HMO Licensing

Understanding HMO Licensing

To begin, HMO licensing is required for Landlords with properties that offer multiple tenants in the same dwelling.

It used to vary across the UK in both England and Wales.

Now, a HMO License is the typically the same throughout the UK.

HMO stands for “House in Multiple Occupation”.

So, a Landlord needs a HMO License for each property that requires one.

Also, if a Landlord has more than one property requiring an HMO, each property must have a license.

A HMO license is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

Check with your Council for details.

A Landlord can be fined an unlimited amount if they do not have the correct license in place before they rent a property with multiple occupation.

hmo licensing
HMO Licensing

HMO Overview

According to the Government website, your property is defined as a large HMO if;

  • it’s rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • it’s at least 3 storeys high
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

Even if your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need a licence depending on the area.

HMO Conditions

A Landlord must make sure that;

  • the house is suitable for the number of occupants (eg size and facilities)
  • the manager of the house – you or an agent – is considered to be ‘fit and proper’, eg no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice

The Landlord must also;

  • send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
  • install and maintain smoke alarms
  • provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested

Each council may add their own conditions to the HMO License.

They will let the Landlord know when they are applying for the license.

Help with Your HMO

Metropolitan and Crown Estate Agent Ltd can help you with your HMO Licensing.

Obviously, if you choose our company to manage your property, we can assist you should you need it.

Find out more about how we can help you by calling us on 0207 538 8887.

Free Evictions – Problem Tenants

Free Evictions

To begin, landlords can benefit from free evictions for tenants that are making life hard.

Landlords need to ensure that they are receiving their rent each month to pay for their livelihood.

So, if a tenant is not paying their rent, Landlords need to be aware of how they can legally evict a tenant.

A tenant can not pay rent for various reasons:

  • They don’t feel like paying
  • Loss of job
  • Overspending
  • Terminal illness
  • Change of circumstances
evicting a tenant - free evictions
Evicting a Tenant? Evictions service available

Metropolitan and Crown offer an accelerated evictions procedure to Landlords.

As a result, a smooth transition for providing Landlords to evict tenants is available.

Eviction Process

Each case varies due to waiting for the courts initial response, which can last from 3 to 4 weeks.

Initially, the Landlord will need to wait for the initial response from the courts.

The initial response will depend on two variables:

  • whether the tenant’s contract has expired, or
  • their is an issue of an 8 weeks (or more) rent arrears being owed to the Landlord

The occupier must be in rent arrears for the second option to be possible.

An expired contract can sometimes be quicker than an issue with rent arrears.

On average, the eviction process can take up to 3 to 4 months.

Based on rental arrears, the Landlord will be able to file for CCJ (County Court Judgment).

As a result, a CCJ could affect the tenant’s future credit scoring, which can help the eviction process.

Please note that all the details provided is a guideline for information purposes only.

The information provided is not intended to be used as legal advice.

Metropolitan and Crown Estate Agent Ltd can offer a free service for evictions to their Landlords.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Landlords are always at risk of a tenant not paying rent.

It is always good to know how to tackle evictions effectively.

Having a an evictions service available can help.

Call us on 0207 538 8887 for more information.

Terms and Conditions apply.

Sole Agency vs Multi Agency

Sole Agency vs Multi Agency for Selling Your Property

To start off, sole agency vs multi agency are two options when deciding to sell your property.

Vendors are given these options before they commit to selling.

As a result, fees can range from 1% for sole agency to 3.5% for multi agency, sometimes more.

Do not forget to add VAT to the fee, as some agents forget to mention this.

There are benefits and disadvantages from both choices, but you will end up choosing one option.

Before you choose any options, thoroughly read the terms and conditions in the contract.

You can always negotiate the fees when discussing the agreement terms and conditions.

sole agency vs multi agency
Which will you choose?

Choosing Your Options

To begin, a vendor can choose 2 options for selling their property.

There are benefits and disadvantages to consider when considering one agent or more than one agent to sell your property.

We will go into more detail in another blog post.

Therefore, we will simply explain both options.

So, let’s start with the first option.

Sole Agency

Sole agency is when a vendor chooses only one agent to market and sell their property.

Therefore, this means that no other agent can be instructed under contract.

When sales prices went high in London in 2015 , many agents brought their fee down to 1%.

As a result, Metropolitan and Crown Estate Agent Ltd did as well. This was due to the competitive sales market.

