Landlord’s Guide to Certifications

With so much to worry about, from marketing to maintenance, there’s often an information overload that can happen to new landlords, so we’ve put together this guide (and a growing series of free resources) to help you navigate the various responsibilities and obligations.


What certifications do landlords need?

The property sector has been increasingly regulated since the introduction of the Housing Act 1988 which made important changes to the rental system – including a change to all tenancies from January 1989 being either assured, or assured shorthold – this has progressed over the years to include a number of certificates and documents that a landlord needs in order to safely (for both parties) let a property. This includes:

Electrical safety certificates

Some are legal requirements, others just best practice, but there are a number of different electrical certificates that landlords should look into.

Electrical Visual Inspection

While not yet a legal necessity, annual inspection of a property’s electrics is best practice for the modern landlord, and is used to determine if a property is in compliance with BS7671 electrical safety standards. A visual electrical inspection and should form part of the end of any tenancy as a minimum.

Portable Appliance Testing

On occasion, where a property is subject to licensing, landlords will need to have additional portable appliance testing (PAT), but investment in an annual test of these appliance is advisable to minimise risks for both landlord and tenant – and can be performed at the same time as the visual electrical inspection.

Electrical Installation Condition Report

By law, all tenants are entitled to a copy of a property’s EICR before they occupy the property, and a copy of the report must be passed to the qualified person who completes the next report, while local housing authorities must be supplied with a copy within seven days of a request.

Landlords found in breach of their duty in this respect can be fined up to £30,000, making it potentially very expensive for landlords that fail to comply.

Who conducts these tests?

These tests should always be conducted by a trained professional. While there is no similar scheme to Gas Safe for electricians, members of organisations such as NICEIC and ELECSA are able to self-certify their work and are, therefore, one of the better options for situations such as this which require proof of safety.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

In order to let a property, it must meet the minimum energy efficiency standard (currently ‘E’). In addition, it is a requirement for landlords to supply a copy of the report (including the recommendations) to prospective tenants; landlords also face a fine of up to £200 per advert if they fail to include the property’s energy rating.

Who conducts these tests?

EPCs can only be issued by an accredited domestic energy assessor, these can be found (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) using the government portal, for landlords in Scotland, there is a separate service.

Fire safety measures

While there is no specific fire safety certificate, there are a host of rules that must be followed by landlords when looking to let a property. These include:

Who conducts these tests?

Unfortunately, there is no governing body or assessor that can assure your compliance with fire safety, instead it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that they are doing whatever they can to prevent fires. The London Fire Brigade does, however, have a useful guide to help landlords tick all of the necessary boxes.

Gas safety certificate

It is a legal requirement for landlords to ensure that all gas appliances conform with Part J, of the Building Regulations which must be assessed and issued a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate. Commonly referred to as a CP12, a landlord’s gas safety certificate is a document which must be provided to tenants by law (breeches of which are punishable by six months prison or a six thousand pound fine).

In addition to the initial certification (a copy of which should be kept for two years), an annual check-up should be conducted with a copy of the certificate supplied to the tenant within 28 days of the inspection.

Who conducts these tests?

Your gas safety certificate will need to be issued by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Gas Safe Register, which replaced CORGI in 2009 as the UKs gas registration body, operates a searchable online database of registered engineers, many of which will be able to offer the certification as a service.

Legionella risk assessment

Required at least bi-annually, a legionella risk assessment checks to see whether there is any risk to your water supply from the bacteria – which causes the potentially fatal legionnaires disease – to ensure that tenants are free from risk and that landlords don’t have to be worried about the possibility of being held legally accountable for any consequent problems.

Who conducts these tests?

While there is no legal requirement to have a professional undertake the assessment, the potential consequences of getting things wrong should cause landlords to think twice about testing themselves. However, as this is not illegal, landlords that believe they know the water-system well enough can find further information on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Proof of deposit protection

If you are letting a property using an assured shorthold agreement, you will need to place the deposit with one of three deposit protection schemes (we also have a guide covering inventory and deposit management) and your tenants are within their rights to request proof that this has been done – in fact, it is the landlords legal responsibility to provide this evidence within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Who provides this document?

Once you have chosen which of the three companies you will be using to keep the deposit for the duration of the tenancy, they will be able to provide you with the written evidence to supply to your tenant.

Final thoughts

While there’s a lot to consider when looking to manage a property, it is not impossible with a little research and effort. However, there are clear and often severe consequences for not complying with the various legal requirements and, for that reason, we always advise that you make absolutely certain that your certifications and documents are up to date and that you’ve covered all bases before you look to let your property.


Want help managing the various accreditations and certificates you’ll need to help let your property? Contact Us to speak to one of expert advisors and see what we can do to help take the stress out of managing your property portfolio.

Landlord’s Guide to Marketing a Property

All the way up to the early 2000s, a landlord could expect an advert in the local newspaper to deliver an appropriate tenant, but as their reach and readership declined, so too did their utility as a marketing channel for landlords. That leaves some new and established landlords with a lengthy learning curve to effectively market their rental property.


What is rental property marketing?

Rental property marketing is a combination of a number of skills and techniques, the main aim of which is to reduce the amount of time a rental property sits vacant by getting it in front of the right audience. This can include, but is not limited to:

In order to know how and where to market the property, however, there are important steps you need to take which we’ll tackle one by one.

Knowing your market

The first step to successfully marketing a rental property is knowing your market – not just the general area or city, but the ins-and-outs of the location of your property. In order to sell any product or service, it’s important to know as much as you can about it, and renting a property is no different. For that reason, you’ll need to consider the following:

Understanding what local tenants want

There are some commonalities with all people looking for accommodation and it’s important to know how many of those boxes your rental property ticks. Consider the following:

Using gross yield to calculate rental value

This is a fairly simple calculation in theory, you divide the average rental value by your property value – and that’s a useful indication of the gross yield you can expect for your property. You can also use the gross yield for an area to calculate a base rate for setting the rent for your property. There are plenty of places that have already done the calculations for you (we have most of the Wirral covered), but the raw data is also available from places like Home.co.uk and Zoopla.

While it’s not an exact science, and you will need to consider your monthly mortgage repayments, insurance, fees, repairs and maintenance and other property costs to ensure the rent you set will cover your outgoings, this calculation will give you an idea of where your property sits in the local market and allow you to set a competitive rent to ensure the best rates of occupancy.

Advertising your property

This can be tricky for new landlords – there are costs and platforms that will need to be navigated. The largest property portals, like Rightmove and Zoopla for example, do not deal directly with individual landlords, so you’ll need to pay for a third-party platform to add your property to one or both of them. Prices for these platforms cost between £30 and £150 and vary quite widely in what they offer in terms of the portals they deal with and the duration that an ad will be placed for.

Portals

In addition to deciding on which platform to use for this purpose, there are a few other things to consider:



Social media

In addition to portals, there’s social media – both organic and paid. For a lot of people, social media sites have replaced newspapers and news sites as the primary news source. That has the combined effect of making ads in local newspapers less expensive, but also of making social media an important channel for marketing rental properties.

Organic social media

While you might share your posts about your rental properties from your main profile, you’ll want to set up a designated account from which to post information about your properties. Not only does this keep your business and personal life separate, it keeps a clear timeline which allows prospective tenants to see the properties quickly without scrolling through posts which might be irrelevant.

Paid social media

This could be a guide in itself, but the important things to consider here are budget and audience control – it’s very easy to spend a lot of money on social media advertising without the proper targeting in place. The research you did on your local area will again come in handy here – you’ll know the demographic of the local area.

Most social platforms will allow you to target demographics specifically – based on age, interests and many other criteria. In addition, you should look to geofence the area in which your ad will appear – this means adding a ‘miles from postcode’ element to your ad targeting to prevent the ad being shown to irrelevant audiences nationally or further afield which will quickly eat through your budget.

Final thoughts

Although we’ve tried to offer enough information to get you going, marketing your own property can be a tough ask, so we’d encourage anyone looking to do so to look to one of the many landlord message boards for advice before making the commitment (and don’t wait until you have a vacant property to start thinking about it!).

Needing (or wanting) to market your property will often mean that you’ve decided to take the project on in full – so think about the other aspects you might have overlooked, like reference checks, contracts, deposit schemes, epc, gas safe and other certifications you need to legally let a property. Marketing is one of the trickier aspects of letting a property, but it’s far from the only one, so don’t open yourself up to legal problems by neglecting the rest.


Need a little help marketing your property, or looking for someone to ease the pressure of managing your property portfolio? Contact Us to see how we can help you take the stress out of letting your properties.

A Landlord’s Guide to Inventory & Deposit Management

If there’s one thing that’s likely to sour an otherwise great relationship, it’s the end of a tenancy and the assessment of inventory and any possible deductions from a deposit. Years of positive interaction can be destroyed by misunderstandings or misconceptions, so we’re hopefully going to solve some of those problems here.


What is Inventory & Deposit Management?

While inventory management and deposit management are two separate things, at Wirral Homes, we consider them to be so interconnected that we combine our service to include both – a deposit is there to secure a landlord’s property and inventory against damage during the course of a tenancy agreement, so it makes sense to treat the management of inventory and of a tenant’s deposit as one thing with two aspects.

As such, we ensure that inventory is properly documented and assessed at the beginning and end of a tenancy and that the deposit is secured in a registered scheme and that both the interests of the landlord and tenant are served to the best of our abilities.

For a landlord looking to deal with such things for themselves, however, you would need to take each one separately.

How to Properly Manage Your Inventory as a Landlord

Whether you provide a furnished or unfurnished property, there will still be ‘inventory’ which should be reviewed before and after a tenancy. This includes making a record of things such as (but not limited to):

Again, this list is far from exhaustive, and a full inventory report can take some time to properly compile. However, a well conducted review of inventory (with the tenant present if at all possible, or by an impartial third party if not), which is then distributed to all stakeholders, can prevent any costly and stressful disputes at the end of a tenancy.

The important thing here is clarity and transparency. By ensuring that the tenant is aware that the inventory is their responsibility and that they are satisfied that damage to the inventory beyond the level of reasonable wear and tear will also be their responsibility, you can foster an open and honest relationship at the outset and prevent problems in the long-term.

