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ABOUT LANDLORD SMART
 

Who are Landlord Smart?

Landlord Smart is a company designed by landlord for landlords. Our mission is to help landlords and property investors to build successful businesses in the most tax efficient way whilst using less of their own cash.

Why is using Landlord Smart lease finance better than using a 0% credit card or other people’s money?

  1. Buying the goods makes your purchase a capital cost – you cannot claim back capital costs on your tax return. Leasing is an expense which can be claimed back as you don’t own the goods during the lease term. At the end the of the term, Landlord Smart can discuss options for ‘continued use’ of the leased items.
  2. Business is all about cash flow. Once you have spent the money, how long will it take to get the money back taking into account that you pay tax on profits in your business? Using lease finance means you keep the cash flow in your business to use on other investment opportunities and 100% of your fees and payments are a legitimate business expense under Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP).
  3. Using credit cards will show against your personal lending on your credit file, therefore if you want to scale your business your personal credit rating will be severely impacted.

Can you help my accountant to understand the lease finance you provide and what makes it so tax efficient?

Yes, we have a specific document which explains the lease finance model we use which you can give to your accountant. Email us at enquiries@landlordsmart.co.uk to get a copy.

How did Landlord Smart get going?

Our directors Tracey and Nigel Woods have over 16 years of property experience in their own buy to let, HMO and rent 2 rent portfolio as well as experience of lease funded projects within the commercial sector in Nigel’s energy saving business. In 2016 Tracey and Nigel decided to start Landlord Smart in response to the government’s removal of the 10% wear and tear allowance, creating a business that makes lease finance available to their peers in the property world.

Can Landlord Smart give me financial advice?

Landlord Smart are not regulated to offer financial advice. We are only able to offer recommendations that should always be verified with your own financial advisor/accountant.

Do Landlord Smart provide the furniture and items I need?

Landlord Smart do not provide the furniture or items you need in your projects. You are able to select from a range of supplier products to suit your property target market. Landlord Smart will arrange the finance to pay the supplier for your chosen items. See section “Which suppliers can I use?”

Are Landlord Smart part of any associations?

Landlord Smart are currently part of the DASH Landlord Scheme as a preferred supplier. To find out more, visit the DASH accreditation website.

Landlord Smart are also a part of the Property Investor Reward Club (PIRC). PIRC is an exclusive membership club for Property Traders, Investors and landlords, giving access to discounts on many different suppliers that you will need to work with in your property business.

CAN I APPLY?
 

What type of property rentals can I use Landlord Smart lease finance for?

You can use our lease finance on a range of property project types such as HMO, serviced accommodation, rent 2 rent (see directly below “Can I use lease finance for items going into a rent 2 rent property?”) and build to let projects. In fact, you can use it for any project where you have ownership or a lease/management contract that lasts for the full lease term. You are not able to use lease finance for items that will be used in a property for short term staging only, or where the property will be sold before the 3-year lease term ends.

Can I use lease finance for items going into a rent 2 rent property?

You can use lease finance for a rent 2 rent project as long as you have a contract with the owner for the full lease term. We can provide leases for shorter terms if required. Please contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Can I apply for lease finance as a sole trader or individual?

Landlord Smart offers the exact finance you need to be 100% tax efficient on a business to business basis therefore we are unable to offer this service to sole traders or individuals. If you have a Ltd Company or LLP that is property related and can be seen to effectively manage your property then this can be used for the lease finance. The property involved can still be owned in your own name and does not have to be owned by a business.

Can I apply if my company is not related to property?

The finance companies do want to see a business that is related to property, either a Ltd company or LLP.

Do I need any property experience before I can apply?

You don’t need to have experience in property, business or leasing. Landlord Smart finance was specifically set up to help those landlords with little or no experience. If your company has been trading for less than 3 years you will be asked to give a personal director’s guarantee to support your application and your loan interest rate may be higher due to an increased risk to the lender. The lender will carry out a check on your credit file as a guarantor to support your lease finance application.

My company is brand new, can I still use Landlord Smart lease finance?

