I recently discovered that one of our rental properties in Walsall has Japanese Knotweed growing in the garden. My immediate thought was “ouch this is going to be expensive and potentially very troublesome!”.
I knew from discussions with past colleagues and fellow industry professionals how much damage Japanese Knotweed can cause, especially if it gets under the structure of the property. If found on a survey, mortgage lenders won’t even consider lending so it could potentially leave your property with zero value!
What is Japanese Knotweed?
I found the following definition from the Royal Horticultural website:-
“Japanese knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) is a weed that spreads rapidly. In winter the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge from rhizomes deep underground to shoot to over 2.1m (7ft), suppressing all other plant growth. Eradication requires determination as it is very hard to remove by hand or eradicate with chemicals. New legislation now covers its control”
A two bedroom terraced house on a popular newbuild estate approx 1 mile from Walsall town centre, WS2. The property has a very nice spec and is ready to go.
There are one double bedroom and one single bedroom. A fully fitted modern kitchen, a fair sized rear garden and off-road parking. It would be better appreciated by a viewing. The location is within easy reach of all the major road networks, services and other amenities lending easy access to Walsall town centre.
I was recently reading a report by the Home website which suggested that landlords are selling en-masse their buy-to-let investments due to increasing burdens on them in the buy-to-let market. Their findings suggest the number of new properties that came onto the market nationally (for sale) jumped by 11% across the UK as a result.
Those increasing burdens include new tax rules coming in over the next 3 to 4 years and the announcement that all self-managing landlords (i.e. landlords that don’t use a letting agent to look after their buy-to-let property) will soon need to register with a compulsory redress scheme to resolve tenant arguments and disputes; as Westminster wants to heighten standards in the Private Rented Sector.
Interestingly, a few weeks ago I was chatting with a self-managed landlord from Bloxwich, when I was out who didn’t realise the other recent legislations that have hit the Private Rented sector, including the ‘Right to Rent’ regulations which came in to operation last year. Landlords have to certify their tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. This includes checking and taking copies of their tenant’s passport or visa before the tenancy is signed. Of course, if you use a letting agent to manage your property, they will usually sort this for you (as they will with the redress scheme when that is implemented).
Last weekend I went to our favourite restaurant in Leamore (North Walsall) with the family. The owner is a client of mine and so, in between the Biryani and Nan Bread naturally, we started talking about our favourite subject… the Walsall property market. He informed me that he was a Millennial which is a term I’m familiar with but then he also told me that I was a Generation X! I had to look this up when I got home as I thought he was teasing me at first.
What is Generation X, let alone Generation Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers…? These are phrases banded around about the different life stages of our society. When terminologies like this are used as often and habitually as these phrases (i.e. Gen X this, Millennial that etc.), it appears particularly vital we have some practical idea of what these terms actually mean. The fact is that everyone uses these phrases, but often, like myself, they are not exactly sure where the lines are drawn… until now…
Right ladies and gents, we are back in Dalkeith street, Birchills, Walsall again. Why, you ask? Well, I’m going to tell you. Firstly, and you may find this hard to believe, but Dalkeith street is blowing up right now, the level of interest from renters is insane. You may remember I mentioned in my last BTL deal post that I helped one of my clients rent out a two bed terraced just like this one recently! The second reason is as follows…I’ve repeated myself over and over again about renters’ expectations and what landlords actually provide. If you are serious about your property empire and want to maximise your portfolio as much as possible, what I am about to show you is the standard you should set yourself on every property you rent out. This is a bog standard two bed terraced house in the heart of Walsall, nothing at all special. However, by just investing a relatively small amount of money to showcase your let, this is what you can and should be achieving. I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves.
A belated Happy New Year to all my Blog reading friends!! Trust the holiday season has treated you all well. Now that you are rested, relaxed and rejuvenated I’m sure you have gotten into the full swing of things with vigour and enthusiasm. We’re already passed the middle of January 2018 and finally I feel like the dust has settled allowing me the opportunity to catch my breath to reflect on the past year.
Wasn’t 2017 eventful?! Last year was the greenest year in the UK. We broke all previous records by June 2017 when our use of wind, nuclear and solar power created more UK power than gas and coal combined. From England women winning the World Cup in July to an incredible breakthrough by scientists at University College London who have developed a drug that they hope could stop Huntington’s disease. To top the end of the year there was the Royal love story with the announcement of romance, a wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markle and something close to the hearts of every buy to let landlord and homeowner in Walsall… the changes in the local property market.
So, let’s look at the headlines for the Walsall property market in 2017…