Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth agent has given me 14 days to vacate my house

Ask Lorraine – Hello hun,

I’m after a little advice as I don’t have many options. My agent gave me a Section 21 on 19th January and has told me I’ve got 14 days to leave the property. I’ve been renting my home for nearly 2 years.

I have nowhere to go and 14 days is not long enough to find another property and pack up my stuff.  I will end up sofa surfing, yes I have paid the rent a few days late on the odd month but I’m currently up to date.

How can an agent treat me like this,  surely this can’t be right?

Name was supplied

14 days to leave

Lorraine’s Answer – I am sorry that you find yourself in this unpleasant situation and I hope that you do find somewhere to live.

I don’t know if communication has broken down between you and the agent/landlord or if there are underlying issues as to why the landlord requires the property back.

I will do my best to answer your question assuming that you are now on a periodic tenancy agreement.

Section 21

A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the end of a tenancy but they must follow the correct legal procedure. This includes serving a valid section 21 notice which is the  easiest way for an agent/landlord to recover a property.

For a S21 to be valid there are a number of pieces of information that you should have been given during your tenancy, If not the notice will not be legal and cannot be enforced.

The notice to leave must be at least two calendar months or the same period for which rent is paid, whichever is longer. The notice should end on the last day of a rental period (the day before rent is due).

I do not have all the facts but would certainly recommend that you take your tenancy agreement, complete with any additional paperwork in your possession, to the Council. If the Council cannot help, Citizens Advice will be able too.

Please do this as soon as possible.

Please see below tenants guide to private renting, this will give you lots of helpful advice.

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting

I hope things turn out well for you.

Until next week.

If you enjoyed reading my blog and are interested in our other online portals,  feel free to take a look.

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

http://www.Tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

Tamworth Property Market and Hammond’s Budget Promise to Build 300,000 more homes

I miss the good old days of George Osborne as Chancellor, with his hardhat and hi-vis jacket. He must have visited every new home building site in the UK with his trademark attire! For the last few years, the nearest Philip Hammond got to donning a ‘Bob the Builder’ outfit was at his grandchild’s birthday party. However, with what appears to be a change in focus by the Tories to ensure they get back in power in 2022, they appear to have fallen in love with house building again with the Chancellor’s promise to create 300,000 new households in a year.

Nationally, the number of new homes created has topped 217,344 in the last year, the highest since the financial crash of 2007/8. Looking closer to home: in total there were 160 ‘net additional dwellings’ in the last 12 months in the Tamworth Borough Council area, a decrease of 36% on the 2010 figure.

The figures show that 89% of this additional housing was down to new build properties. In total, there were 142 new dwellings built over the last year in Tamworth. In addition, there were 10 additional dwellings created from converting commercial or office buildings into residential property and a further nine dwellings were added as a result of converting houses into flats.

While these all added to the total housing stock in the Tamworth area, there was 1 demolition to take into account.

Net additional dwellings in Tamworth in the last 12 months
New build Conversions Change of use Demolitions Net Additions
142 9 10 -1 160

I was encouraged to see some of the new households in the Tamworth area had come from a change of use. The planning laws were changed a few years back so that, in certain circumstances, owners of properties didn’t need planning permission to change office space in to residential use.

With the scarcity of building land available locally (or the builders being very slow to build on what they have, for fear of flooding the market), it was pleasing to see the number of developers that had reutilised vacant office space into residential homes in the local council area. Converting offices and shops to residential use will be vital in helping to solve the Tamworth housing crisis especially, as you can see on the graph, that the level of building has hardly been spectacular over the last seven years!

Now we have had the autumn budget, Theresa May and Philip Hammond have set out their stall with housing as their key focus. I was glad to see the Government introducing a variety of changes to improve housing, including more funding for the supply side and an injection of urgency into the planning system.

The biggest question is, just where are the Government going to build all these new houses? Maybe a topic for a future article?

Back to the main point though and the focus on the housing market by the Tory’s is good news for all homeowners and buy to let landlords, as it will encourage more fluidity in the market in the longer term, sharing the wealth and benefits of homeownership for all. However, in the short term, demand still outstrips supply for homes and that will mean continued upward pressures on rents for tenants.

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

Tamworth House Prices Outstrip Wage Growth by 15.34% since 2007

I recently read a report by the Yorkshire Building Society that 54% of the country has seen wages (salaries) rise faster than property prices in the last 10 years. The report said that in the Midlands and North, salaries had outperformed property prices since 2007, whilst in other parts of the UK, especially in the South, the opposite has happened and property prices have outperformed salaries quite noticeably.

