Thursday 26 February 2015

What will 2015s property trends be in Warrington

I had an interesting chat with a regular reader of the ‘Warrington Property News’ he is looking to investing in property in or around Warrington so he popped into our offices for a coffee whilst his wife was doing some early Easter shopping. We got talking about the Warrington market and as you can imagine my colleagues also got stuck into the conversation.

You see, property values didn’t stop dropping in Warrington until January 2013, so after a strong run over the last 20 months, the ever upward drive of house price rises has started to turn with increases now at an almost standstill for the first time since the start of 2013. It is obvious that estate agents in Warrington are wary about the direction of the market as a result of the not as strong demand and fewer house sales.

With the uncertainty of a possible interest rate rise, new mortgage rules, a general election on the horizon and recent warnings of a house price bubble. Although the main indicators suggest that buyers will start to gain the upper hand, especially with the new stamp duty rules announced recently by George Osborne. However, there are many homeowners who don’t need to sell and won’t bother unless it’s economically beneficial to do so, but most homeowners are homebuyers, so what they lose with one they gain with another.

This is all good news for landlords looking to buy rental property with the changes in stamp duty and later in 2015, the new rules regarding pensions, where you will be able to take money out of your pension pot to invest in property. However, at the same time, I would say don’t just buy any old property in Warrington. First time landlords need to be cautious. The doubling of house prices every seven to ten years which has taken place since WW2 doesn't seem to have been seen since the mid 2000’s. The property market is shifting with more properties being built and restrictions put on mortgage lending, the likelihood of the property market increasing at the same levels as the past are questionable. But investing in property is also about receiving the rent.

On the one hand going for high yielding Warrington property to rent out seems an obvious choice, but high yielding property often doesn’t go up in value that well and in some circumstances doesn’t keep up with inflation, meaning in real terms you have a depreciating asset (I spoke about this a few months ago in ‘The Warrington Property Blog’ when comparing Hazel Street to Chapleford Village). So surely you should pick a property that has great capital growth then, because of the obvious potential to generate long term capital profit, especially with inflation eating away at our savings. However, rental yields on high capital growth properties (in areas such as Stockton Heath, Grappenhall and Chapleford village) tend to be low meaning if you are taking a high percentage mortgage, the rent doesn’t pay the mortgage payments.

If you would like more information on investing in Warrington property market, please call me on 01925 235338 or pop into the office for a brew

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Thursday 19 February 2015

Fair wear and tear 'most misunderstood area' of renting process

Last weekend i was doing my paper round (dropping off the Warrington Property News newsletter) in the town centre at a few accountancy firms when one member of staff at one of the firms showed some interest in going into the lettings business, he and his partner are looking to move in together they both own a house so he is considering renting his house out and moving in with his partner, he had a few concerns regarding renting his property but the main concern was the issue with wear and tear that can be caused to the property by a tenant and who would be liable to pay for this. I spent a day researching and thoroughly understanding the subject and invited him into the office for a chat.

Fair wear and tear is the most misunderstood area of the whole renting process, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks. Some landlords still have unrealistic expectations centred on the deductions that can and cannot be made from the tenant deposit.

It is a commonly held view in the lettings industry that the House of Lords has stated that a tenant cannot be held responsible for damage at the end of a tenancy caused by ‘reasonable use of the premises and the ordinary operation of natural forces’. However, while the precise source for this quote is unknown, it is a general guideline that has been accepted across the industry.

Recent figures from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme annual survey reveal that cleaning related issues make up 56% of all disputes. Damage to property accounts for 43%, redecoration 30%, rent arrears 17% and gardening issues 13%.

It seems that 55% of all disputes are raised by tenants unhappy about the proposed deductions from their deposit and of these, only 21% received all their deposit back. In contrast, 45% of disputes were raised by landlords and agents and of these, only 19% received the amount in dispute.

A good practise to get used to is not only writing a detailed inventory before tenants move into the property but also photographing as much as possible to add to the inventory, as something described by an inventory clerk can be misinterpreted by someone else, to clear confusion photographic evidence is always good to have.

Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC comments:

“There are two main things to remember with wear and tear. Firstly, the tenant has a duty of care to return a property in the same condition at the end of the tenancy as found at the start and as listed on the initial inventory report – with allowance for fair wear and tear."

