Monday 4 March 2024

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 2 bed house in Chichester, £285,000, 4.6% yield



 Summary
2 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 13/10/23 @ £285,000
Rent = £1,100pcm
Yield = 4.6%

The property is on the market with Bell & Blake and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/86645421







Thursday 29 February 2024

Getting your property ready to rent

In my last article, I listed the basic things you’ll need to put in place before you can legally let your property. Assuming they’re all sorted, the next thing you’ll need to do is get the property ready for marketing and viewings. With that in mind, here’s a few things to consider to get the property ready to rent:
 
Consider improvements
We’ll assume any necessary repairs are done and the house is watertight and fully functioning. That being the case, you could now let it…but will anyone want it? It’s a lot easier to undertake improvements before a property is tenanted, and doing so is likely to attract a better, longer-term tenant, who may be willing to pay a higher rent for a nicer home.
 
So, are the windows and heating up to scratch? How old are the bathrooms and kitchen? Is there a decent shower and suitable kitchen appliances? Could the walls do with re-decorating or the flooring upgraded? It may seem boring but a crisp neutral d├ęcor is easier on the eye and provides a blank canvas that tenants can see themselves living in. 
 
Factor in the cost to undertake these works versus the uplift in the property’s value and the gains in tenant satisfaction, longevity of their tenancy and increased rental income.
 
De-clutter
Taking photos of a property with lots of ‘stuff’ in it won’t show it off to its full potential. It’ll also put people off when they come to view the property as it will make the rooms feel smaller and less inviting. Simply clearing surfaces and stacking things away neatly can bring some much-needed calm to a property.
 
Dress the rooms
Whilst the majority of properties are let unfurnished, you can at least straighten the lightshades and pull back the blinds or curtains to let in the most amount of light. If you are providing furniture though be sure to dress the rooms so they reflect who you’re targeting i.e. setting the dining table makes more sense for families than it does sharers.
 
Keep it clean
No one wants to rent a dirty property, so make sure it’s spick and span so it’s looking its best. Don’t forget the outside spaces either; make sure the frontage is clean and tidy, ready to make a good first impression. Tidying up the garden and creating a low maintenance space will make it more inviting, rather than looking like something tenants will have to be working on every weekend.
 
Once the property is up to scratch and made to look its best, it’s time to call in the professionals and get it valued, photographed, measured-up and marketed. A well-presented property that is priced correctly will stand above those on the market that have had less care taken with them and, as a result, should make finding tenants that bit quicker.

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Monday 19 February 2024

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 2 bed house in Tangmere, £274,000, 4.8% yield



 Summary
2 bed house in Tangmere
Listed for sale on 16/11/23 @ £295,000
Now = £274,000
Rent = £1,100pcm
Yield = 4.8%

The property is on the market with Bell & Blake and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/142092392







Thursday 15 February 2024

The basics of letting a property


There are over 150 pieces of legislation that landlords and letting agents need to be aware of when they let out a property. Below are the basic things I always check first when visiting a prospective landlord at their potential rental property:

Is it leasehold?
If so, you’ll need to check there are no covenants that stop you letting out the property to a certain type of tenant or, in extreme cases, preventing you from letting it at all! You may also find the freeholder and/or management company needs to be alerted to the fact the property is to be rented (and to whom).


Is there a mortgage? 
If you have a buy-to-let mortgage, or no mortgage at all, then you’re all set. But if the property is currently your home and you have a residential mortgage you’ll need to apply to your lender for ‘consent to let’ and/or switch to a buy-to-let mortgage.


Is it insured?
Specialist landlord insurance for the property will cover the building, your contents (including fixtures & fittings) as well as providing you with legal indemnity cover.


Furnished or unfurnished?
Most long-term rental properties are let unfurnished, but if you plan to supply any furniture it needs to comply with fire safety regulations (look out for the manufacturer’s label).



