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  4. Hi All, I am due to complete my first property this Friday, i'd like to know what items as standard you would add to an un-furnished property. i.e do you include blinds or curtains? Fridge or no Fridge? Coat Hooks, etc? Any advice is much apreciated. thanks, Mike
  5. Hi Kate, I'm a total newbie when it comes to BTL, but I have a bit of experience running businesses. My advice from that angle is not to look too much into the paper, but into the real world. The property may have a 10% yield on paper, but can it rent? How many people can afford a rent of £1,250 and not afford buying it since the mortgage would be probably cheaper? Probably professional people with temporary accommodation? See in Rightmove what other similar properties have let for and how long it took. I tend to do this for a few months on the same area before putting an offer. Re booking a viewing, go for it! What is the worst it can happen?
  6. Hello from Scotland

    Thanks Ollie! I'm starting to do all 6 at once! Last week was to my first meet up, it was great! Got my first offer accepted so preparing now the mortgage. I started the Ltd route since it would have fitted me better... but there're no many lenders that do Scotland + XLA + Ltd (non SPV). Found only two: Shawbrook (c. 4.5%) and Together money (c. 7.5%). I guess I'll have to stick with personal ones for a while. Cleantech? Technology within the energy sector, ofter related to renewable energy but also different ways to manage energy. For example smartgrids and similar would be cleantech too. In my case is mostly data collection, aggregation and visualisation.
  7. Hello from Scotland

    Hi Eddie, My advice: All Rob's books are great (although haven't read the letting one).; Do the Property Podcasts from start to finish, very interesting hearing the historical ones just now and they're a wealth of free information; Books, listen to lots of books (reading is so 00's). There's a link to the podcast search to get to some recommendations: I'm on audible which seems reasonable; Go to meet-ups, lots of experienced and new people there an always friendly. Find people local that are interested in the same thing and meet them to discuss ideas and journeys; The clichéd but best tip is to go out and do it, you learn a lot from your first project! Anything specific you'd like to know give me a shout. Ollie PS What's Cleantech?
  8. Hello! First Post

    Well done Darren!! I remember when you were just staring out the back window drinking tea after being kicked by life! I had a feeling your hard work, tenacity and research would come good and it seems you're on the way Look forward to hearing more about your journey
  9. Thanks for all the input! @Stuart Phillips lots of useful info in there, thanks. I'm following up @richard d's suggestion. Unfortunately I didn't even get past the DIP / AIP stage so portfolio wasn't tested although it's sitting around 75% LTV and all properties making a healthy profit now pre planned strategic light refurbishment works to offset tax. Checked my credit rating again with Equifax as more detailed and only one search come through which is good. Still strange how I got refused by one lender due to credit score which is excellent with both Clearscore and Equifax. @williams and wood lettings, yes single lets are typical BTL on an SAT (Scottish AST). It's not so much the coverage ratio, I've been aware of that and take it into account now. This was an auction property I was looking to buy so I'd only have had 6 weeks to complete on so I wanted to be sure of lending, especially since a 10% non-refundable deposit was required. So my current Plan A based on chats with brokers and advice is as follows: Ensure credit card is registered with Equifax (in progress); Investigate ways of improving credit score from excellent to 'most excellent' (Any advice on that...?); Wait until January to find deal of the century (not at auction) and attempt with specialist broker; All going well do residential re-mortgage and BTL re-mortgage in March 2018 to release further equity; If trouble getting lending wait half a year, pay off £10k of car loan with property profits and retry. Plan B as above; as above; Pay off maybe circa £15k of car loan, this brings payments down quite a bit as PCP and helps affordability although leaving still fairly sizable unsecured debt. (£600pcm down to £280pcm); Wait until March 2018 to do residential re-mortgage and BTL re-mortgage. If still having trouble can pay further £15k towards car which £0's payments for 4 years and leaves 'only £28k unsecured debt. Also I'll be doing my tax return early 2018 after March to show a good / record year for all my properties which should help. Plan B unfortunately leaves me with £0 of my deposit I've built up and sitting in a depreciating asset but the equity releases all going well should get me £50k. That's why I like this forum, Plan B once I've written it down seems quite sensible and only 4 months away I think maybe the deposit is burning a hole in my pocket, I feel I need to build my portfolio as quick as I can and just going against Big Robert K's advice doesn't seem right Thanks for reading me and happy to hear from you.
  10. Hiya all thanks for the replies. Hiya neil it has been about 8 month that I have been self employed now. thanks ben
  11. Hi all. 12 months ago I sold a renovation property and have since been looking for another project to flip . I've not found the right one and have since decided to change careers and attempt to give up / reduce my day job. I'm in Exeter and have been looking into HMOs . The numbers don't seem to add up in my area but they seem a lot healthier in Liverpool ( 4 hours drive from me ) . I'd like some advice on 1 - Running HMOs , 2 - Being remote from your HMO , agents etc . Is this a bad idea being so far away ? After looking online the numbers seem to stack up to a 20 - 25% return in Liverpool . Can't get anything like that around here . Any advice on Liverpool ? I have around £300k to invest . Is this an amount that you should be able to make work for you to the point that it could be your sole income ? Any advice on the above topics would be much appreciated . Thanks
  12. Refinance first or set up LTD company first?

