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October, 2011
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UK Property Blog
Empty Dwelling Management Orders
12/7/2011 12:00:32 PM
Like many of us I have been watching Chanel 4’s series “The Great British Property Scandal” which is highlighting our need for more affordable housing. The program has been bombarding us with figures such as there are 1 million empty homes in the UK and 2 million families in the UK are in a need of a home, as well as highlighting government and local council mistakes of carrying out large scale compulsory order schemes that have destroyed communities and increased the UK housing problem.
 
Although compulsory order schemes have added to the problem, a large percentage of houses left empty are privately owned, in November 2010 Shelter Cymru called for councils to bring 26,000 empty privately-owned homes in Wales back into use. So what can be done to turn these properties into affordable family homes? The answer may be Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs).
 
What is an EDMO?
Wikipedia says an Empty Dwelling Management Order( EDMO’s) are a legal device used in England and Wales, which enable local authority to put an unoccupied property back into use as housing. EDMOs were created by the Housing Act 2004, with the relevant legislation coming into effect in mid-2006.
EDMO’s sound like a great solution for local authorities to take control of houses left empty and turn them around to create affordable social housing, but what I can’t believe that since they were introduced in 2006 only 50 EDMO’s have been instructed in the UK and only 3 have been granted in Wales.
However I have read today, which prompted me to create this post that Carmarthenshire council in Wales has used a Final Empty Dwelling Management Order (FEDMO) to gain temporary control of a property. 
Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) legislation allows councils to take over the management of empty residential properties with a view to agreeing with owners a plan to bring them back into occupation and a FEDMO is the final stage in the process which enables local authorities to take over management of an empty property for up to seven years enabling the property to be returned to a rentable standard
 
WebLetz & Movez is a Cardiff lettings agent and provider low cost, fixed price and transparent services to landlords and tenants across Cardiff and South Wales. Our letting agent solutions include:
·         £120 Tenant Finders Service
·         5% Property Letting Management Fee
·         Rent Guarantee   
WebLetz & Movez a Cardiff Letting Agent can be contacted via Email or by calling us on 0845 496 0000
Cardiff Landlord guide to Student Accommodation
12/6/2011 2:13:59 PM
It seems that 2011-12 academic year has just started, but now is the time to market your property for the 2012-13 academic year so as an experienced Cardiff lettings agent we wanted to share some of our experience and put together a helpful guide for landlords and property investors looking to the buoyant Cardiff student rental market and maximising your cash flow with House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) .
 
1.       Location, location, location
As with any property investment location is key. Cardiff boasts several academic institutions so finding a an existing House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) or a property for convertion close to one of the following shouldn’t be too hard:
·         Cardiff University (Invest in Roath & Cathays)
·         Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC) Llandaff campusa (invest in Llandaff, Canton&Gabalfa)
·         Cardiff Metropolitan Univesity (UWIC) Cyncoed campus (Llanedryn & Pentwyn)
·          Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Roath & Cathays)
·          University Hospital Wales (Heath, Gabalfa & Roath)
 
2.       Bathing & Sanitary
 
Make your HMO property more appealing to prospective student tenants by offering separate WC and if you can more than one shower/bathroom.
 
3.       Students are Social
 
Student property can be an excellent investment and can generate fantastic yields, but try to include a communal area. Some of our best performing student properties offer an open plan kitchen/living room where the student tenants can all relax together and watch a dvd on their flat screen tv.
 
4.       Broadband
 
Slow broadband equals unhappy tenants. Today’s students are forever tweeting or liking something or downloading music from iTunes, so broadband bandwidth and speed is VERY important to today’s student tenants. 
 
If you are providing broadband as part of the rental package make sure you have enough bandwidth for the number of tenants renting otherwise prepare for the constant moans and groans about broadband.
 
 
WebLetz is a letting agent in Cardiff and provider of information and landlord solutions across Cardiff and South Wales including:
 
·         £120 Tenant Finders Service
·         5% Property Letting Management Service
·         Rent Guarantee   
 
You can contact us via Email or telephone 0845 496 0000
Tenant Reference using Google
12/5/2011 12:14:35 PM
Landlords, you have done everything right so far you advertised your property, arranged viewings, checked the tenants credit history and taken previous landlord and employment references or you have paid a letting agent to do everything for you.
Now you can provide yourself with peace of mind by logging onto Google and you favourite social media sites to cross reference your new potential tenant. Earlier this year Facebook hit 30 million UK users and is now averaging 1 million new users a month, Twitter as roughly 15 million registered users in the UK and LinkedIn has 5 million UK users with over half a million of us using the site each day and let’s not forget Google+ which is growing from strength to strength had had acquired over 20 Million global users in a matter of weeks.
The Social Media explosion has made it easier than even to make sure everything you have been told by your potential tenant rings true. 
But what can be done to really delve into the world of your potential tenant? The answer is Social Media and search engines such as Google, by spending a few moments online armed with a search engine of choice and information such as a tenant’s name, location and employer details you can begin to really see if you are dealing with the” perfect tenant” or the “tenant from hell”.
So here are a few steps to online tenant stalking, I mean referencing using Google:
 
STEP 1: Simple Google Search
Open up Google and search for your tenants name and location as follows
“john smith” AND london
You can see in the example that the tenants name is surrounded by quotation marks, this is because search engines such as Google will return results of all the words in your search i.e. results containing John and Smith whereas if we use quotation marks we are telling Google to search for a specific term in this case the name “john smith”. 
You can see the word “AND” in capital letters this is because search engines such as Google use Boolean logic when conducting a search, the AND operator must be written in capital letters as we are effectively commanding Google to search for the tenant “john smith” with any connection to the location London.
Obviously this is a very loose search and will return many results, but this is a very good place to start and this type of search will return any news relating to your tenant in a specified location and a good place to begin to narrow down your search.
 
 Step 2: Employment Check
You can also check the tenant’s employment references stack up, by once again carrying out a simple search on Google:
“john smith” AND “company name”
Most companies now have pages listed on LinkedIn and many professionals across the UK have created a LinkedIn profile, so chances are a simple search will bring back some results also this simple search will bring back company director’s results and company news. 
Alternatively, you can search the tenant’s company name and job titles such as HR Manager so ensure the company contact provided by the tenant is actually the person they say they are and not the tenants mate.
A good example would be:
“hr manager” AND “abc accountants”
OR
“human resources manager” AND “abc accountants”
 
These are some of the most basic techniques we use at WebLetz a Cardiff letting agent to ensure every tenant we deal with is thoroughly referenced.
If you would like to receive more in depth techniques on how to cross reference tenants via Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter without having a social media account
email info@webletz.co.uk for our FREE guide to “tenant referencing via Google and Social Media”
Please Include the following:
 
·         “Tenant Referencing via Google” in the subject line
·         Your name, location and contact number in the body of the email
WebLetz Christmas Carol
12/2/2011 1:46:21 PM
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
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With our low cost Tenant Finder
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Landlord’s max your rental income
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Property management needn’t be expensive
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Letting management is tax deductible
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We will manage for 5 per cent
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WebLetz service is so transparent
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WebLetz a Cardiff lettings agent provides a host of low cost, fixed price and transparent solutions for Cardiff landlords and property investors across South Wales, including.
·         £120 Tenant Finders service
·          5% Property Letting Management Fee
·         Rent Guarantee and Rental Income Insurance
 
You can contact us via info@webletz.co.uk or telephone 0845 496 0000  
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