Informed Landlords News Articles Copyright 27th Feb 2024 - 12:57 by Informed Landlords <![CDATA[Concern for thousands renting their homes on Airbnb]]> Thousands of property owners using Airbnb may be in breach of their lease terms according to a recent recent ruling from the Upper Tribunal, a superior court with equivalent status to the High Court.

If the ruling does set an unfortunate precedent for Airbnb-using property owners, it's possible that the UK government could move to change the law.

The case that spurred the Upper Tribunal's Land Chamber's ruling involved a Slovakian designer, Iveta Nemcova, who owned a leasehold property in Enfield, North London, and rented it out on various rental services for a few days a week. Neighbours complained to the freeholder and the subsequent legal case found she was in breach of contract because the property was a "private lease only" — even though there was no specific prohibition in her contract.

Judge Stuart Bridge who was overseeing the case ruled: “In order for a property to be used as the occupier’s private residence, there must be a degree of permanence going beyond being there for a weekend or a few nights in the week. Granting very short term lettings (days and weeks rather than months) breaches the covenant [not to use the property as anything other than a private residence].”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Airbnb said: "We remind all hosts to check and follow local rules before they list their space. This is also made clear on our responsible hosting page, which contains useful information and resources on the rules for home sharing."

Set up in 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb now has over two million homes and rooms available for rent around the world.

The full report can be found at:

<![CDATA[Law firm Blandy & Blandy finds no residential property slowdown]]> Reading and Henley-based law firm Blandy & Blandy LLP has not seen a slowdown in the residential property market following June’s Brexit vote. The firm experienced a 7% year-on-year increase in completed residential property transactions between June 1 and  August 31, 2016.

Data shared in the most recent UK House Price Index showed an annual price increase of 9.1%, taking the average property value nationally to £232,885. According to the Index, house prices also rose 0.5% in June.

Manisha Bhula, associate solicitor and manager of Blandy & Blandy’s residential property team, commented: “Our clients’ confidence in the UK property market remains high and our growing team remains extremely busy.”

Following the release of data by the Office for National Statistics in September, its chief economist Joe Grice said: “The referendum result appears, so far, not to have had a major effect.”

Source: The Business Magazine and

<![CDATA[Countrywide report suggests rental will outstrip home sales]]> According to a recent study by Countrywide, September 2016 saw record activity in the rental market, with increasing numbers of lets agreed and tenants choosing to renew their contracts. Based upon this and data for the months leading up to it, 2017 may be the first time since the 1930s that more homes are let than sold.  

This is the view of Rufus Ballaster who leads Carter Lemon Camerons LLP’s property team. He commented: “Germany has a far higher proportion of property renters than the UK and has no aspiration to raise the property ownership statistics in the county.  Nevertheless, it enjoys good-quality affordable housing stock.”

He added: “Liquidity is a huge issue with property as an asset class and a market in which those with capital invest in a property which will attract rental demand, and a workforce happy to go to where jobs are available partly out of confidence that they (with family where applicable) will find a happy home to rent near to that work, is a good market, not a problem one, in which you are sad because you do not ‘own a home’.”

Source: The Business Magazine
<![CDATA[Becton Dickinson to take space at Winnersh Triangle]]> Global medical technology company Becton Dickinson have secured 44,000 square feet of Grade A office through PATRIZIA at Winnersh Triangle to consolidate the firms Oxford and Basingstoke sites in Spring 2017.

Mike Fairbourn, UK General Manager for BD, said: “The move to the new site at Winnersh Triangle will free up more time to focus on our customers as it will prevent duplication and the inefficiencies of running two, separate sites and bring together all our functions. This is a key enabler for our growth strategy for the future.  The new offices will be home for commercial operations for all BD businesses in the UK, as well as support functions, technical services and a new Innovation Centre to host customers.”

1030 Eskdale Road BectonDickinson

“Becton Dickinson is the latest international name to join us at Winnersh Triangle and we look forward to welcoming them to the park,” said Will Lawrie, PATRIZIA commercial director. “Our development provides this prestigious company with first-rate office accommodation in a location which has excellent transport connections and capacity for continued growth and expansion.

