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ARLA Propertymark comments on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s report on the draft Tenant Fees Bill

Posted by Jigsaw Move Team on

PRESS RELEASE: Commenting on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s report on the draft Tenant Fees Bill, David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark said:
“We are very pleased to see that the Committee has listened to our concerns about the draft Tenant Fees Bill. We welcome the Government’s intention to clarify the legislation and permit charges related to a change of sharer when requested by a tenant and, that they have heeded our concerns regarding alternatives to traditional security deposits. We also are pleased that they will exempt Green Deal payments.

“However, while it is positive that the Bill will be clarified to reflect that holding deposits can be paid to letting agents as well as landlords, not allowing agents to retain the holding deposit when a tenant fails the referencing check is both extremely unwise and very misguided. This will result in agents only selecting the very best tenants to avoid the possibility of incurring costs through tenants failing referencing. Ultimately, this will reduce the availability of property for vulnerable tenants and families. The very people that the Government are trying to help most with this Bill are those who stand to lose the most.”

For further information contact:

Propertymark Press Office

Tel: 020 7566 9777

E-mail: propertymark@lansons.com

Newsfeed courtesy of http://www.arla.co.uk/news/march-2018/draft-tenant-fees-bill-committee-report/

3 Way to Maximise Rental Yield

Posted by Jigsaw Move Team on

aturally, every investor wants to maximise their property’s yield, which means keeping costs under control and rents as high as the market allows. So here are five key steps that you can take to ensure you get the best possible return from your investment:

1. Improve the quality of the property

If you’ve owned the property for a number of years and haven’t already invested in updates, it’s likely to be well worth doing so. While there is generally an undersupply of rental properties in most areas, and you’re therefore always likely to be able to secure a tenant, if you want to achieve the best possible rent, the fabric of the property, décor and any furnishings really do need to be up to date.

To make sure improvements don’t impact negatively on your rental income earnings, we can communicate with your tenant because they may happy to have the work done while they’re there. That means you don’t need to wait for the end of one tenancy and suffer a void period while you carry out works before re-letting. We’ll check things such as if your tenant is planning to take any holidays so work can be done while they’re away. They’ll probably be delighted to accommodate you if they’re getting a much-improved home!

Obviously, you want to keep your spend in line with what your particular property can achieve in rent – i.e. don’t go fitting marble worktops in the kitchen unless you’re letting to city professionals or at the high end of the market. One of our team will be happy to talk to you about what kind of works would be worthwhile, so do visit your local branch to discuss things before you start to spend money.

2. Create extra accommodation

If you have space that’s not currently being used by your tenants, such as a loft or garage, or you have the ability to extend, it’s worth finding out from local property experts whether it might be financially beneficial to invest in expanding the property. Our lettings and sales teams can work together to help you understand what additional rental income you could secure and what uplift in capital value you could realise by converting or extending. In some areas it can make a substantial difference across the board, in others you might see very little increase in the rent you can charge but more than recoup your investment in the increased value.

3. Review your mortgage

Your mortgage payments are likely to be your biggest monthly outgoing, particularly if you have a high loan to value, so this is where you could potentially make significant savings. New products and initially discounted deals are coming to the market all the time, so it’s a good idea to consult a broker every year or so, to make sure product you have is still competitive and check for any more suitable ones.

Depending on the extent of the changes you make, it could mean slightly more rent within your existing target market. Even if you can only afford to make little changes, remember that it’s not all about the month-on-month rental return. The longer your tenants are likely to stay and the less likely it is that you will suffer void periods is best in the long run and we at Jigsaw are committed with our services to ensure this is the case.

NAEA and ARLA Propertymark’s 2017 property market overview

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MONDAY 04 DECEMBER 2017 taken from Propertymark http://www.naea.co.uk/news/december-2017/2017-property-market-overview/

PRESS RELEASE: As we come toward the end of 2017, NAEA and ARLA Propertymark have analysed their sales and lettings data to reveal trends and expectations for 2018.
NAEA Propertymark’s overview of the housing market:
In 2017, demand spiked in January and February at 425 house-buyers registered per branch. Demand was higher this year than in 2016, with an average of 380 prospective buyers registered per branch, compared to 365 on average over the course of last year
Supply of housing peaked in February with 44 properties available to buy per branch. Year on year, supply has not shifted, averaging at 39 properties available per branch in 2016 and 2017
February and June saw the highest number of sales agreed, with an average of 11 per branch. In 2016, the number of sales agreed peaked in March, with 10 per branch. On average, the number of sales agreed was up in 2017 – with an average of nine per branch every month, compared to eight in 2016
The proportion of total sales made to first-time buyers (FTBs) on average over the year hit the lowest seen since 2013

In 2017, properties were sold for less than asking price on average 77 per cent of the time – only four per cent were sold for more than the original asking price.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark comments on the findings: “2017 has been a busy year for the property market, and the Budget announcement to abolish stamp duty for FTBs has given them some optimism. This year saw an average of 25 per cent of sales to FTBs, the lowest in four years. Looking to next year it will be interesting to see what impact the stamp duty change had on the market, and if it really does help FTBs get on the ladder. We still only have a limited supply of housing available and policymakers need to think about how to help others in the chain, such as second steppers and those that would downsize in order to free up more larger homes suitable for families.”

