Tag Archives: RICS

House prices and buyer activity continue to fall Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News, Property Market News, Property News

There has been a further weakening in the property market with sales, instructions to sell and prices all declining in the RICS Residential Market Survey for October.

The organisation says that this downward trend could last over the coming months.

House prices have fallen for three consecutive months and new buyer enquiries nationally are -39% down.

RICS says the latest result indicate that house price growth has ‘ground to a halt’.

Fresh property listings coming onto the sales market also fell, with the latest net balance of -23% representing the weakest return for this indicator since September 2021.

Tenant demand continues to rise at a solid pace

However, tenant demand continues to rise at a solid pace, with a net balance of +46% of survey participants noting an increase in October.

At the same time, landlord instructions fell once again with a net balance of -14% of respondents and RICS’ members are predicting that rents will rise by around 4% nationally.

‘Concerted thinking about how to create a thriving sector’

Simon Rubinsohn, the chief economist at RICS, said: “Feedback around the lettings market once again demonstrates the need for some concerted thinking about how to create a thriving sector that caters for both the private and ‘affordable’ renter.”

He added: “The latest Residential Survey highlights the emerging challenges in the housing market as new buyers grapple with more costly finance terms and uncertainty over the outlook for the economy.

“This is reflected in forward looking RICS indicators around both prices and activity.

“However, some signs of an easing in inflation pressures more generally could provide a chink of light, particularly for those looking to take their first step on the property ladder.”

Sales across the country also fell

Agreed sales across the country also fell by -41% among survey participants.

And the downward sales trend has hit nearly all parts of the UK over the month, with respondents in the North West of England, Scotland, Wales and London all citing a particularly quiet month for activity.

There has also been a fall of -42% of respondents who report a decline in prices and which, RICS says, shows a further weakening.

All regions across England are now seeing prices soften with East Anglia and the South East seeing the sharpest rate of decline.

‘House isn’t winning any more’

Sarah Coles, a senior personal finance analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The house isn’t winning any more, with prices down for the third consecutive month.

“The trend is gathering pace, as more agents say prices are falling with each passing month, and every region is seeing price drops.

“The picture looks particularly bleak in East Anglia and the South East, where prices are dropping most sharply.”

She added: “If you’re put off by the falling market, and choose to rent for longer, the market will deal you another blow – because rents are still rising.

“December saw yet another month of disappearing landlords – as they sell up and get out of the market.

“Meanwhile, although the growth in tenant numbers has started to slow, it’s still up for yet another month, and agents expect rents to keep climbing.”


UK house prices fall – but rents go up Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News, Property Market News, Property News

House prices in the UK have continued to fall but rents, fuelled by falling supply and increasing demand, have risen, a survey by RICS reveals.

According to the organisation’s Residential Survey for November, its members report that the flow of new homes to rent continues to dwindle – there was a net balance of -27% of members who say they have seen a decline in landlord instructions.

That means the misalignment between rising demand and falling supply continues to drive rents higher.

There was a headline net balance of +43% of contributors who are predicting that rents will increase over the coming three months – though in February, the survey revealed that 66% of members predicted rent rises.

Buyer activity continues to weaken

However, activity in the rental market is in stark contrast to the house buying market where buyer-activity continues to weaken.

Buyers are worried about higher interest rates and a difficult outlook for the economy which has led to buyer demand falling for the seventh month in a row.

RICS says the market remains in a ‘firmly downward trend’ with indications that this will continue in the near term.

For agreed sales, a national net balance of -35% was reported in November, indicating a continued decline in sales activity.

This is the second month in a row that members in every UK region reported a decline in agreed sales, demonstrating what is now a consistently negative picture at the national level.

The survey’ also highlights that new instructions coming onto the sales market is in negative territory, posting a net balance of -9% at the national level.

‘Latest RICS residential survey is understandably more downbeat’

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’ chief economist, said: “The overall tone of the latest RICS residential survey is understandably more downbeat than previously, reflecting the uncertain macro environment and the higher cost of mortgage finance.

“However, anecdotal comments from respondents capture the very real significant divergences in market behaviour at a more localised level.”

He added: “Although the headline price balance recorded two consecutive modest monthly falls in prices, and the forward-looking series indicate that this trend will extend through the coming months, the likely ‘job-rich’ recession suggests the downturn in the housing market this time could be shallower compared with past experiences.

“Meanwhile, the imbalance in the rental market remains significant as landlord instructions continue to fall and is consistent with further increases in rents, even if the momentum does appear to be slowing just a little.”


RICS says that the EPC scheme ‘needs improvement’ Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

With residential landlords facing the prospect of meeting an EPC rating of C by 2025 for their rental properties, comes news from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that EPCs are no longer fit for purpose and ‘need improvement’.

In a report, the organisation says that a shakeup is necessary if the UK wants to deal with reducing carbon in buildings.

RICS also highlights there are several ‘critical gaps’ in the country’s carbon policy that need to be addressed if the government wants to meet its net-zero goals by 2050.

They also say that the current metrics for building performance do not translate easily into the building’s total carbon output.

RICS says that these gaps mean there’s a challenge in tracking a building’s carbon output and discovering whether retrofits are achieving their stated reductions.

Also, the data of the embodied carbon output of the building is ‘too sparse’

Government needs to improve the EPC scheme

In its report, Decarbonising UK Real Estate, RICS says the government needs to improve the EPC scheme to make it fit for the different purposes that it serves.

The report goes on: ‘Significant improvements can be made to the way EPCs are calculated, presented and used’.

RICS is also calling for a national programme to fund retrofit projects – as laid down by the Construction Leadership Council in the National Retrofit Strategy.

The organisation says there is a lot to recommend in improving housing stock in the face of rising energy bills which will lower bills, boost values and indoor conditions and create employment.

‘Crucial changes need to be made’

Fabrizio Varriale, the place and space analyst at RICS, said: “Crucial changes need to be made in the way that carbon output is tracked in the UK’s built environment.

