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”
People say buying a house or moving home is stressful. I totally agree and whilst at my Agency we do our best to make things easy believe me, when I say it’s nothing compared to online shopping!!
My close friends and family know that I dislike self service tills and the impersonal detachment of internet shopping. I can be honest and admit that I absolutely hate it. Don’t get me wrong, I think it has its place especially when I enviously see my neighbour’s food shopping being brought by a kindly man driving a Morrison’s van bringing their weekly shop to the door. Seeing this made me think how great it would be and how much time I would save if I or my wife didn’t have to go food shopping.
The one and only time I tried food shopping online I received all sorts of stuff. Some I ordered and some I didn’t… other times I tried Birthday gifts which didn’t arrive on time, clothes which looked lovely on the internet model are not what I had hoped for – sack of spuds springs to mind!
A long awaited mother’s day gift for my sister was delivered by courier to my house and because no one was home they very kindly left it in a safe place… the recycling bin which was emptied on the same day! So, if you don’t mind, I’m sticking to high street shopping in the future.
Thank goodness we don’t buy houses online. Can you imagine it…?!
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).
Over the weekend I had an email from one of my Blog reading friends. I thought I would post this below and discuss in this week’s Blog post as it may benefit the rest of my friends who follow the Walsall Property Blog…
Over the past two years I have had three different tenants in my rental property in the Delves area of Walsall. At first each of them came across like ideal tenants. However, not long into each of their tenancies, problems started to arise. To cut a long story short, between the three tenancies there have been months of non-payment, plenty of damage to the property and harassment (in the sense that I was called over 40 times in the space of 4 weeks with requests to change light bulbs, locking themselves out of the property etc).
Why am I attracting these tenants? Is this a common thing with being a Walsall landlord?’’
One of the best things I love about my job as an agent is helping Walsall landlords with their strategic portfolio management. Gone are the days of making money by buying any old Walsall property to rent out or sell on. These days, property investment is both an art and science. The art is your gut reaction to a property, but with the power of the internet and the way the Walsall property market has gone in the last 10-15 years, science must also play its part on a property’s future viability for investment.
As a property professional I use many metrics (as do others), when deciding the viability of a rental property i.e. the price, the average rent, the yield and one you may not be too familiar with is – an average value per square foot.
However, another metric I like to use is the average rent per square foot. The reason being is that it’s a great way to judge a property from the point of view of the tenant … what space they get for their money. Now of course, location plays a huge influencing factor when it comes to rents (and hence rent per square foot). Like people buying a property, tenants also have that balancing act between better/worse location, more vs. less money and size of accommodation (bigger and more rooms equalling more money) and where they live (location) verses making ends meet.
During my rounds in Walsall town centre this weekend I bumped into one of our Let Only landlords who I hadn’t seen for a while. I’m going to call her Ally Monie just for the fun of it! We decided to have a catch-up over a coffee inside the new Co-Op on Bridge Street (lovely it was too!!). She told me about the shock and dismay when she recently visited one of her properties after 3 years!
It’s ok, it’s not one of those horror stories that you hear where there was a cannabis factory in the loft, or there were four other people living in the property that shouldn’t have been or worst still the property was deliberately trashed, or is it…
Ally owns a number of properties and used our services to provide our Walsall Tenant Find Only service. She didn’t need an Agent for management, agency fees are money for old rope, and she had plenty of time to manage.