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Property News 2010 (latest month at top, scroll down for earlier reports)

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Villa in Quinta do Lago Portugal for sale at €10 million

The December 16th 2010 "Irish Times" property page had a headline "€10m for Quita villa". Apparently according to the report the villa in the Algarve, Portugal once owned by the late Formula 1 racing driver Ayrton Senna is up for sale. It is located in the popular resort of Quinta do Lago and is being marketed through Quinta do Lago Real Estate. It has a floodlit tennis court, four hole putting green and a solar heated swimming pool. The accommodation offers six double bedroom with ensuites plus a number of reception rooms. More on this Here December 2010 Back to top

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Councillor wants to build houses in flood risk area in Ireland

The "Irish Times" reported an interesting story on Thursday 16th December 2010 -"Councillor seeks permission for houses in area prone to flooding" Apparently a member of Clare County Council in the Republic of Ireland who had flood problems last year has put in a planning application for five detached on a site prone to flooding next to his home in Ennis. More on this Here December 2010 Back to top

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Mundys Estate Agents win five-star UK property award

Mundys estate agency which received the top award for the third year in a row for the Best Estate Agency in Lincolnshire at the UK Property Awards. Pictured on left Mundys' Senior Partner Philip Barnatt receiving the award for the Best Estate Agency in Lincolnshire from Maryam Nemazee, political, business and economic news presenter; and Helen Shield, Chairman of Judges for the International Property Awards.

Estate agency Mundys has been judged the Best Estate Agency in Lincolnshire for the third year in a row at the prestigious UK Property Awards in association with Bloomberg Television. Mundys was presented with five stars at a high-profile event at the Lancaster London Hotel on Saturday 27th November More on this Here December 2010 Back to top

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Essential Advice For Accidental Landlords

With the housing market stuck in the doldrums and the demand for rental properties increasing, the number of accidental landlords is on the rise once again. Research conducted by ARLA showed that more than a third (34%) of member offices surveyed during Q3 2010 saw an increase in the number of rental properties coming onto market because they couldn't be sold. Becoming a landlord however is not an easy option as a Lincoln-based lettings management company is urging first-time landlords to consider all factors before committing to renting out a property. More on this Here December 2010 Back to top

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Implications of the Equality Act for Letting agents accepting Landlord instructions

The November/December 2010 edition of "Agreement" magazine (the official magazine of ARLA The Association of Residential Letting Agents) has a very good two page feature on the Equality Act 2010 The Don't discriminate - Know the new rules has a page on employers needing to comply with the wider resoinsibilities in the new Equality Act and this is also repeated in "The Estate Agent" (the magazine of the NAEA - National Association of Estate Agents). More on this Here November 2010 Back to top

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A complete rebranding of ARLA and NAEA?

There has been a great deal of interest in the NAEA - National Association of Estate Agents in house magazine The Estate Agent and ARLA - The Association of Residential Letting Agents - Agreement magazine over the past couple of months. The reason for this has been article by an estate agent John Pring who was saying that there is confusion of the number of brands now under the NFOPP - National Federation of Property Proffesionals. Click on theimage below to see full article

November 2010 Back to top

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Double Whammy for Flood Victims

On the 17th November 2010, the day that Cornwall has experienced severe flooding. The BBC News websit is running a story this evening "Cornwall floods force evacuation of more than 100 homes" More than 100 homes have been evacuated after floods and gale-force winds caused disruption across Cornwall. People were trapped in their cars and homes by the rising floodwaters, which reached up to 6ft (2m) deep in places. St Blazey, St Austell, Mevagissey and Lostwithiel were the worst hit areas. The Met Office said a further 10mm (0.4in) of rain could fall overnight. Neil an insurance brooker who specialises in assisting those with properties in flood areas has sent this information: More on this Here November 2010 Back to top

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Mundys estate agency in Lincoln wins an award for third year in row

Mundys estate agency in Lincoln which has won a UK Property Award for the third year in a row! Senior Partner Philip Barnatt and his colleagues will be going to a prestigious gala dinner in London on 26th and 27th November during which they will find out whether they have won a top 5* Award or a Highly Commended. More on this Here November 2010 Back to top

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Acquistion of Rentshield by Barbon Insurance

As of 29th October 2010 Rentshield Direct, Trading as Rentshield Direct Ltd, are now owned by the Barbon Insurance Group Ltd. "Under Barbon's devolved business model Rentshield will continue to operate autonomously from our Devon offices. We are looking forward to being part of the Barbon Group, to having its backing and support and to continued growth in the marketplace" said Rentshield Managing Director, Gary Abraham More on this Here November 2010 Back to top

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More flooding in the south of France

Heavy rain has hit the south of France again this weekend. Today 1st November, Nice Matin reported that 50 inhabitants at Villeneuve-Loubet were evacuated because of the risk of flooding. Part of Cagnes sur Mer was also affected. The A8 exit for Villeneuve Loubet (47) has had to be closed More on this Here November 2010 Back to top

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Spain and Italy doing well despite drop in Property searches

New figures have revealed a drop in overseas property hunters during September, but some countries continued to perform well. An overall drop in the number of Brits searching for an overseas property in September failed to rock the robust housing markets in Italy and Spain. Although figures from Rightmove and Moneycorp revealed a 17 per cent drop in the number of people looking to become holiday home insurance customers compared to August, interest in Italy remained high, and property searches in Tenerife rose by 3.79 per cent. More on this Here October 2010 Back to top

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HomeLet Insurance encourages Landlords to think about Rental Guarantee as difficult times face tenants

After months of speculation, the UK's "age of austerity" has begun; the government has announced the results of its Spending Review. HomeLet, the market leading provider of tenant referencing and Rent Guarantee services warns landlords these results could result in additional job losses and tenants defaulting on rent. The coalition Government has put deficit reduction at the heart of its economic policy, arguing that the poor state of the UK's public finances poses a greater threat to economic recovery than cuts in spending. More on this Here October 2010 Back to top

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HomeLet Rental Index shows surge in rents for the South West of the UK

The latest HomeLet Rental Index shows that the cost of the average rent in the South West of the UK increased by 6.78% in September when compared to August. This is the largest month on month increase for any region in the UK during 2010. Commenting on the latest Rental Index HomeLet Sales, Marketing and Operations Director, Heidi Abbott explained; “The latest HomeLet Rental Index reiterates the fact that the sustained demand for rented property over the summer has continued to out pace the supply of available properties in the UK. This demand has pushed up rental values, particularity in the South. More on this Here October 2010 Back to top

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The Golden Age for The Landlord? Rental Demand Reaches Record High ‘Generation Rent’ must be given Regulatory Protection

