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Prospective Tenants not happy for visit – Should this ring alarm bells?

Property 118 - 24 July 2014 - 10:33am

We have a nice big modern rental property and from taking on board a thread on here I asked my agent to ask my new prospective tenants if I could visit them in their home. My agent was absolutely shocked and said this had never happened before but would ask the ‘tenant’. She got back... Read more

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Categories: News feeds

COUNTY COURT – The request for a Possession Order is premature?

Property 118 - 24 July 2014 - 10:27am

I am a landlord that has applied to the local county court for possession of my property. My tenant has received a letter :- “The request for a Possession Order is premature, being only 4 days after issue and the same day as deemed service” What should I do now as a landlord Thanks Jaz

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Categories: News feeds

Elderly being shut out of British cities

Daily Telegraph - 23 July 2014 - 6:40pm
Major international study shows biggest age divide in Europe between cities and suburbs






Categories: News feeds

Wentworth golf club owner embroiled in row with locals over 'Disneyland-esque extension'

Daily Telegraph - 23 July 2014 - 5:26pm
Richard Caring, who owns the £160 million Wentworth Club, plans to build a 56-bedroom conference centre - to the horror of residents






Categories: News feeds

Buy to let annual returns on the up

Residential Landlord - 23 July 2014 - 5:14pm
If the prices of rental properties continue to grow as they have over the last three months, the average English or Welsh landlord could see
Categories: News feeds

Buy to let mortgages: Know your credit score

Residential Landlord - 23 July 2014 - 4:47pm
Buy to let mortgages are of course, the backbone of landlord house purchase funding, and in recent decades this market has expanded immeasurably. Within the
Categories: News feeds

Green Deal fund reduced – Not good for Landlords

Property 118 - 23 July 2014 - 4:42pm

Commenting on the reduction of Green Deal Home Improvement Funds (GDHIF) for solid wall insulation from £6000 to £4000, Richard Lambert, CEO at the National Landlords Association (NLA), said: “Just as the Green Deal looks like it will finally succeed, the Government seems determined to sabotage its own policy. “The NLA made a strong case... Read more

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Categories: News feeds

The End Game

Property 118 - 23 July 2014 - 2:53pm

I am keen to hear more experienced Landlords view on their exit strategy’s. The reason I am thinking about this now is that it is time to refinance a couple of HMO property’s that I purchased with cash (property’s were not mortgageable). I am now 41 so have plenty of years left to obtain mortgages... Read more

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Categories: News feeds

Small builders need help to solve the housing crisis

Daily Telegraph - 23 July 2014 - 1:02pm
Too much of the house-building trade is in the hands of a few big firms. The Government must help smaller builders, says Shaun Spiers






Categories: News feeds

Living like Bilbo Baggins: life in an eco-friendly 'hobbit house'

Daily Telegraph - 23 July 2014 - 10:45am
Caroline McGhie meets the pioneers of a picturesque and eco-friendly roundhouse






Categories: News feeds

Buy to let portfolio – help me see the bigger picture

Property 118 - 23 July 2014 - 9:59am

I have just cleaned up my act, paid my debts and now got 2 jobs earning avg £2500 a month and living with my mum! Now – I want to get into property development. Build my own buy to let portfolio! I can only save £10, 000 a year. looking at the figures, in order... Read more

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Categories: News feeds

Landlord evicting me after I complained about the mould

Landlord Law Blog - 23 July 2014 - 8:20am

Here is a question to the blog clinic from Martin who is a tenant

I am on a rolling tenancy. After months of complaining about mould in the bathroom the landlord & agents failed to do anything about it, I called the council environmental health department.

They came to see it and some time later they applied pressure to the landlord to get it sorted.

I came home tonight to find a notice to leave letter on the doorstep!

Rent is up to date and there have been no other issues, the letter gives no reason for this action but it’s blatantly obvious it’s the landlord’s solution to the mould problem.

I am afraid that this sort of thing does happen, it is called ‘retaliatory eviction‘ and at present (provided your landlord gets his paperwork right) there is not a lot you can do about it.

Although you might check to see that the paperwork served on you is correct.   You say a ‘letter’.  What the landlord needs to serve on you if he wants to evict is a section 21 notice.

You are entitled to stay in your property until evicted through the courts, and your landlord will only be able to do this if he has served the proper paperwork on you first.

Take some advice on this – for example from the CAB, a law centre or Shelter.  If you want to speak to solicitors make sure it is a firm that does housing work.

I suggest you contact Shelter anyway to tell them your story.  They will then be able to use your story to support their campaign against retaliatory eviction.

