We Make the Investing Process as Simple as Possible
1. Choose your investment
We normally keep all our investors updated on current projects. The Liverpool units are all very much the same, whereby we invest in small one or two bed refurbished Victorian or Edwardian buildings. Cities like London and Birmingham are off-plan new builds.
After you have read through the Due Diligence and Cash Flow Analysis and have made your decision, we will email an initial reservation form for you to complete.
We will require your buying entity (personal, company or partnership, for example) and your contact details. Our advice is to keep it simple. The more complicated it becomes with trusts and non-standard structures, the more the costly and complex it can become to operate. As per FICA (Financial Intelligence Act) you are required to have a UK bank account and complete the UK Money Laundering Act form. The account is also necessary as a rental deposit account. A UK Limited company is very easy and quick to set up, however our accounting firm will be happy to assist should you wish. You will also need to pay the Sourcing Fee and Deposit at this stage.
- Legal Process Begins
We can introduce you to a solicitor or you are welcome to instruct your own. We use Donn & Co in Shropshire, who are an independent legal firm we have dealt with extensively over the years. Their fees are highly competitive and they will look after you and your interests during the process of purchasing. Donn & Co will mail you a client acceptance form, which you will need to sign and return to them via email.
There are also two contractual steps to buying.
The first is what the attorneys call “exchange of contracts”. This is when the seller’s attorney sends through the purchase contract and the report on the property. Donn & Co will go through the contract in great detail on your behalf, and will undertake a legal Due Diligence. Once you are happy with the contract report, the two attorneys will then exchange contracts. At this point, you are legally bound to buy the property. The second step occurs once the property is fully upgraded, when you will pay the remainder and “complete” on your investment. This is the day you get the key! (See below)
- Property Development
If construction and refurbishment work must be done (which is 90% of the time) then the developer will complete this within a certain time period. Once it is complete and has received building and council inspectors’ approval, the two attorneys will legally complete on the flat. The unit then becomes your property. You will receive your title deeds approximately two months later. Donn & Co will send you a copy and keep the originals in their office safe.
The rental company you use will be dependent on where you have invested in your property. In Liverpool our developer has opened his own rental company to deal with tenancy and day to day management, which gives more control over the tenanting process.
Once a tenant has been approved you will receive the lease to sign. The first rental cheque should be paid a month or so after that.
The cash flows we have shown you reflect the expenses deducted from the first month, therefore you may not see income for the first two months. These initial costs include the finders fees for the tenant, the 10% that the rental agent charges each month to collect the rent and the landlords license (if applicable – see point 6).
Please also remember that the tenant ordinarily pays water, gas and electricity as well as council taxes. However if your unit stands open for a period of time then you are liable for the council tax.
Rentals are not taken on by calendar month. They start at any day of the month and will be paid out pro rata around the 10th of each month. Escalation on rent is also very low each year. It normally increases according to inflation or when your tenant vacates and the new market level of rent clicks in.
In certain areas of the UK, you will require a landlord license which lasts 5 years and costs approximately £400, however in Liverpool they have got the license down to around £200. The licence is set up by the local council to regulate the buy-to-let market. As mentioned earlier, the license amount is included in the cash flows.
- Non Residents Landlord Exemption
If you are not based in the UK you will need to register as a Non Resident Landlord so that you are not taxed at the point of rental collection. This will only apply if you purchase in your own name. If you purchase in a limited company then it is run like a company. We have an independent accounting company, called Exceed Accounting, that we can recommend should you need accounting advice. Exceed are excellent and we use them for both our personal and business accounting needs.