10 Essentials Things your Rental Property Needs

As a landlord you must follow certain rules and regulations; largely, the legal requirements are the same for all landlords, although some may depend on the type of property you have whilst others may differ depending on where you live. We have put together a list of 10 essentials we think your property needs, both legal requirements and things that we consider necessities for today’s prospective tenants.

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  1. Tenancy agreement

At the start of each tenancy you must give your tenant a copy of a written agreement signed by you both outlining your terms and the type of tenancy that they have. Letting your property through a reputable agency ensures that your agreement is legal and covers all of the necessities.

  1. Gas safety

Your rental property must be checked by an approved Gas Safe engineer once a year and if any repairs are required, they must be completed immediately.

  1. Electrical certificate

It’s the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that all electrical appliances are safe for use before each tenancy. If your property falls under the new House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) rules then you are legally required to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

  1. Insurance

You’ve invested in a property so you shouldn’t make the mistake of forgetting to also get the correct insurance. As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the property but you should also consider an insurance policy that covers damages, liability, loss of rent, legal expenses and home emergencies.

  1. EPC

Since April 2018 all rental properties must have an Energy Performance rating of an E or above before they can be let out. To avoid any unnecessary fines, or worse, you should check the Energy Performance Certificate for your rental property.

  1. Smoke alarm

Landlords must install at least one smoke alarm on each storey in their rental properties, along with a carbon monoxide alarm in any rooms that have an appliance that burns solid fuel such as coal or wood.

  1. Management plan

Whether you choose to self-manage your rental property or contract a reputable agent to take on the responsibility, you will need a management plan to ensure that all contracts, repairs, and maintenance etc. are taken care of.

  1. Broadband

A good internet connection is essential to the modern-day tenant, who now has high expectations of Wi-Fi access in their rented home. Many people are now working from home, either occasionally or on a more regular basis, due to flexible working conditions or freelancing.  Now considered as a ‘fourth utility’, broadband speed not only attracts tenants but can also help increase rental yields.

  1. Mobile signal

Technology has taken over our homes and it’s no different if you’re renting. Tenants now ask about mobile signal when considering a rental property, so it’s good to know which service providers have the best signal and, if there is low signal in your area in general, offering Wi-Fi can enable tenants to use Wi-Fi calling from their smartphone.

10. Protect your tenants deposit

Every landlord must put the deposit they receive from a tenant into a Government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days. The three Government-approved schemes are the Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Again this can be arranged by a reputable letting agency if you don’t want to do it yourself.

 

To prevent any void periods at your rental property it’s important to know and understand the essentials that aren’t just your legal responsibility but also will also attract the right tenants. If you have any questions about being a landlord or need advice on what to do next, contact our Lettings Manager Martin Adams on 0161 300 7144.

New Year, New Home for 2019

Make selling your home your New Year’s resolution.

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January is a month where it seems like the entire world starts to make changes to their lives. The amount of New Year resolutions that get made in a hurry is startling, and it is understandable that many of these resolutions fall by the wayside in next to no time. However, there are some things worth persevering with, and it is possible to make significant changes to your life.

If you want to move home, 2019 could be the year when you make the move. There have been some people waiting for the market to improve for some years, but the reality is, people are moving. At Lawler & Co Estate Agents, we are pleased to say we have helped many homeowners sell their home and if you want to sell in 2019, we are here to help.

SUPPLY & DEMAND – LIST IN THE NEW YEAR

 

At this time of year there are plenty of motivated buyers who are ready to offer. However, there simply isn’t enough stock on the market to meet this high demand.

Low supply equals high demand, but what does this mean for you as a seller?  It means that it’s now a seller’s market and the odds are highly stacked in your favour.

Trust us when we say “there’s no time like the present!”

We aren’t going to say it will be a straightforward process but with our support, it will be easier than without our help. We are local estate agents and we are pleased to say we have experience in the local property market. We know what buyers are looking for and we know what the area has to offer.

Call us now to arrange your free no obligation valuation or click here to arrange online.

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2019!

Lawler & Co would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019!

The year has just flown by here, having helped many more people move. We hope everyone who has moved with us this year enjoys their first Christmas in their new home.

Our offices are open over the Christmas break so if you have any questions, see any properties you would like to view or would like a valuation on your home please give us a call. Click here for for our contact number. 

Christmas opening times below:

Saturday 22nd December –  9am -4pm

Sunday 23rd December – CLOSED

Monday 24th December – CLOSED

Tuesday 25th December – CLOSED

Wednesday 26th December – CLOSED

Thursday 27th December – 10am – 4pm

Friday 28th December – 10am – 4pm

Saturday 29th December – 10am – 4pm

Sunday 30th December – CLOSED

Monday 31st December – CLOSED

Tuesday 1st January – CLOSED

Wednesday 2nd January – Business as usual

From all the team at Lawler & Co, we wish you a lovely Christmas and all the best for 2019!

