Thursday 30 July 2015

Is cash king in the world of property investment in Warrington?

Many property investors are struggling right now in Warrington - trying to find the bargains out there in a rising market is an increasing difficult task, made all the harder by some of the obstacles being thrown up in front of them by estate agents who are not playing by the rules and restricting market access to cash buyers, but why would this be?

Go back a step and imagine yourself as a vendor – the estate agent you appoint to sell your property has a legal obligation to act in your best interest, and to pass on any and all offers to you for your own consideration, albeit they will be able to advise you of the relative strengths or weaknesses of individual offers such as the length of chain they bring, are the buyers financially qualified and how quickly then can proceed to completion. But what if, and we are hearing more and more reports of this, the estate agent is actually working in their own best interests first and foremost, by not passing on ALL offers because they can make more commission by trying to sell your house to a family who require many more of their (fee earning) services, such as a mortgage, life insurance, indemnity insurance, a home survey, buildings insurance and so on? Sometimes the highest price offered is not the best deal on the table when you consider all of the intangible elements involved such as timeframes, external complications and the overall ease of the transaction.

We are finding that many cash investors are hitting a ‘glass wall’ which they cannot pass through, as they are not in need of the extras that many agents need to sell to hit their targets, and as a result they are actively being prevented from having their offer passed forward to the vendor. If this has happened to you, I would suggest putting your offer in writing direct to the vendor and let them and the agent sort out the resulting conflict, after all, it is also the vendor that is being inconvenienced by such action.

There are a few agents around who actively market properties for sale to potential landlords & investors, so at least some of them are being proactive in serving such a market, and they also understand that those buyers approach any deal differently to a retail buyer looking for a home of their own. What an investment buyer would need to be aware of is that estate agents selling a property often over exaggerate the potential rental income in order to make the figures appear more attractive to investors, and one way we can help combat this is to assess the potential purchase and give our fair and unbiased assessment of its potential to meet your investment criteria.

Another area to examine carefully is the ongoing cost from any managing letting agent, as costs can and do vary by quite some margin – we are talking about your fees as a landlord and the fees charged to tenants at the beginning and throughout the life of the tenancy, because although you won’t be paying the tenant fees, it could have a considerable impact on your ability to let and re-let a property if tenants feel they are being over charged for the right to apply, or worse still being forced to pay to re-apply for a tenancy renewal of what they consider to be their home. It is action such as this which leads to ‘churn’ or the turnover of tenants on a regular and costly basis.

So how should you combat this and make sure you as an investor are treated equally? Well you can first of all insist upon being present whilst the agent contacts the vendor, and then remind them of their obligation to put forward your every offer. Tell them that if they won’t, you will submit it in writing yourself (you can find their address on the land registry website for a few pounds). You can also seek out those agents willing to work with cash rich buyers, and for agents undecided about which side of the fence to fall onto you can educate them as to the value of your proposed deal, in terms of the uncomplicated position and speed you can bring to the transaction, and who wouldn't want that?

Here at Hamlet Warrington, we don't just take on new properties and let them out, we go back a stage or two and look to work with potential investors at the start of their journey and stay with them right through to letting & managing their new property, and we can help guide investors through the minefields and show them the tricks to get the best property in the first place (including accompanied viewings if you wish), because once you do this, the rest should be child’s play.

The cost for all this? Absolutely nothing. The value to you though – immeasurable.

To find out how valuable a partner we could be, visit us now at our offices on 
6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, Warrington, WA1 1UP, or you can email me 
Manoj Patel on

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Friday 24 July 2015

How to serve a section 21 correctly in Warrington

Good afternoon, hope everyone has had a busy productive week. Ok so this is a question we at Hamlet Warrington get asked time and time ago. ''how do I serve a section 21 correctly?'' this is usually asked by landlords who are managing their portfolio themselves and are having trouble with a difficult tenant or they are looking to sell their property.

We here at Hamlet Warrington have the experience of issuing a S21 correctly without problems or without having it refused in court.

