Under plans being announced today by the Law Commission the minimum period a leaseholder must wait before buying a freehold, currently two years, will be scrapped and leaseholders will be able to extend for longer, as many times as they wanted and more cheaply.

The Times, Page: 6

Posted 20/09/2018

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has argued a housing tax overhaul, including ending stamp duty on certain properties, could rebalance the market and “reignite activity”. It said the Government should look at what changes are needed to create a more vibrant property sector with a full-scale review of the stamp duty system.

I, Page: 43 Yorkshire Post, Page: 9

Posted 19/09/2018

Landlords affected by the government’s new “house in multiple occupation” (HMO) rules must apply to their local authority for a licence by October 1 or face unlimited fines and possible criminal prosecution. The Residential Landlords Association said the change would result in 177,000 more landlords needing an HMO licence, for homes in which at least two households share facilities – such as a kitchen or bathroom.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 18/09/2018

 

The Independent’s Ben Chapman reports on how criminals are targeting university towns to buy property and launder money because local agents are often less alert to laundering risks and the market is relatively stable. Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, says thousands of estate agents operate without proper oversight. Analysis of Companies’ House records by Moore Stephens found there were 25,560 estate agent businesses in July last year, yet only 11,318 are registered with HMRC for anti-money laundering purposes.

The Independent, Page: 14

Posted 16/09/2018

According to a new survey, two-thirds of leasehold homeowners feel they were mis-sold the properties they are living in. NAEA Propertymark surveyed more than 1,000 people in new leasehold houses, and found 94% said they regretted their purchase. The survey revealed that 65% used the solicitor their house builder recommended – and 15% of those say they weren’t told they weren’t buying the freehold. Nearly half didn’t know they were only buying the lease until it was too late, and 57% didn’t understand what being a ‘leaseholder’ meant until they had completed the transaction.

Daily Mail

Posted 14/09/2018

A review of the private rental sector in England by academics at the University of York has recommended that homes made available to tenants should pass MOT-style tests to make sure they are fit to live in. It is suggested the change could simplify existing regulations and help to drive up standards in rented homes. The study said a quarter of a million families bringing up babies and infants are living in private rented accommodation that fails to meet the decent homes standard, with the number having increased by 75,000 since 2007. It also warned that welfare reforms have left low income tenants increasingly unable to pay their rent and the changes are likely to create a “slum tenure” at the bottom end of the housing market.

The Times The Independent The Guardian, Page: 11 Financial Times, Page: 2

Posted 10/09/2018

 

Simon Heawood, chief executive of Bricklane.com, champions legislating for three-year assured shorthold tenancies by default, with rent rises inside that period capped to inflation, acknowledging that evictions for problem tenants, against fairly-written contract terms, would remain a central landlord protection in any workable solution.

City AM

Posted 07/09/2018

 

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Government is considering axing the Help to Buy scheme amid concerns it is helping wealthier households and pushing up house prices. Ministers are reportedly planning a “fundamental review” of the policy that could see it replaced with a scheme that is “more targeted on those it is meant to be helping.” Research published last week showed that one in five households on HTB have used it to upgrade their homes rather than to get onto the housing ladder.

The Sunday Telegraph

Posted 02/09/2018

Rents could rise 15% by 2023 as the supply of new rental properties dries up, according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It said small scale landlords are pulling out of the market due to tax changes brought in last year which have made buy-to-let investments less profitable. The proportion of lettings agents reporting falling instructions outweighed those who said they were getting more properties to rent by a margin of 22% – the weakest outlook in the survey’s near-20 year history.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 29 The Times, Page: 34 The Times, Page: 33 The Guardian, Page: 33 Daily Mail Daily Mirror, Page: 50

Posted 09/08/2018

 

 

A couple charged commission by two estate agents after selling their home have won a landmark case for other property owners, experts say. George and Hilary Wood were taken to the small claims court by original agent Palmer Snell for not paying £7,935 commission – although their home was sold by Fortnam Smith & Banwell. The judge, finding in favour of the Woods, cited the case Foxtons v Bicknell & Another, 2008, where the Court of Appeal ruled for an estate agent to claim commission it had to be involved in the sale, not just the introduction.

Daily Mail, Page: 41

Posted 08/08/2018