Category Archives: Willenhall Landlords

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.

Franchise security

A beginner’s guide to property yields

You may have heard people talk about property yield but what does this mean?

It is a way of measuring the rental potential of a property and is the amount of rent that can be earned in a year for the landlord. This amount is expressed as a percentage of the price of the house.

So, if a rental income of £10,000 was earned from a house costing £200,000, the yield would be 5%. It’s helpful to use a percentage because it better enables comparison between different properties, so that landlords can assess which would earn them the most. For example, a £10,000 income on a £160,000 house represents a rental yield of 6.25%, demonstrating greater value than the previous property.

Many factors impact upon property yield and the larger or more expensive houses don’t necessarily offer higher returns. Landlords can achieve a high yield in areas where there is a shortage of properties, a strong demand due to special amenities, such as a university nearby, close proximity to good schools, a strong local economy, good road or rail infrastructure or even a young population who aren’t yet ready to buy property.

Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “Not every property will get you a great yield. For our various regions, our staff are equipped with excellent local knowledge and can advise landlords or potential landlords on which properties will generate them the best yield for their budget.”

He continues, “However, to make the right property investments, it’s important to look at potential capital growth as well as property yields to ensure you benefit from any future increases in both rents and property values.”

A professional lettings agent such as Redstones will advise you on how to succeed as a landlord, offering valuable local knowledge on targeted areas. Due diligence is the key and we can help you assess rental amounts in advance, so that you can calculate your all-important return on investment.

Here are some of the many reasons landlords choose to rely on Redstones.

Why consider a property management franchise?

In our experience, we’ve found there are many reasons why our franchisees decide to start a property management franchise with Redstones. If you’re looking for a new franchise, here are some reasons you may not have considered:

A robust sector
Despite Brexit and varying economic conditions, overall, the housing and lettings sector remains robust. In factor, in the private rented sector, demand remains high and we have recently seen rapid growth to 15.6%. If this trend continues, home ownership levels would be around 60% by 2025 and private rental well above 20% by 2020. There is a place in the market for high quality estate and lettings agencies, with innovative service, to meet UK housing needs.

Geographical territories
In contrast to many other property franchises, Redstones offers large territories of at least 100,000 households, relatively low set up costs and opportunities to expand.
Earle Kenlay, our franchisee in Hale & Altrincham explains, “The business terms and the size of territory on offer, as well as the subsequent scope of the business were far better than the rest.”

Online marketing and training

The way that people buy, sell and find properties has changed, but not all estate and lettings agencies have moved with the times. Unlike those traditional lettings and estate agencies, Redstones is completely focused on the Internet as a marketing channel. This helps us to stay ahead of our competition.

We embrace marketing techniques such as social media and advertise on all relevant portals and property websites. We also utilise SEO, Pay-Per-Click, 3D floor plans and walk through technology. Furthermore, we’ve introduced online property auctions to Redstones, driving significantly more business.

Our levels of training and support for franchisees are also second to none and have even been highly recommended by franchisees with previous experience of working in property management.

As Richmond Franchisee, Brinder Bains concludes, “When someone tells me they have ‘heard of Redstones’ it is a real boost and affirmation of my decision to join. Redstones has a solid reputation in a tough market for its commitment to customer service and attention to detail. It’s a brand name you can trust.”  

Find out what else our existing franchisees have to say about joining Redstones.

You can call the Redstones team on 01922 235 350 or email us at franchise@redstones.co.uk or visit www.redstonesfranchise.co.uk for further information.

Redstones Residential Sales

Top 5 tips for selling your home

If you’re planning to sell your home in 2017, here are Redstones’ top 5 tips for ensuring your sale plans are a success:

  1. Consider adding value

To achieve a good price for your property, it may be worth investing first. Adding double glazing, an extension, a loft conversion or a new kitchen could be successful tactics to contribute considerable value to your property.

Whether you want to sell now or if it’s more of a long-term plan, such modifications make a real difference to buyers.

  1. Be realistic

The price at which you sell should reflect your plans and reasons for moving home. Some people need to move quickly and others have less pressure and can take their time with a sale. Your circumstances to some extent should reflect your pricing. An expert estate agency such as Redstones can advise on this.

  1. Ensure your home is marketed effectively

First impressions count! Potential buyers will make a judgment on your home very quickly, which is why high quality images are so important. This is an area in which Redstones excel. Our marketing techniques include social media, advertising on all relevant portals, SEO and Pay-Per-Click. Vendors are able to sell their property quickly through 3D floor plans and walk through technology.

  1. Be fully prepared for viewings

Before every viewing, ensure your property is clean, fresh and clutter free to present it at its best for potential buyers. They need to imagine living in your home. Also, feel free to ask your estate agent for feedback after viewings, as often any negative feedback can be easily addressed.

And finally:

  1. Choose your estate agency wisely

This is a very important point because the agent that suggests the highest asking price for your home may not be the one you want to work with. A realistic price tends to work best and it’s also important to work with a trustworthy agent who will be honest with you. Selling your home can present challenges and therefore, picking the agent who you genuinely feel will be the most helpful through your journey is essential.