“By implementing the policy recommendations set out in this report, the UK Government will maximise the impact that sustainability policies in the built environment sector will bring to achieving its net-zero goals by 2050.”

He added: “This is an opportunity to radically shake up the sector and place it at the forefront of the UK’s carbon reduction initiatives by advancing a scientifically focused and data-driven sector that swiftly reacts and implements the changes needed to meet carbon output goals.”


Rental market picks up steam while house sales stall Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News

Demand across the lettings market is high and continues to push rents up, the latest surveyors’ report reveals.

RICS says that tenant demand continues to rise at a ‘solid pace’, with a net balance of +46% of survey participants noting an increase in October.

However, landlord instructions fell once again with a net balance of -14% of respondents.

RICS point out that given this mismatch, rents are expected to be driven higher over the near term, and over the next year surveyors say that rents will rise by around 4% nationally.

UK house market continues to weaken

The survey also reveals that the UK house market continues to weaken, with last month bringing another drop in buyer demand and agreed sales – along with a halt in house price growth.

The October 2022 RICS Residential Market Survey also highlights that new buyer enquiries fell for a sixth successive month in the sales market.

Buyer demand is also negative across all parts of the UK, the second report running where this has been the case.

In keeping with the general pattern of a weakening market, the average time to complete a sale from its initial listing has edged upward, now taking close to 18 weeks.

Last year, the average completion time was closer to 16 weeks.

‘Survey provides further evidence of buyer caution’

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’ chief economist, said: “The latest feedback to the RICS survey provides further evidence of buyer caution in the face of the sharp rise in mortgage costs.

“As a result, the volume of activity is likely to slip back over the coming months and realistic pricing is now much more important to complete a sale.

“The settling down in financial markets could provide some relief although it may be premature to assume this will be reflected in a reduction in lending rates anytime soon.

“However, the employment picture remains critical to the medium-term outlook and for the time being, that remains solid.

“As far as the lettings market is concerned, the imbalance between demand and supply still appears unusually extended leading to rent expectations in the survey remaining at elevated levels and it is difficult to see this changing anytime soon in the current environment.”

‘Writing is on the wall for house prices’

Sarah Coles, a senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Even naturally optimistic estate agents are starting to think that the writing is on the wall for house prices.

“The chaos in the mortgage market in the aftermath of the mini-Budget has been devastating, and the looming recession is likely to take an even bigger toll.

“House prices have already stalled, and in some areas, they’ve started falling.”

She added: “For anyone who decides to rent for a while – and wait to see what the market has in store – there’s more bad news.

“October saw yet another month of rising tenant numbers and disappearing landlords, so rents are still climbing, and finding a rental property is still an uphill struggle.”

‘Not surprising to see a downturn in the market’

Tomer Aboody, a director of property lender MT Finance, said: “With the uncertainty and disappointment around the mini-Budget affecting the markets, sending Swap rates spiralling which, in turn, pushed mortgage rates to levels not seen in 20 years, it’s not surprising to see a downturn in the market.

“A shift to renting in order to manage their short-term position has seen rents increase as demand outstrips supply.

“As mortgage rates slowly reduce to a more reasonable level, we expect the market to pick up, although not to the levels seen over the past 24 months.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Never was the saying – confidence takes a long time to build but can disappear almost immediately – so true for the property market.

“The mini-Budget frightened the life out of nearly all our buyers who are dependent on mortgages. Many have slowly emerged from hiding as rates stabilised and slowly began to fall.

“New buyer numbers have certainly dropped but we’re seeing no signs of a price collapse.”


Annual Inspection Certificates for HMOs – Am I on the right Track? HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles

I have a 6-bed HMO (2 storeys and unlicenced). I was inspected recently by the local authority and all was found to be pretty much in order, however I was unaware that I needed to produce annual inspection certificates for the smoke alarms, emergency lighting as well as an annual PAT cert.

1. Annual PAT Certificate – unlike the legal requirement for a 5 year certificate for the electrics (and annually for the gas), I understand that there is no legal requirement for an annual PAT cert though of course it would be good practice. I check the appliances visually on a monthly basis. I have thought about buying a PAT tester and using it myself, but the authority won’t accept my findings unless I’ve been on a course to make me ‘a competent person’ notwithstanding my degree in engineering. I’m prepared to accept this opinion and produce a cert myself annually after I’ve been on the course. Thoughts?

2. Annual Smoke Alarm Test – I test these monthly myself with the test buttons (logging it). Apparently I need a ‘competent person’ to inspect them and blow some smoke into them once a year to check that they perform. I’d prefer to have a third party do it rather than do this myself considering that the consequences of culpability in the event of failure could be quite serious (though not really wishing to imply that the PAT could give rise to anything less serious!). My electrician has agreed to do this and he’ll confirm his findings in a letter as he has no formal cert (as he has for the PAT). Thoughts?

3. Annual Emergency Lighting Test – once again I check it monthly (logging it) simply by tripping out the mains lighting circuit and checking each light fitting comes on. But apparently I need to have the mains power out for 3 hours once a year and have it certified by a competent person. Again my electrician will do it. He doesn’t have a cert as such to issue, but will confirm it in a letter. Thoughts?

I would be most grateful for feedback from readers

Regards

BruceTrack


Council of Letting Agents call for Scotland’s dangerous electrics to be outlawed Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

The Council of Letting Agents has today called for better electrical safety standards in Scotland’s privately rented properties.

Speaking at their inaugural conference, Council of Letting Agents (CLA) Convenor Kathleen Gell said: “Scotland depends upon the properties that our letting agents manage. People rely on these properties for their homes and they need to be safe. We have national standards and regulation for gas safety, but the same is not in place for electrics and that needs to change.”

“The only way we can guarantee to keep properties and tenants safe is to regulate electrical safety to a national standard and publicise this as well as gas safety.

Research reveals that there are on average 70 deaths a year in the UK from electrical fires and that Scottish homes are at a disproportionately high risk from these. It has also been shown that tenants of private landlords are more likely to be at risk of electric shock than home owners.

