Walsall property left with “Zero” value after discovery of Japanese Knotweed!

Walsall property left with “Zero” value after discovery of Japanese Knotweed
Walsall property left with “Zero” value after discovery of Japanese Knotweed

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”

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Would you buy your Walsall home off the internet?

Would you buy your Walsall home off the internet?
Would you buy your Walsall home off the internet?

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…?!

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Smokin’! What’s The Deal With Smoke Alarms?

Back in 2015 The Smoke Alarm Regulations came into being. Now, apparently approx 30% of UK residents have never tested their smoke alarms so, what does all of this mean for landlords and tenants?

Let’s talk about landlords first:

  • Landlords must install a smoke alarm on every floor of their rental property.
  • Landlords must install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance (E.g. Coal fire, wood burning stove). Though not a requirement, it is advisable to also install one near a gas appliance.
  • Licensed HMOs are exempt from this regulation as they must comply with separate fire safety regulations.
  • Social housing landlords are exempt.
  • Live-in landlords are exempt.

Whether exempt or not, it would behove all landlords to ensure the safety of their tenants.

  • All alarms should be in working order at the start date of a new tenancy as per the tenancy start date stated in the tenancy agreement. This does not include tenancy renewals.
  • It is advisable to obtain the tenant’s signature for them to confirm that the alarms were tested and working in their presence. This could be included in a document that also confirms they have received all documentation as per the How To Rent Guide“.
  • Or, it could be included in an inventory and schedule of condition.

There are no requirements for a specific type of alarm or on the location of the alarm installation. It is recommended to follow manufacturer’s instructions and that they are installed on a ceiling in a circulation space i.e. hall or landing. Carbon Monoxide detectors should be placed at head height and approx one to three metres from the solid fuel/ gas appliance. If in doubt on the installation of alarms you can also contact you local fire service for advice.

The failure to comply with these regulations is a fine of up to £5000 if the 28 day remedial notice has not been adhered to.

 

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The Buy To Let Let Deal Of The Day Is A Unique 3 Bed Semi Going Once, Going Twice…

This three bedroom semi detached house is beautifully presented. It is situated in Blakenall Lane, Leamore, Walsall, WS3. It is for sale via auction and there is a an open house viewing on Wednesday 7th March 2018 between 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm. Reserve your booking via Goodchilds 01922 312016. It is noted that cash buyers are preferred.

There are plenty of photos to show off the very attractive spec of this property with its many original features which include Minton tiled entrance and stained glass double glazing to mention just two.  It has everything you could want in a property including double glazing, gas central heating, modern fitted kitchen and bathroom.

The location benefits from being within easy reach of all the major road networks, services and other amenities lending easy access to Walsall and Bloxwich town centres. Additionally there are two double bedrooms and a single. Topped off with off-road parking and a large courtyard style rear garden.

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Are all Walsall Tenant’s Needy?!

Are all Walsall Tenants Needy
Are all Walsall Tenants Needy?!

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…

Landlord’s Question:

”Dear Salek,

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?’’

 

My Response:

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How to Find a Great Walsall Buy To Let Property!

How to Find a Great Walsall Buy To Let Property!
How to Find a Great Walsall Buy To Let Property!

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.

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Recovering Possession of a Walsall Property.

Recovering Possession of a Walsall Property
Recovering Possession of a Walsall Property

I am getting more and more enquiries from my blog reading friends on some technical aspects of property management.  In the past I’ve avoided writing about these types of questions on the Blog by answering them directly.  I find writing about the Walsall property market more interesting but people power has to prevail and I feel I must provide the readership what they seek.

There are various reasons why you may need to recover possession of your rental property.  Below is an enquiry I received recently and my answer.  Hope you find it informative and as always I welcome your feedback.  Do let me know if you have any burning questions you would like me to answer in a similar vein and I’ll do my best to accommodate.

Question:

‘Dear Salek,

I rented my property out when I moved into my husband’s house about 6 years ago and we are now going through a divorce.  I need my property back as I need to move in as soon as possible, so I know I will need to evict the current tenants. How do I correctly serve a notice?

Thank you,

Sue.

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