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James Champkin

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  1. Hi all, Could HMO landlords out there please recommend the best/cheapest landlord insurance they've found? I've just had my renewal price through from SimplyBusiness, with whom I've been insured for the last twelve months, but the price seems to have increased considerably. There don't seem to be many good comparison sites for this type of landlord insurance. Any advice greatly appreciated! Kind regards, James
  2. Hi everyone! Does anyone on here have experience of renting houses in Liverpool to students? I've been looking at student areas due to the higher yields generated by student lets but it would be my first step into the student market. I've been reading about the HMO Licencing conditions in Liverpool and it seems that a property doesn't require any specialist HMO licence unless it is occupied by at least five people? Just wondering whether anyone has any advice in this area and any pitfalls to avoid/issues to be aware of? Thanks, James.
  3. Hi Stevie, Thank you for your very enlightening response to my thread. It's really interesting to hear the perspective of someone who has actually lived in Mann Island and enjoyed good capital growth over the period you were a resident. I think you're right in saying that prices seemed to grow rapidly until around 2016 but they have since stabilised and seen little change, although hopefully in the next 5-10 years this will change. I suppose that I have been more critical of my investment decisions over the last twelve months because the yields have reduced as city centre tenant demand in Liverpool has crashed during the pandemic (for obvious reasons), so rents are currently lower than when I purchased the apartments and there is a much higher risk of void periods at present. Also, while I have invested for the medium-long term, I am really hoping for capital growth in the short term so that I can remortgage and pull out capital to invest again in the next few years. However, obviously this relies on quite aggressive capital growth so I'm still hopefully that will occur in Liverpool city centre over the next five years. It's also really interesting to hear that your property further out of the city has done so well. I think your timing has been perfect, and you've benefited from capital growth on both properties during periods when apartments and more recently larger houses have been in favour. Really great to hear your story! Kind regards, James.
  4. Thanks for your reply! You're probably right - I know one needs to consider capital growth potential over the long term. Having said that, I'd be really interested to know how other investors' properties in Liverpool have performed over the last two years? Has anyone enjoyed any tangible capital growth over this time scale? Kind regards, James.
  5. Hi everyone. In early 2019 I purchased two separate one-bedroom apartments in the 'iconic' Mann Island buildings in central Liverpool. They have offered reasonable yields and are easily tenanted but I am yet to see any capital growth. I am aware that two years is a short period of time in property terms, but I am becoming slightly concerned that I haven't made the right decision when it comes to where to put my money. For anyone else who has invested in central Liverpool over the last few years, how is your investment doing? I'd love to hear other's stories! Kind regards, James.
  6. Hi guys, The main reason I ask about this is I've read that mortgage brokers/advisers are required to ensure that borrowers have an appropriate repayment vehicle in place when taking out an interest-only mortgage. I don't recall my broker ever having these discussions with me when he helped me take out my two interest-only BTL mortgages, and so I started to wonder whether I should be arranging something appropriate myself. Do other investors on here have any policies arranged for this purpose? Or do most simply remortgage the property at the end of their term and continue on interest-only mortgages indefinitely? Thanks, James.
  7. Hi both, Really appreciated your input on this. I hadn't considered including high-end services like a cleaner. Have you any experience of that, Mark? Thanks, James.
  8. Hi everyone! I own two apartments in Liverpool, both with interest-only BTL mortgages. I've been reading around the topic over recent months and I have grown slightly concerned that I don't have a repayment vehicle in place to repay these mortgages at the end of the term. Do other BTL property owners out there with interest-only mortgages have endowment assurance policies etc. in place to ensure that they are able to repay their mortgages? Any advice greatly appreciated, as always. Thanks, James.
  9. Hi Richard, Many thanks for your very helpful reply! Based on your personal experience it sounds like Netflix may not be worthwhile, but I may trial including broadband in the rental package and assess whether this helps the apartment let faster. Thanks again for your feedback. Cheers, James.
  10. Hi everyone! I own two apartments in a large block in Liverpool, which tend to rent to Middle Eastern students and young professional tenants. I have found the rental market in Liverpool to be rather challenging over the last year, with the repeated lockdowns causing problems with sourcing new tenants. There have also been a lot of properties on the rental market, giving rise to competition. As a result of this, I have been forced to reduce my rents considerably in order to attract new tenants quickly enough. I have been considering ways to make my apartments stand out from the crown and have been thinking of paying for a Netflix account and broadband for the tenants. I am hoping this would allow to me to charge a better rent once again and, probably more importantly, source new tenants faster. Does anyone have experience of doing this? Do you think it is worth the additional hassle? Any advice appreciated! Thanks, James.
  11. Thank you both for your very helpful advice! It's greatly appreciated. Essentially, they seem to be taking the stance where they will communicate with me directly but have told their solicitor not to respond to my correspondence. They also seem to be back-tracking on the commitments that they made through their solicitor. I think that it may be best for me to appoint a solicitor in this instance because I feel slightly 'outnumbered' and given that they have instructed their solicitor not to communicate with me directly, I think that it will be very difficult to make any significant progress without one.
  12. Hello! Advice required, please. I am involved with a long-standing dispute with a tenant regarding the formalisation of their tenancy. They have appointed a solicitor to represent their side and have told me to contact them through my own legal representative. However, the costs involved with doing so are very high and I would rather avoid, if at all possible. Question - can someone choose to only communicate with my legal representative, and refuse (and tell their solicitor to refuse) to communicate with me directly? Is this legal? Thanks.
  13. Agreed! The tenant has and will always insist that they had permission to run the business (which is probably likely), but they have no formal documentation to prove this. I am of the same opinion that if the tenants need formal documentation from me for their accounts then they should be willing to enter into a more formal, written tenancy agreement. I believe that they simply want to have their cake and eat it - they want the freedom they benefit from having no written agreement, but want formal documentation from me when it suits them. I have finally managed to negotiate a rent increase (without involving a solicitor) but much less that I was initially looking for, which is slightly disappointing. However, now that has been resolved, I am seeking further advice from a specialist rural land solicitor (as you've suggested) on how to move forwards with this in the longer term.
  14. Hello! No, there is no formal agreement with the company. The tenant agreed the tenancy about 16 years ago with my late grandmother, but it was only ever a verbal agreement. I believe she asked my grandmother whether they could run the livery business from the land and she permitted it (again, only verbally to my knowledge). I believe the company has only been formally registered as a limited company with Companies House for a few years. I have spoken with various solicitors over the years and all have told me that the fact the tenant has been running a business from the land for more than 12 years means that her tenancy is protected and she cannot be evicted. I am currently seeking some more detailed advice from another solicitor, but this does seem to be the consensus. Kind regards, James.
  15. Thanks for your reply! So I have no obligation to provide an invoice? The tenants are requesting that I provide invoices addressed to the limited company which they run, but I am nervous about doing so because I have always disputed the nature of their tenancy (i.e. I have always disputed that they have a protected business tenancy) and I don't want to give further weight to their case. Kind regards, James.
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