Most lessees (nb not tenants) have the statutory right to purchase the freehold of their building, called Collective Enfranchisement, under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
Such a purchase certainly has its appeal if your lease is beginning to look a little light – say 80 years or less. In this instance it may be
To say estate agents are busy would be an understatement. The unprecedented uplift in buyer demand over the past three months certainly bucks any notion of pandemic paralysis. Rightmove tells us that buyer enquiries are up 14% annually and sales agreed are just 5% below this time last year – which is pretty remarkable under the
Most people move house rarely and often have little idea of the etiquette required if the stress of moving is to be minimised. Our job as progressive letting agents is to help landlords and tenants minimise this stress by seeing the world through each other’s eyes and advising accordingly.
For example, landlords, especially those who
Many people whose property is on the market now would ideally like to move by Christmas, yet only those who are prepared to price realistically are likely to be successful.
Buyers who are currently active in the market are now getting increasingly keen to move before the end of the year and we have recently
Our last article considered some of the dangers associated with pricing your home in relation to other properties available for sale (ie those remaining unsold). This time we’ll look at pricing in relation to properties which have actually sold.
When considering what asking price to quote, common sense dictates that the price of other homes
An unfair quirk in the law can leave landlords substantially out of pocket, as highlighted by the recent case of Cheryl Roux, the former wife of Michelin star chef Albert Roux.
A bogus tenant, introduced by a fake London letting agency, rented Mrs Roux’s £5m Knightsbridge property. That tenant then advertised the property to legitimate
When looking to rent a property, it is natural to want to see as many properties as possible before making the “right” choice and common sense dictates that you should view a handful of alternatives before deciding which to rent.
Our job as professional letting agents is to help tenants make decisions that are genuinely
When considering the value of a property prior to putting it on the market, many vendors understandably look at the asking price of other properties currently on the market locally, and draw pricing conclusions based on this research.
Whilst this is not an unreasonable way of determining value, there are some traps for which to
We’re not surprised that house prices, according to the Halifax, rose 1.6% last month That’s nearly 20% per annum when annualised (but don’t do that)! The combination of at least three months of pent-up demand, coupled with stalling supply as people hunkered down during lockdown made such an increase inevitable, especially when compounded by the
Typically, most tenants will look at about half a dozen properties before making a decision as to which one they should rent. Some people look at just a couple, and others spend months considering each and every one of the dozens of properties that come on the market within their price range.
Even though many
It seems amazing to us that almost anyone can open up an estate agency and commence trading without any training, qualifications, proof of minimum standards, or certificate of competency.
The sale of your property is far too important to entrust to just anybody. Those who claim to work on your behalf may simply be out
House prices may have risen beyond expectation in recent years but, interestingly, affordability is at a new high too! These factors might seem diametrically opposed, yet the opposite is actually true. Could this be why demand has remained strong throughout the Brexit-related political and economic uncertainties (thankfully now at an end)?
Affordability, or the relationship
For homeowners wishing to sell their property and buy another, it’s the classic dilemma; which do you do first – buy or sell?
Typically, people initially investigate the market to find out what they can buy for their money. Inevitably, during this research they fall in love with the “ideal” property. As they have yet
As soon as the Brexit decision was “concluded” late last year, we were hit by the pandemic. Four years of uncertainty was condensed into a bottle neck of demand, which was then frustrated by three months of lockdown – and longer hair! But three months of hair growth does not require three haircuts – yet
Our last article considered the benefits of buying to let in principle. Here we consider some practical elements:
Attitude: Buying to let is a long-term investment. So don’t over-stretch yourself, because if you had to sell in the short term you would almost certainly lose money.
Choose well: Follow your head not your heart. Take
Estate agents’ market valuations are usually free, and because of this, it is very tempting for prospective sellers to invite a number of agents to comment and then select the agent that suggests the highest likely sale price for the property.
However, we advise caution on this issue. Some agency “valuers” are paid bonus on
As pension funds shrink, many people consider the buy-to-let opportunity as a viable alternative, and with good reason. The effect of low interest rates and a historically rising property market make buy-to-let one of the most attractive investments accessible to the public. And the great thing is – you can use the bank’s money! The
Friday is overwhelmingly the most popular day of the week to move house as it provides new homeowners with a long weekend of moving “fun” – unpacking boxes, hanging pictures and all the DIY that tends to accompany a move.
Due to this preference, it is therefore quite likely that other buyers and sellers in
Some landlords, especially those who are new to the experience, understandably wish to use a letting agent simply as a route to market in order to find a tenant. However, whilst a return on investment is one thing, sleeping well at night is quite another! A managed service is not just about chasing late rent,
It is interesting to note that some sellers are not as committed to moving as they might be, and are prepared to remain on the market until what they regard as an acceptable offer comes along.
Likewise, some buyers, whilst generally remaining committed to a purchase, do not exhibit a great deal of urgency, and
Almost half the UK population own a pet, yet many landlords are reluctant to accept pets! According to research by The Dogs Trust, some 78% of pet owners reported that they had experienced difficulty finding rented accommodation that would accept pets.
