May 11, 2016
Property gossip August 2016

Mortgage Trust new range

We recently heard that Mortgage Trust has revamped its buy-to-let range to include a revamp on some existing products, as well as launching over 20 new products.

Fixed rate deals for Landlords include a two year fix at 3.05% (75% LTV) and a five year fix at 3.50% (75% LTV).

Letting without a proper contract

Research carried out by Direct Line for Business has revealed that 1 in 10 private landlords do not have a formal tenancy agreement in place with their tenants. They go on to say that even where contracts are in place, landlords may unwittingly be asking tenants to sign documents that are not legally compliant, and of those who do not use a letting agent, 58 per cent used adapted tenancy agreements from either old agent contracts or other landlords (38 per cent) or an updated template they found online (20 per cent). The article goes on to suggest that a lack of professionally reviewed agreements may explain why 1 in 8 landlords have experienced disputes specifically arising from tenants’ rental contracts in the last two years.

Most concerning is that 9% of landlords have failed to inform their tenant that their deposit is protected in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP). Failure to properly observe the TDP rules can see a landlord liable for a penalty of between 1 and 3 times the value of the deposit, plus the landlord will have to refund the deposit in full and is unable to serve notice on their tenant until they do.

Last year we came across a tenancy agreement, being used by another agent, a direct copy of our agreement – only it was 5 years old. Not only has our tenancy agreement been updated countless times since then, but some of the clauses are no longer accurate, or indeed present, due to a change and/or introduction of legislation.

Top tips for moving home

Removals specialist Anthony Ward Thomas has produced some handy tips to help with your move, which we thought quite useful.

  • Cancel and transfer home insurance.
  • Notify car and life insurance of your change of address.
  • Make sure utilities are transferred to the new address (TV, phone, internet).
  • Round up utility bills (electricity, gas, council tax)
  • Redirect your post.
  • Have change of address cards sent out.
  • Start the registration process of a new doctor if required.
  • Book in the removal with plenty of notice.
  • Have parking for the removal secured (a removals specialist such as Ward Thomas can organise that for you)
  • Book in a cleaner.
  • Start packing, if the removal men are not packing everything
  • Start sorting out your possessions: what is going with you, what is staying, what is being thrown, given away, sold, put into store.
  • Become familiar with your new home, parking, access requirements (the size of corridors and rooms. Will everything fit?).
  • Pack a survival kit for the first night in your new home – Toothbrushes, toothpaste and general toiletries, loo paper, towels, tea, coffee, sugar, crockery and cutlery (one for each of the family), a change of clothes and pyjamas, emergency toys and books to keep the children happy.
  • Record all meter readings.
  • Check every nook and cranny for forgotten items when the house is empty.
  • Switch off water, gas and electricity.
  • And most importantly – make sure you have a good bottle of champagne to crack open in the new house.

Lawyers and Property

An article in Property Reporter says that according to new research from Bower Private Clients, lawyers are increasingly looking towards property to help fund some or all of their retirement. The data revealed that 29% planned to use funds from their home or buy-to-let in place of a pension.

However nearly a third (31%) are not confident about their retirement planning with 14% admitting to be ‘very unconfident’ their retirement plans will work out, the study found.

Bower Private Client’s research showed that on average more than half (52%) of lawyers retirement funds will come from pensions and 44% will come from property and lawyers keep a regular eye on their plans. More than two fifths (43%) of lawyers have reviewed their retirement plans within the last 12 months.

More 10 Year Fix Rate Deals hit the market

In a previous newsletter we wrote about longer term fixed rate deals and since then more products have come to the market. Our latest finding is from Coventry Building Society offering a 10 year fixed deal at 2.99% (residential), so it seems to be a growing trend as lenders aim to secure customers for the long term.

Just in – Our brokers have just announced another exclusive deal, this time with produces launched by Tesco Bank. They have access to all of their products up to 90% LTV. If you are currently in the market for mortgage advice and would like to speak to a broker, please e-mail us here (name, address, phone number and e-mail address)

Average rents rise again – but are they slowing?

According to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains, the average rent across England & Wales sits at £791 per month, showing a year on year rise of 3%.

In third place, London with an annual increase of 4.6%. At the top of the table – East Midlands with a whopping annual increase of 8.5%.

Twenty years of stamp duty changes

July 1997 – New higher stamp duty bands introduced

March 1998 – Higher rate brackets increase again

March 1999 – Third year running of higher band increases

March 2000 – Final consecutive higher band rate increase

April 2005 – Base rate threshold doubles to £120,000

March 2006 – Base rate threshold increases to £125,000

September 2008 – Stamp duty ‘holiday’ for the bottom end of the market, lasting until 31st December 2009

March 2010 – Temporary £250,000 base threshold for first-time-buyers introduced

April 2011 – New 5pc rate for £1m properties

January 2012 – Temporary base threshold for first-time-buyers ends

March 2012 – New 7pc rate for properties over £2m

December 2014 – Overhauled stamp duty structure, move to blended rate

April 2016 – Second home surcharge introduced

Full article here