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Estate Agents & Letting Agents in Leeds

Here you will find the latest Hudson Moody Wass and property news.

Bed in shed torn down

A Hayes landlord demolished an illegal outbuilding just days before Hillingdon Council's “beds in sheds” team were set to go and tear it down.

The demolition team were ready to go and pull down the bed in shed in Blyth Road, Hayes last week but when final checks were made the owner had finally carried out the work herself.

A dawn raid was carried out on the outbuilding last year by council and home office enforcement officers and confirmed it was being lived in and rented out. Immigration minister at the time Mark Harper and Hillingdon Council's cabinet member for planning, transportation and recycling Cllr Keith Burrows also attended the raid.

The council had warned Rukhshana-Kausar Chaudry that if she failed to demolish the bed in shed it would take direct action to demolish it under planning powers, and she would be billed for the work.

Chaudry had already been prosecuted for failure to comply with an enforcement notice in relation to the outbuilding in December 2013 and had been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,500 costs.

Councillor Burrows said: "This is a great result. We are seeing an increase in cases where owners are taking heed of our warnings and knocking down these buildings. We have a dedicated team of officers tackling beds in sheds and we will take action against these rogue landlords. These people are breaking the law and could face prosecution."

 


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LendInvest releases Buy-to-Let Index

Peer-to-peer platform LendInvest has published an interactive Buy-to-Let Index.

The LendInvest Buy-to-Let Index (LIBTLI) uses recent asking price sales data to provide a snapshot of the UK property market.

The first month’s report features Buy-to-Let (BTL) performance indicators including a rental yield map, capital gain, total ROI and a house price index.

To produce the LendInvest Buy-To-Let Index, LendInvest’s data science team have done an analysis of the market, using nearly 1 million price points snapshotted for October, covering the whole of the UK.

The data for the LendInvest Buy-To-Let Index uses data from Zoopla and historical data from Land Registry.

The report is broken down into separate interactive diagrams detailing rental yield, capital gains, total return on investment (ROI) and the House Price Index at the Outcode level, disaggregated by number of bedrooms.

LendInvest CEO, Christian Faes, said: “The LendInvest Buy-To-Let Index is consistent with our whole ethos at LendInvest - providing investors with quality information, and bringing transparency to what is often an opaque market.

"We're aiming to provide investors, on both sides of our peer-to-peer marketplace, with as much information as possible on the UK BTL market. We are keen to ensure that both our borrowers and our lenders are making sensible and informed investment decisions.

"The LendInvest Buy-To-Let Index shows that BTL property is not always a great investment. There are many postcodes across the country that have experienced negative capital gains.”


 


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Liverpool’s Kings Dock set for major redevelopment

Ray Withers, Chief Executive of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, says Liverpool is the place to head to for the most exciting buy-to-let investment opportunities.
 
“Liverpool is known across the world for being the birthplace of the Beatles and for its role in revolutionising the music scene,” Withers explained. “Beatles attractions still draw tourists to the city today - the 2012 Liverpool Digest of Tourism Statistics listed two Beatles attractions (Beatles Story and Beatles Magical Mystery Tour) in the top ten paid attractions in the city, bringing a combined total of more than 250,000 visitors to the city in a single year.”
 
He added: “Of course, Liverpool itself has moved on somewhat since the Beatles first focused the world's attention on it. A modern, dynamic city, it is packed with young professionals seeking to make their fortune from the plentiful job opportunities available there.”
 
As part of an ongoing regeneration and modernisation programme, Liverpool City Council has revealed plans for the Kings Dock area to undergo a £1.5 billion redevelopment. Thousands of jobs are set to be created as a result of the scheme. To coincide with this, the first phase of the Anfield stadium redevelopment has also recently been confirmed, with planning consent given for work on the new £75 million main stand.
 
Liverpool’s buy-to-let sector is becoming increasingly attractive to investors, with a new breed of young professionals seeking out high-quality, well-located housing.
 