Following a recent statement issued by the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) commenting on the current buoyant market the lettings industry is currently experiencing, according to one Lincoln-based lettings agency there has never been a better time to be a landlord – an opinion that would seem to be backed up by ARLA's recent statement. The number of tenants seeking rental properties has reached an eight year high, according to research from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA). Letting agents from across the UK have reported a significant shortage of available rental properties as tenant demand far exceeds supply. Ian Potter, Operations Director of ARLA, said: “The market has bounced back in a way that no one could have predicted to levels of demand that have not been seen since the last century. More information Here October 2010 Back to top

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Flood Line Action Groups – Help is here

Fear not if the rising cost of flood insurance is giving you sleepless nights. The flooded area / flood affected insurance Expert Neil Cook of Equity and General Insurance Services is able to provide affordable premiums for property or business owners in the worst affected areas of the country and also in the flood plains. They obtain cover where others fail and substantial savings over existing insurers with cover provided by Lloyds of London. No matter how large your claim was or what your personal circumstances are, including those with criminal convictions, they promise to help you and include an unconditional guarantee to pass the policy onto any future buyer of the property. More information Here October 2010 Back to top

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Buy to let Opportunity in High Wycombe, Bucks

Last night Channel 4 News featured the state of the UK "Buy to Let" market. Despite the general state of the economy, the Buy to Let sector is doing well. The October edition of "Landlord & Buy-to-Let Magazine" has just come out and there is a report on page 2 entitled " Rents increase in buoyant market" - The lettings market remains buoyant, as demand and a shortage of properties pushes rents higher, says the latest RICS Residential Lettings Survey.Rutland Court, Rutland Street, High Wycombe is an ideal buy to let property. So close to the new Eden shopping centre you don't need to take your car so you can leave it home walk to the Eden to shop or be entertained in the vening to bowling, cinema or eating in a selection of restaurants or pubs. This flat that is in very good condition is available with no onward chain. The property comprises: security entry system, entrance hall, living room, kitchen, double bedroom, electric heating, double glazing, resident parking, communal gardens. Wye Estate Agents are marketing this and the asking price is only £139,950 More information Here October 2010 Back to top

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Insurance expert helps a lady in Ulverston, Cumbria

Insurance expert Neil Cook of Equity and General Insurance Services helped a lady in Ulverston who had been flooded. She lives in a typical terraced house and the brokers were able to arrange to insure her for less than £500. She mentioned that her neighbour had received a renewal quotation of £8,000 for a similar sized house and another neighbour £18,000. How can a normal family possibly afford to pay such a vast percentage of their annual income in insurance? More information Here October 2010 Back to top

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Buy to let insurance: new FSA plans - Rentguard News

A new proposal about the future of interest-only mortgages has sparked debate from experts, which people with landlord insurance will be interested in. The suggestion from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is that lenders should check the validity of their customers’ repayments methods at the start of a mortgage and periodically throughout its lifespan. This may put off some landlords with buy to let insurance investing in new property as, if the new rules came in, they would be checked up on by their mortgage provider for their ability to pay. However, it may also encourage more people to stay in rented accommodation. More information Here October 2010 Back to top

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Mundys estate agents launches iPhone app

Mundys estate agents in Lincolnshire launches iPhone app. Mundys is leading the way once again by becoming one of the first estate agencies in Lincolnshire to launch an application for the iPhone. The innovative and award-winning property specialist has developed the app to make it easier for people looking to buy or rent to find their dream home. As well as being able to search for nearby properties using GPS technology users can view property descriptions in full, scroll through hundreds of photographs and email details of properties to family and friends. More information Here October 2010 Back to top

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One year rent free living for University of Lincoln Student

Left: University of Lincoln student, Olivia Kirk (19), pictured with Lighthouse Property Services Office Manager, Jacqui Todd

Lucky University of Lincoln student Olivia Kirk has won a year’s free rent after entering Lighthouse Property Services’ annual prize draw worth over £3,000. This is the second year the property management firm has run the competition; last year’s winner - International Relations student Gregory Hodson (23) - saved over £2,000 by having all his rent paid by Lighthouse. All early bird students who signed tenancy agreements with the company between January and March 2010 were entered into the prize draw to win an entire year of rent-free living from this month (September). More information Here September 2010 Back to top

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Husband and wife fined over gas safety breaches

A couple who were co-landlords of a Bristol property have been fined after admitting breaching gas safety regulations. Atulkulmar Ratilal Patel, 55, and Chetna Atulkulmar Patel, 51, of Beaufort Street, Brynmawr, Gwent, were fined a combined total of £6,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800 at Bristol Magistrates' Court today. Mr Patel pleaded guilty to two charges after replacing a boiler without being competent to do so, and without being Gas Safe registered. He and his wife both pleaded guilty to another breach of health and safety law for being unable to provide a landlords' certificate. More information Here September 2010 Back to top

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Is the Private rented sector set to grow?

The Tenure Trends in the UK Housing System study indicated that the Private Rented Sector (PRS) could soon outgrow the social rented sector, as buy-to-let investor numbers grow. Did you know that if the PRS continues to grow at the same rate it will be larger than the social rented sector by 2013? For the first time in 100 years the number of owner-occupier homes in the UK has declined and the PRS has increased significantly. But will this trend continue? We take a quick look at some of the factors that will shape the future of the PRS. More information Here August 2010 Back to top

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Holiday home owners to lose tax breaks on holiday lets

The tax advantages on furnished holiday lets were reinstated by the Coalition after the previous Government abolished them in April.. George Osborne the Chancellor of the Exchequer reversed the measure in the June Budget saying he wanted to help small businesses operating in the tourism industry.However, the Treasury has now said it intends to make it much tougher for home owners to qualify for the breaks.The move comes as the Government prioritises reducing the country’s deficit. More information Here August 2010 Back to top

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The effects of the Commercial Property Market in Dublin, Ireland

Concerns of the future of Arnotts, one of Ireland's oldest department stores. It has been reported late last week the Dublin department store Arnotts (pictured left) has had the Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster Bank moving in to take control of it. The store employes 950 employees in Henry Sreet, Dublin and the banks are the backers of "Arnotts Northern Quarter Development". This has been put on hold because of the economic situation in Ireland. More information Here August 2010 Back to top

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New home sales fall for second month in Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that New home sales fell for a second straight month in June to a 17-month low, as rising interest rates continued to erode demand. The Housing Industry Association's home sales index dropped 5.1 per cent in June, following a 6.4 per cent drop in May, as the lingering effects of pricier loans acted as a deterrent to new buyers entering the market.

