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Friday, June 24, 2016

The Brexit property news

So were you an inner or outer?  This morning brings a shock to all of us landlords.  Do we think it's going to bring economic melt down or are you happy with your savings in brick and mortar.  Here are some of the early thoughts on the effect of Brexit on property from the property press:

More thoughts on Brexit implications for landlords:

As one landlord helpfully pointed out a positive from Brexit could be the demise of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  A piece of legislation that arrived on our shores as a result of a European Directive aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings but in reality saddling landlords with an added expense and a useless piece of paper.  That could go on the bonfire of useless pieces of regulation heaped on us by the EU.

House prices are predicted to fall as a little bit of nervousness enters the housing market.  However, outside London will this really effect us?  Most landlords such as myself see rising house prices as a long-term bonus when they sell.  For most of us it's all about the day to day issues of managing your properties and ensuring that they remain fully rented and generating income.  Brexit will not disrupt the continued high levels of tenant demand and the steady rise in rents as demand for rental property and housing generally outstrips supply.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Crowdfunding for 'tenant tax' Judicial Review

Landlords try to gather funds via 'crowdfunding' to bring a Judicial Review to fight Government plans regarding a loss of mortgage interest relief .

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Trouble ahead for BTL investors - Times Money

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Age breakdown of UK's HB claimants

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Swansea tenant guilty of murdering his landlord

A Swansea tenant has been convicted of murdering his landlord. 

David Craig Ellis, 41, was found guilty today at Swansea Crown Court.

Swansea Crown Court had heard how David Craig Ellis, 41 had beaten his landlord to death with a hammer before disposing of 59 year old Alec Warburton's body in a old quarry in Dolwyddelan, Conwy.

Ellis put Warburtons body in the boot of his car,  drove 140 miles up the motorway to the unused quarry, where he dumped the body, before making his escape by ferry to Ireland.

Later arrested by the Garda, Ellis confessed to the murder.

More details -

Where the US leads we follow

With the UK Housing Act pushing increased privatisation of public housing should America's experience be a warning of our future.
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Rents surge £100 in 8 years

The Rentindex reveals that rent increases have continued on their steady seasonally adjusted course over the last 8 years.

Following their rise of over 5% over the last 12 months they are now £100 above their level at the start of 2008 when the Rentindex was first established.

How do I get paid 12 months rent upfront?

SDLT chaos - man overpays £13,000

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Wolverhampton landlord fined £3,000

A Wolverhampton landlord has been ordered to pay nearly £10,000 in fines and costs.

Delbag Singh Fagura was found guilty of nine building regulation offences as well as a charge of failing to disclose information after he had refused to confirm his ownership of a block of six rental flats in Telford.

Telford & Wrekin Council's building regulation team had visited the block and gathered evidence to show the rental block failed to meet a number of fire safety regulations.

Singh Fagura was fined £3,000, alongside £6,000 in legal costs and a victim surcharge of £200.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fire risk assessment - holiday lets

Chris Horne

I am in the process of buying my first ever holiday let.  As we know the legislation is different to buy-to-lets along with the tax treatment.  The advantage for holiday lets is that the business for furnished holiday lettings are assessed as a trade not an investment which allows me to offset a far greater number of expenses.

However, as ever there is more legislation to contend with including the requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment for paying guests.

How do I get 12 months rent up front?

UK tenancy fees mapped

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The risk of foreign property investments

This story underlines why I would never invest in any kind of off-plan foreign property.

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Brexit fears shake London property market

The good news - it will be all over by Friday.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

The non-resident landlord scheme

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Rents have risen slower than earnings for the past decade

Rents in the Private Rental Sector have crept up, at a slow and reasonable rate.

So, so much for the 'greedy landlord' myth one particular charity likes to push via the media to help get signatures on its chuggers clipboards.

As PH has always said - the majority of landlords are reasonable people, looking for reasonable tenants, to pay a reasonable rent, for a reasonable property, for as long a period as is reasonably possible.

Isn't it time we all started to look at the UK's housing problems more reasonably and stop slinging the blame around?

In last 10 yrs ave earnings rose 25% & rents by 23%. #Inform editor's pick.
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Free tickets - tomorrows London Landlord Show

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Average asking price hits a high

Despite  slowing house price growth( 8.2% according to the first UK House Price Index ) sellers are remaining optimistic.

Rightmove's Asking Price HPI for June 2016 has reported a record high for the average UK asking price, up 0.8% during June to £310,471. UK asking prices have seen an annual rise of 5.5%. 

