Feature Focus: Improved HMO Support

Property rental can be a complicated business. Similarly keeping track of rented property can be too. One example of that is when one property is actually let out on multiple tenancies.

This might be because the property is a house of multiple occupation (HMO) or perhaps you’ve just chosen to rent out the garage separately from the house or flat (for example).

From launch PaTMa has supported these scenarios by allowing multiple active tenancies to be recorded against a single property. Each tenancy keeps track of the tenants, rent and other details independently.

With our recently released updates, you can now be more specific about this – choosing to mark a property as “multi-unit” when you want to keep track of multiple units that are separately rented out.

Once you’ve marked a property as multi-unit, you can add each of the units, along with a label.

Unit list screenshot

After that, each new tenancy can be allocated to a specific unit within the property.

Along with the ability to create the units within a multi-unit property and track tenancies against each of them, this feature also uses the extra information to improve your property dashboard statistics.

Property occupancy rate

Your current occupancy and historic occupancy levels will now include each unit separately, making them much more accurate for HMOs.

Feature Focus: Mortgages and Valuations

A critical part of most property investments is finance, more specifically mortgage finance. Whether it’s essential to afford your investment or you’re using it to amplify/gear your returns, there’s a good chance you’re using a mortgage.

Hence keeping track of your investment mortgages is an important part of managing your portfolio.

PaTMa includes the ability to record all of your mortgages and property values.

Key Benefits

  • Automatic reminders before fixed rates end – save hundreds of pounds with plenty of time to arrange a new deal.
  • View your current debt/equity ratio and totals at any time.
  • Instant visibility via great looking graphs for your whole portfolio.

Portfolio Graph

Portfolio equity graph

Instantly see the current status, using your current mortgage balance and latest valuation, of your portfolio wide borrowing.

Above is a sample of one of the graphs you’ll see in your dashboard once you’ve started adding valuation and mortgage data to your properties. In your dashboard you can hover over either segment to see the monetary value of your borrowing or equity.

Mortgage Reminders

Every property in PaTMa has a space to store current mortgages or other loans you’ve taken out against it. Simply set the “fixed rate end date” and PaTMa will automatically email you three months before it’s due to expire.

You’ll have plenty of time to evaluate the impact of the mortgage reverting to a standard rate (we’ve got some exciting tools coming out soon to help with that). If you decide to find a new deal, you’ll still be in time to get in touch with your mortgage broker.

Valuation History

You can store as many valuations as you like against each property. So you can keep it updated as things change or go back and fill in your property’s history. Either way you’ll be able to easily see how your investment value has changed.

You can also see a visual representation of how each property and your entire portfolio has performed over time. Great for spotting trends and getting an idea of where the future may be heading!

More Great Features

PaTMa is full of great features to save you time and money when managing your property investment portfolio. For a limited time, get a lifetime 10% discount on any PaTMa subscription if you sign-up before the end of June 2018 and use the discount code SPRING2018.

Recent Changes – March 2018

Every week PaTMa is getting better at saving time and helping to organise property people, whether looking for your next investment or managing your existing ones. This post runs through a few of the recent improvements.

Browser Extension

We officially launched our Property Tools browser extension that saves you time while browsing Rightmove and Zoopla. It provides price history, a summary of local comparison properties for sale and rent, and a quick link for adding that property to your prospects list.

Prospector – Local Schools

Local schools are now listed for each of your prospects, including their last Ofsted rating and a link to the schools website (where it’s available).

Prospector – Local Train Stations

Train stations are often critical when choosing where to live and hence also where to invest. So¬† along with the straight line distance to each they’re also shown on your prospect detail pages. This doesn’t include tube stations yet but they’ll be coming soon.

Manager – Improved Rent Schedules

More flexible rent schedules are now much easier to manage. The system allows you to more easily insert past changes, edit, delete and move them around. All while correctly keeping track of the rent owed to you across these changes.

Manager – Better HMO Support

HMO and multi-unit support is now better, providing specific spaces to record each unit. These can then be matched up with a tenancy and will feature in your portfolio statistics; making your figures more accurate than ever before.

Manager – Property Documents

Upload and store documents per property to help with your organisation. This is in addition to the specific uploads for tenancy documents (eg contracts and inventories), EPCs, expenses and safety certificates. You could use this upload space for appliance manuals, land registry or perhaps planning application documents.

Manager – Encrypted Storage

All potentially sensitive document uploads are now stored encrypted on disk. This covers tenancy documents and property documents to help ensure that your (and your tenant’s) data always stays secure.

Manager – Visual Improvements

We’ve overhauled all of the data input and display pages within the application to ensure they’re consistent and easy to read. Along with this you’ll now find handy “Delete” buttons visible on many more pages to help you keep your records tidy and correct any mistakes.

The visual improvements also extend to the image gallery, available per property, with more mobile friendly navigation and clearer actions.

