanimous vote from the heads of department panel.
Ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to learn more and hone his existing skills, Sam has embraced the knowledge and training that has been bestowed upon him. The fact that he continues to implement these religiously on a daily basis has made him an admirable employee. Sam has been unfazed by scenarios in his wake despite his inexperience in managing a portfolio of this magnitude and we have all been impressed how he has steadily tackled each issue in turn.
It is clear that Sam genuinely enjoys his new role and this is reflected in how he deals with everyone he comes into contact with. Sam has proved to an excellent recruit, as he not only works quickly but effectively. His efficient and conscientious work ethic and ability to work with very little supervision has impressed everyone he works with. He is a delightful young man who has come a long way in such a very short space of time. Sam’s presence in the Nottingham office has made a notable improvement to the customer service levels in the property management department and his desire to do a good job has been a welcomed addition to the team as a whole.
Landlords of domestic properties have a responsibility under Health and safety legislation to carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires' disease, as an absolute minimum. Most domestic rented properties will be low risk, but as it is a potentially fatal disease it is important that properties are checked regularly.
What is Legionnaires Disease?
Legionnaires Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another.
Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems such as cooling towers, hot and cold water systems, humidifiers and spa baths. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 - 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures above 60°C.
What is the Landlord's responsibility?
Landlords are responsible for making sure that the risk of exposure is properly controlled. There is therefore a duty to assess the risk of exposure and if need be implement appropriate control measures.
Landlords must consider the risks from legionella that may affect anyone you employ and any members of the public, including tenants, and take suitable precautions.
The responsible person should record the risks and precautions and review the assessment annually.
What does the landlord need to do?
Detailed guidance is provided in HSE Guidance referred to below. As an agent and /or landlord controlling premises, it is your responsibility to identify any risks of legionella. A risk assessment will need to be completed by a competent person professionally qualified to carry out this assessment. Obviously, the larger the premises the greater may be the likelihood of there being a risk of Legionella bacteria being present. PWR Lettings will shortly have their own qualified assessor to provide the necessary risk assessments on behalf of its clients.
What happens if the landlord does not carry out his/her obligations?
The consequences can be serious. As a landlord you are legally required to manage properties so as not to expose tenants, residents and visitors to risk. Heavy fines or even imprisonment can be imposed especially if someone were to unfortunately die. You can be prosecuted even if there is an exposure to risk without anyone actually becoming ill.
For further information please visit the Health & Safety Executive website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/faqs.htm .
This Month's Top Dog award is given jointly to Heather and Matthew Ashlee. As they were the only two nominated for outstanding performances and as both had performed equally well in the month of June it was decided that it should be given jointly. We are fortunate to have the Ashlee's both in our employment as they have both proved to be reliable and efficient members of staff.
Matthew has never hidden his passion for PWR since he joined in 2004 and we are delighted to be able to reward him for his diligence and commitment. Matthew made a fundamental contribution to grow the business in the fledgling years of PWR but now he works tirelessly behind the scenes to make certain that PWR are compliant in all aspects of the business. Matthew not only runs a tight ship on the accounting side but he makes a significant contribution to the training of others, ensuring that from the onset that they do things correctly. He is vital to the smooth running of the business and has fast become a major linchpin in the PWR team.
Matthew has many strengths but his ability to quickly indentify and recognise areas which need improvement, whether that be in the business as a whole or just recognising training needs in individuals, has proved him to be a valuable asset. During the month of June, Matthew, in addition to his own day to day workload, successfully covered the accounts clerk workload for two weeks and took on the implementation of new legislation to ensure that we are up to date and compliant with the law.
As well as his day job, Matthew has undertaken for the benefit of the company an accountancy course. He is now certificated in AAT Level 1 and 2 in accountancy and will commence his final course in September to be a qualified Member in Practise. Matthew does a fantastic job on a daily basis, often having to rectifying others clerical errors to ensure that PWR's high standards are maintained, whilst sustaining a very high standard of his own, we are very proud to have this trustworthy and extremely reliable individual as part of our team.
Heather has been a welcome addition to the team, since she joined PWR just over a year ago. Heather was a pleasure to teach from the onset as she not only learnt quickly, but the fact that she has adhered to everything that she was initially taught has made her an even better employee. Like her husband, Heather is a conscientious and extremely efficient member of the team. She has flourished since the split in departments and has embraced her new role within the lettings department. As Heather is such a steadfast member of staff, who maintains very high standards daily, it is difficult to recognise an excellent performance, but in the In the month of June Heather excelled herself. Not only did Heather let more properties than she ever has individually let, she has processed all the applications and conducted all the sign and pays and move ins at the Nottingham office.
