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LettingFocus

Unbiased buy to let, property investment and letting coaching, mentoring, advice and seminars for landlords from top selling property author and media commentator.

Studentification, HMOs, Schools and House Prices by Lawrenson of Letting Focus

To come to the NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors on 4th November click here:
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Thought we could get through a month without some new proposal or regulation affecting landlords?
Well think again.
A few weeks ago now, a consultation document from the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG), came out which examined if it could be made necessary for landlords to have to get permission to convert a home into a House in Multiple Occupation.
HMOs are broadly defined as a residence for three or more unrelated occupiers.
At the moment, the regulation of houses of multiple occupation (HMO) in England and Wales only considers cases where there are at least six residents (unless HMO licensing has been extended locally to cover other smaller HMOs.)

Studentification

The consultation came about because of concerns that the “studentification” of towns – high densities of student homes in residential areas – can cause anti-social behaviour, distort property prices and make for “ghost towns” during the long summer holidays.
The proposal has been condemned by landlords’ associations and this is one idea that I don’t think will fly.
After all, what would happen to all those people living in those HMOs right now? Would they be housed in private halls of residence at the taxpayer’s expense?
Cue deafening slence from the Government.
Having recently seen areas of Birmingham and Cardiff which are heavily populated by students, I would say that it would be good for landlords who own the more run down properties to occasionally find the time to give their properties a bit of an external makeover and clear away all the rubbish dumped in the front gardens by last year’s students.

Neighbours
Doing this would certainly make the non-student neighbours feel a lot better about the student housing in their midst.
If a landlord (or indeed any owner of any property whether commercial or residential) lets the front of his property become an isaw, it ought to be possible to strengthen the powers that councils have to force them to improve them.
After all, why should everyone have to suffer from having to look at properties that are run down?
Surely, a better way to do this would be for the government to look at extending their powers in this regard (perhaps one way would be to extend their existing powers to extend HMO licences to cover smaller HMOs.)

Schools and House Prices (and a Bit of Politics)
It has been a while since someone did a report on how being near to a good school affects house prices.
Yup, if you are in a duff area and wondering why the house prices are inexplicably high it’s probably due to the presence of a good school locally.
Right now in the Lawrenson house we are sharpening our minds (and elbows!) to think about our son’s schooling at secondary level.
The options are ….
1. We send him to an OK but “bog standard” local comp (or whatever they are called now -academies, science college etc) here in London. He gets some duff A levels but enough to get on to study for a degree in Pointless Studies at The University Of New Town in Godknowswheresville.
2. We spend loads of dosh and go private (against my old political principles).
3. We move out to rural Kent where all our neighbours will probably be Tories but where they still have half decent schools and you have more than a cat in hells chance of getting into one (Though even out in Kent you need those middle class elbows to push ahead of other parents by paying for extra tuition to be sure of getting in the good local grammar.)
Tough choice! And what a shame we should have to make it as I rather like cosmopolitan London.
When I was at school (a Grammar since you ask) lots of the lads at our school were from pretty poor backgrounds from a local mining area.
But these days Grammars (where they exist) and other good schools have very few kids on free school meals. Sadly, the chance of getting an above average education seems to have moved futher away than ever from poorer parents here in London and other big UK cities.
What a failure of education policy over the years - Tory and Labour.
If any Government can make the schools better here in the middle of London and other big cities, families may stay here. Of course, that would push up house prices into the stratosphere which won’t be so good so everyone.
Until that time I expect the great exodus of the families to the rural shires to continue.
To come to the NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors on 4th November click here:
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ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
We are LettingFocus.com - the property experts.
I’m, David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book.
What’s unique about LettingFocus is that I offer independent unbiased
property seminars covering property investment and letting because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business I am not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier.
I can tell you where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy, how to buy property at a low price, how to make sure you get tenants who are going to pay the rent and how to manage a rental property to make £s at my one to one consulting service.
I can also comment on “No Money Down” Schemes and “Buying Below Market Value” methods too.
I can answer all your questions on letting property too because I have been a landlord and property investor for over 25 years.
LINKS
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This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.
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School Catchment Areas, Houses and Buy to Let by LettingFocus.com

Ah, our lucky neighbours! Some of them anyway. Their kids go to a good school.
Will I be so lucky with our little fellah when he comes to go to secondary.
Probably not. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the only good boys’ secondary nearby is now 22 times oversubscribed -the highest in the UK.
A few years ago, that local good school was the first in the UK to introduce a lottery system for half the kids in an apparent bid to stop middle income parents buying properties up on t’hill near the school.
Now Brighton Council and also Herts are planning going to do the same thing. This means you can no longer guarantee your children a place at a good school simply by buying into that school's catchment area.
So, what’s that got to do with property investment and buy to let, you ask?
Well, for a start the existing property price premiums in the catchment areas of good schools is likely to erode. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has calculated the premiums add 8 per cent to a property's value.
But the policy has not been finalised and parents’ who have already bought into a catchment area are threatening legal action.
The current uncertainty over whether the new admissions rules will pass the legal test is an interesting opportunity because if the lottery plans are stopped from going ahead, the premiums for being near a good school will reappear in full.
So, this may be an investment opportunity.
The problem is that while the whole lottery plan is still just talk areas near a good school still command a something of a premium (even if the planned lottery may have eroded some of that)
Me, I’ve never won at any kind of lottery, so the move to sunny Hampshire and out of London looks ever more likely.
See also the recent FT article on this http://www.ft.com/cms/s/85c6b064-d41f-11db-83d5-000b5df10621.html

MORE ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS AND WHAT WE DO

LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.
Hello, I’m David Lawrenson.
I’ve been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and am author of “Successful Property Letting” – the UK’s top selling commercially published property book for the last 3 years.
I help private landlord investors (see more on this below) but these days I’m mainly a consultant to banks, local authorities, social housing providers and other organisations – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies and services.
I also write for property websites and am regularly quoted by the media.
I have written articles, guides and documents on letting property and property investing for numerous publications including The Independent, The Telegraph and for quality landlord and property websites.

Services for Private Landlords

For private landlords and other investors in the private rented sector, we do two London seminars each year.
We also find some spare time to help landlords and property investors by coaching them in how to make money in the private rented sector using ways that work, which are ethical, fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on either a one to one mentoring / coaching basis or through our occasional group seminars.
With no links to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we can advise on where and what type of property to buy for investment and when to buy it. We also show you how to manage tenants properly.

AT OUR WEBSITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:


THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
For general info on our CONSULTING click here: Consultancy and Seminars
ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTANCY click here: Property Mentoring
NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors:
Next Property Investment Seminar and Networking Event
We have OFFERS on a range of services and products for landlords too; click here including landlords insurance, tenant referencing, tenancy agreements and more: Services and Products for Landlords
TO READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – both commercial and private click here: Testimonials
BUY “SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY LETTING” click here: Buy the Book at Amazon plus anything else you fancy at Amazon.co.uk

To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR TO OUR WEBSITE?

See our TWITTER PAGE: http://twitter.com/LettingFocus

WANT TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH OUR LATEST BLOGS?
Over on the right hand side under all the previous blog entries you will find a button which says “Site Feed.” Simply copy the site feed link into your News Reader or News Aggregator.
If you have a website & are thinking of reproducing material here, that’s fine but we DO require a link to the blog to be included, including also all the links in this section. (The full article including all links must be available to ALL VIEWERS of your site and not restricted.)
TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.

WANT TO ADD A COMMENT OR VIEW OLD COMMENTS?
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Copyright David Lawrenson 2007

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Buying Close to a Good School Used to Cost You, But Not For Much Longer (Plus a “Bit of Politics”)

Parents have long paid out big money to buy properties near a decent school. But this may be about to change.
Brighton Council have now bought in a lottery system whereby children’s names will go in a hat and the school you go to is decided by lottery.
Why?
Well, the idea seems to be to stop middle class parents buying property near a good school and thus leaving the other schools without some of the best talent.
The government seems keen to adopt this approach countrywide shortly and if they do, it will have a big impact on prices close to good schools which will no longer command a premium.
We know all about this from personal experience, as the only decent boys’ secondary locally is 20 times oversubscribed, making it the most oversubscribed state school in the whole of the UK. Nice!
So, in the next few years, we either have to go private (ignoring my own political principles) or move to somewhere with more decent state secondaries - which is just cheating in a different way.
Of course, the exodus of families from cities like London to rural spots with good schools is massive and the lottery system won’t stop this one bit.
One thing that would help would be to force private schools to accept one third of pupils on merit or face losing their charitable tax status. (Bit of politics)

MORE ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS AND WHAT WE DO

LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.

I’m David Lawrenson, a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and author of “Successful Property Letting” – the UK’s top selling commercially published property book for the last 3 years.

Services to Businesses and the Public Sector

Primarily I am a consultant to banks, local authorities, social housing providers and other organisations – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies and services.

For example, I help banks improve their buy to let mortgage lending practices and I help housing association / local authorities find private landlords (private rented access schemes, local letting agency models etc.)
I also write for property websites and am regularly quoted by the broadcast media.


Services for Private Landlords


For private landlords and other investors in the private rented sector, we do just two
London seminars each year.
We also find some spare time to help landlords and property investors by coaching them in how to make money in the private rented sector using ways that work, which are ethical, fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on either a one-to-one mentoring / coaching basis or through our occasional group seminars. With no links to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we can advise on where and what type of property to buy for investment and when to buy it. We also show you how to manage tenants properly.

AT OUR WEBSITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:

THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog

THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page


For general info on our CONSULTING click here: Consultancy and Seminars


ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTANCY click here: Property Mentoring


NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors:
Next Property Investment Seminar and Networking Event

We have OFFERS on a range of services and products for landlords too; click here including landlords insurance, tenant referencing, tenancy agreements and more: Services and Products for Landlords

TO READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – both commercial and private click here: Testimonials

BUY “SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY LETTING” click here: Buy the Book at Amazon plus anything else you fancy at Amazon.co.uk

To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR TO OUR WEBSITE?

IF YOU SELL SERVICES TO LANDLORDS, YOU COULD BE A PARTNER ON OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAMME.

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!

See our TWITTER PAGE: http://twitter.com/LettingFocus

Copyright of Blog:
David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.


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