Yes, we can offer finance to start-up companies as well as those with several years of trading history. If your company has been trading for less than 3 years you will be asked to give a personal director’s guarantee to support your application and your loan interest rate may be higher due to an increased risk to the lender. The lender will carry out a check on your credit file as a guarantor to support your lease finance application.

You must have an active company bank account from which the monthly lease finance will be paid.

Do you need authority from all partners/directors in the company to apply?

All directors will be required to provide their details on our application and will be asked to agree to a check on their credit file if guarantees are needed for the lease.

Do I need to be a VAT registered company?

No you don’t have to be, although you would get some benefits of claiming back the VAT on your monthly lease payments if you are. The lease finance only applies to the ‘excluding VAT’ total for the goods. VAT is then added to your monthly lease payments which can only be reclaimed if you have a VAT registered company.

Do I have to own a property to get lease finance from Landlord Smart?

The ideal situation is that you should own at least one property but that does not have to be your own home. If you don’t own any property, we would then look to other directors to see if they own property or instead you can provide details of a property-owning guarantor for your application if you or no other directors own property as a business or in their own name.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of finance I can apply for?

To fully benefit from our service, you will need to spend a minimum of £2,000. There is no limit to the amount you can borrow, however if you are planning on applying for finance on large projects/many projects, please discuss this with us so we can ensure the lender is aware of your situation and can provide you with the right products.

Can I apply for lease finance even if my own credit rating is not great?

Yes you can, however you may be asked to have someone with a higher credit worthiness to support your application as a guarantor – if you have any concerns then this can be discussed with Landlord Smart before your application is submitted.

Can I use the service to furnish overseas properties or buy products from overseas suppliers?

No. This service is for UK properties and suppliers only.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
 

The Landlord Smart fee – what does this cover?

  • We source and work with a variety of providers who offer appropriate funding for your projects—there are many unsuitable lease products on the market. Our fee covers administration and liaison costs between, you, the finance providers and your suppliers.
  • We have a dedicated administration team that will work with you, your supplier(s) and our finance partners to ensure your application is processed smoothly, in your required timeframes. Landlord Smart charge a fee (as a broker) for their service which is payable upon application.
  • We are successful landlords and property experts; couple this with a deep understanding of the finance markets and we’re the perfect partner to facilitate you getting the right finance product.
  • We will only submit applications for finance if we know you have a strong chance of approval. We speak to each of our clients to gather all relevant project information and fully explain our offering.
  • Finally, to legally benefit from tax savings and be in a position to claim back 100% of your monthly payments and fees, you are not able to purchase the goods at any time during the 3-year lease. At the end of the term you will be given options to ‘continue usage’ of the products or replace them with a new lease.

The fee is based on the finance total:

Finance Total % Fee
Up to £10,000 10%
£10,000 to £20,000 8%
£20,000 + 6%

How much will my monthly lease payments be?

There are a couple of things that can alter the finance repayments:

  1. Has your company been trading for more than 3 years?
  2. If not, do you as a director acting as a guarantor have a healthy credit rating?

You can use our calculator tool which will illustrate how much you are likely to pay for a lease or we can give you this information as part of the application process.

Do I pay interest on the lease amount?

Yes, you pay interest on the finance as you would with any other loan however it is not calculated on a per annum percentage. You can use our calculator tool which will illustrate how much you are likely to pay for a lease or we can give you this information as part of the application process.

When is VAT payable?

VAT is payable on all your monthly lease payments. VAT is not payable up front.

Can I get a discount on the Landlord Smart fee?

If you have a discount code from an event that you have attended this can be applied to your application fee. You will need the code and the amount of discount to enter on your application form.

Can everything I want to finance go on one lease with one Landlord Smart fee?

The finance company will only make one payment per lease so if you have suppliers that are delivering items at the same time then these can be on one lease with one fee applicable. If you wish to finance a range of items that could be required at different times on your project then they would need to be treated as split leases, however Landlord Smart will treat this as one application.

