London Skyline

London house prices:why homeowners in these boroughs are seeing the biggest price rises in the capital

Homeowners in Merton have seen the biggest house price growth in London over the past year, according to the the first full look at how much homes sold for in 2017. Prices in the south-west London borough, home to Mitcham, Morden and Wimbledon, rose 9.8 per cent from an average of £486,000 in December 2016 to £534,000 the following December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Significant transport upgrades were announced in the borough of Merton in 2017. Transport…

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Eviction Notice

Claims that evictions happen ‘for no reason’ are misleading, says agent

A head of a major agency says it is misleading to suggest that tenants are evicted ‘for no reason’. Mark Pilling, the managing director of Spicerhaart’s corporate sales team, has responded to the BBC Panorama on Section 21 evictions by saying that although the programme raised important issues, there is always a reason why a landlord chooses to evict. “In our experience, the reasons for a section 21 are usually either…

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Red seal and imprint "FINED" on the sheet of open postal envelope. Isolated. 3D Illustration

Landlords fined for flouting selective licensing scheme

A local authority has fined four landlords who failed to licence a total of seven properties under its selective licensing scheme. Hastings Borough Council successfully prosecuted landlords Peter Gilbey, Elizabeth Brandt, Jeremy Vane and Amanda Wray, according to the Hastings Observer. Wray was handed the biggest fine – £2,000 with £1,728 costs and a £200 victim surcharge. Brandt and Vane, meanwhile, were found guilty in absence and fined £500 with…

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Which Borough Has London’s Cheapest Rent?

Barking and Dagenham and Bexley are the cheapest London boroughs in which to rent, according to this MoneySupermarket research. They both cost on average £442 per month, per person — based on the total cost of renting a three-bedroom flat. The other three cheapest boroughs are: Havering – £450 per month Enfield – £533 per month Hillingdon – £600 per month                    …

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A 3D render of a housing dial pointing into the red. There are 5 coloured sections on the chart, the first segment on the left is green, second is yellow, third is light orange, fourth is orange and the fifth is red. In the centre of the gauge is a metal indicator that is pointing directly to the red section. Below the dial is written buy to let.

Dramatic slump in buy-to-let lending blamed on Government intervention

Regulatory intervention has led to a huge 80% slump in buy-to-let investment. That’s according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), which has charted a steep drop from £25bn of net investment in the sector in 2015 to just £5bn last year. IMLA said tax changes had deterred landlords from investing and created difficulties re-mortgaging. It warned that a period of policy consolidation was needed to assess the impact of…

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Landlord Advice from Central Housing Group

MPs back legislation to make all homes comply with minimum EPC band C

MPs have backed a proposed Bill that could see all domestic properties bought up to a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2035. Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, proposed the Domestic Properties (minimum energy performance) Bill during a Ten Minute Rule Motion yesterday. Such a move would bring greater requirements than those being introduced for landlords in April when all buy-to-let properties must have…

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Gas Safety Changes Confirmed

Way back in 2016 we asked readers of this blog, and UKALA members, to take part in a short survey about their experiences of getting access to property to carry out gas safety checks. The reason was simple, we were trying to pull together enough evidence to change the law to provide A degree of flexibility for the timing of landlords’ mandatory annual gas safety checks. Well…… partly as a…

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RLA logo holiday lets

Forum Spotlight: Can I check my tenant is paying his bills?

A landlord recently posted on our forum inquiring as to whether he could check his tenant is up to date with paying his bills and council tax for a property he is renting. Our forum users were quick to respond to the member, with some raising concerns over data protection. Another forum poster suggested looking at the issue from another angle, asking tenants for proof of payment of council tax…

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RLA logo holiday lets

Why the RLA is supporting Karen Buck’s Bill

  The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill  will receive its second reading on Friday. Tabled by Karen Buck MP, it gives tenants the power to take their landlord to court if their homes are deemed not fit for purpose at the start of, and throughout, their tenancy. So why, I hear you ask, would the RLA support moves that could see landlords end up in…

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Creating quality living:the new Swedish town offering innovative solutions to London’s housing crisis

