In a surprising move, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the government’s decision to abandon plans that would have compelled landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their rental properties. The much-feared minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standards, which aimed to raise properties to a rating of C by 2028, have been officially scrapped, bringing relief to landlords across England and Wales.
This policy reversal, though not yet officially law, has been a long-awaited reprieve for landlords who have been apprehensive about the potential financial burden of retrofitting their properties. The EPC, a rating system ranging from A to G, had posed a looming challenge, causing some landlords to contemplate selling their properties and exiting the rental sector.
Chancellor Sunak justified this decision by acknowledging the substantial costs associated with upgrading homes, suggesting that these expenses would inevitably be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents. While the government plans to offer some funding to support landlords in their property upgrades, the fear of fines for non-compliance has been alleviated.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, expressed his relief, emphasizing the much-needed clarity the decision provides. He highlighted the detrimental impact of uncertainty on the supply of rental properties and urged ministers to develop a comprehensive plan supporting the rental market’s energy efficiency improvements.
It’s important to note that not everyone is celebrating this shift in government policy. Dawid Baranowski of property technology firm IMMO believes that the abandonment of minimum energy standards is disheartening, particularly considering their role in achieving environmental goals and reducing cost burdens for consumers. Baranowski argues that renters, who often do not own the properties they occupy, will bear the burden of higher energy bills at a time when the cost of living crisis is already prevalent.
While the government’s decision has its critics, it marks a turning point for landlords who have faced the looming specter of EPC upgrades. The acknowledgment of the financial strain landlords are under during the current economic climate is a step towards fostering a more supportive environment for property owners.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the government is increasingly recognizing the importance of the private rental sector (PRS) in the overall housing landscape. As rents and property values continue to outpace the growth of household incomes, there is optimism that the tide may turn on what some perceive as “landlord bashing.” This change in direction aligns with the government’s understanding of the need for a balanced approach that considers both the interests of tenants and landlords in the evolving landscape of the UK housing market.
What is the Renters Reform Bill?
The Renters Reform Bill is a legislative initiative aimed at reshaping the rental landscape in the UK, emphasising increased rights and protections for tenants. This bill, currently navigating the committee stage in the House of Commons, is poised to bring about significant changes to the existing framework governing landlord-tenant relationships.
What is Changing (Key Points)
a) Scrapping Section 21:
The government is set to eliminate Section 21, a notorious provision that allowed landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason. This move is designed to offer tenants greater protection, particularly those facing eviction for requesting necessary property maintenance.
b) Section 8 Expansion:
Section 8, the legal process for possession, will undergo expansion, providing landlords with additional grounds for eviction. This includes scenarios such as selling the property or moving in a family member.
c) Extended Notice Periods:
Notice periods for ending a tenancy will be extended, with significant increases, especially for circumstances like selling or repossessing a property. The proposed timeline for such cases is around three months.
d) Pet Permission:
Under the new bill, tenants will have the right to request permission to keep a pet. Landlords will be unable to unreasonably withhold this permission, although the exact criteria for reasonability remain somewhat vague.
e) Landlord Ombudsman and Property Compliance Portal:
The introduction of a landlord ombudsman and property compliance portal aims to streamline property compliance checks. However, this service will require membership and maintenance for access. Property management firms like Newton Huxley may assist landlords in fulfilling these requirements.
Should Landlords be Worried?
In evaluating the impact on landlords, it appears that concerns may be somewhat alleviated:
Data reveals that out of all Section 21 notices served over the past three years, only 0.5% were for removing problematic tenants. Additionally, the government’s proposed changes to Section 8, including considerations for anti-social behaviour, may cover most scenarios previously addressed by Section 21.
Addressing Common Reasons for Eviction:
The majority of Section 21 notices were issued for reasons such as selling the property, moving in a family member, or refurbishing for increased rental yield. The amended Section 8 is anticipated to cover these scenarios, providing landlords with legal grounds for eviction.
While the current proposed bill may not explicitly cover refurbishment-related evictions, it is expected that provisions for essential refurbishments may be addressed in subsequent stages. Newton Huxley are prepared to guide landlords through potential refurbishment decisions based on predicted return on investment.
In conclusion, the Renters Reform Bill presents a notable shift in favour of tenant rights, but proactive management and adherence to the evolving legal landscape can empower landlords to navigate these changes effectively.
