June 17, 2016
Property gossip August 2016

Landlords should take gas safety very seriously

Earlier this year a landlord was fined over £11,000 for letting a property which had a dangerous gas boiler. Another landlord was fined and handed a suspended prison sentence for installing a boiler that was not checked by a suitably-qualified gas engineer. In another case, a landlord was fined almost £3,000 for failing to provide a gas safety record for two rental properties.

There seems to have been a spike in the number of landlords being fined for gas safety failings and there are of course the new rules that came into play last October in relation to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Is your gas safety check up to date?.. and have you issued your tenant with a copy of the current gas safety record/certificate, within the required timescale?

Avoiding a long chain

Which? Mortgage Advisers have given some tips to help people avoid a long chain, therefore increasing the chances of a successful purchase.

1. It’s worth considering selling your property and moving into short-term rented accommodation or with family or friends. You’ll then be a chain-free, (perhaps full cash buyer), which you can use to your advantage when making an offer as you’ll be much more appealing to the vendor.

2. If you’re buying and can afford to be picky, look for properties where the upward chain is short or, even better, non-existent – for example if the vendor owns it as a second home and doesn’t need to find somewhere else to live.

3. New-build homes have no upward chains for obvious reasons – and if you’ve got a property to sell, the developer may offer part-exchange, meaning they’ll buy your old property to help speed things up.

4. If you’re in a hurry, try and get the vendor of the property you’re buying to agree to a date by which they are prepared to move out, whether they’ve bought somewhere themselves or not. Vendors will sometimes agree to move into rented accommodation to avoid risking the deal falling through.

Next Landlord Forum on 28 June 2016

Waltham Forest invites those interested in Private Sector Housing in the Borough to an interactive forum to discuss the latest developments in the area. It will be an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key issues with council representatives.

It will take place in the Council Chambers in Waltham Forest Town Hall, E17 4JF, on 28 June 2016 at 6pm. All are welcome, no need to book.

Here are some figures relating to the Private Rented Property Licensing (LBWF)

Since April 2015 the Private Rented Property Licensing Team has:

Received 19,758 applications
Issued 17,505 licences
Refused 35 licences
Revoked 7 licences
Varied 9 licences

EU Referendum – Are we set for change anyway?

Quite what will happen with the property market post 23rd June is a question nobody really wants to try and answer, not with any real clarity. It would appear some buyers are holding back until after the referendum, as are some sellers; however, this is also quite often the case when a general election is looming, with some people waiting to find out if any major changes are set to come about, which may affect them and in turn their decision to buy/sell.

Will there be an immediate effect on the property market if the Britain leaves the EU? Click this link to see what the Independent has to say http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-will-house-prices-go-down-after-eu-referendum-uk-a7068136.html and click the next link to see what Halifax have suggested about house prices reaching unsustainable levels in spite of Bexit http://www.cityam.com/242753/halifax-says-house-prices-could-be-reaching-unsustainable-levels-as-property-prices-soar-despite-eu-referendum

New research from Connells Survey & Valuations indicates that valuation activity was up 18% year on year (May 15 – May 16), with a nominal 1% monthly decrease (April 16 – May 16). However, this research would include valuations for re-mortgage purposes, which given the continued low interest rates, and improved deals now on offer, could mean people are keen to re-mortgage when the opportunity arises.

The latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv has revealed that house purchase lending activity has fallen 1.7% to a twelve-month low.

According to the data, May saw 65,113 house purchase approvals (seasonally adjusted), down 1.7% from 66,250 the previous month. This marks a 12-month low in lending levels, and is the lowest monthly figure for home purchase loans since the 64,626 granted in May 2015.

It could certainly be argued that referendum or not, the market was already set for change and it will be important to identify such changes and the true reasons behind them.