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About sifly

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  1. I've found that utility companies will speak to you regarding the supply to the property. They are usually more than happy to find out who they should be billing . Like Melboy said, best to inform them asap. Get the readings while the new tenant is present (both sign a form). Then ring up the utilities and tell them the tenants full name, the date they moved in and the meter reading at that time. They will still write to the tenant for them to tell them the meter reading themselves, but your phone call will be on record and so will the reading. If there are any problems in the future you then can say everything past this reading is the new tenants responsibility, so chase them not you.
  2. The flat I rent is the upstairs of a converted, end terrace house. This is rented to family members. The 1 bed flat downstairs has been rented to through the housing association for a few years now. I am in contact with the landlord of the downstairs flat (who lives 300 miles away) as we both equally share the freehold on the property. Currently the tenant downstairs is meant to be a 18-20 year old male. Not sure how he got the flat, as they are usually way down on the list compared with single mums and old people. But anyway.... The tenant downstairs has not been seen in about 3 months. However, there have been large groups of his friends round nearly every night (including when he was actually there) making noise, playing music loudly, leaving the main shared front door open, parking in our flat's driveway, the smell of drugs mixed with takeaway food rising up the stairs into our rented flat. A classic case of everyone else living at home and therefore go round this chaps place as there is no-one to tell them what they can't do. Needless to say our tenants are a bit peeved. They tried contacting the housing association but they didn't call back. I called the landlord and explained what has been going on. They called the Housing Association who have said that they have to wait for 2 weeks before being able to enter the flat. Can they not take emergency measures and gain access to the flat to check it? There are random people entering the flat and using it, surely this is grounds for somehting. It's lucky that my tenants are not as intimidated by groups of 6 or 7 "youts", but what if my tenant was more vulnerable? Your advice would be appreciated before I call the Housing Association myself.
  3. Thanks Plymm, You've been a great help and a fountain of knowledge. I think a visit to a solicitor is called for to help utilise my wife's lower income. It would also be best for my mate to see a professional to help sort out his previous year's problems. Thanks again.
  4. Hi GrosAve, Hope I'm not too late in assisting with this one. I used the Finders Fee scheme in Harrow and a friend rents two flats in Pinner using the same scheme. Basically the council introduce council tenants for you to rent to. Like any agency that finds tenants it still depends upon both parties wanting to go ahead with the agreement. The benefits of this type of scheme compared to say, Housing association contracts, is that you decide who comes into your property and not the housing association (like the situation Trojan was talking about). Basically the council send you council tenants to view your property. You have a chat with them about their circumstances etc and then decide if they are appropriate. They also look at your property to see if they want to stay there, they don't have to take it. You can say you don't want the people sent round for a variety of reasons apart from the usual discriminitive reason (race, sexuality, age etc). If you both want to go ahead, then you ask them to sign a 12month short term tenancy agreement. You send a copy to the council. The council will then send you a letter to say how much of the rent will be covered by housing benefits (which come directly to your bank account, not via the tenant). If there is a shortfall between this and the rent you want you ask the tenant if they are willing to pay it. If they wont, then contact the council and they'll send more prospective tenants round. They then pay you the "Finders Fee", which varies depending upon the property. £1200 is top the range big house. 2 bed flat between £500 - £900. Yes, use this like a deposit that you don't have to give back. ie keep it safe for any repairs for when they move out. If none are needed....bonus! If you want a tip, best tenants for the income front are single mums (if it's a 1/2 bed place). This is because close to 100% of the rent will be covered with only a small difference - guaranteed rent! You still have to have the judge of character, but that's the same even with private tenants. The only difference is you're not paying £100 a month to an agency for finding them. Also, to let you know, if the tenant gives their 2 month notice during the last 6 months of the contract, you can then get another tenant.....and another finder's fee.. Hope this helps.
  5. Trenners, Plym77, thanks ever so much for your responses. So a Declaration of Trust will enable my wife and I to split the Flat at a percentage of our choosing, that enables the majority of the income to be assigned to my wife (the lower earner). I can see your point of that if my wife and I split, then she will still have that majority ownershp. Hopefully that will never happen, but then again, the way the courts rule in England when there are kids involved she'll get the flat anyway.....so it's worth getting the Declaration of Trust. Any ideas of approximate cost? £50 or £500? To confirm the self assessment. I started renting in mid April 06, so I would need to inform the Inland Rev of my requirement for a self assessment by 6th October 07. I then need to fill in the self-assessment by the 31st January 08, for the tax year 06/07. With regards to my mate, I have let him know what you have said and I think he's going to give the IR a call - he's bricking it. What does he need to say? Will he need all his financial details to hand or will they send a form for him to fill in? He's been renting for just over 2 and a half years now and obviously is worried about the fine he'll incur. Will they ask him to complete self assessments for the years invloved? Also, oes the IR have a list of things that can be used again the income like you said (interest, repairs etc)? Or would he need to see a tax advisor? Sorry if I'm going over old ground. Thanks for your help.
  6. Bit naive here, need some assistance. Sorry if the question has been asked before. I have not completed a self assessment form before as my main role if PAYE. However, as I now rent out a flat that I used to live in, I am aware that I need to sort this out pronto! The flat is in both mine and my wife's names jointly. Is there a way of putting the income into my wife's name as she doesn't earn as much as me? Also, I have a mate who rents out property but so far hasn't declared the income. the mortgage company is aware that the property is rented. Is there a way that he can inform the IR retrospectively without getting a big smack? Or if he starts delaring from now on would that work? Your assitance is greatly appreciated.
  7. I see. I didn't have a charge and the rate stayed the same (I was in a 2 year fixed rate too). Maybe it is a case of the mortgage company catching up with the market as I did mine 3 years ago now. In response to your other question. No I have not had my mortgage company checking up on me. I look at it as so long as they're getting their money without any problems I don't think they would. Not sure how else to go around it if they are adamant about increasing the rate. I'd be reluctant to not have their consent, but then again if your friends are "looking after" your place while you are away ......who's to say.
  8. I agree with plym77. Best to get a company that will get you a guarenteed rent. Obviously you get less rental income for the guarantee, but on the positive side you will more than likely still be able to keep the properties and gain in the long run via price rises, rather than immediate income. Another option, depending upon the local authority, is to check Housing associations in the area. They pay a fixed rent for a term (3/5 yrs). only problem is you have no say on who moves in. The local council may also have a scheme to house council tenants in private properties. Worth considering.
  9. After living in my flat I decided to do the same thing as yourself. I phoned my mortgage provider (Northern Rock) and explained what I was hoping to do. They said it would be fine so long as the rent I would get would be above the current mortgage repayment + a percentage, (they wont tell you the percentage but it is arount 20%). I just said a number that was 25% more than my mortgage and they said, "yes that's fine". They gave me what is called "Consent to Let". The letter I received from them meant I stayed on exactly the same mortgage rate and terms as I was previously on, but with the ability to let me flat out. Maybe try and ask your lender for that service and if they dont, say you'll go to a provider who will.
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