Are there any other costs associated with the lease?

Insurance – you are required to have the items on lease insured against loss and damage during the full lease term. If you have your own insurance you will be required to provide evidence of this to the finance company. If no evidence is provided, your finance provider will automatically start an insurance policy and charge you a monthly fee for this.

Documentation Fee – Some finance providers do charge an additional documentation fee which is beyond our control. This fee is applicable on your first monthly direct debit payment and is clearly stated in the funder’s lease offer.

Continued Use Option – You will be contacted around four months before your lease term ends to decide on how you want to proceed and whether you want to continue using the products or replace them and start a new lease.

What happens if my application is declined?

Should your application be declined you will receive 75% of your Landlord Smart fee as a refund. We will advise you via email and ask for bank details to make a refund to you. We retain 25% to cover administrative costs involved up to that point. It will be the lender’s decision based on the company/director credit checks; this information is confidential so will not be passed to Landlord Smart.

Are there any upfront costs for the lease?

Most funders will not require any upfront deposit payment, however some will request 3 monthly payments upfront, followed by 33 months on the lease monthly term, which is depending on your credit status.

ABOUT THE LEASE
 

How long is a lease for?

A lease is for 36 months. There are options to reduce the lease term to 24 months however this does increase the monthly payments applicable.

Is there a minimum amount that can be financed?

Yes, the minimum is £2,000 excluding VAT total spend.

What interest rate do I pay for the lease?

The interest payable on a 3-year lease is not calculated on a percentage APR rate. See our example in the section “What are the costs?”, question: “How much will a lease cost me on a monthly basis?”

Can I buy from multiple suppliers on one lease?

Yes, you can if all your suppliers will be paid at the same time. The finance company will only make one payment per lease so if you have suppliers that are delivering items at the same time then these can be on one lease with one fee applicable. If you wish to finance a range of items that could be required at different times on your project then they would need to be treated as split leases, however Landlord Smart will treat this as one application. To find out more about working with suppliers please see section “Which suppliers can I use?”

If I want to buy furnishings and appliances for multiple properties, do I need to apply separately for each one?

Standard practice is there will be one application and one lease per property address. If you are wishing to use lease finance for multiple apartments within one building we could combine these onto one application and lease (the delivery of all items must happen at the same time). Please contact us if you wish to discuss you project in detail.

Do Landlord Smart work with one specific lease finance lender?

Landlord Smart have connections to multiple lease finance lenders; we work for you to find the lender that will give you the best lease product based on your individual circumstances.

Is there a limit on the amount of lease finance one company can have?

We look at each customer’s needs individually and will share leases across our many finance partners to ensure that we are not reliant upon just one lender to service your requirements. We are happy to discuss your business growth and the level of finance that you are likely to require which will enable us to find the most suitable funders in the market.

Can I have a lease for longer than three years to reduce my monthly payments further?

The maximum lease term is 3 years as the finance company are assessing the lifetime of the assets they are funding. Realistically they want to know that there is still some value left in the assets at the end of the term. We can reduce the term to 2 years if required however this will increase your monthly payments and will be offered at the discretion of the lender.

What if I want to cancel the lease before the end date?

If you wish to settle the lease before the final payment is due, a settlement figure will be provided upon request.

What happens if I cannot make my monthly repayments?

If the company fails to meet repayments as and when they are due, the finance company may look to the directors’ personal guarantees. This will be at the finance company’s discretion. We would advise that contact should be made as soon as possible with the finance provider if you are unable to meet your monthly payments.

Who owns my items during the lease finance term?

The title or ownership of the goods remains with the financial lender until the end of the lease term.

Do I need to insure the items during the lease term?

Yes, it is a mandatory requirement that you have adequate contents insurance in place to cover loss, damage (accidental or otherwise), theft etc. of all items purchased using the lease. If you cannot provide evidence that you have adequate insurance, the finance lender will activate an insurance policy for you and you will be charged monthly for this.

What happens at the end of the 3-year lease?