“With Liverpool's lettings market performing strongly and continuing to expand, sales momentum "exploding" into life and new rental/sales developments springing up across the city and the forthcoming investment in PRS (Private Rented Sector), the future is indeed looking particularly bright,” Alan Bevan, Managing Director of City Residential, said.
 
Now would appear to be the perfect time to buy into Liverpool’s thriving private rented sector, with data from Liverpool City Council’s Chief Executive's Policy Team in 2013 showing that 23.4% of households rented from a private landlord, in comparison to a national average of 16.7% across the rest of England and Wales. In 2001 the figure was just 13.1%, which highlights the swift growth of Liverpool’s private rented sector.
 
Taking advantage of the current market conditions, Property Frontiers has launched a new project in Parker Street, the heart of Liverpool’s city centre. The new buy-to-let opportunity will see a 1930s Portland Stone building – formerly a ballroom that played host to John Lennon’s wedding reception – converted into luxury studio suites and one bedroom apartments. Panoramic views from the upper floors will combine with high end design to provide the very latest in modern city living appeal.
 
A 12 month build schedule has been put in place for the ambitious plans, with investment opportunities available from just £64,950 with 6% net yield assured for 5 years.
 

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Investec and Kier Property join forces again to purchase Reading Gateway

Investec Structured Property Finance (Investec SPF), a lender of development and investment finance for commercial, residential and mixed-use schemes, and Kier Property, the development arm of the Kier Group, have agreed a joint equity venture to fund the 20.5 acre ‘Reading Gateway’ site.
 
The site, which is located on the A33, close to junction 11 of the M4, already has planning permission for 425,000sq ft of distribution and is also allocated in the local plan for mixed-uses including residential, commercial, leisure and small scale retail.
 
The partnership between Kier Property and Investec SPF was established earlier this year to progress Kier Property’s trade counter, light industrial brand ‘Trade City’ (www.trade-city.co.uk).
 
Kier Property plans to create a comprehensive mixed-use scheme including roughly 250 new homes of mixed tenure on 11 acres of the site, plus a hotel and light industrial, trade counter space on the front nine acres. Once completed, the scheme is anticipated to have an end value of around £75m. 
 
“We are delighted to be in a position where we can announce the purchase of this site,” Leigh Thomas, director for Kier Property, said. “Our team, advised by Haslams’ Reading office, has worked extremely hard to make this deal happen and we are very proud to finally confirm this site purchase. We plan to progress very quickly and will be submitting planning in early January, with a view to start in the summer of 2015.”
 
Hayley Adams, of Investec Structured Finance, said: “The Reading deal is a great opportunity for Investec to partner with and support Kier once again. The site has significant potential and all parties worked together to successfully complete this transaction within a short timeframe. The deal highlights that we are committed to funding high quality sites, with well-respected and experienced real estate developers.”
 
 

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"Significant proportion" of letting agents not signed up to redress scheme

The head of one of the three mandatory redress schemes in the rental sector insists that, contrary to suggestions from some in the industry, “a significant proportion” of letting agents have yet to join.

Sean Hooker, property ombudsman at the Property Redress Scheme – one of the mandatory schemes alongside The Property Ombudsman and Ombudsman Services – says confusion over how many agents have signed up to one or other of the schemes is down to a continuing lack of clarity over who is regarded as an ‘agent’.
 
“The reason for this discrepancy is that the new law has widened the definition of agent and therefore a large number of different and legitimate models of agency are now encapsulated in this legislation,” Hooker told Landlord Today’s sister site Letting Agent Today.
 
For this reason, Hooker says, it may be unwise to regulate for mandatory client money protection, although he personally supports it.
 
“A good example is the growing Rent-to-Rent market, that I believe is captured by this law. We have a complex letting industry. Until we fully understand it, the risk is that regulation will be too simplistic and could end up toothless and without credibility,” he warned.
 
“We should as an industry line up our ducks and build the tool kit for a safe and professional industry. Redress is a vital component of the equation so shout this from the roof tops and make sure it is an unqualified success,” he insisted.
 
Hooker also said the perceived lack of public awareness of the new redress regime was surprising given then there has been a decade of redress options available to landlords and tenants with problems, even though they have only just become mandatory.
 
