Strongest housing market in a decade as residential transactions up 48.5% in February | Property Reporter

The latest statistics from HMRC have revealed that the housing market continues to boom with a surge in transactions during last month compared with the same month last year.

According to the data, UK residential transactions totalled 147,050 in February 2021 – a 48.5% rise against February 2020 and 23.0% higher than January 2021. When non-seasonally adjusted, transactions totalled 122,840, 48.3% higher than February 2020 and 26.4% higher than January 2021.

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, says: “As was expected the figures for February show the push to get transactions over the line before the original SDLT holiday deadline. However, the landscape changed again with the Budget and the market is likely to continue on its upward trajectory. With the mortgage guarantee scheme, higher LTV products, and lower rates, there is little to hold it back.

“However, despite furlough and other government schemes to help, for many the toll of the past year is still to be fully seen. Although FCA guidance is still asking lenders to continue to consider repossession as a last resort, once the ban is lifted, the likelihood of repossessions rising in the second half of 2021 is almost inevitable. Lenders will have to be on the ball and work with borrowers to minimise this risk.

“It’s exactly one year since the first national lockdown came into force and, now that over half of the adult population have had their first vaccination, we can at last look forward with a little more hope. Even if it is with a touch of trepidation.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: “Of course, it’s always transactions rather than more volatile house prices which provide a more reliable assessment of market strength. Although mostly reflecting transactions agreed several months previously, these figures demonstrate remarkable resilience of buyers and sellers determined to beat the stamp duty deadline.

“Since then of course the ‘holiday’ has been extended which has given many some breathing space to take advantage with confidence enhanced by an acceleration of the vaccination programme and better weather.”

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of asset manager SPI Capital, says: “HMRC’s transactions data are important because these are key to prices and values in the housing market – affecting homeowners and investors of all scales. They give meaning to the more widely quoted house-price data since, for example, wild price rises based on a few local transactions should be interpreted differently to price rises based on a large number of transactions.

“Residential transactions in February were 48.5% higher than February 2020 and 23.0% higher than January 2021. This is an incredible increase and one that shows clearly the beneficial impact of having lower transaction taxes.

“The bigger picture is not entirely about stamp duty though. There have been four major drivers of transactions since the strictest lockdown conditions were removed in 2020: the temporary stamp duty reduction and cheap debt as a result of very low interest rates, which give buyers a pricing ‘discount’; the release of pent-up supply and demand and desire to improve surroundings among existing homeowners, which is a behavioural change; and the ‘flight to safety’, since in times of uncertainty, people want to put their money in an asset that feels safe and stable, with low volatility.

“At the same time, appetite from international buyers, an important source of demand, was restricted over the last year. Overseas investment was held back by travel restrictions and nerves around Brexit and Covid-19. The good news is we are now seeing the return of international buyer confidence, and this is reflected in the data. Many international buyers are looking to ‘lock in’ the current exchange rate, and their confidence in the UK is improving, which is anticipated to further boost transactions in key cities.

“The temporary stamp duty reduction has had a more than proportionate impact on transactions, shown in the February data, because buyers who use mortgages can take debt out on the property price, but they cannot use finance to fund transaction costs.

“It’s extension, and the smoother transition anticipated from ‘tapering down’ of this relief, is great news for buyers and sellers in the UK housing market as not having this transaction tax removes friction, encouraging transactions.

“Looking to the future, we expect continued growth in transactions over the coming months, boosted by the extension of the stamp duty reduction as well as growth in appetite from UK-based and international investors – from individuals through to institutional investors.”

This content was originally published here.


Halifax: Housing market softens as buyers give up on stamp duty holiday | Property Reporter

The latest data and analysis from Halifax this morning has revealed that house prices, although still relatively strong, have softened slightly in February with a 0.1% dip against the previous month.

The data shows that during the latest quarter (December to February) house prices were 0.5% higher than in the preceding three months (September to November).

