Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

March 14 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Affordable housing bond launches to help investors cash in on first-time buyers



Pocket, the London-based property firm that sells affordable homes to "moderate income" professionals in the capital, has launched a mini-bond on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, which will allow the business to raise up to £1.5m from armchair investors.

The company, which was founded in 2006, plans to build more than 4,000 starter homes across London within the next 10 years, using the funds raised through the mini-bond alongside a £21.7m loan from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Pocket co-founder and chief executive Marc Vlessing said: "Last year was a great year for Pocket, we are rapidly expanding to meet a strong demand for affordable housing.

"This bond is an exciting opportunity to support an alternative to London's middle-market housing crisis and invest in a scheme that offers a return on your capital."



River Cottage's Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall raised £1m with his mini-bond

Pocket builds homes for people who work in the capital but are caught between social housing and the private sector. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would surely be an extremely brave (or maybe foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Click the link to get an answer to your questions on What Is Public Liability Insurance.They are aimed at young professionals earning an average of £40,0000. The properties are sold at a discount to local market prices of around 20pc. Pocket buyers own 100pc of their home, which sets it apart from more complicated shared equity schemes.

The company works with local councils to develop smaller infill sites on brownfield land that would normally be passed over by larger developers.

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568875/s/44347cec/sc/36/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cfinance0Cbusinessclub0Cmoney0C114598450CAffordable0Ehousing0Ebond0Elaunches0Eto0Ehelp0Einvestors0Ecash0Ein0Eon0Efirst0Etime0Ebuyers0Bhtml/story01.htm
kindheartedoomp05

Ahead of the election, what are politicians promising SMEs?



Politicians have set out their promises in the run-up to the general election. Photograph: Getty Images/Matt Cardy

With one third of private sector turnover coming from small business [PDF], it goes without saying that the main political parties are eager to cultivate their support in advance of the May election.

The Federation of Small Businesses has claimed the success of the UK economy is based on the economic health of those companies and the 50% of private sector workers which they employ.

As the weeks tick down to polling day, the two government parties and Labour have started to set out their promises for what can be expected in key areas which affect small and medium sized enterprises, should they come into power.

Red Tape

The two coalition partners have been vocal about their desire to cut red tape with the Conservatives the most forthright on their plans, maintaining that small business is "disproportionately affected by regulation".

The Tories claim they will save £10bn through cuts in red tape over the five year life of the government with any department which introduces a new regulation having to justify it with a double cost saving. A draft deregulation bill has also been introduced, which includes measures to remove unnecessary health and safety rules, said a party spokesman.

Uncertainty over regulations as well as a pledge to cut down on red tape has led to a promise from the Liberal Democrats that they will establish a Regulation Advisory Board. Regulations should be designed, according to the party, to promote low carbon and efficient innovation.

Labour has said repeatedly that it will set up a Small Business Administration (SBA) if elected. The body would be modelled on a US agency set up to assist entrepreneurs and small business. It has also committed to increasing competition in banking by bringing at least two "challenger" banks onto the high street.

Paul Statham

Paul Statham. Photograph: PR

Rates

Paul Statham, managing director of software development business Condeco, reflects the views of many business owners when he says that his company is hit with high business rates specifically because they are based in Canary Wharf.

"We don't benefit from business rates because of where we are, so I think they are excessive for very high value areas and it is done because we rub shoulders with banks and the like and these companies. Ultimately in that sense, it becomes a hidden taxation because we don't use any more per square foot than a business would in another part of the country," he said.

Labour has committed to cutting business rates in 2015 and then freezing them in 2016 for over 1.5 million business properties.

The Liberal Democrats meanwhile have said that they will review business rates, which are a "disproportionate burden" on small businesses, and look at alternatives. "The review will cover the option of moving to site value rating within five years, and in the longer term land value taxation more broadly," a spokesman said.

In the last Autumn statement, chancellor George Osborne said there would be a review of the rates system. The Tories say that rate relief has been doubled until April of next year.

There have been consistent calls among businesses for changes to the system which governs rates, to tackle discrepancies between bills depending on the size and location of businesses. Dan Wagner, the founder of mobile payments company Powa, said high street retailers should get tax credits from the government as they are providing an "infrastructure on the streets".

Dan Wagner

Dan Wagner. Photograph: PR

"You can't tax people on property any more, it dosen't make any sense. Businesses don't operate that way today, they operate [in] lots of different channels. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers pleading with us to claim for any little mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or maybe foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions that you might have on public liability insurance.You can be sitting at home and everything can be virtual and generate a very big business on the back of it and we can see that with the large internet players so it is completely unreasonable to have a large internet retailer being advantaged by not having to pay the rates that a physical retailer has," he said.

Regional Development

Wagner is also critical of the amount of attention given to the regions, maintaining that many innovations emerging from the UK at present are coming from entrepreneurial hubs like Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, which are in need of incentive schemes similar to those operating in London.

The Liberal Democrats have committed to growing manufacturing in areas such as motor vehicles, aerospace, low-carbon energy and chemicals to increase international trade. A spokesman said they will continue the Regional Growth Fund, which encourages investment in areas dependent on the public sector, through the next parliament if they are returned.

"We will invest in major transport improvements and infrastructure to create a 'Northern Economic Corridor'; a focus for growth, innovation and prosperity across northern England," said the party.

Labour has committed to creating a British Investment Bank and a series of regional banks in order to boost lending for small businesses and "powerhouse" economic regions with funds so that they can back local growth.

Related: What's your top small business concern in the May election?

The Conservatives meanwhile have lauded the transfer of power and budgets to cities in the North. "We are transferring power in Manchester to a city-wide elected Mayor. This will give Mancunians a more powerful voice and bring practical improvements, such as better transport links, an Oyster-style travel card, and more investment in skills and the city's economy," a spokesman said. Similar to their coalition partners, the Tories have also pointed to the Regional Growth Fund as one their achievements and the backing of the proposed high speed rail route between Leeds and Manchester.

From the industry point of view, Statham said that more attention needs to be given to improve the apprenticeship scheme and eliminating what he describes as a two tier system which has developed between those with and without degrees.