Section 21 gives a mandatory right to possession and landlords do not need to give a reason for requiring possession.
The only way tenants can successfully challenge an s21 possession claim is if the landlord, agent or solicitor has made a technical error in the application and the pre-application rules have not been followed correctly. For example, if you serve a section 21 notice when the deposit has not been protected, the s21 notice would be invalid.
Some important points to remember before serving a section 21 notice:
1. Make sure you have a written tenancy agreement which spells out the contract terms of the tenancy, including the length of the term, any break terms*, the rent amount and when this is payable.
2. Read the agreement carefully to make sure you comply with the all its terms, for example, using approved methods of validly serving notices, tenancy end dates etc.
3. The section 21 notice can be served at any time during the tenancy but NOT before the tenancy agreement has been signed.
4. If you have taken a deposit, the deposit must be protected** (within 30 days of receiving it) and the prescribed deposit protection information (s213 notice) served on the tenant as per s213 of the 2004 Housing Act (as amended by the Localism Act 2011) BEFORE a valid s21 notice can be served.
5. Download the prescribed information from whichever deposit protection agency’s website you signed up with, and serve it on your tenant within 30 days, making sure you receive PROOF of SERVICE.
6. Where the rental property comes under the remit of a licensable House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO), you must have complied fully with the Housing Act 2004 legislation regarding licencing of an HMO, and provide documentary evidence when applying to the court for a possession order.
7. Where the tenancy is a statutory periodic tenancy, the s21 notice comes under section 21(4)(a) of the Housing Act 1988. In this case the notice expiry date should be the last day of a tenancy period which is a minimum of 2 months from the date of service. These notices should include a saving clause (Lower Street Properties v. Jones (1996), Elias v. Spencer (2010) and Spencer v. Taylor (2013), where the notice states the expiry date, and words to this effect: “or after the end of the period of your tenancy which will end next after the expiration of 2 months from the service upon you of this notice”. This has been held on appeal to mend a notice with an incorrect end date.
8. The Accelerated Possession process (Form N5b) does not normally require a court hearing. The whole process will be completed by the court (judge) assessing the documentation you present. If all is in order a possession order will be made. If there are other complications, such as a missing letting agreement, then you will need to use the Standard Procedure (Form N5). This will require a court hearing. The standard procedure may take longer but it has the advantage that you can add a money claim if necessary.
*Any notice served under a break clause in the tenancy must comply with section 21 (1)(b) of the Housing Act 1988 AND the provisions of the break clause in the tenancy. Courts will always interpret the terms of a break clause very strictly.
**If the deposit has not been protected within the 30 day period you cannot serve a valid s21 notice unless you REFUND your tenant’s deposit. Likewise, if the prescribed information (s213 HA2004) has not been served on time then a valid section 21 notice cannot be served until the information is served correctly. (Complying late will not avoid you being liable to a fine).
Check List – Serving a Valid s21 Notice:
1 – Complied with the terms of the tenancy agreement and s21 of the Housing Act 1988 when serving s21.
2 – Complied with the deposit protection rules – s213 Housing Act 2004
3 – Obtained proof of service of deposit notice and s21 notice
4 – Complied fully with the HMO licencing requirements Housing Act 2004
5 – Where the notice is served under a break clause, make sure the terms of the clause and s21 provisions are fully complied with.
6 – Allow ample time for the 2 months’ notice to expire before applying to court for a possession order. Two months is the minimum notice period, there is no maximum.
7- When applying to the court for a possession order, make sure you provided three copies of all the documentation needed:
• Tenancy agreement
• S21 notice with proof of service
• Deposit documentation with proof of service of 213 notice.
• HMO licence details, if appropriate
8 – Apply for a possession order at the court near the property or online at: All court guidance, forms and documents can be found here:
Processing a possession claim is not difficult, and you do not need legal training. It just requires due diligence – some homework on your part and careful attention to detail. This is a 3 stage process which may or may not need all three stages:
1 Serving notice
2 Applying for a possession order
3 Applying for a warrant of possession – court bailiff evicts.
As always me and my colleagues are always willing to help and guide you with this process you can contact me Manoj Patel on or call on 01925 235 338. Better still if you have any concerns and would rather speak to me in person before you take the step of serving a section 21 then pop into my office, we are based at 6 Bankside, Crosfield St, Warrington, WA1 1UP plenty of parking available outside the office.

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Thursday 23 July 2015

Do Apartments in WA5 make good investments for Buy to Let?

I was talking to a potential landlord who lives in Appleton the other day. She wants to purchase her first Buy to Let property and has noticed our rental index and previous articles, so was interested in getting to know the industry a little bit more. She had also noticed that quite a few apartments are coming up for sale in the WA5 area at quite reasonable prices in comparison to some areas of Warrington.

She wants to try and get a property with quite a good return on her investment, as it’s not really doing anything in the bank. She had noticed on The Warrington Property Blog, that some of the apartments in the WA5 area get quite a good yield, so I thought I would look into this in a bit more detail for her. This is what I found.

