Random thoughts of the day

Landlord Insurance (buildings)

Landlord insurance is specifically designed to help landlords protect the property they rent out from financial losses that may be connected with renting in the private sector.

Financial loss can happen in many ways, whether it is damage to the building, damage to the contents, an injury sustained by a tenant or even loss of rental income due to the property being empty.  All these areas can be protected against with landlord insurance.  Some areas are covered as standard (e.g. buildings insurance) and some areas will need to be added on as additional extras, so whatever level of cover you get will depend on exactly what level of protection you are looking for.

What does landlord buildings insurance offer?

Landlord buildings insurance is the absolute minimum level of cover you will need as a landlord.  Landlord buildings insurance offers protection to landlords should the actual building be damaged as a result of a natural disaster such as a fire, flood or subsistence.  Buildings insurance will cover the actual structure of the property including walls, floors, ceilings, roof, windows and doors.  It also typically covers permanent fixtures and fittings, such as a fitted kitchen and bathroom suite.

The insurance will cover the total rebuild cost of your property should loss or damage be a result of a natural disasters such as, fire, flood, falling trees, subsistence etc.

Some landlord buildings insurance policies will include accidental damage cover, which will protect against damage caused as a result of an unexpected and non-deliberate external action to the property, by yourself or the tenant. It is important to check with your insurance company exactly what your landlord’s buildings insurance offers as standard and what you will be required to purchase as an additional extra.  Buildings insurance does not cover the contents of your property, this will need to be added on as an extra.

Why should I get it?

Getting the right level of cover for your property is essential.  Since your property is a means of income for you, it is important to protect its financial wellbeing.  It is important to remember that standard household insurance will usually not cover a property that is rented out.

Although landlord insurance is not a legal requirement it is strongly recommended as it could save landlords a lot of money in the long run. It helps provide financial security for your business investment (i.e. your property) and ensure you have no sudden unexpected large repair bills to take care of.   With the right insurance in place, your property and your rental business are financially protected, offering you some peace of mind.

If your looking for the cheapest landlord insurance visit smartlandlord.co.uk for a like for like price matched quote.

Posted by admin on November 22nd, 2012 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Finding the Best Mortgage Deal

Finding the right mortgage deal for you should be right up at the top of your priority list when purchasing a property. We are experiencing difficult times in looming credit crunch meaning that 100% mortgages are no longer available and lenders require at least a 10% deposit before they will consider you. This is just the minimum deposit amount, but to get the better deals you will need a 40% deposit.

In order to find the best mortgage for you there are certain steps you can take to get you there.

Shop around and compare costs of mortgages and use their online calculators that can help indicate whether you are a viable candidate. Whether you have bought your property from a high street or online estate agents, they may be able to offer some advice about lenders or give some recommendations.
Seeking help through an independent financial advisor (IFA) can really be beneficial as they can search the whole market and obtain a list of mortgages that are suited to requirements. However, some of the best deals are only available directly through the lender so you should still do your own research.
When you search for mortgages, be sure to look into the total costs and not just the headline interest rate. You need to take into account all the fees you will have to pay before deciding to take the mortgage.
Avoid mortgages that have early repayment charges after the initial rate has ended. This way, you will not be able to switch providers without being liable for a charge. Also avoid mortgages that add the arrangement fees onto the mortgage and try to pay this out of your savings upfront, otherwise this will mean you will be paying interest on this amount as well as the mortgage amount.

If you are yourself selling a property and have asked an online estate agent to “value my home” you will be in good stead to know your budget and financial requirements for your new mortgage. It is also important to have a good idea of what type of mortgage you will be looking for, whether it is interest only or repayment, fixed or variable rate.
Fixed rate mortgages are easy to budget for, as you will pay the same monthly amount until the end of the agreed fixed period regardless of the interest rate changes elsewhere. Variable rate mortgages follow the lender’s standard variable rate, so your payments will reflect the change in the interest rates at the time. Tracker mortgages however track the Bank of England base rate which also means you will experience differing payments.
You also have other features to consider like cashback, where a mortgage deal will give you a sum when you take out their deal, but you should factor this into the overall cost of the deal before choosing one of these products.
Flexible mortgages let you over pay and under pay throughout the term duration, take payment holidays and make lump sum withdrawals. This means you could pay your mortgage off early and save on interest. Other types of flexible mortgages include offset mortgages, where your savings are used to offset the amount of your mortgage you pay interest on each month, and current account mortgages combine your account, savings and mortgage all into one so all your credit balances offset your mortgage debt.