ARLA Propertymark’s overview of the private rented sector:
Supply of rental properties were at their highest in January, when it stood at 193. On average in 2016, the number of properties available per branch was 180, compared to 188 from January – October 2017
This year, the number of buy-to-let (BTL) landlords selling their properties peaked in March and April when agents reported a 33 per cent spike in the number of landlords selling up
In August, the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes peaked at 35 per cent, before falling to 27 per cent in September. Rents for tenants were least likely to increase in October (22 per cent) but overall in 2017, 27 per cent of tenants had their rents increased compared to 26 per cent in 2016
Tenants were the most successful at negotiating rent reductions in March (3.6 per cent). In 2016, the most successful month for rent reductions was December when 3.1 per cent successfully negotiated
On average, properties were viewed more times before being let in 2017, than 2016. In 2016, letting agents typically hosted five viewings per property, which rose to six in 2017.
David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comments on the findings: “It was always going to be an interesting year, following the announcement of the letting agent fee ban in last November’s Autumn Statement. I think we’re starting to see a consolidation of some agencies in the industry as the fee ban looms, which could explain why the number of properties under management has increased. Landlords are becoming more selective about their property investments in light of last year’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) changes. Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) is starting to bite which is why we saw an increased number of landlords selling up. It’s likely that as we move into 2018, tenants will continue to see rent increases as supply starts to reduce, demand continues apace, and legislative changes increase costs for landlords.”

ENDS

1 Data taken from the January through to October NAEA Propertymark Housing Report and from the January through to October ARLA Propertymark Private Rented Sector Report

For further information contact:

Propertymark Press Office

Tel: 020 7566 9777

E-mail: propertymark@lansons.com

About ARLA Propertymark

ARLA Propertymark is the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for letting agents; representing over 9,000 members. Our members operate to professional standards far higher than the law demands and we campaign for greater regulation in this growing and increasingly important sector of the property market. By using a ARLA Propertymark protected agent, consumers have the peace of mind their agent will provide a professional service and their money is safeguarded by Propertymark’s Client Money Protection scheme.

About NAEA Propertymark

NAEA Propertymark is the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency personnel; representing members who practice from over 11,500 offices in all aspects of property services. We are dedicated to the goal of professionalism within all aspects of property, estate agency and land. Our aim is to reassure the general public that by appointing a NAEA Propertymark Protected agent to represent them, they will be safeguarded and receive the highest level of integrity and service for all property matters.

HMRC’s guide to Stamp Duty changes

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FRIDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2017 taken from Propertymark: http://www.naea.co.uk/news/november-2017/guide-to-stamp-duty-changes/

Housing was at the forefront of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget this week, as government reforms revealed a shake up to Stamp Duty.
Addressing calls from Propertymark to exempt first time buyers from paying stamp duty, Philip Hammond announced the Governments plans to offer relief on properties for those trying to get a foot on the housing ladder.

But whilst first time buyer exemption was the main focus, the Chancellor’s little red book detailed other amends to stamp duty that agents need to be aware of. HMRC has provided NAEA Propertymark members with a guide to the changes.

Relief for first time buyers

The Government are offering relief for first time buyers of residential properties costing no more than £500,000. First time buyers will pay no Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the first £300,000 of the purchase price, with the remainder being charged at five per cent. No relief will be available where the total consideration exceeds £500,000.

The relief is not time limited and will apply to transactions with an effective date on or after 22 November 2017. Legislation will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2017 to 2018.

To claim relief, code 32 should be entered at box 1.9 of a SDLT return. If code 32 is entered on the online return, the return will calculate the tax due, except where the first time buyer is being granted a new lease. In such cases the gov.uk calculator should be used to work out the tax due.

Changes to the filing and payment process

Following the announcement at the Spring Budget in March, the SDLT filing and payment window reduction from 30 days to 14 days will now be delayed until after April 2018. It has been confirmed that the changes will apply to land transactions with an effective date on or after 1 March 2019. Planned improvements to the SDLT return are underway, and aim to make compliance with the new time limit easier. The legislation will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2018 to 2019.