Victoria fared the worst, with house sales sliding 10 per cent, while New South Wales posted a 2.2 per cent fall. Sales of houses dropped 5.2 per cent in Western Australia and 5.1 per cent in Queensland, HIA said. In South Australia new home sales went backwards by 4.2 per cent.Nationwide, private house sales also dropped to a 17-month low, falling 6.6 per cent in June to 6,847. Meanwhile, purchases of multi-unit dwellings increased by 10.3 per cent, HIA said.August 2010 Back to top

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Landlord insurance is a cheap essential says Simple Insurance

New landlords who are waiting out the property market by renting out their homes should make sure they have the appropriate insurance. This is according to one comparison site, which notes that landlord insurance can be bought for under £100 from Simple insurance More information Here July 2010 Back to top

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NLA Property Woman of the Year 2010 is Juliet Ashton-Taylor

The 24th June 2010 saw the country’s leading property entrepreneurs gather together for the prestigious NLA Property Women Awards 2010. Competition was fierce, but it was Juliet Ashton-Taylor, a landlord from Gateshead, who stole the show to claim the title of NLA Property Woman of the Year 2010. The Awards were presented by property addict and TV presenter Melissa Porter, who praised the winner; “Juliet is a true ‘rags-to-riches’ story and she fully deserves this award." More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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HomeLet and Martin & Co offer new cover for Landlords

HomeLet, have developed an exclusive new Rent Guarantee product for landlords, called the Martin & Co Promise. The new product combines comprehensive cover and extremely competitive prices to provide landlords with market leading protection for their rental income,Commenting on the new product HomeLet Managing Director, John Boyle, said "Last year we saw an increase in the number of reported illegal evictions by landlords. Unfortunately I expect this figure to increase again in 2010, which is disappointing. At HomeLet our expert property legal specialists deal with the arrears in a professional manner, ensuring that the tenant is treated fairly whilst the landlord still receives the rent. In those cases where court proceeding are needed we take care of everything and support the landlord every step of the way. More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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There are a record breaking number of renewals for Martin & Co

The Martin & Co network have had many reasons to celebrate over the past year, with record breaking results and their domination of the industry’s national awards. However 2010 has given some of the network’s award winning offices an additional reason to toast to the future. Ten Martin & Co offices across the UK have reaffirmed their commitment to the UK’s no.1 letting agent by renewing their franchise agreements for another 5 years More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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NLA welcomes Government re-think on draconian shared housing rules

Following a campaign by the National Landlords Association (NLA), the Government has today announced it will be looking to end blanket shared housing planning regulations in favour of a more targeted approach.Local authorities will need to tailor recent shared housing planning rule changes to areas where high concentrations of shared housing are causing problems. More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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Mundys in Lincoln strenghten Management Team

Award-winning estate agency Mundys in Lincoln has strengthened its senior management team by making two of its most committed and talented staff members associates. Mundys was named the Best Estate Agency in Lincolnshire for the second year running after winning five stars in the prestigious Daily Mail UK Property Awards in October 2009. Mundys Residential Lettings Department has been ranked as the third-best letting agents in the East Midlands region at the recent UK Estate Agent and Letting Agent of the Year Awards 2010 More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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HomeLet sponsors Bloom Apprenticeship Academy for Estate and Letting Agents

HomeLet, the specialist land and tenant insurance provider and tenant referencing service, has announced that it is to sponsor the Bloom Apprenticeship Academy for Estate and Letting Agents The Apprenticeship Academy, which launches with its first intake of young people in October in Birmingham, aims to deliver the next generation of well educated, commercially-aware estate and letting agents to help promote professionalism in the industry. More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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Well-meaning but flawed" - Register of landlords to be ditched in UK

The "well-meaning but flawed" national register of landlords will not be brought forward by the current Government, according to Housing Minister, Grant Shapps MP, speaking in the House of Commons today. Earlier in the week, the Minister had suggested that a national register could well be "another HIPs" and would not encourage further investment in the private-rented sector. More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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UK Housing Minister Grant Shapps promises 'no more red tape' for private landlords

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today promised England's one million landlords that the Government has no plans to introduce new regulations on the private rented sector. New regulations were proposed by the previous administration in response to the Rugg Review of the Private Rented Sector, but have been judged by the new coalition to introduce too much additional red tape. These included a National Register of Landlords, regulation of letting and managing agents, and compulsory written tenancy agreements.More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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High Wycombe Landlord fined for unsafe house

Itlaf Hussain was ordered to pay £6,758 in fines and costs over the condiion in a terrace house in Oakridge Road, High Wycombe, Bucks that he had let out.There were 24 separate electric defects including a 13amp power point in the shower cubilcle, no electrical earthing for the property and bare live wires sticking out of an outside wall. The soil pipe from the WC had a hole in it and was bound in gaffer tape and not properly connected to the drainage system and leaked. More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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ARLA has appointed Sue Hughes-Thomas as president

ARLA has appointed Sue Hughes-Thomas as president. Having become a letting agent 24 years ago, Mrs Hughes-Thomas then worked her way through the ranks of ARLA's regional, national and divisional councils. Speaking about her appointment Mrs Hughes-Thomas said that "I am honoured and excited at becoming ARLA's next president. I'm looking forward to promoting ARLA's remit far and wide, showing people why using an ARLA-licensed agent is so important put simply, it's the only way to ensure both landlord and tenant are protected. More information Here June 2010 Back to top

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Rents start rising again in the UK as demand outstrips supply

A lack of supply is pushing rents higher signalling a revival in the lettings market, says the latest RICS Lettings Survey. The net balance of chartered surveyors reporting rising rather than falling rents rose from zero to 30 percent - a marked contrast to April last year when 58 percent more chartered surveyors were reporting falling rents, an all-time low for the survey. Surveyors are optimistic that rents will continue to rise with the rental expectations net balance climbing to 36 percent - the highest figure recorded in the survey's history More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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Irish Landords under pressure from falling rents

The Daft.ie report has described the year on year "collapse" in rental income as "pretty shocking". According to the report "Still a renter’s market, as supply outpaces demand and that this isn’t going to change so long as supply outpaces demand." Rents fell by just under half a percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to the latest report published by the property website, Daft.ie. Having risen in January, rents fell back slightly in each of the three following months and the average rent nationwide now stands at just under €760 More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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HIPS are history but EPC's are not

The Government has scrapped Home Information Packs (HIPs) in the hope of kick starting the housing market in England and Wales*. The requirement to provide a HIP when selling a home was suspended on 21 May 2010 and will be abolished shortly. This means that homes put on the market on or after 21 May 2010 will no longer need a HIP. Landlords and homeowners will still need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before selling or letting homes More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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NLA Campaign regarding Capital Gains Tax -May 21st 2010

Capital Gains Tax - Stand up and be counted -Treasury plan Capital Gains Tax raid Following a General Election campaign, where housing was barely mentioned, the new Government should be focused on encouraging investment in residential property. The NLA - National Landlords Association has just emailed Landlords on it mailing list about their latest campaign. More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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HIPS - Home Information Packs suspended 20th May

The new coalition Conservative Liberal Democrate government has suspended controversial home information packs today. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Housing Minister Grant Shapps suspended the packs, known as HIPs, with immediate effect pending primary legislation to permanently abolish them. Both parties had stated in their coalition agreement to get rid of the packs, which were introduced by Labour in 2007. May 2010 Back to top

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Landlords must be included in new Capital Gains Tax exemptions

Capital gains from the sale of residential property must be included in the “generous exemptions” if Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is increased, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA). Following a General Election campaign where housing was barely mentioned, the new Government must be focused on encouraging investment in residential property. The new CGT regime will act as a significant disincentive for landlords considering further investment. More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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Having difficulty letting your holiday rental in 2010?

