For sale

Housing transactions slide to their lowest level for five years

Housing transactions are at their lowest for five years. A new report out this morning says that last month an estimated 79,900 transactions completed, down 4% on the same month last year, and the lowest since 2013. The LSL/Acadata index puts the average house price at £303,199, up just 0.1% on July but putting to an end a series of falls since March. The average annual rate of house price…

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To Let sign2

Rental market ‘has fallen into recession’ says The DPS

A gloomy report from The Deposit Protection Service says the UK’s rental market is in recession for the first time since the banking crisis started a decade ago. The latest figures from The DPS Rent Index show that during the April-to-May period of this year, average monthly UK rent decreased for a second consecutive quarter; this last happened in 2009. Average rent also fell year on year for the first…

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London lettings licence Central Housing Group

Agent hit with massive £30,000 fine for letting one tiny room

A lettings agent who let a tiny room behind a kitchen in a property in London has been ordered to pay more than £32,000 in court. Viviane Almieda of Park Royal, who ran My London Services Ltd., pleaded guilty to breaching HMO licensing conditions, including failing to comply with Brent council’s amenity and space standards as well as obstructing the council’s investigation. She ignored warnings from enforcement officers that a…

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The Canadian House of Commons in the Parliament building, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

MPs to debate tenants’ powers to sue over property conditions

MPs in the House of Commons will today (26th October 2018) debate the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, promoted by a Labour backbencher but with government support. The Bill seeks to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and if it becomes law it will ensure that all private and social sector landlords must ensure that their property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy…

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Another step nearer to rent contributing to tenants’ credit scores

More progress is expected today in the passage of a Bill which will allow good tenants’ rent records to count towards their creditworthiness. The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill – started in the House of Lords by Big Issue founder Lord Bird – today gets a Second Reading in the House of Commons. Currently rental payments of the UK’s 11m renters do not contribute to their creditworthiness in the same way as,…

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gavel and money

Landlord’s Burning Of Tenant’s Possession Will Cost Him £12,000 Compensation

A Wrexham private landlord whose stupidity in burning his tenant’s possessions because she had fallen behind in her rental payments, will now have to pay out £12,000 in compensation by 31st October. The ‘Rogue’ landlord pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Mold Court, when it was heard that he had sent in a team of men to clear all of the tenant possessions out of the flat which included furniture,…

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Council rental licensing schemes Central Housing Group

Landmark Case For Landlords To Tackle Council Licence Schemes Head On

A recent High Court ruling could provide all lettings agents and private landlords with a potential refund, when signing up to local authorities’ licensing schemes. The case could cause landlords demanding refunds from their payments for council’s licensing schemes. Landlord Peter Gaskin took the Richmond on Thames Council’s HMO’s licensing scheme to the High Court, claiming that following an EU directive, the fee charged by the council should not cover…

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security deposit

Landlords Up In Arms Against Which?

Private Rented Sector landlords are unanimously defending the current deposit protection schemes that have been decried by the consumer group Which? In the group’s recent survey it stated that 43% of tenants are either paying for their deposit by credit card or borrowing to do so. Those tenants that took part in the survey and had moved out of a property in the last two years, a sixth of them…

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Health & Safety

Government announces private rental sector health and safety review

The government is to undertake a wide-ranging review of health and safety regulations for the private rental sector. In an announcement this afternoon the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said that under current rules, local councils are required to ensure private rental properties in their area meet safety standards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and are able to force landlords to take action where tenants are…

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stamp duty attack on the buy-to-let-sector Central Housing Group

Rumours Doing The Rounds On Higher BTL Stamp Duty

There are countless rumours doing the rounds in the national media, that the Chancellor’s Autumn budget could announce the government’s intentions of raising BTL Stamp duty surcharges. The first news of this was published in the Sun in an article by James Forsyth that states the increase, ‘would raise money for the exchequer and help to keep house prices down’ but ‘will do little to help people buy their first…

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Private sector tenants Central Housing Group

Councils must use their ‘extensive powers’ to root out rogue landlords

The policy director of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling on local councils to use the ‘extensive powers’ they have to root out rogue landlords and agents. Commenting to mark the launch of the University of York’s report on private rented housing, David Smith says one of the major problems facing the sector is poor enforcement of regulations. He says that RLA PEARL research shows that less than half…

