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Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector regulations for landlords

1. What is the landlord required to do?

The new regulations for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors came into force on the 1st of October 2015. The government has published a handy notes for landlords;

  • at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property
  • a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in any room where solid fuel is used

After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. Currently at Albert Grace Estates we find that recording the alarm on video and keeping the receipts after purchase is most effective.

The intention of the regulations is to increase the safety of private sector tenants. 

  1. Who is responsible for checking alarms are working?

The regulations require landlords to

By |October 5th, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments

London house prices fall for first time in eight years as rest of UK rises

London house prices fell for the first time year-on-year since the height of the financial crisis eight years ago, under-performing the rest of the UK, Nationwide has said.

The average price of a home in the capital is £471,761, down by 0.6% between July and September compared with the same period last year. It was the first drop since the third quarter of 2009, when the UK economy was dealing with the aftershocks of the near-collapse of the global banking system. 

London was the only region in the UK where prices fell over the third quarter, making the capital the weakest-performing region for the first time since 2005. On a national level, house prices rose 2.2% to £210,982. East Midlands was the strongest performer, with prices up 5.1% at £177,825.

While London remains

By |October 4th, 2017|Categories: Latest News, Property News|0 Comments

‘Landlord tax’ stamp duty changes raise £2bn a year from buy-to-let and second home owners – double the amount expected

The Government’s stamp duty changes are raising twice as much money from home buyers as initially expected, HMRC figures show.

Analysis by accounting firm Blick Rothenberg shows that the Treasury has so far pocketed as much has £2bn as a result of the 3 per cent “landlord tax”.

Originally officials had estimated it would make half as much from the policy in the four years between 2016 and 2020.

Under the policy, which was introduced in April 2016, anyone buying a second home or buy-to-let property must pay an extra 3 per cent in stamp duty on top of ordinary stamp duty.

The figures suggest that the policy has not significantly deterred landlords or second home owners from buying up properties.

By |September 8th, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments

Brexit: Businesses warn over ‘UK workers first’ proposal

Firms that rely on EU workers have warned of the “catastrophic” impact of proposals to slash unskilled migration on the day Britain leaves the EU. 

Under the draft plan, leaked to the Guardian, firms would have to recruit locally unless they could prove an “economic need” to employ EU citizens.

They could face a skills tax to boost training of UK workers if they still chose to employ unskilled EU staff.

But business groups say a “sudden” cut could cause “massive disruption”.

The National Farmers’ Union claimed the “entire food supply chain” could be threatened.

NFU deputy president Minette Batters said: “We are calling for an urgent and clear commitment from government to

By |September 6th, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Update Aug 2017

In April 2018, private rental properties will need to have a minimum EPC rating of E or it will be illegal to rent them to tenants. This change will only apply to new tenancies and renewals. By April 2020, the rule will be extended to incorporate all private rentals regardless of when the tenancy started. Landlords that breach these regulations may face a fine of up to £5,000. 

Properties with a EPC rating of F or G will either need to be taken off the market after this date or improvements implemented. Where the EPC indicates a rating of F or G it will be considered substandard under the regulations.

The Government is expected to publish specific guidance for landlords in October this year to clarify the changes. The clarification will hopefully

House prices are falling at their fastest rate since 2012 as people face ‘squeeze on real incomes’

On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices declined by 0.4% in April according to Nationwide. It may not sound like a lot but Britain’s recent rampant property market means the drop represents the worst monthly decline since 2012. 

Annual price growth is also weak. Average prices in April were 2.6% higher than the same month last year, the smallest annual increase since June 2013.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, says in a statement: “In some respects, the softening in house price growth is surprising because the unemployment rate is near to a 40-year low, confidence is still relatively high and mortgage rates have fallen to new all-time lows in recent months.

“While monthly figures can be volatile, the recent softening in price growth may be a further indication that households are starting to react

By |May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Property News|0 Comments

Buy-to-let slump puts first-time buyers in the driver’s seat

The withdrawal of landlord buyers has left the market freer for first-time buyers without pushing up prices.

Buy-to-let landlords are finally in retreat in the housing market, leaving young adults in a better position to buy a property, according to the latest data from mortgage lenders.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders said lending in March was £21.4bn, down 19% on the year before, almost entirely due to landlords withdrawing from the market. A double whammy of tighter Bank of England lending rules, which have forced banks and building societies to insist on greater rental cover and higher deposits, plus new taxes on rental income, has made buy-to-let far less financially attractive.

Lending peaked in March 2016, as landlords rushed through purchases to avoid a 3% hike in stamp duty. But since then, lending

By |April 26th, 2017|Categories: Property News|0 Comments

As demand rises, people are struggling with new-built homes

When you buy or rent a new-build house, you don’t want to finish it and struggle for a solution. A hole where a window should be, no cavity wall insulation and uneven stairs are just a few of the problems to mention.


BUYER CHECKLIST

■ Research the developer online before you buy to check for negative feedback and other’s experience

■ Question purchasers who have moved in to completed phases of a development about their experience.

■ Check which warranty provider the developer is registered with and read its consumer code.

■ Ask an independent snagging company to inspect the house for flaws before completion. However, developers aren’t obliged to allow you to enter the property before the legal completion date and many don’t.

■ Ensure your home and contents policy includes

By |April 12th, 2017|Categories: Property News|0 Comments

Benefit claimants face poverty at hands of erratic sanctions system

Benefit claimants are subjected to an unacceptable “postcode lottery” that can determine whether or not they are driven into poverty by sanctions, MPs have said.

A report by the public accounts committee found that some Work Programme providers and jobcentres withhold payments to twice as many people as others in the same area.

Sanctions are a punishment applied to benefit claimants adjudged to have infringed jobcentre rules. If claimants fail to turn up for appointments or to apply for enough jobs, officials effectively fine them by stopping their benefit payments for a minimum of four weeks, equal to about £300 for a claimant over 25.

The report by parliament’s spending watchdog, published on Tuesday, urges the government to review the use of financial penalties, which it finds “have increased in severity in

By |February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments