Happy new year! I can't quite believe its 2020 

For those of you who are old enough to remember the Millennium bug hype of the late 90's; Weren't we all lead to believe that life would never be the same again? Our bank accounts would freeze, our cars wouldn't start and we were destined for a life of mayhem and digital disaster.  I recall my car starting perfectly on the 1st January 2000 & I'm pretty sure that most folk who needed cash on 1st January 2000, got cash. I purchased my first house in 2000 (wait for it) for £19,000!  Imagine buying a two house for that amount of money now?  Those were the days. 

So, we are leaving the EU on the 31st January...right?  This news was music to my ears, after the last 12 months of the waiting to see what happens approach of sellers & buyers.  We have never known a year quite like it since the credit crunch of 2008, 

We are starting to see some of the pent-up demand from the wait and see buyers starting to show signs of turning a corner (particularly first time buyers), which we are hoping will lead to an active first part of the year.  

There has been much talk of the "Boris Bounce" within the property industry (indicating that a healthier housing market in on the horizon)  with the stalemate hopefully coming to an end, & those would be movers who have sat on their hands springing into some action.

Will the pound suddenly drop once we leave the EU? Will property prices suddenly come crashing down on the 31st January 2020? My honest answer and in my opinion (for what its worth) probably not.

Until next time......

Sally  

 

 

 

This article by Graham Norwood ( Editor of Estate Agent today) is an interesting read: 

A new year dawns - but will 2020 bring new change for the agency industry now that the market appears to have been reinvigorated by the General Election?

The prospect of an end to uncertainty is already monopolising many of the forecasts for 2020, even from sophisticated analysts and commentators: I share everyone’s delight that there appears to be an end in sight to the Brexit melodrama and the inability of recent governments to act decisively, but I’m a little less optimistic that it will last all year long.

And in any case my five things to watch for in the year ahead go wider than just the housing market - but as it’s in the spotlight, let’s start with that…

1. The housing market’s year of two halves: There’s little doubt that 2020 will start with more optimism than any year since 2016, and with good reason.

Demand and transactions will almost certainly rise in the first few months of the year, spurred on further if there is any helpful stamp duty reform in the government’s first Budget earmarked for February.

But by June, guess what? The government will either have to ask the EU for an extension to the one year transition process, or it will choose not to…in which case there will be ‘No Deal’ if negotiators don’t agree with the EU before the end of 2020.

Either way, there will be more speculation and uncertainty about Brexit in the second half of the year, so it’s in everyone’s interest to make hay while the sun shines in the first half.

2. Countrywide’s senior management will change: There is widespread expectation that Countrywide’s latest fund-raising package - selling its commercial property arm and consolidation its share distribution - will get the thumbs up at a special general meeting of shareholders on December 27.

However, the company is running out of options to raise funds without selling off more valuable residential assets too. While there is no sign of that happening - yet - it seems likely that shareholder pressure, plus the fact that two of the most senior figures in the organisation are in the second half of their 60s, will combine to lead to a change at the top.

3. Rightmove carries on as before: The UK’s top portal is easy to admire but hard to love, yet can anyone see a disruptive force on the horizon?

Zoopla may edge a little closer thanks to huge investment from its US owners, but will re-main a clear second; OnTheMarket is now too big to fail but too small to make an impression after all these years.

Debate about orchestrated agency departures has been around for years without any real action: with the market more buoyant for the first half of 2020, there will be less vocal dis-sent about portal fees, meaning Rightmove is off the hook - again.

By late 2020, however, the market may be less active and once more there will be vocal dissent…but no action.

4. Housing minister promotion: It’s long been a clarion call in the industry that the housing minister should have a dedicated Cabinet position and more power.

Until now, housing has lost out to other priorities in the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, with the minister’s role often being a stepping stone to greater things for the individual, and a sign of housing’s low priority within Labour and Conservative administrations.

My guess? This will change in 2020 with Boris Johnson’s much-anticipated widespread reform of Whitehall departments. Expect a separate Housing Ministry with a beefed-up big name politician running it, receiving explicit help from business people in the industry - chief executives from developers will lead the charge, but perhaps an agency name too.

 

 

Hello everybody!  

it really feels like Autumn has set in, I think the central heating may be getting cranked up soon and the early dark nights will soon be upon us before we know it.  Its back to business for many people who have just returned from their summer breaks ( me included) and I've spent much of the last week reading through various articles surrounding the latest "deal or no deal" saga and I was particularly interested in what the effects would be to Landlords of a change of leadership at number 10.   I can't take the credit for the article below, I've shared it from "Landlord Today". but it makes an interesting read:  

Hundreds of buy-to-let landlords have expressed concerns for the future of the buy-to-let industry if Labour comes into power. 

Boris Johnson is attempting to trigger an October general election, but the majority of landlords in the UK’s private rented sector are unlikely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s party if the poll does go ahead next month, according to new research. 