Has the downturn of the world economy finally caught up with the self catering holiday rentals business? 2010 could prove to be a difficult year. At jmlvillas.com we are still seeing a lot of copy email enquiries going to property owners, however some of the feedback from owners is that it is quieter than usual. People have concerns about jobs and flight disruption. British Airways cabin crew are planning more strikes later in May and the Volcanic ash problem from Iceland is not blowing away.More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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Freak waves cause havoc in the Nice area

Massive waves have hit the French Riviera between Nice and Cannes causing major material damage to the densely-populated coast on Tuesday afternoon 4th May. The freak weather struck as the region is preparing to host the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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County Down estate and lettings agency Pinkerton Murray Strikes Gold

Pinkerton Murray has won has been recognised for its excellent customer service in the 2010 Estate Agent & Letting Agent Awards (Estas). It achieved the highest possible accolade, winning gold in both the estate agents category and letting agents category for Northern Ireland. More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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Lighthouse Property Services of Lincoln offers broadband

Lighthouse Property Services in Lincoln is the first lettings firm in the UK to offer tenants an exclusive wireless broadband service that can be used both at home and throughout the city for free and all on the same network More information Here May 2010 Back to top

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Rising Rents Pose Potential Risk for Landlords in the UK

Following the recent RICS residential lettings survey and FindaProperty Rental index which both reveal an increase in rental prices HomeLet is urging landlords to protect their monthly income. According to Managing Director John Boyle continued increases could cause problems for landlords further down the line as people looking to rent may not be able to afford to do so or may struggle to make their monthly rental payments. More information Here April 2010 Back to top

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Letsure sets up insurance deal with Hamptons Letting Agents

Lettings insurance specialist Letsure has agreed a deal to provide insurance products to landlord customers of residential agency Hamptons International. The new product, which covers rent and legal protection, will cover landlords against losses that occur as a result of unforeseen events, such as tenants failing to pay their rent or breaching the terms of the tenancy. More information Here April 2010 Back to top

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AIIC Inventory Clerk of the Year Award

The Aassociation of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC)announced the winner of the 2010 Award for Inventory Clerk of the Year. Emma Goddard (pictured right receiving her award from AIIC Charman Patricia Barber) of EG Inventories, Bournemouth. She received a cheque for £100. The AIIC is the UK's largest membership organisation for independent inventory clerks. See: Professional Property Organisations March 2010 Back to top

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HomeLet Launches £500 Prize Draw for Landlords

Great news if you are a landlord with a HomeLet insurance policy. To celebrate the successful launch of Landlord's Insurance+ specialist insurers HomeLet are giving landlords the chance to win £500 of B&Q vouchers. More information Here March 2010 Back to top

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Is the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France for sale?

Is the Carlton in Cannes up for sale? Passing it earlier this week it had a large BNP Paribas Real Estate sign hanging from the front. It does not appear the hotel is being advertised for sale, but Cannes is hosting the 2010 MIPIM conference between the March 16 to 19th March 2010. This is the large gathering of international property professionals. According to a report in "The Daily Telegraph" earlier this week. "The Irish Times" Thursday 18th March Property section had a heading "No Cannes do for Irish" saying that ", only a handful of Irish are in attendance. More information Here March 2010 Back to top

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Many UK Landlords facing fines

The March / April edition of "Landlord & Buy-to-Let Magazine" It has numerous reports of landlords being fined like - Oxfordshire Landlord fined for ignoring gas safety, Landlord fined for unsafe conditions - A landlord has been fined £15,000 after Lewisham Council prosecuted him for leaving his rented property in unsafe and dangerous conditions. Record fine for landlord - A Haydock landlord has been fined £6,000 by St Helens Magistrates who heard a catalogue of housing hazards at his rented property. Landlord's fine for housing offences reduced - Following an appeal in the Crown Court on Thursday 7th January 2010, a Sneinton landlord has had his near maximum fine of £62,061 for three HMOs - Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing offences and three management offences reduced by half and made subject to a 12 month custodial sentence if the fine is not paid within 12 months. More information Here March 2010 Back to top

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ARLA launches buy-to-let mortgage comparison site

Landlords keen to expand their portfolios will be pleased to hear that the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) has launched ARLA Mortgages, an online comparison site. The free service is aimed specifically at the buy-to-let borrower and is flanked by sister sites, NAEA Mortgages for residential purchases and ICBA Mortgages for the commercial property sector.

The service was unveiled at the 2010 ARLA Conference in conjunction with sister products NAEA Mortgages for residential purchases and ICBA Mortgages for the commercial property sector. More information Here March 2010 Back to top

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Insurance advice following storms in France this week

LA tempête Xynthia, which ripped through south west France during Saturday 27th February and Sunday morning 28th February 2010, has been declared a catastrophe naturelle by Prime Minister François Fillon. This means insurance companies are obliged to take into account flood damage and the government will publish details of the areas covered in the next 48 hours. Property insurance company Intasure have asked owners of properties damaged by the storm winds that hit south west France to contact them so that any claims can be processed. Intasure are asking policy holders to take photographs of the damage that has been caused and to get written quotes for the work required. More information Here March 2010 Back to top

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Rental increases in UK - Landlords should still be cautious

The latest FindaProperty.com Rental Index has just been published and is encouraging; however the recovery is not over yet.More information here March 2010 Back to top

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More Benefits for HomeLet Premier Customers

From March 1st 2010,HomeLetcustomers will have access to two new exciting benefit packages. In response to a survey of its current Premier customers, many of whom are among the UK's leading residential lettings and property management businesses, HomeLet has enhanced its Premier membership benefits and launched the brand new PremierPlus membership package. The improved benefits packages have been designed specifically for letting agents who are keen not just to succeed, but thrive in today's tough economic climate. More information here March 2010 Back to top

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Irish quit the Cote d'Azur

This was the headline that was in Thursday 25th 2010 "Irish Times -Property Residential" section. It appears from the article that Irish people under financial pressure at home are trying to release the equity they sank into second homes on the Riviera.Agents like Ennis, of World Homes Investments in Dublin, sold apartments and villas on the Riviera as prices rose between 2000 and the peak in 2008, many by as much as 70 per cent. They have fallen since then, but not by much more than 10 per cent, according to Ennis. More Information here February 2010 Back to top

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Letting Agents Positive about the Future of Lettings in the UK

Letting agents are more optimistic about the future of the market than they were almost a year ago despite the continued lack of financing for buy-to-let mortgages, according to HomeLet, the market-leading tenant referencing and specialist insurance provider to the lettings industry, conducted an independent customer satisfaction survey in December 2009 which revealed that 98% of agents expect the lettings market to stay the same, grow or grow substantially in the next 12 months. This is up by 12% on January 2009. More Information here February 2010 Back to top

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Foxtons slapped with OFT order

The Negotiator Magazine has repotted that Foxtons has been banned from using certain commission terms within its lettings agreements as a result of a final High Court order secured by the Office of Fair Trading. The order revealed on February 22, 2010, prevents the London agency from using terms, which require landlords to pay renewal commission to Foxtons after the sale of their property to a third party because the original tenant remains in occupation, and those which require landlords to pay a sales commission to Foxtons in the event they sell the property to their tenant.