How to Properly Manage a Deposit as a Landlord

As there’s a legal requirement for deposits to be secured with a government approved deposit registration scheme inside of a 30-day period from the tenant moving in and the deposit being received, it is always advised that a landlord should be well acquainted with the process in advance of letting a property in order to avoid possible penalties.

Available deposit protection schemes:

These schemes can operate in one of two ways – either they can hold the deposit for free, which is known as a ‘custodial’ scheme, or you or your letting agent can hold the deposit and pay the scheme a fee to insure it, this is known as an ‘insured’ scheme.

The purpose of these is to provide both the tenant and landlord with a level of assurance that the deposit will be treated fairly and that disputes can be resolved impartially, it also has the benefit of making it more difficult for problem landlords to withhold a tenant’s deposit without good cause.

What can a landlord deduct from a deposit?

The deposit should, at all times, be considered the tenant’s money – provided this is kept in mind, it’s difficult to go too far wrong. As for deductions, the word to consider in all applicable legal information is always ‘reasonable’.

As such, the following could be considered reasonable deductions at the end of a tenancy (though, similarly, this is not an exhaustive list).

Why Inventory & Deposit Management is Important

As mentioned throughout, the main reasons for the importance of proper inventory and deposit management are to maintain relationships and reduce the stress felt by all parties at the end of a tenancy. However, a secondary result is in reputation management – a tenant will always tell their friends and family about a poor experience, but when all efforts are taken to ensure fair treatment, you may find that a former tenant can be the perfect ambassador, willing to recommend you as a landlord – and word of mouth is still incredibly important even in the digital age.


Need some help to take the stress out of managing your property portfolio? Why not Contact Us today to see how we can help?

Does Your Property Require a Selective Landlord License?

While the additional paperwork required to let properties in selective licensing zones may put some people off investing, there is something to be said for purchasing a potential bargain in an area specifically reserved for landlords who, like you, genuinely want to let out great property in great condition and expect a great return.


What is Selective Landlord Licensing?

Introduced following The Housing Act of 2004, landlord licenses are sometimes required by local authorities for properties within a set area(s). The purpose of this selective licensing is to allow councils to monitor and improve the condition of local, private sector housing. Councils operating the licensing practice do so in order to put a stop to landlords renting their properties in an unacceptable conditions.

Selective Landlord Licencing Area in Birkenhead South

Birkenhead South

Despite its excellent location and nearby amenities, housing stock in the area highlighted by the boundaries of the selective licensing area had been deteriorating until the introduction of selective licensing. Now, as the area regenerates, landlords prepared to apply for and abide by the rules of the license will no doubt be pleased by the performance of their investment.

Property NumbersStreetPostcodePost Town
1-24AllAlexandra RoadCH43 4XXPrenton
1-40AllAlfred RoadCH43 4XX, CH43 4TXPrenton
12-24EvensBalls RoadCH43 5REPrenton
1-8AllBelmont RoadCH43 4TRPrenton
298-300EvensBorough RoadCH41 2RB, CH41 2UWBirkenhead
3-39OddsEuston GroveCH43 4TY, CH43 4TZPrenton
1-19OddsFrancis AvenueCH43 4XLPrenton
1-65OddsGrange MountCH43 4XNPrenton
4-58EvensGrange MountCH43 4XWPrenton
1-14 Thomas CourtAllGrange MountCH43 4XUPrenton
75-125OddsGrangeRoad WestCH43 4XB, CH43 4XFPrenton
90-140EvensGrangeRoad WestCH43 4XF, CH43 4XG, CH43 4XQPrenton
1-28AllGrange ViewCH43 4TN, CH43 4TLPrenton
1-20AllHawarden AvenueCH43 4XJPrenton
1-8AllHenthorne StreetCH43 4TAPrenton
1-21AllMerton PlaceCH43 4XDPrenton
1-27OddsOsborne RoadCH43 4XTPrenton
13-67OddsOxton RoadCH41 2QQ, CH41 2TLBirkenhead
44-150AEvensOxton RoadCH41 2TP, CH41 2TWBirkenhead
7-61OddsPark Road SouthCH43 4UN, CH43 4UWPrenton
1-23OddsQuarry BankCH43 4XXBirkenhead
1-22AllRadnor PlaceCH43 4XHPrenton
1-20AllRavenscroft RoadCH43 4XYPrenton
1-45AAllRidley StreetCH43 4TTPrenton
2-32AllShaw StreetCH41 2XEBirkenhead
1-33AllThe Lindens, Alfred RoadCH43 4YHPrenton
2-3AllTetbury StreetCH41 2XPBirkenhead
1-11AllTown ViewCH43 4YEPrenton
1-3OddsTown View MewsCH43 4YDPrenton
The SpireAllWestbourne RoadCH43 4TGPrenton
12-98AllWestbourne RoadCH43 4JE, CH43 4TF, CH43 4TG, CH43 4TQPrenton
32-42EvensWhetstone LaneCH41 2TFBirkenhead

Egerton-North-Licensing-Area

Egerton North

Within walking distance of Prenton Park, and in an area with easy access to good schools, great parks and other essentials, the Egerton North selective licensing area was only short of landlords that cared as much about the area as the local residents – something which has helped to begin the regeneration of the area since licensing was introduced.