Is there an EPC?
An in-date EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) with at least an E rating is required prior to letting (some exemptions apply). They are valid for 10 years and there’s a register online that you can check before you order a new one.


Got gas?
There needs to be a smoke alarm on each floor of the property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid-fuel burning device e.g. an open fire.


Are smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in place?
There must be a working smoke alarm on each floor of a rental property. Meanwhile, carbon monoxide alarms need to be installed in any room with a ‘fixed combustion appliance’ (other than a gas cooker). That most likely includes a gas boiler, gas hob, gas fires & open fires all requiring a carbon monoxide in the room.

Are the electrics up to scratch?
All new tenancies require an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) to be undertaken by a qualified contractor to ensure the electrics are safe and in a good condition. These are then valid for five years (unless the electrician says they need to be checked sooner).


These are the bare minimum legal requirements you must comply with before letting a property. There are many more points to consider though, such as the condition and desirability of the property, its likely target market and rental valuation compared to what else is available at the time. If you have a property that you’re thinking of letting and would like some advice or guidance, please get in touch.


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Monday 5 February 2024

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3 bed house in Chichester, £300,000, 5.0% yield


 Summary
3 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 31/01/23 @ £320,000
Now = £300,000
Rent = £1,250pcm
Yield = 5.0%

The property is on the market with Leaders and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/131241017







Thursday 1 February 2024

What’s for rent in Chichester?


Not much!!! 

Since the onset of Covid nearly four years ago, the supply of rental properties in Chichester has been at record lows, whilst demand remains stubbornly strong. This has led to a hugely competitive market for wannabe tenants, whereby you can expect dozens of enquiries within 24 hours of listing a decent and well-priced property to rent. That is despite rents increasing across the board as a result of this supply and demand imbalance.

On the face of it though, the supply of rental properties has at least ‘improved’ since a year ago (when just 82 properties were on the rental market in Chichester). But having just 98 homes on the market to rent in a city the size of Chichester is still wildly low. 

More worryingly however is that demand has continued to outgrow supply, as only 38% of rental listings are still available (with 62% let agreed), whereas this time last year 49% of listings were still available (with 51% let agreed). Bear in mind that four years ago (just before Covid struck) there were 205 properties on the rental market in Chichester, of which 143 (70%) were still available. 

Clearly then there’s not much choice for those seeking a property to rent, which explains why so many people are enquiring as soon as something comes to the market. Furthermore, it explains why people are willing to pay more as and when something suitable does become available. This has led to an increase in asking rents across the board, such that the current average asking rents in Chichester are:


…The average rent for a property in Chichester is currently £1,400pcm, up from £1,295pcm a year ago (an increase of 8.1%!).

The cheapest property available to rent in Chichester is a studio apartment on Oving Road, costing £650pcm. On the other end of the scale is a five-bedroom detached house in The Avenue in Summersdale, which is ‘let agreed’ having been marketed for £3,400pcm.


Why then has there been such a drastic decrease in the number of properties available to rent? Put simply, landlords are continuing to sell up. The stick of taxation and legislation has proven too much for some, with interest rate rises wiping out profits for those with buy-to-let mortgages. 

I’ve written many times about the negative impact taxation and legislation changes are likely to have on the rental market; not only directly for landlords, but ironically for the tenants they are supposedly meant to help. This has now come to fruition as rental supply remains at such low levels that, unsurprisingly, rents are increasing as a result. That perfect storm is making it increasingly difficult for tenants to find a decent home at an affordable price.

To stay abreast of the availability and average prices of rental properties in Chichester, be sure to subscribe to my free fortnightly e-newsletter at www.bit.ly/chipropertynews.


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Monday 22 January 2024

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 2 bed flat in Chichester, £215,000, 5.4% yield


 Summary
2 bed flat in Chichester
Listed for sale on 03/04/23 @ £250,000
Now = £215,000
Rent = £975pcm
Yield = 5.4%

The property is on the market with White & Brooks and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/133197008