The Ins & Outs Of Guarantors

articleSecuring a brilliant tenant requires more than goodwill and a strong background check. On occasion, there’s likely to be need for a guarantor i.e. someone who can cover any damage, misuse and/or missed rent payments, should the tenant themselves incur costs they can’t afford.

This isn’t a cut-and-dry affair, however. It’s okay to be uncertain as to when a guarantor is required, and when they aren’t. So today, we’re going to break down the criteria for these agreements from a landlord’s perspective. It’s our crash course in guarantor etiquette: when it’s desirable, how to go about it, and where those lines overlap…

Who’s suitable for guarantor arrangements?

As a rule, you’ll want extra protection if one or more of the following is true of your tenant:

  • They are a student, or under 21
  • The rent is more than a third of their income
  • Credit checks have flagged up a low rating
  • They have only spent 6 months in their current property or position of employment

Anything outside of such guidelines is likely to be viewed with consternation by the tenant. Not asking for a guarantor puts faith in their independence and earning ability. Unless there’s a good reason to doubt someone, we suggest avoiding a guarantor scheme.

What the guarantor has to know

Certain yardsticks apply to the contact they put forward too. A guarantor is, ideally, a property owner. They must be able to cover the cost of structural issues, bills and cleaning charges that are the direct result of what the tenant has done, falling outside of their contracted stipulations of care for the home. Often, the guarantor is a relative – usually a parent – of the resident. But if they aren’t, greater scrutiny should be applied, gathering evidence to prove their eligibility.

Before they sign, the guarantor must read and agree to the tenancy contract. If they are covering a student, they may not be aware that they’re typically held responsible for all tenants – not just their own. Student housing stipulates that every guarantor in the house-share contributes to payment, if it’s needed. Make sure they know exactly what they’re getting into before signing.

Make it part of the contract

Details such as these are laid into the fabric of your tenancy agreement. Don’t bury it in the small-print; have a clear, separate sheet for the guarantor conditions, as well as a place for the parent/guardian to note their signature.

It might be best to draw up two forms of tenancy contracts – one that asks for a guarantor, and another that doesn’t. That way, you can apply them to various occupants throughout your portfolio. Detail the name of the property, the rent per month, space for their credit search acquiescence, and a box for the guarantor’s personal address and income stream.

It’s also wise to protect yourself against a dispute. Guarantors may think that, in the event of a payment request, you are being unreasonable. Laying out the specifics in the agreement will prevent legal battles. Photographic evidence of a ‘before’ and ‘after’ status of your furnishing, utilities or structure will support your request.

Summermere are always happy to advise on the guarantor debate. We let properties across the North West, and we’re used to helping landlord/tenant relationships get off to a great start. To find out more, contact us today; we’re serious about making these tricky elements of managing a portfolio much easier.

 

How To Make An Old Property Feel New Again

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With so much attention falling on the UK rental market, there’s never been a better time to freshen up a property investment. Despite the focus on new developments, plenty of buyers seek older homes that tend to have more charm than their modern counterparts.

Yet neglected features aren’t going to cut it with today’s demographics. There’s too much competition to assume that things ‘as they are’ are going to welcome prospective tenants. When buying a house that has seen better days, it’s crucial to bring it up to good standards – otherwise you’ll have a wasted opportunity on your hands.

We’ve come up with several ideas for this refurb to glide smoothly into life:

Perform a paint job

Cracked, flaking paint is a sign of disuse. There’s little worse than stepping through a hallway and seeing a drab aesthetic greet us, tinged with crumbling inconsistencies. It’s well worth hiring a team of decorators – or doing the job yourself – for a new coat of paint. Use it as a chance to diversify colours tastefully; nice contrasts and complements can do a lot for the property’s visual appeal.

Replace guttering, shingles and windows

Every move made for stronger structural elements is going to boost the value of the home. With this in mind, you might turn to drainage systems such as the gutters on the roof, or the stability of current shingle materials. If any damage is present, strip the old features off and fix another set in their place. The same might be also be true of windows, but they can still be replaced for double or triple glazing if there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with the originals.

Fine-tune electrical/gas units

Conveniences aren’t built to last long without good maintenance. The boiler could be defunct. The electrics may be fickle or inoperable. Furthermore, pipelines can easily splinter with too much cold weather over the time the property has been empty. Check all of these factors when testing the home for occupation. If any fall short, redress them as soon as you can – and remember to cater for low-energy-waste guidelines.

Buy quality, modern furniture

Some of your tenants won’t want a furnished space, of course. Yet the majority do, and the power of your offer is enhanced with stylish, affordable pieces that nurture a personality throughout every room. Look for a furnishing partner who can offer value for money, as well as creative guidance. And it’s vital to clean the carpets (or re-carpet entirely) before anything is installed, just so the whole property feels and smells better.

With our tips at the forefront of your mind, that new rental investment can shrug off its old problems and become a fantastic portfolio addition. Summermere is then able to market it to the right people, with the right quality of care, to the North West market. Call us to see how we work with landlords across Prestwich, Bury and Manchester city centre.

 

 

 

An Outlook For Manchester’s Property Market In 2018

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The skyline of Manchester has changed considerably in the past 12 months. Buildings have been shooting up here, there and everywhere throughout 2017. A mere glance at the countless cranes parked around the city right now shows that the property market in the North West capital is booming.

But whilst we’ve seen a series of new developments take shape, we’ve reach the point in the calendar when it’s time to look forwards rather than reflect. 2018 promises to be another intriguing year for landlords and property owners in and around Greater Manchester, and here we take a closer look at what to expect.

The tech boom has led to rising property prices in Manchester

Manchester has been subject to a digital tech boom that may continue to resonate for some time, with the likes of MediaCityUK in Salford Quays attracting big businesses and creating more jobs. Many startups are thriving throughout the region too, with hundreds of people moving to Manchester to pursue new careers.

The city has established itself as a true “Northern Powerhouse” during the past 12 months, with more properties created to appease the growing population and increased demand for residence. This, in turn, has led to a sharp rise in property prices.

From 2018 to 2022, house prices in the UK are tipped to grow by as much as 14.2% overall. The predicted figures for the North West alone however, are 18.1%. Manchester is booming to the point where demands for property are spilling out into surrounding regions including Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Knutsford, Prestwich and Hale.

International investment in “safe” UK property

Despite the sense of economic uncertainty spurred by Brexit talks and two Budget announcements in 2017, the UK property market will continue to attract plenty of attention from foreign investors throughout next year.

As the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester remains one of the main cities of focus for international investment. Overseas financiers recognise this market as safe, dependable and profitable – seizing the chance to purchase property before prices skyrocket through 2018 and beyond.

Ultimately, this is a terrific time to invest in property in Manchester and the North West overall – both from a rental and sales perspective.

Summermere: Supporting the Manchester property market in 2018

Greater Manchester is perhaps the hottest property market in the UK at the moment, and looks set to stay this way moving into 2018. Striking now gives you every chance to take advantage of some potentially lucrative opportunities.

Summermere provide management and lettings services for anyone looking to make investments in buildings in the area. Our team can assist you with anything you might need, offering support and advice along the way.

Get in touch today on 0161 798 6633 to learn more about how we can help you enjoy a fantastic 2018 as the Manchester property market moves into exciting new territory.