Thursday 24 September 2015

Inheritance tax planning in Warrington

Good morning readers - I would like to introduce Mark Jones our financial advisor who will be guest blogging today and sharing his expertise on inheritance tax planning.

Inheritance tax planning is changing, thanks to the chancellors Summer Budget 2015.  In the budget, he announced that inheritance tax (IHT) was to be scrapped on homes worth up to £1million.

The new IHT proposals certainly look like good news for some people who will inherit their parent’s or grandparent’s home after April 2017, but those hoping for a nice tax-free windfall from an aged aunt, uncle or sibling will not be so lucky.  This is because the property will only be able to pass to lineal descendants for it to be exempt when the additional rate is used.

In legal terms, lineal descent is a blood relative in the direct line of descent. This is children, including adopted children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins come under what is known as collateral descent and as such, they won’t be able to make use of the additional relief.

Another important factor is that the main residence relief will be limited to one residential property. Properties that were not main residences at the time of death, such as buy-to-let properties, will not qualify.

IHT is one of the most universally disliked taxes, and one of the areas of taxation we are most frequently asked about. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of these questions centre on how it can legitimately be minimised.

Inheritance tax: the basics

Current rates

IHT is currently levied at a rate of 40% on the value of an estate above the tax-free threshold of £325,000 per person.

Married couples and civil partners are entitled to double the allowance, passing on assets to their children or other relations worth up to £650,000.

An estate is exempt from inheritance tax if the deceased left everything to their husband, wife or civil partner (who must live permanently in the UK).

Future rates

From 6 April 2017, the government will add a ‘family home allowance’ of £100,000 per person, which will increase by £25,000 each year until it reaches £175,000 in 2020. At that time, if you add this to the existing £325,000 tax free allowance, it means that individuals could pass on assets worth up to £500,000 including a home without incurring any IHT, subject to the amount of their spouse or civil partner’s allowance that was unused on their death and passed to them.

For married couples and civil partners, the total is the £1 million figure that captured the attention of the headline writers.

In addition, those who want to downsize to a smaller property will be eligible for an ‘inheritance tax credit‘. This means that even if you sell a property and buy a cheaper one you will still qualify for the new threshold – providing the bulk of the estate is left to lineal descendants.

IHT liability

Single person
Value of family home 
Value of other assets Value of the estate IHT liability now 
IHT liability from April 2017 
£175,000 £350,000 £10,000
£300,000 £500,000 £70,000 
£400,000 £650,000 £130,000 £90,000 
£600,000 £1,000,000 £270,000 
£750,000 £1,500,000 £470,000 
£1,000,000 £1,000,000 £2,000,000 £670,000 

Married couple (assuming full allowance is passed to surviving spouse)
Value of family home 
Value of other assets Value of the estate IHT liability now IHT liability from April 2017 
£175,000 £350,000 Nil Nil 
£300,000 £500,000 Nil Nil 
£400,000 £650,000 Nil 
£400,000 £600,000 £1,000,000 £140,000 
£750,000 £750,000 £1,500,000 £340,000 
£1,000,000 £1,000,000 £2,000,000 £540,000 

Minimising liability

If you have no children or grandchildren, or you have other property that doesn’t qualify for the new additional relief, you may be tempted to start giving away your assets to reduce your exposure to IHT.

However, there are strict limits as to how much you can give away as gifts.

No changes were announced about the limits of gifts in the Summer Budget, so they remain as follows.

Wedding gifts/civil partnership ceremony gifts

The amount you can give depend on your relationship with the couple:
  • parents can each give cash or gifts worth £5,000
  • grandparents and great grandparents can each give cash or gifts worth £2,500
  • anyone else can give cash or gifts worth £1,000.

You have to make the gift on or shortly before the date of the wedding or civil partnership ceremony. If the ceremony is called off, this exemption won’t apply.

Regular gifts or payments that are part of your normal expenditure

Any regular gifts you make out of your after-tax income, not including your capital, qualify as exempt from IHT, as long as you have enough income left after making them to maintain your normal lifestyle.
These include:
  • monthly or other regular payments to someone
  • regular gifts for Christmas and birthdays, or wedding/civil partnership anniversaries
  • regular premiums on a life insurance policy – for you or someone else.

