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Our recent newsletters are listed below or you can click on a category to browse through articles we have published

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Rising rents as demand outstrips supply

10/11/2015

In our first story we follow the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors report on rents being on the rise for 10 months in a row and the Institution go on to predict average rents will continue to rise by around 3.0 per cent next year as there remains no likelihood of supply meeting demand.

More in our second story on the supply issue where the British Property Federation warns this needs greater focus by the Government, only whilst Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent announcement to change the national planning policy creates more homes for sale – a welcome initiative stoking demand for home ownership - it doesn’t address the supply issue for high quality rented accommodation for generation rent.
 
And that brings us onto renters. Landlords please note the Right to Rent start date has now been announced – see more in our final news article. Under new rules landlords who fail to check a potential tenant’s ‘Right to Rent’ in the country will face penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant.
 
Kind regards 
Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod
Directors

Frustrated landlords, renters and owner occupiers

28/08/2015

Last month we reported on the summer budget and the potential financial consequences – not just for landlords and renters – but commenting on whether tax changes address the lack of supply in the UK housing market. Budget news continues to trend: the Residential Landlords Association have reported 65% of their landlords surveyed are now considering rent increases as a direct result of the budget.

The Association’s findings undermine HM Revenue and Customs’ assessment that budget measures will have no significant impact on rent levels and it is argued that the basis of the budget assumptions is wrong.

Furthermore, many landlords who let their properties either fully or partially furnished, are very likely to be affected by the removal of the annual wear and tear allowance reports the National Landlords Association, leaving them with no recompense for the general wear and tear of a property. However if landlords are letting unfurnished - the proposed replacement system will benefit this group.

Landlords can also expect to see continual growth in the rental market as PwC forecast in their UK Economic Outlook report stating more people will rent privately than own a mortgage in the future.So for landlords with properties to let, a generation of renters is emerging, and the long rise in the UK owner occupation rate in the post-war years seems to have gone into reverse. 

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod
Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Landlords - How does the Budget affect you?

29/07/2015

We’ve focused on the summer budget in this month’s newsletter after George Osborne announced a cut in tax relief on buy-to-let purchases which will be a blow to many of the UK’s landlords.

Tax relief on buy-to-let interest payments will be restricted to the 20% basic rate tax with the changes phased in over the next four years. Industry experts comment that rental yields will have to keep pace for landlords if they are to see returns comparable to those received in the past couple of years.  Mark Carny has some views on interest rates which we thought were interesting and is expecting these to rise over the next three years.  See more information in our first two news articles. 

So with Landlords’ finances facing future market changes it is particularly important to have the best possible tenants for rental properties – ones who always pay rents on time and in full – so as not to face the financial challenges as those reported on Channel 5’s recent TV programme on 'Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’  - see more in our third news story. 

If you have any questions or comments please let us know or drop into your local branch of Atkinson Mcleod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

 

Atkinson McLeod - June 2015 Newsletter

25/06/2015

We bring you news about one of the capital’s fastest-growing scams where it was recently reported that fraudulent tenants allegedly impersonated their landlords then claiming the deposits and re-letting homes at inflated rents. 

Our next news story talks about the new Deregulation Act.  We hope it’s helpful as it reminds landlords that more tenancy deposits are now under deposit protection law if received before 6 April 2007 and if the tenancy was renewed on a periodic basis after that date.  So if you fall into this group you’ll need to register deposits now in a government approved scheme otherwise fines may be imposed.  

On a more upbeat note we conclude with some interesting facts from market research firm BDRC Continental whose survey with 500 private rental sector tenants gives views and opinions on their current tenancy and future aspirations in terms of housing.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

 

Atkinson McLeod - May 2015 Newsletter

22/05/2015

Private rental prices paid by tenants in Great Britain are on the rise as reported by thOffice for National Statistics with an increase of 2.1% in the 12 months to March 2015 and London rental prices increased the most up by 3.2%.  Rental demand continues to grow as high London property prices exclude many would-be buyers, forcing more people in to the rented sector”.