In the last year, 97 apartments have been sold in the WA5 area, 73 of these were two bedroom apartments, selling for an average price of £112,472. Two bedroom apartments in this area rent on average for £600, which could produce a fantastic 6.4% annual yield. The remaining 24 sales were one bedroom apartments with an average selling price of £89,268. The one bedroom apartments in this area have an average rental price of £450, which can produce an almost equally good yield of 6.0%.

However, this isn’t the full story. The reason that the selling prices in WA5 are quite reasonable is due to the fact that many of the apartments have short leases, due to being built in the 1960’s/1970’s. This can restrict the way you purchase the property as some mortgage lenders won’t lend, or the interest rates will be quite high if the lease is less than 70 years.

Leases can be extended though and can cost around £12000 to do (depending on leasehold company). If you are buying the property to let though, you won’t necessarily have to worry about extending the lease straight away as the plan normally is to keep the property for a few years. Rent it out for 5-10 years, and then when you are looking to sell, renew the lease at that stage. This means you can ask for top money, as the property will have a brand new extended lease.

Property values for 2 bedroom apartments in WA5, Warrington have risen on average by around 10% in the last 5 years, which is below the Warrington average of 17%. But this is one of those classic examples of ‘What is more important, high yield or capital growth?’

With potential annual yields in the high 6.0% - 6.4% bracket, this area is great for the quick investor.

I am always giving advice to my existing and new landlords in Warrington on what to buy (or not as the case may be). Having this detail of information at my fingertips, allows me to spot trends in the local market, which then enables me to give the very best advice to my clients. 

I don't charge for that advice as I have plenty of opportunity to earn money by finding the best tenants for my landlords in the years to come, so 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 Manoj Patel on or pop into our office on 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, Warrington, WA1 1UP
If you enjoy reading my articles please visit the links below to view back dated issues. 

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Fixer Up Gem on Wellfield Street Warrington £65k

Good Afternoon folks.. I have just sported a great BTL deal on Wellfield Street. In the past I have compared Wellfield Street to other streets in Warrington. It has always proven strong in the rental market and the street has given a lot of our investors and landlords great tenants and great yields.

Now I tend to look for deals that are pretty straight forward however sometimes to achieve them big yields you need to get your hands a little dirty and find a fixer up. I can comment on the internals on this property however going off the guide price and the fact the Agent is not sharing any internal images - worse case scenario is around £15k where a full refurb will be needed this will mean taking back to brick and starting again (electrics, central heating, new bathroom, kitchen etc)

Going in and giving an offer at around £60k means with the refurb costs of lets say worse case £15k means you are walking away with around a 7.9% yield as the going rate for a 2 bedroom property in that area to let is around £495 however it will be newly refurbished and the right tenant will potentially pay a little bit more.

Now we at Hamlet Warrington have worked with investors on projects like this so if this is something you are interested in and want to get an idea of time scale and cost or would like me to pop along on the viewing to get a second opinion then please do not hesitate to contact me Manoj Patel by email or you can give me a call on 01925 235 338 failing that feel free to pop into the office at 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, Warrington. WA1 1UP me and my colleagues will be happy to discuss this one with you. 

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Thursday 16 July 2015


I have received a number of calls from landlords since the budget, asking me how I felt the Chancellor’s announcement during his budget speech, in relation to tax relief for buy to let landlords, was going to affect the Warrington property market?

Now this is a big question and I will start by saying that despite the odd rumour in the associated industry press, the speed of the announcement has taken the industry by surprise. In brief the Chancellor is going to phase in changes to the tax relief rules and regulations currently enjoyed by buy to let investors, in order to “Level the playing field” between buy to let investors and ordinary house buyers.

As we stand landlords who are higher rate taxpayers can claim tax relief on their monthly interest payments at the top level of tax they pay, meaning landlords can claim as much as 45%. So, at the moment interest payments of £100,00 only cost landlords paying tax at the highest rate, £50,00 however t from 2020, when tax relief will have been reduced to 20%, it will cost £80:00.

These changes are due to be introduced over the next 4 years from April 2017, so landlords have plenty of time to meet with their accountants and find the strategy to mitigate against these changes. In reality, this is a battle between the tax man and the accountants, with some property experts advising that landlords investing through limited companies should be able to avoid the impact of the cut in tax breaks.

Over the coming weeks you will read many quotes from industry experts, but I would remind you of two things; firstly, no professional associated with the industry, including myself,  is in possession of a crystal ball and secondly, governments have a poor record of controlling markets, which are driven by many forces, sentiment and confidence being just two them.