“The creation of this new office scheme, with its landscaped communal space for the enjoyment of all our occupiers, reflects PATRIZIA’s investment in the park as one of the premier spaces for businesses in the region.”

Winnersh Triangle was acquired in July 2013 with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP and real estate investor PATRIZIA UK Ltd.

<![CDATA[Buy to let demand down 12%]]> The Council of Mortgage Lenders recenty released figures to show that landlords borrowed £3bn in August, down 12% year on year.

There were a total of 19,400 loans, up 4% compared to July but down 13% compared to August 2015.

Gross buy-to-let lending remained substantially down on year earlier levels but there were 1,000 more buy-to-let loans in August than in July. Nearly two thirds of buy-to-let loans were remortgages rather than house purchase.

Home-owners borrowed £12.2bn for house purchase, up 14% month-on-month and 11% year-on-year. They took out 66,000 loans, up 13% on July and 9% on August 2015.

First-time buyers borrowed £5.1bn, up 13% on July and 24% on August last year, which equated to 31,800 loans, up 12% month-on-month and 19% year-on-year.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented: "House purchase activity bounced back from a dip in July, reflecting resilience in first-time buyer activity.  Mortgage rates remain at or close to historic lows, and the re-pricing of mortgages following August’s base rate cut should help to underpin a continuing, strong appetite for home-ownership over the coming months.

Buy-to-let by contrast continues to operate at lower levels five months after the stamp duty change on second properties. This appears to be a long-term trend, and with lenders potentially tightening affordability checks ahead of the tax changes in April 2017, activity on the buy-to-let house purchase side may well remain at current levels."

<![CDATA[Rightmove's Rental Trends Tracker]]> Check out Rightmove's latest Rental Trends Tracker to see whats changed in the last quarter across the UK.

<![CDATA[House prices slow but no crash post Brexit]]> House prices slow but no crash post Brexit

House prices have risen by 8.3% in the year to July 2016 – down from 9.7% in June as shown in The UK House Price Index. This is calculated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Land & Property Services Northern Ireland.

In July, pricing pressures kept growing, the Index states, reflecting the strength of demand relative to supply in the housing market, but “there were indications that some of the heat had been taken out of the market, with several indicators pointing towards weaker housing demand and supply in recent months”.

Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner, says: “London is defying the doom-mongers. Monthly figures fluctuate and should be treated with caution, nevertheless a 1% jump in prices in July, combined with an annual increase of over 12%, looks robust.”

The East of England in the past year saw the greatest house price growth by by 13.2% and the South East also enjoyed growth at 11.9%.  Another region experiencing a still positive market were Yorkshire and The Humber, which saw annual house price growth of 4.7%, though the West Midlands had a monthly price fall of -0.8%.

Thomas Fisher, economist at PwC, said: “Today’s data from the ONS shows a moderation in house price growth from 9.7% in the year to June to 8.3% in the year to July. But house prices still edged up by 0.4% between June and July.

“This suggests that market demand remained relatively resilient after the Brexit vote, despite some slowdown in mortgage lending. However, as many of these transactions will have been in motion since before the referendum, more data will be needed to make a proper assessment of how the referendum result is affecting the housing market.

“Our own expectation is that the UK housing market will cool not crash. In our main scenario, average UK house price growth is projected to decelerate to around 5% in 2016 and around 1% in 2017.”

Chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society, Andrew McPhillips said: “House price growth slowed in July as people postponed their decision to get on to the property ladder until they can be more certain of the future of the UK economy. We expect the market to be volatile in the medium term, as any dips in house prices could be swiftly followed by an increase as prospective buyers look to make the most of lower prices.

“Looking to the long term, we expect people’s desire to own a property, combined with the persisting lack of housing stock to cause house prices to increase in the future. This will affect people across all tenures by both limiting the number of people who are able to own their desired home while also pushing up the cost of renting. It’s paramount that the UK significantly ramps up its house-building efforts in order to make homes more affordable in the long term.”

<![CDATA[Property is Best for Retirement, says BoE Chief Economist]]> Could Property be Better than a Pension? Someone certainly thinks so.