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Islington House Prices Plummet By 7.8%, Reports Bloomberg

House prices in Islington have slumped 7.8% in a year, according to a report from Bloomberg News. The organisation suggests that the statistics are the result of a concoction of “Brexit uncertainty… converged with rising interest rates, higher sales tax and stretched affordability.” Other London boroughs in which Bloomberg reports a dramatic fall in the median price of a house include Wandsworth (-7.2%), Lewisham (-5.1%) and Southwark (-4.8%). Prices in the…

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Buy-To-Let Sector CHG

Selling up? Almost half of landlords want out of buy-to-let

A survey has revealed that 44% of landlords are looking to sell properties as a challenging market takes its toll. Octopus Choice, a P2P lending product, surveyed 1,000 landlords and found they are divided over the future of the buy-to-let market. Despite two in five respondents saying they are looking to sell, 56% of investors taking part said they want to keep or buy more rental properties. For those looking…

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London lettings licence Central Housing Group

Letting agency hit with £10,000-plus fine for smoke alarm failings

A London council has fined a letting agency over £10,000 for failing to install smoke alarms in a rental property. Waltham Forest council has prosecuted Just Move Estates, located in Walthamstow, using powers under the Housing and Planning Act. The agency claimed that tenants had removed three smoke alarms from a rental property in Leyton. However, upon inspection council offers found no evidence they were ever installed, according to a…

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London, UK - April 8, 2017 - For Sale property agency sign posted outside English terraced houses in Poplar, East London

London property market:no-deal Brexit ‘would hit capital’s house prices like a sledgehammer’

An already fragile property market could be pushed over the edge by a no-deal Brexit, mortgage lenders have warned. A “no-deal” Brexit would hit the capital’s house prices “like a sledgehammer”, a London mortgage lender warned today as new figures show the property market is falling at its fastest rate since the Olympics. Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of specialist home loans company Octane Capital, said a combination of rising interest rates, stretched household finances and stubbornly high inflation were already…

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Property Tax 3

Fight or flight? Landlords split over prospects for the buy-to-let sector

Landlords are almost evenly split between those pressing on despite tax changes and others heading for the exit. Analysis by peer-to-peer property lender Octopus Choice of more than 1,000 buy-to-let investors found that 56% want to keep or buy more rental properties in contrast to 44% who are looking to sell. A quarter blamed falling yields or tax changes, while a fifth said they were leaving due to cooling house…

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Better value rental homes Central Housing Group

Agents must accommodate renters looking for deposit-free renting’ – claim

The chief commercial officer of PropTech startup Canopy says that letting agents and Build to Rent landlords need to accommodate the ‘scores of conscientious urban renters’ looking for deposit-free accommodation. Jon Pitt makes the claim as Canopy has announced a corporate tie-up with Experian, PwC and Direct Line which will see the corporate firms’ employees offered access to the startup’s rental app. The app will provide tens of thousands of…

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Gas Safety Certificates Central Housing Group

Landlord hit with huge fine for ‘worst property seen in years’

A landlord has been hit with a total fine of almost £40,000 for breaching House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) management regulations. David Greene, 64, was prosecuted at Birmingham Magistrates Court on August 30 for letting a property which council officers described as the ‘worst they had seen in the last 10 years’. The landlord has owned the three-storey property, which includes ten self-contained flats, since 1986 and pleaded guilty to…

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Arrears rocket for tenants on Universal Credit

Around two thirds of private landlords with tenants receiving Universal Credit have experienced rent arrears according to new research. Based on responses from over 2,200 landlords, the Residential Landlord Association’s research exchange PEARL has found that 61 per cent of landlords with tenants on Universal Credit have experienced them going into rent arrears. This is up from 27 per cent in 2016. The research found that on average Universal Credit tenants in…

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Eviction Notice_3

Tory voters want S21 eviction powers scrapped, claims pressure group

Generation Rent, the controversial pressure group campaigning alongside Shelter and others for the scrapping of landlords’ rights to evict under Section 21, claims it has public support for its demands – including from Conservative voters. It claims three fifths of respondents to a poll it conducted agree that tenants who pay their rent and take care of their home should have an automatic right to stay in it, while 61 per…

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