Almost a third of renters in the UK do not have a life-saving carbon monoxide alarm in their property, with four in five unaware that it is their responsibility - and not their landlord’s or agent’s - to provide one.

A new inquiry has been launched into the private rented sector.

It will specifically look at the area of enforcement by local authorities, including whether councils have adequate powers to intervene when rental properties are sub-standard or dangerous, whether licensing schemes are working, and whether tenants are able to complain effectively.

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Research experts at high-end agency Savills say a total of £5.3 billion is expected to be invested in the student accommodation sector this year, up 17 per cent from 2016.

SAFEAgent 

Norfolk Property Management and Letting are members of SafeAgent 

This week, 3,000 lettings agents across the UK will promote SAFEagent Awareness Week.

The aim is to highlight to consumers the importance of choosing an agent which is part of a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme run by a regulatory organisation.

The Government has just released its much anticipated Housing "White Paper".

The document outlines their plans to mend the "broken" housing market, make all types of homes more affordable, create more affordable housing, and more security for renters.

The buy to let mortgage market has suffered something of a battering in recent months but now Post Office Money is launching a new range of products on Friday, aimed at first-time landlords or those with small portfolios. The lender says its latest products are designed for those buying their first rental property, or for someone who wants to own one or two such properties. The new rates start from 1.93 per cent for a two-year fixed loan at 70 per cent Loan to Value with a £995 fee.

There was a significant rise in the amount buy-to-let landlords borrowed to invest in property before the introduction of new affordability tests brought in at the start of this month ahead of changes to tax relief from April this year, new figures show.Landlords borrowed £3.2bn in November 2016, up 10% month-on-month, but down 9% year-on-year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) Consultation on landlord ‘affordability’ management is being implemented as guidance to lenders from the 1st of January.the clock is ticking

The PRA are requiring Buy to Let lenders to take into account borrower’s increased tax liabilities due to Section 24 mortgage interest relief reductions and other outgoings when assessing the amount of loan requested.

Landlords and buy-to-let investors appear to have returned to the market following the post-Stamp Duty lull in April, Rightmove has claimed.

The portal’s Rental Trends Tracker for the third quarter of 2016 found that buyer enquiries from potential landlords and investors are now up 30% since May, following a short-term dip as additional Stamp Duty charges came in on April 1.

House price inflation continued to slow in September, Halifax has revealed. House prices did go up last month, but by just 0.1% on August.

The lender’s latest house price index recorded average prices at £214,024 for September, up 5.8% annually, which is down from 6.9% in August.

According to the latest report from mortgage industry tech supplier, IRESS, the buy to let sector continues to go from strength to strength, seeing a 49% increase in buy to let compared with it's 2015 Survey.

The UK will avoid a severe recession and a house price crash following the Brexit vote, PricewaterhouseCoopers has said.

It believes that there will be a marked slowdown in house price growth, but no major crash.

According to new research from the National Landlords Association, 30% of landlords are still undecided about whether they will vote to leave or remain in the upcoming referendum on the European Union.

Renting guide

According to the Office of Nation Statistics 36% of households in England and Wales were rented rather than owner-occupied. Being a tenant is widely accepted as a viable alternative to home ownership, particularly among those who may not yet be willing or able to consider buying a permanent home. Renting a property should be an enjoyable experience and for those who are new to the process this renting guide will explain what to look out for with these 10 renting property tips.

By performing a big spring clean and sorting your stuff out before you plan to move, you’ll not only save time and money but also your sanity!

 

The rental market has once again demonstrated consistent growth across 2015, paving the way for a solid 2016, despite a number of changes set to be introduced in the coming twelve months.

Our November Rental Index showed the market has experienced significant annual growth in 2015. As of November 2015, the average UK rental value – excluding London – stood at £743, an increase of 3.8% compared against last November's figure of £718. This growth is consistent across the country, with nine out of twelve regions demonstrating an increase in rental prices on an annual basis.

Unsurprisingly, growth across London this year was particularly high, with rents in the capital now 108% higher than the rest of the UK. Reflecting on the year as a whole, annual rental growth in Greater London has slowed from a peak of 12% in January 2015 to 6% by September, our latest figures show.

Demand for rental property continues to grow, and looks as if it won’t falter any time soon. In the past year, house prices have risen by £20,000 on average, tipping the house value scale to an average of £287,000, according to Rightmove.

The portal has also predicted that during 2016, house prices will increase by a further £17,000; possibly making it increasingly more challenging for first-time buyers to save a sufficient deposit, meaning they could be likely to remain tenants or, if they aren't already, turn to renting instead.