The year-on-year numbers revealed that house prices remain in a strong position at 5.2% higher than in February last year.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “Having enjoyed an extremely strong period of activity in the second half of last year, the housing market continued its softer start to 2021, with average prices down very slightly (-0.1%) compared to January. However, with annual house price inflation currently at +5.2%, property values remain comfortably higher than 12 months ago, when February was the last full month before lockdown.

“The housing market has been at something of a crossroads at the start of this year, with upcoming events key to determining the path of activity and prices over the next few months. The government’s decision to extend the stamp duty holiday – one of the main drivers of demand from home movers during the pandemic – has removed a great deal of uncertainty for buyers with transactions yet to complete.

“The new mortgage guarantee scheme is another welcome development from this week’s Budget. Whilst mortgage approvals have reached record highs in recent months, hitting levels not seen since before the financial crisis of 2008, raising a deposit continues to be the single biggest hurdle for first-time buyers to overcome.

“In the longer-term, the performance of the housing market remains inextricably linked to the health of the wider economy. The pace and extent of recovery are still highly uncertain, and much will depend on the ongoing success of the UK’s vaccination roll out.

“Though there is the likelihood of an economic ‘bounceback’ from lockdown, with households not unduly impacted by the pandemic deploying the significant reserves of savings that they have built-up, higher unemployment is likely to limit new buyer demand. Therefore, we would not expect the level of growth seen in house prices over the past year to be sustained throughout 2021.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: “The housing market softened slightly in February as it seemed too late for buyers to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday. But with the Chancellor announcing an extension to the concession in his Budget, more buyers are realising they could still reasonably expect to take advantage of the tax break, which will further help the market’s momentum.

“The introduction of 95 per cent mortgages backed by the government from next month will also give first-time buyers and home movers a boost. We have seen a flurry of enquiries from those who were planning to utilise the Help to Buy scheme who are now keen to buy older housing stock rather than new-build options. With the big lenders confirmed as offering the first 95 per cent products, we look forward to seeing terms and pricing sooner rather than later.”

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of asset manager SPI Capital, says: “According to the Halifax, annual house price growth slowed by 0.1% in February, bringing annual price growth to 5.2%. It is likely that this slowdown reflects some buyers giving up hope as they neared the original end to the temporary stamp duty reduction.

“Stamp duty has a more than proportionate impact on transactions because affordability is not just about the price of a property. It is heavily influenced by mortgage lending. Investors and homebuyers can borrow against the property price, but they cannot use finance to fund transaction costs.

“Looking to the future, the extension to the temporary stamp duty reduction is likely to boost the housing market in terms of transactions and pricing. This is positive news, as house price growth both reflects and boosts confidence. The ‘tapering’ down of this measure from September will help to avoid a housing market ‘cliff edge’.

“At the same time, we are now beginning to see appetite from international investors picking up, which is expected to continue through 2021. In times of global uncertainty, people want to put their money in a stable asset with low volatility and residential property in the UK has a ‘bond-like’ appeal internationally.

“Other important drivers of the housing market through 2021 include cheap debt as a result of very low-interest rates, which give buyers a ‘discount’; the continued desire to improve surroundings among existing homeowners; and the ‘flight to safety’ amongst all kinds of investors, both UK-based and overseas.”

Nigel Purves, CEO of Wayhome, comments: “Over the course of last year, we’ve all become much more aware of our living space, ensuring it meets our remote working needs now and as we adapt to a more hybrid style of working for the future. For some, this has created a sense of urgency to climb up the property ladder to find a more suitable home altogether. Indeed, despite the market having a bit more of a gradual start this year, house prices were still 5.2% higher last month, compared to February 2020.

“Following the Budget and the Chancellor’s 95% mortgage guarantee, there are some would-be buyers who will see this as a useful stepping-stone. However, many will find that their household income falls short of the criteria which lenders use to grant that mortgage, even if they can afford the deposit or a similar amount in rent each month. If the Government is truly committed to turning Generation Rent into Generation Buy, it must work together with the property industry to find alternative ways to help people find a property.”

This content was originally published here.


Confidence returns to the housing market following budget | Property Reporter

Optimism has returned to the housing market with the latest data revealing that over a third of people agree that now is a good time to buy a property in the UK.

