Archive for the ‘Politics and Property’ Category

Sally Asling from Surrey Letting Agent, SurreyLets, answer to this heading is “Its time for all agents and all Landlords to use their voice and to speak up but until there is a consultation and until there is an outcome, its business as normal”

“Following today’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond has confirmed plans  (and note these are plans, not legislation implemented from today!) to ban letting agents’ fees to tenants in England. The details of this important announcement are still very unclear but the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will consult with ARLA and other associations ahead of bringing forward legislation.So now is the time to speak out”

“The banning of fees will end up hurting the most, the very people the government intends on helping the most.”

Asling continues  “The Letting agents fees should not be abolished, but I agree they need regulating. Some agents charge ridiculous fees, but most agents like ourselves charge a nominal fee for a service. Our tenants pay to be references, they pay 50% of the Tenancy Agreement and a small administration fee and all of this is normally capped at £300.00 per tenancy. I don’t know what service in life you get for “free”, from lending arrangement fees, car hire fees and even banking fees. If these fees are abolished they will be passed directly to a Landlord without question and I know this will impact what the landlord needs to charge through rental increases to make it a viable option. Landlords are not charities, they are investors. Without Landlords in the Private Rental Sector this country has a deeply dire and worsened Housing Crisis – yet instead of the government helping resolve the problem a supply of housing, it is driving Landlords out of buying to let, increasing the number of empty homes and hurting those it is trying to help”

The following article has been taken from the ARLA News Board.

Since the announcement ARLA MD, David Cox has spoken with DCLG who have confirmed that a consultation on banning letting agents’ fees will be launched in the New Year. Details of what the consultation will contain have not been finalised and the Government has asked for ARLA to bring forward the industry’s views. DCLG also confirmed that this will require primary legislation through an Act of Parliament. This will give agents time to plan for the ban to come into force; in whatever form it takes.

So Landlords and Agents please have your say here!

ARLA is extremely disappointed that this announcement has been made without a strong basis of evidence. We’re asking the Chancellor and the Housing Minister for a meeting at the earliest opportunity in order to ensure that they fully understand the damage that this will cause to housing standards and the impact it will have on the cost of renting.

We need the Government to explain why measures have been brought forward without prior consultation which undermine the work that we and other partners are doing as part of the DCLG Affordability and Security Working Group.We do not believe that these measures will tackle rogue landlords who will continue to operate outside the existing boundaries of housing legislation.

On news of this announcement there are a significant number of common concerns – most notably the loss of income to support the vital services that Letting Agents provide. This includes the increased legislation, the burden of which has grown significantly over the last 18 months, with little to no investment in policing these new laws.

Commenting on the decision to ban letting fees to tenants ARLA Managing Director, David Cox said:

“A ban on letting agent fees is a draconian measure, and will have a profoundly negative impact on the rental market. It will be the fourth assault on the sector in just over a year, and do little to help cash poor renters save enough to get on the housing ladder. This decision is a crowd-pleaser, which will not help renters in the long-term. All of the implications need to be taken into account.

Most letting agents do not profit from fees. Our research shows that the average fee charged by ARLA Licenced agents is £202 per tenant, which we think is fair, reasonable and far from exploitative for the service tenants receive.”

“These costs enable agents to carry out various critical checks on tenants before letting a property. If fees are banned, these costs will be passed on to landlords, who will need to recoup the costs elsewhere, inevitably through higher rents.

“The banning of fees will end up hurting the most, the very people the government intends on helping the most.

We are telling our members to continue with business as usual. When the consultation is launched, the industry must present a united voice and all agents need to work with ARLA to make our collective views heard at the very highest levels of government.

We welcome your views on this announcement to help support and inform the arguments that we are making in the media. To make your views known please email communications@arla.co.uk

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Everyone’s eyes are  looking at the  UK stock market and currency rates this morning as trumpthe UK assess what the Trump presidential victory means. One things for certain, change is ahead!

Camilla Dell, managing partner at Black Brick buying agency, says in Estate Agency today” amid stock market turmoil and weakening of the dollar” global investment into Prime Central London property is likely to increase from investors who hold the view that Trump is risky for the markets.”

She adds: “We are also likely to see some wealthy US citizens, particularly those most offended by Trump, move to the UK as some of our American clients hinted to us prior to this outcome. Foreign buyers, particularly those from the Middle East and of Muslim faith, may enter the London property market, too, as they decide not to buy property in the US due to his remarks about banning Muslims from entering the country.”

London and the suburbs will be attractive to USA citizens as the slump in sterling after the Brexit vote in June meant the  once soaring property prices, one of the major deterrents to a move to the capital, have fallen more than nine per cent in a year in dollar terms. That is equivalent to a $62,000 saving on a typical London property, but far more on a home in one of the more expensive central areas favoured by Americans. While the capital’s house prices have risen 13 per cent year on year for domestic buyers, those using the dollar will find homes in London are almost 10 per cent cheaper than a year ago.

Fears by some Americans that the doller will further fall (the markets am on 9/11/16 show the dollar has fallen and gold investment has soared) may see investment in UK property happen quickly. Investors who had previously looked to US markets as a safe haven may now turn to the UK property market. President Trump combined with a predicted unstable pound next year does make London look extremely attractive as any political change will cause uncertainty – which in turn causes stagnation as investors naturally look to alternative markets such as London.

About 63,000 people born in the US lived in London at the time of the last census in 2011. (Source ONS) They make up the largest group of immigrants in the three London boroughs of  Camden, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, where the American School in St John’s Wood is based.

So how many American citizens will look to relocate to the UK and most importantly where will they look to relocate to in the UK?

Outside of London,  Cobham has the ACS (International School, formally known as the American Community School) and an established American commmunity. With organisations like American women of Surrey , a commute to London in under and hour and cheaper healthcare – Cobham is an excellent choice for the Ex-Pat. Sally Asling, Lettings Director at SurreyLets says “Cobham has always been a firm favourite for American families relocating from the US. With a short commute to the city, outstanding educational facilities, ample green space and sports facilities and specific community organisations for the American community, we have seen the American community take good quality homes on long term rental agreements, and the American community have certainly been a good thing for the local lettings market”

If you are a landlord with a property to let in Cobham, East or West Horsley, Effingham, Bookham or Weybridge and Walton, SurreyLets would be delighted to help you. Please call SurreyLets on 01483 282470

Alternatively, if you are looking to relocate to any of the above areas, SurreyLets offers a wide range of property to let. Please call 01483 282470 for a viewing.

 

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