Jul 18, 2018

Important Things to Know About Being a Landlord in 2018

Though a lucrative and enjoyable role, being a landlord is rarely an easy one. With the laws constantly changing and new legislation coming into effect, it can be hugely difficult to stay on top of everything.

Miss a key piece of information or a minor change in housing standards and you could find yourself in hot water. Each and every year there seems to bemore key things you need to know about being a landlord and 2018 is no different.

Landlords Need to Know These Things in 2018

The Tax Relief Landlords Can Claim on Mortgage Interest is Decreasing - Up until April 2017, landlords could claim a hefty amount of tax relief back on their mortgage interest at their marginal tax rate. However, this is no longer the case. Now, landlords will only be able to claim tax relief of 50% on their mortgage interest. This is reducing further in 2019, down to 25%, and further again in 2020. Hiring a specialist property accountant can help you keep on top of these ever-changing codes.

Landlords Will Be Paying Higher Mortgages Rate - A number of mortgage base rates will increase throughout 2018, which could see landlords paying higher mortgage rates if they are coming to the end of a fixed rate deal. Landlords beginning a new mortgage could be paying a lot more than they initially expected.

Landlords to Join a Compulsory Arbitration Scheme- There are current plans to make it a legal requirement for landlords to sign up to a compulsory arbitration scheme, as a way to improve the way in which problems are solved between landlords and tenants. This scheme would provide tenants with a way to raise issues that are not being solved between the two parties.

There Are New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards - As of April 2018, all properties must meet new minimum energy efficiency standards. Only properties with an energy performance certificate of E or above will meet this standard. Those that do not, will not be able to renew or grant a new tenancy until necessary changes are made. Any landlord that continues to rent a property without meeting these minimum energy efficiency standards risks fines.

Landlords to Pay Stamp Duty on Additional Properties - Anyone who buys a property in addition to their main home will have to pay a 3% stamp duty surcharge, including landlords who buy properties to rent out to tenants.

With so much to remember and keep on top of, it is sometimes best to use third party companies to help you out.  These days you can hire people to take care of almost every aspect of your landlord responsibilities, from property managers and solicitors through to specialist property accountants.  We asked Daniel Ruthven of F9 Consulting for any free advice he would give to anybody considering becoming a landlord in 2018, he tells us “Over the next few years Landlords will lose the ability to deduct loan interest when calculating profits from let properties, planning is essential to mitigate increased tax liabilities”.

Though being a landlord in 2018 can be tricky, it’s not an impossible task. With the right amount of knowledge about changes to property market and by staying on top of any relevant news, it’s possible to be a successful landlord with everything taken care of both financially and legally. 

Mistakes To Avoid When You Wish To Sell Your House

You may want to sell your house for a number of reasons, it could be due to a cash crunch, it could be due to moving to a bigger and better house, it could be due to your moving out of the city and so on. The reason does not matter, what matters is selling your home quickly. When you are in the market the rates automatically come down. The prospective buyers will always try to bargain and reduce the price as much as possible. They will find faults with the home; they will inflate the prices of future repairs and ask you to reduce your asking price.
The biggest mistake that you can do is to give the buyer a chance to bargain by not setting right small issues. Take for example the kitchen faucet, it should not drip, you can change it yourself and it will not cost much but if it drips while the buyer is around the buyer will tell you that the faucet needs to be changed, he or she has to get a plumber to rectify it etc. They will then go on to speak about the cost involved, usually inflated and then they will ask you to reduce the price that you want for the home. Never give them this opportunity. Go around the house like a buyer and find faults, small and big. Make a list of all of them. Then rectify each fault. It won’t cost much but you will be able to drive up your asking price.

Next is to keep your home clutter free. You may like an extra bean bag in the living room but what you need to remember is that it takes up space and when a buyer is around they need to see space. They need to see a lot of space; they should be able to move around freely. If they see a lot of things lying around, closing the sale can be tough. What I did when I was on the lookout for buyers to buy my house was to rent storage units near me and place a lot of things there. This also made the house look larger and I was able to sell my house.

Paint, paint and paint some more. A fresh coat of paint makes the house look good. Do not opt for dark colours; opt for colours that are vibrant, colours that enhance the mood. Do not forget to paint the doors, the garage door included.

Hire a cleaning expert and get the house deep cleaned. You will be amazed to see the differrence when the cleaning company finishes the work, the house will look very clean.

Reading This Will Help You If You Want To Stage Your Home

When I was in the market to sell my house, the most common refrain that I heard was stage your home. Stage your home to sell faster, stage your home to get the asking price, stage your home to avoid lengthy discussions etc. I then did stage my home and it did help in selling my home faster. The following tips are the ones that I learned while I staged my home and I hope this will help you to sell your house quicker.

  • The first impression is the lasting impression, you have to catch them early, these catch phrases are the real deal. When a buyer is visiting your home with the intention of buying it you need to create the lasting impression and to catch them early you need to make the impression strong. This can be done by cleaning the curb, placing some potted plants, raking the lawn, mowing the lawn, painting the mail box, painting the garage door, painting the outer walls, painting the main door etc. If everything looks spic and span and if you find it attractive and neat, chances are the buyer will also feel the same.
  • The living room is very important. Ideally you should remove any excess furniture because this room should look big and there should seem to be a lot of space. In fact, many buyers visualize their furniture in the room before buying, so minimize the furniture. I did not do this and my living room looked cluttered and I lost a few buyers because of this. All I had to do was search for cheap storage Staten Island as I used to stay there and I would have been able to rent a storage unit. I understood this later and I did hire a storage unit and place my excess furniture there. Another important point for all home sellers is that you should keep your drapes open and allow as much natural light and air to enter the room. More the natural light more the chances of a quick sale.
  • The kitchen did not seem to have any problems for me. We used to have a wonderful time there. However, the prospective buyers found a lot of faults in the kitchen and they wanted me to reduce my asking price since they would have to foot the bill to repair the kitchen. Just one tile was cracked and the buyer said that the repair cost would be high as all the tiles would have to be changed and hence my asking price should also reflect that. I did what I do best, I went and bought a tile and changed it myself, it cost me very less and now the prospective buyers did not have any leverage on me, they could not ask me to lower the price based on that. So, while you stage your kitchen ensure that the small issues are taken care of.

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