We believe we’re the agent for that job! Request a valuation with Redstones and find out more about the selling process.

Redstones Management Team

Top 5 reasons to start your franchise business this year

If you’re interested in property and have always wanted the control and freedom of running your own business, is 2017 the year to take the leap?

Here are some great reasons to consider owning your own property franchise:

  1. The power of an established brand

The recognition that an established brand such as Redstones provides gives clients the assurance that they can enjoy an excellent and proven service, regardless of location. This consistency benefits all franchisees in the system.

Our clients are delighted by our innovative services, including Redstones Platinum Total Care, a scheme that ensures the landlord’s rent is paid on the date it is due, regardless of whether the tenant has paid on time.

We also have the ‘Switch Agents’ programme, which makes it simple for landlords to switch their property or property portfolio to you. As a franchisee, you apply these innovative services to your own client base.

  1. Marketing expertise

Marketing should not just be considered an expense. If done right, it will generate all of the clients you will ever need. At Redstones, we have our ‘marketing mix’ just right and we share this expertise with franchisees.

Nowadays, the majority of our business is conducted online. Our marketing techniques include social media, advertising on all relevant portals and a focus on SEO and Pay-Per-Click. Vendors are able to sell their property quickly through 3D floor plans and walk through technology. We’ve also introduced online property auctions to Redstones, driving significantly more business.

  1. Operating experience

Opening a privately owned business is undoubtedly complicated and daunting, especially if running a business is new to you. The comprehensive training programme offered by Redstones helps franchisees learn at their own pace, so that they are in the best position possible to run their own business.

  1. Hands-on training

You will need comprehensive training to run your own property business, even if you have some experience of property management. Our existing franchisees can testify to the high quality of our training.

  1. Growth opportunities

So you’ve successfully set up your franchise business but what about the next step? Our skilled Business Acquisition team help franchisees to flourish by advising them on acquiring existing property companies, property portfolios and letting databases.

For further information, visit our Franchise website, call 01922 235 350 or email franchise@redstones.co.uk

Redstones Lettings

Reviewing your plans for 2017 as a landlord

Many landlords will have benefited from their property investments over the years but given the changes introduced in 2016 and beyond, assessing your position is always a good idea. As we start a new year, Redstones recommend that landlords review their investments.

2016 presented challenges for landlords, which included an increase in running costs due to Right to Rent checks that made sure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (where required) were fitted. Also, in 2016 an extra 3% stamp duty land tax on second homes was introduced and the automatic annual ‘wear and tear’ allowance disappeared.

In addition, from April 2017, the reduction in mortgage interest relief for higher rate tax payers will begin, meaning that finance costs can no longer be deducted from rental income. Unfortunately, this means that some landlords will have to pay significantly more tax.

However, the good news is that although profit margins may be tighter for investors, property prices have generally gone up in most areas and some landlords have been in a position to increase rents. This helps to offset some of the increases in tax and other costs. Other ways of offsetting these costs include re-mortgaging, with many landlords now taking advantage of historically low interest rates.

Furthermore, the number of tenants looking for high quality properties continues to rise. This is not only due to affordability, there are many other factors now at play. For example, with Brexit throwing the economy into some uncertainty, more people are considering flexible employment and a flexible lifestyle.

Managing Director of Redstones Manjit Virdi states, “The beginning of the year is a great time to review financial plans and goals. Redstones believes that the private rental market in the areas we serve still represent excellent investments and we’re on hand to help landlords with their property plans in 2017.”

Find out more about the exceptional lettings and property management service at Redstones.

Redstones Residential Sales

Property market buoyant as lending booms

In 2016, mortgage lending hit its highest level in 8 years, which can mainly be attributed to low interest rates.

Proving that the property market remains buoyant, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has confirmed that with a lending total of £246m last year, lending has increased by 12% on the total amount lent in 2015. Mortgage approvals for both purchasing property and re-mortgaging rose in December 2016, showing that this trend is likely to continue into 2017. In fact, since 2008, remortgaging has grown year on year by 30%.

Therefore, despite Brexit and higher stamp duty for buy to let investors, many people have clearly been taking advantage of low interest rates to move up the property ladder. However, despite banks being keen to do business, in some areas, there is an ongoing shortage of properties on the market nationally and house price growth is expected to slow.

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “We’ve got off to a very busy start in 2017 across the board, in terms of both property sales and lettings. We have a very high quality supply of properties right now too.”

He continues, “The positive situation with mortgage lending means that this could be the ideal time to buy your first home, move up the property ladder or continue expanding an existing property portfolio. We’re finding that for many people, it makes sense to start the new year by strengthening property investments.”

We offer innovative services in both sales and lettings such as Switch Agent and Redstones Platinum Total Care, which are very popular with our landlords.

Find out more about the great service Redstones has to offer.