 

With more renters looking for a rental property in London many Landlords are looking to expand their property portfolio.  Moneyfacts reported there are some very good low rate mortgage deals available: rates have fallen dramatically with the average two-year fixed rate buy-to-let deal currently priced at 3.45% (down from 4.44% two years ago).  A finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: "Buy-to-let mortgages are experiencing a renaissance, becoming not only more widely available but cheaper, too”.

 

It isn’t always good news for landlords though as our third news story reports when one tenant – found in possession of drugs – tried to pin the blame on his landlord.  It just shows the importance of reference checks so you know your tenants are who they say they are!

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - April 2015 Newsletter

24/04/2015

This month we focus on the buy to let market as research indicates many people are unhappy with their pension savings - creating growing interest in buy to let properties which may provide flexibility on retirement savings and increased retirement income.  See more on this in our first story.

However due to rising numbers of interest only mortgages for buy to let properties, the Bank of England’s influential Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will be looking to ‘monitor developments closely’ in this sector. The government announced it will consult early in the new parliament on the FPC’s recommendations for it to have new powers over the buy to let market, with a view to building in-depth knowledge on how the operation of the UK buy-to-let housing market may carry risks to financial stability.   

If you are considering a buy to let home you do need to know your property management responsibilities - as one parliamentary candidate found out – failing to maintain gas boilers and other appliances has serious consequences for landlords!   

Drop us a line if you would like to know more on our services for landlords and property management.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - March 2015 Newsletter

26/03/2015

In our first article this month, we look at recent research by the Halifax showing that over the past two years, average house prices have increased by more than the average employee’s net earnings in almost one in five local authority districts across the UK.

Local councils will no longer have the clout to licence landlords across a whole borough or city after housing minister Brandon Lewis, announced reforms of selective licensing, restricting local decision-making powers. Our second article reviews this announcement in more detail.

In our final article, we look at a recent case concerning a rogue agent who defrauded landlords of £50,000 and now claims he can only repay £3,000. If there was ever an argument to insist your agent was ARLA regulated, this is it!

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

 

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - February 2015 Newsletter

26/02/2015

Pension reforms due in the spring are set to boost buy-to-let activity in 2015. Our first article this month looks in more detail.

In our second article, a landlord who ignored a series of planning enforcement notices is paying the price for the error to the tune of £301,258!

In our final article, as the election looms, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have given a stark warning of the impact on the private rented sector if rent controls were introduced.

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - January 2015 Newsletter

26/01/2015

In our first article this month, we look at a recent case where a landlord has been fined £138,000 after being prosecuted by his local authority for failing to revert six illegally converted bedsits back into a single property.

The West Bromwich building society is in the news. A long-awaited court case over increased tracker rates began last week. We look in more detail in our second article.

In our final article, the think tank, Civitas, has made a bold suggestion that tenants should be given new rights to stay in their home as long as they want. Is this just another ‘radical’ idea or the future direction of the Private Rented Sector?

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - December 2014 Newsletter

19/12/2014

The Labour Mayoral hopeful, Diane Abbott MP has called for a system of private sector rent controls in a paper published this month. Under the proposals, monthly rents could be no more than 50% of the local annual council tax bill. Landlords could opt out, but face a surcharge do do so, more details in our first article this month.

In our second article we look at an alarming case where a plumber has received a suspended sentence for putting the lives of landlords’ tenants at risk after deceiving landlords by claiming he was Gas Safe registered.

Finally, a landlord made £40k a year in rent from property with tree growing through wall! Council officers in Lambeth have taken back possession of the property which was a former ‘

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Merry Christmas,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - November 2014 Newsletter

28/11/2014

A recent case has found a landlord being given a record fine of £280,000! The amount needs to be paid in full within 3 months.  Read our first article to find out what the landlord did to deserve this.

With the forthcoming election in mind, our second article looks at some interesting statistics demonstrating how the electorate is transforming from homeowners to renters. It is predicted that renters will outnumber homeowners in 104 seats by 2021, a powerful fact for any political party.

Finally we note that HMRC have had a positive response to their ‘Let Property Campaign’. In fact, the response has been so overwhelming, landlords could face a six month wait for disclosure forms to be accepted.

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent


Atkinson McLeod - October 2014 Newsletter

24/10/2014

HMRC’s ‘Let Property Campaign’ has announced that landlords have one last chance to come clean on undeclared rental income – or else take the consequences.  Our first article this month looks in more detail.

The Labour Party Conference sparked some lively commentary from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) describing plans as a ‘death knell’. Our second article highlights some of Labours plans and the RLA’s concerns.

Finally, Southwark has become the latest local authority to consider introducing licensing – is this an isolated event or an emerging trend for London boroughs?

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - September 2014 Newsletter

23/09/2014

Landlords in England are witnessing a booming rental market, with earnings from rental payments in excess of £32 billion per year. Our first article this month looks at this and other facts highlighted by some recent research.

Six months on from the launch of Land Registry’s Property Alert service, more than 12,000 people have signed up to the free service which provides an early warning of suspicious activity on someone’s property. In our second article we look at the service and how you as a Landlord can benefit from it.

Finally we look at a recent court case where a rogue landlord has been fined more than £30,000 after letting a house that was described as having the potential to have killed his tenants and which contained a bedroom with a ceiling less than four feet high.

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.


Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - August 2014 Newsletter

20/08/2014

The taxman will write to 40,000 landlords over the next 4 months. Our first article this month looks at the latest initiative by HMRC targeting landlords, in an attempt to recoup an estimated £500 million in unpaid tax a year.

In our second article, a landlord has launched a legal challenge against a compulsory licensing scheme being introduced in a London borough - a move which could have implications for similar local authority proposals across the country.

Under controversial new rules from late autumn 2014, landlords in some areas will need to check that tenants have a “right to rent” in the UK before letting a property to them. In our final article we look at a factsheet published by The Government, updating landlords of their obligations under the Immigration Act 2014.

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - July 2014 Newsletter

22/07/2014

In our first article this month we comment on a recent clamp down by Lewisham Council who have mounted three raids on a total of 25 properties inside two weeks in a determined programme to crack down on rogue landlords.

In our second article we look at the most recent London Borough Council to hit Landlords with a borough-wide licensing scheme.

Finally, some welcome news. According to the latest rental index from Homelet, rents are up across the UK but tenant incomes can support the increase. We look at the story in more detail.

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

 Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - June 2014 Newsletter

26/06/2014

In our first article this month we look at the Immigration Bill which has recently received Royal Assent. Industry bodies have voiced their opposition to the scheme, with some suggesting that the Government was wrong to ask landlords and agents to operate as an arm of the Border Control service.

In our second article we look at commentary made by Housing minister Kris Hopkins, agreeing that rent controls will not work.

Finally, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are offering landlords online training in tax matters. The computer-based tutorials are intended to make it easier for landlords to understand when and how to pay tax on property they have let out.

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - May 2014 Newsletter

22/05/2014

Buy to Let has produced returns of over 1,200% since 1996! In our first article this month, we look at a fascinating report that highlights some staggering facts on how Buy to Let has performed as an investment.

In our second article we take a look at an update on market trends by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Finally, we report on a recent case where a London-based landlord has been fined £12,000 for not having a licence.

As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod.

Best regards,

Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - April 2014 Newsletter

25/04/2014
Our first article this month looks at a recent story where a West London landlord has been ordered to pay £52,000 after cramming tenants into 'beds in sheds'. In our second article we report on another council that has passed plans to introduce compulsory licensing for landlords, despite stiff opposition. Finally, Islington Council has indicated that it plans to fine the owners of new homes if the property is left empty for long periods of time As ever, if you've got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - March 2014 Newsletter

25/03/2014
Our first article this month looks at a report by The Daily Telegraph in which it accuses councils of persecuting private landlords with a raft of new and unfair charges. In our second article we highlight HMRC’s most recent clampdown on residential landlords, targeting those allegedly not paying tax by using local council information to track rental properties Finally, we look at an Essex landlord has been fined more than £12,000 for allowing tenants to live in unsafe conditions. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - February 2014 Newsletter

14/02/2014
Bank of England chief, Mark Carney, has ruled out an imminent interest rate rise, welcome news for property owners. Our first article this month reviews recent commentary. Our second article looks at a recent case concerning an East End Landlord who rented out their property in a “dangerous” condition and have been fined £14,400. Finally, we look at a piece of tabloid journalism by former deputy prime minister John Prescott. In a recent article, he discusses “the return of Rachmanism” in his Sunday Mirror column. As ever, if you've got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - January 2014 Newsletter

21/01/2014
In our first article this month, we take a look at comments made by David Cameron dispelling fears that the Help to Buy scheme is fuelling another house price bubble. Our second article reviews a recent case where a rogue landlord, that had illegally converted a house into self-contained flats, has been fined and ordered to repay £300,000 following action by the local Council. Finally, we consider growing concerns that 2014 could be the year that the Bank of England finally hikes base rates and pushes up mortgage repayments for millions of landlords on variable rate deals. As ever, if you've got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - December 2013 Newsletter

20/12/2013
The final edition of our newsletter for 2013! In our first article this month we look at the soaring numbers of so called ‘property millionaires’ created by the housing resurgence in 2013. In our second article, we look at news that the number of foreign landlords investing in UK property is now more than 2 million. We consider if the Governments recently announced plans to charge Capital Gains Tax will damage this trend. Finally, we look to 2014 and research that suggests that buy-to-let is set to increase by 25%. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - November 2013 Newsletter

22/11/2013
In our first article this month we look at a recent story by the Daily Telegraph suggesting that mortgage lenders are targeting thousands of so called “accidental landlords“ who let out their own homes without permission. In our second article we review market commentary from property portal Rightmove. They provide evidence of a “buying frenzy”, with a particular focus on London. Finally, we take a look at a story where a landlord has been fined £2,000 for failing to carry out property repairs quickly enough… As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - October 2013 Newsletter

22/10/2013
In our first article this month we look at the shocking move by West Bromwich Building Society to hike its buy-to-let rate by 2%. The move, scheduled to take effect from December, has evoked fury amongst the 6,700 borrowers that have been written to. In our second article we look at the latest announcements from HMRC and their on-going campaign to crack down on residential landlords. Finally, it is claimed that the government may be backing down on their proposed immigrant checks. As ever, if you've got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - September 2013 Newsletter

20/09/2013
People have started selling properties again! Rising prices and burgeoning buyer demand have led to significant increases in homes coming onto the UK property market, according to the August RICS Residential Market Survey, our first article this month looks at the report in more detail. In our second article this month we review new figures from the Halifax that show how mortgages have fallen to their most affordable level since 1999. Finally, we take a look at news from the Council of Mortgage Lenders that shows strong growth in the buy-to-let market. With 15,200 BTL loans being advanced in July, an increase of 12% compared to June. This represents a value of £2bn, which was 11% higher than in June. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - August 2013 Newsletter

16/08/2013
At Atkinson McLeod, we have felt Buy-to-Let activity gain real momentum over the last 8 months. Rental yields have grown and capital values are increasing. It therefore comes as no surprise to us, that official figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders have announced that Buy-to-Let lending has reached the highest level for the last 5 years. We take a look at some of the headline figures in our first article. The housing market in general seems to be on a road to recovery. A survey by the RICS found that July saw the greatest number of potential buyers looking to enter the market since July 2009. Our second article this month look in more detail. Finally, the Taxman has called time on an amnesty it launched for landlords who have sold properties but not declared capital gains. HMRC are committing to greater scrutiny, our final article explains more. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - July 2013 Newsletter