Property NumbersStreetPostcodePost Town
575A-605OddsBorough RoadCH42 0HDBirkenhead
60-88EvensChurch RoadCH42 0LHBirkenhead
70-124EvensDerby RoadCH42 7HDBirkenhead
18-28EvensElm RoadCH42 0LXBirkenhead
3-149OddsElmswood RoadCH42 7HN, CH42 7HWBirkenhead
1-89AllFountain StreetCH42 7JD, CH42 7JHBirkenhead
2-23AllGreenbank RoadCH42 7JSBirkenhead
1-57AAllGreenway RoadCH42 0ND, CH42 0NGBirkenhead
4-156AllHarrowby RoadCH42 7HU, CH42 7HSBirkenhead
1-25AllHarrowby Road SouthCH42 7HYBirkenhead
1-28AllHeathbank RoadCH42 7LDBirkenhead
2-66AllNorth RoadCH42 7JE, CH42 7JGBirkenhead
1-43AllSt. Catherines GardensCH42 7JJBirkenhead
1-7AAllWalker MewsCH42 0NHBirkenhead
17-31OddsWalker PlaceCH42 0LZBirkenhead
4-10AEvensWalker StreetCH42 0LYBirkenhead
1-19 Walker HeightsEvensWalker StreetCH42 0LYBirkenhead
1-128AllWhitford RoadCH42 7HZ, CH42 7JABirkenhead

Egremont Promenade South

The Egremont Promenade South selective licensing zone includes the characterful red brick houses familiar to the area and neighbours some of the best performing areas on the Wirral. However, while poor maintenance and other housing stock issues have led to the introduction of the selective licensing, prospective investors will find fantastic value for money and great potential.

Property NumbersStreetPostcodePost Town
4-24EvensBlenheim RoadCH44 8BRWallasey
1-23AllChurch GardensCH44 8HFWallasey
2-48AllEgremont PromenadeCH44 8BG, CH44 8BQWallasey
Avenue CottageAllGreenwood LaneCH44 1DQWallasey
1-5 York CottagesAllGreenwood LaneCH44 1DQWallasey
2-132EvensKing StreetCH44 8AN, CH44 8AU, CH44 8AWWallasey
1-129 (exc. 73)OddsKing StreetCH44 0BY, CH44 0BZ, CH44 8ATWallasey
1-19AllKinglake RoadCH44 8BSWallasey
1-21AllMarsdenCH44 1EAWallasey
1-9OddsPoole RoadCH44 1EBWallasey
2-42EvensPoole RoadCH44 1EDWallasey
2-42EvensPooley CloseCH44 0FAWallasey
2AllRice LaneCH44 0AFWallasey
3-19OddsRudgrave PlaceCH44 0EJWallasey
2-8EvensRudgrave PlaceCH44 0EJWallasey
2-36EvensRudgrave SquareCH44 0FD, CH44 0ELWallasey
13-51OddsRudgrave SquareCH44 0ELWallasey
1-16AllSeabank AvenueCH44 1EHWallasey
2-18EvenSeabank RoadCH44 8BA, CH44 8BBWallasey
3-45OddsSeabank RoadCH44 0EE, CH44 8BAWallasey
1-32AllSt. Brides RoadCH44 8BNWallasey
1-21AllSt. Columbas CloseCH44 8EYWallasey
1-29AllSt. Elmo RoadCH44 8BLWallasey
2-24AllSt. Lucia RoadCH44 8BWWallasey
1-28AllSt. Vincent RoadCH44 8BJWallasey
3-17OddsTobin StreetCH44 8DFWallasey
1-21AllTrafalgar AvenueCH44 8BPWallasey
6-26EvensTrafalgar RoadCH44 0EAWallasey
11-73OddsTrafalgar RoadCH44 0DZWallasey
1-66OddsWright PlaceCH44 8BD, CH44 8BEWallasey

Egremont-South-License-Area

Egremont South

Between Seacombe, Liscard and and Wallasey, the Egremont South selective licensing area also includes Central Park and is within a reasonable walk from the ferry terminal for commuters to Liverpool. The area has huge potential and is beginning to realise it thanks to landlords willing to go the extra mile to improve the local housing stock.