My gut feel is that the socio economic drivers in the private rental market will not change and there will still be a need for good quality private rental market housing stock, as a high proportion of some profiles of tenants are tenants by choice.  Will it cause prices to fluctuate? Well we know that house prices fluctuate, they have been doing this since the 1950s, but over the long term housing has proven to be a good investment.

It is also important to remember that at the moment, investors and landlords with cash to invest are not spoilt for choice and this, in my opinion, will still leave the right profile of property as an attractive investment option for landlords and the first time investor.

If you enjoy the blog and/or would like to discuss any aspect of investing in, or letting property, please feel free to contact me on 01925 235 338 or at, when I will be more than happy to help. Alternatively, please feel free to pop in and see me at our offices at 
6 Bankside, Crosfield st, Warrington .

If you enjoy reading my articles please visit the links below to view back dated issues. 

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Monday 13 July 2015

Dont Miss This Ready Made Deal 7.9% Yield

Good afternoon property readers. Hope everyone has had a good week and enjoying the monthly email I sent out this morning with the 5 articles of research for July on the Warrington Property Market.

So there is not much to say about this property its an investors dream and if you're a first time investor this would suit you. It is ready to let, this will attract a tenant instantly so void periods is something you will not need to worry about. You will achieve rent at around £495 pcm which brings a healthy yield of 7.9%

The last house to sell on this street was in a more dated condition and it sold for £88k in December 2014. Which shows you are getting some good value for money here. 

Do not hesitate, this will not be on the market long. Contact New-Way Homes in Warrington to arrange a viewing. 

For more information about this or other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on 01925 235 338 or pop along and speak to us in person at our office at 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, you can always email me on

If you enjoy reading my articles please visit the links below to view back dated issues. 

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Thursday 9 July 2015

How to get started with BUY-TO-LET financing in Warrington

Recently a gentleman walked into my office slightly by chance, his wife was in town picking up some bits and bobs and he had seen my recent article in his local dentist reception area. For some time he has been interested about becoming a landlord but the finance side of things was putting him off.
Here at Hamlet Homes we are always keen to encourage people to research their own buy to let (BTL) mortgages, but there’s no doubt it can be very daunting.  There are a few key concepts you need to understand and I’m going to outline them here for you.

What mortgage do I need?         
Most investors choose to take out interest only loans, because the interest can be set against your rental income, making this a relatively tax efficient transaction.  The lender will look at your credit file, and most expect borrowers to have their own home mortgaged or owned outright and have a minimum income of around £25,000 – although this varies depending on the lender.  Some major lenders like Birmingham Midshires and The Mortgageworks don’t require earned income, but their credit score is consequently more onerous, especially at higher loan-to-value ratios (LTVs).

How will my credit score and income be calculated?

Credit scoring plays a key part and having a high credit limit on a card can increase your credit score. However, using the credit facility regularly can reduce it quite dramatically and your credit score will be spared from impairment if your balance is below 50% of your total credit limit. Lenders can be fussy about what they include when calculating your income, and most disregard the forecasted rental income that the property will command.  They also tend to favour employed income from a payroll, and things like bonuses and earnings from zero-hours contracts may be overlooked.

What about lending criteria?

Rental income must cover 125% of the mortgage but almost all lenders now calculate prospective payments at a higher notional rate of 5%, rather than the agreed mortgage interested rate. This makes it harder to obtain finance and is aimed at acclimatising borrowers to the likelihood of interest rate rises in the short to medium term.  Lending policy also tends to favour landlords with smaller portfolios and most lenders place a cap on how many properties you can own, regardless of who the loan is with – usually between 3 and 10 or if not, a cap on how much you can borrow overall.

And what interest rates should I expect?

In 2009, typical buy to let interest rates were around 5.25% with often an arrangement fee of around 2.5% of the loan applied, but thankfully rates and fees have fallen considerably, and at 75% LTV you are now looking at an interest rate 2.5% to 3.5% with fixed fees of less than £2,000. If you have a bigger deposit and can stretch to a 65% LTV, rates can be as low as 2%.  New entrants like Virgin Money, The Mortgage Trust, Precise and Aldermore – though not always the cheapest – have helped to increase competition.

How long will the process take?

The whole application process can be very slow and pedantic – with an average completion of 8 weeks –and the big three BTL lenders have about two thirds of market share partly because of their speed and efficiency: TMW, BM and Godiva. 

Should I use a broker?