Key points from Rightmove's June data -

  • Asking prices for property coming to market up 0.8% (+£2,320) to new high of £310,471
  • Lack of supply lead to drop in average selling period to 57 days, the fastest ever.  
  • Referendum jitters putting off sellers, new listings down 5.3% on June 15
Rightmove's Miles Shipside, comments:

“In many parts of the country, the over-riding factor of supply outstripping demand has so far overcome buyers’ usual reluctance to make major financial decisions at times of political uncertainty. Most seem to be getting on with the certainties they can control, namely if you find a suitable property snap it up. Indeed the figures for average time to sell indicate that properties are being snapped up more quickly than ever."

With today’s tighter lending criteria, marking a property as sold before you’re certain that the buyer has the means to pay for it could mean missing out on other more suitable purchasers. It takes time to check that a prospective buyer can get a mortgage, and ensure that all other buyers in the chain are also in a position to proceed. In spite of these extra delays and necessary diligence, the length of time to sell is the lowest we’ve ever measured. However, this does not mean that sellers can be over-ambitious on their asking prices, as buyers’ affordability is increasingly stretched and they’re shopping around so their budgets go further. If you set too high a price your property can become stale and be ignored by suspicious buyers even if later reduced to a more sensible figure. Given that housing markets dislike uncertainty, which could become a reality in the event of a Brexit vote, any dampening of buyer activity might mean that more realistic pricing would be an even more critical factor to achieve a sale.

If you’re debating whether to trade up and make a big financial commitment you naturally might hesitate before putting your property on the market just a few weeks before you know the vote outcome. With mere days to go the number of new listings is still about 95% of the norm for this time of year, so the drop-off is relatively small in spite of what many are calling the biggest vote of our generation. This could mean that people are struggling to assess what the impacts might be, or are choosing to ignore them until they become more apparent. A vote to Remain should mean that the housing market quickly returns to its previous norm, but a vote to Leave would create political and economic uncertainty, which historically has had more serious repercussions.”
Wishful thinking by optimistic sellers?


In or out?

Who knows?

rightmove house price map june 2016

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Can landlords get closer to God?

Property Image

St. Pauls Court, St. Pauls Street, Bury, BL9 6BF

Here at Property Hawk we are all about spirituality as well as about landlords maximising the returns from their investments.

Now potentially you can do both by landlords investing in this converted church in Bury.

The property investment opportunity

The  Freehold Residential Investment Opportunity comprises of 22 flats and parking.  It is freehold and consists of 22 self contained apartments 1 of which has been sold off.  The total rent from 18 let apartments is £111,180 per annum and fully let revenue should be up to £130,920 per annum giving a gross yield of 8.45% (based on ERV).

Asking price is £1.55 million +.

 How to advertise your rental property for free

London council clamps down on Airbnb

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Will a London crash bust UK house prices?

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

BTL mortgage availability to get worse

Search the whole BTL mortgage market free 

BTL mortgage arrears lowest since 2007

Thanks to falling rent arrears, lower tenant evictions, low interest rates, rent inflation and a stable housing market, landlords are managing to better meet their mortgage repayments.

LSL reports that during Q1 2016 they saw a drop in  buy-to-let mortgage arrears, seeing just 9,300 cases over the period, down  9.7% from Q4 2015.

The quarterly figure is the lowest recorded since Q4 2007.

btl mortgages arrears graph q1 2016

LSL Adrian Gill comments: 

“Landlords’ finances are the healthiest they’ve been for nearly a decade. 

Any new risks for landlords are now as a result of anti-renting policies – well-intentioned but possibly misguided attempts to further improve the private rented sector. Landlords witnessing this storm of regulatory change will need to build their cash reserves and reassess their business models. But they are in a very good position to do so.

Looking ahead, the next hurdle put up by the Government will be the coming changes to the tax relief of mortgage interest. For many smaller landlords and for those without significant external income, the phasing out of tax allowances at the higher rate could be minimal if they don’t fall near the higher tax bands in the first place. But professional landlords with more than a couple of properties could be hit harder.

Regardless of their situation all landlords should know where they stand – with a
revised plan and the proper advice to make sure they can continue to operate successfully under the new rules."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Specialist BTL tracker with Axis Bank

Property Hawk Mortgages launches new specialist buy-to-let tracker with Axis Bank.

The BTL two year variable rate product with Axis Bank is available for limited companies, HMOs, expats and student lets. 

The initial rate is 3.69% (LIBOR + 3.10%) up to 75% LTV with a 1.5% completion fee and no early repayment charges.

Jane Simpson, at Property Hawk Mortgages, says: 

“Property Hawk Mortgages is a highly experienced buy-to-let mortgage specialist and we are pleased to launch this new product with Axis Bank, which we are expecting to be popular with brokers and their landlord clients.

The rate is especially competitive in niche areas of the buy-to-let market. We are seeing a steady demand for limited company and HMO buy-to-let mortgages and this product stacks up well against other rates that are available in this specialist area.

It has a rental calculation of 125% at 5% which is appealing in today’s environment of rising rent stress tests and there are no early repayment charges, which may be an attractive feature for some applicants. The product is also a good option for expat landlords where choice can sometimes be limited.”

Tel; 029 2069 5446



BTL lending nosedives 86% after SD hike

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Ticking time bomb for landlords

Estate Agency Maskells are predicting a mass sell-off of BTL property by investors during 2018/19.

Maskells Principal, Charles Curran’s believes new policy & regulatory changes alongside mortgage lending and tax changes, will push landlords into selling up. 

Charles Curran predicts a rush of BTL property to hit the sales market between April 2018/2019 due to the first & second tranches of removal of interest rate relief coinciding with rising interest rates caused by the increase in capital charges for banks under Basel III.

As concern grows, Curran predicts BTL transaction volumes to slow in March 2017, causing a jump in rents in 2018-2019 as the supply in the rental market dries up and fails to meet ever increasing demand.

Charles Curran, Principal at Maskells Estate Agents, comments: 

“The BTL market has provided so much of the rental stock the country depends on, but the government’s tinkering could lead to a sell-off. This situation does seem akin to a slow motion train crash: BTL landlords with mortgages are standing on the track in a game of chicken with regulatory locomotive, hoping to time their exit as best as possible. This high-risk game will almost undoubtedly leave casualties.

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SDLT when buying a second home

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Sheffield landlord fined £5,000

Landlord, Mohammed Fathy Mohamed Khalif has been ordered to pay £5,000 after ignoring improvement notices issued by Sheffield City Council under the Housing Act 2004 and a notice under the Building Act 1984.

The court heard how Khalifa had failed to make  any of the required improvements to his rental property in Grimesthorpe rented to a family with two children.

Sheffield Council's Private Housing Standards team reported on a number gas and electrical defects at the rental property.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, said:

"We are prosecuting more people than ever and we will continue until landlords get the message that we will not accept unlawful behaviour in Sheffield. I hope the large number of good landlords in our city see that we are tackling the minority that tarnish the whole sector.”

Khalifa will now have to carry out the required works or face further action.

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Majority of London landlords back 'name and shame'

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Serious rent arrears falls 4%

The LSL Property Services Tenant Arrears Tracker has recorded a 4% fall in serious rent arrears.

  • 3,100 fewer households were in serious rent arrears in Q1 compared to Q4 – a 4% fall. 
  • Eviction orders fell by 3% in Q1. 
  • Just 1% of UK renters are in serious arrears – (86,200 households down from 89,300 in Q4) 
LSL's Adrian Gill comments: 

“Fewer tenants in serious arrears reflect the health of the jobs market. With an extra 44,000 jobs created in the first quarter of this year, thousands of tenants have been able to get their finances back on track and pay down late rent. Serious rent arrears peaked in Q3 2012, when 124,800 households owed more than two months’ rent – and when unemployment in the UK stood at 7.9%. Since then a boom in employment has been responsible for lifting many of the most precarious tenant households out of serious rent arrears and onto a more sustainable course. The direction of travel looks very positive.

A reduced risk of serious rent arrears will be welcome news for existing landlords, facing so many artificial challenges posed by government meddling. But no-one should be complacent – managing a property is never simple. Some landlords are being held back from buying property by the Stamp Duty Surcharge. If this stems the flow of new homes into the rental market, then shortages in some areas could push up rents – hitting affordability.”

350,000 tenants at risk of eviction

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Roman answer to the housing crisis

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MLAR mortgage lending stats for Q1

The pre-April BTL surge is reflected in the Q1 lending data in the Mortgage Lenders and Administrators Return (MLAR) statistics.

BTL advances (which include BTL remortgages) increased over the year from £7.7 billion advanced in Q1 2015 to £13.5 billion in Q1 2016.

Outstanding BTL balances are now £185.3 billion, equating to 15.2% of total residential balances, the highest proportion since the series began.

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First UK HPI published

The first of the Government's newly combined House Price Index has been published. Combining Land Registry, Registers of Scotland and Land and Property Services Northern Ireland data this new UK HPI replaces the ONS and Land Registry HPIs.

The new UK HPI for April 2016 shows annual house price inflation slowing slightly at 8.2% (down from 8.5% in  March ).

Average UK house price rose from £207,780 in March to £209,054 in April.

In terms of countries, England continues to see price growth whereas Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continue to bounce along on more static trajectories.

Read full data of the April 2016 UK House Price Index

Could Brexit make tenant checks harder?

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