Property NumbersStreetPostcodePost Town
1-42AllAlverstone RoadCH44 9AAWallasey
2-56EvensBirnam RoadCH44 9AX, CH44 9AYWallasey
1-15AllChurch CloseCH44 8HGWallasey
21-219OddsChurch StreetCH44 8AF, CH44 8AGWallasey
1-11AllChurchmeadow CloseCH44 8HQWallasey
33-75OddsClarendon RoadCH44 8EJWallasey
44-90EvensClarendon RoadCH44 8EPWallasey
1-16AllDalehurst CloseCH44 8AEWallasey
2AAllDrayton RoadCH44 9EQWallasey
1-11AllElmbank StreetCH44 9BGWallasey
49-87OddsFalkland RoadCH44 8EWWallasey
128-158EvensFalkland RoadCH44 8ERWallasey
1-12AllGorsebank StreetCH44 9BQWallasey
2-50EvensHalville RoadCH44 9AZWallasey
67-107OddsLiscard RoadCH44 8AEWallasey
62A-84EvensLiscard RoadCH44 8AAWallasey
South LodgeAllLiscard RoadCH44 0BSWallasey
1-38AllLumley RoadCH44 9ABWallasey
1-77AllNorthbrook RoadCH44 9AP, CH44 9ARWallasey
1-9AllOakbank StreetCH44 9BEWallasey
1-8AllPark AvenueCH44 9DZWallasey
1-77AllPark RoadCH44 9EA, CH44 9EBWallasey
1-46AllParksideCH44 9AH, CH44 9AJWallasey
117-153OddsPoulton RoadCH44 9DFWallasey
102-122EvensPoulton RoadCH44 9DJWallasey
1-17AllRedfield CloseCH44 8HYWallasey
2-44AllRivington RoadCH44 9AN, CH44 9AWWallasey
1-22AllTrentham RoadCH44 9EGWallasey
1-22AllWithington RoadCH44 9BHWallasey

Seacombe-Library-Licensing-Area

Seacombe Library

The Seacombe Library selective licensing area is one which offers great transport connections, situated near the A59 and with rail connections to Liverpool and Chester nearby – as well as the ferry terminal. With the help of selective licensing, the area could quickly become a highly desirable place to rent and to own property.

Property NumbersStreetPostcodePost Town
4-14EvensAddington StreetCH44 9DSWallasey
2-68EvensAlbemarle RoadCH44 6LXWallasey
71-103OddsBell RoadCH44 8DPWallasey
78-108EvensBell RoadCH44 8DPWallasey
8-64EvensBelle Vue RoadCH44 6JYWallasey
136-192AllBorough RoadCH44 6NH, CH44 6NEWallasey
2-77AllBrougham RoadCH44 6PW, CH44 6PNWallasey
2-24AllBulkeley RoadCH44 9DRWallasey
1AllClarence RoadCH44 9ESWallasey
1-49OddsEdith RoadCH44 6LGWallasey
1-17OddsEthel RoadCH44 6LRWallasey
2AllEthel RoadCH44 6LRWallasey
1-46AllFlorence RoadCH44 6LE, CH44 6LFWallasey
1-10AllGladstone RoadCH44 6JZWallasey
1-19OddsGlenburn RoadCH44 6PYWallasey
6-57AllHatherley StreetCH44 6RAWallasey
1-13OddsHood StreetCH44 6LSWallasey
2-36AllIlchester RoadCH44 9DPWallasey
1-63OddsKenilworth RoadCH44 6QGWallasey
2-42AEvensLiscard RoadCH44 6LN, CH44 6LWWallasey
3-37OddsLiscard RoadCH44 6LTWallasey
1-45AllMainwaring RoadCH44 9DN, CH44 9DWWallasey
4-38EvensNaples RoadCH44 7HLWallasey
1-73OddsPoulton RoadCH44 6LB, CH44 9DDWallasey
22-58EvensPoulton RoadCH44 9DQWallasey
1-71OddsRappart RoadCH44 6QDWallasey
54-106EvensRappart RoadCH44 6QFWallasey
1-5OddsWesley GroveCH44 6QBWallasey
1-61AllWickham CloseCH44 6RD, CH44 6RBWallasey

Tranmere-Laird-Licensing-Area

Tranmere Lairds

The Tranmere Lairds selective licensing zone is next door to central Birkenhead centre, has excellent transport links and features properties of multiple sizes and huge potential. With the Tranmere area selected to help improve the local housing options, there is huge potential for landlord’s willing to help out to make great returns.

Property NumbersStreetPostcodePost Town
2-178AllArgyle Street SouthCH41 9BX, CH41 9BY, CH41 9BZ, CH41 9DABirkenhead
Central Station House35Borough RoadCH41 2XSBirkenhead
1A-53OddsClifton RoadCH41 2SE, CH41 2SFBirkenhead
1-8 Clifton CourtAllClifton RoadCH41 2SEBirkenhead
9-16 Venture CourtAllClifton RoadCH41 2SEBirkenhead
1-7AllFairviewCH41 9EHBirkenhead
16-28EvensFrodsham StreetCH41 9DNBirkenhead
1-18AllGreen LaneCH41 9AGBirkenhead
1-23AllHelmingham GroveCH41 9EYBirkenhead
1-5AllHillside CloseCH41 9HUBirkenhead
34-60AllHillside RoadCH41 9EQ, CH41 9ERBirkenhead
1-11AllHinderton CloseCH41 9HEBirkenhead
2-165AllHinderton RoadCH41 9AA, CH41 9AB, CH41 9AD, CH41 9AE, CH41 9AFBirkenhead
1-38AllHolborn HillCH41 9DJBirkenhead
1-86AllHolt HillCH41 9DG,CH41 9DH, CH41 9DQBirkenhead
3-23OddsHolt Hill TerraceCH42 5LBBirkenhead
12-82EvensHolt RoadCH41 9ESBirkenhead
2-40EvensLeighton RoadCH41 9DZBirkenhead
5-55OddsLeighton RoadCH41 9DUBirkenhead
1-31AllMarquis StreetCH41 9DUBirkenhead
2-48EvensOld Chester RoadCH41 9AUBirkenhead
45-69OddsOld Chester RoadCH41 9AWBirkenhead
Station House1Old Chester RoadCH41 9ANBirkenhead
1-12AllOlive CrescentCH41 9DRBirkenhead
8-48EvensOlive MountCH41 9DPBirkenhead
31-37OddsOlive MountCH41 9DLBirkenhead
The Willows39Olive MountCH41 9DPBirkenhead
1-2AllPearson RoadCH42 5LABirkenhead
1-64AllPembroke CourtCH41 9BJBirkenhead
1-4939Queen StreetCH41 9ASBirkenhead
1-73 Vincent Naughton CourtAllRodney StreetCH41 2ZABirkenhead
19-182AllRodney StreetCH41 2RG, CH41 2RN, CH41 2RQ, CH41 2SB, CH41 2SDBirkenhead
4 Cromwell RowAllWarrington StreetCH41 9ALBirkenhead
1-2 Marquis MewsAllWarrington StreetCH41 9APBirkenhead
1-19 Mersey ViewAllWarrington StreetCH41 9ARBirkenhead
1-8 Priory ViewAllWarrington StreetCH41 9AXBirkenhead
1-19 River ViewAllWarrington StreetCH41 9AQBirkenhead
1-10AllWestbury StreetCH41 9DTBirkenhead
101-135 Vincent Naughton CourtOddsWhetstone LaneCH41 2TE, CH41 9DEBirkenhead