However, if you are a landlord, agreeing to accept pets can help you maximise
A covenant is a term you might hear when discussing a property during the conveyancing process. Covenants are a form of legal obligation that is binding on the owner of a property and passes from owner to owner whenever the property is sold. They form part of the deeds of a property and are recorded
Finally, after the pent-up frustrations of lockdown, we have some very good news to report:
Firstly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a substantial boost for the housing market with the raising of the SDLT (Stamp Duty) threshold from £125,000 to £500,000. This really is quite incredible and will save buyers up
Landlords often ask us what they should do about their garden and what they can reasonably expect of a tenant in terms of maintenance.
Having a well-cared for garden can definitely help to attract good tenants, particularly if they arrive on a sunny summer’s day. However, if the garden is just too magnificent and obviously
Our research has shown that buyers overwhelmingly prefer floorplans on property details in addition to the usual description and written dimensions. There are several good reasons behind this preference, which is why we always feature floorplans on our particulars:
Firstly, where several properties are competing for a buyer’s attention, a floorplan always makes an immediate
Immigration legislation means that all private landlords have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting a property, although this responsibility can be given to your letting agent as part of a written agreement.
The penalties for ignoring the new legislation are severe. For the first time an
On 4th July each year Americans go to town on celebrating their national pride on Independence Day.
And well they might, as independence is a wonderful thing. As independent estate/letting agents, we experience daily what it is to be free of the constraints of corporate governance, number crunching, management reports and toeing the party
Superficially, lettings could be seen as relatively straightforward, and some firms do indeed regard themselves as a simple broking operation.
However, if your investment is going to provide you with peace of mind as well as a great return on investment, then you will want to know that the property is being managed by people
The opportunities opened up by technology in estate agency have been enormous, yet many local agents simply use their website as a glorified shop window. Like any agency window, the properties displayed need to be regularly updated and presented in a way that inspires buyers to take things further.
But a good estate agency website
If you’re buying a second home, Buy to Let, or investment property, you should be aware that there is an additional 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on top of the standard SDLT amount payable. Since this regime was introduced in 2016, the market for second homes has certainly felt the pinch, especially for buy
It is perhaps quite worrying that anyone can start trading as an estate agent, without any qualifications whatsoever. This makes it all the more important that you choose an agency that puts a high value on training.
Better-trained staff gain an intimate understanding of what the customer is going through and are able to help
It might be tempting to believe that the pandemic has been destructive and all-consuming on all fronts, especially in relation to the property market, which virtually ground to a halt a few weeks ago.
But we British are a resilient lot! Our compliant “keep calm and carry on” mentality has meant that we have/continue to
Most lettings agents see their role solely as a “purveyor of tenants”, and they pride themselves on their ability to find the right tenant for a property and to negotiate attractive terms for the landlord.
But lettings agency has moved on. Indeed, finding a tenant is arguably one of the most straightforward aspects of letting
There can be nothing better suited to the internet than property, and hits to property websites far outnumber those of any other industry. The ability to be able to search in the comfort of your own home, usually without having to provide any personal details, is certainly attractive and has transformed the way the public
A recent survey of over 500 residential landlords reports that landlords are overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they receive from their letting agent and find them an invaluable resource. Some 92% of landlords reported a positive experience with their letting agent.
The market for lettings is of course relatively buoyant that the moment and agents
The adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link could not be more aptly demonstrated than in respect of property transactions in the UK.
Whilst a lot of agents focus on finding a buyer, which is obviously important, it is the quality of that buyer and their situation that will determine
The housing market has been an obvious casualty of the Coronavirus lockdown. Yet the desire to move is strong, once the decision has been made. Indeed, as soon as the government announced that people could once again move house, Rightmove buyer enquiries doubled within 24 hours. They were even 4% higher than the same day
According to the Department of the Environment about half of all landlords have had cause to ask a tenant to leave on at least one occasion, usually because of arrears, noise, damage, violence, or abusive behaviour. Around thirty percent of these end up having to go to court.
When you let your property, you hope
One of the most important aspects of your estate agents role is not only to negotiate a price (or ideally secure the full asking price of course) but actually to generate an offer in the first place! Too many agents simply see themselves as people who show buyers around property, hoping that an offer will
Just as anyone can open up an estate agency, so they can also start up a lettings business, without any training, experience or qualifications. This should concern landlords, because there is far more to the business than meets the eye. In some ways, finding a tenant is the easy bit!
The issues arise over how
The layman’s view of an estate agent is simply someone who shows prospective buyers round properties. Whilst understandable, this simplistic perspective belies the fact that the well-trained agent knows how to maximize the viewing opportunity with the specific objective of prompting a sale.
Whilst “showing someone round” might appear straightforward, vendors who do this themselves
All residential tenancy deposits must by law be protected by being lodged in a government-recognised scheme, such as the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), which is evidence based. This means that the decision to either return or withhold a deposit at the end of a tenancy is made by considering any differences between the condition of
The phrase “Willing and Able” is seldom heard today, as it no longer appears on estate agency documentation. However, it remains important to discover if a prospective buyer for your property is indeed willing and able to proceed, should they express interest in your home.
This is especially the case today, when people are finding
Apart from actually finding a tenant and agreeing the rent, the one headache about which many landlords are concerned is, “will the rent be paid – on time?” Many landlords have stretched themselves in order to purchase a buy-to-let investment and even one month’s rent in arrears can put strain on the finances as mortgage
In the old days, a property ad in an estate agent’s window and the local newspaper were all that was required to promote a property. Today we also have our website and numerous portals ensuring that our clients property receives the maximum exposure to the right people – or ideally thousands of them! Plus, of