19/07/2013
The Financial Conduct Authority is to scrutinise the subject of mortgage contracts in the wake of the furore over the Bank of Ireland’s decision to hike its tracker mortgage rate for 13,500 borrowers. In our first article this month, we take a look in more detail. Our second article this month reviews some of the most prominent facts from the latest English Housing Survey that highlights the continuing trend of diminishing home ownership levels resulting from the growth of the private rented sector. Finally, we are delighted to see that the Land Registry is making its historical Price Paid Data records, going back to 1995, available for free. The wealth of information is staggering. In our third article we provide links to help you benefit from this. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - June 2013 Newsletter

20/06/2013
Members of the London Assembly have called on Boris Johnson to introduce a package of tough reforms in the capitals rental market, including rent controls. In our first article this month, we take a look in more detail. With the buy-to-let market back in full swing, it is hardly surprising that 25% of landlords indicate that they intend to expand their portfolios in the next 12 months. Our second article looks at the research substantiating this claim. Finally, we take a look at a recent court case where five individuals await sentencing following a massive buy-to-let fraud. The case, which included 50,000 items of evidence and involved 189 mortgage applications, has taken 5 years to reach court. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - May 2013 Newsletter

17/05/2013
Our first article this month takes a look at the continuing fallout caused by the Bank of Irelands decision to hike mortgage rates for Buy-to-Let landlords. In our second article, we look at the impact of new immigration laws announced in the Queen’s Speech that will require private landlords to vet their tenants. Finally we review a recent case from HMRC who ordered a landlord to repay £500,000. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - April 2013 Newsletter

19/04/2013
Lettings is relatively unregulated and as a result can lead to ‘rogue’ elements. In our first article this month, we look at a recent case of an agent who abused client funds entrusted to him. Whilst an extreme case, resulting in a jail term, this does underline the importance of dealing with an ARLA regulated agent – which of course Atkinson McLeod is! Institutions have toyed with the residential lettings market, but have to date been largely concerned with commercial property. In our second article this month we look at a recent move by the Prudential who have targeted a significant investment into the residential sector – is this the start of a new trend? Finally we provide an update of the Newham licensing ‘trial’. The council boss is insisting that voluntary licensing simply doesn’t work and compulsory measures are the only solution. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - March 2013 Newsletter

21/03/2013
In our first article this month, we look at some alarming news concerning thousands of buy-to-let borrowers who are set to receive a huge hike in their mortgage rate with little warning. We have covered stories concerning HMRC in previous months. In our second article we look at the sale of buy-to-let properties that will fall under the scrutiny of HMRC’s ‘Property Sales Campaign’. Death and taxes… Finally we take a look at an inquiry into the private rented sector, being held by the Communities and Local Government Committee, to see if licensing of landlords is advantageous. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - February Newsletter

22/02/2013
In these straitened times, HMRC appear to be stepping up efforts to catch those avoiding tax, which is no bad thing. However, are innocent Landlords being unnecessarily targeted? Our first article takes a look at a ‘concerned’ viewpoint, from an accountant. Compulsory Landlord Licensing was recently introduced in Newham and is being considered by other local authorities. In our second article we look at the example in Scotland, which appears to have been very costly with very little net benefit. Finally we take a look at a research by the property portal Rightmove. Accidental landlords, a product of the credit crunch, are looking far from amateurish and are keen for more of the action. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - January 2013 Newsletter

18/01/2013
Landlords keen to expand their portfolios in 2013 are being hampered by high costs and inflexible lending criteria, according to a recent survey. Our first article takes a look in more detail. Our second article explores recent developments in the London borough of Newham which has become the first to introduce a blanket compulsory licensing scheme of all private rented properties. Is this needless bureaucracy or helpful legislation? The growth in buy-to-let yields is proving to be an attractive option for stock market investors seeking pension alternatives. We take a look at a recent survey. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - December 2012 Newsletter

19/12/2012
In an economy full of uncertainty, more landlords are retaining their properties at retirement age as opposed to cashing them in and investing funds into alternative income producers. Our first article this month looks at a recent survey highlighting this trend. ‘Creative’ schemes set to minimalise tax liabilities for both private individuals and companies have received a fair amount of media exposure in recent months. In our second article, we look at a new special taskforce set up by HMRC to tackle tax cheats in the rental sector. Finally we take a look at the importance placed by prospective tenants on mobile phone reception in rented properties and the damage that inadequate provision could have on potential demand. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod Atkinson McLeod London Estate Agent

Atkinson McLeod - November 2012 Newsletter

15/11/2012
The Council of Mortgage Lenders released data this month indicating a continuing, yet gradual, improvement in the market. In our first article we look at some of the headline figures. In our second article, we look at more research highlighting the increasing trend to rent instead of buying. In particular, how this will impact on the London Residential Investment Market. Finally we take a look at a disturbing trend of tenants falling into rent arrears. We provide some simple advice on what to do. As ever, if you've got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - October 2012 Newsletter

19/10/2012
More positive news for investors this month. Our first article looks at how a marginal fall in house prices is bolstering gross yields. Tax avoidance schemes have been receiving a lot of press recently. Our second article highlights a clamp down by HMRC in relation to schemes looking to ‘reduce’ Stamp Duty Land Tax. Finally we take a look at a case involving a landlord who flouted planning laws only to find himself being hit with a record fine of £1.4m! As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - September 2012 Newsletter

19/09/2012
Investor yields are bouncing back! Our first article this month looks at recent research into buy-to-let yields. We look at regional variances and identify the hot spots for growth. In our second article we look at the growth in buy-to-let lending. The three months to June saw an increase of 18% in value year on year, but this is still around a third off their peak in 2007. Finally we take a look at a disturbing increase in rent arrears being experienced by landlords. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - August 2012 Newsletter

16/08/2012
Rating agencies aren’t currently in the business of producing good news. However, the UK’s buy-to-let sector has been given a very positive outlook by Moody’s, we see what they have to say in our first article this month. Our second article features some worrying research for buy-to-let investors who are being turned away by their existing lender. Finally we take a look at look at a call for regulation of the private rented sector and consider if the scope goes too far? As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - July 2012 Newsletter

13/07/2012
Is renting set to take over home ownership? In our first article this month we look at a recent survey that shows the growth of the private rented sector rocketing in recent years while at the same time home ownership is on the decline. If renting is rocketing, what has been the effect on residential yields? Our second article this month confirms our own view that yields are well and truly back on a growth curve. Finally we look at the staggering decline in Buy to Let mortgage offerings and consider if this should be a concern for landlords. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - June 2012 Newsletter

13/06/2012
Want to live close to a tube or train station? Then expect to pay a pretty hefty premium. That’s the verdict of new London-specific research issued by Nationwide Building Society, which we look at in our first article this month. Our second feature focuses on yet more research, this time by property portal, Rightmove. It reveals the percentage of take-home pay that tenants in the capital are spending on their rents. Suffice to say it’s pretty darn high. But while the very mention of high rents can make landlords slobber like Pavlovian dogs, with the economy back in recession and more tenants struggling financially, landlords should avoid being over-zealous on rent. Finally, we look at how house prices have fared in some of the boroughs of London that Atkinson McLeod operates in. You’ll be pleased to hear that prices in the vast, vast majority of London boroughs have risen over the past year — and that overall London prices rose by a massive 5.1% in April alone. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - May 2012 Newsletter

18/05/2012
Make no mistake about it, the buy-to-let market is gaining some serious momentum right now. As seen in our first article this month, loan levels are soaring and it seems like everyone wants a piece of the action. As an investment proposition, buy-to-let, quite clearly, is back. Our second article focuses on a shock decline in London house prices during March. Prices fell by 1.8% in the capital according to data from definitive house price index, the Land Registry. Why did this happen and is it the beginning of a downward trend? Finally, any landlords thinking about ousting their long-term tenants to cash in on the Olympics — as has been reported in the news in recent weeks — are a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. Take it from us: short-termism like that will only ever result in long-term pain. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - April 2012 Newsletter

17/04/2012
The idea that there is a UK property market is pure codswallop. Talk of nationwide house price or rent trends is an unnecessary — and misleading — abstraction. Or that’s what we like to think here at Atkinson McLeod, anyway. To find out why, check out our first article. Our second article this month takes a look at some of the buy-to-let mortgages available right now. And what we’re seeing isn’t bad at all. The number of b2l loans is growing by the day while the rates remain very competitive — if you have a decent deposit, anyway. Finally, we ponder the crazy story that has been the past five years in buy-to-let. The same lender conservatism that decimated the sector in 2008 and 2009 was responsible for its resurgence in 2011. The rebirth of buy-to-let — from hero to zero and back again — is worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, it really is. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - March 2012 Newsletter

14/03/2012
Life, it’s all about getting the balance right. Most of us rarely do, but then there you have it. We’re human after all — all too human. Existential pontification aside, as landlords, one area you do need to strike the right balance is in the level of rent you charge. Too little, and you’re doing yourself a disservice. Too much, and you could haemorrhage tenants — even in this market. This is the subject of our first article. Our second article focuses on the Budget coming up later this month, specifically the submission by ARLA (the Association of Residential Letting Agents) to the Chancellor. What does ARLA think is best for the rentals sector — and is it likely to happen? Our third article asks how on earth prices in the capital, according to the Land Registry, shot up by a logic-defying 2.5% in January. That’s one hell of a leap — so what’s causing prices to rise like that? As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - February 2012 Newsletter

13/02/2012
Ok, first the bad news. The UK economy slowed sharply towards the end of 2011, falling from +0.6% in the third quarter to -0.2% in the fourth. Now the good news. Yields, according to specialist buy-to-let lender, Paragon Group, rose faster than an Italian skipper can jump into a lifeboat. That’s the subject of our first article. Our second article addresses something that’s as certain as death, taxes and ministers dodging speed fines (allegedly – ed): the fact that each month the Nationwide and Halifax house price indices will contradict each other. We explain why you should forget the pair of them. In our third article, we highlight how what’s happening in Europe right now will affect the property market back in the UK. If Greece defaults, a domino effect could ensue and the ‘wholesale’ lending markets could grind to a halt, making borrowing far harder. But is this necessarily a bad thing for landlords? As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - January 2012 Newsletter

18/01/2012
If you’d strapped two 16lb shot putts to Daley Thompson’s ankles during the 110 metre hurdles, his chances of making gold in the decathlon would have been slim. That’s why we’re not holding out too much hope for house prices during 2012, the year of the Games. Now we’re not saying we expect house prices to collapse, but we do think the twin weights of the European and UK economy will hold them back in 2012. As our first article highlights, the capital’s property market is likely to put in a Bronze rather than Gold medal performance this year. Not that this should worry landlords. For them, 2012, as our second article shows, will be a year of real opportunity and could see yields soar as the rental market continues to strengthen. Landlords are also being supported by a new batch of decent buy-to-let mortgages, which are the subject of our third article. All in all, the Olympic year could see landlords reach truly Olympian heights. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - December 2011 Newsletter

15/12/2011
In this month's festive newsletter, we reveal how only a tiny percentage of landlords are looking to sell at the end of a tenancy. With the rentals market so strong, this is hardly surprising. Landlords, quite clearly, are filling their stockings while they can. Ho ho ho. In our second article, we look at how rising rents can in fact be a double-edged sword. After all, the higher the rent, the greater the chance the tenant will struggle to meet it, especially in such a dire economic environment. Here, we give landlords some tips on reducing the chances of this happening to them. With the Nationwide and Halifax at complete odds over what happened to house prices in November, the utter pointlessness of property price predictions is the subject of our third article. You'd be better off calling in celebrity astrologer, Russell Grant, than trying to forecast the direction of house prices. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod for a mince pie and a natter. Best regards, Giles Atkinson and Dan McLeod