According to the latest market analysis from the Building Societies Association, there has been a notable surge in consumer confidence in the housing market following the Budget earlier this month with just 17% disagreeing that now is a good time to buy, down from 23% in December.

Expectations of a rise in house prices are also growing, with 39% anticipating an increase over the next 12 months, a big jump from 25% three months ago.

The Chancellor’s Budget announcements earlier this month seem to have stimulated the boost in confidence. 59% of first-time buyers said the mortgage guarantee scheme, which requires just a 5% deposit, has made them feel more positive about buying a property in the UK. The extension to the stamp duty holiday has also led to 40% of people feeling more positive about buying a property, with the furlough extension building confidence in buying a property for a third of people (33%).

In the midst of the Covid pandemic, lack of job security has been perceived as the biggest barrier to buying property and it remains so at 59%, however, it is steadily declining as a reason for not purchasing (Dec 2020 – 65%; Sept 2020 – 68%).

Despite an overall increase in optimism, there are regional differences.

In Wales, 48% of the people are expecting house prices to rise in the next 12 months, compared to a third (33%) in London and the East Midlands. 45% of the people In the North East think now is a good time to buy a property, with less than a third (29%) agreeing in Scotland.

Lack of job security as a barrier to buying a property at 59% belies a north/south divide, with 65% in Yorkshire and Humberside citing this as a barrier, compared to just 50% of those in London.

Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage and Housing Policy at the BSA, comments: “It’s great to see public confidence in the housing market returning. The vaccination rollout and the publication of the Government roadmap for easing Covid-19 restrictions are likely to have impacted this, but it’s also clear that some measures announced in the Budget, including the government-backed mortgage guarantee for those with small deposits and the stamp duty holiday extension, have been significant contributors to the growing optimism.

“The extension to the furlough scheme has also stimulated confidence and it’s good to see that many people are no longer citing losing their jobs as a barrier to purchasing a home. We should however be mindful that the full impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the economy is still unclear and there’s strong evidence that the effect on household finances varies considerably, with those on lower incomes most negatively impacted.

“With the latest forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility suggesting the unemployment rate will reach 6.5% this year, and many people still benefiting from mortgage payment deferrals, the overall figures may conceal those who are struggling financially and are feeling less optimistic about the future.”

This content was originally published here.


Stamp duty holiday has revived the housing market – Property Industry Eye

More than £171bn worth of residential property was sold across England and Wales last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, new research shows.

Fresh analyses all residential property sales to complete via the Land Registry between January and December of last year, to see just what impact the current stamp duty holiday has had on the market, found that a total of £171.7bn worth of residential property sold in 2020.

This is a rather respectable performance given the tricky landscape posed by the pandemic, although this is a 38% decline on the amount recorded in 2019, according to the study carried out by Keller Williams.

Despite a dip in market activity, London continues to dominate when it comes to most valuable pockets of the property market.

Westminster saw the highest sum of property sold prices, with £2.9bn worth of residential bricks and mortar sold in 2020. Kensington and Chelsea came second with £2.7bn worth of property sold, while Wandsworth was the third most valuable home selling hotspot with a total of £2.5bn worth of property selling last year.

With a  total of almost £2bn in property sold over the last year, Cornwall is the most valuable market outside of the capital. Birmingham also ranked high with £1.8bn in property sales throughout 2020.

Leeds (£1.75bn) Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (£1.7bn), Wiltshire (£1.5bn), Bristol (£1.45bn), Dorset (£1.45bn) and Cheshire East (£1.4bn) also ranked as some of the most valuable areas of the property market outside of London.

Ben Taylor, CEO of Keller Williams UK, commented: “Despite the radical market turn around spurred by the reopening of the property sector and the introduction of a stamp duty holiday, Covid has clearly had a lasting impact on the market in 2020.

“While the average house price has surged this year, a 38% reduction in the total value of property sold demonstrates the detrimental impact the pandemic had on market activity over the last year.

“This is even more significant when you consider that it’s compared with a 2019 market that was already operating sluggishly due to Brexit uncertainty.

