MANAGING MADE EASY – PT3
One of the reasons that Property Hawk came about was to help make a landlord’s life a little easier by providing FREE software with which a landlord is able to administer the day to day responsibilities of running their lettings business.
Many landlords have visited the Property Hawk website to collect our FREE tenancy agreement which is available in the Forms section of the Property Manager. If landlords are setting up a new tenancy they should remember that if they are taking a tenancy deposit that they will need to provide their tenant with certain information as prescribed by section 213 of the Housing Act 2004.
Failure of a landlord to do this could lead to a substantial fine and the inability of a landlord to obtain possession through the use of a section 21 notice. A section 213 prescribed information form is also FREE to download in the Property Manager’s Form section.
More than just free forms
The Property Manager is more though than just free forms. It provides landlords who have set up a tenancy with their own digital rentbook in the Rent screen.
This rent book allows landlords to keep track of all the rents they receive from their tenants and gives them a running balance of their rental total. It is important for landlords to keep a record of these rents to enable them to complete their tax return later in the year. We go on to explain how this works later on.
Another aspect of the free online property management software powered by the Property Manager is the Equity screen. Equity is a measure of the net capital contained within a landlord’s buy-to-let property. In other words; the value of the buy-to-let investment property that isn’t accounted for by the outstanding loan. The free online software contained within the Property Manager has two parts that measure equity.
The first and most basic measure is contained within the Summary screen. Here a landlord can see the existing equity in their property i.e. what capital that would be left if any outstanding loan was repaid. The other part of the Property Manager that measures equity is in the Equity screen itself. In this part of the free online software a landlord can measure what their additional borrowing could be taking into account the existing value of their buy-to-let property and the potential for any additional borrowing against the buy-to-let property.
This measure is useful for a landlord, particularly where they have a number of buy-to-let investment properties. It indicates to a landlord what additional funds they might have at their disposal with which to fund additional purchases of buy-to-let properties or the landlords potential to raise capital against the landlords buy-to-let assets.
Taxing times approaching.
It’s that time of year again I’m afraid. A landlord knows that as well as starting to think about their Xmas preparations this season also heralds the fast approaching New Year deadline for most landlords to complete their self assessment tax return.
This is the 31st January where a landlord intends to calculate their own self assessment return.
The Property Manager enables a landlord to actually calculate their own returns. Once the information has been entered the figures in the Income Tax screen will be ready to write directly into a landlords self assessment return as well as being stored online for future reference.
All a landlord needs to do to use this element of the free online software powered by the Property Manager is to:
- Enter the rent received for each of the landlords buy-to-let investment properties for the relevant tax year
- Add in any expenses paid during the tax year that relates to their residential lettings business
- Finally if a landlord has a buy-to-let mortgage secured against their residential investment property they will need to add those in the Loan Interest screen for the relevant tax year. Landlords should remember that it is only the interest payments that can be included and not any part of the loan that goes towards repaying the debt.
- Once the details have been completed a landlord should go to the Income Tax screen in the Property Manager and all the figures will be showing ready to be copied straight into a landlord self assessment tax return.
It’s not easy keeping track of everything that goes on with a landlord’s buy-to-let investment portfolio. Sometimes when a tenancy goes wrong a landlord needs to keep track of events. This is because a landlord should always look to establish a clear time line should the matter need to go to court. It is vital for instance that a landlord record; when things were promised by the tenant and what subsequently happened along with how and when they responded. In situations like this the Notes system on the Property Manager is an invaluable facility in that it allows a landlord to maintain a full digital rental record. Landlords just need to simply type in the note and add it to the property management system. It is then stored for future reference and can be assessed anywhere the landlord has internet access. No more bits of lost paper!
Do you as a landlord manage the letting of your own residential investment properties? If so do you as the landlord have to re-write the same letting advert each time you have to advertise your residential investment property because you have lost your original text? Property Hawk suggests that landlords simply compose their lettings advertisement within the notes system. This way the next time a landlord needs the advertising copy they can just go to the free landlord’s software in the Property Manager and can read it off or copy the letting advertisement text straight into an e-mail, document or simply read it off to the telesales person.