The private rented sector is growing – the number of dwellings provided by private landlords has risen from 115,000 in (5% of all homes) in 1999, to 267,000 (11% of all homes) in 2011 and all indications point to that trend continuing.”

Kathleen Gell continued: “There have been great improvements in this sector with compulsory registration for landlords and the introduction of the tenancy deposit scheme, but we will fall behind on basic safety if we do not act in this area too.”

“We want there to be compulsory checks on wiring and appliances in rental properties. There are standards we could use (Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) ), but we need some teeth to enforce them – we cannot afford any grey areas.”

“Many letting agents already require this level of safety check, but it cannot be enforced: there is no national standard to adhere to and landlords wishing to avoid the cost of a safety check, simply go elsewhere to lease their property.”

“The private rented sector is a major part of the housing landscape in Scotland. We have a duty of care to the people who depend on it for their homes and we need to make sure it is safe.”

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Online advice from building surveyors Advice, Latest Articles

I run a website providing online advice from building surveyors.

The advice is given by experienced RICS qualified chartered building surveyors.

I would welcome feedback.

The website is www.askasurveyor.co.uk

Although there is a cost of £40 per question answered, we do not charge if we cannot answer and invariably we save clients considerably more than the cost of the question. For example, it often pays to persuade tenants to use it, especially if they keep complaining about issues such condensation and do not believe the problem is their lifestyle. Online advice from building surveyors

Please have a look!

Constructive feedback will be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Robert Desbruslais BSc MRICS


Rant About Scottish Letting Regulation Commercial Finance, Latest Articles

As the Scottish Government gets set to embark on the regulation of letting agents – regulation which is badly needed in my view – I fear that my worst nightmare may be about to become true.

Why? Well, let’s look at what’s happened already with Scottish renting legislation.

Landlord Registration has for the most part been startlingly ineffective in raising standards. In fairness, that perhaps was not its prime purpose (having been introduced under anti-social behaviour legislation) but the fact that we now have a national database of private landlords should allow national and/or local government to target those landlords with awareness-raising advice, invite them to seminars and so on. Those unfortunate tenants who suffer at the hands of malicious or, more likely unaware, landlords need that to happen. I’m fairly sure there must still be many landlords who are not yet registered. The fact that Scottish Government hiked the penalty for non-registration up from £2,000 to £50,000 must surely indicate that registration is seen as important. The requirement to quote registration numbers in property advertisements seemed a pretty good way of bringing all landlords into the system. Yet, how many adverts still appear with no registration numbers? How many unregistered landlords have been fined?

No. I see poor practice flourish aplenty and registration requirement ignored. I see responsible landlords pay their dues while the irresponsible carry on regardless. I see local authority Landlord Registration teams funded by those responsible landlords and, it seems, doing not a great deal to bring all within the net.

Why not simply legislate to make it a requirement that for any individual to rent out a property he or she must either use a regulated agent (when that’s in place) or achieve accredited landlord status (or commit to a time-limited accreditation path)? Overnight, poorly performing landlords would be outlawed.

Look at Tenant Information Packs. Of course it’s good practice to pass incoming tenants information and advice relative to their tenancy and their new property. Responsible agents and landlords have been doing so for years as a matter of course. So surely it’s good that all now have to do so?

In theory, yes, but from our perspective as a letting agency we now find ourselves managing a parallel process issuing the mandatory Tenant Information Pack (TIP) alongside our own one, as the mandatory one is so stodgy as to be a turn-off to most tenants, contains errors, and imparts nothing of substance about the property. The effect of this has been to sap resources, particularly time – our scarcest resource – and so impact negatively on our finances. So a highly responsible agency, regulated by RICS and licenced by ARLA is being forced to go through an ineffective process which hampers business efficiency while less regulated or less responsible agents who decline to do so, or are even unaware perhaps that they need to, sail on in the same old way. How many letting agents have been taken to task for failing to issue a TIP? How many who fail to do so, use a low-fee basis as a means of attracting clients? The answers to those questions are unknown, but I’m pretty certain the first is zero or we’d have heard about it.

Simply Let pays about £2000 per year in professional membership subscriptions and regulation levies. We do that because we believe in high standards, and in demonstrating that we hold that belief. We undertake continuing professional development. We do so because we need to be fully informed in order to serve our clients well. We cannot give our landlord clients and their tenants the service they deserve on a low fee basis.

If a landlord’s agent fails to fulfil one of his client’s statutory obligations, it will be the landlord who is held responsible. Are all landlords aware of this? How many agents are playing fast and loose with their obligations to their clients? Again I don’t have an answer to that. If an agent lands a landlord in trouble as a result of negligence or incompetence does that landlord have recourse to a complaints redress mechanism? If that agent goes bust or even runs off with the cash is the landlord’s money safe? Does the agent have client money protection? Unlike estate agents selling houses, a fairly straightforward one-off task, letting agents have on-going management responsibilities which require detailed knowledge of complex housing law. Currently anyone can set up as a letting agent without any qualifications or training whatsoever and without any insurance or external monitoring and take on responsibility for managing clients’ major financial assets and ensuring tenants’ safety in the home.

You can see then why we favour regulation of letting agents. With a level playing field, landlords and tenants could go about selecting an agent knowing that all agents had the basics in place. Why then do I fear, as I said at the beginning of this blog, that my nightmare is about to be realised?

In my nightmare, responsible and already regulated agents found themselves obliged to register and of course to pay a recurring fee for doing so. In my nightmare less responsible agents continued to operate without appearing on the register. The third strand of my nightmare is that nothing much else happened.

It’s turned out like that with Landlord Registration so it’s perfectly possible that Letting Agent Regulation will go the same way.

Why not simply make it a requirement that in order for any letting agent to practice he or she must have in place:

  • A minimum level of relevant knowledge
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Client money protection
  • A complaints redress mechanism
  • Evidence of continuing professional development?

All are currently available to any responsible agent.

The private rented sector involves the very basics of life: a tenant’s home and a landlord’s financial investment (and possibly pension plan). It is critical therefore that all who manage any part of that process, landlord or agent, have the knowledge and capability to undertake their role to a high standard and fulfil it in a professional manner. It is critical too that those who entrust their lot to an agent have the benefit of certain basic protections. So my plea to the Scottish Government, when it develops letting agent regulation, is to make it impossible for any agent who can’t deliver those five elements above to continue in practice. The country and its tenants deserve nothing less. Rant About Scottish Letting Regulation

John Gell MRICS


Our flat could have caught fire Latest Articles

My housemate and I attend Greenwich University in London. We live in a two bedroom flat in Charlton, SE7.

During our winter, Easter & Summer breaks we tend to venture back home for some free food and heating, and thus the flat is left empty for a few weeks at a time.

Just before the end of our summer term (2013) we decided to let our Letting Agent know that the cooker had been turning itself off on numerous occasions (more than 5). The cooker would then not work again (heat up) for another hour or so. After a few pestering calls to ask to get it fixed they finally agreed to get a ‘trusted’ handy man in to see what was the problem. We were living back home for the summer on the date they chose to come and fix the problem and so they said they would give their spare set of keys to this trusted handyman, so he could let himself in and out of the flat. We were OK with this as they assured us he was trusted, and most of our possessions had been taken home for the summer anyway; apart from a TV, saucepans and trays, cutlery and crockery and a few tins of beans.

A few weeks past, and my boyfriend and I were due to stay at the flat for one night before our holiday flight at Heathrow the next day. When we got to the flat all looked OK, apart from a pile up of junk mail and a few interesting looking mud marks on the carpet in the hallway (Just to add; myself and my housemate cleaned the flat thoroughly before we left for the summer, so we could come back to a nice clean flat).

As we set about making cups of tea and seeing what was on TV for the night we noticed how hot the flat was. The kitchen was hotter than it would have been with the heating on full blast in the summer! It was then we realised that the cooker had in actual fact been left ON!

Two of the four rings were on as well as the bottom oven and the grill. I opened up the cooker and there were three trays in the cooker which were disintegrating as we stood there. I immediately turned the whole oven off at the switch on the wall next to the cooker (a simple on/off switch to turn the electrics to the oven off or on). Opening all windows and moving the trays out of the oven we also noticed that the rubber which surrounds the oven doors was melting. The sink was also full of ‘dirt’ and dirty plates and a few mugs surrounded the sink. A panel next to the cooker (part of the kitchen units) had also been taken out but not replaced. There was mud all over the kitchen floor walked in from someone’s shoes.

I immediately got on the phone to our lettings agents ‘emergency number’, I called many times that evening – but had no answer. We tried again in the morning before our flight, but no answer either.

When we returned from holiday (having emailed from holiday-but to have no answer) we called again; no answer.

If that cooker was to cause a fire, who would have got the blame?

When we leave the flat for more than a night we photograph that the cooker is switched ‘off’, so we have physical proof on our side if it were to happen again.

How can we get our letting agent to acknowledge what happened/went wrong/what needs to be done to correct this problem? The cooker occasionally switches off still – and we don’t want this mess to come out of our deposit next summer! Furthermore, we had a big electricity bill and we were not even using the flat. We have paid the bill but we feel this is wrong – can we claim compensation and if so how difficult would it be to prove that the bill was as a direct result of this issue? Flat could have caught fire

Thanks for your advice

Hannah


Rics want a 5% annual price rise cap House Prices, Latest Articles

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) want a 5% annual price rise cap for houses that triggers restrictions on mortgage  income multipliers or maximum Loan to Value.

Although Rics did say that sellers  under their plans would not face a limit on how much they could sell their homes for.

Joshua Miller, senior economist at Rics, wants to halt a debt-fuelled house price advance and said “the Bank of England now has the ability to take the froth out of future housing market booms, without having to resort to interest rate increases. Capping price growth at, say, 5% is one way of doing this.”

“This cap would send a clear and simple statement to the public and the banking sector, managing expectations as to how much future house prices are going to rise. We believe firmly anchored house price expectations would limit excessive risk taking and, as a result, limit an unsustainable rise in debt.”

Sir Howard Davies,  a former deputy governor of the Bank, does not think this kind of cap would work and said “The problem is that we are not building enough homes.”

This is a good point as it is clearly the lack of supply that is pushing up house prices especially in the capital rather than increased demand because we are all better off now than before the recession started.

Then there is the question of regional differences. Do you smother any potential housing market recovery in areas outside London that have not seen the same rises and if not how do you tell an National high street bank to have different criteria and systems in different parts of the country.

This would be clearly unrealistic, unworkable and unpalatable for lenders.

The Housing Market is very mature and almost free to work on the pure economic principles of prices being dictated by supply and demand. It is therefore very difficult to control directly without looking at all the factors that influence it.

Rics may be naive in thinking simplistic one sided controls like this are the answer to the problems of a very complex housing market and its demographic and social issues.Rics


Old leases since 1945 Latest Articles

I am a landlord of an old lease from the 1960s for a Victorian detached property in Surrey – My tenant who was long term since the 60s recently died. His daughter who cared for him took on the lease – The problem is for such a little rent – they have not complied with the lease and its clauses – which are different from the leases we now have –

I am responsible in the lease for external repairs, they are responsible for the plumbing electrics, internal redecoration condition – surveyors fees –

The trouble is they have not done anything in the last 50 years! the windows do not open due to moss (sash windows), the walls ceilings and carpets are still the same and decor is from the 60s- On the subject of paint although they have said they did paint it- they provided me with nothing when I asked for receipts! – I have thought about sampling and testing the paint to establish the age! I recently had surveyors in who assessed the condition – they have advised me to see a specialist solicitor to advise me on the terms of the lease which are unusual (remember it is from the 60’s) I am really stuck on how I can bring the property back into compliance of this lease? how should I move forward ? the tenants are not helping at all!

Also please shed some light on how leases changed since 1945? Old leases since 1945

Best regards

Tony Bains


Key Property (UK) Ltd fined £47k for damp unlicensed HMO Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Maintenance, Property Market News, Property News

A letting agent who rented out a damp, dangerous and dilapidated property received a hefty fine following a successful council prosecution. Key Property fined £74k for damp and unlicenced HMO

Key Property (UK) Ltd of 47 Bell Road, Hounslow, who trade under the name Key Solutions and Key Lettings, were fined £42,500, on top of costs and compensation worth £5,040, at Feltham Magistrates Court after being found guilty of 15 housing offences.

The offences related to a property on Cromwell Street, Hounslow, which the council investigated following complaints from tenants in July last year.

Officers inspecting the property found seven tenants living at the property, in five separate bedrooms, which included the front and rear living rooms.

They discovered a significant number of defects relating to excess cold, damp and mould, electrical hazards, problems with sanitation and drainage, security, fire safety, structural hazards and hygiene.

A boiler that had been turned off by the manufacturer due to its unsafe installation had been switched back on.

It was also discovered that the property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and required a license to be let out to tenants. Having a license would mean the property was being managed well, and was suitable for occupation.

Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration at the council said:

“The fact the fine for failing to have an HMO license is one of the largest in the country shows the seriousness of the offences.

“I’m pleased magistrates have thrown the book at this criminal letting agent, as the conditions the tenants were living in – no fire alarms, dangerous gas and electrics, and some of the worst damp and mould our officers have ever seen – were, frankly, appalling.

“They took more than £24,000 in rent from these tenants and left them to live in squalor.

“They tried to avoid their legal responsibilities, but thanks to the hard work of our housing team, we were able to successfully prosecute them.”

Key Property were found guilty of 15 housing offences at Feltham Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 4 September.

The offences, fines and costs awarded were:

  • Managing an unlicensed HMO: £15,000 fine
  • Supplying false information: £5,000 fine
  • 3 offences relating to management of the property: £22,500 fine
  • Compensation to tenants: £600
  • Victim surcharge: £120
  • Council’s legal costs: £4,320

The director of Key Property (UK) Ltd is Mrs Adibah Uddin, and the company secretary is Mr Iftikhar Uddin


Planning and building control office discover unused basement room Latest Articles

I have a HMO which I bought way back, it is officially licensed etc and above board.

They recently discovered that there was a basement in the building which had been converted in to a room with en-suite facilities illegally. The work was done before we bought the building and has never been let out and won’t be because it is not up to scratch from a legislation point of view etc.

I had a meeting with building control, private sector housing and planning. They are now saying that as it has come to their attention that this is there, that they want me to put it beyond use. Which would basically mean, taking out the en-suite and cutting off the water supply to the area. Removing and cutting off the sockets and electrics to the area and get a new periodic inspection report.

To me is seems completely over the top as  have not asked for it to be licensed, and don’t rent the room out, so why do I have to go to all this expense of making it unusable.

My question is, can they make me do this or can I lawfully argue that the room is not being used, it won’t be used so let’s leave it as that.

Thanks for your help.

Zahirbasement


Retaliatory eviction – possibility of civil litigation? Latest Articles

We’re a professional couple with a limited company which provides a technology solution to the NHS. It suits our circumstances to rent at this moment in time. Retaliatory eviction

We had a 4-year rental of a lovely apartment until last Summer, when the owner decided to downsize and move back into the property. It was a good relationship, we had treated the property as if it had been our own investment and we parted as friends – with our deposit paid back in full.

After much searching we found a 3-bed town house which appeared to offer us everything we needed. The letting agent was a member of NAEA/ARLA and appeared to be respectable. There were some agreed remedial works to be dealt with and we were given assurances that these would be attended to in due course. We moved into the property in late August 2012.

Sadly, by the beginning of November, it was apparent that the property had some significant problems. There was extensive water penetration upstairs and a rising damp problem to the ground floor. The letting agent was informed immediately, with photographic evidence and a request for urgent assistance. We moved our furniture from the 3rd bedroom.

A ‘trades-person’ appeared in due course, with a notepad and pencil but with no damp meter. A report was promised, but was not forthcoming. The letting agent promised to send another contractor. This one only worked weekends and couldn’t agree a time to call; that visit never took place.

I called the landlords contractor to arrange the remedial work to be completed – missing doors, exposed wires, etc. He visited early November, measured up, made notes, promised to return – but failed.

We spent the most horrendous Christmas and New Year in the house. There was serious damp penetration, black mould which was constantly being removed. Slugs were climbing the walls. The house was very cold and the more that we heated it – the worse the damp became. We telephoned, wrote, sent photographs, yet the letting agent did nothing; there were plenty of replies – unbelievably stating that they were attempting to do everything as quickly as possible. We initially resigned ourselves to getting out of the house at the end of our AST.

In early-February, I wrote the strongest letter to letting agent with photos. A survey was made by Peter Cox, a pretty damning report which agreed with our complaint – serious damp and rain penetration. I wrote again, asking for compensation and a reduction in rent. This was refused. The letting agent had said that the landlord was absent; it transpired this wasn’t the case.

We tracked the landlord down and demanded a meeting. The landlord appeared, agreed with us in full and said that it was the first he knew of the problem. He agreed that we should be compensated and that this was the letting agents responsibility. Our landlord sat in our home, apologising and promised us both that this would be resolved. He remarked how clean we kept the property. The next day he had changed his mind and said that our grievance was with the letting agent. The following day – the EHO (Environmental Health Officer) inspected. That week, the missing doors and exposed electrics were attended to. We sent 2 requests to the letting agent, for the landlords address – these were refused.

A week later we received a section 21 notice to quit. The landlords address was given as c/o a family member in the South – presumably to thwart a legal action by us.

It turned out that the landlord had known of the problems. He’d applied for a grant for roof insulation, in my name – without my knowledge – and prior to our first meeting. It transpired that the letting agents were not members of ARLA or NAEA and we contacted both organisations and Rightmove to get these false affiliations removed. The letting agent claimed an oversight.