Atkinson McLeod - November 2011 Newsletter

15/11/2011
If you have a smartphone, then you may finally have a use for the stopwatch function in it. New research from property company, Countrywide, shows that demand for rental properties is so strong that homes are being let in record time. This mad dash for rentals will be music to the ears of every landlord and is the subject of our first article. With strong achievable rents and properties being snapped up in no time, it’s no surprise more and more landlords are going bananas for buy-to-let. New research out from the Council of Mortgage Lenders last week showed that the number of buy-to-let loans increased by 16% in the third quarter of this year. We take a closer look at the numbers in our second article. In our third article, we ask why London house prices, at a time when Rome is burning and Athens has barbarians at the gate, are managing to defy market conditions and are continuing to rise. Will prices in the capital soon come crashing back down to earth or is this a sustainable trend? As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Dan McLeod and Giles Atkinson

Atkinson McLeod - October 2011 Newsletter

14/10/2011
There’s no need for X-Ray specs at Atkinson McLeod. No, we’re not saying we all sit around at our desks stark naked (now there’s a thought). What we mean is we’re transparency personified. You see, all our customers, whether buyers, sellers, tenants or landlords can rate us in full public view via the agent-rating website, allagents.co.uk — and we actively encourage them to do so. Check out our first article to learn more about why we do this and what it means for you. Our second article focuses on yet more research showing London rents continue to soar, reaching record highs in August. Landlords: if you’re feeling down today, this article will quickly put a smile on your face. Finally, if you’re struggling to secure a mortgage, or have any kind of financial issue relating to your property or portfolio, we look at a relatively new type of mortgage that could be the answer to your problems: the medium-term loan. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line – or, of course, visit allagents.co.uk. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. We promise we’ll have our clothes on. Best regards, Dan McLeod and Giles Atkinson

Atkinson McLeod - September 2011 Newsletter

14/09/2011
For more and more people, it’s hasta la vista, home ownership. This, at least, is the conclusion of a recent report by the National Housing Federation, which we look at below. Landlords will naturally be well placed to benefit from this trend. Our second article looks at an interesting development within the rental sector: more and more landlords are buying family-sized properties. Why is this and what might it mean for the rentals sector moving forward? In our third article, we focus on how the mortgage market is continuing to improve for landlords. It’s now possible to fix below 5% for five years, which will go down well with all landlords who like the peace of mind that comes with stable mortgage payments. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, please call us or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Dan McLeod and Giles Atkinson

Atkinson McLeod - August 2011 Newsletter

17/08/2011
Welcome to our latest newsletter, where we start by explaining why some landlords are, how can we put this, total fruitcakes. Our second article will be music to the ears of all landlords, however, as it explains why more and more tenants are opting for that holy grail, the long-term let. Last but by no means least, we wrap up with a quasi-philosophical analysis of the paradigm shift that has occurred within the UK property market — and why landlords are the winners. Now you’d be really crazy not to read this. As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, feel free to call or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards, Dan McLeod and Giles Atkinson

Atkinson McLeod - July 2011 Newsletter

14/07/2011
Welcome to Atkinson McLeod's July newsletter where we’ve addressed some of the property matters that matter to you. This month, we focus on three issues that are highly relevant to London’s landlords. Firstly, when a tenancy comes to an end, should you simply renew or consider putting your property back on the open market? What are the rewards and risks of each option? Secondly, with rental demand so strong and supply so weak at present, should landlords look to add to their portfolios? Finally, we all know that a new tube station will bolster prices and drive up rents, but did you know that a Cycle Superhighway can have the same effect? As ever, if you’ve got any questions or feedback, feel free to call or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards Dan McLeod and Giles Atkinson

Atkinson McLeod - June 2011 Newsletter

14/06/2011
Welcome to Atkinson McLeod's inaugural newsletter where, each month from now on, we’ll be addressing some of the property matters that matter to you. Our aim is to provide short and sweet articles relaying what's happening to the property market in your area and also to offer tips and insights we’ve picked up over the years. Hopefully you’ll find it useful, informative and even a little fun. If you’ve got any questions or feedback, feel free to call or drop us a line. Alternatively, just drop into your local branch of Atkinson McLeod. Best regards Dan McLeod and Giles Atkinson

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15/03/2011
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