In a recent article in The Sunday TimesThe Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane stated that property is certainly a better investment for retirement than a pension.  This follows on from his previous comment made in May that he doesn't understand pensions.

When asked whether he thinks property or pension is a better investment for retirement, he responded:

“It ought to be pension, but it's almost certainly property. As long as we continue not to build anything like as many houses in this country as we need to meet demand, we will see what we've had for the better part of a generation, which is house prices relentlessly heading north.”

<![CDATA[Demand for rental homes riding high]]> Demand for rental homes riding high

ARLA’s monthly UK Private Rented Sector Report shows demand from prospective tenants rose in August. Supply dipped marginally but is up year on year and the outlook for rental market remains positive following vote to Brexit.

In August, letting agents had the highest number of applicants registered since June 2016. During the first half of this year, there were signs that demand was cooling off, as each month figures were down year on year from 2015 however over the last three months, demand has been up year on year.

The number of rental properties on letting agents’ books was down marginally from July. Year on year supply was up by three per cent.

The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions rose in August to the highest levels seen since records began at the start of last year. ARLA members reported that three per cent of tenants secured a rent reduction last month, compared to 2.1 per cent in July.

In August just over half of members (51 per cent) reported some signs of uncertainty from either those looking to rent or those looking to let a property following Brexit. However, this has had very little real impact on the rental market; in August the majority of members reported no change in rent prices, supply of available properties, or demand from prospective tenants following Brexit.

David Cox, Managing Director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), said: “Although Brexit painted a temporary picture of uncertainty for tenants and landlords, our findings show that the market remains in good shape. We’re not seeing anything across supply or demand that is out of the ordinary, and while demand is at high levels, this is being matched with a decent volume of properties on the rental market. What’s good is that more tenants are managing to successfully negotiate rent reductions, and that agents and landlords seem to be responding well to this. The rising cost of renting, especially in major cities such as London, is an ongoing issue in both the buying and lettings market so it’s promising to see small steps towards better affordability for renters.”

<![CDATA[Virgin Money announces BTL rate cut]]> Virgin Money has announced a number of rate cuts across its residential and buy-to-let products.

A new £300 cashback incentive has also been launched for purchase customers on selected two, three and five-year fixed rates according to the lender.

Peter Rogerson, Virgin Money’s Commercial Director for Mortgages, said: “The reductions we have made to our range ensure that we continue to offer attractive options for purchase and re-mortgage customers looking for residential and buy-to-let loans at a range of different deposit levels. We think these products will be well-received by the market which remains upbeat, as reflected in our recent poll of intermediaries where nearly 80% said they expect the mortgage market to grow in 2017.”

New three-year fixed rates include a 70% LTV at 1.79%, 75% LTV at 1.84%, and an 80% LTV at 1.89%.

Five-year fixes are now available from 2.18% at 65% LTV. 85% LTV rates now start from 3.19% and 95% LTV rates are available from 4.19%.

Key changes to buy-to-let rates include a two-year fixed rate up to 70% LTV reduced to 2.09%, a five-year fixed rate up to 70% LTV reduced to 3.24%, and a two-year tracker rate up to 75% LTV reduced to 2.29%.

<![CDATA[Time to sell for UK's largest amateur landlord ]]> Time to sell for UK's largest amateur landlord 

Fergus Wilson one the UK's largest landlords with 900 rented homes and £45 million in mortgages is now selling his property portfolio for around £250 million and expects to pay off his mortgages and walk away from the hassle with £200 million in the bank.

Mr Wilson and his wife Judith first publicised their plans last December, saying that they plan to sell to a consortium of overseas investors. 

 In a Financial Times interview they confirmed that they have already successfully sold half of the properties and that teh Brexit effect has made it easier for him to sell his portfolio because the pound has fallen to 30-year lows against the US dollar and therefore made it cheaper for overseas investors.

"I think foreign buyers are saying at the moment that Brexit helps as it is cheaper (to buy UK property) in their money. Many... are trophy hunters — they want to impress their friends with a photo of the house they own in Britain," he told the FT.

He also explained that it is the optimal time to sell up because prices are high and the era of the amateur buy-to-let landlord is "over."