Sign up to become a member of the Guardian Small Business Network here for more advice, insight and best practice direct to your inbox.

http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/mar/11/election-politicians-small-businesses-regional
kindheartedoomp05

RLA Chairman challenges "biased" TV programme



The Residential Landlords' Association Chairman Alan Ward has written to ITVs Director of News and Current Affairs, Michael Jeremy about his concerns over a recent documentary entitled: "Britain's Housing Crisis" which was broadcast on 5th March - see link below.

The move follows a spate of anti-landlord sentiment in the media reflecting on the growth of the private rented sector (PRS) and the inability of "generation rent" to get onto the housing ownership ladder.

Mr Ward believes the show was "a biased representation of conditions within the Private Rented Sector" and he is concerned that no landlord body was invited to contribute to the discussion.

"Had they done so," he commented "ITV would have been able to note to viewers that there are over 100 Acts of Parliament containing around 400 regulations affecting the private rented market."

Ward thinks that the programme "perpetuates a negative stereotype of landlords that the RLA feels is unjustified. It's, the actions of a criminal few that negatively impact on the reputation of the vast majority of landlords who are legally compliant, and eager to provide quality service to their tenants."

In the letter* Mr Ward reiterates the RLA stance that enforcement is lacking within the PRS, allowing criminals to operate under the radar while compliant landlords and their tenants pay the cost.

The RLA is calling on the next Government to undertake a full review of the enforcement of regulations in the PRS.

Ward claims that tenants are being let down by a failure on the part of local governments to properly enforce the powers they already have to tackle poor housing conditions.

His appeal comes after research conducted by the Local Government Information Unit and Management Journal which has found that 54 per cent of local authorities believe that they are in danger of being unable to fund their statutory services.

In 2013, the cross-party Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on the private rented sector warned that it was "concerned about reports of reductions in staff who have responsibility for enforcement and tenancy relations and who have an important role in making approaches to raising standards successful."

The same report also raised concerns that "the police...

are sometimes unaware of their responsibilities in dealing with reports of illegal eviction."

Alan Ward, Chairman of the RLA said:

"The RLA is fully supportive of regulations that protect both tenants and good landlords.

"But it cannot be right that regulations are not being enforced properly. This lets tenants and good landlords down.

"The reality is that we can regulate all we like but without proper enforcement then it becomes meaningless.

"Whilst debate on the private rented sector will intensify as we approach polling day we need to think carefully about what can and cannot be enforced.

"It's time to end the false belief that regulations in themselves will help solve the problems in the sector. Instead we need a smarter approach to root out the minority of crooks who cause misery for tenants and bring the sector into disrepute."

Liverpool City Council recently launched its landlord licensing scheme. With interest rates steadfastly refusing to rise, investors are looking elsewhere for opportunities to invest their savings. One particular opportunity is the buy-to-let market, you either get a mortgage on a property and then rent the property out, thus paying the mortgage. With property prices still rising, it's a technique that offers a degree of security whilst still returning decent returns on your investment. However, you need to be aware of potential problems. The following link offers answers to questions such as Is Direct Line Landlord Insurance OK For Buy To Let Property.Details can be found at here

In 2014, Liverpool City Council announced plans to cut Environmental Health Services by up to 25 per cent - see here

Details of the joint Local Government Information Unit/Management Journal survey of local authorities can be found here

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on the private rented sector can be found here

*RLA Letter

ITV Programme

RLA Chairman Writes to ITV Director of News, Concerns Over Documentary "Britain's Housing Crisis" - http://t.co/vVHurr8Mjk @itvpresscentre

-- LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) March 13, 2015

©LandlordZONE® - legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/rla-chairman-challenges-biased-tv-programme
kindheartedoomp05

Mixed results for retail footfall in February



13/03/2015

By Daniel Hunter

There were mixed results for retail footfall in February, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), with a 0.5% fall from last year but the biggest monthly rise for nine months.

Despite the 0.5% drop from February last year, footfall was up 1.2% from January, which is the strongest monthly rise since May 2014.

Shopping centres reported the largest decline, falling 1.5%, while high streets experienced a 0.6% decline in footfall, up on the 1.6% fall in January.

Footfall in out-of-town locations, like retail parks, fared the best with a 1.0% increase year-on-year.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: "February largely saw good news overall with high footfall compared to the three month average which was the best performance since May 2014. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors imploring us to claim for any little mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who made the decision that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions that you might have on Does Direct Line Tradesman Insurance Cover My Staff?.This was helped by a notable slowdown in a decline of high street footfall, as well as out of town strength.

"Although it's usually traditional to see us putting our feet up after the Christmas rush and January sales this doesn't seem to be the case for out of town shopping. We are still flocking for those big ticket items with an increase in footfall by one per cent.

"Shopping centres saw a predictable decline for this time of year and retailers will be preparing for increased footfall when consumers feel recovered from taking advantage of all the great Black Friday, Christmas and January offerings."

Bookmark

AddThis Social Bookmark Button




http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/news.php?NID=25379
kindheartedoomp05


March 05 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Half of small businesses expect turnover to increase in 2015

Half of small businesses expect turnover to increase in 2015

Around half of small businesses in the UK expect their turnover to increase in the next 12 months, according to research by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BiS).

The study also reveals that 78 per cent of those asked report a profit or surplus in the past 12 months. This is up 6 percentage points on 2012 figures and up to pre-recession levels.

The Small Business Survey 2014 is based on a poll of more than 4,000 small businesses (with no more than 249 employees) across the UK.

More than a third (40 per cent) of respondents say that their turnover increased over the past year. This compares favourably to the figure of 29 per cent seen in 2012. Only 18 per cent say their turnover fell in 2014 (The 2012 figure was 31 per cent).

Subsequently small businesses have hired more in 2014 and are planning to recruit more staff in the near future. Almost a quarter (22 per cent) took on more staff in the past 12 months (compared to 19 per cent in 2012) and a third say they intend to increase headcount in 2015. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors imploring us to claim for any little mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. With this in mind, it would be an extremely brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who made the decision that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Click the link to get an answer to any questions that you might have on Does Direct Line Tradesman Insurance Cover My Staff?.This is up from a fifth three years ago.

Business minister Matthew Hancock says the government's aim is 'to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business' and that 'this is now within reach'.

'Small businesses are leading our economic recovery and we have thrown our weight behind them, like never before,' adds Hancock. 'Over 850,000 small businesses have benefitted from the Government's Employment Allowance.

'We've cut back £10 billion of burdensome red tape and last year UKTI helped nearly 48,000 businesses export more than £49 billion of goods overseas. There really has never been a better time to start a business.'

