Color desaturation abstract of commuter train on an empty station platform.

The London Overground Is Being Extended

The London Overground will be extended 4.5km beyond Barking station, it has been announced. The extension will take the much-troubled ‘Goblin’ (Gospel Oak to Barking) line out to Barking Riverside. Four trains an hour will run on the line when it is opened in 2021. A new Barking Riverside station will be built to support the 10,800 new homes being built in the area. Construction on the extension and new station will begin…

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barking and dagenham logo property letting

Barking and Dagenham crowned top property renovation hotspot

The latest property renovation hotspots list revealed that Barking and Dagenham is the top location for an increase in renovation applications in the past two years. According to home service marketplace, Plentific.com, the East London borough was top of the table for the highest increase (114%) in householder development applications since 2015. Other popular commuter renovation zones included Newham, Croydon, Havering, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Bexley, Enfield, Greenwich and Harrow. The national…

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A third of tenants have stolen from rented property

It’s cheaper to buy than rent, says local mortgage adviser

Research from Mortgage Advice Bureau Swindon has found that it is cheaper for Swindon tenants to purchase a new property than rent from a landlord. As it has become increasingly hard for young people to get their foot on the property ladder, high monthly payments to landlords means that renting is near-unaffordable. Help to Buy ISAs and other government schemes allow them to save for a deposit, ensuring that buying…

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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards block chart for Private Landlords

Understanding Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – a guide for landlords

In just a few months the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for commercially rented properties will come into force. From 1 April 2018, landlords of non-domestic private rented properties (including public sector landlords) may not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating  of  band F or G (shown on a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property). There is ample guidance…

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Alternative housing for Central Housing Group

New survey shows alternative housing choices young people would make

A new survey shows alternative housing choices that a third of young people would choose to buy and live in a caravan if they couldn’t get on the property ladder. My Home Move conducted a survey of 1,000 people across the UK aged between 18 and 34. Nearly a third of people would opt to live in a caravan (29%), followed by 24% favouring a lodge, and 13% choosing a…

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RLA time limited right to rent

Call of the week – time limited right to rent

Now that 18 months has passed since the introduction of the right to rent legislation, many landlords will be facing a follow up time limited right to rent check to ensure that they are still safe from prosecution. This week’s call is a classic example of this kind of case and landlords who rent out to anyone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) should pay close attention to the…

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RLA logo for Local Housing Allowance Central Housing Group

Local Housing Allowance Direct Payments – changing the “payee”

Landlords have been left horrified – and out of pocket –  after local authorities re-directed Local Housing Allowance direct payments from landlords to tenants, without explanation. Here welfare expert and RLA trainer Bill Irvine talks through what can be done if this happens and looks at the case law surrounding the issue. “One of my clients recently contacted me, in something of a panic, when one of the councils it…

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Redbridge Council private rental sector licensing

Council private rental sector licensing offering 50% discounts

Redbridge council in London is offering 50 per cent off the cost of its private rental sector licensing scheme until September 13. The different licensing regimes operating in the borough – launched in a bid to reduce what the council claims is anti-social behaviour and poor property standards associated with the private rental sector – have so far attracted 248 additional applications and 741 selective licence applications. The licence application fee…

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energy efficiency Performance Certificates

Pressure group urges £5,000 cap on energy efficiency rental work

An energy efficiency lobbying group says it backs new government energy efficiency guidelines to improve 300,000 private rented homes – but it says there should be a £5,000 cap on the cost of remedial work for each property. Speaking to the magazine Utility Week, the Association for the Conservation of Energy has proposed a cap of £5,000 for energy efficiency improvements. It also says compliance with new domestic energy efficiency…

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Stamp Duty logo

LSE academics become the latest to call for Stamp Duty to be scrapped

Stamp Duty is having a “substantial detrimental effect” on the housing market, academics have claimed. A study by the London School of Economics and the VATT Institute for Economic Research found Stamp Duty, or property transfer taxes, were making households less likely to move, particularly over shorter distances. The report looked at activity for properties worth more than £250,000, where Stamp Duty jumps from 1% to 3%. The researchers found…

