Blog

Landlords and letting agents need to be ready for changes from the beginning of October

Changes for landlords and letting agents in England are due to come into force from the beginning of October affecting how they can evict a tenant and relating to gas safety and energy performance. From 01 October landlords will be required to use Form 6A, the form prescribed by the Government, which combines the two previous types of Notices into a single Notice for both periodic and fixed term tenancies. It means that landlords and letting agents should stop using their existing Notices as all assured shorthold tenancies, regardless of their start date will need to comply with the new guidelines. In addition, under the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords and agents wishing to issue their tenants with a Section 21 Notice should ensure they have shared the How to rent: the checklist for renting in England guide with tenants. They will also need to make sure the property has an up to date Gas Safety Certificate and the tenants have seen it, publish the property’s Energy Performance Certificate, except when the property isn’t required to have one, inform tenants which scheme their deposit is protected in and where the property is licensed, provide a copy of the licence to all of the tenants. Members and non-members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) can contact a legal helpline if they need guidance and the organisation is also providing fact sheets to download on its website along with a dedicated course on ending residential tenancies, which will aim to help letting agents understand the changes to the Section 21 Notices, and what it means in practice. ‘When the changes come into effect, it’s important agents are executing effective Section 21 Notices when necessary. There is a legal question over whether the additional documents need to be served on pre-October 2015 tenancies, but it’s very unlikely that a judge would throw out a case on the basis that an agent has provided the tenant with too much information. A test case before the courts is probably required to determine exactly what needs to be served for these tenancies,’ said David Cox, ARLA chief executive. ‘Therefore, we think that the safest course of action for letting agents is to serve all the documentation when issuing a Section 21 Notice. The Deregulation Act 2015 makes the will of Parliament clear, that these documents should be served, so it’s easier to comply with the spirit of the law rather than rely on a potential legal technicality,’ he explained. ‘These changes highlight so clearly that the current system is a mess which must be simplified and improved. We call on the Government to bring forward its promised Call for Evidence on a new Housing Court and work with us to build a system fit for today’s private rented sector,’ he added.

Read More

Cornwall house prices 'growing at fastest rate in eight years' but buyers shouldn't worry

House prices in Cornwall are growing at their fastest rate in nearly eight years, according to the latest figures from the UK House Price Index. In the year to July, house prices across the county have reportedly surged by 7.5% to an average of £234,128. This is the largest annual growth rate since prices grew by 7.9% in the year to October 2010. Year on year, the figure has increased by £16,410 on July 2017's average. While these statistics may alarm property buyers, one local estate agent advises that they must be taken with a pinch of salt. Andrew McKnight at MAP Estate Agents says that these figures are a misrepresentation of what is actually going on in the county. He said: "I wouldn't say that house prices in Cornwall are dramatically on the rise at all. House prices are steady and there is good demand. __ ______________________________________ With Cornwall being a small area that sees a small number of sales, what we sometimes see is a number of high price sales going through that can have a dramatic influence on average figures such as these. People think of Cornwall as being a big place when in fact it is not when compared to areas such as London, which experience significantly greater levels of activity in the property market." The figures are calculated using date from the HM Land Registry which lists the price paid for every property bought at market value. Andrew said: "All it takes is for two or three seven-figure sales to go through for average sales prices to dramatically increase." Average house prices in the UK have increased by 3.1% in the year to July 2018, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. This is the lowest UK annual rate since August 2013, when the figure stood at 3%. The average UK house price was £231,000 in July 2018. This is £6,000 higher than in July 2017 and £2,000 higher than last month. You can view the full bulletin here.

Read More

Cities where house prices are actually now cheaper than they were before the financial cras

Prices in Belfast, Liverpool and Aberdeen are below the level they were in July 2008, while in Cambridge and London, they're more than 65% higher than they were ten years ago House prices in a quarter of the UK's biggest cities are struggling to recover to the level they were at during the height of the financial crisis, according to a latest house price index. Ten years on from the crash, homes in Belfast, Liverpool and Aberdeen are now lower than they were in July 2008, less than two months before the apex of the crisis, the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Meanwhile Newcastle and Edinburgh have experienced weak single digit growth. At £129,629, average prices in Belfast are 28% lower than they were a decade ago, highlighting how hard Northern Ireland’s capital was affected. Aberdeen and Liverpool are also still recovering, with prices down 3% and 1%, respectively, on where they were a decade ago. House prices are just 1% higher than they were a decade ago in Glasgow (£121,940) and 3% in Newcastle (£128,641), an indication of how slow their recovery has been. By contrast, homeowners in Cambridge have seen the value of their properties rocket by 70%, on average, to £432,410. London homeowners have also experienced a spectacular a rise, with prices up 65% to an average of £483,792 since July 2008. Do I need planning permission? What you can build without it, what you can't and how to get it On a national basis, house prices are 26% above the level they were ten years ago, highlighting the regional differences within the UK’s housing market. In the past year, UK house prices have risen by 4.2%, driven by medium-sized cities such as Nottingham and Leicester, where house prices are rising by 7.5% and 6.6%, respectively.

Read More

Buy to let investors in UK are younger than a decade ago

The average age of buy to let buyers in the UK has fallen by 10 years since 2014, according to a new piece of research. The analysis of the demographics of its buyers over the last four years, yieldit found that the total average age of purchasers had dropped from 52.3 to 42, indicating a shift in the sector. Whilst property investment has traditionally been viewed as a business for older generations who benefit from already having a foothold in the market, this new data shows that this might well be changing as younger people recognise the strength and rewards of investment in the sector. Further analysis of the numbers shows that the drop in age is present across both residential and student buy to let, but is more pronounced in residential sales where the average age dropped from 57.5 to 40.9 compared to 52.3 to 44.2 in the student market over the same period. ‘Investing in bricks and mortar is as popular as ever and although a small number of our buyers are owner occupiers, the majority are property investors looking for tenanted buy to let,’ said head of sales at yieldit, Ryan Hughes. ‘Rising tenant demand and record house prices continue to attract a broadening number of people to the market, including a burgeoning number of first time investors. The figures just go to show that the classic portrait of a landlord is changing, something that we believe can only strengthen and revitalise the market,’ he added.

Read More

Applying for a mortgage? Be prepared to answer these questions

lanning to buy a home, or switch your existing mortgage? Prepare to answer a litany of questions, spend hours at the bank and endure forensic analysis of your daily spending habits. Even after jumping through all those hoops, success is not guaranteed, as there are now strict affordability rules that force lenders to ensure borrowers will be able to afford to pay their mortgage in the future.

Read More

It’s time to stop bashing the private landlords

THERE is one simple reason for the housing crisis, a historical failure by both this and previous governments to build enough houses. Demand continually outstrips supply and it’s set to continue. We need at least 3.5 million per year, yet only 1.1 million have been built since 2010, according to Government figures last week. It’s pathetic. So, don’t blame private landlords who took all the risks to invest. It’s not their fault, the vast majority are decent and want any bad ones out. They often buy and turn around existing poorly maintained houses to rent, where large corporations are not interested. Now rumour is that there could be a league table for bad ones, but will there be one for bad tenants too who fail to pay rent, some wrecking buildings prior to being evicted, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage? I’ve seen the programme Rogue Landlords, Rogue Tenants. The ratio is at least three to one for the latter. Like it or not, private landlords provide a vital service to the housing crisis, they help plug the gap. Government should work with, not hound out private landlords, yet they continually get bad press. George Osborne’s idiotic policy of additional stamp duty on second homes and increasing taxes (Section 24) has had the opposite effect. RICS, the body for surveyors, recently predicted that rents will rise by 15 per cent by 2022 due to the above policies. And God forbid any rent control, it would make matters worse for the poorest of people, it will not work. So, landlords are either evicting, selling, and running for the hills, or increasing rents to cover additional tax liability, with no choice other than pass some of the cost on to the end user, so it’s a tax on the tenant too. Councils are at bursting point, some putting tenants up in Berni Inns (in Colchester). Croydon is struggling, desperate and offering incentives to keep private landlords on board. Meanwhile, one of the largest house builders, Berkeley Homes, says that buy to let investors have diminished, a problem as they provided vital funds in early stage of development, so they don’t plan to increase the supply. Let there be no stamp duty, it would be good for all first time buyers and investors, output would triple. But no, everyone wants to bash the private landlord. Kevin Dray Sunninghill Avenue, Hove

Read More

Buy-to-let landlords abandon market after tax changes

Scores of landlords are deserting the buy-to-let market after tax changes and tougher borrowing conditions that are now “really starting to bite”, experts have warned. The number of buy-to-let mortgages completed in June dropped by just under a fifth compared with a year earlier according to UK Finance, a trade association. The 19.4 per cent drop to 5,400 loans continues the steady decline over the past eight months. Since November, the number of buy-to-let mortgages has fallen every month on an annual basis. June has shown the biggest fall so far, followed by a 19.1 per cent fall in March and 17.2 per cent in December.

Read More

Investing in Nigeria: Is Now the Time?

Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and the 24th largest in the world: The country is buzzing with creative energy but continues to wrestle with infrastructure and security challenges. What does this all mean for investors? In this episode, recorded live at the 71st CFA Institute Annual Conference in Hong Kong, Oscar N. Onyema, chief executive officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and member of the National Council, makes the case for why now is an opportune time to invest in Nigeria, despite ongoing challenges. The Take 15 Series is a series of short interviews with leading practitioners on timely topics focused on the investment profession. Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and the 24th largest in the world: The country is buzzing with creative energy but continues to wrestle with infrastructure and security challenges. What does this all mean for investors? In this episode, recorded live at the 71st CFA Institute Annual Conference in Hong Kong, Oscar N. Onyema, chief executive officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and member of the National Council, makes the case for why now is an opportune time to invest in Nigeria, despite ongoing challenges. The Take 15 Series is a series of short interviews with leading practitioners on timely topics focused on the investment profession.

Read More
© 2018 Tenimic ltd. All Rights Reserved.