Category Archives: Renting Properties

Balancing The Account

Tips for Getting your Security Deposit Back

If you have decided to move out from that rented property you have been stuck in for the past few years, you have to be prepared to deal with an awful amount of work. Aside from packing and looking for a company to help with the move, you have to be prepared to inspect the property and see what state you are leaving it in.

And in case you have forgotten why you have to pay attention to the property, it is mostly because of getting your security deposit money back. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy as hiring a cleaning service and ensuring the place is properly cleaned; most of the times it means reaching good terms with your landlord. Here are few tips on how to get your security deposit back:

  • Make sure you rent from reliable landlords – surely you are going to have a lot of trouble if you rent property from people who never plan on returning your security deposit back in the first place. If you make a mistake and lend from a person like this, no professional cleaning service will be enough, because some people simply want to keep your money. To avoid such scenario you must do a proper research on your landlord and management company, if you want to avoid any future problems. See if there are any negative reviews and be very careful when you approach the mentioned names.
  • Take steps to getting your deposit back before moving in – the ideal situation would be when your landlord hands you a checklist and together with you inspects the property before you move in. If he doesn’t do this, make sure you do. Aside from such checklist, you can take pictures of the property. That way you have proof what everything looks like before you move in and how you leave it when time comes for this. Chances are you are going to have to hire end of tenancy cleaning Kensington, just to make sure everything looks like you found it or in better state even.
  • Do your best to maintain the property – the only way to get your security deposit back in full is by making sure you don’t do damage and harm to the property. Stay on top of things by doing minor repairs and home cleaning when it is needed and when an accident occurs. Some minor defects can be categorized as ‘wear and tear’, but don’t expect things like scratches and stains on the upholstery to be welcomed lightly.
  • Do a walkthrough as you leave – when it is finally time to leave, you should make a last walkthrough of the place and identify any problems. Now is the time when the fate of your security deposit is decided and whether or not you get to keep your money in full.
  • Defend your case – if need arises and you disagree with your landlord keeping your deposit or part of it, you can always make a case against them and try to defend it in court. You have every right to dispute the costs of the repairs your landlord is charging your deposit with, as well as the validity of those charges.

Follow these tips in order to ensure that you get the most of your deposit back. Make sure you defend your case if your landlord decides to keep the deposit back or some part of it. Most importantly – always make sure you document and take pictures of the property you are moving in. That is your guarantee no problem will occur.

Image credit: Ken Teegardin

home sweet home

First Time Landlord Guide

One of the ways you can gain a nice bit of income from properties you own is to rent them out to to tenants and gain some money out of the process. Before you can jump on that train of thought, you will need to make sure your property is actually rental-ready. The tips ahead will give you more information you can count on to ensure you have this done and complete before the big day:

• One of the first things you will need to think about is how involved you want to become in your project. On one hand you can work on improving the property closely, therefore understanding the process better, but you will need to know the targeted demographic if you want to aim for a specific type of tenant, such as students, families and more. If you have building skills or you know good contractors, you can always work on buying a cheap property that needs some work, transforming it into something new and capable of generating profits for you in the long run. You may want to consider that this would require a good bit of money, dedication and more so think carefully and make your choice only after you consider the financial side of things.

• Location is extremely important when it comes to rentals, as it will dictate the amount of people that would find the place useful. If you want to be a landlord that happens to work on things in a more involved way, then you will need to check things out from a more professional and economical point of view. You would do well to stay away from any markets that have high unemployment. It may seem harsh, but you’re running a business and that means you need to find the best conditions to do so without hampering your efforts at the birth point of your rental business. College towns are excellent locations for a landlord, since they see a lot of movement and people passing in and out of town for various reasons.

• You need to pay attention to that properties will work best for your current conditions, especially since you have a chance to get the best deals from specific types of properties on a specific market, such as suburbs for families, more central locations closer to university campuses and other locations for students and more. Think on that and look for estate sales, probate sales, foreclosure auctions and so on if you want to get a good deal and a lower price for most areas.

• You need to consider hiring a general contractor when you want to renew a property. You can get a good contractor hired to check out the property and give you some pointers you can use to fix it and improve whatever else needs to be improved. This will really help in the long run as you will not need to deal with things alone and their experience will be a great advantage in your preparations. When you’re done with this step, the future tenants will be able to hire a professional moving company in Kensington and deal with their own packing before moving into your rental property. Make sure they will have a place to park the moving van close to your entrance so things will go smoothly.

house sold

Home Buying Advice from Professional Home Buyers

Buying a home depends on so much more than simply finding a house you like and getting your offer accepted. Before you can even determine if the original asking price is fair, you need to understand the state of the housing market, what the external influences are and how these might change in the future. Hard as it is, home buying should be done with the head, not the heart. Here are a few tips that will help keep your head in charge during the excitement of hunting down and finding that perfect property.

1. Know Your Budget and Put Finances in Place

Budgets creep up and out of control because we’re so good at rationalising spending just a bit more. What’s an extra few thousand when you’re already committing to several hundred thousand or even several million? So goes the argument, but it’s a sure way of undermining the budget you previously determined. Knowing your budget means you can approach lenders with confidence, and this puts you in a stronger position to secure a mortgage. Securing a mortgage, at least in principle, before house hunting starts in earnest puts you in the best position to negotiate on the asking price. When you’re able to move quickly and complete the sale, vendors are more persuaded by cash on the table than they are by a vague promise of cash in the future.

2. Know Your Location

Play up to your location knowledge, and if you’re buying in an area you’re not familiar with consider hiring a property buying agent to help in your search. Locations can have quirks outsiders are unaware of. These can be as subtle as houses on one side of the street selling faster or commanding better prices than those on the other. Unless your local knowledge is deep, you’ll miss out on such potentially lucrative opportunities.

3. Understand External Forces

What’s affecting house prices in the area you’re looking at? Sanctions against Russia are, for instance, currently (mid 2014) adding to ripples in the prime central London property market. In short, there are more houses available in this segment than normal. This has affected prices, creating a good buying environment. How long or how far-reaching the effect is remains to be seen, but it illustrates the value of keeping an eye on world events and anticipating or noting the local effect.

4. Identify Market Dynamics

Are current house prices causing a shift in vendor activity? Do you notice a rise in the popularity of certain areas, which may be leaving other areas or property types on a plateau? Again, considering the London property market (but applicable across the UK), a rise in the popularity of apartments in new developments has left existing housing stock behind. This has the knock on effect of producing some very attractive prices in houses when compared to apartments. Identifying market dynamics, and being flexible in the type of property you’re looking for, means you can go against the main flow of buyers and switch your attention to more attractively priced property types.

If it helps, create a checklist of what you want and what you don’t, your preferred locations and your maximum budget. Keep it somewhere you’ll see it regularly then weigh up potential houses against the list. It’s the only way to keep your heart in check in the emotive home buying business.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net