Welcome to our July 2017 Newsletter
Well goodbye June and hello July! This month the schools break up and the holidays are on peoples agenda , so understandably the housing market begins to quieten down – or will it? We’ll see. There’s been some interesting developments for the housing industry during June, the queens speech being one of them (once they located the goats skin parchment). The banning of tenant fees will affect agents and landlords, and of course tenants, and more will be discussed later in this months issue. For now, if you know anyone who is unhappy with their current agent, whether for sales or lettings please refer Martin & Co! 01455 636349 or email Hinckley@martinco.com
We’re half way through the year – so how is the sales market in Hinckley? Well, here at Martin & Co we’re holding our own against the competition, and between us we’re selling plenty of property. The market is moving! Are you?
Bashing the housing industry has become a popular game recently. To have a go at landlords and agents is a vote winner – for all parties, so as an industry there was no chance that the “consultation” on the banning of letting fees would be anything but a fair debate. ARLA estimate that this decision, inscribed on goat skin no less, will cost an estimated 4000 jobs. If they all worked together in one factory there would be uproar, and these same agents (without the staff) will still be required to provide a service to tenants, who although very demanding, do not see themselves as “the customer”. For business’s to survive, costs will be cut, (hopefully not corners) but some fees will still have to be charged because there will still be costs involved. Think of revenue as air within a balloon, and squeeze it. The air, like fees, will move elsewhere. The national average tenant fee within Martin & Co is (incl VAT) around £400, and dividing that over a 12 month tenancy would mean a £33 per month rent increase, with the landlords gaining after the charges are paid for.
As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches – so if you haven’t got an EPC, call us to arrange one today!
Investment property of the month!
This two bedroom mid terraced house is an ex rental property and in need of some TLC. Located in Charles Street in the town centre of Hinckley, in its current condition the rental income achieved was £475 per month, but with a facelift the rent could be increased to £525 per month. Due to its age, there isn’t any off road parking, but bus routes are only a short walk away. As are the abundance of amenities. The house is on the market at £105,000 with offers invited. Please call us if you are interested in viewing! 01455 636349
When you own your home, insurance is pretty simple. Buildings and contents insurance usually does the job, but when you’re a landlord it becomes slightly more complicated. Having Landlord insurance is a MUST, and especially because hidden within the recent queens’ speech was a statement that tenants deposits will not be allowed to exceed a month’s rent. Oh dear! Below is a top ten list of landlord insurance claims, with number 4 (vandalism) possibly moving up the charts in the future. In reality most deposit claims are for cleaning, especially ovens, but if the tenant decides to not pay the last month’s rent and leaves the house in a mess, in future what can a Landlord claim against? Having insurance in place for this situation is good practice and we recommend arranging cover.
Email Michael Bradbury from Coversure insurance for a quote at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re on Facebook then there will usually be a group local to your neighbourhood. We have one here in Hinckley called “Spotted Hinckley” and it’s a great way to answer people requesting recommendations for various trades. Recently there was an interesting post from a tenant about a Landlord who had been harassing him to leave his home. Unfortunately the Landlord lived next door, and on a daily basis approached him requesting him to leave. Not only that, but the Landlord regularly entered the home and also berated him about not tending to the garden. The tenant had been tending the garden, paying the rent on time and was looking after the house. Here we have a classic case of a Landlord not being able to detach themselves completely from the property and living next door didn’t help matters either. The landlord wanted the tenant to leave, but no section 21 notice was apparently served and the Landlord was reported by the tenant to the council. Attempting to illegally evict and harass a tenant is a serious offence, and the Landlord will be initially warned, but could face prosecution, an unlimited fine and possibly a custodial sentence. We offered the tenant our assistance in finding a new home, but hopefully the situation will be resolved peacefully and the tenant will, if he so wishes, stays.
If you know anyone looking to sell or rent their home please call Martin & Co on 01455 636349