Small gifts

You can make small gifts up to the value of £250 to as many individuals as you like each tax year.

IHT exempt gifts

  • up to £3,000 worth of gifts given away in each tax year
  • any value of lifetime gifts can be made between spouses or civil partners without inheritance tax being due on them
  • payments to help with living costs for example to an ex-husband, ex-wife or former civil partner, a relative who’s dependent on you because of old age, illness or disability or a child under 18 years old or in full-time education
  • gifts to charities, museums, universities or community amateur sports clubs
  • gifts to political parties that have either 2 members elected to the House of Commons or 1 member elected to the House of Commons and received at least 150,000 votes in a general election.
Other reliefs are available including include business relief, agricultural relief and woodland relief. In addition, there is an exemption available to members of certain occupations.
Death in service exemption is when an estate doesn’t have to pay IHT the deceased was helping in an emergency that caused or contributed to their death and was a:
  • member of the armed forces
  • member of the emergency services
  • humanitarian aid worker.

Timing is everything

If, like many of our clients, you are a parent who would rather see your children and perhaps grandchildren live comfortably whilst you are still around to enjoy life with them, there are ways to help them financially.

There are also ways to help others who are important to you.

But whether it’s a one-off lump sum or a recurring payment, it’s vital that you seek advice before you do so. The way you provide it, whether it’s a loan or a gift, the reason for it and the timing of these are all crucial elements to consider when it comes to the implications for IHT.

As experts with many years of experience in IHT planning, we can advise on the many ways we can help you to help your lineal and collateral descendants- or family as it’s known outside legal circles, both now and in the future.
Important Notice

The way in which tax charges (or tax relief, as appropriate) are applied depends upon individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. FCA regulation applies to certain regulated activities, products and services, but does not necessarily apply to all inheritance tax planning activities and services.

This blog is solely for information purposes and nothing in this document is intended to constitute advice or a recommendation.

Whilst considerable care has been taken to ensure that the information contained within this document is accurate and up-to-date, no warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information.

If you would like to chat to me in more detail about this you can contact me Mark Jones on or call me on 07912 259 928. If you have trouble getting intouch with me then please contact manoj on or call him on 01925 235 338 and leave a message and i will get back in touch 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

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Great starter investment. 1 bed ready made flat 7.2% Yield

Good Morning property hunters - I thought I would share this investment property with you all today. This is a ready made investment deal with the flat already tenanted and bringing in £500pcm. This is giving you instant return on your investment. 

Now Greenings Court is popular for investors for many reasons however do not be fooled by the way a lot of these agents advertise the properties - what they forget to mention are all the additional fee's that come with investing in flats in Greenings Court. 

The additional fee's (service charge, ground rent etc) can range from £800 to £900 on a 1 bedroom flat. so if we go with the higher number of £900 then the yield you can achieve with the tenant paying £500pcm is 7.2% although the advert states 8.5% you have to remember to deduct £75pcm off the rent towards these charges.

Still a better place to put your money than leaving it in the bank. 

Greenings location is pretty much central. Its less than 10 minutes walk to the town centre, bus station, central train station. Ideal for working tenants.

Definitely worth ringing up to arrange a viewing 

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, pop along and speak to us in person at our offices at 6 Bankside Crosfield Street, WA1 1UP, Warrington or email me personally on
Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News. 

#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 17 September 2015

Don't get emotionally attached to your Warrington investment property

This is an article that I have been meaning to write for some time and I’ve been asked about it enough recently. I have mentioned it in several blog posts before – it’s not to get emotionally attached to your Warrington investment property!

I recently did some viewings on a potential investment property with a Warrington Landlord who picked up my Newsletter at his local golf club and took me up on my offer of coming along to viewings and hearing my opinion.

Heart VS Head

Henry is from the Grappenhall area of Warrington. When I told him the areas to achieve the yields he wanted (he would be looking at 2/3 bedroom houses in particular areas of Padgate, Orford and Bewsey), the landlord was sceptical as he couldn’t see himself living in these areas.

You cannot let emotion come into play when purchasing a BTL property – just because you wouldn’t live in certain areas, doesn't mean others wouldn’t.

It’s said that you make profit when you buy a property, not when you sell it. This is because you are a little more in control of what you pay rather than what you are forced to sell for. With this in mind, why pay the high end retail price for a property just because it looks sweet and idyllic, when what you need, first and foremost, is a property that meets all the financial requirements of a landlord? 

It is so easy, especially for the novice property investor, to fall in love with a property and let their heart rule their head, and to become so emotionally involved that they lose control of their finances and let their emotions win.

Why is it so important to invest in the right Warrington Property?

The most important message to convey in all of this is that investors MUST buy well in the first place, because if you start the investment processes in the wrong place, everything else just doesn’t stack up. If a property price is too high, and you can’t get anywhere negotiating some money off the price, then there is one thing to do – walk away. There will always be another opportunity.

The novice investor often thinks that by paying more for a property they will get a better property (which is not necessarily true). They cannot reasonably expect the market, which is an average of many transactions and house prices, to change its tune in order to meet them at a ,now inappropriate, level of return that they expect, simply because they paid too much – market forces don’t work like that.

As for buyer beware, well, they better had beware it – with a capital B.

Check out the larger, more important facilities in the house such as the boiler, electrics and plumbing, especially when paying in cash. Many investors won’t do this and once it belongs to the buyer, it’s a problem you’re stuck with.

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. Pop along and speak to us in person at our offices at 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street, Warrington, WA1 1UP, or email me personally on

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

Monday 14 September 2015

Invest like a Pro in Warrington with this Area Analyser

Good morning Warrington property hunters. Today I would like to share my Area Analyser with you. 

This is a video tutorial showing you how to use the Area Analyser spread sheet to give you an extra string to your investment property research bow. I have also set up a YOUTUBE channel for Hamlet Homes Warrington. Keep an eye out on this channel as I will be sharing more videos and tutorials

Using this video with the spreadsheet helps you analyse any town by splitting the town up by postcode areas and then working through the spreadsheet for each individual postcode to see what type of House/Flat (1 bed,2 bed,3 bed, etc) would produce the best yield.

It also shows you which Properties are in High Demand for tenants and which properties tend to sell quicker in the market place at the time you are researching and which properties are sticking.

Over All this is a great tool If you are starting your property investment journey or you are well into it already and you are looking for new towns to invest in.

If you need any more guidance on how to use the spreadsheet feel free to give me a call or better still pop into our office with your laptop and Me and my Colleagues will be happy to talk you through the whole spreadsheet. Our office is located at 6 Bankside, Crosfield St, WA1 1UP. (plenty of free parking available) you can call me on 01925 235 338 or drop me an email 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

Thursday 10 September 2015

George Osborne – The Warrington landlord’s friend?

Well the last few weeks have been rather hectic for Warrington landlords, some of whom we manage their properties and other landlords who read our Warrington Property Blog, have been sending me emails or picking the phone up to me about the new rules on buy to let taxation announced in the recent budget.  George Osborne confirmed in the recent summer budget that the tax relief given to landlords on mortgage interest payments, on their buy to let (BTL) properties, would be reduced over the coming years for higher rate income tax payers. The Chancellor said the tax relief that private buy to let landlords (who pay the higher rate of income tax) would change in 2017 from the current 45%/40% and would steadily reduce over the following four years to the existing 20% by 2020.

With 16.88% of residential property in Warrington being privately rented, these changes are potentially something that will not only affect most Warrington landlords, but also the tenants and the wider property market as a whole. The choice of rental properties could drop, especially at the top end of the market, which could push up rents.

However, Warrington landlords could protect themselves by reassigning one or more rental properties into a company structure (e.g., a Limited Company, Partnership or Sole Trader) and by doing so, the total tax paid can be greatly reduced, because a company only pays tax on the profit.  Nonetheless, before everyone goes off setting up companies for their BTL portfolios, it must also be noted, if a sole trader firm is started, stamp duty needs to be paid, yet if the owner is in business with a partner, they could enjoy some stamp duty relief.  The biggest tax variation is Capital Gains Tax (CGT) where the tax bill will be much higher when you come to sell your portfolio.  In essence, by going into business with your BTL properties, you will potentially have a modest stamp duty to pay when you start, but you will have a lot less monthly tax to pay, irrespective of the interest rate, but the CGT bill could be much higher when you come to sell ... as you can see, it is not a ‘get out of jail card’.  Now it must be remembered, I am not a tax advisor, so you must take independent advice from a qualified person.