We spoke with our MP who has written to the CEO of the local authority, in order to push the EHO. The EHO wrote to the letting agent and the landlord but there was no response. We then began to receive threats from the letting agent to enter the property to inspect and allow viewings; we made a formal complaint to the Police and this is logged with a fast-track number in the event that they continue. We threatened to change the locks and the letting agent replied that this was not necessary.

We defended the section 21 notice on the grounds of incorrect dates and continued to pay the rent. We were not going to be forced out and subjected to costs or inconvenience due to their incompetence. The weather had improved and the house was drying out for the summer and we would tough it out now – having gone through the worst. We have since redecorated all damp affected walls as it is unnecessary to be reminded every day.

Our MP has pushed for resolution; this has mustered a stronger letter from the EHO. There has been no response other than a second section 21 notice. The dates are once again incorrect. The letting agent has put our deposit into a DPS but did not provide the Deposit Protection Certificate or prescribed information until we requested it after five months of tenancy. The prescribed information appears to be incomplete. I doubt that any s21 is valid until deposit is returned and the landlord might be liable for 3x under the Localism Act? Our claim should also be for a reduction in rent back-dated to 11/2012 and should provide compensation for immense stress and upset – particularly to my wife – for the repeated inconvenience, small damage, etc.

We’ve spoken with experts in Landlord/Tenant issues, they’ve seen our file which is very complete and have passed it onto Barristers to evaluate. We have a strong case apparently, but would incur costs of circa £7k to seek compensation/enforcement of duty to repair; we’ve been told that there is little likelihood of being awarded costs – if successful. That’s an expensive ‘point of principle’ for us.

It seems a dreadful situation. We actually like the house and the worst of the problems could be so easily resolved. We must now consider vacating the property before the bad weather sets in again – to remain longer would weaken any case against the landlord and the letting agent. The landlord is inexperienced and his conduct and concern for our welfare has been quite despicable. The promises that he made to my wife and I were instantly forgotten and we would like to do whatever might be done, so that he is taught the lesson.

Please accept our apologies for the long post, is there anything that we could do, other than what the landlord and letting agent expects – that being to vacate and walk away? I feel that someone needs to make a stand here, to create some solid case law if necessary – to protect others faced with similar problems in the future.

Thanks in advance

Roy and Tania


Electrics tripping issue Latest Articles

A flat that has been rented has developed an electrical problem. It keeps tripping intermittently. We have got an electrician to check out the fault but he has been unable to find the reason for this happening. The electrics tripped whilst he was checking them out but he wasn’t able to locate the fault.

Are there any experts that can throw light to this problem.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

LJElectrics tripping issue


Client Money Protection cover now available to all Agents Landlord News, Latest Articles, Letting

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme has pushed on behalf of the Lettings industry to make Client Money Protection cover (CMP) available to all UK lettings agents.

Up until this month, CMP cover was only available through a number of trade bodies. The introduction of two new CMP providers this month will enable letting agents that are not registered with a trade body to sign up for cover.

Gerry Fitzjohn, Chief Operating Officer of TPO said:

‘We need an even playing field for lettings. All agents are required to hold client money in a separate Clients Account but there is no current requirement to have those funds insured against unlawful use or fraud, which is why CMP is crucial for landlords and tenants.

‘CMP is not a duplication of any deposit scheme or professional indemnity cover. It goes beyond that and provides landlord with the peace of mind they need to know that the rent collected by an agent is protected.

‘This isn’t ‘news’ to the thousands of experienced agents that have had comprehensive CMP cover with a trade body for many years and we fully support the ongoing efforts of trade bodies such as ARLA, NALS, RICS and UKALA to improve industry best practice. The new CMP products launched this month by PSR Insurance brokers and Hamilton Fraser Insurance Brokers mean CMP cover is now available to the whole of the market, which can only be a good thing.’

It is estimated that some £23 billion is paid annually in rent, of which £6 – £10 billion is collected by agents on behalf of landlords1.

Press reports over recent months have highlighted a number of cases where landlords or tenant have not been able to recover funds due to them, which were held by agents.

TPO has surveyed 8,000 lettings branches2 to assess the viewpoints of member agents registered with the TPO scheme. The results revealed an overwhelming number of agents backed CMP, with 80% already protected.

Mr Fitzjohn added:

‘We passionately believe that CMP is great for consumer protection and will ultimately result in a reduction in the number of complaints against lettings agents. We know from surveying our own agents that the vast majority already have cover. For those that don’t, they now have an opportunity to distinguish themselves from any rogue operators by showing landlords and tenants that they have the appropriate cover in place.

‘My personal viewpoint would be to question why a letting agent would not support CMP. In the absence of any regulation for the UK private rental market, agents themselves need to take proactive steps to show landlords and tenants that they have taken out the necessary cover to protect rental income.

‘We now need the industry to unite to raise awareness of this issue so consumers understand the value of CMP and we will be writing to each of our TPO registered offices this month to publicise our support.’TPO_generic logo


First Timer – Let to Buy Latest Articles

First Timer - Let to BuyI bought a one bed flat in North London a few years ago to live in with my partner. Recently we purchased our first flat together and have moved into it. I was able to secure the new mortgage partly based on the projected income from the old property – I believe this is known as “Let to Buy” and is becoming quite commonplace.

To avoid becoming a dreaded “accidental landlord” I’ve done a fair bit of research in the run up to moving out to ensure I know what I’m doing. Continue reading First Timer – Let to Buy


Robert Desbruslais of AskASurveyor Brighton GOOD Landlords Campaign Sponsors

The GOOD Landlords CampaignRobert Desbruslais of AskASurveyor Brighton

I am neither of the above, however I do want to support The GOOD Landlords Campaign and welcome the opportunity to network with members

www.askasurveyor.co.uk is a unique online service for anyone with concerns about property defects, conflicting advice from builders, “specialists” suggesting expensive damp or timber treatments, mortgage valuation problems or concerns about workmanship.

For £40, a fraction of the usual cost, you can ask a fully qualified chartered surveyor, registered with the RICS, your question and upload any pictures or files to help clarify the matter. You and the surveyor will then enter a private correspondence until your question has been satisfactorily answered. If for any reason we can’t resolve the issue, you will be refunded. Practical, independent advice you can’t afford NOT to have.

Continue reading Robert Desbruslais of AskASurveyor Brighton


Property auction results record 6-year highs in February Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Auctions, Property News

Property Auction SearchProperty auction results record 6-year highs in February with total sales of £445,455,076

David Sandeman Managing Director of EIG reports that the overall market figures are positive, with increases made in almost every parameter across both residential and commercial sectors.

A noticable highlight is that 3,083 lots sold last month marking a rise of over 8% on February 2012, and significantly this stands as the largest volume recorded in February since 2007. The amount raised also made considerable gains in both the monthly and rolling quarterly figures – up 8.6% and 11.2% respectively, and equally these are at levels not seen since the height of the property boom some 5 to 6 years ago.

National Auction Analysis

In the residential sector the market continues to demonstrate positive growth, particularly in auction sales and receipts. The soaring sale rate of 79% indicates a confident and competitive marketplace, with an increasing demand for keenly priced lots from cash-ready buyers.

The commercial market also continues to gain strength, with increases made in all 8 of the metrics that are measured in the monthly and quarterly figures, 6 of which are double-digit rises. For February alone lots offered was up over 16%, lots sold up 23% and amount raised up 17% , and you have to look all the way back to February 2008 to find this level of commercial market activity.

Total

Last Month

Last Year

February 2013 February 2012 Increase March 2012 – February 2013 March 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

3,965

3,923

1.1%

34,118

32,991

3.4%

Lots Sold

3,086

2,852

8.2%

25,641

24,402

5.1%

Percent Sold

77.8%

72.7%

7.0%

75.2%

74%

1.6%

Total Raised

£445,455,076

£409,897,643

8.7%

£3,501,273,334

£3,343,556,853

4.7%

 

Residential

Last Month

Last Year

February 2013 February 2012 Increase March 2012 – February 2013 March 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

3,135

3,212

-2.4%

27,753

26,443

5.0%

Lots Sold

2,480

2,361

5.0%

20,932

19,606

6.8%

Percent Sold

79.1%

73.5%

7.6%

75.4%

74.1%

1.8%

Total Raised

£309,334,000

£293,820,404

5.3%

£2,479,247,174

£2,289,558,674

8.3%

 

Commercial

Last Month

Last Year

February 2013 February 2012 Increase March 2012 – February 2013 March 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

830

711

16.7%

6,365

6,548

-2.8%

Lots Sold

606

491

23.4%

4,709

4,796

-1.8%

Percent Sold

73%

69.1%

5.6%

74%

73.2%

1.1%

Total Raised

£136,121,076

£116,077,239

17.3%

£1,022,026,160

£1,053,998,179

-3.0%

You are welcome to use the Property Auction Search tool we have developed in conjunction with EIG – the Essential Information Group.

Regional Auction Analysis

As is usually the case, variations across all the measurable parameters can be seen across the regions.

East Anglia

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

228

191

19.4%

Lots Sold

181

143

26.6%

Percent Sold

79.4%

74.9%

6.0%

Total Raised

£28,438,745

£16,717,500

70.1%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

189

145

30.3%

Lots Sold

148

111

33.3%

Percent Sold

78.3%

76.6%

2.2%

Total Raised

£17,701,245

£11,440,500

54.7%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

39

46

-15.2%

Lots Sold

33

32

3.1%

Percent Sold

84.6%

69.6%

21.6%

Total Raised

£10,737,500

£5,277,000

103.5%

 

East Midlands

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

628

546

15.0%

Lots Sold

484

414

16.9%

Percent Sold

77.1%

75.8%

1.7%

Total Raised

£52,045,250

£43,571,453

19.4%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

528

448

17.9%

Lots Sold

411

349

17.8%

Percent Sold

77.8%

77.9%

-0.1%

Total Raised

£35,478,000

£28,978,153

22.4%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

100

98

2.0%

Lots Sold

73

65

12.3%

Percent Sold

73%

66.3%

10.1%

Total Raised

£16,567,250

£14,593,300

13.5%

 

London

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

815

780

4.5%

Lots Sold

706

650

8.6%

Percent Sold

86.6%

83.3%

4.0%

Total Raised

£238,359,008

£203,794,750

17.0%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

722

677

6.6%

Lots Sold

632

572

10.5%

Percent Sold

87.5%

84.5%

3.6%

Total Raised

£196,284,008

£167,254,750

17.4%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

93

103

-9.7%

Lots Sold

74

78

-5.1%

Percent Sold

79.6%

75.7%

5.2%

Total Raised

£42,075,000

£36,540,000

15.1%

 

North-East

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

922

755

22.1%

Lots Sold

683

566

20.7%

Percent Sold

74.1%

75%

-1.2%

Total Raised

£50,960,820

£47,764,044

6.7%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

853

693

23.1%

Lots Sold

641

524

22.3%

Percent Sold

75.1%

75.6%

-0.7%

Total Raised

£45,095,320

£40,516,194

11.3%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

69

62

11.3%

Lots Sold

42

42

0.0%

Percent Sold

60.9%

67.7%

-10.0%

Total Raised

£5,865,500

£7,247,850

-19.1%

 

Northern Ireland

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

228

140

62.9%

Lots Sold

168

79

112.7%

Percent Sold

73.7%

56.4%

30.7%

Total Raised

£7,559,150

£4,880,000

54.9%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

222

120

85.0%

Lots Sold

165

68

142.6%

Percent Sold

74.3%

56.7%

31.0%

Total Raised

£7,364,150

£4,101,500

79.5%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

6

20

-70.0%

Lots Sold

3

11

-72.7%

Percent Sold

50%

55%

-9.1%

Total Raised

£195,000

£778,500

-75.0%

 

