F.A.Q.

Non-UK nationals are allowed to buy properties in The UK, even if they are not residents. Your solicitors will be able to act in your name and your presence is not required should you not be able to be in UK at the time of the purchase.

If you are considering purchasing a property with a mortgage you should know the situation differs. You will be able to get a loan only if you are a resident and you have a valid Visa.

For more information we have an in-house mortgage adviser who will be able to assist you.

If you own the freehold, it means that you own the building and the land it stands on outright, in perpetuity. It is your name in the land registry as “freeholder”, owning the “title absolute”. Freehold is pretty much always the preferred option: you can’t really go wrong with it.

Leasehold means that you just have a lease from the freeholder (sometimes called the landlord) to use the home for a number of years. The leases are usually long term – often 90 years or 120 years but as high as 999 years – but can be short, such as 40 years.

When the term of the leasehold goes down to zero years, then the property reverts to the freeholder. So, if you have a 40 year leasehold, you only have the right to use the property for 40 years before it goes back to the freeholder. A lease with a term of zero years is clearly worthless, and all other things being equal, the shorter the lease, the less it is worth. The value of long leases stays fairly stable, but the value of short leases can drop rapidly. For example, a flat with a lease of 60 years is worth more than 10 per cent less than if it had a lease of 99 years – you might think that a flat is worth £200,000, but actually it is worth less than £180,000, with the difference in value being owned by the freeholder.

Leases of less than 90 years can start to be problematic for leaseholders, and should be approached warily. Certainly, any lease of less than 80 years can start to significantly affect the value of the house. If you have a short lease, the property can decline in value even if property prices in your area are generally rising. This means that fewer people will want to buy it when you resell; it also means that mortgage companies might be reluctant to lend on it.

When buying a property, for first time buyers especially, the process might be tricky.
The most important thing is finding the right home, and surprisingly that is not the hardest part.

Once your offer is agreed, the search for a solicitor starts.
We offer a number of solicitors with a proven track record and very quick turnaround to make this process as stressless as possible.
Once you have the right solicitor they will be doing most of the work for you but you’ll need patience and a fast reply to all their enquiries.

The surveyor is the next most important part of this process. Please see our surveyor explanation below.

Once your property value is decided and all search enquiries have been answered you are ready to exchange contracts and, depending on your financial position, complete on the property with your own cash or with the help of a mortgage.

Property surveys will help you find out about the condition of a property and, if there are problems, give you a powerful argument when negotiating the buying price down. Alternatively you can ask the seller to fix any problems before you purchase.

There are no hard and fast rules about which type of survey to get, it will mostly depend on how much detail you want and the age of the property you’re buying.

The most popular type of survey is a homebuyer’s report, but you may decide a different one would be better for your situation.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable on the purchase or transfer of property or land in the UK where the amount given is above a certain threshold. Most UK land and property transactions must be notified to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on a Stamp Duty Land Tax return within a certain time limit – even if no tax is due.

Various rules apply for working out how much, if any, SDLT is payable. The calculation – which is based on a value called the ‘chargeable consideration’ – can vary depending on whether the land is residential or non-residential.

When purchasing a property as an investment you will be put in the situation of choosing between completed unit and off-plan opportunities.
In a rapidly rising housing market, buying off-plan enables investors and home buyers to buy a property at a lower price than if they wait for construction of their chosen property to commence.

Buying off-plan is a long-term investment, the buyer will generate their profit exclusively when exchanging a contract (if applicable) or when the property completes.

When purchasing completed properties, usually as a buy-to-let, these investments begin to generate capital as soon as the property is tenanted.

Comparing one with the other is hard and so is saying which one is better for any individual investor’s needs. The best solution is generally to arrange a meeting with one of our agents and see which one suits you best.

An agent is a mediator between the landlord and the tenants. Trying to make the process hassle free for both parties, we insure the landlord gets right tenants for the property and we deal with any future issues that may occur. For the tenants we direct you to a property that suits you and we will be your contact point for any concerns or problems that may occur.

The advantage here stands from our long working hours and constant availability.

Agency fees are paid for the services that the agent provides to you as a client. From hosting viewings to properties, to negotiating with the landlord in your name, drafting up the agreement and insuring you are ready and financially stable to move into your chosen apartment.

We will be your contact point to ensure all issues that may occur are dealt with fast and efficiently.

When renting with us your deposit is safely secured with DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme).

When we send your deposit to them you will automatically receive an email with your access code. If your contract is finished, you simply go on to their website and, using your access code, request your deposit back.

When renting, one of the most difficult things is moving at the beginning and end of your contract. If you add along tens of boxes, a sofa, 2 armchairs and 1-2 bookcases your are set to have a hard time.

One reason why having your own furniture may be unwise is the life expectancy of that product. While you have the comfort of designing your living space the way you want, the move could cause damage to your belongings, resulting in a waste of money.

Renting property with furniture provided is generally a tenant’s best bet, especially for shorter lets of 1-2 years.

If you’re thinking of renting out your property, what’s best? To use a management agency, or do it all yourself?
If you do use an agent, what package do you use?
Here are some questions to help you decide what’s best for you:

Can you spare the time?
How many properties do you have?
How much do agents in your area charge?
Do you know reliable tradesmen for repairs and maintenance?
Can you confidently handle the legal side?

Our 3 letting packages offer a variety of services such as:

-Let only: We find the right tenants, we do the credit checks and you are fully responsible in collecting your rent, managing the property and dealing with all issues.

-Rent Collection: We find the tenants, we do the credit checks and make sure you get your rent every month.

-Full Management: Meaning no headaches at all. We find the tenants, send you the rent every month and deal with any maintenance issues that may occur with your property during the tenancy.

Level of service offered:

Tenant find: 8 % (inc VAT)
Includes:

Collect and remit initial months rent received
Agree collection of any shortfall and payment method
Provide tenant with method of payment
Deduct any pre-tenancy invoices
Make any HMRC deduction and provide tenant with the NRL8 (if relevant)
Rent collection : 10 % (inc VAT)
Includes:

Collect and remit initial months’ rent received

Agree collection of any shortfall and payment method

Provide tenant with method of payment

Deduct any pre-tenancy invoices

Make any HMRC deduction and provide tenant with the NRL8 (if relevant)

Fully managed: 12% (inc VAT)
Includes:

Collect and remit initial months’ rent received

Pursue non-payment of rent and provide advice on rent arrears actions

Deduct commission and other works

Advise all relevant utility providers of changes

Undertake two inspection visits per annum and notify landlord of the outcome

Arrange routine repairs and instruct approved contractors (providing two quotes)

Hold keys throughout the tenancy term

ADDITIONAL NON-OPTIONAL FEES AND CHARGES

Setup Fee (Landlords share): £0 (inc VAT)

agree the market rent and find a tenant in accordance with the landlord guidelines; advise on refurbishment, provide guidance on compliance with statutory provisions and letting consents, carry out accompanied viewings (as appropriate)market the property and advertise on relevant portals
erect board outside property in accordance with Town and Country Planning Act 1990 advise on non-resident tax status and HMRC (if relevant)Inventory Fee

(Landlords share):

-dependent on the number of bedrooms and/or the size of the property and outbuildings

Deposit Registration Fee: £50 (inc VAT)

Registered landlord and tenant details and protect the security deposit with a Government-authorised Scheme
Provide the tenant with the Deposit Certificate and Prescribed Information within 30days of start of tenancy
Additional property visits: £0 (inc VAT)

To attend for specific requests such as neighbour disputes; more visits are required to monitor the tenancy; or any maintenance linked visit
Submission of non-resident landlords receipts to HMRC: £50 (inc VAT)

To remit and balance the financial return to HMRC quarterly – and respond to any specific query relating to the return from the landlord to HMRC
Arrangement fees for works over £250 – 15% of net cost

Arranging access and assessing costs with contractor
Ensuring work has been carried out in accordance with the specification of works
Retaining any warranty or guarantee as a result of any works
Arrangement fee for refurbishments over £250 – 15% of net cost

Arranging access and assessing costs with contractor
Ensuring work has been carried out in accordance with the specification of works
Retaining any warranty or guarantee as a result of any works
Obtaining more than two contractors quotes : £0 (inc VAT)

Rent Review Fee: £0 (inc VAT)

Review rent in accordance with current prevailing market condition and advise the landlord
Negotiate with tenant
Direct tenant to make payment change as appropriate
Update the tenancy agreement
Serve section 13 Notice if tenancy in on a rolling monthly basis
Renewal fee (landlords share): £50 (inc VAT)

Contract negotiation, amending and updating terms and arranging a further tenancy and agreement
Checkout fee (landlords share): £0 (inc VAT)

Agree with tenant checkout date and time appointment
Instruct inventory provider to attend Negotiate with landlord and tenant any disbursement of the security deposit.

Return deposit as agreed with landlord and tenant to relevant parties
Remit any disputed amount to Scheme for final adjudication
Unprotect security deposit.

Instruct contractors; obtain quotes; organise repairs/replacement/cost of any broken or missing item
Court attendance : £50 (inc VAT) per hour

Before you move in: £50 (inc VAT) for up to two tenants

Set up fee (tenants share)

Referencing up to two tenants (identity, immigration and visa confirmation, financial credit checks, obtaining references from current and previous employers/landlords and any other relevant information to assess affordability) as well as contract negotiation (amending and agreeing terms) and arranging the tenancy agreement

Additional Tenant Fee: £50 (inc VAT) per tenant:

Processing the application, associated paperwork and referencing
Guarantor fee: £50 (inc VAT) per guarantor (if required)

Covering credit referencing and preparing a Deed of Guarantee as part of the Tenancy Agreement
Permitted Occupier Fee: £0 (inc VAT) per permitted occupier

Explaining to any permitted occupier their rights and responsibilities towards the named tenant(s) and landlord as well as the provision of documentary guidance and assistance during the tenancy

Accompanied check-in fee: £50 (inc VAT)

Preparing an Inventory and Schedule of Condition of the property, explaining how appliances function and taking meter readings for utilities and services
Pet deposit £500

To cover the added risk of property damage. This will be protected with your security deposit in a Government-authorised scheme and may be returned at the end of tenancy

During your tenancy

Amendment fee: £50 (inc VAT)

Contract negotiation, amending terms and updating terms and arranging a further tenancy and agreement
Renewal fee: £50 (inc VAT)

Contract negotiation, amending terms and updating terms and arranging a further tenancy and agreement
Ending your tenancy

Check out fee (tenant’s share): £50 (inc VAT)

Attending the property to undertake an updated Schedule of Condition based on the original inventory and negotiating the repayment of the security deposit(s)
Future landlord reference fee: £50 (inc VAT)

Collating information and preparing a reference for a future landlord or letting agent

Other fees and charges

Lost security items : £50 (inc VAT)

Obtaining necessary permissions, sourcing providers and travel costs
Out of hours services: £250 (inc VAT) per hour plus any actual costs incurred

Where actions of the tenant results in the agent (or nominated contractor) attending the property , time to remedy the situation is charged at the prevailing rate

Unpaid rent/Returned Payments: Interest at 8% above the Bank of England Base rate from date due

Professional cleaning (if required): £40 (inc VAT) per hour which will be deducted from the Security Deposit

Only charges where professional cleaning is necessary to return the property to the same condition as at the start of the tenancy.