Landlord Smart will contact you four months before your lease is due to end to discuss ‘continued usage’ options for the items and offer a new lease on replacement items if required.

WHAT ITEMS CAN BE FINANCED?
 

What items can be lease financed in my rentals?

Our lease finance will apply to your furniture (including beds and mattresses), white goods and smaller electrical appliances, TVs, blinds, boilers, kitchens and fire doors as well as technology like smart locks and CCTV systems.

Landlord Smart continue to work with our finance contacts to add more items to this list and are currently working on funding for uPVC windows and broadband installations as well as other items used within the property industry.

To discuss your requirements please contact us and we can advise you on what we are able to finance at the appropriate time.

What cannot be lease financed?

Generally we cannot finance any soft furnishings or items that are likely to have a shorter estimated life span than 3 years, such as pictures, rugs, carpets, curtains, lamps. Some lenders will accept a small amount of soft furnishings as part of a lease. To discuss your requirements please contact us.

Can labour be financed?

We are unable to finance labour for fitting of items.

Can I buy second-hand items?

We are unable to fund items that are not new at the time of supply.

WHICH SUPPLIERS CAN I USE?
 

Do Landlord Smart provide a range of furniture I can choose from?

Landlord Smart are providing you with access to the right type of lease for property professionals. We don’t supply furniture ourselves but give you the choice of selecting from our ever-expanding approved supplier list OR we can look to work with your chosen supplier(s). This means you get the choice of a whole range to suit your market and Landlord Smart lease finance pays that chosen supplier directly.

Who are Landlord Smart approved suppliers?

See our suppliers page for approved suppliers that are working with Landlord Smart. COMING SOON

Can I buy from a supplier that is not approved by Landlord Smart?

It is possible to buy from alternative suppliers however they would need to pass our supplier screening process first to enable this to happen, which may affect your project timescales. If we are not able to get all necessary paperwork agreed in time, we are able to offer you the option of Sale & Lease Back finance. See section “What if I’ve recently completed a project. Can you help?”

The main reason we are unable to work with certain suppliers is that they expect upfront payment; we can only work with suppliers who will agree to payment upon delivery of the goods. In the case of smaller local suppliers, they may not have sufficient and satisfactory trading history and would therefore present a risk to the lender.

If you have a preferred supplier you would like to suggest to us, please let us know via our contact form and we can contact them to explain our service and then screen them.

How many suppliers can I use for one lease finance application?

You are not restricted to the number of suppliers that you can order from on one application, however every supplier must be paid at the same time by the funders so if your suppliers are providing items at different stages of your project we may have to consider creating more than one lease so that they get paid as quickly as possible. See section “What are the costs?”, question: “Can everything I want to finance go on one lease with one Landlord Smart fee?” for more details.

Can I buy furnishings and appliances I have seen on sites such as Ebay, Amazon or Gumtree?

Currently we are unable to work with suppliers through Ebay, Amazon or Gumtree.

Can I use one of my own companies to supply the items?

We are happy to work with you to get your own company approved as a supplier so that they can then supply goods to the company applying for the lease finance. Please contact us for a Supplier Approval Application Form.

Can I use one of my own companies as a supplier to buy the items I need to be financed?

If you have another VAT registered property related business this can be used as the supplier and purchase items from multiple suppliers. As a supplier the company will issue the finance company a VAT Invoice for the total amount, detailing what items have been provided with a cost breakdown.

Can I use an interior design company?

We are happy to approve interior design companies which can then be used to provide items which will be financed as part of your project. Please contact us for a Supplier Approval Application Form.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS
 

How long does it take for a finance application to be approved?

We recommend a minimum of two weeks to allow for processing and documentation time. During the process, you will be asked to respond on several occasions. To meet this timescale, it is imperative that you respond in a timely manner to any communications. You will also need to bear in mind the chosen supplier delivery lead times which could impact your delivery schedule.

Some suppliers will agree to a Post Delivery Finance option where they take payment for your goods upfront and once the lease finance is arranged and pays them they will then refund your payment in full.

Will the lease finance show on my personal credit file?

If you are acting as a guarantor for a new company (trading less than three years) you will be required to agree to a personal credit check. It will not impact your credit score.

Lease finance is not a personal loan and therefore will not show on your credit file. It is also classed as ‘off balance’ sheet funding so does not appear as a loan to your business either.

How will I be contacted throughout the application process?

You will be contacted by Landlord Smart via email and by our finance provider directly to begin the application process and when your lease contract is issued. We will keep you up-to-date of progress via email and telephone where necessary.

What happens if I need to change anything after the order has been placed?

The order can be changed at any time up to the point of your lease contract being issued. The finance company need to know what is being ordered, delivered and funded, all of which is stated on the contract. Should you wish to change anything after a contract has been issued the funders will need to be re-approached to agree, which could impact your project timescales.

Who organises the furniture delivery? What if I need to rearrange the delivery?

You will select a required delivery time when you apply and this will be confirmed by us with the supplier. Your delivery date will be dependent upon the lease finance contract being signed and returned by you. If there are delays with your finance application, delivery may need to be postponed or payment may be required to secure delivery by the supplier.

How soon after the application is agreed does the direct debit start?

Once you have accepted delivery of the assets, the first direct debit will be taken from your bank normally within 7-14 days.

How soon can I reapply if I have previously been declined?

If you are an established company then you can reapply once your next set of accounts is registered with Companies House. If personal guarantees were required then you may reapply once your personal credit score has improved or you have a qualified guarantor to support your application

Is the application process any different if I am a repeat customer?

The application process will remain the same, however as your records will be on the lease company’s system your approval will be slightly quicker.

What happens if furniture arrives damaged?

If you receive any damaged furniture on delivery, you must not sign the acceptance certificate from the delivery team and should contact your supplier and Landlord Smart immediately. Your supplier will not get paid by the finance provider until you have confirmed acceptance the goods. You will be contacted within two days of your delivery date to confirm acceptance.

What happens if my company stops operating?

If your company goes into administration/bankruptcy, the finance company may look to the directors’ personal guarantees. This will be at the finance company’s discretion.

WHAT IF I’VE RECENTLY COMPLETED A PROJECT. CAN YOU HELP?
 

Can I take a lease on items I’ve already paid for?

Landlord Smart can offer Sale & Lease back on items already paid for by you on a project. To enable this type of lease to be considered you must be able to provide the invoices received from your suppliers with a matching proof of payment (e.g.: bank statement or card statement). The amounts must match. No items paid for in cash or second-hand items can be financed and all invoices must be issued to the business who will make the lease application.

Sale & Lease back works best for VAT registered businesses because you will have paid VAT on your goods when you purchased them (where applicable), however the lease finance will be for the exclusive VAT amount only. You will then be paying VAT on the monthly lease payments therefore if you are not VAT registered you will effectively be paying VAT twice. For some of our customers, not having to make the capital outlay is more important and they are happy to bear that increased cost.

What items can be financed in a sale and lease back?

A Sale & Lease back can finance the same types of items that can be financed on a normal lease contract. See section: “What items can be financed?”, question: “What items can be lease financed in my rentals?”

How long ago can my project have taken place for me to do sale & lease back?

Most lenders will consider items up to three to six months old.

WHAT IF I WANT TO RECOMMEND/REFER YOU?
 

Do Landlord Smart offer an affiliate scheme for any referrals?

Yes we do. If you really want to earn some serious money then tell everyone about us once you have registered for our SMART Affiliate scheme which will earn you £50 for EVERY successful application, for the lifetime of the customer (£50 for each one of multiple projects). To become a SMART Affiliate, email enquiries@landlordsmart.co.uk.

Will I get anything else from Landlord Smart?

We do give you the opportunity of promoting your own projects that have been financed by us on our Facebook page (which you should LIKE for lots of hints and tips too). We love to share your photos and promote the excellent property projects and will reward you with a 10% discount on your next Landlord Smart fee if you allow us to promote your work and provide us with a testimonial to use on our website.