"If you were an amateur landlord in those days, as long as you could spell your name, you would get a mortgage. No one appeared to check anything. I wouldn’t say it is impossible but it is much tougher. Some (banks) are offering loan-to-value of only 60 per cent," he said to the FT.

<![CDATA[46? Maybe you should be renting?]]> Aged 46? Maybe you should be renting?

Your Move estate agents have revealed that almost half of tenants living in private rental accommodation across the UK are aged over 46, signalling the rise of the ‘Silver Renter’.

36,500 participants were involved in teh research which was commissioned to provide insights into the 4.5 million privately rented households in the UK – a number which is expected to grow to 6 million over the next few years.

The research found that 18% of renters were over the age of 55, with another 22% of tenants belonging to the 46-55 age group. Surprisingly, just 39% of those in private rental accommodation were under 35.

Of those surveyed, 25% of 18 – 25 year olds claimed they were satisfied with renting, with 80% wanting to own their own home in the future. These numbers reversed for those aged 55 and above, with almost half (46%) stating they were happy with renting and only 19% saying they would like to own a house in the future. Across all age groups, 81% of tenants said that renting suited their lifestyle – whether that lifestyle choice was on a permanent basis, or just for a few years.

<![CDATA[Nat West rate cut on BTL]]> NatWest Intermediary Solutions has cut its standard residential purchase rates

Rates have been cut on a large number of 2, 3 and 5-year fixed fee-based products and on its standard residential remortgage fee-based products. 

Mark Bullard, NatWest Intermediary Solutions head of sales, said: “Having broadened our product range in recent months, I am delighted that we are able to introduce a significant number of rate reductions – between 5bps – 25bps – across the full LTV range.

“We continue to have an appetite to lend and have maintained an attractive range of mortgages offering brokers and their customers a great choice whether they are first time buyers, homebuyers, remortgaging or buy-to-let investors.”

Customers looking to buy their first home using the Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee Scheme are also benefiting with a price reduction on its 95% LTV 2-year fixed no fee product by 10 bps to 3.81%.

Within the residential purchase range, rates have been reduced between 5-25 bps on the 2-year fixed rate deals and between 6-24 bps on its 5-year fixed rate deals. The 3-year fixed rate 60% LTV fee product is also reducing by 6 bps.

Rates on the standard residential remortgage 3-year fixed rate 60% and 70% LTV fee products are reducing by 5 bps. As well as residential rate reductions, there are reductions on the standard Buy to Let 2-year fixed range for purchase and remortgage products by 19-23 bps.

<![CDATA[New brands announced for The Lexicon Bracknell]]> Bracknell Regeneration Partnership has just announced four new retailers are taking up space in The Lexicon.

Bracknell Regeneration Partnership announced four new brands which will be taking up space inThe Lexicon which will see the addition of oriental restaurant Tang's, sports shop Foot Locker, jewellers Beaverbrooks and stationer Smiggle.

Bracknell Regneration Partnership has also announced Vodafone will be moving from its current home in Princess Square to a unit double to size in Braccan Walk.

Simon Russian, development manager for Legal & General on behalf of the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, said: "The growing list of retailers choosing to open new stores at The Lexicon is big testament to the attractive and vibrant new town centre that is currently being built.

"Despite some negative predictions in the run up to the EU referendum, interest from UK based and internationally based potential retailers has remained high. We look forward to making more exciting announcements as we move closer to opening."

Australian brand Smiggle, "where a smile meets a giggle", will take a 900sq ft unit in Braccan Walk, where is will sell brightly coloured stationery.

For the full story check  out the news at:

<![CDATA[New Limited Company Buy To Let Range ]]> New from Precise Mortgages and TFC Homeloans

Limited Company Buy to Let Range Highlights.

  • 3.89% 5 year Fixed until 31/10/2021
  • 75% LTV
  • 1.50% arrangement fee
  • ERC: 3% until 31/10/17, 3% until 31/10/2018, 2% until 31/10/2019,
  • 2% until 31/10/2020, 1% until 31/10/2021
  • Revert rate: LIBOR + 3.42% (4%)

For more details contact: