Category Archives: Landlords

Redstones The Property Experts sign

Redstones Franchise Opportunity.

Starting your own estate agency is a big decision. The initial setting up can be a daunting prospect. Taking a Redstones estate agency franchise allows you to do this with the support of our recognised brand.

If you work in the industry, want to work for yourself or you own an estate agency struggling with inadequate systems, we’ve got the expertise to help.

A Redstones Franchise gives you the opportunity to become your own boss, create a valuable asset, get expert support and the option to work flexible hours when you start.

What we offer:

Our estate agency franchise package will provide you with everything you need to start out and grow your business. We cover:

  • Sales & Lettings
  • Property management
  • Commercial properties
  • Auctions
  • Redstones Finance

We will provide you with:

  • Training at Head Office
  • Exclusive territory
  • Redstones marketing plan
  • Micro-site
  • Redstones Hub* – Takes care of your administration and property management. (*Optional at additional cost)

Your success is our success. We will do all we can to support you in your new venture.

Contact us now for details of our estate agency franchise opportunity.

Redstones illuminated sign

New website offers service to buck the reputation of estate agents

When the reputation of estate agents rarely tops the charts, Redstones is trying to buck the trend with a striking new website in the company’s trademark red accent which aims to make it easier for users to navigate its many options. From property sales, to lettings and property management, Redstones aims to find a niche in the market by providing the excellent customer service which is so often lacking in the market.

The website not only encapsulates property sales and lettings but caters for the expansion of the brand through franchising. Clearly savvy about marketing and branding, Redstones has now extended marketing support and guidance to its franchisees so that they can more easily launch their own businesses. Originally founded in Walsall, further branches can now be found in Willenhall, Wolverhampton, Telford, Coventry,  Hale and Dartford

To mark the launch of the new website, a new sales option has been unveiled “Redstones Virtual” – offering to sell customer properties from only £699 including VAT. Managing Director Manjit Virdi explained: “We’re always listening to customer feedback. That’s why I wanted to have a user-friendly and appealing new website which makes it easier for customers to see what we can do for them. Combined with our new property sale offer, we are ready to get quick results for our customers.”

Redstones Lettings

Demand for rented homes on the rise

A new survey by the Residential Landlord’s Association (RLA) has shown that the demand for rented accommodation will soar as the supply of available homes falls throughout the country.

The survey included almost 3000 landlords and 18% of them stated that there were planning to buy additional properties to rent as a result of current conditions. 33% of the landlords surveyed stated that they had witnessed an increase in the demand for rental property over the past 3 years.

Furthermore, nearly half of landlords (47%) stated that they expected rents to increase over the next year.

Landlords have undoubtedly been hit hard recently by changes to mortgage interest relief, which means that landlords are taxed on their turnover rather than profit unlike other businesses. This has been a reason for rental increases.
However, high quality rented accommodation is in demand and landlords are happy to provide it. Property clearly still offers a good investment opportunity, despite the challenges that landlords face such as tax changes, stamp duty and tenancy deposit caps. At Redstones, we are finding that falling house prices and increased demand is encouraging many landlords to diversify their property portfolio and seek new opportunities. Many of our landlords look at property investment as a long-term strategy and plan to continue into the foreseeable future.

With multiple properties for rent, our property management services are a must. Find out about how we make the process of being a landlord stress free.

keys_on_tenancy_agreement

Pets kept in ‘secret’ at rental homes

They are not always a landlord’s best friend but some tenants love them! Pets can be a bone of contention between landlords and their tenants.

A new survey of over 2000 tenants by pet insurers AnimalFriends.co.uk has revealed that 27% of tenants have not told their landlord about having a pet. In fact, 10% of tenants even hid their pets when due a visit from their landlord.

Although some landlords can be animal friendly, many are put off by the damage they can cause which is often excluded from landlord insurance policies. Damage to furniture, fixtures and fittings is a risk many landlords don’t want to take.

Redstones Managing Director, Manjit Virdi advises, “The key is to conduct regular inspections, which we can handle on your behalf. We can look for the tell-tale signs of damage or we may even spot items such as toys or a dog bowl!”

However, some landlords may prefer to be more flexible on pets, especially if it helps them to attract and retain the right tenants on a long-term basis.

Manjit continues, “It is possible for landlords to include specific rules in tenancy agreements, such as keeping dogs downstairs or in an enclosed area, particularly when the property is unoccupied. If this is an issue that impacts you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for advice.”

Find out more about the Redstones Lettings process.

Redstones Residential Sales

STOP PRESS – Redstones introduces highly competitive new offer

With the onslaught of new entrants to the property market, such as Purple Bricks and a host of new online agencies, Redstones are adapting and evolving in an increasingly price sensitive market.

We are therefore delighted to unveil our new hybrid offer. We will sell your property from only £699 including VAT.

Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi explains, “This exciting new offer has received some great feedback already. Every company needs to respond to customer and market needs and that’s what we’re doing with this new offer but along with the price advantages, customers will benefit from our excellence in marketing and the other techniques we deploy to make sure our properties stand out and get sold fast. We have an enviable track record and customers can now experience this at an extremely favourable fee.”

With our vast experience, networks and other special service offers such as Redstones Platinum Total Care, Switch Agent and our online auctions, Redstones truly has some of the most customer focused service propositions in the entire industry.

