30 January 2017

Recent survey shows 2 out of 5 tenants have no intention to buy

The Deposit Protection Service recently carried out a survey covering 1000 tenants who have deposits lodged with them.  They were asked if they had any intention to buy a property and 38.4% replied that they had no intention of buying a property.

Of those that do hope to buy 25.5% hope to do so in the next 6 months while 62% hope to do so within the year.

The Managing Director of the DPS, Julian Foster said “Renting is a vital part of the housing sector, and a significant proportion of the UK population choose to be tenants as it better suits their life plan or lifestyles.  “The UK needs a flexible residential sector that suits the varied life choices and priorities of our diverse population, and the rental sector plays an important role in providing people with real housing options.”

Whilst this is obviously great news for Landlords and Agents alike you have to wonder if this is a little bit of a time bomb waiting to go off long down the road with “Generation Rent” reach retirement.

27 January 2017

Andover property values have increased by £491 per week!

Recently, a landlord of ours came in to our office to discuss the rising property values in Andover. He owns a varied portfolio of rental properties, primarily in Andover, so it is interesting to compare the increase in property values around the area.
Over the last 12 months the average property value in Andover has risen by £25,517 to £328,694. This is a very respectable 8.42% increase or £491 per week. When we looked at the values for semi detached houses, this average increase is even greater at £31,712. This is a considerable average increase of £609 per week!
When I looked at some of the surrounding towns, Newbury has a lower average increase in property value, at around £413.69 per week, whilst Salisbury has an even more modest average increase of around £215.84 per week.  Still better than your money will do in the bank!

When considering this landlord’s buy to let portfolio, the rental values have remained fairly stable during the 12 months with some small increases.  However, it shows that Andover is becoming more and more popular with both buy to let investors and home buyers alike and from these figures you can see why!

25 January 2017

Are you dealing with tenants deposits correctly?

The requirement to protect a tenancy deposit taken for an assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales was introduced on 6 April 2007, following its inclusion in the Housing Act 2004. Initially, deposits needed protecting within 14 calendar days of receipt by the landlord. This was subsequently changed to 30 days on 6 April 2012 as a result of the Localism Bill 2011.

The consequences for not registering a deposit correctly are significant.  A Landlord or Agent can be fined between 1 and 3 times the value of the deposit.  Also, if the deposit has not been registered correctly a Section 21 cannot be issued.

At the end of the tenancy, if a dispute occurs on check out there are further procedures and timescales to be stuck to.  If the timescales and not followed, the Deposit Protection Service will automatically find in favour of the tenant.  This may seem a little unfair but it needs to be remembered that the deposit is the Tenants money and the Landlord needs to prove why they have a claim on it which, in turn, the Tenant need to argue why they don’t!

The DPS clearly set out the process at the very start of any adjudication but these dates are set in stone.  Dealing with adjudication can be time consuming if done properly but it is worth doing thoroughly as you really only get one shot at this. Evidence is key – both photographic and written.  It is worth spending time putting together all the evidence that the DPS request and any additional, relevant information.  Try to make the adjudicators job easier for them by highlighting appropriate paragraphs, numbering photographs referred to in documentation and number and list all evidence provided.  Adjudicators look through several of these every day so you want to make sure they don’t miss anything pertinent to the case.  If evidence is received it will be sent to the other side for their comments, once the adjudicator has glanced over it.  This is the last point at which you can comment or provide any further evidence.  It will then go through the full adjudication.  Remember – the adjudicators decision is final!  So spend time on getting the evidence right as there is no comeback!

If you want any advice on adjudication please feel free to ask. 

23 January 2017

A few facts about the property market in Abbotts Ann

A Landlord who has invested in rental properties in Andover asked me about the property market in his home village of Abbotts Ann.  Abbotts Ann can trace its routes back to 50BC with the church dating from around 1710.  In 1806 Robert Tasker took over the local Blacksmiths yard and produced the first iron plough.  He subsequently set up Waterloo Iron Works in Anna Valley and built the original school in Abbotts Ann.  The village currently has a busy pub, primary school and thriving village shop run by volunteers which won an award in 2009.
The average value of a property in Abbotts Ann is £561,408.  The most expensive area in Abbotts Ann is Cattle Lane, mainly due to the land that goes with these properties.  Here the average price is over £900,000.  Only 107 properties have been sold in the village during the last 10 years.
The most expensive property was a beautiful listed property which was advertised at £1.4million while in the last 12 months only 12 properties have changed hands.
Abbotts Ann is a charming village and has a lovely, vibrant feel about it and I am sure is very popular with its residents.

If you would like to know more about your own area, drop in and see us.