Consultation for Landlords on the Renters Reform Bill: Enhancing Your Investment
Navigating the intricacies of the Renters Reform Bill can be a daunting task for landlords. To provide support during this transformative period, the team at Newton Huxley is offering consultation services tailored to the evolving legal landscape. Our experienced property management team is well-versed in the nuances of the bill, ensuring that landlords are informed about the changes and equipped to make strategic decisions. From understanding the amended Section 8 grounds for eviction to exploring opportunities for property enhancement, we aim to guide landlords through every aspect of the reform. By collaborating with Newton Huxley, landlords can proactively assess their investment portfolios, making informed decisions that not only comply with the new regulations but also enhance the overall return on their investment. Embrace the future of property management with confidence, backed by our expertise and commitment to your success.
Len Taylor MARLA our Co-Founder and Head of Lettings is always on hand to advise landlords on how to get the most out of letting their property.
07885 206 631.
The Elmbridge Property Market: A tale of diverging trends
The property market in Elmbridge, encompassing the KT10, KT7, and KT8 postcodes, has been exhibiting intriguing trends in recent times. As we delve into the data, we witness a story of diverging paths, with some areas experiencing a slowdown, while others continue to thrive.
Starting with the KT10 postcode, which includes Esher, Claygate, and Hinchley Wood, the average asking price currently stands at £936,000, reflecting a significant drop from £1,036,000 recorded just a few months ago in May. While this decline might raise concerns, a closer examination of the data reveals that the average value per square foot has remarkably surged by 33% in the last three years, now standing at £655. This substantial increase in property values indicates that the local real estate market has been resilient, making it an appealing choice for long-term investment. Moreover, landlords can also enjoy a steady rental yield of 3.9%, adding another layer of attractiveness to the area.
In contrast, the KT7 postcode, home to Thames Ditton, presents a contrasting picture, with the average asking price currently at £787,000, showcasing a steady rise from the previous £758,000 mark. The data indicates that the average value per square foot has increased by 23% over the past three years, reaching £660. This steady appreciation in property values showcases the desirability of the area, attracting buyers seeking both investment opportunities and a comfortable place to call home. Furthermore, landlords in KT7 can expect an average rental yield of 3.7%, making it an enticing prospect for those looking to expand their rental portfolios.
Finally, the KT8 postcode, which includes Hampton Court, and East & West Molesey, exhibits a modest dip in average asking prices, currently at £586,000 compared to £608,000 previously. However, it is essential to note that the average value per square foot has still increased by 15% over the last three years, standing at £596. The area continues to entice potential buyers and investors, and landlords can enjoy a relatively high average rental yield of 4.4%, providing a promising opportunity for those seeking consistent returns.
Overall, Elmbridge’s property market is far from uniform, with different postcodes showing distinct trajectories. While KT10 has experienced a slight cooling off in asking prices, its remarkable value per square foot growth and competitive rental yields indicate a solid foundation for investment. Meanwhile, KT7’s upward trend in both average prices and value per square foot showcases its resilience in the face of economic fluctuations. KT8, although experiencing a mild dip in asking prices, remains a promising choice for investors, buoyed by a noteworthy increase in value per square foot and attractive rental yields.
As always, it is essential for buyers, sellers, and investors to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before making any decisions in this dynamic property market. With each postcode offering its unique set of opportunities, Elmbridge remains an exciting destination for those navigating the UK property landscape.
When it comes to selling your home, making a lasting impression during viewings is crucial. Potential buyers need to envision themselves living in your space, and it’s your job to ensure that your home stands out from the competition. By employing a few simple strategies, you can enhance the attractiveness of your property and increase your chances of a successful sale. In this article, we’ll explore seven effective ways to help your home sell on viewings.
Enhance Curb Appeal
The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. Boost your home’s curb appeal by ensuring the front yard is well-maintained. Trim the hedges, mow the lawn, and plant some colorful flowers to create an inviting atmosphere. Consider giving the front door a fresh coat of paint and adding tasteful decorations that reflect the character of your home.
Declutter and Depersonalise
Before viewings, it’s essential to declutter and depersonalise your living space. Remove excessive personal items, family photos, and knick-knacks. Clearing the clutter allows buyers to visualise themselves living in the space and keeps the focus on the home’s features. Organize closets and storage areas, as buyers will likely explore these spaces as well.
Highlight Key Features
Emphasize the unique selling points of your home. If you have a stunning fireplace, make sure it’s clean and well-staged. Showcase high ceilings, architectural details, or any other standout features that add value to your property. Ensure that the lighting is adequate, as good lighting can greatly enhance the ambiance of each room.