“However, when considering all of these factors, it makes the late rally shown by the property market in the wake of a stamp duty holiday introduction all the more impressive. To think that this market revival still saw £171.7bn worth of residential property sold in what is a relatively short period of time is actually quite remarkable.”

England and Wales 2019 2020 Change
Total sum of property sold £277,490,140,743 £171,670,833,785 -38%
Data sourced from the Land Registry Sold Price Records (Jan 2020 to Dec 2020)
Table shows the top 20 areas to have seen the largest sold price sum of property sold
District Median sold price Total sum of property sold
CITY OF WESTMINSTER £950,000 £2,943,088,454
KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA £1,270,000 £2,686,441,764
WANDSWORTH £655,000 £2,514,098,748
CORNWALL £240,000 £1,984,888,965
CAMDEN £780,000 £1,856,469,571
BIRMINGHAM £180,000 £1,770,788,359
LEEDS £185,000 £1,754,133,158
BROMLEY £460,000 £1,747,027,590
BARNET £540,000 £1,699,882,208
LAMBETH £550,000 £1,691,080,834
RICHMOND UPON THAMES £676,000 £1,609,154,142
HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM £765,000 £1,544,470,757
WILTSHIRE £270,000 £1,534,911,451
CITY OF BRISTOL £285,000 £1,454,265,744
DORSET £299,000 £1,451,908,502
CHESHIRE EAST £220,000 £1,406,148,108
CROYDON £390,000 £1,310,803,894
ELMBRIDGE £600,000 £1,278,730,756
SOUTHWARK £532,000 £1,194,475,137
Data sourced from the Land Registry Sold Price Records (Jan 2020 to Dec 2020)

This content was originally published here.


Budget 2021: Chancellor delivers on promised ‘double bubble’ for housing market

Rishi Sunak has this lunchtime delivered on the rumoured extension to his zero-rate stamp duty holiday and the launch of a new Help-to-Buy style mortgage deposit scheme for first time buyers within his budget statement.

Many estate agents will be delighted that the stamp duty holiday for homes under £500,000 in England and Norther Ireland has been extended to the end of June, as expected, and applied to sales of up to £250,000 until end of September.

The pre-Covid stamp duty rates will therefore be reintroduced on October 1st 2021.

Sunak has also announced in his budget that the proposed mortgage guarantee scheme for those able to save up a 5% deposit, which is almost identical to the previous Help to Buy mortgage equity scheme, will start on April 1st.

The furlough scheme is also to be extended, as leaked inadvertently yesterday by minister Kwasi Kwarteng. The scheme will finish at the end of September but agencies who still have furloughed staff will have to pay 10% of the cost in July and 20% of the cost from August onwards.

To offset this, the Bounce Back and CBILS loans schemes are to be replaced with a single ‘recovery loan’ that will run until December 31st and offer loans of between £25,000 and £10 million, as well as new ‘recovery grants’.

But the Chancellor had some bad news in the budget for estate agency owners and those operating millions of other UK businesses.  Corporation tax is to rise from 18% to a whopping 25% from 2023 onwards, although smaller businesses with profits of less than £50,000 a year will see no rise. Between £50,000 and £250,000 the rate will be tapered up from 19% to 25%.

Budget business

The 100% business rates discount is to continue until the end of June, and drop to a 60% discount for the rest of the year.

ryan jones cluttons“The current business rates holiday has provided businesses, many of whom have been forced to close or suffered a significant impact on their income, with the means to fight for their survival,” says Ryan Jones, Business Rates Partner at Cluttons (pictured).

“But landlords who have empty properties or who have lost tenants during the pandemic have not received the same level of financial support from the government. What support can business owners and landlords expect from the government once the current business rates holiday ends?”.

In return, Sunak is to give companies much more generous tax breaks for those who are shouldering losses of up to £2 million, and also a new and hugely generous allowance for companies who invest – which will soon be able to claim 130% of the investment cost against tax.

But Sunak revealed the brutal figures his budget underpins – the total government exposure to Covid totals £407 billion so far, with borrowing at £350 billion.

