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RICS House Price Balance

Client Money Protect becomes first to gain government approval to operate a CMP Scheme

Client Money Protect, part of the Hamilton Fraser group of companies, has gained formal government approval to operate a client money protection scheme when the regulations go live on April 1st 2019.    From April 1st, it will become mandatory for all letting agents and property managers in England to be a member of an approved client money protection scheme or face fines and sanctions for non-compliance. Client Money Protect will offer a scheme that is fully compliant with the regulations and will feature no inner limits or annual aggregate claim caps meaning every customer of the agent is fully protected should the worse happen and every member of the scheme will have all their client money covered.  Missing deposits that are not protected by an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme will also be covered as will bank failure up to a certain level.  The scheme will be aimed at small...
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How to source the finance needed to invest in property

The UK housing sector has been doing pretty well in recent times. This is apparent in cities like Birmingham which has seen a growth in property prices of almost 30% in the last five years. Other cities and towns in the UK have experienced similar figures, with Liverpool seeing an almost 25% growth in prices over the same period. Although Brexit may have some impact on the UK housing market, many still believe that property investment is one of the best places to put your money. If you are just starting out on your journey as a property developer, then there are many things to consider. The prime factor for most property moguls is finding the financial help needed to buy the property you have identified as a good investment. After all, you will probably not have all the money available to finance the whole of the purchase from your...
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Private landlords forced to join redress scheme

In a move which will not alleviate concerns that the government is trying to price private landlords out of the buy to let market, we have yet another layer of cost being added to the sector. Community Secretary James Brokenshire recently announced plans for a new “housing complaints resolution service”. While we await details and a launch date, we know that private landlords will be legally required to join this new redress scheme with fines of up to £5000 for those who fail to do so. More assistance for tenants In some ways this is a sensible move because it brings private landlords into line with letting agents where there is already such a scheme in place. In theory, it makes perfect sense to formalise the complaints process for tenants. However, where is the assistance for landlords? Who is protecting their rights? There are growing concerns that private landlords are...
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Fixing Your Rental before Moving In

Moving to a new place can be really stressful and hard, and no matter how amazing and welcoming that place is, you’re still going to need some time before you can start calling it home. Well, in order to make this transition as smooth, painless and quick as possible, you need to put in a considerable amount of work and invest some money into making your rental truly yours. Here are some of the things you’ll definitely need to do. Repaint the walls The most important thing when it comes to your new rental home is finding the right one for you. Even if your new rental was repainted just a couple of months ago, you can always do it once again. Applying a new coat of paint on the walls isn’t just for aesthetic purposes and introducing a new color into your life, but it’s about your hygiene and...
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How to future-proof your energy supply

Few sectors of industry have seen more dramatic changes in recent years than the energy sector. From the wave of privatisations of the 1980s and 1990s to the increasing focus on green energy and responsible practices that have dominated energy discussions in the 21st century, it has been hard to keep up with the changes in the energy sector, which poses problems for consumers. When you’re choosing your energy company, whether for a business or a residential property, you want to find one that can be relied upon, not just to provide clear and competitive pricing tariffs, but also to be able to provide reliable and sustainable energy for the long term. Green energy We know that our planet’s natural resources are dwindling, and that future generations will not be able to power their technological advances in the traditional way, with coal, oil or gas. Years of scientific investigation and...
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What constitutes a good property deal?

Before we look at the various elements which indicate a “good property deal” it is worth reminding ourselves that everything is relative. At this moment in time, we live in a world where interest rates are near historic lows and finance is quite cheap. As a consequence, in relative terms, not as much income is required to cover ongoing finance costs although there are other costs associated with buy to let properties. However, let’s take a look at what constitutes a good property deal in the wider context. Acquiring a property below market value It goes without saying that acquiring a property below the market value, for a variety of different reasons, is the Holy Grail of property investment. This effectively means that from day one, even taking into account mortgage debt, you have positive equity in the property. This opens up a myriad of different options further down the...
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How to prep your garden in time for the summer season

Home entertaining is likely going to rise in the UK. With that in mind, it’s time to think about your garden and whether you should be keeping it presentable at all times. Realistically, not all of us are gardening experts and we can sometimes neglect our gardens during the colder months. It’s actual fact that the UK wastes up to £672 million each year as we don’t know how to look after our garden space. The following guide, will give you an idea on how to keep you garden in the best condition for the warmer climates. Tidy up your garden This is an obvious start, but it can sometimes be tough to do. If you’ve let your garden go, simply tidying up and removing weeds can make your space so much more appealing. Set aside those expensive plans to enhance your yard with water features or a cabbage patch...
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3 surprising things that affect the value of your home and how to deal with them

What’s the first thing to do when you’re considering selling your home? Find out how much it is worth, of course. This is where you would ask an estate agent with a good insight into the local property market to give you an up-to-date market valuation. Image Source: Unsplash Bear in mind, though, that the figure the estate agent will come up with is not so much a formal valuation. It’s more of a suggestion of what they think the property might fetch if you put it on the market – and this is where problems can easily arise. Estate agents competing for your instruction may be tempted to overestimate the value of your home so that you will choose them on the basis of a higher sale price and, ultimately, more money in your pocket. But what if it turns out that your property isn’t worth as much as...
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7 key questions about EPCs and residential property

Whenever you are building, selling or letting a residential property, you are legally required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Previous legislation that required Home Information Packs to be produced as part of a property transaction, which included a Home Condition Report and EPC, were scrapped as long ago as 2010. Image Source: Unsplash The EPC is a short document designed to show clearly how energy efficient a property is, based on its current output and performance potential. It contains information about current energy usage, typical energy costs along with recommendations on how consumption might be reduced and energy saved. More than that, the EPC “has also been widely considered an important tool in the fight against climate change,” Alan Rance Surveyors. So, how does this work in practice? Here are 7 essential questions you should be asking. What information is given on an EPC, and how? The Certificate...
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How to bring a little Marie Kondo into your renovation project - by Sian Astley, lady builder and renovator

Whether you're mid-way through a project or don't know where to start, The Homebuilding & Renovating Show is brimming with bright ideas to help you bring your project to life. Learn how to design and build a sustainable home, pick up handy style tips and tricks or start at the beginning with a guide to planning permission. Click here to claim your free tickets  Sian Astley, a property expert for the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (28-31 March, NEC, Birmingham) who’s currently project managing 16 home renovations for BBC2’s ‘Your Home Make Perfect’, says: - Start early. Often renovators begin well, packing neat tidy boxes according to rooms and then they run out of time and it all becomes a bit haphazard with things flung into cardboard boxes randomly - think bread mixer with bras, TV control with towels. Start packing away items weeks in advance and get plenty of decent boxes...
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