Stage Your Home
Consider staging your home to create a welcoming and appealing environment. Use neutral colors and arrange furniture in a way that maximizes space and flow. By strategically placing attractive and functional pieces, you can help buyers envision how they can utilize the available space. Remember to keep it clean, tidy, and inviting.
Make Necessary Repairs
Addressing visible issues is crucial to making a positive impression on potential buyers. Fix any leaky faucets, loose doorknobs, or squeaky floors. Take care of minor cosmetic repairs such as chipped paint or cracked tiles. By presenting a well-maintained property, you instill confidence in buyers and eliminate potential negotiation points.
Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
During viewings, create a pleasant atmosphere by paying attention to details. Open curtains and blinds to let in natural light and showcase your home’s beautiful views. Consider playing soft background music and create a comforting aroma with freshly baked cookies or scented candles. A warm and inviting environment will leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Provide Information and Documentation
Prepare a packet of useful information about your home to give to potential buyers. Include details about recent renovations, upgrades, and any warranties that may be transferrable. Also, provide information about the neighborhood, nearby amenities, and local schools. By providing this information upfront, you demonstrate transparency and help buyers make informed decisions.
Selling a home is an exciting but challenging process. By implementing these seven strategies, you can significantly increase your chances of selling your home quickly and at a desirable price. Enhancing curb appeal, decluttering, highlighting key features, staging, making necessary repairs, creating a welcoming atmosphere, and providing relevant information are all effective ways to make your home stand out during viewings. Remember, the goal is to help potential buyers visualize themselves living in your space, so make it as appealing as possible.
As the heartbeat of the British economy, the housing market is highly sensitive to various factors, one of which is interest rates. Recently, the United Kingdom has experienced a series of interest rate hikes, leaving homeowners, potential buyers, and real estate professionals pondering the consequences. In this blog post, we delve into the effects of these interest rate increases on the local property market in East Molesey, Claygate, and Thames Ditton, three vibrant communities within the beautiful Elmbridge area.
Understanding Interest Rate Hikes: To grasp the implications of recent interest rate hikes, it is essential to comprehend why they occur. Interest rates are influenced by the monetary policy decisions made by the Bank of England (BoE) to control inflation and maintain economic stability. When the BoE raises interest rates, it becomes more expensive to borrow money, affecting mortgages, loans, and overall market dynamics.
The Impact on Local Property Prices: Interest rate hikes can have a direct impact on property prices in Elmbridge and its surrounding areas. As the cost of borrowing increases, potential buyers may face higher mortgage repayments, leading to a decrease in affordability. This could potentially slow down the demand for properties and, in turn, influence pricing levels. However, the impact may vary depending on factors such as local market conditions, supply and demand dynamics, and the overall desirability of the area.
Effects on Buyer Behavior: In a climate of rising interest rates, prospective buyers often reassess their purchasing decisions. Affordability concerns may cause some buyers to postpone or reconsider their property search, opting for more conservative choices. On the other hand, some individuals might perceive the rate hikes as a signal of a strengthening economy and view it as an opportune time to invest in property before prices potentially rise further.
Shifting Dynamics for Homeowners: Existing homeowners within the Elmbridge area may experience a change in their financial circumstances due to interest rate hikes. For those with variable-rate mortgages, the increase in rates will lead to higher monthly mortgage repayments. Consequently, homeowners might adopt a more cautious approach, focusing on budgeting and potentially reducing spending on other areas of their lives.
The Role of Supply and Demand: The local property market in East Molesey, Claygate, and Thames Ditton is driven by a delicate balance of supply and demand. Interest rate hikes can impact this equilibrium. If demand decreases due to higher borrowing costs, the number of potential buyers might decline. Conversely, a decrease in demand could motivate sellers to reevaluate their pricing strategies, leading to more competitive offers and potentially a more balanced market.
The recent interest rate hikes in the UK have undoubtedly cast a ripple effect on the local property market in East Molesey, Claygate, and Thames Ditton. While there may be short-term adjustments in buyer behavior and property prices, it is essential to consider the broader economic context and long-term market stability. As trusted estate agents in Elmbridge, we remain dedicated to providing up-to-date insights and assisting our clients in navigating these changes effectively.
Remember, the impact of interest rate hikes on the local property market is a dynamic process, and monitoring the ongoing developments is crucial for both buyers and sellers. Stay informed, consult professionals, and make informed decisions to ensure your success in this evolving landscape.