It follows a landmark judgment in the High Court last July in proceedings brought by the OFT under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. The court accepted that all the terms the OFT complained of were unfair. Foxtons had until 29 January 2010 to lodge an appeal, which the agency initiated in December, but aborted last week. The order has resulted in Foxtons overhauling its standard lettings contract terms, limiting renewal fees to two renewals. Commission is also now only payable where the original tenant remains in occupation, and the landlord will get a pro rata refund where the tenant leaves the property before the date set out in his lease. The OFT plans to contact lettings agents to highlight acceptable terms of business. Foxtons declined to comment. February 2010 Back to top

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Rents rise for first time in two years in Ireland

Rents have risen for the first time in two years according to the latest survey by property website Daft.ie. Rents across the country rose by just over 1 per cent in January the survey found. The national average rent now stands at €765, almost 25 per cent lower than the peak levels seen in early 2008. The January increase follows sharp falls in rents iIn 2009. More Information here February 2010 Back to top

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Cold Snap Could Prove Costly for Landlords says HomeLet Insurance

Landlords who don't have specialist buildings and contents insurance could end up having to pay out thousands of pounds in call-out charges and repair costs for damage caused by a boiler breakdown or leaks from tanks or pipes. The UK's leading insurance provider to the lettings industry is warning property owners that trying to save money by cutting back on things like insurance could cost them in the long-run particularly at this time of year when temperatures drop below freezing point. More Information here January 2010 Back to top

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Some of the stories from 2009 below, the rest Here

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The Money Centre about to close

Lloyds Banking Group, which now owns a Monopoly over the buy-to-let mortgage market, have chosen to refuse to accept new business applications from The Money Centre. They have done this without providing us with an opportunity to meet the decision makers to review their rational or to appeal their decision. More Information here December 2009 Back to top

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Interest in overseas property soars

Primelocation’s International Search Index has revealed that in November, the number of searches for international property doubled, when compared to a year earlier. The website logged over one million foreign property searches, taking levels of interest back up to pre credit crisis days. More Information here December 2009 Back to top

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UK Rents have declined for the second consecutive month

The Negoiator has reported this according to the latest buy-to-let index from LSL Property Services.Rents fell by 0.6% in November, taking rents back to the levels seen at the end of August, reveals the group, which owns Your Move, Reeds Rains and Halifax. This follows four months of rapid rental inflation during the summer when rents rose at an annual pace of 13%. Half of the country’s regions saw declines, but rents fell fastest in the South East, down 3.3% in the month.

Only the Midlands and the East of England experienced increases in November. Landlords saw yields slip to 4.9% in November, a level last seen in November 2008, though they were 0.3% lower when adjusted for void periods. Nevertheless, investors who bought property a year ago have made a total return of 4.1%, which is the best annual total return on LSL’s record, which begins with property purchased in June 2007. The group’s index shows that in November, a typical rental property made £809 in capital gains and earned £665 in rental income, totalling £1,474.

Arrears worsened in November, with 525,000 tenants having not paid their rent on time, up from an unusually low 495,000 in October. Collectively, tenants owed £261m in overdue rent last month. December 2009 Back to top

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HomeLet Launch New Range of Landlord's Insurance

HomeLet, who have been supporting the lettings industry since the birth of buy-to-let, have used their knowledge and expertise to deliver their most comprehensive range of landlord's insurance products to date.After months of development and years in the making HomeLet have launched Landlord's Insurance+ More Information here December 2009 Back to top

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Holiday Homes Hit in UK pre-budget report from April 2010

The British Government's Pre-Budget presented on Wednesday 9th December 09 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) will affect the owners of holiday homes. Individuals and companies who rent out holiday homes like the ones advertised on jmlvillas.com the low cost villa advertising service are set to lose their tax breaks and pay the same rate of tax as if they were renting out property in the UK. More Information here December 2009 Back to top

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Lettings business grows in Glasgow with Letsure

Letsure have just launched a recruitment campaign to increase the number of staff at their credit search reference centre at Granite House, Stockwell Street, Glasgow. The company that was established in 1983 has been based in Glasgow for many years and as Lumley Holdings Group up until it became part of the Erinaceous Insurance Group in 2007 being part of the same group that owned it's major competitor HomeLet. More Information here October 2009 Back to top

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Halifax Estate Agents to be sold for £1

Lloyds Banking Group has reached an agreement in principle to sell its Halifax Estate Agencies to LSL for £1. The sale is expected to complete on January 15. The Halifax brand is not included in the sale and the Halifax estate agencies will be re-branded to either Your Move, Reeds Rains or Intercounty. There are 218 branches including 93 franchise operations involved in the £1 sale. There are 121 Halifax banking counters in the estate agent branches which will close early in the New Year. As a result, there will be about 360 job losses on the banking side. It is anticipated that about 1,050 estate agency staff will go with the sale to LSL. More Information here October 2009 Back to top

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Letting agent in Chester goes into liquidation

A letting agent in Chester has gone into liquidation after it emerged he owes almost £200,000 to a variety of creditors. Martin & Co franchisee Geoff Lavery owed nearly £100,000 to different landlords and tenants and another £86,000 to companies such as Rightmove and Homelet. Martin & Co could, and should, have acted sooner in the case of the Chester franchise, the National Approved Letting Scheme has suggested. This has been strongly denied by the company which will this week seek a High Court warrant for the arrest of its former franchisee. Martin & Co chief executive Ian Wilson said that it is a major issue in the lettings industry that agencies use rental money and tenants’ deposits as their own cashflow, and he said there was no effective regulation. More Information here October 2009 Back to top

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Major improvement project at the Port of Nice that could cause property prices to rise

Work has just started tjhis week on a three phase restoration project of the port in Nice, France that will make it more accesible to the main city, have underground parking and wider pavements.The  120 million budget programme should be completed in 2011. More Information here October 2009 Back to top

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Cut price Canadian holiday home condos for sale

There are condominimumum suites in a Canadian development at Red Leaves,Muskoka, Ontario that is 2 hours north of Torronto had prices of $294,000 Cdn to over $700,000 Cdn. The last 84 suires are being offered from $1666,00 Cdn. The average price cut is abouut 35 per cent. Red Leaves developer Ken Fowler's company went into receivership a few months ago.August 2009 Back to top

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Review of ARLA Agreement Magazine on Insurance

The August edition has been called "Insurance Special". Rental property insurance has become a major industry with the growth of the domestic rental market in the UK over the last few years. Many insurance providers offer a tenant referencing service these days and no landlord or tenant should not be with out the appropriate insurance. The magazine is geared for the members of ARLA and naturally the magazine is full of ads for insurance, letting agent software, rental furnishings and other related topics More here August 2009 Back to top.

