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julia urquhart

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  1. Short answer - No! In a year's time we will probably be wondering what all the fuss was about! People have VERY short memories.
  2. The basic difference is: Joint Tenants: you both hold half of the entire property. If one of you dies the other owns the entire property automatically. Tenants in common: you each own half the house so you could leave your half to your sister (for example) if you should die. If you are a couple and are happy that your property is owned by both of you then joint ownership is fine. If you want to own your own half, to do with as you like, then tenants in common is the way forward. Its a personal choice
  3. An ISA is an 'Individual Savings Account'. It is basically a tax free wrapper into which you can put savings in order to protect them from tax. Any income or gain generated by the savings in an ISA are completely tax free & you do not have to declare them on your tax return. The original ISA came in 3 forms : 1. Cash: a simple savings account issued by a bank or building society 2. Stocks and Shares: an investment account which can hold shares, investment trusts or funds 3. Insurance ISA: no longer available so ignore Given that everyone can now earn £500 or £1000 in interest on a cash savings account before paying tax and because cash rates are so low, this kind of ISA no longer has the advantages it had when launched, however a stocks & shares (S&S) ISA is a fantastic way to hold investments without having to pay tax on income or gain. You can open one cash ISA and one S&S ISA in each tax year and there is an annual allowance of £20k. Recently the Govt increased the range with a Help to Buy ISA (a kind of cash ISA) aimed at first the buyers where you save and the Govt gives you a bonus & also a Lifetime ISA (also cash based) aimed at either buying a house or as a pension, again with bonuses but also restrictions. ISAs are a really useful tool to help you build real gains on your money so now you are interested - read the links listed by Stuart Phillips and see what is the best one for you. Good luck
  4. It may be extended or not. Nothing confirmed yet. If you want your tenant to leave on their own terms giving them extra time will help them do so. You may end up with a void whilst you sell but balancing that against having to evict I would choose the former. You will have to tell them before you market it anyway & will need their co-operation for viewings. I would consider carefully how you tell them - you want them to work with you not against do a face to face may be better than a 'Hey, you need to leave' text! Good luck
  5. I think it would come under HHSE regulations - ie you have a duty to ensure it is not a hazard.
  6. The ban on evictions will affect you even if you are planning to sell. I believe the effect is that you must give 3 months notice instead of 2 but if your tenant doesn't leave getting to court will be an extremely lengthy process. Have you asked your tenant if they would be willing to leave? They may be happy to go and not need evicting - or sell the property with the tenant in situ. Good Luck
  7. Most agents will want to see proof of ability to purchase before accepting an offer so I would get an offer in principle first, otherwise you risk losing the house you want to buy because you are behind the curve. Good luck
  8. Apart from the snagging issues, lack of quality in recent new builds and leasehold problems, I believe new builds are generally overpriced because they are in the Help to Buy Schemes. In addition you cannot easily add value to a new house. I would buy an older house, where the value is set by the market not by the builder. Try to buy something that you can either add value to - by modernising or extending - or in an up and coming area where prices may increase more than other areas. Try to look through the current owners decor to see the potential of the house rather than their lifestyle and negotiate to get a good price. Good luck
  9. I would suggest buying your own property first - it must be cheaper than renting - continue to save hard to get a deposit for a BTL. Capital appreciation of your own property over a couple of years might allow you to remortgage for a deposit too. Being home owners will teach you a lot about property and although it may put off your 1st BTL for a little while, property is a long game. Securing your own home first would give you a solid base to start from and means you benefit from rising markets instead of being at their mercy. Good luck
  10. First and foremost buy your own house - with a mortgage. You will learn a lot about managing property from owning one - mortgages; diy; insurance etc. Then use your remaining cash as a deposit to buy a BTL - with a mortgage. Mortgaging means you are leveraged - making money on the banks money - and is more tax efficient than buying outright. Especially if you are a basic rate tax payer. Take it one step at a time - learn to walk before you try to run. Property is a long game and if you rush it you will make mistakes. 20 years of being a LL and I am still learning! Good luck
  11. Most lenders require you to have an income of £20k or so for a BTL mortgage. A higher deposit may open up some options, but their concern would be how will she pay the mortgage if the property is empty if she has no other income. You need to speak to a broker to see if there is a specialist prepared to offer her a mortgage.
  12. The rule of thumb is that any expense that is wholly & exclusively for your BTLs can be set against income for tax purposes. I am not an expert but I would think the lease extension is a capital expense (it makes the property more valuable) so can be set against CGT if you sell; remortgage costs (fees, valuation etc) can be set again income (as long as you have not released capital and used it for anything other than more property); I don't think you can claim for a room as you are not a business per se; I believe accountants fees can be set against income (although if you have other income this may only be proportional). There is lots of information on HMRC's site so look there - or ask your accountant!
  13. A good agent should definitely take the day to day running off your hands but they will also significantly reduce your yield. I would always recommend visiting the property between tenants as in my experience agents' standards are not the same as your own! Time spent securing a good agent will be time well spent - but they will not come cheap.
  14. I would agree that an HMO is a complicated rental to cut your teeth on. Multiple tenants means multiple opportunities to get it wrong - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. If you use a property manager there should in theory be very little for you to do - that does however depend on how good your agent is. Visiting at weekends may not suit your tenants and if you factor in travel costs may not be a great idea as it will hit your margins' however paying for tradesmen to do all the repairs is more expensive than doing them yourselves. Whether it is right for you is a question that only you can answer, but with a demanding full time job at a distance from your property I would suggest now may not be the right time for you to start a property journey. Others may have different views, but property is not a get rich quick scheme and without time to invest you may struggle to make it worthwhile. In your position I would be looking at other investments to grow my capital until I had more time to learn about & manage my property. Whatever you decide to do, good luck
  15. Gas will give you a better EPC rating.