A survey from Landlord Today found that 93% of landlords consider the existing Labour party unfit to govern, owed in part to its housing policy, especially when it comes to the private rental sector 

Last week, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he wanted to see the introduction of a ‘right to buy’ scheme for private tenants as well as higher taxes on landlords. In response, 91% of landlords surveyed said that they think Labour’s private tenants ‘right to buy’ policy would ‘destroy’ the private rental sector.  

Earlier this year, a Labour-commissioned report called on the party to intervene to cool the housing market if it wins power by introducing a new “progressive property tax” set nationally instead of by local councils and paid for by landlords instead.

As part of Labour’s proposed major property laws shake-up, empty homes, second homes and those owned by people not resident in the UK for tax purposes would have to pay the new tax at a “significantly” higher rate.

The report states: “We recommend that a Labour government replace the regressive and unpopular council tax with a progressive property tax based on contemporary property values.

“Unlike council tax, this tax would be payable by owners, not tenants. “This would result in significant administrative savings, lower levels of arrears and less court action.  “Unlike council tax, the progressive property tax rate would be based on regularly updated property values, and the rates would be set nationally, rather than locally determined.”

Some MPs have branded the proposal “extraordinary and deeply damaging” and warned that Labour’s move amounted to a “tax bombshell”, and most landlords share their sentiments. 

Some 218 landlords - 94% of respondents to a separate Landlord Today poll - said that they disagreed with the radical plans being considered by the Labour Party. 

Until next time ...

best wishes 

Sally  

 

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity in Westminster – from Theresa May’s Government making a final attempt at creating a legacy, to the appointment of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, and the almost-total shake up of the Cabinet, and of Government priorities. 

One of the last actions of the May Government was publishing the consultation on the abolition of Section 21. The consultation will be open until 12 October 2019, and landlords are encouraged to respond directly, via the gov.uk website, by email or by post.  

Now is the opportunity for landlords to make their voices heard.  

So – what are the key points for landlords to know? 

  1. The Government proposes removing ASTs from the Housing Act. 

  1. There are a number of proposed changes to Section 8 grounds – but all are up for debate. 

  1. The Government wants to introduce some protections for tenants where a Section 8 is used, such as requiring prescribed information to be served, such as the How to Rent guide, gas safety certificate, deposit protection information and Energy Performance Certificate. 

  1. The consultation mentions court reforms – but doesn’t commit to the widescale reform needed to ensure possession cases are more consistent, quicker and less costly. 

  1. Landlords have the opportunity to have your voices heard – by signing our postcard to the Prime Minister, responding to the consultation, and by lobbying your MP

Action 1 – tell the Prime Minister what you think (by Monday!) 

Thousands of landlords have already signed the NLA’s postcard to the Prime Minister to Save Section 21. We will be delivering the postcards to Number 10 next week so this is your last chance to make sure your name is included and explain why you think Section 21 shouldn’t be abolished. 

You can still sign the postcard online – with the final day for signatures Monday 12 August.  

Look out for details and photos of the delivery of your postcards to Downing Street on Wednesday via our social media channels and in your email inbox. 

Action 2 – respond to the consultation 

The NLA has produced guidance to support landlords in understanding the consultation document, the Government’s proposed changes and how you can put across your views effectively. 

We have also answered some frequently asked questions about the consultation and what the proposed changes would mean for landlords. 

Responses to the consultation must be received by the Government by Saturday 12 October. The document is lengthy – 75 pages – and it’s vital that individual landlords make their voices heard. Personal experiences and detail about the challenges which the proposals will pose for your business are essential to show the Government the impact the change would have. 

Action 3 – lobby your MP 

Your MP is your representative in Westminster, where the Section 21 proposals will be further scrutinised. If MPs don’t vote for the Government’s legislation it cannot become law – think Theresa May’s Brexit deal. 

Therefore, it is important to contact your MP about your concerns regarding Section 21 and the court processes. Simply put, the more landlords an MP has contacting them on the same issue the more likely they are to do something about it – landlords can make an impact. MPs have a duty to represent their constituents. And, remember, above all, your MP wants your vote. 

The NLA has produced a lobbying guide to support you to engage with your MP, including how to find out about your MP, the themes you can include in your correspondence, and the action you can ask them to take. 

 

In my last post I mentioned that there are over 150 pieces of legislation pertaining to the private renal sector, have a read through the eye-watering list below...