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Gas Safety Register Confusion

Gas Safe Register appear to be advising on their helpline that a landlord is obliged to obtain a new gas safety certificate every time a tenancy is entered into, notwithstanding any current gas safety certificate that is in place. According to the Pain Smith Landlord and Tenant Blog this is not the position.More here July 2009 Back to top

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Ikea finally opens in Dublin, Ireland

The second Ikea store in Ireland opens for business on Monday 27th July. It is is the first in the Republic and at 31,800sq m is the largest store. Located at Ballymun in North Dublin just off the M50 motorway. There has been a five year wait, two years of which related to planning it finally opens. The M50 motorway had to be widened before the store could open for business. The Ikea Belfast store opened in December 2007. See also Ikea could face a long delay before it builds in Dublin, Ireland Property News 2007 and Visiting Ikea Dublin a few months after it opened - October 09 on jmlvillas Blog July 2009 Back to top

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Hôtel Negresco in Nice, France -The owner has bequeathed it to a foundation for animals and the poor

Mme Jeanne Augier the owner of the famous Hôtel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais has agreed that the hotel will be handed over to a charity on her death. The hotel was built by a Romanian entrepreneur, Henri Negresco in 1913 and it was bought by Mme Augier's father in 1957. The 86 old owner wants the property to remain French owned and the Mesange-Augier-Negresco foundation will also take control of her property portfolio in Nice, Grasse and Paris.More here July 2009 Back to top

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French housing market moving again

According to a news report in the August 09 edition of "Living France" magazine after several slow months, there are certain factors that are coming in to stimulate the French property market. Le Crédit Lyonnais (LCL) has received a record number of mortgage applications in May - some 3,000 application from domestic and international buyers. Properties are now being offered for sale at much more realistic prices. The mortgage broker CAFPI forecasts that the price of luxury properties in France will remain stable in 2009.July 2009 Back to top

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You can now buy a second home for less than €100,000 in Italy

The August 09 edition of "Italy" magazine reports on a silver lining to the current economic crisis. Whereas not so long ago it was difficult to find a second home (unless it was remote or a wreck for under €100,000. However with vendors pricing property more competitively the magazine has sourced three delightful homes ranging from a two bedroom cottage 15 minutes from the beach at Scano di Montifeffo in Sardinia for €80,000 and a one bedroom townhouse in Gualdo Tadino, Umbria for €97,000 for further information see the August edition of Italy magazine page 69 £3.75.July 2009 Back to top

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Ryanair to charge £5 to check in on line from October 09

From October 1st the low cost carrier will be charging every customer £5 to check in on line when it introduces its new web check-in and bag-drop system.. Passengers can check-in online from 15 days to four hours before a flight If passengers forget or are unable, they will be charged £40 to be checked in at the airport. The airline will also charge £100 to change the name on a booking online, or £150 over the phone.July 2009 Back to top

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Summer is here and Seaside property prices have rocketed 115% since 2001, according to new research from Halifax

This is higher than the 96% average increase in house prices across England and Wales. The Halifax Estate Agents Seaside Town Review, out today [July 4], tracks housing affordability in 96 seaside towns across England and Wales. It reveals that 90% of these have seen prices increase by over 100% since 2001. Houses in Pwllheli, North-West Wales, have increased the most, with the average house price up from £70,970 to £217,253.

This is followed by property in Rock in Cornwall, where prices have increased 200% from £102,825 to £308,073, and Maryport in Cumbria, with prices up 177% from 41,096 to £113,641. Property in Whitehaven was most affordable in the first quarter of the year, according to the research, which classifies property as affordable if the average house price in the town is lower than the price someone on average earnings can pay. The top 10 least affordable seaside locations to live in the first quarter were in the South West, with Sandbanks in Dorset topping the list, followed by St Mawes, Rock and Fowey. Source The Negotiator July 2009 Back to top

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NAEA Survey shows demand is outstripping supply - four house hunters for every property in the UK

Demand is outstripping supply across the UK housing market, with estate agents registering four house hunters to every available property. The monthly market survey of the National Association of Estate Agents found that the average branch had 299 house hunters on its books in May - up from 265 the previous month and 247 in May 2008.The average branch had 69 properties on its books. For the second month running estate agents also reported a successful selling period. The average branch sold 10 properties, a 30 per cent increase on the same time last year and double that sold on average in August 2008. Gary Smith, President of the NAEA, said: "This is really good news for the housing market and the UK economy in general.

"NAEA members are showing that there are buyers a-plenty out there. More often than not these are also potential sellers who are at the beginning of the process - so there is bound to be a lag which creates a shortage of properties in the short term. With mortgage interest rates at historically low levels and prices now far more realistic than in previous years, home ownership in the UK seems to be set to lead the way out of the recession." Source NAEA July 2009 Back to top

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LSL reveals 560,000 tenants in arrears

According to new research from LSL Property Services. This is equivalent to 11.6% of all rent due, according to the research, which is based on 18,000 rental properties and tenancies from around the UK. Around 133,000 tenants faced potential eviction for arrears at the end of May, equivalent to one in 25 renters. A whopping 557,170 tenants had not paid their rent at the end of last month, with one in seven of these over two months late with their payments. Tenants in England and Wales were collectively behind with their rent by £254m. June 2009 Back to top

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Rise in US Home sales in May 09

US home sales were up 2.4 per cent in May, but prices were still depressed, the National Association of Realtors has reported. May’s increase was the first back-to-back monthly gain since September 2005.A NAR practitioner survey in May showed first-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of transactions, and that the number of buyers looking at homes is nearly 10 percentage points higher than a year ago.June 2009 Back to top

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Landlords in Ireland warned about Drug Factories

A report in The Irish Times on the 22nd June has stated that Landlords who own houses in rural area have been urged by Gardai (Irish police) to ensure they are not being used as drug factories.

The warning comes following a Vietnamese last week was convicted of turning a rented house into a cannabis growing factory. The report said that Son Van Hoaing aged 57 admitted cultivating cannabis plants at Lissacull, Castlerea, Co Roscommon in August 2008.

Gardai found 180 plants inside the house and cannabis herb worth about €124,000. Gardai are now fearing similar factories have been set up around the State. A Garda spokesperson said "The people who rent these houses make sure the rent is paid on time and do nothing in the community which might attract attention". As in Britain, landlords should inspect their properties regularly and if they are employing a managing agent instruct them to carry out routine inspections.