Some agents, too, were unaware, admits Hooker. “A large number of agents were also totally in the dark as one nameless individual demonstrated when they rang us to ask what this ‘omnibus’ scheme all about...”


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Section 21 evictions on the up

Eviction specialist Landlord Action claims the number of landlords using section 21 notices to evict tenants is on the increase.

Writing a blog post on the Landlord Action website, founder Paul Shamplina said the firm had never had so many instructions from landlords and letting agents wishing to proceed to court to obtain possession orders under Section 21.

“Last year, there were 34,080 claims issued under the accelerated procedure, which was an all-time high since its inception in 1999. I believe 2014 will be even higher,” he wrote, “In quarter one of this year, there were 47,220 claims issued at court for standard procedures with hearing dates and accelerated Section 21s.  In quarter two, there were 38,509 claims issued.

“The total number of claims issued for all procedures in 2013 was 170,451. This was 20,000 more than in 2012.

“This trend of more and more landlords opting to recover possession using the section 21 entitlement, where a hearing date is not required, is because most want and need their property back as quickly as possible. Landlords often need to get their defaulting tenants out ASAP as they too can suffer their own financial difficulties if they do not get a paying tenant in and start to receive income to pay off mortgages and other such property running costs. Most simply don’t want to risk the possible complications and delays which can be linked to Section 8, such as tenants filing defences.”

Shamplina said the most common defences under section 21 cases are:
• Deposits not being protected
• Prescribed information not being served correctly
• Incorrect information on the notice
• Section 21 notice served incorrectly
• Tenants requesting a 42 day possession order under mitigating circumstances

“Lots of landlords are being forced down this route because tenants are being encouraged by councils to stay in the property and not vacate due to the county’s overwhelming shortage of social housing. Councils will only act when there has been an eviction date set, therefore, tenants will not leave the property of their own accord as they would effectively make themselves homeless, forfeiting the chance to be re-housed.

“Of course, with tenants experiencing cuts to their Local Housing Allowance (LHA) benefit, many landlords are also keen to re-gain possession so that they can re-let their property at a higher rate to private tenants, because demand is so great, especially in the south of England. This is contributing to the shortage of available housing for LHA tenants.

“We have many cases where there are quite significant rent arrears, but landlords are writing it off just to get vacant possession, as they know there is little chance of recovery.”


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Government publishes right-to-rent code of practice

The Government has issued guidance for landlords affected by the introduction of right-to-rent immigration checks.

The new code of practice is available on the Government website. It explains:

• if your property is affected
• if any exemptions apply
• how to carry out a right-to-rent check
• what documents individuals can show you as evidence of their right-to-rent
• when and how to request a right-to-rent check from the Home Office

From 1 December 2014, some landlords will need to check that someone has the right to live in the UK before letting a property to them. This includes landlords who take in lodgers or sub-let property.

In most cases you’ll be able to carry out the checks without contacting the Home Office. All you need to do is check evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship, for example a passport or biometric residence permit.

During the pilot phase the right-to-rent checks only apply to:

• landlords in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton
• all adults aged 18 and over living at the property
• new tenancy agreements starting on or after 1 December 2014

If you let a property after this date to someone who doesn’t have the right to rent, you could be fined up to £3,000.

If you need more help, call the Government landlords helpline on 0300 069 9799

 


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Buy-to-let celebrates 18th birthday

The year 1996 was the year that John Major was in power, a little known band called the Spice Girls stormed the charts and just 4% of the UK population had access to something called the internet. It was also the year that buy-to-let was born.

ARLA and a small select panel of lenders including Paragon Mortgages, were instrumental in recognising the growing demand from private landlords for specifically tailored mortgage finance to help meet the rapidly growing demand for private rented property.

Over the past 18 years the buy-to-let market has developed considerably, supporting growth in the UK’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) whilst driving up quality and improving choice and competition. Today the PRS is the second largest housing tenure in the UK – over taking the social housing sector for the first time since 1961 in 2012/2013.