Whether you’ve found your potential investment in one of the special licensing areas, it’s well worth noting that – despite the additional paperwork – these zones are in place specifically to improve the housing on offer. For that reason, the inconvenience initially should be hugely outweighed by the gains possible if all landlords in the area look to do their part in making a difference to the local community.


Need help attaining a selective landlord license? Why not speak to one of our experts? Contact Us today.

Property Portfolio Management Guide

By carefully managing a property portfolio, or contracting the services of a property portfolio management company to do so for you, a landlord can improve profitability. This is achieved not only through portfolio expansion, but also by improving rental yields, increasing capital growth, minimising vacancy time and overheads.


What is property portfolio management?

Property portfolio management, as you would imagine, is more than a single thing – it’s a set of tasks which, if performed regularly and well, can improve the profitability of any property portfolio. These tasks include, but are not limited to:

Expansion

Whether it’s via a landlord injecting money into his portfolio, or through leveraging the equity of existing properties to land a bargain, expansion is a key method of improving profitability for owners of property portfolios. By spreading investment either across a range of property markets, locations or classes, a diversification of the portfolio through expansion can help to minimise risks and improve overall performance.

Review and Optimisation

Regular review of property portfolios can help landlords take advantage of cost-saving options, identify areas of maintenance, refurbishment or improvement that could improve desirability, add value and improve rental yields. While time consuming, such regular reviews – at least at the end of every tenancy – can help ensure that each property is performing as well as it can while identifying and tackling any problems leaving a property performing less well than it should.

Property Management

In addition to the big picture view, there is also the everyday maintenance and management of individual properties such as:

Obviously, the difficulty of these tasks grows exponentially as your property portfolio grows and can quickly outstrip the capacity of a single person to manage them.

How to manage a property portfolio

As the number of tasks grows quickly with each additional property, there has been a boom in the availability of portfolio management software. For a landlord wanting to manage their portfolio themselves, the best option may be to invest in one of these digital applications. With prices ranging from free to around £400 per year, it’s well worth considering the implications of trusting software with sensitive data and due diligence should be undertaken to ensure that any software used is safe.

Most software will tend to offer help with:

What you will no doubt notice here is that much of the assistance offered by such programs is organisational, so don’t expect miracles if you’ve decided to undertake your own portfolio management – however, in most cases, it will beat the numerous spreadsheets you’ll need to achieve the same organisation boost otherwise.

You can find an introduction to some of the more popular management platforms here.

Should you manage your own property portfolio?

This will depend upon how much time you have to devote to management. As stated, despite misconceptions to the contrary, a properly managed property portfolio is far from passive income. You will need to conduct regular reviews, negotiations, marketing tasks and more – even if your properties require no work and the perfect tenants happen to knock on your door, there are plenty of legal obligations and certificates which will expire and need to be renewed.

That’s not to say that a personally managed portfolio is an impossibility – it is perfectly achievable for a portfolio of one or two rental properties to be managed part time or in addition to a full-time job, but once a portfolio grows too far beyond this, landlords will need to face up to a decision between taking on the management full time, or enlisting the services of a letting agent.


If you’d like to discuss your options with one of our experts, or have reached the point at which a letting agent is likely your best choice to maximise profitability in the long-term, Contact Us today.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Letting Agent

From cutting down on wasted time to providing valuable connections with trusted third parties, a good letting agent is an asset, but are there more pros than cons for you? That’s something only you can decide – but we hope we can help with that decision, too.


We’ll get to the pros and cons in a moment, but before we do, we’ve put together a quick list to help you decide whether you should even be considering either self-management or a letting agent. We find that these five things are often enough to help landlords decide whether either option is viable for them to even consider researching further.

Should you consider a letting agent?

