Blog post written by Mortgage and Protection Broker, Adam Wells of Lloyd Wells Mortgages (pictured right).

For most people, buying their first home can be a bit of a struggle, with a good income, a healthy deposit, and a bit of luck needed. Without the help of Parents, the ability to purchase a property is unattainable for some people. What happens if you have a good income and a good deposit, but you simply can’t afford to purchase a property where you currently live, but you definitely could afford to purchase a rental property elsewhere?

The Evening Standard recently reported that the average house price in London has risen from £482,576 to £509,935. If we round that to a slightly nicer £510,000, you would need at least a 5% deposit of £25,500 and an income of roughly £110,000 per annum to purchase this property.

If we compare this with Manchester, Rightmove states “The majority of sales in Manchester during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £261,852. Terraced properties sold for an average of £203,696, with flats fetching £195,563.”

Using the above figures underlines that buying in London is unattainable for most, but you might be able to buy property elsewhere at a more affordable price.

To answer the main question, can I purchase a buy-to-let as a first-time buyer? Yes, and it’s relatively easy too!

The main barrier is the ability to put down a deposit of 25%. For the Manchester flat of £195,000, that would be £48,750. Some buy to let lenders do have products available at 80% Loan to Value, but as a first-time deposit, you will need the 25% deposit.

Once you have saved up the deposit, which can come from your immediate family as a gift, the next hurdle is affordability.

Usually, a buy-to-let application is assessed on the rental income. As a bit of a rule of thumb, £600 per month rent would allow you to borrow £100,000, £900 per month would allow £150,000 and £1,200 per month would allow £200,000, etc.

For first-time buyers, the application will be assessed in a similar way to a residential mortgage.

Using the £195,000 flat in Manchester as an example, the mortgage required would be £146,250. We can use a term of 25 years in this example making a monthly rental income of £900.

The letting agent will take around 12%, which is £108.

The lenders will want to know about your income and expenditure.

If we use a gross annual income of £30,000, assuming you are completely debt-free, your own rental payments are £1,500 per month, then you would be able to borrow the £146,250 that you need.

Should I Have the Mortgage on a Repayment or Interest Only Basis?

This is completely up to you, and we suggest that you seek some financial advice around this. If you would like us to refer you to someone who can provide financial advice, just let us know. 

SWR Landlords Bristol Services

With a repayment mortgage, you are repaying the capital and interest. If your mortgage is over 25 years, you can guarantee that the mortgage will be repaid at the end of the 25 years. As this is an investment property, there will be capital gains tax to be paid when you declare the rental income on your annual tax return.

Using the same figures we have used above, a 5 year fixed rate will come in around 2.18% with a £995 fee. You will likely receive a free basic survey on the purchase too. Over 25 years, £146,250 comes in at £632.78 per month.

If you decide to proceed on an interest-only basis, the mortgage will remain at £146,250 and you won’t repay any capital. The benefit to this is that the monthly payments will be lower, but in 25 years you will be expected to sell the property to repay the debt. Using the same figure of 2.18%, the monthly payment will be £265.69 per month.

Which Product Should I Pick?

Mortgage providers usually offer fixed rates and variable rates. Fixed rates stay the same for the fixed-rate period of 2, 3, 5 years, etc. This offers the ability to budget and protect yourself from interest rate fluctuations.

Variable rates are historically cheaper but can become more expensive if rates start to rise. The Bank of England base rate is currently at a record low of 0.1% and due to this, the variable rates aren’t particularly attractive and as a first-time buyer, the banks are more comfortable with you taking a fixed rate. They are generally more generous if you take a 5-year fixed rate over the shorter 2 or 3 year fixed rates. That being said, we would go through your situation in detail and recommend the best product to suit your needs. This can depend on your attitude to risk, what your plans are for the property and how long you intend to keep the property.

Next Steps

We are happy to talk through all the options with you, find the right lender, and manage the process for you all the way through.If you are thinking about buying then do give us a call on 01174 520 330. Our initial conversations usually last around 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can email and let us know how we can help you.

We will discuss:

  • How much you can borrow
  • What that will cost
  • What fees can you expect
  • How Lloyd Wells Mortgages work
  • What insurances you will need
  • What documentation you will need to provide
  • Next steps

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

We are writing during our third national lockdown with a hope that this mail finds you all safe and well.

There are a number of items relevant to you as a landlord that have been in the news, and some that haven’t, so as part of our client base we would like to share them with you.

At the date of writing, the housing market remains open for business under instruction from the Government, and therefore we as much as we can be, business as “normal” (whatever normal looks like during a global pandemic. Obviously, all relevant precautions are being taken, the safety of our staff and clients is at the forefront of our minds at all times.

Company News
Here at SWR we continue to work through the pandemic, with several team members working from the office and the rest working from home. We thank you all for your patience during this time; balancing family life/home schooling, the ongoing logistical issues surrounding the pandemic and the needs of our clients is no mean feat but thankfully we have a good time and we are all working hard to ensure it is as much as possible “business as usual”.

Mortgage Payment Holidays
The mortgage payment holiday has been extended to 31st March 2021, if you have not used this facility yet you will be entitled to a six month holiday.

Changes to the eviction process
Late last year, in response to the pandemic, we saw a change to the notice periods under section 21 of the Housing Act (from 2 months to 6 months’): a change which is in place until at least 31st March 2021.

Following this, we then saw the introduction of a straight ban on enforcing a possession order (provided by the court) until 11th January 2021, and this was subsequently extended to 21st February 2021.

There is every expectation that it will be further extended and we will keep you updated on this. This ban applies in all but the most serious cases. These rules are known as the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020 – just if you feel in the mood for a google.

Notices can still be served during this time; they just cannot be enforced.

There are a couple of exemptions, the ones that are most relatable are where there are grounds of anti-social behaviour and/or domestic violence, or if there are substantial rent arrears. Initially “substantial” meant nine months’ rent, this has thankfully been reduced under the newest legislation change to six months’, and does take into account arrears accrued prior to COVID-19.

There is also nothing stopping you going to court and gaining possession order, you just can’t enforce it…. However, be aware there is now a lengthy backlog at the courts. If you need to ensure your tenant leaves the property on time, you may have to think outside the box for at least the next 12-18 months.

The government have also mentioned the introduction of a new “mediation pilot” in February. We will share more information when we have it.

A piece of legislation known as the Dogs and Domestic Animals (Accomodation and Protection) Bill is slowly making its way through parliament. If approved, this would mean tenants would have a right to have a pet without to approval of their landlord.

We will keep you updated as progress occurs.

This may be a good law for tenants, but we can see this may be the final “nail in the coffin” for a number of landlords.

Leasehold Reform
For our Block Management clients, an exciting development in leasehold law has been announced, with the housing secretary set to overhaul the whole leasehold system.

Currently, leaseholders are able to extend their leases by a 90-year period, this is proposed to change to 990 years.

The government is also looking at the option of Commonhold, an idea that was originally introduced in 2002 but never really “took off” as well as restrictions in how ground rent is able to be increased by freeholders.

We will be watching this legislation with interest.

Green Homes Grant

The “green homes grant” was announced by the government on 30th September 2020 and it is said to the biggest proposed upgrade to the nation’s buildings in a generation.

If you are eligible, you will be able to apply for a voucher worth up to £5000 per rental property to help with the cost of improving the energy efficiency of your rental property and you have until 31st March 2021 to apply. 

The grant is non-repayable, and includes labour, materials and VAT costs – of up to 2/3rds of the total renovation costs.

Improvements are split into “primary” and “secondary” measures.

Primary includes works such as insulation to walls and flooring, secondary includes works to windows and doors.

You must use the grant for one primary measure before you are able to use it for any secondary measures.

The full list of measures can be found here:

You can apply here:

You can find registered tradespeople here:

Tax Return
A gentle reminder that your tax return is normally due by 31st January 2021 but has just been extended to 28th February 2021. Don’t miss the date!

As you will be aware, the UK has now left the European Union. Whatever your opinion on “Brexit”, it will undoubtably have an impact on the UK housing market and subsequently on you as a landlord.

Since the beginning of this year we have seen an unprecedented demand for property so at this point the impact does not look to have been negative, but we are watching the market closely.

It is worth noting that the process of checking a tenants’ Right to Rent prior to the start of a tenancy has changed substantially over the past 12 months.

A new code of practice was released on 2nd November 2020 under the new legislation The Immigration (Residential Accomodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) (Amendments) Order 2020, which brought in the following changes:

1. A streamline to the process for B5JSSK nationals (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Signapore and South Korea).
2. The introduction of an online right to rent process
3. Changes to time limits on checking Right to Rents prior to a tenancy start

At this point, EEA nationals are still recognised as having a right to rent in the UK until 30th June 2021. You can sign up for regular updates here: or we will update you as more information becomes available.

Electrical Safety Standards
The date by which your property requires a satisfactory 5-year fixed wire test (Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report) is quickly approaching.

As of 1st April 2021, any tenanted property in England must have a certificate in place, and this should have been provided to the tenants.

There is a common misconception that this will only apply to “new lets” after this time: it will apply to ALL tenanted properties.

Breathing Space
The government will be introducing a new debt protection scheme on the 4th May 2021 known as “Breathing Space”.

There are two types of breathing space.

Under a normal “breathing space”, a landlord will not be able to pursue rental arrears for 60 days (this includes any contact regarding the debt or enforcement action).

The second type is a “mental health crisis breathing space”, which is available for those people during a mental health crisis and will remain in place until the end of treatment, plus 30 days.

If you would like to read this legislation, have a look at The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

A breathing space can only be initiated by a debt advice provider registered with the Financial Conduct Authority or a local authority.

This will likely be a worrying development for most landlords but we of course will keep you updated as we know more. The introduction of the scheme hammers home the important of thorough pre-tenancy referencing checks and a risk based approach to offering contracts to tenants going forwards.

We hope you have found this update useful. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or comments!

This information is valid as of 10th January 2021

As you may realise, the government has asked the housing market to remain open during the latest lockdown.

We are committed to protecting our team, clients and contractors so have taken the following steps:

1. Most of the SWR team are now working remotely from home. Please bear with us during this time, we are not together in the office and communication may not be as fluent as during normal times. Several team members remain in the office for key collection and drop off/as a buddy system to avoid unnecessary lone working, but are in bubbles and are fully socially distanced.

2. The office is now not open to general visitors. Key collection and drop off will continue, behind a protective screen. Track and trace is in operation and all keys are sanitised when leaving and entering the office.

3. Viewings in empty properties will continue, but applicants will be met at the door and will not be accompanied around the property. All internal doors will be open to allow for a zero contact viewing.

4. Viewings in tenanted properties will be carried out virtually. This will be through a WhatsApp video call. No in-person viewings will be carried out within tenanted properties at this time.

5. Property visits (inspections) will continue to be carried out via WhatsApp or Zoom. Full PPE will be worn at all times by both our team and our contractors when on site at any of our residential and block/estate management sites. If a contractor does attempt to attend your property without the relevant PPE, please refuse them entry and contact the office on 01454 612735 as soon as possible.

Please stay safe in these challenging times! 😊

Landlords from the UK who choose to live abroad can enjoy living their dream lives in another country while enjoying a steady income flow from their rental property. However, there exist some challenges you’ll face acting as a long-distance landlord. Difficulty communicating and the inability to meet tenants in person are just some of the challenges you may face. Also, if a tenancy ends while still abroad, landlords are left with the singular choice of asking someone else to carry out viewings for them.

For these reasons, landlords who live abroad prefer using a letting agency to manage their property while they live their lives undisturbed abroad. Are you an international landlord? Are you planning to become one soon?

This write-up will discuss some 4 tips to help make the letting process the easiest for you. Sit back, relax, and read on!

Get to Know Your Legal Responsibilities

All rental property owners in the UK are required to pay tax on the rental income. As an international landlord, you are no exception. The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) consider you a ‘non-resident landlord’ if you live out of the UK for 6 months or more in a year. However, this won’t be your case if you live outside the UK only temporarily, i.e. less than 6 months in a year.

You can pay your tax by taking out an essential tax rate from the rents or better still by using a Self-Assessment form for tax return. Payment can be done by a tenant or a letting agent. At the end of each year, the agent will provide you with a certificate. If you do not wish to do this, you will need to join the “Non-resident landlord (NRL) scheme. More information is available by clicking here.

Carry Out Screening through Skype

Meeting tenants one on one before accepting their rental application has proven to be one of the greatest challenges faced by landlords who live abroad. This of course won’t be a problem if you choose to use a letting agent. However, determining whether or not a tenant is the right person for your property without seeing them can be difficult. To help solve this problem, consider using Skype, Zoom, or any other video conferencing platform to discuss with tenants before deciding to accept or decline their rental application.

Give Priority to Long-Term Tenants

Administrative demands are higher for shorter tenancies than longer ones. Also, landlords are more likely to develop stronger bonds with long-term tenants. This helps take away much anxiety concerning how your property is being treated.  

Consider Using a Property Management Agency

The best and simplest way to avoid any headaches with regards to managing your property from abroad is to have someone else do it for you. Most landlords have found this to be the best way to live a stress-free life abroad.

A trustworthy and reputable property management agency like us (SWR) can bear the burden for you. We take care of everything from collecting rent from tenants to ensuring that you pay just the right amount of rental tax as you should normally pay.

Owning an apartment block or a flat on a lease comes with many challenging responsibilities. However, a block management company can help you carefully oversee the welfare of your building and cover all legal responsibilities on your behalf.

The block management company is responsible for the overall maintenance of residential blocks, providing proper assistance for the client (property owner) all the time. Some of the responsibilities of a block management company include:

Routine Inspection

The block management company is wholly responsible for appointing professionals to visit and inspect blocks on their portfolio, noticing and diagnosing legal risks or potential problems on the block. When you own an apartment block, there is a need for these routine inspections. Block management companies take up this challenging task as part of their many responsibilities. The inspection covers all areas, from accounts to records to maintenance. The company makes sure all legal domains and functions are correctly taken care of.

Safety Regulations

The continuous stability of a site is dependent on specific health and safety precautions. The block management company is responsible for making sure that health and safety laws are regulations are strictly followed. The company helps to implement and manage these safety laws consistently. Block management companies take health and safety precautions seriously and handle them professionally for the smooth sailing of property operations.


An insured property gets covering against several unexpected risks that may arise at any time – risks from fire hazard, natural damages like hail or storms. A block management company helps you to identify the right cover or insurance policy for the block. It is among the duties of the company to assess the number of occupied or rented apartments and the types of occupants, and then find a suitable insurance policy for the block.

Keeping Records

Legal records, files, and statements can often become cumbersome to keep track of. A block management company is responsible for keeping detailed records of all transactions, work, and inspections. These records are especially vital at certain times. Making use of a block management company saves you from worrying about paperwork and documents. The company carefully holds all necessary records for safekeeping.

Keeping Accounts

Accounting for a block property involves many responsibilities, including rounding up rents and services charges, correctly allocating resources, creating a budget to make sure money is readily available. And overseeing account creation for shareholders of the block. All these accounting processes are vital and delicate and require the professional attention of a reliable block management company. The company appoints a professional accountant to make sure all accounting processes are on track.

General Maintenance

The block management company ensures that maintenance contracts are in place and operational, ranging from general cleaning to gardening to cost-effective installation of necessary facilities.

At South West Relocation, we offer trusted and reliable letting and block management services to our clients. By partnering with us, you have the assurance that you will receive professional and up-to-date management services for your properties.

It has come to our attention that since the 31st May 2019 there has actually been two minor changes to the Government “How to Rent” guides.

This guide must be given, by law, to all new tenants prior to their occupation and in the Deregulation Act of 2015 it is clearly stated that it must be the most ‘recently updated’ version.

Permitted Payments you may be charged:

Holding fee of one weeks’ rent

One months’ rent in advance

Five weeks’ rent as a security deposit or six weeks’ rent if the rent is above £50,000 per annum.

A reasonable charge for loss of keys/security device during tenancy

An interest charge for late rent of 3% above the Bank of England base rate for each day the amount is outstanding, when the rent is outstanding for at least 14 days

A reasonable cost for contractual damages under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

A reasonable charge will apply for changes to the tenancy agreement or a change of sharers.

Charges will apply for the early termination of a fixed term agreement.

We are registered with The Property Ombudsman and our membership number is L00493

We are registered with the ARLA Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme and our membership number is C0123573

Flats, Houses & Homes to rent in Bristol - South West Relo

SWR can help you find a property that is best for you - whether you are looking for Homes, houses, or flats to rent in Bristol.

For flats, houses &  homes to rent, Bristol has a great selection. SWR is a well-established, professional letting agency with the most extensive selection of quality properties to rent in Bristol.

Finding a place to live can be a stressful task, especially in a big city like Bristol. SWR can help you find out which property is the best for you whether you are looking for houses to rent Bristol or flats to rent Bristol we are here to offer the most comprehensive and personalised and “stress-free” services. SWR is here to listen to your requirements and we take pride in providing outstanding customer service. We want to help you find your next home and we’ll guide you through the process so that the experience is enjoyable and exciting.