At Walton & Allen estate agents, our top priority is the safety of our staff and clients, both new and existing. We realise, however, that many of you still need to move home during the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
Walton & Allen estate agents are continuing to operate during Nottingham lockdown restrictions, but with safety measures in place.
Valuations are still taking place in person. Our Senior Valuers have been supplied with plenty of PPE gear including masks, gloves and hand sanitiser. Valuers are also strictly following social distancing guidelines when they visit a property.
We are also offering video call valuations if you would prefer to communicate online at this time.
Where possible, we are asking those who are interested in buying or letting a property to first view a video tour.
We may have limited access to some properties currently. For example, if there are large families or a large number of tenants in the property then we will be restricted to when we can visit with interested parties.
When attending a viewing, we will ask you to wear a mask at all times. We will also ask you to refrain from touching any handle or surface.
All our staff attending viewings will be provided with PPE for your safety and theirs.
As a landlord renting a property to tenants, there are many rules and regulations that need to be adhered to. These also vary depending on how many tenants are living in the property.
One of the questions that often crops up when talking to us as letting agents is ‘do I need an EICR?’. Until June 2020, these EICR certificates were only compulsory if you were renting to tenants who made up more than two households, also known as an HMO.
Now though, the rules have changed.
Do you need an EICR?
From 1st June 2020, every property rented to tenants will require an EICR certificate.The rules state that:
The rules state that:
Electrical safety standards are met when the property is occupied by tenants.
Every fixed electrical installation at the property is inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a qualified person.
An inspection and test needs to be carried out before new tenancies commence from 1st June 2020.
An inspection and test will also be required for existing tenancies by 1st June 2021.
What is an EICR?
EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. Inspections and testing are carried out in accordance with the eighteenth edition of the wiring regulations BS 7671:2918. This is the national standard to which all domestic wiring must conform.
During the inspection, the following is tested:
The adequacy of earthing and bonding
Device protection against electric shock and fire
Any damage or wear and tear that may affect tenant safety
Identification of any damaged electrical fixings
Identification of any exposed wiring
EICR certificates last for 5 years but landlords are encouraged to re-test if there are changes to property electrics since the last inspection was carried out.
Who can carry out an EICR inspection?
Any qualified electrician should be able to carry out an EICR check.
Walton & Allen are able to carry out an inspection on your behalf and provide a certificate upon your property passing the inspection.
You can talk to us about this by calling 0115 924 3304 or by using this form below.
Rightmove recorded their busiest ever day on 27th May 2020.
Last week saw a new daily record for the most visits to the Rightmove website. They also received record buyer and renter enquiry volumes.
The website surpassed six million visits for the first time which was up 18 per cent on the same day in 2019. Email and telephone enquiries to agents were also up 18 per cent.
Rightmove state that over a quarter of people (28 per cent) who were not planning a move before the COVID-19 lockdown are now entering the market.
Why is this surge happening?
The UK government placed strict restrictions on those wanting to move throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. Now these restrictions have been lifted for estate and letting agents and those who need to move are now looking to do so imminently.
Another reason for the surge could be due to families spending more time together than usual. Some may now be looking to move due to fall outs or just deciding that they need more space.
People will always need to move and now seems to be a better time than ever to market your property, for sale or for rent.
Have property prices changed since ‘Lockdown’?
Property prices appear to remain strong throughout Nottingham.
Last month, property prices in Nottingham recorded a 0.0 per cent change, according to Hometrack. The average property price remains at £157,900.
Nottingham was second across the whole country for property price growth in the last three months. Prices grew 0.8 per cent.
The city was also first across the country for property price growth in the last 12 months. Prices grew by a huge 4.1 per cent.
How much is your property worth post-lockdown?
Find out how much your property is now worth by talking to our experts today for free. Call 0115 924 3304 or use the form below.
At Walton & Allen and Stoneyard, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our staff and clients. With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, we are still open for business but are making some temporary changes to how we operate.
We will continue to supply the same level of service where we can. It is important to note that we are still valuing properties, conducting viewings, agreeing sales and providing maintenance.
