Conservatives announce new controls for the PRS

Theresa May's speech didn't go exactly as planned this week, it was supposed to be the crowning glory of the Conservative Party Conference but ended up as a bit of a farce. The stage was falling apart, endless coughing fits and a joker handing her a P45!   Amongst all this came the housing announcements.  Details are very sketchy at the moment but more will be announced in the Budget on November 22nd. - All private landlords, as well as agents, having to become members of an official redress organisation. Javid told his party’s conference: “We will make it mandatory for every landlord to be part of an ombudsman scheme, either directly, or through a letting agent. At the moment landlords, unlike letting agents, are not required to sign up to ombudsman schemes. We will change the law so that this becomes a requirement, giving all tenants access to quick and easy...
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LANDLORDS EXEMPTED FROM GAPITAL GAINS CUTS

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget announcement to exempt residential property sales from cuts to the rate of capital gains tax (CGT), Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer, National landlords Association (NLA), said: “The Chancellor said that this government would tax the things it wants to reduce not the things it wants to encourage. “On that basis, it’s clear he does not regard ordinary people putting their own money into providing homes as worthwhile. “The steady upward ratchet of taxation on landlords over the past year shows that George Osborne is determined to bear down on the private rented sector, but he still depends on the tax revenues he expects to pull in from them. “The NLA called for a short term easing of CGT to allow landlords to restructure their portfolios or to exit the market altogether but it appears that however much he wants us out, he can’t afford to...
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Property Expert and eMoov CEO, Russell Quirk, Provides His Post-Budget Analysis

A Disappointing Budget for Housing – Something’s a Miss Despite the Conservatives claiming to be the party of home owning aspiration, many of us are left disappointed by the absence of any robust or meaningful housing initiatives or a dilution of George Osborne’s previous attacks on property purchasers, by way of stamp duty and tax relief changes today. Mr Osborne has refused to take his foot off the throat of UK residential market and a number of initiatives that could have been advanced to take the pressure of UK homebuyers today, have not been. Property expert, eMoov CEO and former Brentwood First councillor, Russell Quirk, commented: “A very disappointing budget from a property point of view and for UK buyers and sellers. The capital gains tax reductions, whilst bold, are a missed trick and a kick in the teeth for those second home-sellers, that will not benefit from a reduction...
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The Autumn Statement

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Autumn Statement today and spending plans for the next four years in the Spending Review. Here are the main points for landlords: He told MPs that solving the housing "crisis" was his top priority. 400,000 Affordable New Homes The Housing budget has been doubled; Plans to hand billions to private developers to build 400,000 affordable new homes - to be built by the end of the decade – half of these will be starter homes, while 135,000 will be shared ownership. In a shift away from free market solutions, Mr Osborne announced plans to hand £2.3bn directly to developers to build "starter homes" for first-time buyers, in a fresh attempt to reverse the long-term decline in house building. Housing Associations A new pilot scheme to begin at five housing associations at midnight tonight to allow tenants to buy their own homes. In London: a new...
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Beating the Buy-to-Let Tax Hikes

  George Osbornes most recent budget was bleak news for many landlords. New rules, to be phased in between 2017 and 2020, stand to cut gross returns on buy-to-let properties by almost 11% and could leave many investors with loss-making investments. Tax relief on investment mortgages has been dramatically cut for higher rate taxpayers, limited to 20% of interest. According to London & Country Mortgages, this would turn a £160,000 property with a £120,000 loan from a £612-a-year profit maker to a loss maker of £588 annually. However, there are several quite legal steps that landlords can take to reduce their tax liability under the new rules, reducing or evading the impact of the changes. These include: Sharing Couples Personal Allowances It may be possible for couples to share their personal allowances to some extent in order to reduce tax liability. If you are making money on a buy-to-let investment...
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Implications for Buy-to-Let Landlords - Emergency Budget 2015

Property expert Simon Morris comments on the property-related changes announced last week in the emergency summer budget, and advises how these affect investors and buy-to-let landlords. Chancellor George Osborne announced the government’s emergency summer budget last week. Before the recent national election that produced a Conservative government, David Cameron promised that the Conservative party would tackle the UK housing crisis and build over 200,000 homes for first-time buyers. Cameron also promised to roll-out a ‘Help to Buy ISA’ – a financial product that enables first-time property buyers to earn £3,000 from the government for £12,000 saved in the account. Cameron also promised to establish a £1billion brownfield regeneration fund, which local councils could use to build 400,000 new home. Experts believed that the summer budget would be used to fund this project by announcing the extension of right-to-buy housing association homes in England. Here are the key property changes announced in...
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RLAs response to The Budget 2015

Today’s budget represents a nightmare for tenants and landlords alike. A failure to extend support for energy improvements in private rented housing and measures to allow subletting will cause uncertainty and anger claims the Residential Landlords Association.
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RICS Simon Rubinsohn comments on UK Budget 2015

RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn, comments on the announcement of the 2015 UK Budget. What effect will it have on the housing market?

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The 2015 Budget

Here is a summary of the key announcements and facts from the 2015 budget, delivered by George Osborne. We loved the fact that "The great county of Yorkshire has created more jobs than France as a whole".
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A Picture of UK Debt: How to Keep Yourself Out of the Red

Although the recession is over, it’s clear to see that individuals (as well as businesses) across the UK are finding it challenging to keep their heads above the water, financially speaking. As the years go by, it seems as though there are more and more companies touting financial products that are aimed primarily at getting us further and further into debt, and this is having a real impact on how we treat money.
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House Prices to rise 30% by 2019

According to RightMove and Oxford Economics average house prices in England and Wales are set to rise by 30% in the next 5 years. It states that London prices are set to rise by 33%, but the South East is set to rise by 39% by 2019! Despite being the slowest riser, the North West will still increase by 24%.
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Free tickets to the Northern Homebuilding & Renovating Show

The Northern Homebuilding & Renovating and Home Improvement Show – an exciting event now for both self-builders and remodelers Harrogate International Centre, 7-9 November 2014.
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5 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

When you own a home and you’re looking to sell it, the one thing on your mind is the value of your home and the price that you’ll get for it. So here are a few things that you can do to improve the value of your property, but you must bear in mind that the investment that you put into your property must show in an increased value and the price that you eventually pay, otherwise you will have wasted your money.  Build a Loft Conversion Get another bedroom and bathroom by converting your loft. There are a lot of things to think about before you can get a loft conversion however. For instance, you will need to strengthen the floor joists, which will raise the floor level, so you need to make sure that you have enough room to stand up on. But, spend £20,000 on a loft...
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Tips for Getting Your First Mortgage

The task of securing a mortgage is a difficult one, especially if you are new to the industry and it is your first time. With so much volatility in the housing market and so much jargon and detail to digest when youre looking to purchase your own property, it can seem like a daunting task to try to master it all. However if you take each step one by one then you will be able to get your first mortgage with ease.
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UK left to grow old disgracefully

Charity manifesto launched as 77% of over-65s back a Minister for Older People Report finds the UK is woefully underprepared for our ageing society Charity chief warns: Government representation for older people in desperate need of improvement.
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The Dos and Donts of Applying for an Extension

Many property investors purchase properties with the expressed intention of doing them up to sell on. A big part of the ‘fixer-upper’ process is determining whether or not it’s possible – and affordable – to increase the size of the home. This can be achieved in one of two ways; by adding an extension, or by converting existing space such as a loft.
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The Cost of Houses in the UK and Finding Affordable Areas

The cost of houses, along with the cost of living, in the UK is growing exponentially. This is causing concern for those needing to move home and for first time buyers, who now are feeling the squeeze and uncertainty of where they can afford to live.
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Landlords: To Furnish or Not to Furnish?

As a new landlord, it can be tempting to leave properties void of furniture, fixtures and fittings to avoid letting properties furnished with substandard furniture. Since 1988 when the Furnishings and Fittings Regulations came into effect, even experienced landlords can now be reluctant to provide furnished properties. However, when you consider that a furnished property can let on average for over £50 a month more than an unfurnished one, it is easy to see why it might be worth putting in some time, effort and investment into furnishings to reap the rewards in the long term. Money Matters Before you can start considering changing your letting status to ‘furnished’ you need to make sure that you have the financial funds to back it up as well as the time and man power to practically ensure the furnishing gets done. Get some quotes from a range of different suppliers and work...
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How to Get the Best Price for Your House: Top 5 Tips

Whilst house prices are booming in some parts of the UK, particularly London. The housing market isn’t particularly strong in many places right now, but that doesn’t mean that sellers don’t want to get a good price when they decide to bid goodbye to their homes. With small differences in price being worth thousands, it’s certainly essential that you get as much as possible when you sell, these five tips below will help you.   Know Your Market Every type of house has a type of buyer, and if you know what that is, you can cater for it. Tailoring your approach and presentation, even the estate agent you choose, will mean that you appeal better to your target market. This information can easily be found with a little bit of research online. Be Neutral When presenting your home to potential buyers, you want them to visualise themselves in your...
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Taxman wins fight to close property tax loophole

There was an interesting article in the Telegraph today regarding the taxman closing a property tax stamp duty loophole. This ruling is thought to boost future HMRC revenues by £160m. Heres the full article from The Telegraph. A High Court ruling has sided with the taxman over legislation introduced last year which aims to stop wealthy property buyers avoid paying tens of thousands of pounds in stamp duty. Last June the taxman moved to close a loophole on stamp duty land tax (SDLT) avoidance schemes. These schemes enable property buyers to avoid paying stamp duty, typically on homes worth seven figures. Offshore Companies There are various schemes but the most common involves transferring ownership of a property to an offshore company so that when it comes to be sold the buyer purchases the company as a whole. In doing so stamp duty can be cut from 5pc to 0.5pc on...
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