See also: SMEs expect bureaucracy increase

http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk/news/2480492/half-of-small-businesses-expect-turnover-to-increase-in-2015.thtml

March 03 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Sydney's most expensive suburb racks up another record sale as recruitment queen Julia Ross sells Mediterranean-style home for more than $37 million



The Ville de Mare is located on Wolseley Road, Point Piper, known to many as Millionaire's row

The house is one of five this year which has sold in the picturesque suburb for more than $30 million

The five-bedroom palatial pad includes an infinity pool and offers views of Sydney Harbour from every corner

It was owned by Australian businesswoman Julie Ross who launched her own successful recruitment firm in 1988

She sold her remaining shares in 2011 and was estimated to have a network of $65 million according to BRW  

By Daniel Mills for Daily Mail Australia

Published: 12:18 GMT, 7 October 2014 | Updated: 13:30 GMT, 7 October 2014

A five-bedroom palatial pad once home to Australian recruitment queen Julia Ross has sold on Sydney's most expensive street for more than $37 million. 

The Mediterranean-inspired home in Point Piper, in the city's east, is Sydney's highest selling home this year surpassing four other properties on the same suburb which have cracked the $30 million mark.

Listing agents Bill Malouf of LJ Hooker Double Bay and Ken Jacobs of Christies International Real listed the Wolseley Road property on Millionaire's Row for a cool $40 million last month but would not speculate whether it reached that mark. 

The Mediterranean-style home was sold bought $21 million eight years ago but sold for almost twice the price last month

The price set a nationwide record for a non waterfront home and was the highest priced sale recorded so far in 2014

The Ville del Mare, on Wolseley Road, which boasts 270 degree views of the best harbour in Australia on possibly the nation's most desirable street

Both remain tight-lipped over the sale of the Ville del Mare, on Wolseley Road, which boasts 270 degree views of the best harbour in Australia on possibly the nation's most desirable street.

Ms Ross, who founded her own recruiting business Julia Ross recruitment in 1988 sold the ornate limestone Palazzo for close to double the $21.5 million price tag she paid for it back in 2005.

The price was the second highest paid for a house in Australia at the time, beaten only by the $28 million sale of the Altona which is also situated at Point Piper. It sold for $52 million last year and remains Sydney's second most expensive sale.

The city's record house remains the nearby $53 million Villa Veneto pad paid for Sydney dentist and medical innovator David Penn. 

As it stands today, the Ville de Mare captures sweeping harbour views and keeps impeccable gardens on the grounds of the luxurious 1500 square metre property that also has five oversized ensuite bedrooms.

The three-storey home also has its own self-contained apartment on the lower level.

The estimated $37 million sale is a record for a non-waterfront sale in Australia and follows the sale of four other properties all above $30 million this year which are all located in the same salubrious suburb. 

The price was the second highest paid for a house in Australia in 2005, beaten only by the $28 million sale of the Altona. It sold for $52 million last year.

Decked out with chandeliers, cherubs and Corinthian columns it is undoubtedly one of Sydney's most prestigious properties.

Extensive formal and informal living and dining spaces encompass a bar room and a magnificent entertainer's kitchen, while there is the very best in automated smart home technology. 

The focal point is an infinity edge pool from which you can soak up the view, with concealed outdoor speakers and professional garden lighting. 

It is the latest of five properties above $30 million to change hands in Point Piper this year including another non-waterfront home in Wentworth St in July, and the home formerly owned by Property developer and Ville de Mare neighbour Ron Medich.

He pocketed about $30 million earlier in June for his 783 square metre Piper Point property. Last week, a home belonging to former hotelier Salvatore Paino sold for more than $30 million.

Ms Ross was named at number 25 on the BRW rich list in 2013 with an estimated wealth of  $65 million. With interest rates stuck firmly in the gutter, people are searching elsewhere for investment opportunities. One particular strategy is the buy-to-let market, you or if you have the funds available you buy a property and then get an income from the rent. With property prices still rising, it's a technique offering a degree of security whilst still returning decent returns on your investment. Sadly, you need to be aware of potential problems. The following link offers answers to questions such as Is Direct Line Landlord Insurance OK For Buy To Let Property.She sold half of her business in 2000 and the remaining stock in 2011.

Decked out with chandeliers, cherubs and Corinthian columns it is undoubtedly one of Sydney's most prestigious properties

Inside and out: This bedroom offers a magnificent view of the harbour 

The home is the latest of five properties above $30 million to change hands in Point Piper this year

A neighbouring property owned by Ron Medich also recent sold on the same street for close to the same amount

The home captures sweeping harbour views the residence is set amid impeccable gardens on more than 1500sqm of land

The home captures sweeping harbour views and is set amid impeccable gardens on more than 1500sqm of land

The trophy sale sets a new record for non-waterfront real estate in Australia, eclipsing the $32.4 million paid in 2008 for the nearby mansion Craig-y-Mor

Ken Jacobs, of Christie's International, and Bill Malouf, of LJ Hooker Double Bay, confirmed the property had sold but would not disclose the price

A sales campaign for the three-storey property began in August with hopes of $40 million but it is not known how close this home got to that mark

Sydney's record house house sale remains the $53 million paid for the nearby waterfront Villa Veneto, and second highest was set last March when Altona sold for $52 million.

 

Share or comment on this article

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2783556/Australia-s-expensive-suburb-racks-record-sale-recruitment-queen-Julia-Ross-sells-Mediterranean-style-home-37-million.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
kindheartedoomp05

AIG turnaround CEO Benmosche dies



David Bull 27 February 2015

Robert Benmosche, the former president and CEO of AIG credited with steering the US insurance giant from near bankruptcy to recovery, died this morning (27 February) aged 70 after a five-year battle with cancer.

The former MetLife chief executive was called out of retirement in August 2009 to take the reins at AIG with the company still in troubled waters after it was bailed out in the biggest government rescue of the financial crisis.

He proceeded to chart a course...

You are currently viewing an incomplete version of this article. If you are a subscriber then please login now. Our TV screens are full of adverts from lawyers imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would surely be an extremely brave (or perhaps foolish) small business owner who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on price comparison public liability insurance.If you are a non-subscriber but would like to be able to view this article, then please select from the purchasing options below.

Purchase

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/aig-turnaround-ceo-benmosche-dies

February 28 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Munich Re Underwriting names Artmann as new MD



Charlie Thomas 27 February 2015

Munich Re Underwriting has announced that Thomas Artmann will replace Rod Grande as managing director after Grande retires on 1 July 2015.

The managing agency runs Watkins Syndicate 457, one of Lloyd's largest marine insurance underwriters. Our TV screens seem to be overwhelmed by solicitors imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would surely be an extremely brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Click the link to get an answer to your questions on What Is Covered With Direct Line Tradesman Insurance?.Watkins has been operating since 1977.

Grande originally trained as an auditor with Andersen before joining the Lloyd's market in 1985. He has been managing director of Munich Re Underwriting since 1996, as well as being a director of Munich Re Holding Company UK...

You are currently viewing an incomplete version of this article. If you are a subscriber then please login now. If you are a non-subscriber but would like to be able to view this article, then please select from the purchasing options below.

Purchase

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/munich-re-underwriting-names-artmann-as-new-md
kindheartedoomp05

JK Rowling's vacant plots: Stars of new Sunday drama are the lovely Cotswolds buildings



Although fictional Pagford has a cobbled market square, ancient abbey and mellow Cotswold stone buildings, behind closed doors it is a town at war. Domestic dramas, Michael Gambon and Julia McKenzie aside though, the real stars of this three-part mini series are the lovely buildings.

Gloucestershire's Stroud, Painswick and Northleach are among the historic sites used by the BBC to create idyllic Pagford, but the Cotswolds also takes in parts of Oxfordshire and touches Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

The 790 square miles of rolling hills and ancient villages is Britain's largest Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with 3,000 miles of public footpaths including The Cotswold Way and a section of the Thames Path.

It is home to dozens of famous people, from Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to movers and shakers including David Cameron as well as numerous showbusiness types.

Gloucestershire's lush countryside provides some of the most beautiful parts of the region, but its Oxfordshire section is just as popular thanks to its good road and rail links to London.

According to Rupert Wakley, head of Knight Frank Stow On The Wold, the Cotswolds property market has strong demand and a short supply.

"Homes on the open market are receiving strong interest, particularly in the under £1million market," he says, "and we are also finding that homes offered quietly are receiving an equally good reception.

"That said, buyers are approaching with a slight air of caution as the general election looms, particularly in the £1million-plus market.

"Over 50 per cent of our buyers have been families moving out of London. Equally important for many is whether they will still be commuting in to London and subsequently which rail line suits them best.

"For downsizers or retirees, the lifestyle they are looking for may affect their choice. Gloucestershire is known for its beautiful countryside and country pursuits, whereas the theatres and restaurants of Oxford may push other buyers into Oxfordshire."

It seems not even the grim storyline of The Casual Vacancy will reduce interest in the area. With interest rates steadfastly refusing to rise, people are looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. One popular strategy is the buy-to-let market, you or if you have the funds available you buy a property and then get an income from the rent. With property prices still rising, it's an opportunity that offers a degree of security whilst offering decent returns on your investment. Sadly, its not without its pitfalls. The following link has some answers to questions such as What Does Direct Line Landlord Insurance Cover?.After all, if it is good enough for Prince Charles it is good enough for everyone.

The Casual Vacancy, BBC1, tonight, 9pm

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/daily-express-property-news/~3/a7iYWpI2FKg/Property-weaved-into-JK-s-Rowling-BBC-adaptiation-is-the-real-star-of-the-drama

February 26 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Small companies losing £8bn to fraud



Nearly 286,000 small businesses across the UK have been the victim of fraud, a new study by Experian has found, losing a total of nearly £8bn during their time in business.

The information services company polled 500 SME bosses and 13pc have been the victim of a card, cheque or identity fraud.

SMEs with more than nine employees were the most likely to have fallen victim to fraud, with 27pc reportedly losing money to fradsters, while just one-in-10 micro businesses reported fraudulent activity.

Among UK SMEs that have been victims of fraud, the average amount of money lost was £2,627, but 1pc of SMEs overall lost £10,001 or more.

Ade Potts, managing director of Experian's SME business, said: "Some of the smallest of businesses in the UK are just as likely to become victims of fraud as their larger counterparts. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors imploring us to claim for any little mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions that you might have on Why Must I Have Public Liability Insurance?.No matter what the size of the loss, whether it is £1,000 or £10,000, an unplanned loss can have a big impact on a small or medium-sized business, both financially and operationally."

Last year, Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA) warned small firms of an upsurge in two scams in particular: invoice fraud, where criminals send in fake requests for payment, and phone fraud, where companies are telephoned and tricked into revealing important payment details.

FFA director Katy Worobec said: "Criminals are turning their attention to businesses because successfully scamming a company can net the fraudster a much bigger haul than they could steal from an individual."

Payments business Worldpay has also claimed that instances of fraud could rocket by as much as 80pc this month as hackers capitalise on customer data harvested during the Christmas shopping period.

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568875/s/4377541b/sc/36/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cfinance0Cbusinessclub0Ctechnology0C114135120CSmall0Ecompanies0Elosing0E8bn0Eto0Efraud0Bhtml/story01.htm

February 24 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Likely effects of rent control legislation in Germany



One of the most intensely debated issues during recent elections in Germany, mirrored to some extent here, was the steep increases in rent for new residential lettings in certain local markets and the ways in which such increases can be limited in future.

On October 1 2014 the federal government in Germany published a proposal for tenancy law reform which includes rent controls in some cities; the new legislation is expected to enter into force in the first half of 2015.

According to the advice of the InterntionalLawOffice.com (ILO) this legislation will have a significant impact on prospective investors in the residential tenancy sector, and there's doubt that the aim of the new legislation will be achieved, ie, that low-income households will still be able to afford housing in a prosperous city or area.

The anticipated effects of the rent control legislation in Germany:

"The proposal's most important changes which will be of interest to investors are as follows:

- In case of a new letting the initial rent may not exceed the customary local reference rent by more than 10%.(1) This applies to (mostly urban) districts yet to be identified by the individual federal states in which "the possibility of adequately supplying the public with rented housing at reasonable conditions is particularly jeopardised".(2)

- Housing used and leased for the first time after October 1 2014 or after an extensive refurbishment is excluded.

- If the previous tenant's rent exceeded the customary local reference rent by more than 10%, this higher rent amount can still be agreed on (but no higher). This means that a landlord cannot be forced to re-let at a lower rent than the amount agreed with the previous tenant.

