Market Update

Market Update

With further restrictions already in place for this autumn, people’s homes have become more of a haven than ever. Meaning that despite ongoing economic uncertainty, buyers and renters continue to prioritise searching for a property capable of adapting to their changing needs.

This continues to drive buyers and prospective vendors into the market, with the number of properties going under offer up for the third consecutive month in September.

For lettings, however, we are still seeing the volume of new instructions outpace new lets agreed, which impacted achieved rents again in September.

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go - Government Update

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go - Government Update

As the Government announces that sales and lettings activity can resume, and although branches can open, we will continue to work from home as much as we can and only go to the office when necessary as per the guidelines.

They have confirmed that physical viewings are now allowed and following the strict guidelines set out to ensure the safety of all our clients and customers, we are pleased to offer the following:

  • Virtual video viewings in the first instance, wherever possible.
  • Physical viewings to take place where there is a serious intention to rent or buy.
  • Nobody with any Coronavirus symptoms takes part in any in-person viewings.
  • Physical viewings are limited to essential participants only, to a maximum of two, and currently live in the same property.  If possible, please do not bring along children.
  • We will meet you at the property as we are unable to offer transport.
  • We will accompany physical viewings and seek to maintain a minimum of 2 meters distance.
  • Personal Protective Equipment should be worn (mask, gloves) & use hand sanitiser. Please ensure you have this with you and wear it at all times.
  • We kindly ask that you refrain from touching anything in the property.

You can also begin to market your home and we are happy to offer property appraisals undertaking the following measures:

  • Before we visit, please ensure the property is well ventilated.
  • We will need to maintain a minimum of 2 meters distance.
  • We will remove our shoes and wear facemasks and gloves throughout the appointment.
  • We will not touch anything in the property.

 

Thank you for your patience during these difficult times.  To see the full guidance please click here:

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Coming Soon - Video Viewings

Coming Soon - Video Viewings

As viewings are not permitted under current public health guidance, with a pinch of creativity and the help of modern technology, we will be bringing you video walkthroughs of some of our properties!  Watch this space

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Landlord Income Tax Relief fully phased in

Landlord Income Tax Relief fully phased in

At the Summer Budget 2015, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced that the amount of Income Tax relief landlords can get on residential property finance costs will be restricted and gradually reduced from April 2017 until April 2020.

This means that from 6 April 2020 to 2021, 100 per cent of financing costs acquired by landlords will be given as a basic rate tax reduction. The final phase reduces the percentage of finance costs that can be deducted from rental income to 0 per cent and raises the percentage of basic rate tax reduction to 100 per cent.

As a result, from April, landlords will have to pay income tax on the full amount at the basic tax rate of 20 per cent. The rules affect UK residents who let residential properties in the UK or overseas as well as non-UK residents who let residential properties in the UK.

https://www.arla.co.uk/news/april-2020/landlord-income-tax-relief-fully-phased-in/?utm_campaign=11466859_ARLA%20news%20update%2010.04.20&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dotmailer&dm_i=Z6K,6TRVV,M9HSUF,RCM53,1

 

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Electrical Safety Standards Update

Electrical Safety Standards Update

Despite the current situation, the Electrical Safety Standards for private rental properties are still due to go ahead and we are advising Landlords to prepare for their introduction as best we can.

The regulations were passed by Parliament on 18 March 2020 and will come into force for new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.

Due to Coronavirus outbreak where landlords can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, they will not be in breach of the rules - this includes duty to comply with a remedial notice.

Where agents are unable to gain access to a property because of work restrictions due to social distancing measures, a tenant is self-isolating, or electricians are not available, the Government recommend that agents document their efforts to do so and all communication with tenants.

Attempts to carry out the work should then start again once the Government’s social distancing and self-isolation measures have been lifted.

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Right To Rent Checks - Temporary Measures

Right To Rent Checks - Temporary Measures

Government has made temporary changes to ensure that Right to Rent checks will continue in line with the Code of Practice, stressing that it remains an offence to knowingly lease a property to a person who is not lawfully in the uk.

These changes include:

Checks carried out by video call; Send scanned or photos of documents; Use the online Landlord's Checking Service if a tenant cannot provide documents.

For a full list of the temporary changes, click on the link below:

https://www.arla.co.uk/news/march-2020/temporary-measures-for-right-to-rent-checks/

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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

We are reminding Landlords that the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) comes into force today (1st April 2020).

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England & Wales) Regulations 2015 established the MEES which set a minimum energy efficiency level for all private rented properties in England & Wales.  Properties that have an EPC rating of F or G, landlords must take appropriate steps to improve the rating to E or register for an exemption if they want to continue to let it.

To see the full report and a list of exemptions, click on the link below!

https://www.arla.co.uk/news/march-2020/mees-changes-for-england-and-wales/  

 

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Urgent Update Regarding Agents

Urgent Update Regarding Agents

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has today confirmed that agents are not "essential businesses" under the new rules and therefore their view is that agents should close their offices immediately.

Furthermore, they stated that there should not be any in-person viewings, routine inspections or house moves.

MHCLG is still looking into property maintenance tasks such as gas safety checks and hopes to issue guidance on these points as soon as possible.

In a further development, British Association of Removers (BAR) has issued communications this morning instructing members that moves should only be completed if they are already underway, any move that has not yet started, should not go ahead.

Propertymark will keep members up do date later today and as any further information becomes available.

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Keeping You Safe COVID-19

Keeping You Safe COVID-19

As the Coronavirus pandemic evolves we are reacting as best we can to ensure that we keep our services running as close as possible to maximum for as long as we can. So, for the moment, it is business as usual with the added commitment to ensure the safety of all our clients, tenants, customers and team.

If the office is advised to close, please note you can still use our office telephone number and all messages will be forwarded to Els and Ali via email.  They will also be contactable on their mobiles and email. 

We would like to assure you that the welfare of our landlords, tenants and employees is of paramount importance and we are closely following Public Health guidelines in order to minimise any potential risk.

In the mean time, please stay safe and take care of yourselves.

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Hampstead Summer Festival 2020 - Cancelled

Hampstead Summer Festival 2020 - Cancelled

The world is in an unprecedented situation with the global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority right now, so as a precautionary measure against the ongoing risk, we have taken the decision to cancel this years festival! Rest-assured we will be back next year!  

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