The array of mortgages available can be quite daunting, but by seeking the correct advice and shopping around can certainly land you with the best mortgage deal.

Posted by admin on January 2nd, 2012 :: Filed under Uncategorized

Landlords… Have You The Right DIY Supplies?

As a landlord, handling small household repairs can be easier for you to do on your own as opposed to paying to get someone in to do the work. But as with anyone carrying out repairs on their house or flat, you need to make sure that they have the proper DIY supplies available, so that when something occurs they are prepared. Two of the most important DIY supplies that you need to make sure you keep in stock in the toolbox are adhesives and lubricants.

A lubricant can be purchased in either liquid or spray form and is a great thing to keep in the garage given that it provides a simple solution to a squeaky hinge, a stuck nut, or a sliding door that has started to show some resistance. Some lubricants come in cans that make it easy to spray onto the trouble spot such as WD40. Before heading out to get any DIY supplies you should be aware that any surfaces that are made of vinyl, wood, or rubber will need a lubricant that contains a high value of silicon.

On the other hand, when you are looking at adhesives you will need to pay a bit more attention to what you intend to use them for as every surface will require a different type of adhesive, and super-glue is not the ultimate solution to every need. The most versatile adhesive is white glue which can be used on leather, wood, paper, cloth, or cardboard. However, you should never use white glue when you need a substance that is water resistant, which is why you may need to do a little more DIY supplies shopping.

Another factor to be aware of is how quickly the glue will bond to the surface you are working with, since some adhesive DIY supplies will instantly bond and others will require you to press on a surface for a substantial amount of time. Keep this factor in mind when working with a substance so that you can choose the right type for the task in front of you.

Posted by admin on August 20th, 2010 :: Filed under flatshare
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The benefits of wood flooring

When considering flooring options many people disregard wooden flooring and instead stick with what they know and go with the good old carpet option – but are they right to do so?

People often overlook the benefits of wood flooring, discounting it due to the expense and the effort of maintenance. However, those who have never experienced wooden floors before are missing out on a great economical, durable, hygienic and easy to maintain option.

Wooden flooring comes in three main varieties, real wood, engineered and laminate flooring. Each offers its own style and character but all share the same benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, wooden flooring does not have to be expensive. Modern production methods now mean that some types of flooring can be produced cheaply making wood floors available to all budgets. Cheaper laminate flooring still offers an amazing look and finish and with the ability to select bevelled options, it now also looks just like the real thing.

Good quality wooden floors can last a lifetime, unlike carpet which often needs replacing every 5 to 10 years due to stains or wear and tear. Wooden floors can often look better with age and offer a fantastic stain and scratch resistant surface. Hygiene is also a key benefit of wooden floors, eliminating the hidden germs and dust mites that often reside in carpets, and instead offering a clean and easily maintained dust free option. They do not trap in unpleasant odours from pets or spills so offer a fresh and clean alternative.

Posted by admin on July 29th, 2010 :: Filed under Uncategorized
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How new landlords can improve the property to increase rent

For new landlords looking to rent out their property as a house or flat share it is important to know how to maximise the return on investment by increasing the value of the property.

One thing that can be done is to find a surveyor in your local area, this can be done easily by going to a search engine and searching for example, chartered surveyors Essex. Once a reputable surveyor has been found that offers landlord and tenant services contact them and they will be able to carry out surveys on the property which will provide a detailed assessment of the property’s condition from which the landlord can make the necessary improvements which in turn will rationale increasing the monthly rent.

Following this a bit of hard work in decorating the property can also warrant having a slightly higher rent. Painting the property, doors and window frames, thoroughly cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and making the house or flat more homely and presentable will encourage prospective tenants to pay that little bit more each month.

Posted by admin on April 26th, 2010 :: Filed under flatshare
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I think more and more people shoud flatshare!

When i was younger (oh to be young again!) i lived in a flatshare , well i lived in a few over a 10 year period and i loved every one of them.

I enjoyed living with differnt people, sharing my space was fine (well most of the time).  I think too many people snub flatshare and stuggle to buy or rent their own place, which is such a shame.

I think the process should be:

  1. Live at home
  2. flatshare
  3. get own place

My best memories in a flatshare were when i had a flatshare in London, i lived in Greenwich for a few years.

Please use the comment box below to tell me about what you think about flatshare.

Posted by admin on March 16th, 2010 :: Filed under flatshare
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