- If a tenant has paid more than the permissible rent, it may reclaim the overpaid amount. It has yet to be decided whether the tenant should be allowed to reclaim only those overpaid amounts which became due after a complaint was submitted."

What will be the consequences?

The new rent control legislation applies to the re-letting of any property rented out before 1st October 2014 and located in an area characterised by a "tense housing market".

It is therefore likely that owners of rented properties in prosperous cities will be unable to conclude new residential leases at the market rent, but rather at the average rent plus 10%.

According to the InterntionalLawOffice.com (ILO), the federal government in Germany expects that this rent restriction will result in residential tenants paying a total of EUR284.14 million less in rent per year. Correspondingly, this will be the amount by which landlords' turnover will be reduced per year.

Therefore, taking into account that the average purchase price multipliers for rented residential units in good locations in German cities can reach up to 30 times in certain areas, this will lead to a EUR8.52 billion loss in value for owners.

This new legislation will likely affect not only property owners in prosperous cities and areas, but also corporate real estate companies with diversified portfolios of properties located in both declining and prosperous cities and areas. The result of this will be decreasing or stagnating rents in declining cities that will...

no longer be offset by those in more prosperous areas.

Investors seeking investment opportunities in prosperous cities and areas will have to consider the new rent control legislation in their business plans for future acquisitions.

The limited possibility of increasing rents, even in the case of re-lettings, reduces the potential cash flow of such properties.

This should be considered when calculating the purchase price. In light of this, the value of existing flats and residential premises in prosperous cities and areas is expected to be adversely affected.

From an investor's perspective, the only positive aspect is that future residential developments are unlikely to be affected as the Government would not want investment in new housing projects in areas with insufficient housing to be jeopardised.

Comment

"There has been much criticism of the new rent control legislation (in Germany), especially from the real estate community. There is considerable doubt that the aim of the new legislation will be achieved (ie, that low-income households will still be able to afford housing in a prosperous city or area).

This is due to the fact that a landlord with several prospective tenants must ultimately choose just one tenant and it is expected that this decision will take credit worthiness into account. Thus, high-income households are much more likely to be chosen as tenants than those on a low income.

Despite the criticism it seems inevitable that the new legislation will enter into force in 2015. Except for project developments, the consequences should be considered by both owners and investors in the residential tenancy sector."

(1) Customary local reference rent in Germany is the average rent paid in the same or similar municipality over the previous four years for housing of a comparable type, quality and size in a comparable location equipped with comparable fixtures.

(2) The individual federal state governments in Germany are entitled to identify certain areas characterised by tense housing markets (in which the provisions on rent control will apply for a maximum five-year period). However, these areas must be identified by December 31 2020.

The International Law Office (ILO) is a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. With interest rates stuck firmly in the gutter, investors are looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. One particular opportunity is the buy-to-let market, you either get a mortgage on a property and then rent the property out, thus paying the mortgage. With property holding its value nicely, it's an opportunity offering a degree of security whilst still returning decent returns on your investment. Sadly, you need to be aware of potential problems. The following link offers answers to questions such as Does A Buy To Let Owner Need Landlord Insurance?.In-house corporate counsel and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, qualify for a free subscription. Register at www.iloinfo.com

Effects of Rent Control Legislation in Germany are Likely to be Negative According to the International Law Office - http://t.co/0Wo7XTLRUK

-- LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) February 20, 2015

©LandlordZONE® - legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/likely-effects-of-rent-control-legislation-in-germany
kindheartedoomp05

Britain's mid-sized companies overtake the Mittelstand by revenues



Mid-sized companies in the UK are making EUR1.92 trillion a year in revenues, having expanded 33pc over the past five years. The Mittelstand, meanwhile, has grown 12pc and is now delivering turnover of EUR1.78 trillion a year.

BDO, which compiled the figures, defined a mid-sized company as one that had between £10m and £300m of annual turnover. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody can be blamed and they need to pay!. With this in mind, it would be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Click the link to get an answer to any questions that you might have on Who Needs Public Liability Insurance?.There are 35,299 firms of this size in the UK, compared to almost 44,000 in Germany.

The German ministry of economic affairs defines the Mittelstand more narrowly, only including firms with up to 500 employees and between EUR1m and EUR50m in annual sales. This cohort of businesses, which are often family-owned, makes up more than half of Germany's economic output.

In 2011, the Chancellor George Osborne called on British firms to "learn the lessons of the successful Mittelstand model". Earlier this month, the Prime Minister David Cameron launched a support scheme for up to 500 smaller companies a year, dubbed Help to Grow.

"Germany has always invested in its mid-market; it has policies directly aimed at the Mittelstand and culturally the Mittelstand stands as the economic backbone of the nation," said Simon Michaels, managing partner at BDO. "While the UK's mid-sized businesses are worth more than the Mittelstand for the time being, there is so much more we can do to cement our position as Europe's mid-market leader."

Meanwhile, research by Markit for KPMG found that technology companies continued to expand in the final three months of 2014, with a survey showing activity rose from 55.7 to 59.8, increasing further above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

This upbeat assessment by tech companies contrasted with weakening sentiment from UK businesses overall, though with a score of 55.2 remained firmly in growth.

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568875/s/43b038dd/sc/46/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cfinance0Ceconomics0C114280A40A0CBritains0Emid0Esized0Ecompanies0Eovertake0Ethe0EMittelstand0Eby0Erevenues0Bhtml/story01.htm

February 21 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Small firms given fighting chance to win Government contracts



"We will be making the whole procurement process transparent and open and will shortly announce further steps to enable small firms to compete for public sector contacts on a more equal basis," he claimed.

Central government has set a procurement target of 25pc of spending for 2015. It is "likely" to meet this target, Lord Young said, but across the rest of the public sector, just 20pc of business is won by small firms.

The process also takes much longer than elsewhere in the EU. Last year, data company Spend Network, working alongside the Open Data Institute, analysed more than £1trillion in EU procurement data, and found that the UK's tendering process is 45pc slower than the EU average.

It took the Government 53 days longer than the EU average to complete an EU-compliant tender last year.

The Report on Small Firms, which took Lord Young five years to compile, also reiterates the Government's pledge to eradicate late payments. A third of public sector bodies still take more than 30 days to settle their bills. However, as of this month, all public bodies will have a legal duty to pay within 30 days and ensure those terms flow down the entire procurement chain.