 

1. Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
2. Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003
3. Anti-Social Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004
4. Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
5. Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003
6. Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2003
7. Building Regulations Part P: Guidance Booklet
8. Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982
9. Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Order 2000
10. Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002
11. Consumer Protection Act 1987
12. Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (SI no.2739)
13. Control of Pollution Act 1974
14. Council Tax (Additional Provisions for Discount Disregards) Order 1992
15. Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1992
16. Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992
17. Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992
18. Council Tax (Liability for Owners) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
19. Council Tax (Liability for Owners) Regulations 1992
20. Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
21. Crime and Security Act 2010
22. Criminal Law Act 1977
23. Data Protection Act 1998
24. Defective Premises Act 1972
25. Deregulation Act 2015
26. Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015
27. Disability Discrimination Act 2005
28. Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 (SI no.3260)
29. Employment Rights Act 1986
30. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations 2007
31. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2008
32. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

33. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
34. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
35. Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
36. Energy Act 2011
37. Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013
38. Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010
39. Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
40. Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2014
41. Equality Act 2010
42. Equality Act 2006
43. Estate Agents Act 1979
44. Finance Act 2003 (Part 4)
45. Firearms Act 1968
46. Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988
47. Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997
48. First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Fees Order 2013
49. Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
50. Freedom of Information Act 2000
51. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2010
52. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
53. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1989
54. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (SI no.1324)
55. Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (SI No. 2451)
56. Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
57. Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
58. Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990
59. Heat Network (Metering and Billing) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
60. Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014
61. Home Information Pack (Suspension) Order 2010
62. Houses in Multiple Occupation (Management) (England) Regulations 2009
63. Houses in Multiple Occupation (Management) (Wales) Regulations 2009
64. Housing (Interim Management Orders) (Prescribed Circumstances) Order 2006
65. Housing (Scotland) Act 2014
66. Housing (Scotland) Act 2010
67. Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
68. Housing (Scotland) Act 1988
69. Housing Act 1985 Part 10

70. Housing Act 1988
71. Housing Act 1996
72. Housing Act 2004
73. Housing Act 2004 (Commencement No 5 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) (England) Order 2006
74. Housing Act 2004 (Commencement No 5 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) (Wales) Order 2006
75. Housing Act 2004 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) (Wales) Order 2006
76. Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance and Information Sharing) Amendment Regulations 2007
77. Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance, Miscellaneous and Consequential) Amendment Regulations 2007
78. Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit)(Local Housing Allowance and Information Sharing ) Amendment Regulations 2007
79. Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2009
80. Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005 (SI no.3208)
81. Housing Health and Safety Rating System (Wales) Regulations 2006
82. Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007
83. Housing (Tenancy Deposit) (Specified Interest Rate) Order 2007
84. Housing (Tenancy Deposit) Order 2007
85. Income & Corporation Taxes Act 1988
86. Income Tax (Trading and other Income) Act 2005
87. Infrastructure Act 2015
88. Inheritance Tax Act 1984
89. Immigration Act 2014
90. Immigration Act 2016
91. Land Registration Act 2002
92. Land Registration Rules 2003 (Si no.1417)
93. Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012
94. Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended)
95. Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
96. Landlord Registration Act 2002
97. Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012
98. Licensing and Management of HMO and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment)(England) Regulations 2012
99. Licensing and Management of HMO (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
100. Licensing and Management of HMO(Additional Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2007
101. Licensing and Management of HMO and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006

102. Licensing and Management of HMO and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2006
103. Licensing of HMO (Prescribed Descriptions)(England) Order 2006
104. Licensing of HMO (Prescribed Descriptions)(Wales) Order 2006
105. Local Government Act 2003
106. Local Government Finance Act 1992
107. Management of Health and Safety at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2006
108. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended)
109. Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
110. Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006
111. Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005
112. Money Laundering Regulations 2003
113. Money Laundering Regulations 2007
114. Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010
115. Occupiers Liability Act 1957
116. Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994
117. Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
118. Private Landlord Registration (Information and Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008
119. Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011
120. Private Rented Housing Panel (Applications and Determinations) (Scotland) Regulations 2007
121. Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016
122. Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
123. Protection from Eviction Act 1977
124. Public Health Act 1961
125. Public Health Act 1936
126. Race Relations Act 1976
127. Redress Schemes for Lettings & Property Management Work (Requirement to belong to a scheme etc) (England) Order 2014

128. Regulatory Reform (Assured Periodic Tenancies) (Rent Increases) Order 2003
129. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Si no.1541)
130. Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002
131. Rent Act 1977
132. Rent Acts (Maximum Fair Rent) Order 1999
133. Rent (Scotland) Act 1984
134. Rent Officer (Housing Benefit Functions) Amendment Order 2007
135. Rent Repayment Orders (Supplementary Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
136. Rent Repayment Orders (Supplementary Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2008
137. Residential Property Tribunal Procedures and Fees (England) Regulations) 2011
138. Residential Property Tribunal Procedure (England) Regulations 2006
139. Residential Property Tribunal (Fees) (England) Regulations 2006
140. Residential Property Tribunal Procedure (Wales) Regulations 2006
141. Residential Property Tribunal Procedures and Fees (Wales) Regulations 2012
142. Residential Property Tribunal (Fees) (Wales) Regulations 2006
143. Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977
144. Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006
145. Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (Wales) Order 2006
146. Selective Licensing of Houses (Additional Conditions) (Wales) Order 2006
147. Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
148. Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968
149. Sex Discrimination Act 1975
150. Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992
151. Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011
152. Terrorism Act 2000
153. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

Phew, I need a cuppa after that lot !  

Until next time …

 

Sally