North-West

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

1,424

1,751

-18.7%

Lots Sold

1,051

1,208

-13.0%

Percent Sold

73.8%

69%

7.0%

Total Raised

£86,586,340

£94,450,364

-8.3%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

1,108

1,380

-19.7%

Lots Sold

839

964

-13.0%

Percent Sold

75.7%

69.9%

8.3%

Total Raised

£56,527,267

£62,661,554

-9.8%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

316

371

-14.8%

Lots Sold

212

244

-13.1%

Percent Sold

67.1%

65.8%

2.0%

Total Raised

£30,059,073

£31,788,810

-5.4%

 

North-West Home Counties

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

304

293

3.8%

Lots Sold

245

248

-1.2%

Percent Sold

80.6%

84.6%

-4.7%

Total Raised

£75,040,090

£62,851,600

19.4%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

222

229

-3.1%

Lots Sold

176

189

-6.9%

Percent Sold

79.3%

82.5%

-3.9%

Total Raised

£34,903,390

£37,093,600

-5.9%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

82

64

28.1%

Lots Sold

69

59

16.9%

Percent Sold

84.1%

92.2%

-8.8%

Total Raised

£40,136,700

£25,758,000

55.8%

 

Scotland

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

240

253

-5.1%

Lots Sold

111

94

18.1%

Percent Sold

46.3%

37.2%

24.5%

Total Raised

£9,394,500

£6,407,655

46.6%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

186

208

-10.6%

Lots Sold

80

79

1.3%

Percent Sold

43%

38%

13.2%

Total Raised

£3,989,650

£5,185,155

-23.1%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

54

45

20.0%

Lots Sold

31

15

106.7%

Percent Sold

57.4%

33.3%

72.4%

Total Raised

£5,404,850

£1,222,500

342.1%

 

South-East Home Counties

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

877

860

2.0%

Lots Sold

707

664

6.5%

Percent Sold

80.6%

77.2%

4.4%

Total Raised

£134,998,811

£135,121,539

-0.1%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

635

693

-8.4%

Lots Sold

516

538

-4.1%

Percent Sold

81.3%

77.6%

4.8%

Total Raised

£73,625,311

£81,475,639

-9.6%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

242

167

44.9%

Lots Sold

191

126

51.6%

Percent Sold

78.9%

75.4%

4.6%

Total Raised

£61,373,500

£53,645,900

14.4%

 

South-West

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

402

447

-10.1%

Lots Sold

296

315

-6.0%

Percent Sold

73.6%

70.5%

4.4%

Total Raised

£43,720,756

£45,498,790

-3.9%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

286

349

-18.1%

Lots Sold

205

240

-14.6%

Percent Sold

71.7%

68.8%

4.2%

Total Raised

£27,831,700

£30,838,351

-9.7%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

116

98

18.4%

Lots Sold

91

75

21.3%

Percent Sold

78.4%

76.5%

2.5%

Total Raised

£15,889,056

£14,660,439

8.4%

 

Wales

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

412

376

9.6%

Lots Sold

303

277

9.4%

Percent Sold

73.5%

73.7%

-0.3%

Total Raised

£25,466,900

£22,083,244

15.3%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

271

309

-12.3%

Lots Sold

197

233

-15.5%

Percent Sold

72.7%

75.4%

-3.6%

Total Raised

£15,611,800

£14,613,160

6.8%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

141

67

110.4%

Lots Sold

106

44

140.9%

Percent Sold

75.2%

65.7%

14.5%

Total Raised

£9,855,100

£7,470,084

31.9%

 

West Midlands

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

638

670

-4.8%

Lots Sold

496

438

13.2%

Percent Sold

77.7%

65.4%

18.8%

Total Raised

£59,535,573

£43,751,050

36.1%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

498

548

-9.1%

Lots Sold

392

365

7.4%

Percent Sold

78.7%

66.6%

18.2%

Total Raised

£36,776,633

£30,729,550

19.7%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

140

122

14.8%

Lots Sold

104

73

42.5%

Percent Sold

74.3%

59.8%

24.2%

Total Raised

£22,758,940

£13,021,500

74.8%

 

Yorkshire and The Humber

Total

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

749

782

-4.2%

Lots Sold

564

571

-1.2%

Percent Sold

75.3%

73%

3.2%

Total Raised

£55,805,440

£53,142,009

5.0%

 

Residential

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

611

649

-5.9%

Lots Sold

468

473

-1.1%

Percent Sold

76.6%

72.9%

5.1%

Total Raised

£41,213,690

£38,370,434

7.4%

 

Commercial

December 2012 – February 2013 December 2011 – February 2012 Increase
Lots Offered

138

133

3.8%

Lots Sold

96

98

-2.0%

Percent Sold

69.6%

73.7%

-5.6%

Total Raised

£14,591,750

£14,771,575

-1.2%


Hounslow Council Targets Rogue Letting Agents Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Hounslow Council Targets Rogue Letting AgentsHounslow Council is warning rogue letting agents that they could be prosecuted for advertising illegal backyard dwellings.

More than 100 letting agents in and around the borough are being contacted by the council, urging them not to market illegal developments built without planning permission or building regulation approval.

The message is being sent out to agents after the council set up a task force to deal with the blight of illegal dwellings that are built and let out as residential accommodation. Continue reading Hounslow Council Targets Rogue Letting Agents


Newbie Investor would like to pick your brains Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Newbie Investor would like to pick your brainsA Newbie Investor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has submitted the following and would really appreciate any help and guidance you GOOD Landlords and property people can offer.

“I’m 22 and a joiner/carpenter, I’ve done this since leaving school and love it but.  However, recently I was diagnosed with a condition which makes it very hard for me to work for others due to certain working conditions, stress etc. so I am now re-thinking my future and hoping to become a property developer/landlord Continue reading Newbie Investor would like to pick your brains


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