Minor amendments to higher rates of SDLT

Minor amendments to provide relief in certain cases including:

where a divorce related court order prevents someone from disposing of their interest in a main residence
where a spouse or civil partner buys property from another spouse or civil partner
where a deputy buys property for a child subject to the Court of Protection
where a purchaser adds to their interest in their current main residence.
Additionally, legislation will be provided to prevent abuse of relief for replacement of a purchaser’s only or main residence by requiring the purchaser to dispose of the whole of their former main residence and to do so to someone who is not their spouse. The changes will apply from 22 November 2017. Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2017 to 2018.

ATED: 2018 to 2019 annual chargeable amounts

The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) charges will rise 3 per cent from 1 April 2018, in line with the September 2017 Consumer Prices Index. A Treasury Order confirming the charges will be published shortly.

Legislation will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2018 to 2019 to ensure that Stamp Duty, Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) are not chargeable twice on exercise of resolution powers under the UK special resolution regime for managing failing financial institutions.

The exemption will be limited to the temporary transfer of shares or land to a bridge entity and the transfer of shares in exchange for temporary certificates issued to creditors that identify their entitlement to the shares. This will simplify and strengthen the process of resolving a failed financial institution and help to ensure that the “no creditor worse off” principle is upheld.

The change will have effect on and after Royal Assent of the Finance Bill 2018 to 2019.

SDRT: 1.5 per cent charge on the issue of shares

The Government will continue to not apply the Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) 1.5 per cent charge on the issue of shares (and transfers integral to capital raising) into overseas clearance services and depositary receipt issuers following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Following a Court of Justice of the EU judgement in the case of HSBC Holdings PLC and Vidacos Nominee Ltd v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) (C569/07) and a subsequent First Tier Tribunal judgement in the case of HSBC Holdings PLC and the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 163 (TC), HMRC accepts that the charge is incompatible with the Capital Duty Directive.

This GOV.UK publication sets out when HMRC does not collect Stamp Duty and SDRT in line with the rulings.

Brilliant achievement to be in the Top 20% of Estate Agents in the Country for Customer Service

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If you have not done this already please “LIKE” our Facebook page. This will ensure you “BEAT” the crowd and are informed of any new properties before they are listed to the market. Furthermore we will keep you abreast of current market news and trends.

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TENANT FEES UPDATE – A WEEK ON FROM THE AUTUMN STATEMENT

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Taken Directly From ARLA website newsfeed reported by Sharon Widdrington.

Over the last week, ARLA MD David Cox and the ARLA team have worked across a range of channels to understand more about the plans behind the Chancellor’s announcement from the Autumn Statement.

Last week David talked across the media on a day that included six national broadcast news interviews including the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, BBC 5 Live alongside renters and industry commentators, and BBC Facebook Live (with 35 million subscribers) alongside Shelter.

ARLA President Elect Sally Lawson also addressed the media, speaking on BBC 5 Live and Radio WM. On a day of heated debate, we made rational, consistent, evidence based arguments.

Several ARLA regional meetings and one Landlord Expo took place last week and David, the Presidential team and Arbon House staff spoke to around 500 members face-to-face over the course of two to three days, taking their reaction alongside the many views that had been sent in via communications@arla.co.uk.

David anticipated last week that a ban on tenant fees would take 12-18 months to implement. This expectation has been confirmed by DCLG although there is no guarantee that legislation will not be added to an existing bill which would bring the timetable forward. Agents must start to make practical preparations now.

The ARLA Board met yesterday and discussed the issues raised. We are now planning a targeted lobbying campaign with agents to ensure that Ministers, legislators and MPs fully understand the implications of the proposal. To have any chance of success, this campaign will need the active support of members. Scale is vital and member responses to surveys, using the tools that we create to contact relevant MPs, following the communications that we put out and attending every regional meeting is crucial.

This week, David attended the DCLG Affordability and Security Working Group. The primary question for ARLA, was whether the ban is intended to address up-front fees or all fees.

DCLG were unable to answer this or give any information about what would be included.

The consultation process which will start in the New Year will focus on how to take a ban forward, not whether to take it forward. The Consumer Rights Act will still apply and will apply to landlord fees after the ban comes into force.

The Chancellor and the Housing Minister have been contacted and the importance of discussion in person, as soon as possible has been impressed upon them. An update will be issued when progress has been made with this. ALRA will also be engaging with the Welsh government to ensure that they understand all the evidence around fees. While it is unlikely that any further information will be m ade publicly available before the consultation opens, there are still too many unanswered questions and this is unacceptable. The proposed ban will have a drastic impact on many people and businesses and to announce it without consultation or clarity is wrong.

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year From The Jigsaw Team

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Christmas & New Year Opening Times:

Friday 23rd December open 9am-5.30pm

Saturday 24th December closed

Monday 26th December closed

Tuesday 27th December closed

Wednesday 28th December open 9am–1pm

Thursday 29th December open 9am – 1pm

Friday 30th December open 9am-1pm

Saturday 31st December open 9am-1pm

Monday 2nd January closed

Tuesday 3rd January open 9am-5.30pm