Industry reaction

Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Adviser, Propertymark

“The extension of the stamp duty holiday to the end of June followed by the transition to the end of September is much needed to help prevent sales falling through as the initial deadline approaches. We urge the Governments in Scotland and Wales to follow the UK Government’s lead on this.

“We know from our own research that failed sales cost estate agents more than £4000 per sale and consumers more than £1500 which is why we have called on Government to rethink the stamp duty holiday timings. This is good news for the market and will help maintain consumer confidence who are seeking to buy and sell in the coming months.”

Ben Taylor, CEO of Keller Williams UK

“Today’s stamp duty holiday extension will be very warmly welcomed by homebuyers waiting to complete and currently stuck in the transaction pipeline due to market delays. The original stamp duty holiday is on track to save homebuyers an estimated £1.5bn and with the extension in place, this benefit should increase to £2bn with 360,000 transactions likely to benefit until the new June deadline.”

Link to Stamp Duty featureIain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals

“The Chancellor gave the property market a double shot in the arm today, with a boost from the stamp duty holiday extension and 95% mortgages. Extending the stamp duty holiday until the end of June, then phasing it out until September should help avoid a sudden downturn in prices caused by the much-feared cliff-edge end.”

Link to Stamp Duty newsGuy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons

“Any additional assistance for first-time buyers is always welcome. First-time buyers were hit particularly hard by the lack of mortgage availability during the pandemic. As such, the government’s introduction of a 95% LTV mortgage presents good news for first-time buyers, keen to get on the property ladder. Another audience likely to benefit are existing home owners wanting to trade up or re-mortgage to release equity.”

David Westgate, group chief executive, Andrews Property Group

“As expected, the Stamp Duty holiday has been extended, but the Government has missed a gilt-edged opportunity to put in place measures to avoid another cliff-edge scenario in three month’s time.

“Reducing the nil band rate from £500k to £250k, while a better solution than simply cutting off the tax break on 30th June, could still result in a stampede of buyers rushing to complete before the deadline. A better solution, surely, would have been to allow transactions, where a mortgage offer has been granted before the deadline, to complete at their own pace.”

Kevin Shaw, Group MD of Leaders Romans Group

“At the moment, the property market is set to be stronger than initial forecasts have suggested and we expect Q2 to perform well. The Stamp Duty Holiday extension will certainly help with this, enabling buyers who didn’t get through in time to still take advantage of the reduction in Duty. While there is still the opportunity for buyers to move and take advantage of the reduction, it’s also important that anyone looking to sell starts the process now to have any hope of completing before the new deadline. ”

Link to recruitment newsNicky Stevenson, MD of Fine & Country

“The loss of a £15,000 tax break would not have proved a deal-breaker for wealthier buyers in and of itself. However, they would have come under pressure to drop their price from further down the chain.

“For first-time buyers, who are integral to a well functioning housing market market, a few thousand pounds can make all the difference when stretching for a deposit. That’s why, in reality, those who benefited least from the tax break would have been the most likely to need to renegotiate. The larger the chain, the more likely this pressure and disruption would have caused it to break down as each participant tried to pass the cost on.”

Detail junky? Read the full budget document.

The post Budget 2021: Chancellor delivers on promised ‘double bubble’ for housing market appeared first on The Negotiator.

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Barratt boosts hopes for housing market post-stamp duty holiday

Barratt Developments today boosted hopes that the housing market will cope once the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday finishes at the end of March.

The housebuilder revealed that 11,588 homes had been secured for completion beyond that date, part of a “strong” forward sales position worth £3.42 billion.

Barratt underlined its optimism in half-year results by reinstating its dividend at 7.5p a share and revealing it spent £320 million on land amid a greater range of buying opportunities.

Chief executive David Thomas said: “Whilst we are mindful of the continued economic uncertainties, the housing market fundamentals remain attractive and our outlook for the full year remains in line with expectations.”

He said Barratt achieved a “fantastic” performance in the six months to the end of December, with a record 9,077 home completions leading to a 10% jump in revenues to £2.49 billion. Profits improved 1.7% to £430.2 million.