If you are curious about the local property market in Esher, Claygate, Hinchley Wood, East Molesey, West Molesey or Thames Ditton, this report is full of market data collected from the land registry and rightmove.co.uk.
In such a fast paced marketplace, the landscape can change from one week to the next and we are already experiencing a jump in sold values in Q4.
If you would like us to get in touch with you to discuss the property market please fill out the contact form below and we’ll be in touch. Alternatively you can call us any time on 020 8396 6717.
I can actually tell you, firsthand, what it's like to live in Claygate, because I live here myself, with my wife and two kids. And it's easy to see why it's such a popular place to be. I think it was actually the second or third day after we moved into Claygate, that we were walking with the pushchair, and pretty much every person, that we passed, stopped to say "Hello." That's just something you don't see anymore. And you only have to go down to the parade, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and you can see the amount of activity within the local shops that there's huge support from local residents. You know, they want to keep this place going, because it's such a great place to be.
Yes, you can still get to London Waterloo in 30 minutes, but that the main thing is the fact that you can come back, to a slower pace. There's plenty of rolling fields, and dog walking routes. And, of course, lots of pubs to choose from, which is probably the most important part. But that mainly it's the, it's the sense of community that that draws people in. And it's the sense of community that keeps people here.
Thinking of selling in Claygate? We sell more properties in Claygate Village than any other estate agent. Book a free valuation today!
If you want to add value to your home, and make it a better place to live upgrading your bathroom can bring surprising benefits. One of the most important rooms in a house, it's a place where you can relax and unwind after a hard day. As well as get ready before going out or calling it a night.
By increasing the value of your property, a revamped bathroom can help differentiate your property, if you decide to sell, and help you realise a better selling price. It can also help you build more equity in your property enabling you to re-mortgage or raise finance from the equity in your home.
To get the maximum increase in value, consider the following:
If you need any advice about renovating a bathroom to add value to your home, contact us today.
That's one of the key takeaway messages in the Chancellor's Spring Statement this week. As the government introduces its Future Homes Standard, requiring that all new-build properties use low-carbon heating and become more energy efficient.
Other headlines included the expansion of the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme by up to £3 billion. Which will enable housing associations to build an extra 30,000 new homes through the scheme.
The additional funding was welcomed as it enables a diverse range of housing options for the already ambitious target of 300,000 additional homes each year. Rather than just being reliant upon volume housebuilders to meet the target, the additional funding enables Affordable Housing providers and developers of alternative tenures such as Build to Rent to contribute to the supply of new homes.
New transport hubs were also announced including Old Oak Common in London, Didcot, Cambridge and Cheshire. The four areas were pinpointed to get £717 million from the £5.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund.
Against the backdrop of Brexit, and all the uncertainty this brings, time will tell whether these new initiatives are sufficient to keep the momentum going in the property market.
Houses in multiple occupation are a great way for landlords to maximise property yields and improve cashflow. But are you aware that the law for HMO’s is changing?
There are approximately 60,000 properties that currently fall under the ‘Mandatory Licensing’ requirements of HMO properties. This is set to rise to an estimated 175,000 properties when the new legislation comes into force in October.
Under the current legislation, if you are a landlord with a property housing 5 or more unrelated occupants over 3 or more stories you have had to apply for a licence from your local authority to operate a multi-occupied letting. The license sets down strict safety standards to which landlords have to comply.
From October, in England, mandatory licensing is changing and The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 will replace the 2006 order of the same name. The legislation removes the 3 storeys element and means that any HMO occupied by 5 or more unrelated individuals will require an HMO licence. It also includes a requirement that rooms used for sleeping by one adult will be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, while those slept in by two adults need to be at least 10.22 square metres.
• HMOs occupied by five or more tenants will need a licence, regardless of the number of storeys
• Room sizes are subject to minimum sizes which are dependent upon the number of people sleeping in it; to prevent overcrowding.
• Applicants must show that they are a ‘fit and proper’ person.
• Most student accommodation and purpose-built (PBSA) will be caught by the new regime.
The licence will have to be applied for before the 1st October 2018 in order to lawfully continue renting out the property and is expected to particularly hit landlords that let to students.
If you currently rent an HMO which didn’t previously require licensing but will do after the new order comes into effect later in the year, then you will need to apply for a license through your local council.
You will also need to ensure you comply with your local council’s HMO licensing standards, which may involve making changes to your property to comply with minimum safety standards, room sizes, amenity standards (kitchen facilities, number of bathrooms etc).