In his report, Lord Young also addressed the lack of finance available to small businesses, and pinpointed the ongoing skills shortage. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors imploring us to claim for any little mishap, there is obviously no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would be an extremely brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer any questions that you might have on Is Direct Line Tradesmen Insurance Right For My Business?.The Business Bank, alongside Startup Loans, will help to close the funding gap, he said, while a new Enterprise Passport scheme, a list of a student's extra-curricular accomplishments, will help encourage young people to build up their business skills outside the classroom, with £20m of investment from the Government.

According to Federation of Small Businesses, which lobbies on behalf of small firms, Lord Young's report is a "strong voice for enterprise" within Government, but more needs to be done.

"This report underlines many of the issues we have made real progress on - not least [Lord Young's] work to bring together education and business, streamlining public procurement for small firms, and the establishment of the British Business Bank," said John Allan, FSB chairman. "However, there are still many areas that need further work, such as poor payment practices and a fundamental reform of business rates."

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568875/s/4339f3d3/sc/7/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cfinance0Cyourbusiness0C1140A150A0A0CSmall0Efirms0Egiven0Efighting0Echance0Eto0Ewin0EGovernment0Econtracts0Bhtml/story01.htm
kindheartedoomp05

Now THAT'S unique: This converted LIGHTHOUSE home could be yours for £975K



Inside of the nautical lighthouse homeWALES NEWS SERVICE

This stunning home converted from a lighthouse could be yours

Complete with eight bedrooms, a heated indoor swimming pool and stunning cliff top views, The Old Lighthouse in Dale, South Wales has been converted into the perfect luxury home.

It is suitably furnished with a nautical theme and proudly boasts a well-equipped kitchen, a large dining area and windows on three sides to give an almost 360-degree sea view of Skomer and Skokholm Island of the Bristol Channel.

The property, listed at £975,000, features a dining area with solid oak flooring, panelled wood walls and a central large brick fireplace with solid oak featured mantelpiece.

The luxury interior also continues into the kitchen where the wealthy owner will be able to prepare banquets on the country-style cream wall and base units complete with solid oak worktops.

Indoor swimming poolWALES NEWS SERVICE

The property boasts an indoor swimming poolFormer lighthouse on top of a cliffWALES NEWS SERVICE

It also boasts stunning cliff viewsNatuical interior of the lighthouse propertyWALES NEWS SERVICE

The property has a nautical theme throughout

In total, the former lighthouse home comes with five bedrooms and a three-bedroom annex.

The lighthouse was built in the eighteenth century and was used to guide vessels away from the rocks near Bristol Harbour.

This property has one of the most spectacular, breath-taking views of the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline

Sophie Evans

Sophie Evans, Managing Director of Coasty Property and Estates, said: "This property is stylish and is furnished comfortably reflecting on a nautical theme, it has a well equipped kitchen, large dining area, and windows on 3 sides give an almost 360 degree sea view.

"This property has one of the most spectacular, breath-taking views of the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline.

"Renovated to form a quality, spacious and exclusive home only yards from the cliff top and coastal path, it is a great chance for somebody to buy an unforgettable property."

Related articles

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/daily-express-property-news/~3/xo8ZO3Es8_8/Former-lighthouse-property-for-sale

February 17 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Can a good bathrooms help to 'sell' your rental property?



Can a good bathrooms help to 'sell' your rental property?

When it comes to the rooms that matter in a home, the kitchen is king, but surprisingly it's the so-called smallest room in the house that can often provide the true wow factor.

And as for the bedroom, what goes on behind closed doors...

Most bathrooms aren't massive, so creativity is the watchword.

Space and storage are often at a premium, but by using cleverly designed pieces such as bathroom cabinets, cupboards and drawers, you can easily create more space where there was previously none.

Wall and floor tiles now come in a dazzling array of colours and textures, while mood lighting can create a luxurious, sensual environment that needn't break the bank.

But does it matter when you come to rent out your property and can it help you achieve a greater rental yield as a result?

"We often see people sacrificing the smallest bedroom to create an upstairs bathroom, then extending into the loft to compensate for the lost bedroom. The work is significant and costly, but taking the bathroom up a floor can add significant value," says Ania Stanik from Ideal Standard.

"The bathroom is one of the most considered rooms. It equals the kitchen in its aspirations and is now a wellness sanctuary in which to de-stress and relax. Size has increased and the bathroom is a space in its own right."

So, a glitzy bathroom is now seen as aspirational, and not just a functional space of little importance.

The consensus is that where you have two properties of equal size, condition and location, the one that has a gussied-up bathroom is not only likely to be snapped up quicker, it'll be able to command a premium rent into the bargain.

To find out more on how you can maximise your rental yield and property value in the best way possible, visit www.idealstandard.co.uk and ask for their advice.

http://www.landlordexpert.co.uk/2015/02/11/can-a-good-bathrooms-help-to-sell-your-rental-property/

February 14 2015

kindheartedoomp05

What happened to rents near you in 2014?



Colchester, Croydon and Brighton see average rents fall 25%, 23% and 18% respectively

Leicester sees biggest rise at whopping 45% 

By Ed Monk for Thisismoney.co.uk

Published: 12:02 GMT, 20 January 2015 | Updated: 08:48 GMT, 21 January 2015

37 shares

46

View

comments

Rents grew by 6.6 per cent across the UK last year but regional data shows landlords in some property hotspots in the South East were forced to give significantly better deals to new tenants.

Average monthly rents in Colchester fell by 25 per cent, from £708 to £539, between December 2013 to December 2014. Meanwhile Croydon and Brighton suffered 23 per cent and 18 per cent falls respectively, according to HomeLet, a company that conducts reference checks on tenants.

At the other end of the scale, new rents in Leicester were 45 per cent higher than the year before, up from £421 to £611 a month, while Southall (38 per cent) and Cambridge (22 per cent) also saw steep rises.

Ups and downs: New rents have dropped 25% in Colchester (left), while landlords in Leicester (right) have seen rents soar 45 per cent.

The big variations between towns came amid an overall 6.6 per cent rise in rents across the country last year, which left the UK average monthly rent at £867. Rents in London sufferd a seasonal dip in December, but still finished the year 12 per cent higher at £1,244 a month.

