Thursday 30 April 2015

Warrington Landlords, have you declared ALL your rental income?

Yesterday i had a call from one of our landlords for some advice, his friend (landlord) has recently received a letter from the HMRC as they suspect him of not declaring or possibly under-declaring rental incomes. Now a batch of letters went out mid last year and from receiving this message i believe another batch of letters to landlords have also gone out, If you have received a letter it could be for the reasons above or that you have not made a voluntary disclosure you could face severe penalties and possible criminal prosecution

Although HMRC generally goes back six years, the law allows it to go back up to 20 years. Any landlord with undeclared rental income, or who has been under-declaring it, should come forward to make a voluntary disclosure before they receive a letter. Anyone making an unprompted voluntary disclosure will be able to negotiate lower penalties and affordable payment plans.

For the thousands of landlords who have already received letters, it is too late. Any disclosure they make now will be regarded as “prompted”. Interest will also be charged from the date the tax is due until the date it is actually paid.

HMRC is using a wealth of information to identify landlords who have not declared their rental income. These include records from other government agencies and local authorities, and also the tenancy deposit schemes and Land Registry.

Or course, we at Hamlet Homes Warrington provide fully documented statements for our landlords and full audit trail of income and expenditure - yet another bonus of having a fully managed property rather than going it alone.

Throughout the course of us working with you, we will undertake all of the regular management and day to day accounting on your behalf, but of course any financial impact will be felt directly in YOUR pocket if this is not done correctly and in a timely manner. My office is located on 6 Bankside Crosfield Street, if you fancy popping in or you can always email me on




Thursday 23 April 2015

An Expert ‘Buy-To-Let’ Checklist when looking for Property in Warrington

I recieved and email very recently from a potential Warrington investor, this gent has come into some money and rather than leaving it in the bank he would like to invest it, he has been reading the Warrington Property Talk and decided to take up my invitation of popping in for a coffee and a chat. As always i like to get to know everyones situation individually and what their expectations are. Together we have come up with a strategy to start him off, i also shared my do's and don'ts to give Shaun something to use towards his research for his first BTL.

We at Hamlet Homes Warrington have found that advice for new Buy-To-Let investors can still be contradictory and confusing, like most things if you’re Buying-To-Let, you need to do it right and when a considerable amount of your own money is involved it becomes absolutely critical.

We thought, to try and make the process of buying to let simpler and more successful for you, we would prepare a definitive checklist. So here we go...

· Research your market – the area, the people you want to rent to, the available property, the benefits and the risks – and keep up with letting industry news.

· Choose your preferred tenant type. Students? Young professionals? Families?

· Find the right property that will appeal to them – houses, flats, older properties, newer builds? Students may not need anything particularly stylish but a young professional might.

· Then pick the right area where they want to live – parents may want to be close to schools and shops; wage earners need to commute to work; students have to be near to their college or university. Look outside your own area if necessary.

· If local crime statistics are available, take a look and bear them in mind.

· Study the condition of any property you are interested in – from roof, guttering and windows on the outside to condensation, leaks and electrical wiring on the inside. Be conscious of fire risks. Check whether extensions or conversions have met planning permission or building regulations.

· Don’t accept the first mortgage offer you get. Shop around. Gather information. Compare.

· Get the maths right – your investment might give a better return in some other way. How much is the right property going to cost? Is the rent you expect to get enough to cover the mortgage and give a profitable return? Does the potential capital growth add up to a good investment?

· Talk to an independent lettings agent before you buy. Most mistakes involve either wrong location or wrong price paid for a property.

· Don't be greedy – Buying-To-Let should be approached as a long-term investment, not a quick fix.

· Be prepared for costs that can upset your calculations – ongoing maintenance, small and major repairs, advertising, future rate rises, mortgage costs, agents fees, tax, falling house values, periods when you can’t find tenants and the property is empty.

· Get the right insurance cover – and that can include insuring yourself against tenants who fail to pay rent.

· If you’re going to manage the let yourself, be prepared to sacrifice your evenings and weekends! If this is likely to be more of a drain than you are prepared for, seek out a professional, fully accredited lettings agent who, for a fee, will look after your property, your interests and your tenants on your behalf.

This checklist offers a selection of do’s and don’ts, but, it is only for guidance purposes, we prefer to sit down, face-to-face, with a new potential investor and offer more solid professional advice, since everyone’s circumstances and expectations are very different. Why not come in and see us in our office on 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, WA1 1UP or drop me an email with any questions on

Wednesday 22 April 2015

A tidy starter house for the novice investor, Fox Street - 7.4% yield

Good Afternoon property hunters, as i said yesterday i have seen quiet a few investment opportunities pop up whilst on my rightmove searches.

This one is something special, at £79,950 for a tidy 2 bed terrace, how much cheaper can you get? It really doesn't need much doing to it either, it can go straight onto the market again for at least £495, giving you a 7.4% return or more if you can negotiate the price down. New-Way Homes in Warrington have all the details of this, so what's stopping you?

Click to view property

If you look carefully through my blog, you will notice i have mentioned fox street several times, this street in warrington is a great rental street, voids are at a low and the location is great for a young family, parks and schools close by and its only a 10 minute walk into the town centre

If you would like a chat about this in more detail, please feel free to email me on or give me a call on 01925 235338, our office is just off crosfield street, 6 Bankside - next to Aldi and Icelands opposite Bank Park, if you are in the area then pop in, the kettle is always on.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Cracking house in Warrington with great potential for buy to let...

Good afternoon property hunters. Had my eyes and ears to the ground to see what tasty little property treats are about and have got a few that I will be posting out this week. This one particularly caught my eye. 3 Bedroom houses are in high demand, in this particular area of warrington you can expect to achieve £550 pcm rent so thats over 8% yield.

The asking price is £76,000 and similar properties are renting in the area for £525 - £550 pcm, even basing it on the lower figure, it's still 8%. The property looks like its in great condition however if this is purchased as an investment i would decorate all the rooms to a neutral colour. My estimate yield figure includes £4000 refurbishment.  The type of tenant you tend to attract in these areas are long term families, so voids will be at a low.

Click here to view property

I'm always available for a chat if you fancy it, so come on down for a cuppa or email me on

Thursday 16 April 2015

Is there Apathy in the Warrington Property market?

A state of indifference has hit the Warrington housing market as sellers await the outcome of the general election in May and stricter mortgage regulation suppresses buyer demand.

This feeling of apathy is mirrored around the UK as Rightmove reported the number of homes registered for sale per estate agent fell to its lowest level for five years in December, with available stock 10 per cent lower than in the same month a year earlier.

Looking at Warrington, in the June of 2014, Rightmove had 2487 properties listed for sale. Our research shows that this number plummeted to 2297 properties listed by December 2014 and as we came into January 2015, this figure was marginally less still at 2230 available properties. Whilst the lack of properties coming onto the market in the later months of 2014 in Warrington levelled off the increasing prices, traditionally a quiet season for the housing market, property sellers will need to work hard in 2015 to complete a sale.

2015 will be the year of the selective mover as there is going to be competition with New Build vs Re-sale. With big name developers building in Warrington and a lot of homes due for release in 2015, buyers will have a choice of a brand new home, with developers offering special deals to attract them in, or of a pre-owned home with no special offers. It is more prevalent now to make sure that if you are trying to sell your home to make sure it is presented to the best of its ability to make it stand out from the crowd.

That might mean the Warrington landlords may still be able to bag a bargain. Markets and buyers do not like uncertainty, but savvy buy-to-let landlords know that property investment is a long term game, and irrespective of short term apathy, a reduction in the quality and quantity of stock for homeowners to buy or the election, if people don’t buy property, they rent.

In my opinion, the heat is still on in the Warrington property market and I anticipate a moderate increase in the transaction volumes compared to 2014.

Therefore, if you are considering buying a property for investment in the near future, I am always happy to give you my considered opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be) to give you what you want from your investment. My office is located on 6 Bankside Crosfield Street, if you fancy popping in or you can always email me on

Thursday 9 April 2015

Availability of great value property in Warrington during 2014 has led to a shortage this year

Throughout early 2014, as the property sales market was about to start its upward movement, there was an excess of great value buy-to-let investment property available across Warrington, yet the first few months of this year has seen a virtual drought of quality investment property. Why is this, and what options are there for investors that are trying to get into the market at this time?

Prices of smaller properties, the sort that we would generally recommend to new buy-to-let investors, have increased beyond the Warrington average of 9.2%, Some of our most popular tenanted properties are 2 bed terraces on nice estates; again these have risen from approximately £70k to in excess of £90k for the very best examples, a very handsome 12% growth here as well. As you can see, anyone trying to get in at this level now has to have substantially deeper pockets, but anyone that DID buy last year now has excellent yield built in as a result of the relatively affordable price they would have paid. There may still be bargains and renovation projects out there, but it seems that shrewd sellers know the state of the market at this time very well indeed, and are holding off for what could otherwise be seen as unrealistic sale prices – the thing is, they are also achieving them, so what does that tell you?

We are also starting to see an influx of more rental properties on the market this year, offering a wider range of choice for tenants through increased competition, and although some properties are commanding slight increases in rent over last year’s rate, in a number of cases we are advising landlords to simply consolidate and maintain an even keel at this time rather than pushing for the extra £20 or so in such a crowded market. For new investors, sadly this is a potential double whammy – first, resale prices are now lifting and generally these are being achieved, putting further upward pressure on prices as the bar raises and supply remains restricted, so the cost of entry starts to move out of reach for some. Secondly, increased competition from other rental properties means that stock may be sitting on the market for that little while longer, putting further pressure on stock to be at it’s very best in order to stand head and shoulders above any competitors.

Further to all this is the speed of the market, with investors often missing what appear to be great opportunities because by the time they hit the market they are usually already sold or will sell within a day or two, so the only way to try to keep ahead is to either keep a constant eye on the market, ie daily, or register with local agents to be informed when repossessions, renovation projects or distressed sales are about to be listed.

In the meantime, why not speak to us about possible buy to let opportunities we may be able to introduce you to in the Warrington area, either through our own landlord disposals or through our industry contacts. For impartial advice about what to buy next, where to buy it and what to pay, then email me now on or call on 01925 235 338 for free, and more importantly, honest advice.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Know Your Facts and Figures in Warrington

Recently i have been getting a stream of emails regarding the Warrington Property Market, one email stood out and i thought this would be a perfect opportunity to not only answer Simons question but i can also share what i found with my readers. Simon wanted to know how Warringtons property market stacks up against the national average (nothing more exciting than an article full of facts and stats). 

Here at Hamlet Homes Warrington, we can guide you to the right places to identify property values and yields in Warrington and other useful property related information so you can make sure you get all the information you need about your future investments. Here are just a few property facts about our town of Warrington…

There are 9218 streets in Warrington with 283,657 households (Detached = 68,430 Semi Detached = 109,203 Terrace = 84,994 Flats = 21,030) and under 20% of all those houses (45,190 to be precise) have changed hands since 2008.

Compared to the national average – Warrington has 40% more detached houses, 13% more semi detached houses and 56% less flats. This is a good indicator that Warrington is a good place to buy a property in. 

If you would like more useful facts and figures specifically to a post code area such as (WA5) pop into the office for a chat or drop me an email on I would be more than happy to send you stats just like this for your area, and give you my honest opinion.