Secondly, the law does not allow for betterment or ‘new for old’ when assessing the action needed to be taken after a check-out inspection. If an item was old at check–in and after a two year tenancy, there is some additional damage, the law will not allow a landlord to simply replace this item with a new one. Instead, some sort of compensation is allowable towards future replacement. This betterment principle applies to cleaning issues as well. If a carpet was badly stained at time of check-in, a landlord cannot expect the tenant to pay for cleaning at time of check-out, no matter how long the tenancy has been.

Landlords and agents should always encourage tenants to be present at any check out inspection and they should be made aware of all the issues that are raised in a check out report. This includes cleaning, damage to items listed on the inventory, additional gardening, or missing items. This discussion will inevitably include the subject of fair wear and tear.

So what can a landlord expect a tenant to fund from their deposit over and above normal fair wear and tear? AIIC has put together some helpful tips:


- Cleaning: This covers all rooms, especially kitchens and bathrooms. If an oven dirty for example, then the tenant can be charged for it to be professionally cleaned. Cleaning is never a wear and tear issue. If something can be cleaned, then it should be, at the tenants’ cost, providing there is documentary evidence in the form of a detailed inventory to prove the item was clean at time of check in.

- Damage: Any damage to the property and its contents can be charged to the tenant. Common and expensive damage includes burns to carpets and floorings; chips and cracks to baths and sinks; serious scratches to ovens; cracked and broken windows; and burns to kitchen worktops.

- Walls: If the tenant has painted the property with a non-neutral colour, without the landlord’s permission, then the cost of repainting can be charged to the tenant. Any serious damage caused to walls and ceilings will fall under the tenant’s responsibility also.

- Gardens: Tenant’s play equipment, swimming pools and trampolines can cause large areas of damage to lawns, as do dogs and other animals. This is not a wear and tear issue and the tenant must be held responsible for making good the damaged areas.

I don’t bite, I don’t do hard sell, I will just give you my honest and straight talking opinion. Please email me at or call me on 01925 235338!
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Tuesday 17 February 2015

3 Bedder house in Golborne could make a good investment

Good afternoon property hunters. I'v been doing some window shopping on Rightmove and i have found a superb BTL in Golborne. Now Golborne is a strange one as it falls under a warrington postcode but i believe the council is Wigan, either way this is a deal too good to pass.

This sort of property is such an easy renter and would easily achieve £525 pcm. So with an asking price of £64,950, this could potentially generate you an annual yield of 9.7%

As you can see from the images on the link below, no work needs to be done with the property, its very close to Golborne High School and will be idea for a family, you will not have long voids with this 3 bedder, it will get snapped up by a tenant very quickly.

With the market the way it is at the moment, this property will fly out of the door, don't just take my word for it though, speak to Fraser Reeves Estate Agents who have it on the market and they will say the same, good quality property is not hanging around.

If you would like any advice on buying to let, be it with this property, or any other, just drop me a line at

Thursday 12 February 2015

Check out the new property portal...

On Monday 26 January 2015, a new property portal - – launched. The arrival of this brand new portal is a very exciting development for the property market.

The portal is run by Agents’ Mutual, which is made of a membership of over 2,000 property agency firms, amounting to 4,000 offices. It is envisaged that the membership will grow significantly once the portal goes live. The motivation of the portal is to deliver the best user experience for prospective tenants, with results produced clearly and in an uncluttered way with no pop-ups or third party advertising as is found on the other major portals.

To give the portal a chance of establishing a meaningful presence, each member agent will only be allowed to display properties on one other major portal. As such, we at Hamlet Homes Warrington undertook a detailed investigation into our own property portal data, looking at numbers of phone calls and email enquiries generated from both Rightmove and Zoopla. Further analysis into the quality of leads, as well as the conversion of leads received to successful lets / sales was also looked at in detail.

In conclusion, we decided that that the best portal for Hamlet Homes Warrington to appear on, as well as, would be Rightmove. Rightmove not only delivers more enquiries, but the quality of the enquiries are, in our opinion, higher than those received from Zoopla.
Rightmove is, in our opinion, the market leader, ranked 8th in the list of the most viewed websites in the UK, well ahead of Zoopla at 35th. Google has announced that it is the most searched for business in the UK, thus adding further evidence that Rightmove is the right choice.

We believe the combination of our own website,, together with, the new entrant with all the publicity that will ensue, as well as Rightmove, the most established and dominant portal in the market, will give our clients properties unrivalled exposure in respect of online marketing.

As of 26th January 2015, properties being marketed by Hamlet Homes Warrington will no longer appear on Zoopla.

At Hamlet Homes Warrington we firmly believe that this is an exciting time for the property market and we believe will be of long-term benefit for all those with an interest in renting property in our local area.If you have any questions regarding the above, please email me on or call on 01925 235338

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Check this little number out in Warrington

Good morning property hunters, i know its been a while since i put a property deal on the blog. It has been a pretty busy few weeks, but i have come across a little gem for the right investor, try to keep an open mind with this one.

This is a 3 bedroom semi, with the right work it would make a lovely family home, the house is on the market for £105k, now in 2007 similar houses on the same road where selling at around £160k, expected rent on this house is £650pcm and from experience when a three bedroom semi comes onto the rental market they go quick and they tend not to have many voids. I would estimate around £10k refurbishment costs. This house will give you a yield of 6.8%. 

Now i know on previous blogs i have posted properties with much higher yields however in the case of them properties where the yield is high the capital appreciation isnt always the greatest, with this 3 bedroom semi, you are still getting a good yield and as history shows this property will appreciate in time

If you're a first time investor or you've been investing for many years, this is an opportunity that can not be missed.

It is on the market with Bridgfords Pick up the phone and start to arrange your viewings. This will get snapped up quick.

Rightmove link to property

If you would like some advice about buying to let, whether you are a landlord with an existing portfolio or someone thinking of investing in the Warrington rental market for the first time, please email me on  or pop into our office on Crosfield Street, 6 Bankside, free parking available at the front of the office in Warrington.
If you enjoy reading my blogs, please take a look at our other on-line resources,

Thursday 5 February 2015

What's in a name?

I recently went to a local landlord gathering in Warrington, i met with some of the local landlords and we had general conversations about the amount of different letting agents in Warrington and what landlords expect from there letting agents, what i found was a lot of agents concentrate so hard on trying to win new business, that as soon as they have won a new landlord over and rented out their property, they pretty much forget about them and start the chase all over again. Wouldn't it be great if they took the time to at least get to know your name, your preferences regarding your property management style and what makes you feel comfortable as a landlord?

With almost 200 properties on our books and over 80 landlords, we are always in contact with a vast number of those people about one thing or another, and where one landlord might be quite liberal and easy going towards the actions of his tenants, another may well have stricter standards – for example, some will allow tenants to decorate to their own style, fix furniture to walls or undertake other improvements such as fitting extra radiators yet another landlord might not allow any of this, with the property having to stay magnolia and with a limited number of picture hooks put into the walls. This is where knowing your client landlords and their preferences adds a personal touch, because as the agent we can then take a lot of the strain and buffer many of the requests that we get from tenants.

So if we get a request for a new fridge for one of Deans properties we already know his answer and how to handle it, whereas for Jane her answer and approach will be different, and on any given day when Kevin calls we immediately know his voice, where his properties are, what his tenants are like and the on-going issues and relationships he and they both have, and all of this means we can tailor our approach towards the very specific nature of the matter at hand and the people involved. We can do this because all of our staff are located in one location, and we are all constantly over-hearing and getting involved what is going on within all of the other roles within the office - there is no outsourcing to a remote call centre, no subcontracting of responsibilities, and you can always reach the same person who has been dealing with an on-going issue at any time.

We don’t offer a ‘one size fits all’ approach because clearly we are all different, the properties are of varying age, condition and specification, and sure as anything we get to see the whole spectrum of human nature demonstrated by tenants (which is in itself a whole blog article for the future). If you were to call your existing agent today, out of the blue, would they have a good enough relationship with you that they could already pre-empt your requests and the way you would like such an outcome to be achieved? Would they even remember your name?

You see, as someone made clear to me some time ago, lettings is not just about property but is more about people and personality, because who would you trust to look after your best interests – someone in it purely for the money, or someone prepared to dedicate the time and effort to building a relationship with you such that trust, confidence, and ultimately a smooth transaction will naturally follow?

You know my name by now, it is Tesh Patel, and our negotiator here is Andy Shaw. We work closely together and are always giving advice to our existing and new landlords in Warrington on what to buy (or not as the case may be). Having this level of detailed information at our fingertips allows us to spot trends in the local market which then enables us to give the very best advice to our clients. We don't charge for that advice as there will be plenty of opportunity to earn our income by finding the best tenants for the landlords in the years to come, so if you want to discuss your options then pop along to our office 6 bankside, crosfield street, for a more detailed conversation, or call either of us personally on 01925 235338.