Archive for March, 2016
The office of iConn will be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, but will be open on Saturday 26th March between 9am-1pm.
As usual, we have arranged an emergency call out service for when the office is closed, for all our managed properties. For tenant find properties, please report any faults direct to your Landlord as normal.
Faults should be reported as follows:
Plumbing and Heating faults:
Belmont Heating 0800 756 6748
TS2 Contracts 07793809322
Locks & Key faults:
Acme Locks 01227 785551
Plumbing & Drainage faults:
Mains & Drains 07809330751
Please note if you have a British Gas homecare agreement in place, you should contact them in the first instance as usual on 0800 365 100.
Please also refer to our website for procedures regarding emergency call outs. http://www.iconnproperties.co.uk/contact/out-of-hours-contact.php
Happy Easter from all at iConn Property Management
Councils told to stop telling tenants in process of eviction to stay put – iConn Property Management, Canterbury0
A recent article submitted by the Property Industry Eye discusses the issue of how authorities treat homelessness applications, stating that “Local Authorities must stop routinely advising tenants to stay put until the bailiff arrives before they can be accepted as homeless”.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis has written to all chief executives of local councils saying that households should not be put in this position, and clarifying the guidance about homelessness.
In his letter he says: “Authorities should not routinely be advising tenants to stay until the bailiffs arrive; there is no barrier to them assisting the tenant before this. By doing this, local authorities miss a valuable opportunity to prevent homelessness.”
The letter follows pressure from ARLA, whose managing director David Cox has repeatedly raised the issue of local authorities advising tenants to stay in their property beyond the notice period, compelling the landlord to go to court to gain possession, running up considerable costs.
In his letter, Lewis says: “Landlords and tenants continue to raise concerns about local authorities advising tenants to stay when issued with a Notice seeking possession of a property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under Section 21 (1) or (4) of the Housing Act 1988.
“I receive a large amount of correspondence on this.”
He continues: “The statutory Homelessness Code of Guidance, which local authorities are required by law to have regard to, is clear on this matter.
“It contains guidance on how authorities should treat homelessness applications in circumstances where a tenant has received a valid S21 notice.
“It says that housing authorities should not, in every case, insist upon a court order for possession and that no local authority should adopt a blanket policy in this respect.
“The Guidance states that if the landlord intends to seek possession and there would be no defence to an application for a possession order, then it is unlikely that it would be reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the accommodation.
“Unless a local authority has very good reason to depart from the statutory guidance, then they should not be placing households in this position.”
Lewis says that he will specifically be looking at the way local authorities deal with S21 notices.
Cox said that he hoped that the letter would end what has been a “real problem” for the industry, but added that ARLA would continue to press the minister on the issue.
First-time buyers outnumbering buy-to-let purchasers by three to one – iConn Property Management, Canterbury0
Rosalind Renshaw from Property Industry Eye reveals the turn around with the sales market;
There were 311,700 mortgages issued to first-time buyers last year. While the figure was the same as 2014, the amount borrowed – £46.7bn – was the highest since 2007.
Home movers took out 365,800 loans for house purchase, down fractionally (0.2%) on 2014. Again, though, the amount, at £72.1bn, was the highest since 2007.
Buy-to-let lending rose by both volume (up by 28%) and by value (up 39%), and that too was at its highest since 2007.
Despite the rise in buy-to-let lending, last year first-time buyers outnumbered buy-to-let purchasers with mortgages by three to one.
Only 41% of buy-to-let mortgages were for house purchase, a total of £15.6bn. The bulk of buy-to-let lending was in the form of re-mortgaging – something which buy-to-let borrowers constantly do as they seek out better deals.
John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, said: “A common accusation levelled at buy-to-let landlords is that they have an unfair advantage over home-buyers.
“The data would suggest this is not the case, with buy-to-let purchases making up only 11.6% of all purchases.
“First-time buyers accounted for three times as many transactions as buy-to-let purchasers.”
Separately, the Office for National Statistics has said that average house prices ended last year at £301,000 in England, £175,000 in Wales, £193,000 in Scotland and £148,000 in Northern Ireland.
The highest average house price in England was in London at £536,000, and the lowest was in the north-east at £155,000.
The ONS puts annual house price inflation last year at 7.3% in England, 1.0% in Wales, -0.2% in Scotland and 1.5% in Northern Ireland.