Tenancy Deposit Regulations – The Facts for Landlords

As a landlord you need to be certain about the best way to protect yourself against the financial impact of having tenants who damage your property. These can be the very people who either fail to pay all the rent they owe you, or fight to get their deposit back – even though this is required to cover the cost of damage – costing you time and money.

As you will know, since April 2007, any deposit taken from a residential tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement needs to comply with new legislation.
In effect this means that any deposits taken must be placed within a government approved scheme either by placing the monies in the hands of an approved third party, or by having the deposit insured for the benefit of the tenant.

Both these can involve the landlord in administration and lead to uncertainty over the level of protection provided. This has had a significant impact on the entire buy-to-let sector, potentially reducing the attractiveness of this form of investment. There are however, a number of ways in which the burden on landlords can be managed or virtually eliminated.

Do nothing

One of these is to take no action at all; that is not to take a deposit and to rely on tenants not damaging the property. For most landlords, this is unlikely to be an attractive option.

Use a designated deposit scheme

While this appears to be the simplest solution, it does have potential drawbacks, not least of which is that these schemes either involve cost or, if free, offer no interest on the money deposited (which is how the administration is paid for). In general, they are unlikely to provide any dispute resolution service, so there could easily be additional expense when a tenant leaves, should the landlord wish to retain any of the money to make good damage.

Use a ‘combined’ deposit scheme

Some deposit based schemes also include dispute resolution, but these will involve fees covering both membership and a charge per letting. Several schemes are promoted by the Residential Landlords Association and can include a combination of holding deposits and insurance in order to provide maximum protection to all parties.

A dedicated tenants deposit insurance solution

An alternative which is proving increasingly attractive to many landlords is a landlords insurance. This obviates the need for a deposit to be taken while still providing full protection for the landlord for up to £1,000 worth of damage in any period of insurance (once the damage exceeds £100 in value).

In each case, a check of the tenant is undertaken by Keysafe (UK) Ltd, giving you peace of mind of knowing that you are not taking on a tenant with a poor rental history. The insurance covers damage discovered within 14 days of the end of the tenancy period and is offered in addition to most landlords insurance policies.

Costs range from as little as £42 a year; less for members of the National Federation of Residential Landlords.

As an extra to property owners insurance, some insurance brokers also offer rent guarantee insurance, at additional cost, if required. This can indemnify you should a tenant fail to pay your rent within the terms of the agreement and you are unable to recover the arrears from the deposit.

General tips

You should always make an inventory of the property before each tenancy commences, in order to help with dispute resolution. Ideally, digital photographs taken in advance will help both landlord and tenant should the need arise.

Some Basic Tips On How To Invest Your Money

People who have extra finances that they can spare often think of ways that they can actually utilize them and let them better returns. There are various ways on how to invest your money and it is best that people carefully look into all these options first and the pros and cons of each of these options so they know that when they decide where they should place their finances, they know that they getting a very viable option.

Although the stock market has always been a popular choice among many interested investors back in the day, a lot of people are quite discouraged in placing their financial stakes in these ventures because of its relative volatility. Thus, many up and coming investors cannot expect getting really good profits out of placing their spare cash in these ventures because of higher risks.

One of the safe options that one can place his spare cash in is the open cash markets. This is also referred as high interest savings accounts and are considered very great choices for investing finances, especially if this is done for a shorter period of time. A lot of people consider this as a very good way of getting good financial yield with return rates reaching up to four percent.

If you are looking for options on how to invest your money, you can also go after treasuries or T-bills. These are notes that are invested by the government of the United States and they are considered as having a very relative low investment risk, and are very good options for up and coming investors. Considering how they are backed by the government, they are currently considered the safest form of investment these days.

Certificates of Deposits or CDs are also very good business staking tools. They are available through brokers or banks and they are also considered very safe where investments are concerned. Many people will find it convenient that these tools have maturity dates that are already set, and the investors are also locked into the interest rates that they were first set with until the term has been completed.

Another viable investment option is the 401k plan. People are advised to invest these funds if their employers have provided them with these types of employment programs since this is one of their right as holders of such plans. People are given a wide variety of choices especially on the way that they can invest the funds within this plan, based on the options that are outlined and specified within these plans.

People who do not like the idea of being exposed with too much risks can actually choose putting their cash in mutual funds. One is assured that his funds are being staked in the right investment ventures because there will be a fund manager that will oversee all the transactions. Though there is very minimal risk that one takes in this type of setup, necessary fees must be made in exchange for the services of the fund manager.

When finding ways about how to invest your money, it is very important that one properly considers all the available choices that is available for him. This will help him determine ahead of time, which from all these choices is the best option for him so he can maximize the amount that he will be investing.

Simple Facts About Saving With Certificates of Deposit Accounts

A certificate of deposit, more generally referred to as a CD, is categorized as a time deposit. It is a promissory note provided by financial institutions in exchange for depositing funds during a specified term the course of which they cannot be accessed. CDs accrue interest during this term, generally at a higher rate than an average savings account, and are paid upon maturity. Money withdrawn from a CD before its maturity date usually incurs a penalty. The fixed terms offered vary from 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, up to 5 years.

Certificates of deposit are considered a relatively risk free investment as they are FDIC insured,

Currently the higher 1 year CD rates (one year CD rates) are averaging 1.55%, however these numbers vary based on different factors, including location and the amount of deposit. Generally these fluctuations have a bigger effect on CDs with longer maturity dates versus those that are considered short term, which tend to be less disposed to shifts in interest rates. CD interest rates are calculated based on the term of the CD and the current interest rate environment. The rate is usually higher the longer the term or the larger the sum deposited. However, once the CD is purchased and the money deposited, the return is not subject to stock market fluctuations, the earnings on the funds are guaranteed.

Withdrawals made before a CD reaches maturity generally incur a substantial penalty. For example, a five year CD might suffer a loss of 6 months worth of interest. The penalties are in place to ensure the investor keeps the funds in deposit until maturity. The penalties may or may not affect the principal deposit, if for example it is withdrawn after three months of opening with an established six month penalty. Sometimes withdrawal of the principal may require that the entire CD be closed.

Deposit brokers also offer certificates of deposit, often these brokerage firms can negotiate higher 1 year CD rates (one year CD rates) by promising to bring a certain amount of deposits to the financial institution it represents. These CDs are usually issued in large denominations and are then split up in to smaller values and resold to customers. For this reason, brokered CDs are often advertised as having no prepayment penalty associated. In the event an investor wishes to redeem the CD before maturity, the broker can attempt to resell the CD, at times even for a profit. These certificates of deposit are also insured by the FDIC however in the event the bank fails, brokered claims take a little longer to pay than the traditional direct deposit CD.