    Hi Richard, Firstly, thank you very much for taking the time to reply! I'm particularly glad you got carried away in response ! I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding what advice I truly need. For me right now, tax planning should be the focus. Which in turn, will help direct my strategy. Great point about the flip co regarding withdrawal of funds. I'll definitely keep that in mind moving forward. Currently I am not a high rate taxpayer as the majority of my income is directly from the property portfolio where there has been a large amount of spending with refurbishments etc...thus allowing me to reduce my taxable income. However I do plan on having a larger portfolio in the long term. As you've mentioned, a tax specialist can advice when exactly it would be best to form a BTL limited company with this in mind. From your thoughts; (please let me know if I've interpreted anything incorrectly here) Well that's something that I hadn't considered! It's good to know I can leave the commercial property in my own name. Release equity from it and still be able to claim the mortgage relief interest. (Albeit as the legislation allows currently). Given what I've learnt in point 1... In theory, I would be able to release equity from either of my unencumbered properties, and then use a directors loan to fund the BTL co which would be a tax efficient way of raising money within the company. OR... For example, I would be able to borrow through a limited company entity with a property in my own name as security for the loan (likely the commercial property as it will most likely remain in my name). Again I appreciate that this has positives and negatives and depends on my individual circumstances. That makes sense... Given the above it would appear the commercial property is best kept in my own name and I can continue to utilise this opex against my income. However improvements made to both residential BTL's I have in my own name might give me the opportunity to reduce a CGT hit if they were transferred into a company. Again this would have to be weighed up against keeping them in my own name over the longer term. I doubt it would be worth transferring but it's beneficial to pose the question anyway! This is one to consider and definitely something that I will bring up with a professional tax advisor! Again I really appreciate your input here! THANK YOU! It's given me a lot of confidence that I'm asking the right kind of questions and that there are people out there who can help with even the most complicated of circumstances. Yes please! I would really appreciate an intro to a professional who could help further. I'll get in touch imminently for the contact. Best James
  13. Hi Ben, How much "less than 1 year" is it? 3 months, 6 months, 9 months? Consent to let sounds good, if they allow it.
  14. Best Shower Enclosures

    Nice Post, Thanks for this sharing,.
  15. Which is the best shower company?

    Thank you for sharing your suggestion.
  16. Difficulty letting a property in December?

    Thanks Rashed, your most recent experience is what I'm used to in the city centre. Anyway I'll chalk it up to the time of year and see what happens in early Jan.
  17. Refinance first or set up LTD company first?

    Hi James I think the questions you are asking are more like detailed tax planning advice rather than general strategy advice Your identified strategies are more BTLs and adding in some flips too, which you seem to have settled on. The real question is how do you fund these activities, which is the tax planning point! The general rule for flips is that setting up a trading company is more tax-efficient generally IF you plan to roll over profits and not withdraw them. If you plan on withdrawing the profit each year, then it probably ends up costing more, not just in tax but in compliance, reporting and finance charges. The general rule for BTLs seems to depends! But essentially, higher-rate taxpayers and those looking to build a long-term portfolio of multiple units / value (say more than 4 / £800k), should look into investing through a limited company or potentially explore what is known as a 'hybrid structure' if you wish to be a little more sophisticated. People with an existing portfolio in a personal name have some choices to make as to what to do with their existing and future portfolio and to be honest is best to get some professional advice on that. However, here are some general thoughts on your situation: 1. It is only residential property that is caught up (so far) with the S24 mortgage interest relief changes. In other words, you will be penalised for holding residential property but not commercial property in personal names. So, why take a hit on transferring the commercial property into a company right now? 2. Raising money in a company presents some choices as to how to get it into the company. Usually, directors and inter-company loans are the most tax-efficient methods if you want to pull the funds out again. So, cross-lending from BTL co to Flip co or directors loan into flip co are tax-efficient way to invest yes (notwithstanding what I said about "24 mortgage interest relief on resi property). 3. Some lenders will lend to an entity (individual, company, etc.) and take security against an asset owned by a different entity. The benefit of this is that the transaction will be taxed against the borrowing entity rather than the entity that owns the security. So, you could retain certain properties owned in individual names and take a loan in a company name, just using the property owned personally as security...then you have funds in the company to an interest-bearing rate to the company, however. The snag is that you transfer the tax-relief on the loan interest repayments to the company and leave the income minus the tax-relief with the individual, so it's only worth doing if the net result is beneficial to you...which very much depends on your personal circumstances and the results of your investing activity! 4. Accrued tax benefits (e.g. income tax losses) remain with the entity that earned them and cannot transfer to another entity, unless the entity itself (eg company) is sold rather than the underlying property. In other words, if you have tax losses personally, you can't transfer them to a company. It also depends on the nature of the offset: capex or opex. It sounds like your new roof is being claimed as opex (i.e. against income), so the relief will remain as a tax-deduction in your personal name even after you sell / transfer the property. If it was capex, then those costs would be a deduction against any CGT bill. 5. Finally, you pay both SDLT and capital gains tax USUALLY when transferring property owned personally into a company, so two tax hits to consider. I say usually, as there are exceptions and ways to structure accordingly, but only really if you have several units and / or have been operating as a partnership for several years. By the way...I am NOT a professional tax-adviser, so I am only giving you my understanding and opinion and definitely not tax advice! I tend to give general strategy advice to other property investors, but your situation peaked my interest and I got carried away in response lol. If you need an intro to a professional, ping me or get in touch and I will point you in the right direction, or for more general property strategy advice...well, maybe I can help. Best Richard
  18. Request for Recommendations

    Hi, Looking for a planning consultant for South Cambridgeshire area to see if planning permission can be achieved where a number of years ago it failed. Ideally would like recommendations from those who have worked with someone who got them around flooding issues and designed an appropriate dwelling that could get permission. Anybody have any recommendations? Thanks
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  20. The Best Property Apps?