We ask everyone to please stay safe and follow government guidelines at all times.
Some of our staff are currently working from home. Most will be in touch via email only although a small number will be able to contact you via mobile phone. Please be prepared for a slight delay in communication as we are currently operating with a skeleton team at our office.
Face to face meetings
In the interest of protecting our staff, clients and the wider community we are limiting meetings to those which are only essential. We ask that clients and new customers only visit our offices if a meeting has been pre-arranged. All other communication should be via phone and email where possible.
Viewings are still going ahead where possible. If you are viewing a property and begin to feel unwell then please get in touch to reschedule. Viewing appointments may not be completely flexible whilst we operate with fewer staff, however, we will do our very best to fit you in where possible.
We are experiencing a high level of phone calls and emails from people regarding property viewings, valuations and sales which have been agreed. Please bear with as whilst we work through these.
Tenant checkout inspections
If you are a tenant and moving out we are currently not conducting checkout inspections until you have left the property. Please return the keys to our office and we will inspect your rental property shortly after.
We are still operating as normal with our rental collection, tenant find and fully managed services. We have postponed all quarterly property inspections for the immediate future for the safety of staff and tenants.
Maintenance works will still go ahead when they are reported to us. Please bear with us as there may be a shortage of maintenance operatives as the days progress. We will be prioritising emergency maintenance works where possible.
If you are in self isolation and have an emergency maintenance issue then we may need to take precautionary measures so please make us aware as soon as possible if we are visiting your property.
In the interest of safety for staff and residents, site visits will be suspended until further notice. Some staff are working from home and are only contactable via email.
Building maintenance issues will still be attended to when reported to us. Please continue to report any maintenance problems via phone or email and they will be dealt with as soon as possible.
Our accounts team are currently working from home in isolation. Please direct all enquiries through email as you will not be able to get through via phone. Their email address is email@example.com.
Nottingham City Council have announced that the fee to obtain a Selective Licence will rise in March 2020.
Landlords currently have to pay £780 for a 5 year licence if they wish to rent their property to tenants, or £480 if they are accredited by DASH or Unipol.
This fee is set to rise to £890, or £670 respectively.
Why is the fee increasing?
Nottingham City Council have stated that the current fees are not high enough to cover their overheads, despite having the highest Licencing costs compared to every other scheme in the country.
They are also experiencing a shortfall because approximately 15,000 Landlords are still yet to apply for a Licence and there appears to be no clear plan in place to tackle this.
Landlords are running a risk by not applying for a Licence. If you rent a property to tenants within the Nottingham City Council boundaries then it is a legal requirement to have a Licence in place. Failure to comply could result in a £30,000 fine. Tenants could also reclaim all their rental payments, backdated to 1st August 2018.
Rents rising as a result
Rents in Nottingham have risen faster this year than anywhere else in the country. Most suspect that this is due to the cost of obtaining a Selective Licence, passed from the Landlord to the tenants.
What should you do next?
Those who have already applied
There will be no increase in fees for you until you have to renew your Selective Licensing application. This will be 5 years from the date your application was originally submitted.
If you are yet to receive information on your application, do not worry. Nottingham City Council have not yet granted Licences to everyone who has applied.
Those who are yet to apply
Remember, you are at risk of being fined at least £30,000 by Nottingham City Council. We would recommend that you apply immediately if you rent your property to tenants within the City Council boundaries. Talk to us on 0115 924 3304 if you do not know what to do.
Nottingham house prices are likely to rise dramatically – by as much as £35,000 in the next 5 years. This is according to a report publicised today by the Mail Online.
The report states that the average house price in the East Midlands is currently £165,000 and should rise to £229,000 by 2024. This is an increase of 18.2 per cent.
The average rise across the country is only predicted to be 15.2 per cent, meaning Nottingham sits above average yet again for property price growth.
The expected highest performing area of the country for price growth is the North West at 24 per cent.
It is worth noting that this predicted growth is based on an ‘orderly exit’ from the EU and a non significant change in policies following the general election. It is also assumed that interest rates will increase from 0.75 per cent to 2 per cent by 2024.