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Faulty white goods for Central Housing Group

Ministers must act on faulty white goods fire risk

More people will die from fires started by faulty white goods if ministers do not act to implement recommendations, the London Fire Brigade, the city’s mayor, and safety groups have warned. In a letter to Theresa May, they say some fridges and freezers are being sold with a flammable plastic backing. People continue to use products that are subject to recalls, it adds. The warning comes a year after a…

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CAD render of downsizing in the housing market

Emotional ties to family homes stop retirees from downsizing

New research from equity release lender, more 2 life, has revealed that an emotional connection to their family home prevents retirees from downsizing. A survey of 205 IFAs shows that 87% of their clients note this as the most common reason for staying, while 52% say that there is no other suitable property to move into. Advisers have been told by more than eight in 10 retirees that they refuse…

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National Landlords Association logo

Confidence ebbing away in private rental sector says National Landlords Association

Buy to let investors are losing confidence in their ability to rely on steady rental yields, according to recent figures from the National Landlords Association. Figures show that the proportion of landlords optimistic about their ability to rely on a steady rental yield has fallen 15 per cent in the past two years – down from 64 per cent in the second quarter of 2015 to only 49 per cent…

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Newham Council issue fine to letting agencies

Council to have star-rating system for all letting agencies in its area

Newham council is to set up the UK’s first letting agents rating scheme to protect residents and landlords from rogue letting agencies. The authority has approved plans to rate all of the borough’s letting agencies from zero to five stars (where five is the best), and then publish the list in full on the council’s website. The council claims the list will offer potential tenants and landlords with all the…

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London house prices and Places to rent in London

London house prices: new Land Registry figures reveal the 10 cheapest boroughs to buy a home

Homebuyers in search of the best London house prices for starter homes in the capital should continue to head east and south-east as a new report confirms Bexley as London’s most affordable borough. Despite emerging as one of south-east London’s fastest-growing property hotspots, the average price of a home in Bexley is more than £200,000 cheaper than the London average, according to a Land Registry report. The new figures, which…

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London Skyline

Twenty years on: house prices in nine London boroughs have risen by more than 500 per cent in two decades

The biggest increase in UK house prices over the past 20 years continues to be seen in the capital, with nine London boroughs in the top 10 areas for price rises since 1997. The scale of transformation across east and south-east London over the past 20 years continues to be reflected by soaring house prices in these rapidly-changing parts of the capital. New transport links, rising demand and lack of…

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letting agents in England to be regulated

Ministers finally bow to demands for letting agents in England to be regulated

All letting agents in England will have to be registered under new legislation, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said yesterday. He made the announcement yesterday afternoon at the Conservative party conference, making clear: “We will regulate letting agents who want to operate.” It means that the days of anyone being able to set up as letting agents in England – even if they have just come out of jail after stealing…

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Company Voluntary Arrangement for businesses

How landlords should approach a Company Voluntary Arrangement

A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is most simply described as a rescue procedure for insolvent companies. It allows businesses facing severe financial difficulties legally protected breathing space to reach an accommodation with their creditors, usually involving payment of a certain proportion of debts (expressed as a number of pence in the pound). In some cases, the company’s terms of business with its creditors can change too, with the objective of…

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Mortgage Brain for owner occupier

Big rise in mortgage choice for buy to let and owner occupier sectors

The number of mortgage products has more than doubled for buy to let and owner occupier sectors over the past two years, according to new data released by sourcing operator Mortgage Brain. An additional 5,172 mortgage products have been introduced into the UK market since the end of June 2015, representing a 108 per cent increase. The number of buy to let mortgages has seen an even more dramatic increase…

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Letting fees for house rental

Letting fees ban: over 4,700 official consultation responses

The government has revealed that it has received over 4,700 responses to its official consultation over the proposed ban on agents’ letting fees levied on tenants in England. The announcement came in a written parliamentary answer by housing minister Alok Sharma to the Labour MP Roger Godsiff. The Labour member wanted reassurance that the government’s proposed fee ban would take place despite the minority status of Theresa May’s administration, to…

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