    There are some good suggestions here. I will contribute two of my favourite apps. 1. Genius Scan (, this is fantastic for scanning and sending or storing documents. It works really well, you can email, store or send to GDrive/Dropbox etc. This is just for IOS and there is a free version, but I happily paid a few $ for the full version. This app is especially useful when completing mortgage applications and you need to send recent bank statements and other documents. 2 MileIQ is THE app for recording business mileage. It automatically records all journeys, which with a swipe you can define as either business or pleasure. It starts to learn your regular trips and it will auto-classify (with your agreement) say a regular trip to a particular property or location. The app produces reports that can be sent to your bookkeeper or you can use for your tax return. There is a limited free version, the full cost is around £45 which is expensive, but don't worry this will easily pay for itself. I was amazed how many journeys I was missing in my record keeping, and I think I recouped the cost within a couple of months. My suggestion, try the free version to see how well it works, and then upgrade if you think it worthwhile. This works on IOS and Android and there is a browser login too. Try it and let me know what you think.
  21. Are single lets referring to a typical BTL i.e. renting whole property to one person / family? Basically with these new stricter BTL rules any lenders will look at your entire portfolio and affordability not just your salary. Typically they don't look at what's in the bank when vetting you (cash in bank). General guidelines (obviously will differ from lenders) If you earn 40k or less salary, a property have a min rental income of 125% If you earn 40k or more salary, a property have a min rental income of 140% Things that may help you: Put a larger deposit down (making a smaller loan from the lender, this changes the affordability) (Min is 75% LTV generally now on BTL) Pay off your 60k car loan Get rid of the sitting tenant (lenders are funny about this) e.g. buy with vacant possession I can't see them refusing due to too many properties unless they aren't making enough money. Hope this helps..
  22. Lodger refuses to return keys - who's in trouble?

    Strange situation really, did this lodger sign as AST or agreement with anybody or was it all on verbal terms? If they signed an AST with you then their deposit should have been held in a deposit scheme. I think the best way to resolve this is to ask the landlord to change the locks on the property - even if this lodger hands the keys back they could have made a copy before doing so. If the landlord agrees to do this it's then to decide who pays for it, from the landlords point of view he may view the property as secured and because your subtenant moved out he may ask you to pay for it. I think speak to your landlord then get that bit sorted first and any cost involved then go from there.
  23. Probably depends on multiple factors ranging from number of people looking, availability in building or nearby, condition if your flat, monthly rent etc. I have a few flats all in Manchester City centre and I had three viewings lined up this Saturday, first couple took it, just near the northern quarter, having been advertised for 3 days. Last December same flat took a month to find tenants so it just varies. I’d also increased the price this time, so perhaps greater demand.
  24. I would have thought there’d be no tax benefit in doing that as you’ll lose capital gains tax exemption (by not owning it as your primary residence).
  25. Hi All, A few of us from the forum here will be starting a Zürich meetup on January 11 2018. If anyone is interested in joining then please drop me a mail for further details. Iain
  26. Some month' s ago, September I think, I approached Halifax for a remortgage and they said they wouldn't consider any property you have lived in before for a btl no matter how long ago it was. I was remortgaging a BTL. it was my residence over10 years ago and had been a BTL since then. I hope this helps
  27. Copofi have recently introduced a "soft launch" of their product. They aren't currently operating in Scotland however.
  28. Hello, I'm looking for some general strategy advice please. I think I'm in a situation where several strategies could potentially work out...Any advice or insights would be much appreciated. My current portfolio (all in my sole name) 1x my home - 70% repayment 1x BTL - 75% LTV interest only 1x commercial property - unencumbered 1x residential property - unencumbered I would like to continue to invest in property through the purchase of more BTL's but also by flipping properties. I have equity to release from the unencumbered properties, but I'm not sure how to optimise my strategy for the most profitable outcome. Would it be wise to form a LTD company for the unencumbered properties first. (Taking an initial hit with capital gains tax). After which I would release the equity to purchase further BTL's through the company? (Saving on tax by being able to claim borrowing as an expense). All the while, forming another company which would concentrate on flips... Could money released from the BTL company be used to invest in the flip company efficiently in regards to tax? Or would all of that equity have to be used within the BTL company? I've recently spent a large sum on one of the unencumbered properties for a new roof so I'm able to claim that against my sole trader tax bill for the next few years. Will I lose this ability if the property soon goes into a limited company? Or can the tax liability go with it? As mentioned, any advice/insights/ideas or experience shared would be greatly appreciated! Cheers, James
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