Those planning to purchase a BTL property will have to factor these new rules into their calculations, and this could affect the offers they are willing to make. However, I am not that concerned, as the scaremonger reports fail to see the fact that two out of three BTL properties that have been bought since 2007 have been purchased without the support of BTL mortgage. With those two thirds of landlords paying cash for the purchase of their rental properties, that means two thirds of landlords will be totally unaffected by the changes.

So what of the future? The British love their Bricks and Mortar; it’s an asset that they can touch and feel and has a 70 year track record of capital growth that has out stripped inflation. Buy to let will still be attractive to Warrington investors and let me explain why. If you invested £80,000 in Warrington property in September 1987, today it would be worth £314,836. If you had invested the same £80,000 in to the London Stock Market (the FTSE 100 to be exact), it would be only be worth £229,012 today, whilst Inflation would have taken the original £80,000 and pushed it up to £166,254.

It’s true some Warrington landlords relying solely on the tax breaks rather than high yields may be forced out of the market, but even those landlords could seek to recoup any losses by increasing rents. However, those landlords may leave the market and this could constrict the availability of rented houses even more than it is already, increasing rents and thus pushing yields even higher for landlords and BTL investors still in the market... thus attracting new landlords into the market because of those higher yields.

The reality is, there is too much demand and not enough supply of homes for people to live in in the town. 

If YOU want to be the first to know about what would make a great Buy To Let investment that is currently available either on the open market or via our own sources (landlord to landlord sales etc), call or email us now and get your name put on our Premier Investor list on 01925 235 338, pop through the door of our offices at 6 Bankside, Crosfield Street in Warrington or send me an email on

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News. 

#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 7 September 2015

Check out the growth on this property

Buy to let is about capital growth as well as yield.

Have a look at this property in Warrington located in Great Sankey. On the Market for £75k, considering in 2006 these apartments went for around  £115k to £120k, the property has dropped by around £45k. This is ideal for an investor who is looking at the long game, as what you are buying here is equity. 

So this 2 bedroom apartment is ready to let, it does not need any work doing to it if we go of what the pictures are showing, now this would rent all day long at £495 PCM. This brings in a yield of 7.9%. However this is how it can be advertised but what others won't tell you are the list of fees that come with these apartments - You will be looking at spending around £1500 per annum for service charges, ground rent and open area charges (plus a few extra ones) so if we take all this into consideration the Yield you will achieve on this is 5.9% if you factor in the extra £125 charges per month. 

Now 5.9% is a modest yield although in warrington for a similar price property on somewhere like Fox Street or Longshaw St or even Wellfield St you can achieve much higher yields on properties which fall in a similar price bracket the difference is you are buying a New Build which has future growth.

My tip is to arrange a viewing and think of if you are looking for cash flow or future growth. You could possibly attempt to achieve a higher rent (£525pcm) however expect it do be void till the right tenant comes along. 

Full details on link below:
If YOU want to be the first to know about what would make a great Buy To Let investment that is currently available either on the open market or via our own sources (landlord to landlord sales etc), call or email us now and get your name put on our Premier Investor list on 01925 235 338, pop through the door of our offices at Bankside offices, Crosfield Street in Warrington or send us an email on

Dont forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News. 

#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 3 September 2015

Warrington Landlords - Warrington Council Tax review

Over the weekend I received an email from a Warrington Property Blog reader and who is also a Landlord in Warrington with some concerning news regarding council tax for empty properties and second homes in Warrington. I want to share this with all my readers to keep you up to date with the situation and to also have one place (this blog) to come and read everything you need to know about this and to follow the right steps to express your views and complete the online survey.

In April 2013 the government allowed councils to change the level of Council Tax discount for certain empty properties and second homes. Warrington Borough Council implemented some of these changes in 2014, and is now considering further amendments to the scheme.