You should consider managing your property if…You should consider a letting agent if…
You have the time to deal with your tenant’s queries, problems and disputes up to and including eviction.You would prefer someone else is available to answer tenant queries and resolve problems up to and including eviction.
You have a register of professionals (electricians, plumbers, cleaners etc.) that can assist when required.You need access to qualified and trusted professionals that can help resolve problems with your property.
You are up to date and can remain up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations that affect landlords.You would rather somebody else was responsible for keeping up-to-date and keeping your property up-to-date with regulations.
You have been a landlord previously and are aware of the various pressures and responsibilities it involves.You are new to being a landlord and require professional assistance while you get up to speed with requirements.
You are letting property near where you live, allowing you to conduct viewings and inspections.You are letting property a distance from your own that would make in person attendance inconvenient.

The next thing for a landlord to do if they have decided that a letting agent may be an option for them is to ask the following four questions of a few different letting agents to ensure that they would be working from the best possible list of options.

The next thing for a landlord to do if they have decided that a letting agent may be an option for them is to ask the following four questions of a few different letting agents to ensure that they would be working from the best possible list of options.

Four important questions to ask your letting agent

The pros and cons of using a letting agent

ProsCons
The vetting that agents are able to undertake is often more thorough than a landlord acting alone, and referencing procedures attract reliable tenants.Letting agents – and the pros opposite – come at a price. While managing your own properties is free, there will typically be a percentage charged by letting agents to manage your property for you.
Administration of the secure deposit protection scheme is taken care of without you having to worry.If there are problems with your property – from legal filings to evicting a tenant from a property, it will mean extra administration, paperwork and possibly cost for the landlord.
Agents are able to deal with the paperwork generated by your property and ensure records are kept properly and up to date.Many letting agents, if they arrange repair work on your behalf, may charge an arranging fee on top of the actual repair costs – while this is often nominal, it is something that should be considered.
Rent for your property is collected (and chased for) on your behalf.Some letting agents may apply additional charges to third party services – this can include things like organising Energy Performance Certificates, Gas Safety Certificates and legal documentation. While this is not always the case, it can be worth asking whether these charges will be made and how much they will be.
Letting agents will deal with day-to-day management and maintenance issues – often without the landlord needing to be involved.
As experts in both their field and their local areas, letting agents can often achieve a higher rent.
Letting agents have to be up-to-date with current legislation affecting landlords and can ensure your properties operate in accordance with them.
In case of disputes and complaints, you have an objective, impartial mediator between you and your tenants.
Letting agents are experienced in mediation and can often prevent drawn out and expensive disputes.
In the event that eviction is required, letting agents know the correct legal procedures.
Letting agents can reduce workload and stress of letting a property.
Some letting agents can offer legal, insurance and tax advisory services.

The long and short of much of the decision-making process in this area is going to be the value you place on your time. If you are looking at becoming a full-time landlord, or are sufficiently well connected to minimise the impact that being a landlord will have on your time, then a letting agency may not be required. If, however, you will be letting a property as a secondary endeavour and hoping for passive income, then you will definitely need to consider an agent.


The average letting agent will earn the money they cost, the best letting agents are an asset to your property, and will deliver value in the rental price they can achieve, the savings they can make in maintenance and repair and in the time and stress reduction they will provide you. Want to know more about engaging a letting agent, or to ask us some questions? Contact Us today!

7 Things to Be on The Look Out for in 2021

There are a number of things to be on the lookout for in the coming year – some we can’t do anything about, such as the pandemic and Brexit, but there are some we can, and that’s where we need to keep on top of things.


Stamp Duty Holiday

While there may be additional measures put in place to counter economic issues, the present stamp duty holiday is set to end, meaning that all landlords hoping to take advantage of the current 3% flat rate (in England, on purchases up to £500,000) need to ensure that their purchases are completed prior to the March 31st cut off.

End to Mortgage Holidays

If the latest lockdown – which increasingly looks set to last until at least March – is likely to cause issues with your payments, or those of your tenants, then you have until March 31st to apply for a mortgage holiday:

Deposit Protection Schemes

There will be new rules for deposit protection from April 2021. With possible fines up to £30,000 for landlords and agents failing to join one of the six approved schemes which hold funds in accounts registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, landlords will need to ensure they take this particular change extremely seriously.

End of ‘no reason’ eviction

While consultation began on section 21 notices back in 2019, there is likely to be an outcome one way or the other on the ability for landlords to end ‘rolling tenancies’ with no reason required and a two month notice period. Although the Renters’ Reform Bill has been held up indefinitely by the pandemic, the vaccine rollout could see the bill make some progress in 2021 – the bill also includes the possibility of a moveable ‘lifetime deposit’ which would follow tenants from one property to the next in place of security deposits and the opening up of the rogue landlord database to the public.

Overseas Surcharge

An additional 2% surcharge will need to be paid on purchases by overseas investors from April of 2021 (in addition to the regular by-to-let surcharge). Any non-UK residents – those who have spent fewer than 183 days resident in the UK in the year prior or in the after the purchase – will be required to pay this additional charge on all purchases.

Right to Rent Uncertainty

Current rules on the requirements for landlords regarding the ‘right to rent’ are set to expire on the 30th of June 2021 with no clear guidance as to what will replace them. While we can hope that the new requirements will be made clear soon, the only thing landlords can do in the meantime is continue to check that tenants have the right to live in the UK using valid passports and ID cards until that happens.

Electrical Safety Rules

From the 1st of April existing tenancies will also be subject to the new guidance on electrical safety – with all properties needing their electrical installations inspected at least every five years and tenants provided with a copy of the report within 28 days of completion. While new tenancies have been subject to the terms since July 2020, landlords will need to ensure that all of their existing tenancies are in line with the rules by the end of March.


2021 is still shrouded somewhat by the joint uncertainties of Covid-19 and Brexit, but there are definite hurdles that landlords will need to be aware of throughout the year – and if you’d like some help navigating them, then you can Contact Us for expert advice.

Landlord Legal Requirements – What You Need To Know

With the rental market booming, there are a lot of new landlords taking their first steps in the business – so we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to help out.


Gas Safety Certificate

A valid Gas Safety Certificate must be obtained for all rented residential accommodation. A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (CP12) must be provided to the tenants at the outset of the tenancy. Failure to do so may prohibit service of the prescribed Section 21 notice should it be required. If no certificate is provided, a County Court may argue that a landlord cannot file a Section 21 notice while the tenancy continues to exist. In addition to the initial certificate, annual check ups must be performed, and tenants must receive the replacement certificate within 28 days. Wirral Homes can arrange a Gas Safety Certificate on a landlord’s behalf if requested.

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

Landlords hoping to rent out a property in England are required to have an electrical inspection conducted prior to the commencement of a tenancy. This report on the condition of the property is known as an EICR and must be performed by a qualified person. Pre-existing tenancies will need to have an EICR performed before the 1st of April 2021 and, from that point on, ECIRs need to be issued to a tenant prior to their moving in. We recommend that landlords obtain a new ECIR at the beginning of each tenancy (although visual inspections may suffice) and Wirral Homes can organise an EICR or visual inspection on your behalf.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Any property which is to be let requires a valid EPC. These certificates are valid for a period of 10 years, and the property needs to be reassessed for a new certificate. We recommend that, if you have made any energy efficiency improvements to the property, a new EPC should be sought to reflect the new standard of performance. In addition to this, landlords of properties with an EPC rating of F or G may not be able to let their properties. If you require an EPC but aren’t sure where to start, let us handle it for you.

Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There is a legal requirement for smoke alarms to be provided on every floor of a rental property, and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a solid fuel source.

Documentation: Tenant’s Deposit with Deposit Protection Scheme

The tenant’s deposit must be protected under one of the three approved tenancy deposit schemes. The prescribed documentation regarding this deposit must be given to the tenant within 30 days of a landlord receiving the funds. Security deposits are also limited to the equivalent to 5 weeks of rental value – something we can manage through our partner scheme.

Landlord License (if required)

In order to rent your property, you may need a landlord license from the local authorities. This is dependent on the property’s location. You can contact your local council for more information and, if you need help or advice you can rely on our inhouse legal department.

ICO Registered: Data Protection Compliance

Landlords must comply with General Data Protection Regulations by registering with the ICO. A privacy notice must be provided to tenants which outlines why the landlord is entitled to use the personal information provided by tenants, guarantors, referees, etc.

Legionella Assessment

Health and safety legislation requires that risk assessments for the legionella bacteria which can cause Legionnaires disease are taken. The assessments must identify and assess potential sources of exposure, and steps taken to prevent/control any risk that is identified – and for landlord’s that need help, Wirral Homes works with trusted professionals that can carry out the required inspections.

Right to Rent Guide

Upon starting a new tenancy, tenants must be provided an up to date copy of How to rent: the checklist for renting in England. Failure to do so will result in not being able to serve a valid Section 21 notice in England. Under the ‘Right to rent’ legislation landlords must ensure their tenants are not illegal immigrants and are consequently permitted to rent in this country. More details on this subject can be found on the governments website.

Furniture Fire Resistance Compliance

All furniture provided by the landlord must be fire resistant. The furniture must meet the fire resistance requirements laid out for furniture and furnishings in the Fire Safety Regulations Act of 1988.

Electrical Appliances

There is no requirement for annual checks (as with gas appliances) but the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations state that landlords must ensure that all electrical equipment and systems are safe, and maintained in a safe condition during the tenancy.

Coronavirus Government Measures

Landlords are required to adhere to the updated government guidelines regarding the Covid-19 outbreak. These measures cover a whole range of requirements from minimising health risks to assessing financial support.

Duty of Care

Rental properties must be fit for human habitation and in a good state of repair. Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants and failure to adhere to this obligation can lead to punishments.


While we’ve tried to be as thorough as possible, it bears noting that this blog is for information purposes only, and is not an exhaustive list. As we are not intending this guide to constitute legal or advice, or to be a legally binding document, we recommend you seek legal or professional advice before entering into any kind of tenancy agreement – and if you need help with this, you can Contact Us and our in-house legal team will do everything they can.


    Register For Available Property Updates

    Your Details

    What Property Are You Looking For?

    Areas Interested In
    Your Rental Budget