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Apr142015

Coventry HMO landlord jailed

A Coventry HMO landlord who was making a fortune by cramming people into his letting in a Coventry house has been given a jail sentence for putting his tenants' lives at risk.

Gurmeet Singh's activities came to light when one of his tenants woke in the middle of the night to discover that a fire had broken out and alerted the other residents.

Gurmeet Singh, owner of the letting in Ansty Road, Wyken, Coventry, pleaded guilty at the crown court in Leamington to eight charges of breaching fire safety regulations.

Singh, 66, of Heath Road, Stoke, Coventry, was jailed for nine months after also pleading guilty to a further offence of obstructing a fire inspector following the incident,

As reported by the Coventry Telegraph Judge Alan Parker said Singh had acted out of greed, making up to £4,000 a month out of the 16 occupants. He also ordered Singh to pay the West Midlands Fire Service's costs of £7,436.70 within two months.

Mark Jackson, prosecuting for the Fire Service, told the Coventry Telegraph:

"The case is concerned with numerous fire safety breaches at a property owned by the defendant which was being used as a house in multiple occupancy."

The fire had started in the ground-floor kitchen caused by a faulty fridge-freezer, which filled the kitchen and hallway with thick black toxic smoke.

But by the time the fire-fighters arrived at 3.15am it had been put out by a neighbour who tackled it with a hose. With interest rates steadfastly refusing to rise, people are looking elsewhere for opportunities to invest their savings. One popular opportunity is the rental property market, you either get a mortgage on a property and then rent the property out, thus paying the mortgage. With property holding its value nicely, it's an opportunity offering a degree of security whilst offering decent returns on your investment. However, its not without its pitfalls. The following link offers answers to questions such as Does A Buy To Let Owner Need Landlord Insurance?.By then the Fire Brigade found a number of people on the drive, three of them suffering from smoke inhalation.

The house was not fitted with fire alarms, but fortunately for the other residents a woman living in a ground-floor room who had woken with a "feeling that something was wrong".

By that time the thick black smoke had already reached the stairs, which were the only way out for tenants living on the first floor and in an attic room.

The woman who...

was the hero of the hour in this case, said she was paying £400 a month rent for her room and there were a total of 16 people living in nine rooms: in the house, the loft and the garage, which had also been converted into sleeping accommodation.

Mr Jackson, the Fire Officer's inspection revealed 'a catalogue of fire safety breaches."

As well has having no hard wired fire alarm the "HMO", which had no license for multi-occupancy, had no fire doors, no fire blanket in the kitchen and no other means of escape for people on the upper floors.

Crucially, the front door was locked by a deadlock which meant, in the event of a fire, occupants "having to hunt round a smoke-filled room for a key."

When questioned after the incident Singh claimed the house had been let to a single family.

Judge Parker observed that Singh would have been making between £3,500 and £4,000 a month from the nine occupied rooms.

Jailing Singh, Judge Parker had said:

"The force of the prosecution case has always been that the defendant was making a very considerable profit from his defaults.

"I am entirely satisfied the amount of money he was receiving was substantially more than he is prepared to admit. He has continued to lie throughout."

©LandlordZONE® - legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/coventry-hmo-landlord-jailed

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Apr142015

Track and Register Rental Losses

Track and Register Rental Losses

Aside from the fact that scrutinising costs will enable you to reduce business expenditure, there is another excellent reason for keeping a very close eye on where your money is going.

Tracking income and expenditure is necessary from a tax perspective. When the time comes to submit your annual tax return, you will need to itemise all of your property expenses and income so your tax liability can be calculated.

The good thing about business expenses is that they can be used to off-set any tax you owe, but if you are highly disorganised in your record keeping there is a very real chance that expenditure won't be accounted for and therefore not deducted from income. So the more legitimate business expenses you track and record, the lower your tax liability will be. With interest rates steadfastly refusing to rise, people are searching elsewhere for investment opportunities. One popular strategy is the rental property market, you either get a mortgage on a property and then rent the property out, thus paying the mortgage. With property holding its value nicely, it's a technique that offers a degree of security whilst still returning good returns on your investment. However, you need to be aware of potential problems. The following link has some answers to questions such as Does Direct Line Landlord Insurance Cover Buy-To-Let Properties?.You do need to be careful, however, that you know the difference between revenue expenses and capital expenses - capital expenses cannot be deducted against rental income. If in doubt about this, or any other aspect of landlord taxation, consult a property tax expert for advice.

If your business is relatively new or you have spent a lot of money renovating one of your properties, there may come a point where expenditure cancels out any rental profits made and your business records a loss....

Obviously this means your tax bill will be nil, which is fantastic, but don't forget that any losses can also be carried forward and used to offset your tax liability moving forward.

Benefit

Tracking and registering your rental losses is good business practice. If you fail to record any losses you make and don't register them, you will end up paying HMRC more tax that you need to - Ouch!

Amer Siddiq

Track all your rental losses with Landlord Vision and stay one step ahead of your tax return. Click here to learn more.

©LandlordZONE® - legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/industry-expert-guest-writer/amer-siddiq/track-and-register-rental-losses

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Apr142015

Prince Andrew's Sunninghill Park in Berkshire mansion has been left to rot and decay

12-bedroom Sunninghill Park in Berkshire, which is only around 30 years old, is now under Heathrow flight path

Dubbed SouthYork because it resembles Southfork, the ranch-house in TV's Dallas, it was sold for £15m in 2007

The Queen gave the mansion as a gift to the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson after marriage in 1986

Duchess of York lived there with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie following the divorce in 1996, but moved out in 2006

Since then it has fallen into disrepair and the council gave permission for it to be demolished nine months ago

By Martin Robinson

Published: 15:32 GMT, 7 October 2014 | Updated: 12:57 GMT, 8 October 2014

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This dilapidated mansion is the last symbol of Prince Andrew's failed marriage to Sarah Ferguson and has been left to decay seven years after the prince sold it for £15million.

To make matters worse the grand country house gifted by the Queen to her second son as a wedding gift is now under the Heathrow flight path where planes pass over it every few minutes.

12-bedroom Sunninghill Park in Berkshire, which is only around 30 years oFld, is a shadow of its former splendour and now has broken windows and boarded-up entrances.

Dubbed SouthYork because it resembles Southfork, the ranch-house in TV's Dallas, the Duke of York sold it to Kazakh businessman Timur Kulibayev in 2007. 

Scroll down for video  

Royal ruin: 12-bedroom Sunninghill Park in Berkshire, which is only around 30 years old, is a shadow of its former self and is now under the Heathrow flight path

Grand:  The house was designed by Sir James Dunbar-Nasmith, who also created a development on the Queen's Balmoral estate

All change: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson at the Berkshire site as it was built after their marriage. 30 years on they have split up and the once grand house sold off





Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson show off baby Eugenie (archive)

He paid more than £3million above the £12million asking price but since then it has become close to derelict and could be demolished after the local council gave permission nine months ago. 

Designed by Sir James Dunbar-Nasmith, who also created a development on the Balmoral estate, 'SouthYork' was given to Andrew after his marriage in 1986.

The Duchess of York lived on there with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie following the divorce in 1996, but moved out in 2006 and joined Andrew at his home Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

It was sold a year later but has become an expensive ruin and worse it is now being bombarded by noisy Jumbo jets coming in to land at Heathrow.  

Bosses at the airport recently switched the flight-path for incoming aircraft

Former glory: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's crumbling marital home was not always a blot on the landscape

Gift: 'SouthYork' was given to Andrew by the Queen after his marriage to Sarah Ferguson in 1986 but less than 30 years on it has fallen into disrepair and due for demolition

Compounded: Not only has the house become decrepit and unloved it is now under the Heathrow flight path, which has sparked fury among locals

Mossed over: The mansion's tennis court is in a very poor state seven years after it was sold to a Kazakh businessman for £3million above asking price

Past life: Ms Ferguson lived on there with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie following the divorce in 1996, but moved out in 2006

The new flight-path is part of a trial started by the National Air Traffic Services in August which will last five months. With interest rates stuck firmly in the gutter, investors are searching elsewhere for opportunities to invest their savings. One particular strategy is the buy-to-let market, you or if you have the funds available you buy a property and then get an income from the rent. With property holding its value nicely, it's an opportunity that offers a degree of security whilst offering good returns on your investment. However, its not without its pitfalls. The following link offers answers to questions such as
Does Direct Line Landlord Insurance Cover Multiple Properties?.The experiment is also to be repeated next year.

An online petition set up by villagers in Ascot to stop the trial had today reached 5,500 signatures.

Neighbours told how the latest blight on the once grand mansion saw planes cruising over every two minutes, as low as 5,000 feet, with noise levels of 78 decibels being recorded.

'It's terrible - huge jumbo jets fly right over our rooftops and it's so, so noisy,' said one neighbour, who declined to be named.   

In December last near the current owner was granted planning permission tor replace the former royal home with a larger six bedroom house, with a further eight bedrooms for staff.

The new design, that was created by architects Hok, will include a family living room, drawing room, formal dining room, study and sitting rooms for children and the master suite.

A 25 metre indoor swimming pool to the south of the house to replace the current outdoor pool.

The planning permission granted by Bracknell Forest Borough Council expires in December 2016 if work has not begun on the new property.

Another resident, who described the noise from the planes as 'hellish' said of the plans for the Duke and Duchess's former home: 'We thought it might be happening this summer but obviously not. We've heard nothing since the planning application was submitted.

'It's going to be good if it goes because the history goes with it. It had lovely grounds and staff but it was never a place of great beauty.'

 

 

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Apr142015

Jim Mellon: Now is the time for Britons to buy European property

Entrepreneur and investor Jim Mellon has reportedly amassed a fortune of £850m by making the right calls and identifying various key trends or "money fountains".

He built his reputation after making spectacular amounts during Russia's transformation in the 1990s and more recently has seen his bold views on biotech pay off. Sometimes called Britain's answer to Warren Buffett, he co-authored Cracking the Code three years ago, which correctly predicted biotech investments would take-off.

In a new series of video interviews with Telegraph Money, he shares his views on the best investments today, how he built his fortune and his worst investment mistakes.

Mr Mellon, who founded fund manager Charlemagne Capital in the Nineties and today has various interests including his own investment company Burnbrae, based in the Isle of Man, correctly called the slump in the euro a year ago ("my Jack Russell could have forecast the euro would fall") and explains why now is great time to buy property in northern Europe, and even Spain.

His calls don't always come on, having seen the value of his German property portfolio slide in the 2007/08 property crash.

The themes of his new book, Fast Forward, focus on how younger people can prepare for the quickening pace of disruption in the world, and how investors can profit.

- One country you haven't thought of - where your pound now goes 30pc further

- Why tomorrow's expats should choose Germany over Spain



Jim Mellon at launch of Isle of Man Aircraft Register - VisualMedia

o Read a full interview with Jim Mellon in this Saturday's Daily Telegraph Your Money section. With interest rates steadfastly refusing to rise, investors are looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. One particular strategy is the rental property market, you either get a mortgage on a property and then rent the property out, thus paying the mortgage. With property prices still rising, it's a technique offering a degree of security whilst offering good returns on your investment. Sadly, you need to be aware of potential problems. The following link has some answers to questions such as Is Direct Line Landlord Insurance OK For Buy To Let Property.He will be speaking at the Master Investor Conference on Saturday April 25 masterinvestor.co.uk

Save money on overseas property with a currency specialist - The pound recently hit a seven-year high agaisnt the euro - which could help make your property dreams become a reality - Find out more

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/669362/s/448ef03e/sc/7/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cfinance0Cpersonalfinance0Cinvesting0C11480A9570CJim0EMellon0ENow0Eis0Ethe0Etime0Efor0EBritons0Eto0Ebuy0EEuropean0Eproperty0Bhtml/story01.htm

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Apr142015

Location, Location, Location.

A phrase you often hear bandied around in property circles is "location, location, location" but have you ever thought about what it actually means? We're told that location is the key to good property investing but what sort of location should we be looking for?

Well, in my opinion the answer to that depends on why you are investing and what you are hoping to achieve.

Broadly speaking, there are two reasons why an investor will buy property - either for income or for capital appreciation. Of course many investors may aspire to a mix of both but will usually have a leaning one way or the other.

Unless an investor is buying with cash, in other words with no finance or with low gearing, he or she will need to be aware of yield. This is true whether they are buying for income or capital appreciation. If they are not paying wholly cash, they will implicitly be using finance. At the very least, in those circumstances, an investor will be looking to cover the costs of the finance and the other costs of holding the investment, such as management, insurance, etc.

Having said that, some investors will happily use "negative gearing" - where they contribute from their own resources to subsidise a non self-funding investment. But they will only do this if they have a positive outcome in mind - such as the anticipation of exceptional capital gains, or a future income flow, so that the future gains more than compensate for the earlier losses.

Now, in broad terms, some locations have good prospects (long term) of capital appreciation, others are better for high yielding properties. So, empowered by the knowledge of what they are trying to achieve, you'd think that an investor would need only to seek the location where they will find "their type" of property.

Looked at this way it would be understandable if you assumed that the process of choosing an investment is based on scientific principles, and that being successful depends solely on understanding numbers....

However, it is at this point we have to add one last variable which is hard, if not impossible, to predict - and that is the investor's attitude towards risk.

I have mentioned in other articles that investors need to ensure that they don't allow emotion to influence their buying decisions. This can be hard but most investors, if they think about what they "feel" about a particular property and why, will be able to recognise when a concern is objective or whether they have strayed into the subjective.

Assessing one's own attitude towards risk and the reasons behind those feelings is not so easy.

Let's look at an example. With interest rates stuck firmly in the gutter, investors are searching elsewhere for investment opportunities. One popular opportunity is the buy-to-let market, you or if you have the funds available you buy a property and then get an income from the rent. With property prices still rising, it's a technique that offers a degree of security whilst offering decent returns on your investment. However, its not without its pitfalls. The following link has some answers to questions such as Does Direct Line Landlord Insurance Cover A Single Property?.Making a buying decision that is heavily influenced by the fact that you don't particularly like the bathroom, or that you do particularly like the bathroom should be subservient to whether, for example, there is tenant demand in this area and how a potential tenant will feel about the bathroom. Most investors should be persuaded that their "emotional" views on the bathroom are irrelevant but it is harder, if not impossible, to do the same with their attitude towards risk.

In the next post we'll look at how we can remain objective in assessing an area for a prospective investment property.

Here's to successful property investing.

Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS

Chartered Surveyor, Author Property Investor

www.ThePropertyTeacher.co.uk

©LandlordZONE® - legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/industry-expert-guest-writer/peter-jones/location-location-location-2

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