When checking a property be on the lookout for:

  • Rooms being locked and access barred - ensure you inspect these and if you are suspicious if you are being told someone is asleep in a room still request to see it.
  • Lights being left on all day and night and curtains and blinds drawn
  • Strong smells of de-odourisers or air fresheners to disguise the smell of drug production.
  • Possible rewiring " High humidity in the property
  • Look in sheds and outhouses and garages and the attic area

See also: Landlords: could your property be housing a cannabis factory? 11 March 20 June 2009 Back to top

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HomeLet releases a new Tenant's contents insurance product available via jml insurance

HomeLet the major Landlord and Tenant insurance provider in the UK is releasing a new Tenant's contents insurance product. The insurance provider has been listening to customer feedback and introduced "Tenant's Contents Insurance +". The new tenant insurance is more affordable by Tenants.More here June 2009 Back to top

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Home insurance premiums up 25% in Ireland

Home insurance premiums in Ireland have sky-rocketed this year despite record unemployment and drastic price cuts across other sectors of the Irish economy More here June 2009 Back to top

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Tenants and Renters - Have you got your property insured? New HomeLet Tenant's insurance product being launched

The market leader HomeLet is introducing a new tenants insurance policy on Friday 19th June 09. The reason behind this is that have done a lot of research into the market place. HomeLet will now allow up to three people to share the same policy, as long as they’re employed and not a full-time student. They looked at their prices in those areas which are still in the higher bandings. They realised they were a little uncompetitive, and that many tenants decided not to buy, so HomeLet has updated these too. Find out more by seeing this sory in full at the jml insurance Blog June 2009 Back to top

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Irish property market might be very quiet but "Estate agents correx boards" have had a lot of use

(click on image)There are not so many properties selling in Ireland in 2009, however the manufacturers of correx the material normally used for estate agents for sale and sold boards has once again had a new lease of life thanks to the Local and European elections. More on this here June 2009 Back to top

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High Court winds up Lancashire agency

Lancashire-based Saxtons has been closed down by the High Court for the misappropriation of client funds. In a statement issued by the Insolvency Service today, the group is accused of failing to pay rental payments collected on behalf of landlords and failing to refund deposits collected from tenants. The group, which comprised Saxtons (Residential Lettings) Limited, Saxtons Residential Limited and Saxtons (Burnley) Limited, operated as estate agents and letting agents in the Rossendale area until it was wound up in the High Court last month following an investigation by the Companies Investigation Branch of the Insolvency Service. The investigation discovered numerous complaints made by landlords and tenants about the wrongful retention of rental payments and deposits. It also discovered that the group did not operate a tenancy deposit scheme, despite claiming to do so, while falsely claiming to be members of industry bodies, which it wasn't. Source The Negotiator June 2009 Back to top

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Houses prices in Ireland continue to fall as buyers hold out for further declines

The Irish Times has reported that house prices fell 1.9 per cent in April according to the latest edition of the Permanent TSB/Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) house price index. The April decline in average national house prices marks an accelaration in the monthly drops in the first 3 months of 2009. Property prices in Ireland have now fallen back to levels last seen in 2004. The average house price in April 2009 was €248.640 compared with €311,078 in February 2007.More information here May 2009 Back to top

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French Property Tax Deadline

If you own a property in France you should have completed your tax return by the 31st May. The French tax authorities could have sent you the fdecration form "Avis Impôt sur le revenue". They have a specialist department for non resident owners "CDI Non Residents" at 93465 NOISY-GD- CEDEX. If you don't actually let your property, you must not ignore the form, fill it in and send a letter explaining that you don't let the property or have stopped letting it.More information here May 2009 Back to top

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FindaProperty.com's May Rental Index has just been published

The property search engine for buying and renting has just published the May rental index for the UK. It was the first time that rents have not shown a month-on-month decline since as far back as August 2008. Average asking rents remain unchanged at £819 pcm, but are still 5.5% lower than May 2008 when rents stood at £867 pcm. In May 2009, the average time a property to rent was on the market was 65 days, 16 days longer than May 2008. Asking rents rose in 23 of 33 London boroughs, with the Capital experiencing a month-on-month rise of 0.4 per cent. This took the average rent from £1,623 pcm in April 2009 to £1,630 pcm in May 2009. .More information here May 2009 Back to top

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South Bucks Estate Agents Roberts Newby acquires new office

Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire -based Roberts Newby has bought the lease of Chalfont St Giles-based Colman & Green. The branch, which closed down around nine months ago, is currently undergoing a £20,000 refurbishment, will be rebranded as Robert Newby Partnership. Simon Colman has been drafted in to run the branch. Colman, who has spent the last few years working in property development, founded the agency, later selling it to John Green in the mid-90s, who himself sold out five years ago. John Green was a former partner of A C Frost & Co before they sold to the Prudential and later started up again as The Frost Partnership.The most recent owners are understood to have ceased trading around nine months ago. Source Negotiator / jml archive. May 2009 Back to top

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Insurance in Ireland – Household and Landlord Insurance now available in Ireland

Following on from the successful launch of Irish Property insurance on the jml Insurance website in November 2008, www.irishpropertyinsurance.com Kay International can offer cover for the Republic of Ireland. This site offers introductions to companies like Intasure Home and Holiday Home insurance and with Kay International Plc coming on board as an introducer offering a complete spectrum of household and residential property insurance products ranging from simple landlords cover through to blocks of flats and property portfolios. More information here May 2009 Back to top

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Property price fall lures investors to Europe

The Financial Times has reported thatSharp price falls in European property hotspots and a gradual strengthening of the pound are luring cash-rich UK investors back to the continental mainland just in time for summer. Foreign exchange providers and estate agents are reporting revived interest from cash-rich Britons looking to snap up holiday homes in popular locations across France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. More information here May 2009 Back to top

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OEA becomes TPO

The Ombudsman for Estate Agents has rebranded as The Property Ombudsman Service. The name change marks boost to consumer protection in property sector.The OEA was founded as the Ombudsman for Corporate Eastate Agents in 1990. In 1998 it included residential estate agents and in June 2006 lettings and property management agents.