In 1996 there were 2.4 million households in the PRS – 18 years later this has more than doubled to 4.9 million. At the same time the sector has seen the fastest rate of improvement in the quality of accommodation of all three major tenures, and tenant satisfaction in the PRS now exceeds those in the social rented sector.

The profile of tenants living in the PRS has also changed since 1996, with more families living in private rented homes. In 1996, 13% of tenants living in the PRS were families – this has now increased to 20%.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, said: “The buy-to-let market has been a force for good for the wider UK housing market. Before the development of buy-to-let landlords had few options when considering how best to finance a rented property. The finance that was available was expensive and poorly matched to the customer’s needs. It was particularly difficult for new landlords to start to build a portfolio.

“Buy-to-let has changed all this. It enabled landlords to access finance that was better designed to meet the specific needs of the rental market at much more competitive interest rates and thus helped expand quality and choice in the PRS.

“Whilst most people continue to aspire to home ownership, and the mortgage industry plays a critical role in facilitating this, for many the PRS remains a housing choice out of both convenience and need. Mortgage lenders can and do work alongside landlords and the letting agency industry to make sure that renting privately provides safe, efficient and flexible housing for those that rely upon the sector for a home.”

Valerie Bannister, president of ARLA, said: “With the deregulation of the industry through the 1988 Housing Act, combined with the introduction of a suitable financing model through buy-to-let, the private rental sector has grown substantially since the 1990s.

“It’s now a thriving force in our housing market that’s growing year on year. Without a vibrant buy-to-let market, landlords couldn’t provide the much needed, good quality and affordable accommodation for tenants that they do.”


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October auction could be highest value event, says Allsop

Auctioneer Allsop has released the residential catalogue for its next sale on Thursday 30th October, taking place at The Cumberland Hotel in London. 
 
There are over 300 lots from locations across the UK set to go under the hammer from 9.30am.
 
The firm has confirmed that due to the significant number of high value properties on offer - 16 lots over £1m, five of which are valued at over £3m – this could be Allsop’s highest value auction. 
 
Two of the most interesting and highly valued lots are lot 26, a six storey building currently arranged as a hostel guided at £5.5m and lot 70A, an office building with planning permission for up to 51 flats (guided at £5m).
 
Allsop has confirmed that distressed properties comprise 17% of the catalogue, which, the firm believes, demonstrates a shift towards private sellers.
 
Ninety of the lots are in the capital and 23 are being sold on behalf of the Salvation Army and the NHS. 
 
The full catalogue can be seen online at: http://www.auction.co.uk/residential/onlineCatalogue.asp 

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Property auctions this week

Detailed below is a selection of four auctions from across the country taking place over the next week. The auctions, from four different auctions houses, are taking place in Manchester, Cornwall, Durham and Sheffield respectively. 
 
Pugh
Date: 23/10/2014
Start time: 12:00
Location: 
Manchester City Football Club, Etihad Stadium, Ashton New Road, Manchester, M11 3FF
Lots so far: 89
Guide price range: £10,000 - £,675,000
Auction catalogue: http://www.theauctionpeople.co/Auctions/SummaryOfLots
 
Miller & Son
Date: 23/10/2014
Start time: 14:00
Location: Preventon Park Hotel, Redruth, Cornwall
Lots so far: 9
Guide price range: £40,000 - £299,950
Auction catalogue: http://www.millerson.com/auctions-results/ 
 
Auction House North East
Date: 28/10/2014
Start time: 19:00
Location: Ramside Hall Hotel, Carrville, Durham, County Durham DH1 1TD
Lots so far: 54
Guide price range: £15,000 - £175,000
Auction catalogue: http://www.auctionhouse.uk.net/northeast/ 
 
Mark Jenkinson & Son
Date: 28/10/2014
Start time: 14:00
Location: The Platinum Suite, Sheffield United Football Club, Bramall Lane, Sheffield S2 4SU
Lots so far: 47
Guide price range: £10,000 - £500,000
Auction catalogue: http://www.markjenkinson.co.uk/auctions/tuesday-28th-october-2014/?start=40 
 
See a full list of upcoming property auctions on our dedicated page.
 
 

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