Around two thirds of landlords choose to use a broker but be aware they may steer you towards specialist lenders who are not necessarily the best value.  Often building societies who mostly deal direct with customers can have some of the best deals, so try carrying out your own research by looking at interest rates.

Is it ready to let?

Mainstream lenders will require the property to be habitable and ready to let in order to proceed, which means a working kitchen and bathroom and no damp or subsidence.  Many won’t lend to flats over four storeys high, flats over commercial outlets or to freehold buildings containing flats. For situations where the property requires works, you could try commercial lenders like Lloyds, Shawbrook, Bank of Cyprus, private or other high street banks, but expect to pay an arrangement fee of at least 1% and interest rates of around 4% on loans of up to 70% of the value of the property.  Interest-only loans are harder to come by in this sector and your repayment term will be shorter – say, 15 years instead of 25 – but there won’t be any caps on the number of properties you own. 

Is bridging finance for me?

Bridging financers are the funders of last resort, usually lend on a non status basis at 65% LTV, and involve much higher costs of generally around 1% per month with no arrangement fee. It’s a bit like buying on a credit card. The advantage is the property can be in any condition – within reason, but be warned: never obtain bridging finance without a clear exit strategy and be aware that you will be stuck on it for six months before you can apply for a remortgage.

Growing a portfolio

I hope this has all been useful. Remember, once you have a mortgage, and if the property increases in value, you can think about growing your portfolio by releasing equity and applying for a further advance.  People often release funds from their own homes in this way to buy an investment property. Its called capital raising, and most lenders will allow it for the purposes of buying property, though they may insist you own the property for 6 or sometimes 12 months, and apply a lower LTV.

For more information about this or other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on 01925 235 335 or pop along and speak to us in person at our office at 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, you can always email me on

If you enjoy reading my articles please visit the links below to view back dated issues. 

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Monday 6 July 2015

Can this be your ideal BTL invest in Warrington £85k - 6.9% yield

Good Afternoon readers - hope you made the weekend and the weather, it just doesn't seem to make its mind up in Warrington. Its been a miserable afternoon but let me see if i can brighten things up with this potential BTL deal which will be ideal for the right investor. 

So this is on the popular rental area of Hale Street in Orford. Close to town and very popular with young couples or small families.

This house is ready to let and is a hassle free investment however the last property to sell on this street was in Jan 2014 for £74k it needed some work doing to it probably around £3k worth of work to get it to the same standard as this particular one i am writing about.

I believe there is room to negotiate and and possibly put in an offer for around £80k make sure you go in armed with numbers and stats of the street's history so that the agent can put this to the vendor. as the £85k is slightly unrealistic. Before the crash properties on this street were selling in the £90k + just something to bare in mind. 

If you are thinking of getting into the property rental market and don't know where to start, speak to us for impartial advice and guidance to get the best return on your investment. 

For more information about other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on 01925 235 335 or pop along and speak to us in person at our office at 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, you can always email me on
If you enjoy reading my articles please visit the links below to view back dated issues. 

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Monthly statistics for Warrington in June 2015

Time now for a quick round-up of what has been happening in the sales & lettings market in the Warrington area throughout June 2015 to date. (figures obtained from Rightmove and do not include private lets):

You can see from the rental figures above, that it is  2, 3 & 4 beds that are most in demand, with 4 beds being the most popular by some margin. If you look at sales, it seems 1, 2 & 3 beds are what people want to buy, this time it is 3 beds that win the race.

So, as an investment, what should you buy?

Well demand is there to rent anything up to 3 bedrooms, but there are already a high number of potential private purchasers chasing those same properties, so this will inevitably increase pressure on availability and start to drive prices up, whereas 2 beds are in a lot less demand by purchasers, yet these are often prized by renters. Our experience here tells us that 2 beds will always find a rental market, they will always rent out quickly but there will be more churn (turnover of tenants), and these will command a slightly higher yield than 3 beds. 
However, for families wishing to rent, 3 beds are a must, and in the catchment area of great schools (particularly secondary) they will always be in high demand and with less churn, and it is these properties that tend to offer better scope for capital growth in the long term whilst providing a steady yield of around 6-8.3% yield today.
If you are thinking of getting into the property rental market and don't know where to start, speak to us for impartial advice and guidance to get the best return on your investment. For more information about other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on 01925 235 335 or pop along and speak to us in person at our office at 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, you can always email me on

#warrington #investments #property #warrington #landlords #buytolet #property-buy #capital-growth #investments #property #property-capital-growth #warrington  #letting-agent #lettings-agent #letting-agents #lettings-agents