Barratt shares rose by 24.6p to 698p as it stuck by forecasts for completions of between 15,250 and 15,750 across the financial year.

This content was originally published here.


Should landlords be worried by the pet changes in the latest Model Tenancy Agreement?

The government has published its latest Model Tenancy Agreement and within it given tenants the right to rent a property with their pet, with the onus on landlords to explain why they think it’s inappropriate for the property.

Although this is a significant deviation from previous government policy, the new model agreement is only recommended to landlords and letting agents when issuing rental contracts. But it marks a significant shift by Ministers.

What do landlords and other players in the housing market think of this mild government U-turn on pets?

Suzy Hershman, mydeposits

“Unfortunately, The Tenant Fees Act scuppered all ways of taking extra money in return for allowing a tenant to keep a pet in the property, other than taking a well-advertised and ‘reasonably placed’ higher rent.

“A tenant is only responsible for leaving the property in the same condition it was in at the start, allowing for reasonable wear and tear.

“If you agree to a tenant with a pet, then ‘reasonable wear and tear’ could extend to minor damage caused by the pet. 

“Whether a deduction is made from a deposit or is a claim for a no-deposit alternative such as the Ome like any claim, it can only succeed for a breach of the tenancy agreement – i.e. damage that is beyond reasonable wear and tear, which is supported by evidence.”

The National Residential Landlords Association

A spokesperson says: “Pets are not always suitable in certain properties such as large dogs in small flats without gardens. There is often more a risk of damage to a property where there is a pet.

“We call on the Government to enable the level at which deposits are set to be more flexible to reflect this greater risk.

“We are also calling for a tenant to either have pet insurance or to pay the landlord for it to be allowed as a requirement for a tenancy where relevant.

“At present payments such as this are banned under the Tenant Fees Act.” 

Terri Dunne, Chief Delivery Officer at Hamilton Fraser

“Allowing responsible tenants to have pets will increase the market reach for the property and attract a wider supply of tenants and possibly longer tenancies.

“But it is generally accepted that no matter how well trained the pet is, there is likely to be damage to the property.

“Under a landlord property insurance policy there are likely to be exclusions or limitations regarding whether a claim can be submitted for any damage caused by a pet.

“As such, you should always check your landlord insurance policy or speak with your insurance broker.”               

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – Should landlords be worried by the pet changes in the latest Model Tenancy Agreement? | LandlordZONE.

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Extension of Stamp Duty Holiday Vital to Housing Market, says JLPM

James Leigh Property Management has called on the Government to commit to keeping the property market open during the latest lockdown, or the consequences not only for homeowners caught in a chain, but the whole supply chain including construction could be dire. Central to keeping house sales moving is the extension of the Stamp Duty holiday, due to end in March 2021.

Robert Burdett, MD at James Leigh Property Management, based in Colchester, Essex, said, “as an industry, the housing market has bounced back well from the first lockdown with a surge in sales, but it is still fragile and businesses in the supply chain could disappear if the industry isn’t kept open during the latest lockdown.” Continuing, Mr Burdett said, “If businesses are lost during this lockdown, and the Government isn’t 100% clear on what the plan is, the whole housing market could be impacted, and that knock on could affect construction, and all of the ancillary sectors that support the housing market.”

Mr Burdett has written to local MPs Bernard Jenkin MP and Will Quince MP outlining his concerns for the housing market during this latest lockdown, including:

– commitment to continue on-site valuations and surveys that are currently being carried out according to Covid-secure rules

– supporting the mortgage industry where needed so that mortgage finance continues to flow

– extension of the Stamp Duty holiday beyond March 2021 to reduce a bottleneck in mortgage applications, valuations, and surveys in January

– allowing Covid-secure viewings to continue so that house buyers can continue to search for suitable properties

Key among the requests is the Stamp Duty holiday extension. Mr Burdett said, “whilst the end of the Stamp Duty holiday may seem a long way off, practically speaking this will impact the housing market from January. And if viewings are stalled in November the time that people have to find their next home and go through all of the necessary stages will be shortened. It’s critical that the Government looks at these measures now and is proactive in supporting the housing market, rather than reacting to problems as they arise.