Excluding the capital, rents across the UK rose by a more modest 1.5 per cent in 2014.

The HomeLet data is based on the value of new rental agreements. Most individuals tenants won't see their rent rising by the figure quoted as they will remain on rents agreed several years before.

Local factors: The HomeLet data revealed wide variations in rental changes across UK towns.

HomeLet said that rents in individual town were significantly impacted by local factors, such as new house building projects.

Martin Totty, chief executive of HomeLet parent firm Barbon Insurance, said: 'The data also points to some big differences in rental market performance in 2014 from town to town and city to city. The causative factor behind these differences is as simple as supply and demand.

'In, locations such as Leicester and Cambridge, demand for rental property is outstripping supply. By contrast, Croydon and some parts of Essex are benefitting from a relative boom in new property building, easing the pressure on the local rental market and this is reflected by a drop in rental prices.'

The HomeLet data also revelaed a sharp jump in the annual income of tenants, with renters earning around 7.1 per cent more on average than a year ago. 

Average tenant incomes jumped from just above £28,000 to just above £30,000, potentially reflecting rising house prices that have left more higher earners unable to get on the ladder.

Mr Totty added: 'The demand for rental property is increasing, and we expect it to continue doing so in 2015 as large numbers of people are priced out of buying. As a result, we expect to see continued growth in rental prices across the UK as the new year progresses, particularly as real incomes are starting to rise.'

SAVE MONEY ON BUY-TO-LET AND PROPERTY INVESTING

Logo L&C

Landlord insurance

Find cheaper cover

Logo L&C

Find a mortgage

Fee-free advice

Logo L&C

Buying abroad

Overseas guide

Logo L&C

Financial advice

Manage your wealth

Logo L&C

Ten buy-to-let tips

Build your portfolio

 

Share or comment on this article

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2918104/What-happened-region-s-rental-costs-2014.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

February 10 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Tenant Break Clause



It is fair to say that landlords dislike tenant-break clauses for their own sake, but are generally accommodating. The tenant's right to break gives the tenant the best of both worlds. The lease may be terminated before expiry of the contractual term, or the tenant can stay the course. It is suggested that one reason landlords allow the tenant to have the best of both worlds is to overcome the risk of a lower rent on expiry of the short lease contractual term. The upward-only rent review (whereby the rent payable remains unchanged) only applies during the contractual term, not on expiry.  From the landlord's perspective, a longer term with a break clause includes the prospect that the tenant would not, when the times comes, want to exercise the right to break.

According to the BFP/IPD  "UK Lease Events Review 2014?, an analysis based on circa 90,500 leases,  of the number of new leases granted in 2014, the average term length had increased to an average of 6.8 years, compared to 6.3 years in 2013, but 48.4% of new leases granted in 2014 still had a term of 4 years or less. Assessing the trend is isolation is misleading. 52% of the market comprises leases of 10 years and less, which means that 48% of the market is on longer leases. The commercial property comprises a number of different sectors, and occupier requirements vary according to the sector.  It is more common for office and industrial premises to have break clauses than retail. Higher rents tend to have longer leases because the level of rent generally reflects the importance of the building and/or location to the occupier.  In my experience, (Use Classes A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5) the typical lease for a multiple retailer is 10 years with a break clause at year 5, whereas local traders might be content with 5 years or less. How long a lease is also subject to whether the tenant plans to sell the business as a going concern and necessary for that business to have the particular premises and secure term of lease: bank lending criteria for financing the buying of businesses is likely to require a minimum term of 8 years, a duration that might be at odds with the tenant's ongoing risk commitment requirement.

From a tenant's perspective, a break clause provides an escape route in situations where flexibility is required. Whether the escape is allowed or blocked depends upon the wording of the break clause.

A break clause is a type of option entitling a landlord or a tenant to determine a fixed-term tenancy before the fixed term expires by effluxion of time. There are two types of break clause: unconditional and conditional.

With an unconditional break, all that is required is for the tenant to give whatever period of notice the lease requires and then yield up the premises on the break date.  (A break notice is not a notice to quit. A notice to quit only applies where there is a periodic tenancy.) Whether the premises have to be simply yielded up or yielded up with vacant  possession depends upon the requirements of the lease. In any event, yielding up does not negate the tenant's obligations for repair and decoration and usually the right to break is stated as being "without prejudice" to the rights and remedies of either party against the other in respect of any antecedent breach.

A conditional break requires the tenant to comply with specified conditions before termination.  The specified conditions vary according to the parties' bargaining power when the lease was granted. Conditions vary from simple to draconian. An example of a simple condition is the rent to be up-to-date. As with business tenancies, what looks to be simple is not always straightforward. That begs the question at what date is compliance required: the notice date or the break date. The answer depends upon the wording of the lease.

A draconian condition is no breach of covenant. Since most tenants are likely to be in breach of something, the chances of the landlord blocking are high. To overcome the hurdle, the word 'material' is included.  What does 'material' mean? "The word 'material' is susceptible to a number of nuances but what is fair and reasonable between landlord and tenant is not one of them". Materiality must be assessed by reference to the ability of the landlord to relet or sell the property without delay or additional expenditure" - Fitzroy House (No. 1) Ltd v Financial Times Ltd [2006]

The wording of the tenant's break clause can affect the rent review. Although a break clause may not be thought anything to do with the rent review, it is in...

comparison with the evidence. Since comparable evidence should be alike as far as possible in all respects, the conditions of a break clause for the rent review are compared with the conditions of evidential leases. What is reasonably expected in the market at the review/valuation date is integral to the valuation approach. For example, a lease for 10 years without a break clause might result in a lower rent than if the 10 years were subject to break clause. That possibility could be exacerbated in long leases with rent reviews at for example  7, 14 or 21 year intervals where the overage for  the difference between a 5 yearly and 14 yearly intervals (rule of thumb 1% per annum uplift for deviation from the norm) might be undermined by the lack of break clause during the notional term.