How to Improve Your Credit Score

When buying a house it’s important that your credit score is at a certain level, otherwise your mortgage could be declined. It is impossible to improve your credit score quickly so you are best the make changes now for when you are thinking of getting a mortgage in the future.  That’s why it’s important that in the year leading up to purchasing a property or re-mortgaging your property, you spend time looking at your rating and work on ways to make improvements. Here are some top tips from credit scorer ‘Clearscore’ and ‘MoneySavingExpert’ to help you out.

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1. START GETTING SOME bills in your name

If you live in a rental at the moment and your housemates, family or partner pay all of the bills, take on some of the bills in order to build your credit rating. Not having had to pay bills may seem like you were responsible but it doesn’t actually show lenders how you are with money. So if you take on some of the bills and make sure you pay them on time then you will see not just more stamps on your credit score but also a steady increase in your score.

2. Card and bill payments

A quick win is to pay off your credit card in small payments throughout the month, as opposed to just once a month when your bill arrives as this will improve your rating. This extends to phone bills, utility bills and any other household bills too – any late payments will show on your account and immediately lower your credit score so it’s important to pay them as soon as they are due.

3. Credit card usage

It often confuses people that they can be penalised on their credit score for not having a credit card whatsoever. It’s a good idea to have a credit card but you have to be careful as it’s all about how you’re using it; if you can keep your credit card usage at 30% or less and pay off your bills when they come in, even if it’s just the minimum amount then over time your credit score will increase, although it’s important to note that after the initial credit check from a card provider, it will drop slightly (more info in point 4) – but don’t panic, this will go up.

4. Be aware that checks take points

Every time you apply for credit (i.e. for a credit card, loan, new utility bills) your rating will dip slightly when a hard search is done on your accounts. Therefore, be conscious of how many you’re doing, as these checks take a year to be wiped from your record. Don’t apply for credit too frequently in a short space of time as this may make lenders feel that you’re overly reliant on credit and are high risk for them.

5. Save for those big purchases

When it comes to large purchases, instead of just sticking unusual, large amounts on your credit card or missing your credit card bills to afford them, think ahead and save regularly in a savings account for rainy days and purchases like this. This way, the purchases can occur without affecting your credit rating.

6. Register on the electoral roll

You are legally obliged to vote so make sure you sign up online or by post. It’s easy to do and alongside your registered bills, it will prove your address and therefore make your credit score higher. This is an easy way to add a few extra points to your score.

7. Keep your address up to date

When you move house, your credit scorer loses tabs on you and therefore your score can drop. Registering to vote is a good way to get your new address to sync with credit scorer sites so make sure you check for your new address and pick it once it’s available. If it’s incorrect then report it immediately. The longer you’re at an address, the steadier your credit score will grow, so try not to move regularly otherwise your credit score will show uncertainty.

8. Get your joint accounts in check

If you have an account which is linked to another person, such as a spouse, friend or family member, actions in a joint account will still affect your credit score so it’s important to keep an eye and a handle on these too. In the run up to your property purchase it’s important they act responsibly in your joint accounts to keep your credit score as healthy as possible.

9. Check for fraud

Although rare, if you notice odd credit checks or any activity which doesn’t apply to you on your credit score account, make sure you report it and investigate whether someone has been using your details fraudulently. It’s important to check this and act on it as taking the responsibility for someone else’s credit actions could be affecting your credit score negatively and will take a while to be investigated and resolved.

10. Dealing with outstanding debts

If you already have debt, you should focus on clearing your repayments in the short term, in order to see your credit score improve. Don’t apply for new credit, as the checks and the use of more credit will see your credit score drop more.

When it comes to improving your credit score, there are some really simple corrections you can make which will make a massive difference to your score, so why not action some of the above pointers and get your credit in order. Speak to a mortgage broker or financial adviser for more detailed help and advice on improving your rating. Then start your property hunt with us. Click here

AWARD WINNING ESTATE AGENT IN STOCKPORT

It’s that time of the year again where the results of the AllAgents awards are announced and again we have proved we go above and beyond for our customers as ALL of our offices have won 1 or 2 awards!

The Marple office has been awarded Gold for the BEST ESTATE AGENT in SK6 for the fourth year running!!   The Hazel Grove office has been awarded Silver for the BEST ESTATE AGENT in Stockport and SK7.

Finally the Poynton office has been awarded Gold for the BEST ESTATE AGENT in SK12 after only being open 1 year!!

So, if you are struggling to decide which agent to choose to market your home, call Lawler & Co now to arrange a Free no obligation valuation and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Click here to see what our customers think

 

What Estate Agent to use in Stockport?

This is a question many people will need to answer when looking to sell their home in the Stockport area.

Why not give Lawler & Co a call and you can see how our award winning team can make it happen!

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We pride ourselves on our customer service and it is so rewarding being recognised for all the hard work our team have put in.

We not only have the best estate agents in our core areas but also 2 of the best estate agents in Stockport.

Call now or click link to arrange a free no obligation valuation

Marple – 0161 914 7620

Hazel Grove – 0161 300 7144

Poynton – 01625 448 001

Looking to sell? Act now to move by Christmas

21st AUGUST 2018

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Do you want to increase your odds and beat the average timescales? Act now to be more pro-active than other sellers.

There is now only 18 weeks left until Christmas which is a scary thought since we are still in August but a lot of home-movers want to move in by the traditional Christmas deadline. Therefore, they need to act now.

We say on average it takes 8-12 weeks from agreeing a sale to moving in so prospective buyers should be active in the market now and should ensure they have all necessary finances in place.

For new-to-the-market sellers, finding a buyer adds an average of eight weeks so they will need to find a buyer quicker than the average if they want to move in before Christmas.

So, if you’re thinking about putting up the tree in your next home, what can you do to get moving now so that you’re eating your turkey in your new abode? And actually, is it even possible? Answer is, if you’re prepared to focus on paperwork, be sensible about your pricing and get organised, yes, it is.

If you’re selling, it’s best to get your legal documents in order as soon as you put your property on the market. It can sometimes take up to a month for your solicitor to finalise your sales pack which is the crucial set of documents that will be sent to your buyer’s solicitor so that they can start the purchase process. So rather than waiting until you have had an offer agreed on your property, it will help to instruct a solicitor at the same time as your estate agent.

When instructing your estate agent, make it clear to them you want to complete before Christmas. Ask them to advise you on what sort of price you’d need accept in order to get an offer by mid-October, which realistically is your deadline if you want to exchange and complete by Friday December 22, the last working day before Christmas.

As soon as you exchange, book your removal company or, if you’re going DIY, your van hire. It’s a busy time of year as a lot of people take advantage of the long break to get in and get settled, which means that you need to get in quickly to make sure you can secure the dates that you need. Get sorting and packing as soon as you can to make sure that you’re ready as soon as you exchange to set the quickest completion date possible.

So, the clock is ticking. You’ve got 126 days until December 25. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

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I want to sell a property. What do I do first?

First of all, you need to receive a valuation to find out how much your home is worth. Ask them about the services they offer, the current state of the local market, and the purchase price you can hope you achieve. Make and plan and how this sits with your priorities and timescales.

How much is it going to cost to sell my property?

There are three main costs involved in selling a property

Estate Agent Fees:

Estate Agent Fees will either be a percentage of the purchase price, or a fixed fee. When you ask the estate agents to value your home, make sure they outline their fees during their visit so you can take these into account.

EPC:

You are legally required to provide an EPC when you market your property for sale. This outlines the energy efficiency rating of your property. Lawler & Co can organise this for you if you do not already have one. Contact your local branch for a quote for how much this will cost.

Conveyancing:

‘Conveyancing’ means the legal transfer of your property to the buyer, and you will need to employ a conveyancer to make this happen. Prices will vary depending on the circumstances of your buying and selling. Lawler & Co work closely with local solicitors and would be more than happy to get an accurate quote for how much this will cost just contact one of our offices.

Don’t forget about removals. Lawler & Co can also recommend a company to contact to get a quote.

Do I need to conduct viewings?

Your estate agent should accompany all viewings but you may decide that you’d like to be present as well. It’s entirely up to you.

Will there be more viewings once I’ve accepted an offer?

This depends on the conditions of the offer that you accept. Neither the buyer or the seller is bound to the purchase or sale until the contracts are signed, so it’s worth keeping your options open but we usually like to say, if the person(s) that have offered on your property have provided all proof of funds and Identification to your agent and they have incurred some cost i.e. survey or search then it would be advised to mark the property Sold Subject to contract and stop further viewings.

How long does it usually take to complete my sale?

Every sale is different. Both your situation and the buyer’s situation need to be taken into consideration before this question can be answered accurately. If your home has been realistically valued, you could expect to receive offers within the first four weeks. Then assuming your buyer has to apply for their mortgage the exchange of contracts normally takes between 4 and 6 weeks and completion takes between 2 and 4 weeks. So, you can realistically expect the process to take 12-14 weeks to complete.

Do I need an EPC?

In England, all sellers are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they sell it. Estate agents must display the EPC rating whenever they market the property. If a property does not have an EPC when marketed the buyer and the agent risk a fine. This does not apply to Grade II Listed properties.

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Do I have to pay Stamp Duty?

