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RICS House Price Balance

DIY SOS

Recent research shows consumers are increasingly accessing pension drawdown without taking advice.The Financial Conduct Authority says that individuals who access their pension pot flexibly may need extra protection to manage withdrawals effectively, after it emerged that the number of people going without financial advice has risen dramatically.Figures published in the regulator’s July 2017 Retirement Outcomes Review Interim Reportreveal that the proportion of individuals who forgo advice and take a ‘DIY’ approach to managing their pension pot in retirement has risen from 5% to 30% following the introduction of pension freedoms legislation in 2015.Prior to April of that year, savers were faced with restrictions on when and how they could access their pension pot. Consequently, over 90% of pots were used to buy annuities. Today, as a result of the new freedoms, twice as many pots are moving into drawdown than are being used to purchase annuities.1Yet concerns are growing for those who...
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The Top Love Nest Property Price Performances from Romantic Films

The Top Love Nest Property Price Performances from Romantic Films As the scent of roses and chocolate fills the air this Valentine’s Day, one of the best ways to get into the mood for love is to watch a feel good romantic film. However, with London seeing the lowest level of house price growth of all regions in the UK, homeowners across the capital could be forgiven for not feeling the love this Wednesday. As a result, leading Hybrid Estate Agent Emoov.co.uk has looked at some of top British romantic flicks set in London and how the leading stars from a bricks and mortar perspective have fared for price growth since the films first hit the screens. Notting Hill (1999) Flat in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Current House Price: £1,102,761 Increase Since Release Date: 328% Topping the list for largest increase by a long shot is Hugh...
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Will you be able to rent out your property next year?

  Were you aware that from April 2018, your property will need to be a minimum EPC rating of E or above to be able to rent it to a tenant?  As a landlord, you are liable to pay a hefty fine if you do not adhere to the regulations.This could affect over 300,000 properties in the private rental sector.   Until 2020, it only applies to new lets but after that it will apply to all rented properties. There are rumours that some green deal initiatives will be coming soon, so keep an eye out for those.So, as a landlord what do you need to do now? Have a look at the EPC register to see what grade your property was rated. Click here to go to the register. Make sure it is less than 10 years old. EPC’s are only valid for 10 years, then you need to have...
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What property expenses are allowable to deduct against tax?

Here is another interesting question from one of our subscribers and one that is useful for every Landlord to know the answer to.When you work out your taxable rental profit you can deduct allowable expenses from your rental income. The expenses must be wholly and exclusively for the purposes of renting out the property. This means that if an expense wasn’t incurred for the purpose of your property rental you can’t offset the cost against the rental income.Here’s a list of allowable expenses and details of what is classed as capital expenditure.  You can’t deduct capital expenditure against your rental income, but you need to keep a record of this as you can offset it against Capital Gains tax when you sell the property. general maintenance and repairs to the property, but not improvements (such as replacing a laminate kitchen worktop with a granite worktop) Repairs such as: - Repairing water...
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ANNUAL HOUSE PRICE GROWTH SLOWS TO 2.2%

Halifax have just released their latest House Price Index (HPI). • Prices in the last three months to January were 2.2% higher than in the same three months a year earlier, although the annual change in January was lower than in December (2.7%) • House prices remained unchanged in the recent quarter (November-January) from the previous quarter (August-October); on this measure prices are down from the 1.3% quarterly rise recorded in December • On a monthly basis, prices fell for the second consecutive month in January (by 0.6% following a 0.8% decrease in December) • The average price of £223,285 at the beginning of the year is 1.9% higher than in January 2017 (£219,217), however, the current price has edged down after recording £226,408 – highest on record – in November Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax Community Bank, said: “Annual house price rises have slowed from 2.7% in December to 2.2% in...
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What’s the right tenant contract to use?

AST or SPT?I was asked recently by a subscriber about whether their tenant would have to sign a new contract once the initial AST had expired.It can be quite a confusing area.AST is short for Assured Shorthold TenancySPT is short for Statutory Periodic AgreementSo, here you go.  If you have a tenant in your property and the contract has lapsed, they will have automatically slipped onto a Statutory Periodic Agreement (SPT) – rolling contract.  The initial contract stands but there will be no end date. The benefit of them being on a rolling contract is that you don’t have to do any additional paperwork.  If the tenants remain in the property, then in most cases, if no new fixed term tenancy or ‘renewal’ has been signed, then as soon as the fixed term tenancy has ended, a new ‘periodic’ tenancy will be created automatically in its place.  Unless or until a...
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Officially the WORST property I have ever been in

Last week, whilst filming in the town of March, Cambridgeshire, for the fourth series of Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords’, I experienced the worst living conditions I had ever seen in my 27 years in this business. Although a unique case, it was also tragic. The tenant living at the property was rent protected and had lived at the 18th century two-bedroom cottage for 35 years. Our landlord, who purchased the property with the tenant in situ in 2007, was the third person to have owned this property during the tenant’s occupancy and lived next door. It turned out that the tenant was a compulsive hoarder who had refused any of the landlords right of access to the property to carry out necessary checks or maintenance repairs. It has taken the current landlord, Leslie Ann, three years to eventually gain possession after the tenant passed away in October, and...
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Build a Romantic Garden by Getting Rid of Your Japanese Knotweed

Build a Romantic Garden by Getting Rid of Your Japanese Knotweed It’s time to start looking after the garden again and eliminate pests. Love is in the air, and as our dreary weather finally begins to warm up, people everywhere are starting to have a real spring in their step. It's time to leap into the great outdoors and give your lovely, but neglected garden the attention it deserves — and to impress your loved one. If you're married, what about doing something extra-special this Valentine's Day and surprising your other half with a plan to renew your wedding vows in an elegant garden ceremony?Another great idea is planting roses in the garden — a romantic gesture that will last all year. But there's a lot of work to do to whip that garden into shape. Most of us don't do anything with our gardens during the autumn and winter...
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Three Steps to Follow During Estate Planning

Thinking about your own death is a morbid thought, and not something that people tend to want to engage in. However there is a practical side which is estate planning. Estate planning ensures that there is no confusion for those family members who are left behind. They will know what your exact wishes were, making the entire process as smooth as it can possibly be. Estate planning is all about taking the stress off your loved ones so they have a chance to grieve and go through their own emotional process.So what happens if you’ve been thinking about getting started on your estate planning but you don’t know where to begin? Here are some basic steps you can follow allowing you to properly plan for the future. Figure Out What You Will be Leaving Behind One of the first steps in estate planning is to figure out what you will...
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Why are CCTV Drain Surveys Essential When Buying a New Property?

  When purchasing a property, one aspect of the buying process that people often overlook is the property’s drainage. CCTV drain surveys are an essential part of the buying process – otherwise, you could be buying into a property with some hidden problems which will end up costing you a small fortune.Water problems can lead to a wide range of serious issues in your new property, particularly if you are in an area with high rainfall. In addition to causing problems to the house itself, there are also potential health hazards to consider. Do I Really Need a CCTV Drain Survey? For those in the know, there are few things which will deter a prospective buyer than issues around a property’s drains. These issues can be extremely costly, difficult to identify and result in an unlivable or extremely unpleasant space. Buyer’s remorse is a terrible thing, especially when it can...
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