Christopher Hamer is the Property Ombudsman. There will be a new logo for window displays, in blue with the OFT Approved Codes symbol alongside for sales offices and green without the OFT logo for lettings. Commercial property sales members will have a black logo when the scheme expands soon to cover some of their activities. The Ombudsman will look into a complaint to see if he can resolve your dispute in full and final settlement. More information here

They have submitted our lettings Code of Practice to the OFT for endorsement under its Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, which they see as vital in current market conditions where lettings are dominating activity. The TPO can also resolve disputes referred by landlords or tenants and relating to lettings and management agents that are members of the Scheme. These agents follow the Code of Practice for Letting Agents, for which we are seeking OFT approval, in common with the Code of Practice for Residential Sales, however disputes relating to repayment of deposits paid by tenants and which are protected by an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme should be referred to the relevant deposit protection scheme. More information here May 2009 Back to top

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Ex JNP Director and Philip Green Estate Agents staff open new Estate Agents in High Wycombe, Bucks

The 1st June is the date that Wye Residential opens its doors in Crendon Street, High Wycombe. There are four partners. Darell Litchfield is a former Director of The JNP Partnership who left JNP last September to become a property consultant, but has decided to move back into sales. He has over 26 years local experience. He is joined by ex Philip Green Estate Agents staff - Partners in the new venture Steve Harnett, Sean Owen and Rob Mackay. May 2009 Back to top

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New buy-to-let lending fell for the sixth consecutive quarter in the first three months of 2009

New buy-to-let lending fell for the sixth consecutive quarter in the first three months of 2009, reflecting the continuation of extremely challenging funding conditions as well as general housing market weakness, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Buy-to-lending accounted for 6% of all gross mortgage lending in the first quarter, down from 12% a year earlier.

There were 22,400 new buy-to-let mortgages advanced in the first quarter, down from 38,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 72,400 in the first quarter of last year. The total number of outstanding buy-to-let mortgages was 1,155,200 at the first quarter, slightly down from 1,157,000 at the end of 2008. By value, buy-to-let gross advances totalled £2.1 billion in the first quarter, down from £4.0 billion in the fourth quarter and £9.5 billion in the first quarter of last year. More Information here May 2009 Back to top

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National register for English landlords proposed

The government has published its long-awaited response to the Rugg Review of the private rented sector. Proposals include:

  • National register for all English landlords
  • Mandatory regulation of letting and managing agents
  • Raising standards through training and accreditation
  • Encouraging institutional investment in rented property

The proposed national landlord register would be run by an independent body. Landlords would have to register their name, home address and all rental addresses every twelve months.

The details of this scheme and the other proposals have yet to be published. The government has indicated that it will publish draft legislation later this year, but how the economy and the impending General Election may affect this remains to be seen. To read the government’s proposals in full and for the NLA’s initial response find out more here May 2009 Back to top

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Irish house prices halve in two years

According to a report in www.estateagenttoday.co.uk on the 8th May 09, one of the worst affected is southern Ireland. Property prices in Dublin have dropped by 52% since 2007 – and one in five buyers today are paying cash

A report by the Irish Times looks at data on 192 house sales in the city in the first four months of this year. Almost all had been on the market since last year, and some since 2007. Only two of the 192 properties sold for above their asking prices and both were in low price brackets. The report also reveals why Irish auctioneers no longer reveal the prices they have achieved.

This is because in Ireland it is illegal to give out exact prices without the written permission of both buyer and seller. Auctioneers used to say ‘in the region of’ when revealing prices, but the National Consumer Agency threatened prosecution under the Consumer Protection Act unless they gave exact prices. The Agency had warned that some prices had been deliberately exaggerated as the market fell. However, it is known that the number of auctions in Ireland has fallen sharply from 1,500 in 2006 to just 127 last year. May 2009 Back to top

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Philip Green Estate Agents Buckinghamshire Taken Over

Philip Green and Partmers have been taken over by LSL Property Services who are the third largest property company in the UK. They also own well known estate agents like Your Move and Reeds Raine. Philip Green and Partners was established in 1993 by Philip Green and James Dimascio. The new Managing Director is Nick Devenport who has confirmed that although owned by a coporate it would remain an independently run concern. Philip Green has sales offices in High Wycombe, Hazlemere and Prestwood. May 1st 2009 Back to top

From The Negotiator 14th May 2009 LSLi snaps up Philip Green & Partners from administrators

LSLi has acquired High Wycombe-based Philip Green & Partners as part of its ongoing acquisition strategy. The agency, which was established in 1993, has three sales offices in Hazlemere, Prestwood and Stokenchurch, in addition to High Wycombe, where it lettings business also resides, though this is a completely separate entity.

LSLi, the subsidiary of LSL Property Services, has drafted in Nick Devonport to run the agency and manage its 17 staff. He was previously managing director of the residential division of Surrey-based Campsie, before which he worked for LSL for 11 years. Speaking exclusively to The Negotiator, he says he plans to keep all existing staff, and is in the process of recruiting four or five additional sales staff as part of plans to expand into the upper end of the market. The agency’s average property price is currently £230,000. May 2009 Back to top

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Londoners Most at Risk from Burglary - Endsleigh Names UK Burglary Hotspots

London has been named the UK's riskiest city for household theft while Preston is the safest, according to a new report published on the 14th April by Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited. The new figures were revealed in Endsleigh's 'Homes Report 2009', which shows the top ten safest and riskiest towns and cities for burglaries in the UK. More Information here April 2009 Back to top

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Buckinghamshire agent jailed for theft

The Negotiator UK' estate agent trade magazine has just reported that Former Frost Partnership agent John Christopher Jeffery has been sentenced to prison for eight months. Jeffery, a former manager at Frost's Flackwell Heath branch in Buckinghamshire for nearly 10 years, was sentenced after pleading guilty to a charge of theft by employee at Aylesbury Crown Court on February 16.

During the hearing it emerged that Jeffery had stolen more than £40,000 in commission from the agency over several years, which came to light after he left the company to set up JC Jeffery & Co estate agents in Cookham, Berkshire last year. John Frost, managing director of the Frost Partnership, says: "We are extremely disappointed that such a significant and calculated theft took place by a long-standing senior member of our staff, with whom we placed a great deal of trust. The whole situation is regrettable."

Jeffery's estate agency, where he was partner, has now rebranded as Camlet Properties. A spokesperson for Camlet Properties says: "He is no longer part of it [the agency]. The partners would like to apologise for any upset that this may have caused our clients and assure them that this was a matter between John Jeffery and his previous employers and that at no point were any of our clients exposed to any misconduct." Source The Negotiator April 2009 Back to top

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Italian Property Market Update

According to the April edition of Italy Magazine, a performance analysis of the Italian property market for the last 25 years shows that values have grown substantially in real terms. After years of boom prices are expected to fall slightly in 2009. However the marketfor "urban lofts" bucks the property slum and while average house prices start to decline, loft prices are good. Interest in lofts is highest in Milan.

Generally in 2008 property sale volumes saw a greater drop in Italian provinces than in the provincial capitals and in the north more than the south. Florence and Venice were the two best performing cities. The latest report of the Agenzia del Territorio (equivalent to the UK's Land Registry) shows that the credit crunch has had a moderate impact on Italy. Finally the roundup reports that "Italian mountain properties see a small decline... As the skiing season enjoys a good year in Italy, the market for mountain properties picks up momentum. Buyers will only be able to find marginally lower prices than in 2008 April 2009 Back to top

 

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