Rental Property, Letting Agents and Tax

Have you considered the pros and cons of engaging a letting agent to manage your rental property for you? You might be running a single rental property or several as part of a portfolio. Or perhaps you’re an accidental landlord. You might have inherited a property or come by an additional house or flat by some other means, and decided to rent it out.

Whatever level you’re at, or even just getting started, getting it right can pay dividends. Consider your responsibilities as a landlord and your tax liability as someone earning an income from your property. And consider what getting it wrong could mean. No one wants to pay too much tax right? And with changes to the tax liabilities for buy to let mortgages earlier this year, there are pitfalls that warrant taking advice from a specialist accountant.

But the other area for consideration is the day-to-day management of your property. And that’s where a professional letting agent can help. 


So what are the benefits of using a letting agent?

1. Compliance

There are over 170 pieces of legislation that landlords must comply with. Both landlords and their tenants have protections under law and must comply with various regulations including the Deregulation 2015 Act, Gas Safety Certificates, Energy Performance Certificate, Right to Rent Checks, ECIR, etc.

2. Tenancy Agreements

Over time legislation changes, and keeping tenancy agreements up to date means that should a landlord have a problem tenant they will have some protections.

The NRLA reports that it is not uncommon to review tenancy agreements only to find that it is not robust enough to stand up in court when a landlord encounters a problem tenant.

3. Letting Success

Quite simply, letting agents understand the local market, can match pre-referenced tenants to your property, and can help you sort out any issues that you may encounter along the way. They can also market your property where it will be found by the right people. And that all means that your property will be let to the right tenants.

4. Time

This is the age-old argument. “Why should I pay someone else to do it when I can do it myself?” But are you simply saving your time, or investing in a resource that can add value to your business, while freeing up your time to do the things that you want to do. 

There are other good reasons; proximity to your rental property, availability to your tenant when they need help, and expert knowledge of regulations, and how to manage your responsibilities.

5. Cost

What would it cost you in time, costs like marketing and advertising, and legal costs to take a property from vacant to let? Quite a lot probably. So the “why should I pay someone else to do it” approach seems like a false economy. The average rental per month is now £985. And if you consider that the average fully managed agent fee is 10%, so that’s £98.50 per month. Given the benefits and professional expertise that comes with it, is that money well spent, or is it better for your business to continue to manage everything yourself?

And finally…letting agent vs DIY

Remember that as a landlord you will need to give your tenant, under current legislation, six months’ notice if you want them to vacate your property. And if they’re a problem tenant that can feel like a lifetime. So finding and, vetting and keeping the right tenant and looking after them from the outset means that you are much more likely to have a trouble-free experience with your buy to let business. And the knowledge, expertise, and experience of a letting agent can help you achieve that goal.


Here at James Leigh Property Management, we pride ourselves on providing exemplary service as a letting agent, working with you to ensure that your experience as a landlord is successful and productive. To find out more about our services, get in touch.



The JLPM Landlord APP

The JLPM Landlord App is provided in partnership with our payment software PayProp.

Want to know if your tenant still owes money, or if the damage deposit is in place? Wondering why you received funds and if contractors and utility bills have been paid? Just log in for direct access to transactional data directly from the bank. Say goodbye to once-a-month statements forever!

The app gives landlords a real-time data feed of transactions and actions affecting the management of their property or portfolio of properties.

Because PayProp is bank-integrated, the payment data on the app represents actual transactional data, directly from bank files. This means no more waiting for monthly statements or accountants to see what happened on your property – or is happening right now!

Simple and easy to navigate, owners can now draw transactional reports over any time period, to monitor funds received and paid out. They can also get real-time views of current tenant payment balances and of deposits held as security for the property.

And with records of all payments made and received on the property, you’ll always have the peace-of-mind you deserve.

If you haven’t recived an email invite to access the app please contact us

If you require access to the user manual please click here.