Well-priced townhouses in green streets with shared facilities on council land — is the Vallastaden model a solution for London? Like Britain, Sweden has been struggling with a housing shortage in recent decades, with supply stretched by immigration. However, Swedes have a long tradition of finding solutions to housing pressures not through reports, but through “expos” — exhibitions of new housing settlements designed to reflect the social values of the day. A new community…

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mortgage tax relief for central housing group

HMRC Intends Landlords’ Tax Checks To Be ‘Bedfellows’ With Licensing Schemes

A consultation has just been launched by the HM Revenue & Customs on the addition of tax checks to landlord licensing schemes, just to make sure that they are paying the ‘correct’ amount of tax. The government has published a consultation document saying it appreciates the majority of people pay their fair share of tax, however it is aware that a small minority are not owning up to their true…

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credit score gauge

Rent Payments Added To Credit Scores Is Now A Step Closer

Following a second reading of the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill by The House of Lords, the tenant’s rental payment history being counted towards their credit rating score has achieved another major step forward. The person responsible for the Bill is none other than Lord John Bird, the founder of ‘The Big Issue’. The Bill’s next step to becoming law will be in the hands of those peers taking part in the…

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City Hall

London Launches First Rogue Agent And Landlord Database

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has just announced the launch of the UK’s first database of rogue agents and landlords and lettings agents which is now available online. The database/tool is now featured in the City Hall’s website and those landlords and lettings agents with criminal convictions will be named and shamed together with the details of their rental property addresses. Information of any civil enforcement actions that have been taken…

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letting agent

Landlords Do Care About Tenants

According to a new survey carried out by a rental insurance firm, it has found that in direct contrast to the popular belief of landlords being money grabbing ogres, they do care about their tenants wellbeing. It’s been a hard last couple of years with all of the new changes imposed upon landlords such as reducing mortgage interest tax relief, the Prudential Regulation Authority’s tougher lending criteria, Universal Credit national…

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Portfolio Landlords Not Put Off By PRA’s New Tough Measures On BTL Mortgages

An intermediary mortgage company claims that landlords with portfolios in spite of all the new regulations are still ploughing ahead with increasing their housing stock. Since September 32% of buy to let mortgage applications have been from landlords with four plus properties. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)’s is now forcing companies to be far more stringent when ‘interrogating’ buy to let mortgage applications from landlords with four or more properties,…

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On Sunday, the Government revealed its support in changing legislation so that tenants can take legal action against their landlord if the property they rent is in poor condition. The new legislation will be enforced by local authorities when tenants approach them with grievances against their agents or landlords which are for both private and social housing sectors. The announcement was made by Housing Secretary Sajid Javid, who says the…

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LB Brent

London council extends licensing scheme as it nears £1m in fines

Brent Council has confirmed that the government has approved its request to extend the local selective licensing scheme. The local authority, which is one of the most active when it comes to prosecuting criminal landlords and letting agents, will extend its licensing scheme to five additional wards from June 1. The selective licensing scheme will then cover eight local wards and up to 10,000 households. Brent Council says it has…

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House in Multiple Occupation rules for Central Housing Group

Fines total £27,000 for failure to abide by council licensing regime

Two buy to let investors have been fined a total of more than £27,000 under enforcement powers introduced in Burnley to fight so-called rogue landlords. The local council’s housing team served three notices to landlords for failing to licence their properties under the local selective licensing scheme. The penalties incurred were £12,500 for one landlord and two penalties of £7,500 for another. The landlords have the right of appeal to…

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Buy to let mortgages Key with keyring

Vast majority of young renters fear they will never own a home

New research claims that as many as 78 per cent of young adults aged 18 to 30 fear they will never be in a position to own their own home because they cannot save for a deposit, don’t earn enough or don’t have a good credit history. The research also shows British adults wanting to own their own home having on average £6,700 towards a deposit – yet over three…

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RLA seek clarity over Labour plans to allow tenants to keep pets in properties

A proposal by the Labour party to give tenants the default right to keep pets in rental properties has been met with caution by the RLA. Under the proposals, tenants would have a ‘default’ right to keep a pet in a rental property, unless there is evidence that a pet would be a nuisance. The Labour Party plan to consult on the proposals that tenants should keep pets as a default, and…

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