No. It is the buyer’s responsibility to pay Stamp Duty but if you are purchasing a property then yes you will have to pay stamp duty for anything above £125,000.

Will my property be surveyed?

In England you do not need to arrange a property survey but it is likely that the buyer will, and so a surveyor will arrange an appointment to visit you home. The five key things a surveyor will be look at to ensure there are no issues are: utilities, damp, cracking, problems with roofs, and timber defects. In addition, your buyer’s mortgage lender will organise a mortgage valuation to confirm that the property is worth the money you are borrowing.

What are searches?

As part of the conveyancing process, your buyer’s conveyancer will perform searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information in relation to your home. They check planning history and any potential developments around roads, drainage and mining near the property.

When do I sign the contract?

When all of the steps listed previously are complete, you will be ready to sign the contract and agree the completion date.

When is the buyer or seller bound to the sale or purchase?

The seller or the buyer can pull out of the sale at any time and for any reason until the point that both conveyancers have received signed contracts from both parties this is also known as exchange of contracts.

How is a completion date chosen?

When both contracts have been signed, the buyer’s conveyancer will request the mortgage from their lender. Once these funds are released, then your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor will consult both of you and agree a completion date.

Where are my title deeds?

Your title deeds give proof of ownership of the property and will need to be transferred to the buyer as part of the conveyancing process. These are usually held by your mortgage lender, and it will be your solicitor’s responsibility to obtain these.

What do I have to leave in the property?

You are not required to leave any furniture or furnishings in the property, but you may agree to include some as part of the negotiations of the sale please make sure that you check what you have agreed before you leave. The solicitors/conveyancers will send you a fixtures and fittings for so you can select what you are taking and leaving which will then be sent over to the buyer’s solicitor.

When do I have to move out?

As agreed by you and your buyer the contract will specify the completion day, usually the buyer will be asked to collect the keys to their new home from the estate agent. In most cases the seller is asked to vacate the property by 12pm.

Do I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?

In most cases you are only required to pay Capital Gains Tax if the property is not your main home.

What documents will I be asked for when selling my house?

Whether you have owned your house for one year or twenty years, you may have had works or repairs carried out prior to or during your ownership. When you sell a property, your buyer will require information on what works have been carried out and when. So what documents, certificates and paperwork might you need to provide?

Windows and doors

If you have had replacement windows or doors since 2002, you will likely be asked to provide the FENSA certificates. The window fitting company should be able to issue this certificate to you, providing it is a reputable company. If you have lost your certificate, you can request a duplicate online. Note that this will only work if the window company has properly registered the works with FENSA.

Electrical

Any replacement electrical work or rewiring carried out by an electrician should have an electrical safety certificate or a building regulations compliance certificate. You should keep hold of all documentation to provide to your buyer.

Replacement boiler

A CORGI or gas safe certificate should be provided with a new boiler. Again, if you have had a replacement boiler you should keep this documentation.

Service records

Your buyer may request copies of the latest service records for boilers and electrical works. If you cannot provide the service records, some buyers may request an up to date service to be carried out. If you do regularly service your boiler or electrics, always maintain the service records.

Alterations/extensions

If you have extended the exterior, altered the interior of your property or added a conservatory or decking, you will need evidence of the required planning permission and building regulation approval to do so.

There are some permitted developments rights, and therefore not all works require planning permission or building regulations approval. Before you carry out any works, it is advisable to approach your local authority for confirmation as to whether your intended works require planning permission/building regulations. If you do not obtain permissions where required, you may be required to get retrospective consent for the works therefore causing delays to your sale.

And finally…

When you are thinking of improving or repairing your property, ensure that you research credible and regulated companies to carry out the work. Failure to have the correct certificates could cause delays and unnecessary costs in your sale. All of the points above are likely to be revealed by the buyer’s searches and surveys therefore it is important to be prepared for the queries they may have.

If you have lost, or indeed if you never had paperwork that your purchaser wants to see, your solicitor will advise you on the best course of action.

 

 

Exciting times ahead….

Stockport has seen millions of pounds of investment over recent times, and with news of the latest plans for an ‘inspirational and iconic’ transport interchange and residential development, Stockport is looking set to be an ever better place to live!

We already have excellent transport links for rail and road, making Stockport well connected to the rest of the country, and with many businesses making the move from the City Centre to the Borough, this next level of investment confirms that Stockport is a key player in the North.

The plans have been set out to transform the area around the bus station, opening up the river mersey, and further enhancing the feel of modernity within Stockport Town Centre.

We cant wait to see the development unfold, and with plans for a 196 home apartment block, they are sure to be snapped up very quickly.

We sell homes throughout Stockport, and the past few months have seen phenomenal sales figures, reflecting the fact that Stockport is a very desirable place to live!