Real Estate

Here at Victor Michael, we pride ourselves in the service we provide to our landlords, we are at the front end of staying up to date with the latest legislation to ensure that our landlords continue to stay compliant.

 

As of the 1st October 2022 there are some important changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide safety regulation that all landlords should be aware of.

As a landlord, you will be required to ensure the following –

  1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each story of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.
  2. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation that contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
  3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.

The requirements are enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 if a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

Landlords will be responsible for repairing or replacing any faulty alarms.

If tenants find that their alarms are not in working order during the tenancy, they are advised to arrange for the replacement of the batteries.

If the alarm still does not work after replacing the batteries, or if tenants are unable to replace the batteries themselves, this would then fall under the landlord’s responsibility.

If you are currently self managing your property and finding it hard to stay up to date with all new legislations then Victor Michael can offer you a competitive rate to ensure you never have the need to worry again.

Please give us a call on 0208 522 5909 to discuss further.

www.victormichael.com

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The predicament of the Romford 20 to 30-year-olds who rent and their inability to get onto the housing ladder is often discussed in the press.

There are 4.43m properties in the UK that are still in the private rented sector (compared to 2.13m in 2002).

This group of people in their 20s and 30’s, who rent from a private landlord, are often called ‘Generation Rent’.

Yet would it surprise you that since 2017, the number of UK households in the private rented sector has reduced by 260,000 whilst the number of homeowners has increased by 1.1m?

This article is about another set of people, not ‘Generation Rent’, but ‘Generation Stuck’.

 Generation Stuck are our middle-aged and mature homeowners of Romford. They are the generation that could be described as late ‘Baby Boomers’ (born in late 1950s and early 1960s) and the early ‘Gen X’ (born in the mid 1960s to early 1970s).

These 50 to 64 year old people feel stuck in their Romford homes, and therefore I have nicknamed them ‘Generation Stuck’. Their inability to move could be holding back those younger Romford ‘Generation Renters’.

In Romford, there are 11,490 households, whose owners are aged between 50 and 64 years old and about to pay their mortgage off on property that is worth £4.885bn.

There are an additional 9,896 mortgage free Romford households, owned by 50 to 64 year olds, worth £4.207bn, meaning …

Romford ‘Baby Boomers’ and Romford ‘Gen X’ are sitting on £9.093bn worth of Romford property

According to the Census, 47.8% of homes occupied by 50 to 64 year olds have two or more spare bedrooms.

This is backed up by the annual English Housing Survey that states nationally, 49% of properties occupied by these ‘Generation Stuck’ are ‘under-occupied’.

Under-occupied is categorised as having at least two spare bedrooms.

Looking at the statistics closer to home

41.7% of Havering 50 to 64 year olds have two or more spare bedrooms, making it the 275th highest local authority in the country(out of 348 local authorities).

The rising number of older Romford homeowners who want to downsize their Romford home are often held back by the lack of suitable housing options for older people and the difficulties of moving.

Lots of over 50 year old Romford people cannot move home in the way that they would like, due to a lack of suitable housing options and so can find themselves ‘stuck’ in homes which are no longer suitable for them as they age.

Only 1 in 29 people over the age of 50 move home each year, compared to 1 in 15 for the rest of the population.

Helping mature Romford homeowners (Generation Stuck) to downsize their homes at the right time will also allow younger Romford people (Generation Rent) to find the Romford family homes they need – meaning every generation wins, both young and old.

However, to ensure downsizing works, we need more choices for these “last-time-buyers”.

That means building more bungalows or more ground floor apartments suitable for the middle to older generation.

One way this could be done is by changing the planning rules to force builders to build these types of properties, whilst the other could be the changing of the stamp duty tax breaks for downsizers.

 In this way, older Romford people will be more able to move into homes which suit their specific needs, improve their quality of life whilst meeting their goals in life, all without them becoming detached from their friends and family locally in the Romford area.

If you are a Romford Homeowner and looking to sell, please give us a call for a FREE no obligation property valuation of your home.

Source: www.gbpestates.co.uk

Credit photo: www.gbpestates.co.uk

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52% of homes that have been on the market for 10 weeks or longer have not reduced in price despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and fears of an economic slowdown, according to the latest market data from Homesearch.

Photo source: Pixabay

The data appears to show that sellers are holding their nerve on price, or agents are not yet prepared to have the necessary conversations earlier in the process, despite the property remaining unsold for a relatively long period of time.

Homeowners in Scotland are the most resolute, with 64% (2,103) of properties on the market for over 10 weeks not subject to a price reduction. This contrasts with more anxious sellers in the East of England, where 52% have dropped their price at least once already.

Sam Hunter, chief operating officer for Homesearch, says: “Despite recent speculation that the housing sector would slow as a result of rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, our data shows that the market remains buoyant and sellers are confident of securing the highest possible price.

“The agents we speak to are reporting that many homes are still being agreed at, or above, asking price, well within the first few weeks of going on sale. This is largely due to the ongoing lack of supply which is keeping prices strong, though the desperate need to move appears to have left the market.

“Prices are more sensitive now than they have been over the last two years. A more balanced market is great news for the high-performing agents out there. If, as an agent, you’ve had a property for sale for over 10 weeks and not had a conversation about price then you are at risk of losing these instructions to competitor agents who do broach the subject.”

Source: www.propertyreporter.co.uk

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Searches on behalf of portfolio landlords rocketed by 21% in June amid a notable rise in BTL purchase activity, according to new data from Legal & General’s SmartrCriteria tool.

Searches on behalf of portfolio landlords saw a rise of 21%, while those for consumer buy-to-let mortgages grew by 7%. ‘Holiday let/Air BnB’ was also the ninth most searched criteria point, up from tenth in May.

Bank of Mum and Dad remains resilient despite the cost-of-living crunch

June data suggests that family members continue to play a key role in helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder. ‘First-time buyer/first-time landlord/non-owner occupier’ was the third most used criteria point, while ‘joint borrower sole proprietor’ took the fifth spot.

Despite wider economic pressure, the number of searches for guarantor/family assist mortgages and gifted equity/concessionary purchase mortgages both remained comparable to May (dropping by 1% and rising by 0.4% respectively).

Specialist products and advisers retain a crucial role in the market

Demand for specialist products remained high in June, with searches on behalf of applicants purchasing discounted market sale properties rocketing by 66%. Let-to-buy applicants also rose by 7%. As in May, most searches were made on behalf of applicants with a VISA.

Danny Belton, Head of Lender Relationships, Legal & General Mortgage Club, comments: “It is reassuring to see strong demand across the board despite wider economic pressure. The fifth consecutive base rate rise, which came mid-month, does not seem to have dented the high levels of activity in the market and brokers and lenders alike are still as busy as ever.

“With product criteria changes coming thick and fast, advisers have a crucial role in reassuring and educating buyers through what might be a more difficult mortgage journey.”

 

Source: www.propertyreporter.co.uk

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UK rents have seen their largest quarterly increase in fifteen years, up by 2.47% (£849 to £870) during Q2 2022, according to the latest figures released by The Deposit Protection Service.

The DPS also said that average rents had risen £66 from £804 to £870 (8.21%) between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022.

The organisation added that four of the largest recorded quarterly rent increases since 2007 – including 1.74% in Q3 2021 and 1.96% in Q4 2021 – took place during the same period, significantly contributing to the UK’s rent inflation rate during the past year.

The organisation said that eight of the UK’s 12 regions experienced rent rises of more than 7% between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022.

The North East, traditionally one of the cheapest places to rent in the UK, saw the highest annual percentage rent increase; rising 10.75% (£57) from £530 to £587 between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022, said the organisation.

The DPS added that the West Midlands saw the second highest annual regional rent percentage increase: 10.70% (£69), taking rents from £645 to £714 during the same period.

London recorded the greatest annual increase in monthly rental values, with rents rising by 9.44% (£124), from £1,314 during Q2 2021 to £1,438 in Q2 2022, it added.

Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS, said: “The last 12 months of rent increases, including a significant acceleration during the last quarter, shows that the price of renting forms a substantial part in rising living costs across the country.

“A mixture of tenants moving back into cities, continued desire for larger rental properties with more space and a current shortage of properties of all types is causing rent prices to rise.

“Despite the current economic environment, many tenants still seem prepared to pay in order to secure a rental property.”

Source: www.propertyreporter.co.uk

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