July 20, 2016
Property gossip August 2016

Deals, deals and probably more deals

A few weeks back, our mortgage brokers alerted us to a new HSBC 2-year fixed rate deal at 0.99% and we are now reading various reports indicating that the mortgage market will become even more competitive post Brexit, with suggestions of 2 year deals as low as 0.95%.

It would appear the “long term product” market, such as 5 and 10 year deals is set to grow, albeit there’s a view that early repayment charges are a stumbling block for some would-be long term committers. Click on the following link https://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/brexit-price-cutting-push-fixes-0-95/ to read an article by Mortgage Strategy

Is foreign investment dead in the UK property market?

Voices are whispering that a falling pound could actually lead to more foreign investment in some markets, and as is usually the case investors will look to buy at the bottom of the market. It’s a case of assessing when this time has arrived (an obvious point I know).

If the long term guesstimate is for property prices to stabilise, the opportunities for foreign investors may become very attractive. That’s not to say we should expect this to materialise any time soon, but the situation is certainly being monitored very closely.

Should I buy, sell or stick?

This was the headline for a recently published article in the Telegraph, which you might find quite interesting.

Reference is made to London’s Prime Market (or “Luxury London” as they call it) which we have seen struggle in recent months, so it’s of no surprise to hear reports of further concerns since the “big vote”.

There is a more optimistic view for what you might deem “the normal London market” and you can read the article by clicking on the following link http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/house-prices/post-brexit-property-planning-should-you-buy-sell-or-stick/

Waltham Forest Council issue warning to unlicensed landlords

I know we have posted this kind of information before; however, we know Waltham Forest Council are taking action against landlords, so we urgently recommend ALL landlords who are yet to “receive” their licence, to act without delay.

Even if you are pretty sure you paid the licence fee (and submitted your application), please double check to make sure the payment went through and then ask the council to provide you with a copy of your licence. What once would have cost you £250 will now cost you £650; although clearly an unlimited fine is clearly far worse.

On 16th June another “Action Day” took place, this time in the Hale End & Highams Park and Hatch Lane wards. Officers spoke with 263 residents and 6 scheduled property inspections took place, with 6 prosecutions initiated as a result of findings on the day. 11 private addresses were found not to have a licence, with those landlords now subject to further action.

If you are one of our managed Landlords, and in the event we do not hold a copy of your licence on file, we will have contacted you about this. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Property Manager.

According to London Property Licensing, Waltham Forest landlords are being warned to get their properties licensed or face prosecution:

“Ignore the law and you could pay a heavy price. You risk being prosecuted by the Council in the Magistrates Court. If found guilty, you would get a criminal record and could be fined by the Court and ordered to pay court costs and victim surcharge. The maximum fine was £20,00 but in March 2015 the law changed and you can now be fined an unlimited amount, so this is really serious stuff.

You could also be subject to a Rent Repayment Order and may have to repay up to 12 months rental income.

Whilst the property is unlicensed, you can’t use a Notice of Seeking Possession under Section 21 Housing Act 1988 to evict your tenants.

And following a successful prosecution, you would probably fail a fit and proper person assessment, making it very difficult for you to obtain a property licence in the future.

Don’t put your livelihood and reputation at risk. Make sure you comply with the law”