Walton & Allen Estate and Letting Agents are now regulated by Propertymark. You will see the ARLA and NAEA logos across our website which now emphasises our focus on consumer protection.
What is Propertymark?
Propertymark is the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for estate agents and letting agents. It represents over 9000 members. Propertymark regulates us as an agent by ensuring your money held by us is kept safe at all times.
ARLA stands for the Association of Residential Letting Agents and NAEA stands for the National Association of Estate Agents.
What does being a member of Propertymark involve?
Our membership includes:
Client money protection scheme
Regular industry training
Government approved redress scheme
Regular updates on legislative changes
Professional indemnity insurance
Benefits of choosing a Propertymark protected agent
There is no mandatory regulation for estate and letting agents. This is why it is important to choose one who are happy to be part of a voluntary scheme such as Propertymark. By doing so an agent demonstrates transparency and provides evidence that they are at the forefront of all developments within the property industry.
So, how does using a Propertymark protected agent benefit you?
Integrity – Propertymark agents are experienced and trained professionals who abide by a nationally recognised code of practice
Complaints Procedure – Handled by independent ombudsman services and regulated by Propertymark
Peace of Mind – We hold all the correct insurance and protection to give you peace of mind
Compliance – Registered with HMRC to ensure compliance with money laundering regulations
We analyse Nottingham property prices this summer and see how they fair against other UK cities.
Property prices this summer
Nottingham property prices have increased by 4.7% over the last 12 months according to Hometrack. This puts the city at joint third in the country once again for growth, alongside Cardiff. The cities which performed only slightly better were Liverpool at 4.9% growth and Edinburgh at 5.1% growth.
In addition, Nottingham was fourth in the UK for property price growth over the last 3 months. Prices grew by 2%.
How prices have changed
If you bought a property for £250,000 12 months ago, it could now be worth £261,750. If you bought a property for £500,000 you could have made £24,500 in a year!
General property market activity
According to Rightmove, there is robust selling activity in the lower and middle ends of the market. Many new properties are coming to market over the summer period and there is a strong rise in mortgage approval rates.
The East Midlands still has one of the quickest average times to sell across the country. This currently stands at 59 days which is just behind the West Midlands at 56 days. As a comparison, London has an average time to sell of 67 days and the north east of England stands at 76 days.
How much is your property now worth?
Find out how much your property is worth by filling in the form below. Alternatively, you can speak to our Senior Valuers by calling 0115 924 3304.
Getting on the property ladder is the primary goal of many under 35s (and some over that age too). It has become more common to rent for long periods of time before putting down routes. Whilst there are several reasons for this, what you really want to know is how you can obtain your first home. It may seem like an impossible dream, but there are several schemes in places that can help you buy a home so we’ve summarised a few of the most popular below.
We also recommend booking an appointment with our dedicated mortgage advisers, who independently look at the whole of market to find a great deal that matches your circumstances. You can book a mortgage advice appointment here now.
Receive instant advice and see if you can actually afford your own home!
Click our purple chat button during weekdays, or leave a message! We’re here to offer advice and we wont try to sell you anything, we promise.
So how can you afford your own home?
The first thing to do if you don’t think you can afford your own home is talk to a mortgage advisor. Our team are rarely not able to find a mortgage for someone, even if they have a low deposit or a number of debts.
Why not talk to someone today, for free? It only takes 5 minutes and we can respond via phone, email or in person. Appointments are free of charge and can be made at almost any time to suit you. You’ll be surprised at what you can potentially afford even in your current situation and you may be putting an offer in on a house in no time at all.
Be quick though! Mortgage interest rates are expected to rise soon and deals could change.
Some of the below schemes may help you in affording to buy your first house.
Help To Buy Scheme
You own a share of the property and can increase it over time
Pay rent on the part you don’t own
Own with a smaller deposit
Help to Buy is an affordable home ownership scheme launched by the government. In a nutshell you will only own part of the property and pay rent on the rest. This scheme is most popular amongst those who can afford to pay a mortgage but can’t afford to save up a substantial deposit. It enables you to buy a percentage of the property (for example 25%) which means you can buy with a much smaller deposit. For example on a £100,000 property this would mean a deposit of only £2500 for a 25% share. Whilst you pay into your mortgage you can set aside a little each month to save for a larger deposit, or you can increase your mortgage once you’ve paid some of it off. You can eventually extend your share to 100%. It’s an excellent way to get on the property ladder if you’re struggling to save your hard earned money. And the best part is, although you’ll be paying rent on the part of the property you don’t own, you’ll still be building up equity in the part you do own.
Help To Buy ISA
Get up to £3000 towards your first home
For every £200 you save the government gives you £50
For first time buyers aged 16 and upwards
Couples can each have an HTB ISA
Used on property costing under £250,000 or £450,000 in London
The help to buy ISA was introduced in the UK last December. The aim of the scheme is to give first time buyers a helping hand towards getting a mortgage and rewarding you for your diligent saving at the same time.
You can open the account with a maximum deposit of £1000 and you may save up to £200 every month thereafter. You will be given a maximum of £3000 which means if you can save £12000 you will be eligible for the maximum bonus amount giving you a deposit of £15000.
Couples are treated separately so if you and your significant other choose to buy a house together you will both be eligible for the bonus and have double the money to put towards your mortgage.
Own your own home with a smaller deposit
Typically higher interest rates
Deposit of at least 5%
Whilst this isn’t technically a scheme, the availability of 5% mortgages has become more and more common over the last few years. Because many would be first time buyers rent, they have less disposable income to put towards a deposit.
The 5% mortgage makes owning a home more accessible than ever. There are some drawbacks with this method, you are likely to pay a higher interest rate because of your loan to value ratio; however it will afford you the opportunity to put money into your own home rather than spending it on rent.
You can then formulate a plan to save a further deposit and overtime you can pay off chunks of your mortgage and potentially reduce your interest rate.
Many first time buyers do this and accept a mortgage with the maximum term length and high interest rates. The reason for this is the monthly repayments become less and when they receive a pay rise or save up a large sum of money, they are then in a position to renegotiate their mortgage for a lower rate and a shorter term. A very sensible move. Not all banks offer a 5% mortgage though and some may demand a guarantor so be sure to do your research.
Find out if you can actually afford your own home
Fill in your details for us to offer some free advice, no matter where you currently live or what your current financial status is.
In recent reports, The BBC, The Halifax and The Guardian are reporting the biggest jump in house prices in April 2019 for the last 2 years.
The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, the biggest mortgage lender in the country, reported: Prices have risen 5 per cent in the three months to April, compared with the same point last year. This is the fastest annual growth rate since February 2017.
In the three months to March 2019 prices were only growing at 2.6 per cent.
So what is the reason for the increase?
Some say that Brexit has negatively affected house prices. Others say that as the London housing market has stalled, the rest of the country has benefited.
The reality is there is still a shortfall of around 2.5 million houses across the UK. Demand remains high for both property ownership and buy to let investment.
Mortgages are still readily available with interest rates continuing at an all time low.
Average house prices increased
The Halifax also reported that average house prices hit a low of £154,663 during the 2009 financial crash. Since then, average prices have increased by £81,956. A whopping 53 per cent!
Signs of a healthy housing market
Although the current political client is still uncertain, the housing market remains strong and healthy. If anything, these figures show that buyers and sellers remain defiant and wish to continue as usual with moving home.
Nottingham housing market
Nottingham house prices are continuing to grow month on month. The city has seen a house price increase every month for a number of years. Nottingham has been in the top 3 cities across the whole of the UK for price growth throughout almost all of 2019.
You can read more about this in our latest blog post.
How much is your house worth?
If you are looking and moving home then take advantage of this large price rise. Find out how much your house is worth for free by using the form below or calling 0115 924 3304.
We operate a no sale, no fee policy. If you instruct us to market your home you will not pay a penny until you sell.