Picture provided by kind permission of Sandra Savage Fisher of QuaLETY lettings.

Britain's funniest-named homes for sale

Daily Telegraph - 23 July 2014 - 7:00am
What's in a name? Well, when it comes to buying a house, it depends on whether you want your visitors to blush or laugh, says Graham Norwood






Categories: News feeds

Analyst endorses 'Buy Rightmove' shares status

Estate Agent Today - 23 July 2014 - 1:00am

Rightmove shares have had their ‘buy’ rating reiterated by investment analysts at Nomura which suggests there could be a potential one-third growth from the company’s current price.

Nomura has put a potential top value of about 3,000 on the stock, which is currently trading at around 2,200. 

 

This latest status is one of 11 ‘buy’ assessments made by investment analysts on Rightmove in recent weeks. However, Jefferies Group, another analyst, has put a less enthusiastic ‘hold’ status on Rightmove - one of four analysts with that recommendation.

 

Some six weeks ago analysts at Barclays gave an ‘overweight’ rating on Rightmove’s shares; to date, no other analyst has endorsed that position, although Rightmove’s share price has been volatile in the past 12 months with a low of 2,046.9999 and a high of 2,814.

 

Analyses of this kind are of interest because of the large size of Rightmove’s market cap - approaching £2.2 billion - and because market observers want to see if it is affected by moves from next year’s challenger OnTheMarket. 

 

The new portal, formerly Agents’ Mutual, is encouraging agents to de-list from Rightmove or its current rival portal, Zoopla.

 

  • rightmove
  • OnTheMarket
  • Nomura
Categories: News feeds

Agent may be jailed for £40,000 fraud

Estate Agent Today - 23 July 2014 - 1:00am

An estate agent has been told he may face jail for defrauding clients of £40,000.

Paul Onslow, 45, ran Paul Onslow Estate Agency in Harlow, Essex. He pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to one offence of fraudulently abusing his position as the proprietor of an estate agency business.

 

The fraud allegedly took place between 22 April 2008 and 22 April 2013 and involved approximately £40,000 of clients’ money which Onslow used for his own purposes.

 

Local press reports say the agent - who lives in Hertfordshire - has pleaded guilty to the charge, which relates to the financial affairs of 14 clients.

 

Judge Charles Gratwicke adjourned sentencing for reports until next month and remanded Onslow, who is of previous good character, on bail. He warned him that a jail sentence could not be ruled out saying: “All options remain open. It’s a large sum of money.”

 

  • Paul Onslow Estate Agency
  • essex
  • Crime
Categories: News feeds

Online head's "old men" jibe at OnTheMarket

Estate Agent Today - 23 July 2014 - 1:00am

The head of an online agency has mocked the “old men” running the forthcoming OnTheMarket portal for banning online agents while allowing what he calls high-charging traditional agents some of which have “dire” customer service.

The chief executive of OnTheMarket, Ian Springett, has said he will not allow online agents’ properties to be listed on the new portal - formerly known as Agents’ Mutual - and has accused them of being “a bit of a con” and “parasitic”.

 

Now Adam Day, director of online service Hatched, says there is not the fundamental difference between online and traditional agents that Springett makes out.

 

“We have fully trained employees that visit and meet with clients at their properties, face to face. They measure up and take photos at every single property we market. We arrange the viewings, we get feedback, we negotiate to get the best price for the client and we see the sale through to the end. We just charge in a different way, which allows us to save clients around 80 per cent compared to a traditional estate agency” claims Day.

 

“We are members of the National Association of Estate Agents .... We are also recognised as estate agents according to the Estate Agents Act” he continues in an open letter.

 

Day concludes by saying: “It’s about time the estate agency market had a shake-up. And it’s about time the old men in their shiny suits, flash company cars and fat tie knots step aside. There’s a new, modern, 21st century wave of estate agents around.”

 

  • Hatched
  • OnTheMarket
  • Online Agents
Categories: News feeds

Savills says prime London prices "plateaued"

Estate Agent Today - 23 July 2014 - 1:00am

Savills says values of homes in prime central London have plateaued after growing just 0.4 per cent in the second quarter of the year. 

The agency’s research department says established prime central locations such as Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea, where average values are in the region of £2,100 to £2,400 per square foot, have all recorded quarterly growth below one per cent. 

 

But relatively lower-priced areas such as Marylebone, where prices average £1,600 per square foot, rose 3.5 per cent in the same quarter.

 

Meanwhile at the very top end of the market, homes worth over £10 million fell by an average 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2014, meaning that London’s highest value homes on average saw zero growth on an annual basis in the 12 months to July.

 

However, values in these areas remain 48 per cent above their 2007 levels - a remarkable increase while most of the rest of the UK say property values plummet.

 

There may be worse to come, however. Savills says there will be a small one per cent fall on average in prices in prime central London in 2015 thanks to uncertainty over the result of next spring’s general election, and speculation over possible new property taxes for the wealthy.

 

  • Savills
  • housing market
  • london
Categories: News feeds

New housing minister pledges 165,000 homes

Estate Agent Today - 23 July 2014 - 1:00am

In his first major act as housing and planning minister, Brandon Lewis has promised 165,000 new houses and apartments will be constructed in the three years from 2015 in a programme which will “change the way homes are built in Britain.”

A fifth of the homes will be built with what Lewis calls “advanced housing manufacture” - pre-fabricated elements made in factories before being assembled on site. This technique is widely used elsewhere in Europe but only rarely in Britain, says Lewis.

 

A total of 214 affordable housing providers - mostly housing associations - have been earmarked to receive government funding for the new homes, a third of which will be in London. There will also be a £23 billion private financing programme. 

 

“Housebuilding is an essential part of this government’s long-term economic plan. That’s why we have designed an ambitious new scheme to build affordable homes at the fastest rate for 20 years, which will support 165,000 jobs in construction and sustain thousands of small businesses” says Lewis.

 

Categories: News feeds

Family agent makes a stand - big time

Estate Agent Today - 23 July 2014 - 1:00am

Family estate agency David James says it is over the moon at winning naming rights for The Kop Stand at Notts County’s League One football ground.

“As ardent fans and local businessmen, it’s something that we’re very proud of and it means a lot to us" says the agency director, James Roys.

 

Local and national businesses pitched for the chance to take over the naming rights of The Kop Stand for the 2014-15 season. Representatives from each company placed their logo on the pitch and club manager Shaun Derry kicked a ball that decided the winner. 

 

It landed closest to the David James Estate Agents logo. “As season ticket holders, we really wanted to do something that could associate our company with the club. We’re very proud of and it means a lot to us - it’s not just a commercial opportunity” says Roys.

 

Notts County commercial advisor Damian Irvine says the choice of a local family business “typifies the club’s focus on promoting and supporting local Nottinghamshire commerce and community.”

 

  • David James Estate Agency
  • Notts County
  • Nottingham
Categories: News feeds

Pyrrhic victory corner: Costs on appeal from a small claim

Nearly Legal - 22 July 2014 - 10:05pm

Akhtar v Boland [2014] EWCA Civ 943

Just a quick note on this one, after a conversation with a colleague reminded me I hadn’t written it up.

The details of the case need not detain us, it was a PI case which had been allocated to the small claims following admissions by the Defendant. The Claimant appealed on the basis that it should have been allocated to the fast track, and then appealed to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was unsuccessful in the Court of Appeal. The Defendant sought its costs of that appeal.

The Court of Appeal notes the CPR provisions:

CPR 27(14) provides, so far as relevant:
“(1) This rule applies to any case which has been allocated to the small claims track.

(2) The court may not order a party to pay a sum to another party in respect of that other party’s costs, fees and expenses including those relating to an appeal, except –

And

CPR 52.9A provides:
“(1) In any proceedings in which costs recovery is normally limited or excluded at first instance, an appeal court may make an order that the recoverable costs of an appeal will be limited to the extent which the court specifies.
(2) In making such an order the court will have regard to-
(a) the means of both parties;
(b) all the circumstances of the case; and
(c) the need to facilitate access to justice.
(3) if the appeal raises an issue of principle or practice upon which substantial sums may turn, it may not be appropriate to make an order under paragraph (1).”

However, the Supreme Court Practice (White Book) at 27.14.1.1 states:

“Rule 27.14 (2) applies the “no costs” rule to first appeals to the circuit judge. However, in his review on civil litigation costs Jackson L.J. pointed out that second appeals against small claims decisions in the Court of Appeal are “subject to full costs shifting” (Ch.34 para 3.3). Rule 52.9A was introduced to mitigate that; …”

Cutting to the chase, the Court of Appeal held that CPR 27(14) applied to all appeals, not just a first appeal. The note in the White Book “is incorrect”.

So, any appeal of a small claim, no matter how far the appeal goes (Court of Appeal and, I would suppose Supreme Court) will be on a small claims (no) costs basis.

As the White Book note shows, this was not the received wisdom, and worth bearing in mind. Also, an expensive exercise in pyrrhic victory for the Defendant in this case. For Respondents in such appeals, it will be an exercise in judgement as to the value of detailed opposition to any appeal.

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