Discuss the terms and conditions of a sole agency sales contract with the agent to understand the agreement before committing to it.

Moving on, let’s simply explain the second option.

Multi Agency

Multi Agency is when a vendor chooses more than one agent to market and sell their property.

This means that more than one agent are competing to sell your property, which can have its benefits and disadvantages.

This option typically comes with a higher fee, which can go as high as 3.5%.

It is important to discuss the terms and conditions with each agent to know the stipulations of each contract.

Again, we will get into more detail in a future post.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are two options a vendor can choose to sell their property.

Sole agency or multi agency.

It is important to discuss these options with the agent to help with your decision to move forward.

Also, it is important to understand the benefits and disadvantages of each option, which will be added in more detail in a future blog post.

If you are considering to sell your property, contact Metropolitan and Crown Estate Agent Ltd for more details.

 

GDPR Business Compliance

GDPR Business Compliance

First of all, GDPR business compliance is now in full effect.

Therefore, it is important for all business in the UK and Europe to be GDPR compliant.

As of the 25th of May 2018, all businesses that deal with data must be GDPR compliant.

As a result, if a business does not comply, they will face a hefty fine.

Fines can be an amount of up to 4% of their annual income, or up to £20 million.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the governing body that regulates data protection in the UK.

According to their website they are;

“The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.”

GDPR Business Compliance
GDPR Business Compliance

GDPR for Business

Initially, when we were informed about GDPR, we knew we had to do something to protect our business.

Also, we needed to ensure that a system was in place to ensure our clients’ data is protected.

We visited the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the information was concise, yet vague.

As a result, our company contacted other agents and affiliate companies to better understand the GDPR process.

It felt quite daunting, but we have ensured that all areas for the company’s GDPR Compliance are covered, such as:

  • All of our computers’ security upgrades
  • Client data securely stored
  • All contracts collecting information are compliant
  • Website and blog privacy policies in place

GDPR Conclusion

In conclusion, GDPR is in full effect as of the 25th of May 2018.

Therefore, if you deal with data, protect your business and your clients’ data.

Avoid hefty fines and keep your clients feeling secure in your business ethics and conduct.

Make sure you can answer any questions regarding your GDPR business practice.

Visit the ICO website if you need to check your progress.

Interest Only Mortgages

Interest Only Mortgages

First of all, it is 2018, and interest only mortgages have dropped by almost half since 2012.

UK Finance have revealed figures that state these types of mortgages have fallen by 46% since 2012.

According to Property Investor Today, “Currently there are 1.7 million outstanding interest-only mortgages (including partial interest-only)…”

“…Loans at these higher loan-to-value ratios now account for 13% of the total, in comparison to 16% in 2016 and 36% six years ago.”

They also state, “In separate UK Finance research, it was also revealed that of the one million interest-only loans set to mature by 2020 that were live at the end of 2012, there are now only approximately 200,000 that remain.”

As a result, these figures show that many borrowers resolve their mortgage payments ahead of schedule or switch to a repayment mortgage.

Especially relevant, if you do not understand the terms within the article, here is a link to Keystone IMC Ltd website.

This link will help you to better understand mortgage related terms and phrases with thier glossary of mortgage terms.

interest only mortgages
Interest Only Mortgages

Interest Only Mortgages Explained

Borrower – person taking mortgage to buy a property

An “Interest Only Mortgage” is a mortgage where the borrower pays only the interest rate of the mortgage and not the full repayment.

The advantage of is that it can help the borrower reduce their financial outgoings.

The borrower only pays the interest on the mortgage through monthly payments for a term that is fixed on an interest only mortgage loan.

The disadvantage is that the borrower will have to pay a lump sum of the repayment amount after the payment term.

Most noteworthy, if provisions for paying this accumulated amount is not in place after the term is over:

1.) Some make a lump sum payment

2.) Some refinance/re-mortgage their homes

3.) Some begin paying off the principal of the loan.

The principal of the loan is the money that you originally agreed to pay back.

So, for those who do not understand mortgages, we hope this post has helped

Furthermore, if you might find it hard to make the repayments, the interest only option may help you.

In addition, if you can afford the full mortgage repayment, you may want to choose that option.

As a result, this will help you to avoid amounting and considerable payments owed in the future.

Conclusion of Interest Only Mortgages

In conclusion, it is important to understand interest only mortgages and your mortgage options.

Most of all, check back in the future to read more about mortgages and other property related posts.