People will no longer have the right to live in their council home for life in future after ministers moved to impose a five-year limit on new tenancies. In a move condemned by Labour as likely to break up communities, the government has quietly tabled an amendment to the housing and planning bill that sets a maximum of five-year terms for new secure tenancies. The policy brings an end to the principle of council tenancies for life in which people were sometimes allowed to pass on the right to live in the property to their next of kin. Although it does not apply retrospectively to current contracts, those who inherit tenancy of council housing will be subject to the new regime. In an explanatory note to the bill, Brandon Lewis, the housing minister, said: “A secure tenant can currently live in a property for life. This amendment phases out lifetime tenancies.” David Cameron first signalled he would like to make such a move as long ago as 2010, when he suggested it could … [Read more...] about Council tenants lose lifetime right to live in property
The number of MPs earning income by renting out properties increased by nearly a third during the last parliament, an analysis of data by the Guardian has found. David Cameron, George Osborne and housing minister Brandon Lewis are among 153 members who declared an income from property in 2015 – an increase of 36 since 2010. The figures show that nearly one in four MPs earn income as a landlord or landlady from at least one property. A majority of those are Tories, including nine Conservative ministers who attend cabinet, the figures show. The data has been seized upon by housing campaigners who claim it shows that Britain’s political class has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo instead of strengthening the rights of tenants. Alex Hilton, director of the campaign group Generation Rent, said MPs are failing to address exploitation by private landlords. “There has been a quiet cross-party consensus in parliament in favour of landlords for decades. … [Read more...] about Number of MPs who earn from renting out property rises by a third
A dash for the exit by investors has left UK property funds nursing their worst week of withdrawals since the Brexit referendum, and raised fears that further funds may be forced to close. Last week M&G, one of the UK’s biggest asset managers, shocked small investors when it blocked withdrawals (called ‘redemptions’) from its high-profile £2.5bn property fund. Since then, demands for withdrawals at other funds have rapidly accelerated, according to data from Calastone, a global fund transaction network. Calastone said that in the week since M&G’s closure, investors have taken a further £193m out of UK property funds, significantly ahead of even the heightened level of redemptions of £176m a week before M&G closed its doors. Around £60m was withdrawn within 24 hours of the M&G announcement. A wave of redemptions is particularly difficult for property funds to handle, as they have to sell bricks-and-mortar properties to fund … [Read more...] about UK property funds suffer worst week since Brexit referendum
Q My boyfriend and I are both looking to rent out our houses and buy a property together. We each earn upwards of £35,000 a year and the new property would be in the region of £300,000. Using the calculators on most lenders’ websites it seems they would lend the required amount with the 15% deposit we would be likely to have. The rental income we would receive for both properties would cover the mortgages by 125%. However, I am concerned that the new mortgage lender might consider these two mortgages as liabilities against how much they would lend – or would they instead offset the rental income we would receive? Would we have to secure tenants before completing a mortgage application? Or would we need to prove the rental as a self-employed income with two years’ tax returns? If this is the case, the plan could fall apart due to time frames. DL A There’s no point looking on mainstream lenders’ websites because there are only a limited number of … [Read more...] about We want to ‘let-to-buy’ – but will we get a mortgage for the new property?
The notoriously aggressive estate agent Foxtons has reported that London property sales have been flat this year, despite government initiatives to pump up the housing market. The chain, which has most of its 44 branches in London, said sales in the capital had been relatively flat in 2013 because of a shortage of homes for sale and low mortgage availability. Despite the fairly lifeless market, the estate agent reported that its turnover for July to September was 18% higher than last year, hitting £41m, boosted by the seven new branches it opened in 2013. Revenues from property sales and lettings were up 29% and 8% respectively on last year, the company said in its first management statement since it floated on the London Stock Exchange, in September. Michael Brown, the chief executive, said the initial public offering had left the company in a strong position, with no debt. He said: "We remain confident about Foxtons' prospects for the rest of the year but do not expect to see a … [Read more...] about London property market is flat, says Foxtons