Urgent and important Update for Landlords Responsibilities re Immigrants

At Smartmove it is our policy to keep our Landlords advised of any new legislation that may affect them,

In line with this policy we must advise you that the immigrant policy mentioned in our last News Letter came into effect from the 1st October 2014.

Therefore it is now incumbent on Landlords to take I.D.’s, Passports etc and keep details on file of their tenants immigration status.

If Immigration Officers find any illegal immigrants in Letting Accommodation they will hold the Landlord responsible  and the initial fine

will be £3000 for each illegal. Therefore if you have 3 people in a property you will be liable to a £9000 fine.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that if you are a Smartmove Landlord then we will take on that responsibility as part of our service to you.

Once again Smartmove is enabling you to be stress free while complying with the myriad of legislation that is now required to be a law abiding Landlord.

Landlords required to check immigration status of tenants or face £3,000 fine.

‘The secret to successful property investing is to look after your tenants:’

Landlords are being forced to rein back on rent increases and risking fines if they don’t follow rules. Alister Arundell of SMARTMOVE says “keeping tenants happy is the key to success.”

Landlords told to shop around after dirty tricks and wide variations in costs of letting agents are revealed.

  • Some agents charge both landlord and tenant for same service
  • One letting agent charged landlord £670 for simple contract extension

Landlords have been warned to check the terms they get from their letting agent after research showed the difference between the cheapest and most expensive agents can be equivalent to more than 10 per cent of rental returns.

Tricks including double-charging tenants and landlords for the same service and charging hundreds of pounds for contracts where only the date had changes were also revealed in the research by insurer Direct Line for Business.

On average, the fees landlords pay when they let through an agent are 11 per cent. However, this can be as high as 17 per cent.

The cost of a letting agent completing an inventory on a property ranged from £65 to £300, property visits from £20 to £100 and the charges for managing a checkout from £30 to £125.


Other charges landlords often encounter include paying for the cost of running credit checks on prospective tenants, reviewing references and checking tenants into a property.

Jasvinder Gakhal, at Direct Line for Business, said: ‘While most letting agents are transparent and fair, a minority are doing an injustice to the majority through “double dipping” activities.

‘That aside, it is important landlords consider all the costs they will face when estimating the yield for a property.  

‘Taking into account agents’ fees, taxes and unbudgeted costs such as emergency property repairs, landlords can easily pay out expenses of 25 per cent of their annual rental income for a property.’

Landlords warned that they may be required to check the immigration status of tenants or face 3000 pound fine.

  • New rules set out in Immigration Bill from October Research shows 40% of landlords perform no checks on tenants Eight per cent of tenants have committed crime at rented home.

Landlords may be forced to check the immigration status of prospective tenants before allowing them to rent a property from next year or face a potential hefty fine, under rules in the new Immigration Bill.

The Government says it will enforce the stricter rules on one location in the UK in two months’ time to check a tenant’s right to be in the country – the location of which is yet to be announced. These rules could then be rolled out across the country.

Those who fail to check a new tenant’s immigration status could face a fine of up to £3,000 if the slip-up means they have someone in their property who is in the country illegally.

SMARTMOVE are ahead of the game and will handle any required checks for their Landlords. All legislation is adhered to making your life as a SMARTMOVE Landlord completely Stress Free.


Buy-to-Let price war

Long term fixed mortgages make a comeback with rates as low as 2.99pc fixed for six years – and seven year fixed deals for buy-to-let borrowers

Great News for landlords. This week a flurry of new mortgage deals from high lenders have cut the interest rates paid by buy-to-let borrowers, thanks to market expectations that a rate rise is some way off.

The biggest rate cut came from Leeds Building Societywhich trimmed its two-year fixed from 3.49% to 3.09pc for borrowers with a 40% deposit. Virgin Money, Accord and Santander followed suit this week with cuts to their fixed mortgage rates by around 0.1%. Buyers should be aware that Accord’s deal is part of a sale that ends by October.

Longer-term fixes are attractive to landlords wanting security as variable rates look set to rise.Skipton Building Society is offering a seven-year fix – the longest on the market. Those with 40 pc equity or deposits can borrow at 4.6 % until 2021. The fee, comparatively low for landlord loans, is £750. For those with less to put down – 25 % – the rate rises to 5 % and the fee to £1,750.

The rates on offer are appealing. Virgin Money, the new bank trying to win business from established high street rival lenders, has launched a six-year loan charging 2.99pc. To qualify borrowers need a minimum 30pc deposit and must pay an upfront fee of £995. The deal is available through Moneysupermarket.com.

Taken from an article by Richard Dyson – The Telegraph

Rents hit a new record.

Rents have reached an all-time high, a study suggests, with landlords making a 13pc total return in a year

The cost of renting has risen to an all-time high, according to a buy-to-let index.

The figures were published by a major lettings network which said it was a peak month for tenants to look for new homes.

LSL Property Services, which owns chains Your Move and Reeds Rains, said rents rose 2.4pc in the 12 months to August across England and Wales, meaning they have edged £3 higher than a previous record set in October 2013.

The study also reflected how buy-to-let investing had been growing in the past year, with rents and capital growth combining to deliver a single year return of nearly 13pc.

LSL’s records go back to January 2008.

David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Autumn is when more people move to take up new opportunities, to build new careers and to start new chapters.”

Average rents in seven out of 10 regions of England and Wales were higher than a year ago.

A combination of rising rents and sharp increases in house prices has made buy-to-let highly profitable in recent years.

The LSL study suggested landlords had seen a gross average return of 12.7pc in the past year. This typically, was £8,233 in rent and £13,066 in capital gain, before taking tax, mortgage repayments and maintenance costs into account.

Landlords have also seen the cost of buy-to-let mortgages fall as well as choice of lenders flourish in the past year.

Telegraph reader Cathy Colston recently told this newspaper how she quit a senior role at Boots to turn her buy-to-let hobby into a full time job, saying she hadreplaced her salary within four years.

Mrs Colston owns nine properties across Bath, Cardiff and Bristol, where landlords have reaped some of the highest buy-to-let returns. In the past year, rents in the South West have increased by 3.5pc, outstripping the national average of 2.4pc.

Taken from an article by Kate Palmer of the Telegraph

Is your agency checking your smoke alarms? slum landlord jailed!

At Smartmove we check properties under our control every 3 months. We use a fully qualified electrician to insure all smoke alarms and precautions are up to date. Please see an article where a Landlord never bothered to check, and if you use an agency and they don’t do the statutory checks the Landlord is still ultimately responsible. Please make sure you choose your agent carefully to ensure that your tenants remain safe.

Slum landlord jailed after boy, 7, perished in fire because battery had been taken out of smoke detector in ‘death trap house’

  • Ajit Singh owned 14 properties across Kettering, Northamptonshire
  • The terraced house where Mateusz Wlodarczyk, 7, lived had no proper fire exit
  • Smoke detector in house where the boy died had been disconnected
  • Two managers who worked with Singh were also sentenced

Please see article here   http:/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2433332/Landlord-Ajit-Singh-jailed-boy-died-inactive-smoke-detector.html