Conditional break clauses create problems for tenants, particularly those lacking the financial resources to fight landlord objections. As well as whether the break notice has been worded and served correctly, up to date with rent could include interest on late payment. In Avocet Industrial Estates LLP v Merol Ltd [2011], the tenant, often late with payment, hadn't provided cleared funds by the break date, also the landlord maintained that there were outstanding charges because the tenant hadn't paid interest due under the lease for payments of rent that had been paid late in the past, even though no demand had been made for the payment of interest.  The court said that the tenant was able to calculate the interest due without any real practical difficulty. Having regard to the case-law, tenants hoping to take advantage of landlord mistakes is risky. I am advising a tenant where the tenant, up to date with rent according to the landlord's rent demands, gave notice to break, but overlooked that the rent reviews in the lease were fixed increases which meant that the extra should have been payable by the tenant even though the landlord had forgotten to adjust the rent demands.

What happens to the rent paid in advance of a break date? In Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd and another [2014], Marks and Spencer had served notices to determine 4 leases, M&S having paid the preceding quaterly rents, approximately £1.1M, then sought a refund after the break date. The landlord refused on the basis that the full quarter's rent was due on the quarter day, there was no obligation in the leases to refund any sums for periods after the break date. The High Court found in M&S's favour. but the Court of Appeal overturned the decision. M&S has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Pending the outcome, Royal Mail (In Royal Mail Group Ltd v Airport Industrial GP Ltd and another), has made a pre-emptive request to the Court of Appeal for guidance in a dispute with the landlord over the exact requirements of a break option where the break date has not yet arrived.

The message for landlords and tenants is clear. Take nothing for granted. Always read the lease, before assuming the tenant is legally entitled to give up the lease. Due diligence is called for. Merely because the tenant has exercised the break does not mean that at the notice or break date, depending upon the date in the lease, the tenant has complied with any conditions or will have done so on the termination date. If the lease requires the premises yielded up with vacant possession, case law might define vacant posssesion differently to the tenant's interpretation. It is not necessary for a landlord to serve a schedule of dilapidations before the tenant vacates - a tenant is deemed to know what work is necessary to leave the premises in a state of repair and decoration as envisaged by the lease - so, while a dilapidation schedule is helpful to the tenant it would pay the landlords to have the premises professionally inspected before the tenant vacates for a proper record of what needs doing but not serve it in case the tenant doesn't comply with the break conditions.

©LandlordZONE® - legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/industry-expert-guest-writer/michael-lever/tenant-break-clause

February 07 2015

kindheartedoomp05

UK Landlords are investing in more complicated lets



Average yields on non-standard properties have continued to rise above buy-to-let investments, according to the latest Mortgages For Business research.

Multi-unit freehold blocks (MUFBs) have overtaken houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and now provide landlords with the highest gross yield.

This was at 9.3% for the final three months in 2014, which is the highest yield on record for this property type.

HMOs have also seen rental yields rise, to 9% within the same period, from 8.9% in the third quarter of last year.

The only exception to this trend is semi-commercial property, which saw yields fall to 6.4% from a high of 9.7% in the third quarter.

Gross yields on the most straightforward buy-to-let schemes have returned towards the levels seen in early 2014.

For a standard rental property the equivalent figure is now 6.3%, up from 5.9% in the third quarter.

Mortgages For Business managing director David Whittaker said: "Rental yields for HMOs and MUFBs are typically higher than those for basic buy-to-let.

"For a multitude of reasons, not least stagnant wage growth for half a decade, many tenants simply can't afford an enormous flat with a spare bedroom.

"As such, the attraction for many of renting a room rather than a whole property will ensure there is a steady yield-boosting demand for HMOs over 2015."

"While property prices have slowed a little in recent months, landlords have, on the whole, seen enormous price growth compared to the indecisive direction of property prices a few years ago.

"Looking ahead, this might spur some landlords to expand their existing portfolios further and diversify as a result of the high yields on non-standard properties."

http://www.landlordexpert.co.uk/2015/02/02/uk-landlords-are-investing-in-more-complicated-lets/

February 03 2015

kindheartedoomp05

Editorial Comment - January 2015



Buy to Let landlords have been the target of some vitriolic campaigns recently, not least from housing charities and the likes of the Guardian newspaper with countless anti-landlord articles published recently, such as this one: "Private renters rights are stuck in the dark ages, Citizens Advice warns" (13 Jan 2015).

What most of the journalists writing this stuff fail to point out is that the vast majority of private tenants are very happy with their landlords and their accommodation, which gives them value for money, flexibility, clean, safe and modern housing.

By far the majority of problems in the sector come from the socially assisted sector - the around 13 per cent of out-of-work and the 10 per cent of working private tenants claiming Housing Benefit. (Who Lives in the Private Rented Sector report Jan 2013)

As private landlords have increasingly taken on the mantle of housing what was traditionally the preserve of councils - private renting overtook social housing on 2013 - the inevitable problems arise from the challenges of this segment of the market.

Also, it's in this segment where you find the rogue operators - a small minority of slum landlords in a small segment of the private rented sector (PRS) that get the whole industry tarred with the same brush.

Local authorities are quite rightly concerned about the activities of these rogue operators in the more challenging parts of their boroughs, but many are resorting to "sledge hammer" strategies, blanket licensing throughout their boroughs using the "selective" licensing option under the 2004 Housing Act.

This means that ALL landlords must then be licensed and pay £500 per property every five years (or more in some areas) on the pretext that this will control anti-social behaviour and the bad landlords.

This has led to something like 35 councils to bring in, or are in the process of bringing in, this Draconian measure. The upshot of this is it creates great antagonism between the...

landlords and the councils in every borough involved, when in fact they should be cooperating with each other to provide much needed accommodation. The debacle of Enfield, where a single landlord funded a judicial review of their proposed scheme at the High Court and succeeded in blocking it, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Enter Manchester City Council, who it seems have found another way, and what appears to me at first sight, a far better way.

Here, council bosses are to launch a radical 'zero tolerance' crackdown on slum landlords, something all good landlords want to see. They are considering asking the government for new powers to give good, accredited landlords a tax break - and take tougher action on the bad ones.

According to the Manchester Evening News (MEN), Manchester City Council want to introduce 'tailored' powers to deal with the 'small number' of rogue landlords within the city, arguing it is currently restricted by a one-size-fits-all approach from central government.

That, to my mind, is a breath of fresh air as far as councils dealing with these problems are concerned. Manchester is looking to work with their private landlords, not against them, and I hope it is an example to be followed by others in the future.

Tom Entwistle, January 2015

©LandlordZONE® - legal content applies to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice. If you have questions on these issues go to the LandlordZONE® Forums

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/landlordzone-update/editorial-comment-january-2015
Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl