Q & A with Kate Faulkner from LBC Property Hour week 12, sponsored by Direct Line Landlord Insurance.

publication date: Mar 31, 2017
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Each week I am co-host of the LBC Property Hour. It’s kindly sponsored by Direct Line Landlord Insurance and the main man running the show is legendary host Clive Bull. Our guest this week was Patrick Connelly of Chase de Vere.

And to make sure as many people as possible benefit from the show’s help and advice, here are the write-ups of the Q&As and extra links to help you if you are in the same boat:

Q – I'm over 70, my interest only mortgage has come to an end and I have part of the funds to repay the debt that I owe but lent it to my children to for deposits. The building society is sending threatening letters but I just want to extend the mortgage for a couple of years so I can pay it off. I've been trying to speak to them but it's becoming tough, what shall I do?

A – This is an issue for a lot of people, the rules now make it more difficult to for older people to extend their mortgages. In some circumstances you may be relying on the good nature of the building society. The suggestion was to see an independent financial adviser and the building society to discuss the options.

What is critical is to deal with any end of an interest only mortgage term in plenty of time to secure a new mortgage if required.

For help choosing a broker visit read our expert checklist if you want to find out more about making sure you secure the right mortgage for you it is worth reading our securing the right mortgage checklist.

Q – I have a two-bed maisonette on the ground floor built on to the side of the main block. We don't have access to the lift or communal garden but are still saddled with the service charge. The provider is the housing association but the local authority is the managing agent and rent is paid to the council, what can be done?

A – It may be in that the charges are in your contract so you there is no option but to pay. However, it's still worth talking to the Leasehold Advisory Service.

For anyone that has any queries over a leasehold issue you can contact and secure free help from The Leasehold Advisory Service.

And if you are considering buying, selling or extending a lease on a property, then read our:

Q – Why do you need specialist landlord insurance?

Christina Dimitrov talks to Clive Bull about landlord insurance and why its important to have the right cover if you rent out a property

Worried about the insurance for your buy to let? Read our buy to let insurance checklist.

Q – I have a property that I rent out through an estate agent and initially the shed wasn't included. The agent changed management and when the first tenant moved out it was marketed to the second tenant to include shed without consulting me. What rights do I actually have? I didn't get anything in writing when I first rented the property out and my tools are in the shed.

A – Whenever you are using or engaging a letting agent, make sure they are a member of one of the following organisations: ARLA, NALS or RICS so they understand and are trained in keeping up to date with lettings legals. and, if they aren't, whether they have client money protection, which means if they go bust/someone runs off with rental cash your money is still covered.

If the property was let with the shed, then it’s likely to be included somewhere on the agreement or if it is writing, so the best thing to do is just take your tools out and leave it to the tenant. It is also worth bearing in mind that it is likely your agreement lets the entire property to the tenant, so you can’t ‘pick and choose’ what you let to them.

If you need to find a qualified letting agent, read our choosing a letting agent checklist.

Q – I have the right to buy on my property but there is lots of regeneration going on around me. If I buy the leasehold what happens if landlord decided to pass it on to a developer?

A – When you buy under right to buy and are purchasing a leasehold property, you own the internal part of property for a certain period of time eg 99 or 125 years or more. the most important thing is to ensure you understand via a quality legal company the leasehold agreement and know under what circumstances the the freehold can be sold on and what reassurance you will get if it changes hands that things won’t change.To cover your tracks, make sure you secure all correspondence on this matter in writing.

For help finding a leasehold legal expert, read our how to choose an expert to value your leasehold checklist and How to choose a leasehold legal expert.

Q – I'm thinking of taking out equity release, is it as bad as everyone say?

A – In the past it's been seen as a last resort way of staying in your home, but the market has improve over the last few years. Talk to your family about it initially as it can cause issues with inheritance. Once you are happy to move forward, talk to an equity release specialist before committing to a plan.

For more information and help here are my pros and cons of equity release and make sure any providers belong to the Equity Release Council.


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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