This shift of potential home owners into the Private Rented Sector (PRS) has increased the size of the rental market exponentially in the past decade or so. Back in 2001 there were 2.3 million private renters in the UK, increasing to 5.4 million in 2014. Sector growth doesn't look like it’ll stop there, either. In the next ten years, global business firm PwC has estimated that a further 1.8 million people will rent privately, meaning that half of all UK residents will form part of the PRS.

The recently released Autumn 2015 Rent Check by Allsop reflects this estimated increase in the number of UK tenants. In the survey, 41% of landlords claimed that there has been a definite increase in tenant demand in the last six months alone. This is of course a positive situation for letting agents and landlords, as it means that there will be a larger pool of potential tenants looking to snap up each rental property, minimising void periods.

Looking again to 2016, tenant demand doesn’t look as if it is going to subside anytime soon. That said, some tenants may find their search for a rental home more difficult as a consequence of recent stamp duty changes.

In the latest Autumn Statement, the Chancellor George Osborne announced that as of April 2016, all buy-to-let investors and second-home owners will pay an additional 3% stamp duty tax when they purchase a property.

Potential investors can and still will benefit from incredibly low interest rates, which have been at a low of 0.5% since March 2009, making it cheaper to borrow; going some way to counteracting the tax increase.

These changes will have consequences for the rental market as a whole, though. Between now and April 2016, there will be a 'rush to buy', according to a property commentator from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The general trend in the rental market is that prices will continue to increase in the New Year, although growth may not be recorded at quite the same pace.

 

 

 

There is resounding new evidence that buy-to-let investors are ramping up activity as they try to beat the April 1 Stamp Duty surcharge deadline.

Also, more individuals appear to have turned themselves into companies in order to be exempt from an earlier clampdown announced by George Osborne last year.

According to specialist broker Mortgages for Business, limited companies accounted for 43% of all buy-to-let cases in January – up from 38% at the start of the year.

Overall buy-to-let applications were up 27% in January from the month before.

From April 1, a 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge will be levied on the purchasers of second homes, including buy-to-let properties.

 

Also looming is the start of the phased introduction by which landlords’ ability to offset mortgage interest against tax is to be cut to the lowest rate. However, buy-to-let companies will be exempt from this.

Right to rent………

 

From Monday 1st February 2016 it became compulsory for all landlords in England to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property.

However, research shows that the majority of landlords have not received any information from the Government. Therefore the Right to Rent scheme has been criticised as most landlords are not prepared for the new legislation.

Under the new rules, landlords who fail to check a potential tenant’s ‘Right to Rent’ will face penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant.

But Right to Rent, which was introduced in the Immigration Act 2014 as part of the Government’s reforms ‘to build a fairer and more effective immigration system’, has been criticised after it was revealed that most landlords are still not prepared for the new legislation. 

“There has been an influx of new legislation relating to the rental market made in recent years and we know that UK landlords are struggling to keep on top of these changes. Despite knowing many of the basics, many find it difficult to navigate the minefield of changing renting rights and wrongs and this is particularly so for accidental landlords.

A new survey from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) reveals that 90 per cent of landlords have received no information from the Government about the new Right to Rent scheme, the first phase of which was launched in parts of the West Midlands in December, while almost three quarters of the 1,500 landlords surveyed did not know what the rules obliged them to do.

Right to Rent is about deterring those who are illegally resident from remaining in the UK. Those with a legitimate right to be here will be able to prove this easily and will not be adversely affected.

“Under Right to Rent, landlords should check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. The scheme has been designed to make it straightforward for people to give evidence of their right to rent and a range of commonly available documents can be used.” 

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Here at Norfolk Property Management we have recently witnessed the official switch on of the Christmas lights in the City Centre, the winter hats and scarves are out due to the dramatic change in temperature and the shops are buzzing with the early Christmas shoppers! We are equally busy at this time of year and are proud to announce that we are due to make a record month for introducing suitable tenants to available properties in November!

So this means we need more properties to for fill our current high demand! Yes, there are plenty of prospective tenants still looking even with the Christmas countdown looming. 

If you are currently thinking of letting your property please do not hesitate to contact us. We are feeling Merry with all of this early Christmas cheer and are happy to offer a discount for any new instruction that we introduce a suitable tenant for within the month of December! 

Also if you are a tenant and can recommend us to a landlord that you know of, we are more than happy to award you with discounted administration fees to say a huge thank you for your support!

Or perhaps you are a current landlord and feel like you would benefit from our expertise in the field of Lettings and Management? Please feel free to arrange a suitable time for us to go over all of the new legislations that apply, or simply refresh you on the world of renting and protecting your most precious asset. Why not combine your Christmas shopping trip with a stop off for a festive egg-nog latte and traditional mince pie whilst we chat it over. 

Being our core business, we fully dedicate ourselves in looking after all of our landlords and tenants to the best of our ability around the clock,

We look forward to hearing from you soon and may your countdown to Christmas be the most stress free in all areas.