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Gocompare.com has undertaken research to see what the most sought-after features are in a modern U.K home. From the research, the results have surprisingly seen previous ‘must haves’ such as period features not listed in the top 20, potentially signalling the end for the period features craze.

Central heating and double glazing are quite unsurprisingly number 1 and 2 in the top 20 with 69% and 68% of people surveyed saying it is a must have of theirs, this proves that energy efficiency is a top priority when looking for a property, as it will be sure to save you money in the subsequent years when living in the property.

Space is another obvious feature that people are looking for as well as a garden, which sits in 3rd place and a driveway or dedicated parking space in the 5th spot. Space is becoming more of a rarity with flats and old converted houses becoming much more the norm in urban areas meaning many renters or first-time buyers are not lucky enough to have either of these.

Making up the top 5, in fourth place is what 61% of people surveyed look for, somewhere with secure doors and windows. Nobody wants to run the risk of their property being broken in to.  Another shock, which unlike previous reports, is that areas with good schools do not feature in the current list.  This shows that buyers are becoming more financially perceptive and are going in with an open mind, therefore willing to potentially make compromises on the finer details to save money. This includes buying property in up-and-coming areas where the schools may not yet have the best reputation.

Overall there has been a shift in what people are most interested in when buying and it is looking like the more luxury requirements aren’t as desirable as before, though space and security is still a big area people aren’t willing to compromise on.

Recent research suggests a total of £5.3 billion is likely to be invested in the student accommodation sector in 2017, up 17% from 2016.

The UK student sector is now a recognised global market, attracting hastily rising levels of investment from overseas, which appears so far unaffected by the Brexit vote.

Overseas investors have been putting their money into purpose-built accommodation projects, such as Abacus House and the three new builds at the gyratory here on Lewes Rd. These investments from overseas have almost doubled their market share in the past two years, up to 64 per cent in 2016 from 35 per cent in 2015. 

Much of that international money came from just two investors in Singapore, Mapletree and GIC. GIC is one of the most experienced investors in the UK student housing sector. Their continued investment in 2016 is a huge vote of confidence in the sector.

It is predicted that the development pipeline for purpose-built student accommodation will fall dramatically across parts of the country in 2016.

The Brexit doesn’t appear to have impacted investors’ appetites. It’s estimated that £2.1 billion of student housing stock traded in the second half of 2016, against £1.9 billion in the first half of the year. The research states that a growing number of landlords are looking to take advantage of rising rental values in the student property sector.

We currently have 3 student properties for sale in Brighton, all achieving healthy rental yields. Have you considered expanding your portfolio? We can recommend a couple of great financial advisors who can advise you on possibly freeing up some money from your current assets to acquire another property or two. Give us a call for more details.

According to recent figures in a report published on the National Landlords Association website last week, the number of landlords using a letting agent to manage their properties has increased since Q4 of 2016*. 

6 out of 10 landlords now use letting agencies to let and manage their properties, an impressive increase of 7 per cent since the end of last year. A whopping 79% of landlords in Scotland use an agent and Landlords in the North East are most likely to use an agent compared to any other region in England.

Richard Lambert, CEO at the (NLA), National Landlords Association, said that “as landlords plan ahead to compensate for the tax changes over the next few years we would expect to see the number who use an agent to slowly fall away, and for more to start considering whether they are able to manage their properties themselves."

“However, this sudden spike, which is completely out of step with recent trends, completely turns this theory on its head. The big question is whether or not it’s a blip or if it will continue to rise”.

The proportion of landlords who use an agent has remained relatively consistent over the last few years, with a very slight increase of just 1 percent (from 53 per cent to 54 per cent) between 2014 and 2016. These recent figures show that the number of landlords who manage the properties themselves has also decreased by almost 10 percent over the past 12 months.

With recent tax changes, bans on fees announced and continual revising of legislation it may be that landlords would rather put responsibility in the hands of an agent than risk putting a foot wrong.

Richard Price, Executive Director at UKALA, said “There have been some regional fluctuations, but overall these findings show that an increasing proportion of landlords rely on agents at present, which is testament to the professional work undertaken by the vast majority of agents in the sector.

“It’s an uncertain time for anyone who owns a buy-to-let property, so the steady hand of a reputable agent is exactly what many landlords are looking for right now”.

Should you require advice or would like more information on the current rental market, feel free to call a member of our sales and lettings team on 01273 645797.


*NLA Quarterly Landlord Panel Q1 2017 (754 respondents)

Over the past 5 years there have been no less than 145 changes to legislation impacting landlords and letting agents in the UK. 

Our government seem to be heavily targeting the private rental sector with ever changing rules and regulation. To make sure our clients are compliant MTM staff have attend various property events, training courses, local SLA (Southern Landlord Association) and NLA (National Landlord Association) meetings.  We also have a close relationship with Brighton & Hove Council and we are members of UKALA (UK Association of Letting Agents) who keep us informed of changes to the industry. 

Below we’ve highlighted some of the more important points all landlords must follow to avoid potential prosecution:

·         The additional licensing scheme that came into place in November 2012 in five wards across Brighton will not be renewed this November.

·         The Council are starting a consultation to introduce an alternative citywide licensing scheme to cover more a wider range of properties. The aim is to ignore how many floors a property has meaning all 5 bedroom properties will fall under National HMO licensing regulations and all 3 bedroom properties will fall under additional licensing across ALL of Brighton & Hove, not just the current wards. 

·         Landlords and Agents must retain a record of serving the How to Rent Booklet, Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) and Energy Performance (EPC) prior to the tenancy commencing. 

·         A tenants’ Right to Rent must be checked by taking original copies of approved ID’s

·         A minimum of battery operated smoke alarms are required for every rental property and there must be 1 smoke alarm fitted to each floor.  The alarm must be affixed horizontally to the ceiling in an area where the tenant can safely test the alarm each week and replace the battery when needed.

·         Carbon monoxide detectors are required in all rooms containing solid fuel burning appliances.

·         Fire Alarms (Grade D) must be tested every 12 months, a test certificate issued and repairs completed where highlighted.

·         Fire Alarms (Grade A) must be tested every 6 months, a test certificate issued and repairs completed where highlighted.

·         Emergency Lighting should be tested every 12 months, a test certificate issued and repairs completed where highlighted.

·         All fire and carbon monoxide alarms must be tested at the start of each tenancy in the presence of the tenant. For our full and part managed clients, these checks are completed at check in to comply with this. All our non-managed clients will need to make arrangements for this, please get in touch with one of the team if you would like some assistance or advice. 

·         Gas Safety Certificates – must be renewed prior to expiry – we still see far too many gaps or delays from Landlords in submitting their certificate. If your property is a HMO this should be submitted to the Council within 7 days of the previous certificate expiring. If we don’t already MTM can manage your gas safety certificates for you please let us know if this would be of help.

·         Electrical Safety Standards have changed – with regard to PAT testing or proving when a device was bought

·         Electrical Condition Report (ECR) – legislation still states that it’s best practice to have a satisfactory electrical condition report. If your property is a HMO it is mandatory and this must be renewed every 5 years. 

 ·         From the 1st of April 2018 all properties advertised must have a minimum energy performance rating of E or above, this includes tenancy renewals. All existing tenancies will need to comply by 2020.

Congratulations Koz, you're our employee of the month for May 2017!

Koz has been an exceptional addition to our team for 2017, he has been looking after our maintenance liaising with contractors, tenants and landlords.

His work ethic is excellent with a great desire to do an excellent job for our landlords and tenants. The feedback we’ve received regarding Koz, his manor and organisation has been amazing. Well done Koz keep up the good work.