As regular readers of my blog know, I always like to find out what has actually happened locally in Tamworth. To talk of North and South is not specific enough for me. Therefore, to start, I looked at what has happened to salaries locally since 2007. Looking at the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data for Tamworth Borough Council, some interesting figures came out…

Tamworth West Midlands Nationally
2007  £24,357  £22,417  £23,920
2008  £25,059  £23,390  £24,960
2009  £24,216  £23,754  £25,506
2010  £25,246  £24,398  £26,088
2011  £25,761  £24,190  £26,010
2012  £25,002  £24,404  £26,432
2013  £25,121  £25,116  £26,931
2014  £23,769  £25,022  £27,097
2015  £24,903  £25,589  £27,508
2016  £25,527  £26,406  £28,132

Salaries in Tamworth have risen by 4.8% since 2007 (although it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride to get there!) – interesting when you compare that with what has happened to salaries regionally (an increase of 17.79%) and nationally, an increase of 17.61%.

Next, I needed to find what had happened to property prices locally over the same time frame of 2007 and today. Net property values in Tamworth are 20.14% higher than they were in late 2007 (not forgetting they did dip in 2008 and 2009). Therefore…

Property values in the Tamworth area have increased at a higher rate than wages to the tune of 15.34% … meaning, Tamworth is bucking the regional trend

All this is important, as the relationship between salaries and property values is the basis on how affordable property is to first (and second, third etc.) time buyers. It is also vitally relevant for Tamworth landlords as they need to be aware of this when making their buy-to-let plans for the future. If more Tamworth people are buying, then demand for Tamworth rental properties will drop (and vice versa).

As I have discussed in a few articles in my blog recently, this issue of ‘property-affordability’ is a great bellwether to the future direction of the Tamworth property market. Now of course, it isn’t as simple as comparing salaries and property prices, as that measurement disregards issues such as low mortgage rates and the diminishing proportion of disposable income that is spent on mortgage repayments.

On the face of it, the change between 2007 and 2017 in terms of the ‘property-affordability’ hasn’t been that great. However, look back another 10 years to 1997, and that tells a completely different story. Nationally, the affordability of property more than halved between 1997 and today. In 1997, house prices were on average 3.5 times workers’ annual wages, whereas in 2016 workers could typically expect to spend around 7.7 times annual wages on purchasing a home.

The issue of a lack of homeownership has its roots in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It’s quite hard as a tenant to pay your rent and save money for a deposit simultaneously, meaning for many Tamworth people, home ownership isn’t a realistic goal. Earlier in the year, the Tories released proposals to combat the country’s ‘broken’ housing market, setting out plans to make renting more affordable, while increasing the security of rental deals and threatening to bring tougher legal action to cases involving bad landlords.

This is all great news for Tamworth tenants and decent law-abiding Tamworth landlords (and indirectly owner occupier homeowners). Whatever has happened to salaries or property prices in Tamworth in the last 10 (or 20) years … the demand for decent high-quality rental property keeps growing. If you want a chat about where the Tamworth property market is going – please read my other blog posts on www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk or drop me note via email, like many Tamworth landlords are doing.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page  https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

Energy Performance Certificate – How will this effect Tamworth’s Landlords?

In April 2018, residential private properties will need to have a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E or it will be illegal to rent them out to tenants. The change from April 2018 will only apply to new tenancies and renewals. For existing tenancies the regulations will not apply until April 2020.

Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the regulations, whether Tamworth BC have the time or manpower to do this added task,  I hardly think so! The local authorities  will have the power to serve a notice and request that a landlord provides documentation to prove compliance. Landlords who do not comply with these new regulations could find themselves with a hefty £5,000 fine.

Energy Performance Certificate
Energy Performance Certificate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Properties where the EPC rating is an F or G  are considered substandard  and will either need improvements carried out or will have to cease to be rented out. With only 8 months away to legislation, landlords are reminded to look at implementing improvement works sooner rather than later.

Works need to be cost effective for the landlord and permissible but landlords are at liberty to carry out works to an even higher standard, should they wish. 
As always there are exemptions to the rule –
  • The landlord’s tenant withholds consent for the works.
  • The landlord  was required to obtain a third party’s permission to undertake improvements, and the permission was denied. Or the third party imposed unreasonable conditions.
  • A qualified independent surveyor considers that the works will cause a capital devaluation of the property of more than 5%.

Exemption for listed buildings or buildings in a conservation area has not been made clear but it is hoped, when the  Government publish specific guidance for landlords in October this year, it will  confirm that listed building are exempt from the change. 

As with all Government policies until they are actually published there is no saying what they have deferred and if further exemptions are to be applied. So landlords it is a waiting game but  if you do decide to commence with improvements, it would probably be best not to commit lots of money and big improvements until all has been made clear.

 

Unhappy with your Property Manager? The best time to switch Letting Agents is mid-tenancy. Take us up on our offer and allow us to take care of the switching process. http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk or call Lorraine, Jackie or Jody on 01827 425195.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/