Redstones Lettings

Landlords urged to attend new fire safety course

In light of the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, landlords are being urged to attend a new online fire safety course, recently launched by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The RLA have been contacted by many landlords for their advice on keeping tenants safe, with landlords questioning whether they’re doing enough when it comes to fire safety.

Fire safety is a complex issue but the new course makes it easy for landlords to understand how to keep tenants and properties safe from fire. Fire is an issue for all properties, particularly large or shared properties and every landlord has a legal obligation to protect tenants in accordance with fire safety regulations. It is therefore a worthwhile investment of time.

The fire safety course covers legislation relating to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, HMO Manager regulations and Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) regulations 2015. It covers various building types to which the legislation applies, in addition to a practice guide to conducting fire risk assessment that will protect tenants and properties from fire.

For further information and to book onto the course, visit www.rla.org.uk

Redstones Lettings

Understanding costs and returns as a landlord

Particularly if you are a new landlord, getting your head around the costs you will incur and your potential return on the property or properties you rent is essential.

Buy to let investing comes from two income streams – rent and the capital growth of the value of the property increasing.

The property market fluctuates, so it is possible to lose money if property values go down, if your outgoings exceed rental yield or if the property is vacant for any period of time. Being a landlord is a medium to long-term investment.

The costs involved are the costs of purchasing the property for rent including stamp duty, valuation, legal costs and mortgage arrangement fees. If you are renting your property as a business, Class 2 National Insurance is payable and so is income tax, which is payable on rental income minus day to day running costs.

Day to day running costs include landlord’s insurance, letting agent’s fees, mortgage interest, annual safety checks, redecorating and general maintenance.

But how about the profit you will earn? Here’s a useful article about calculating rental yield.

Also, if rent arrears are a worry, our Redstones Platinum Total Care service is invaluable, as it offers guaranteed rent paid on time, every time, whether the tenant has paid or not!

redstones epc

Government stamping out rental of energy inefficient homes

Calling all landlords and tenants! Please be aware that as of the 1st April 2018, all properties in the private rented sector will require a minimum energy performance rating of E or higher. These regulations apply to new lets and renewals of tenancies that come into effect in April 2018 and apply to all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.

Therefore, it will become unlawful to rent a property that breaches the requirement of a minimum E rating, although some exceptions do apply. For any breaches, civil penalties of up to £4000 will be imposed.

Please note that Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) will be required for many types of property, including individual dwellings, self-contained flats, bedsits, shared flats and self-contained accommodation. The fixed penalty for those failing to provide an EPC certificate when required is £200 per dwelling and there is a six month time limit for any enforcement action to be taken.

Previous legislative changes mean that all property advertisements since 2013 have contained EPC ratings and SAP ratings and since October 2015, landlords have had to provide EPCs to tenants.

Currently, almost 10% of privately rented homes in England and Wales (4.2 million properties) fall below the E rating.

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “The idea behind the changes are to ban the renting of the most poorly insulated homes in a bid to cut energy bills and carbon emissions, whilst improving the housing stock available in the country by ensuring landlords make efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”

He continues, “Redstones have advised all the landlords we feel will be directly affected by this but if anyone, either a landlord or tenant, has any concerns, we would encourage them to get in touch with us.”

Redstones Board design

Eye-catching new sales and letting boards launched

As part of a regular drive to refresh the Redstones brand, a new design for Redstones’ sales and letting boards has been launched, which eagle-eyed sellers, buyers and landlords will notice soon!

Redstones Board design

Redstones Board design

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “We are a marketing led company who work hard to protect and position our brand effectively. The new board design is all part of that.

In a crowded market, it’s vital for us to have an even more eye-catching board design that will stand out to serious buyers or passers-by and help promote and showcase properties as effectively as possible. Sales and letting boards have always been an important marketing tool to us, which is why we refresh their design every 2 years or so.”

The new boards help ensure that properties attract the right attention and the new board design extends to premium gallow boards, the swinging boards used to sell high value properties.

Redstones Lettings

Good news for landlords with long-term rentals on the rise

It’s good news for landlords as a survey conducted by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) has uncovered that two in five renters are not looking to buy a property and instead intend, consider renting a home to be a long-term plan.

From those who intend to buy, 62% stated that they do not expect to own a property within the next year and a quarter stated that they hoped to purchase a property within 6 months.

Of course, with buying a home being a major financial commitment, renting also suits those saving for a deposit before taking on a mortgage.

In terms of housing, it’s now recognised that the UK needs a flexible housing sector that suits the varied life choices and priorities of an increasingly diverse population and the rental sector plays an important role in offering quality housing in areas where shortages are occurring.

The survey reflects Redstones own observations. Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “The number of tenants we are taking on is on the increase. We are finding that many people choose to be tenants as it better suits their plans or lifestyle, enabling them to be flexible.”

With demand at an all-time high, so is the potential for attracting high quality tenants. At Redstones, we attract landlords through our ‘Switch Agents’ programme, which ensures that new business is gained on the quality of service delivered. The programme makes it easy for landlords to switch their property or property portfolio to Redstones if they’re dissatisfied with their current agent.

Another favourite for landlords, Redstones Platinum Total Care ensures the landlord’s rent is paid on the date it is due, regardless of whether the tenant has paid on time.

Redstones also advises many landlords on property management, helping them to grow their portfolio without the time-consuming difficulties attached with managing property.

Alternatively, if you’re a tenant looking for a new home, find out more about what’s involved when renting through Redstones.