Heather is a fundamental member of the PWR team, who is fast becoming the linchpin of the Nottingham office. Undeterred on a daily basis, she single handedly holds the fort filtering and dealing with calls, while her colleagues are out gaining new business. Coming from the north of England and living in Mansfield Heather knew nothing of Nottingham in 2013. She has been self-motivated to really get to know the area in which she works. Not only has Heather put her own time in to expand her knowledge of the city to increase her ability to let property, she has taken undertaken and passed the PWR legal and procedures test to expand her knowledge of the lettings business as a whole. Heather has enjoyed the confidence that this knowledge has given her and has agreed to undertake the Technical award in Residential Lettings level 1 this year.
Our husband and wife team have impressed everyone this month with their diligence and hard work to ensure that PWR's standards are maintained and that tenants and clients receive an excellent service. They are both helpful and reliable individuals who we are proud to have working for us.
It's hard to believe that it's been over a year since the first of the class of 2013 started. Last year was a particularly demanding year for training, as we had 3 members of staff leave to go on to do different careers and a few short term employees which didn't quite make the grade. The expansion of our business saw the need for 5 new recruits and a full restructure within the departments. I am pleased to say that we made good choices in employing the people that we have today. They have all moved on so much since their initial training and I am proud to see them all flourishing in their respective roles. Simon and I started this business back in 2004 with the intention of providing our clients with a high level of customer service and for the people who worked for us a place where they enjoyed coming to work.
I am delighted to say that not only have we seen an improvement in our service standards since our launch in 2004, but since 2013 there has been a renewed enthusiasm from the people who work with us to achieve this goal. Often the first year passes by without us realising, as the right people slot so easily into the unit, making us think that they have always been with us. We have loyal and dedicated members of staff who on a daily basis work hard to fulfil both PWR's and our clients expectations and we are very proud to have such devoted people on our team. We are pleased to have been able to pluck people from roles that they were failing in or didn't enjoy and placed them in positions in which they thrive. It is an absolute thrill to see them thriving in roles in which they are best suited to.
Many of our staff have been home grown and it is wonderful to see the new recruits, who knew little or nothing when they first started, be confident and efficient enough in their given roles to deal as effectively with scenarios as their long standing counterparts would be. The depth of our training ethos has meant that we have been able to promote from within, giving people the opportunity to be elevated in status and responsibility and we are thrilled to have a second tier of employees on which we can rely. The start of 2014 has seen us recruit a further 3 members of staff as we see the growth of our sales department and we hope to expand further still by 2015, giving other people the opportunity of working in an environment in which they can succeed.
It can sometimes feel that cracking the Enigma Code is easier than deciphering what a lender will allow you to borrow against a given rent roll from a property. Choice Business Finance's Julian Lawrence offers us an insight into the dark art...
Lenders call it stress testing but to you and me it's the "What if/when interest rates rise" scenario. Banks, Building Societies and Specialist Property Lenders use notional interest rates, pay rates plus a margin, stressed rates, call it what you will, to check that if Bank of England Base Rate or LIBOR rises to x% that the rent coming in from a property is enough to cover the (potentially rising cost of) interest on an associated loan and a capital payment each month if required whilst still leaving a surplus to cover insurances, repairs, improvements and voids beyond that they think its nice if profits are retained in a rainy day fund to cover any unforeseen costs.
Some of you may know the "bolder" lenders will want the rent to cover the interest only on a loan 1.25 times over using an assumed interest rate of 5%. Other more cautious lenders ask for 1.9 x cover on the full capital and interest cost of a loan at the rate they intend to charge you. In simple terms it can mean one bank will lend you circa 80x the monthly rent, others 140x - you may well ask what does lender A fear that lender B doesn't know?!
As for the amount of debt against a property, known as loan to value again this can vary from 65% to 85%. Of course there is that little bit of small print that states "the lower of purchase price or value" so your talents in having PWR source cheap property isn't always recognised at the Bank!
The FCA and the Government are ever keener to ensure you can afford any debt you take on so do expect increased scrutiny when applying for any type of finance going forwards, the key is to plan ahead and speak to your residential or commercial mortgage broker in plenty of time, more so if you intend to purchase at auction.