As a council Warrington are committed to ensuring all their residents have the opportunity to have their say on changes to services. They would like your views on proposed changes to levels of Council Tax for empty properties and second homes.

Current Council Tax discounts on empty properties
  • No council Tax to pay for three months after the property becomes empty and unfurnished.
  • 25% discount on Council Tax for properties that are empty and unfurnished for over three months.
  • No Council Tax for 12 months on properties that are empty and require or are undergoing major structural repair work to make them habitable ( known as uninhabitable properties) 
The New Proposals
  • Where property becomes empty and unfurnished usually no council tax charge for 3 months - New proposal means no council tax for 1 month
  • Properties that are empty and unfurnished properties for less than 2 years get 25% council tax discount - New proposal means zero council tax discount after one month

In my opinion the proposed amendment will increase landlords' operating costs significantly (most tenants are required to give at least one months notice to their current landlord, thus the prospect of a property which becomes empty being re-let within a month is slim). It should be remembered that the recent budget reforms have already increased landlords costs as mortgage interest is no longer capable of being offset against profit. An additional expense will almost, if not completely, extinguish landlords margins. That will only be exacerbated if and when interest rates increase in the near future increasing mortgage interest.

By increasing costs to private landlords, private rent will inevitably increase to cover the additional expense. That will affect private paying tenants significantly and particularly at a time when current austerity measures have strained household budgets. The proposed changes would likely to result in more families who are already struggling to make ends meet being simply unable to afford their rent, and in turn those families will likely look to WBC as a housing authority for assistance. This will increase not just the administrative burden on WBC (which every rate payer will bear) but also significantly impact the Council's housing stock available for those who need it. In the event that the housing authority needs to let directly from private landlords at times of stock shortage, the costs of providing temporary accommodation to the authority will be increased.

It is imperative that a full and proper impact assessment is performed before any such changes are implemented. One might suggest that the amount of money likely to be raised from landlords as a result of the proposed change will be modest (at best one or two months after the exemption period), however the true cost of the changes to the authority is likely to be far more significant.

I would also urge the authority to consider the fairness of the proposed changes. Whilst the property is empty neither council, police or fire services are being used by the non-existent occupiers. There must be considerable doubt over whether it is reasonable to place an additional charge for those services in the circumstances.

Finally, it should not be forgotten that changes to tax payable on empty properties were significantly changed as of 1 April 2014. Whilst there may have been some merit in reducing the six month exemption period to three months, and reducing the discount from 50% to 25%, to go further in such a short period of time and without any fair or reasonable justification is unsatisfactory to say the least.

I would urge all Warrington residents to complete the consultation and let your views be known.

I did contact Warrington Guardian and they published this story a few weeks ago here:



Email your Views:


To ask for a paper copy of the survey or if you have any concerns or questions about the survey, require the questionnaire in another language or format
including large print, Braille, audio or British Sign Language or simply require assistance in completing it please call 01925 44 3210 or email them using the email link above

The closing date for responses is Friday 18 September 2015.

The information from this consultation will be used by the council to assist in making its decision on the changes to Council Tax Discounts from 1st April 2016.

The results from the consultation will be published later this year on their website and the council’s executive board will also receive a report of findings and recommendations.

The final decision on the scheme will be made by the council no later than 31 January 2016.

Elements reproduced from the Warrington Council website article:

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

Do you keep missing out on the perfect investment property? If so then join our Premier Investor List....

If you are reading and following this blog, you are clearly one of the many investors who are potentially looking to purchase a property in the Warrington area. Having found our blog, you probably know a little more about the local market and about us, and you've probably even been in contact to ask us about something you've already seen. All good so far.

But why wait?

With blogs featuring great deals published daily, wouldn't it be great to be able to 'jump the queue' and get the inside info a few days early? We constantly check the market and keep an up to date list of potential Buy To Let properties in the Warrington area, so we have a database we can refer to should you wish to consider a selection of options.

If YOU want to be the first to know about what would make a great Buy To Let investment that is currently available either on the open market or via our own sources (landlord to landlord sales etc), call or email us now and get your name put on our Premier Investor list on 01925 235 338, pop through the door of our offices at Bankside offices, Crosfield Street in Warrington or send us an email on

Dont forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News. 

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