Other Minor Enhancements

Here’s a quick list of some of the more minor enhancements we’ve added:

  • Cancel buttons for easier navigation away from edit pages
  • Better filenames for rent record downloads
  • Improved date entry, you can now type instead of using the picker
  • Better hover information on your dashboard occupancy graph
  • You can now upload spreadsheet files in most document storage points
  • Rightmove new-homes pages are now supported in the browser extension
  • Better detection of un-available properties

What’s next?

Here’s a sneak preview of some more improvements that we’re currently working on:

  • Property tickets! Quick notes and tracking of tasks and communications.
  • More data for prospects.
  • Per tenant document storage.

Discount!

Well done for reading this far! As a reward you can get a lifetime 10% discount on any PaTMa subscription if you sign-up before the end of June 2018 and use the discount code SPRING2018 (if you’ve already got an account, just email support@patma.co.uk and mention this article).

Property Tools Browser Extension (Chrome and Firefox)

Quick Access Pricing History

Would you like to have quick access to a property’s asking price history while you’re browsing Rightmove? (And Zoopla, but you could just scroll down on Zoopla!)

Then you’ve found the right browser plugin!

Browser extension price history

While you’re browsing any property on Rightmove or Zoopla, just click the PaTMa icon in your browser to open the extension. Then click “Price History” to see how the asking price for that property has changed over time.

This feature works in a very similar way to the previously popular Property Bee plugin – it relies on people using it to collect the property data and hence history may not be available for all properties.

Note that the PaTMa browser extension works in all modern versions of Firefox and Chrome (unlike the Property Bee plugin, which requires an old version of Firefox).

Local Asking Price Comparisons

Want to get a quick idea of comparable local asking prices?

Browser extension - for sale comparables

Get an instance snapshot of other properties for sale within half a mile and one mile of the property you’re currently viewing. Just open the PaTMa browser extension icon and click “Local Comparables”. A moment later you’ll know how many local properties are for sale and the range of prices.

The PaTMa browser extension automatically extracts some basic details about the property you’re viewing to make the comparisons as useful as possible. Property type (house/flat), the number of bedrooms and of course the location are used.

Local Rental Market Comparisons

What about a quick comparison on going rental rates in the area?

Browser extension - rental comparables

Yep, having clicked “Local Comparables” from the previous section you’ll also be presented with a summary of the rental properties being marketed in the area. Again the system tries to pick up the property type and number of bedrooms to help show sensible comparison properties.

For each of the property comparisons shown in the browser extension, there’s also a handy link to view the corresponding full list on Zoopla. Use those links to open the list in a new tab and browse to get a better idea of the rental competition and other properties for sale in the area.

Install The Extension

Now you’re convinced the PaTMa Property Tools browser extension is a great idea, you’ll need to install it in your favourite browser. It’s available free for Chrome and Firefox (those links go directly to the browser stores), or view our dedicated browser extension page on the PaTMa site.

Future Features

We’ve already got more great features planned for our browser extension but if there’s something that would save you even more time and you’d really like to see available, please send me an email with your thoughts.

 

Generate and check your tax figures – landlord tax return with PaTMa

You can use PaTMa to simply track all your landlord finances and it comes complete with a tax return report to help with your self assessment.

This article is the last part of a series guiding you from an empty account, through entering all the data required, to PaTMa calculating your landlord tax return figures.

You can find the other parts here:

Part 1 – Creating your properties
Part 2 – Adding tenancies and adjusting to ignore the past
Part 3 – Recording rent payments
Part 4 – Recording mortgage interest
Part 5 – Recording other expenses
Part 6 – Generate and check your tax figures (this post)

What you’ll get

The key income and expense figures suitable for use on your HMRC self assessment property pages.

What you need

You’ll need to have completed all the previous parts of this guide (see above for links to each) and have records on hand to review your details.

What to do

You’ve done all the hard work, now it’s time to enjoy the results. Just a few clicks stand between you and all the basic (for most buy-to-let landlords) self assessment property tax figures.

Get started by clicking “Tax Reports” on the navigation above your property listing page. You’ll be presented with a form to select the tax year you’d like a report for:

Tax report form

Simply select the relevant year and click “Create Report”.

A few seconds later you’ll be presented with the tax report for your portfolio in the chosen year. It should look something like this:

Tax report screenshot 1

The figures shown should be ready to copy and paste into your HMRC online tax return.

Just before you do though, we recommend that you take advantage of the little magnifying glass icons to expand each of the report sections and verify that the transactions included match your expectations.

Here’s a quick example of a tax report with a couple of the detailed lists open:

Tax report screenshot 2

Use the dates, descriptions and amounts displayed to check for any typos or other mistakes. It’s a good idea to quickly reconcile the transactions shown with your bank statements.

Once you’re satisfied everything is in order, head over to HMRC and fill in your self assessment.

 

Please note: these tax return calculations are entirely dependant upon the data entered and it’s accuracy. It’s critical that you check the results yourself (use the per-item quick expansions to see the data behind each total). If you’re in any doubt at all we strongly suggest that you seek professional advice. (We recommend Paul Samrah, partner at Kingston Smith, who can be reached on 01737 778546 or email: psamrah@kingstonsmith.co.uk.)

 

What next

That’s it! You’re all done.