Streetwise Property Alert 29th November 2013

If you missed the weekly currencies review, the fuller monthly review and/or the November newsletters, UKPA and/or IPA, please email back and we will send them to you.

Buying Agents – New Code

If you use a buying agent to source your property, make sure they adhere to the Buying Agent Code of Practice which takes effect on 1 January 2014. It is overseen by The Property Ombudsman (TPO) who says, ‘The Buying Agent Code of Practice is a milestone for the industry. More than 95 per cent of residential sales agents have signed up to TPO’s Sales Code of Practice and we recognised that buying agents are a growing market sector in their own right.’

‘Unlike sales agents, who are instructed by home owners during a property sale, buying agents act in the interest of buyers to search for and secure the best price on a property. However, both sales agents and buying agents are subject to the same property and consumer protection laws, which is something many consumers and agents are unaware of. Consumers on both sides of a property transaction deserve the same levels of protection outlined in The Estate Agents Act 1979 and should be able to use a redress service to resolve disputes if they feel they have been treated unfairly.’ More to come.

BTL Mortgage News

Santander has made some changes regarding its BTL products and services. It will now consider applications from landlords who have:

A maximum of seven buy-to-let properties on completion of the new mortgage;

A maximum of five buy-to-let properties mortgaged with Santander on completion of the new mortgage;

A minimum of one and a maximum of ten secured credit commitments at the time of application.

‘At least one applicant must be employed earning a minimum basic gross salary of £50,000 per annum where an applicant will have five or more buy-to-let properties on completion or five or more secured credit commitments at application.’

‘Where an applicant has four or less buy-to-let properties on completion or four or less secured credit commitments at application, the criteria remains the same with at least one applicant in employment earning a minimum basic gross salary of £25,000 per annum.’ As ever, talk to your broker.

Martin House Children’s Hospice

We’ve reached £1200+ and we’re not stopping. Here’s why…

A father who lost his son to a degenerative illness is urging people to support the hospice that is helping his family.

Roger Fielding and his wife Diane had to cope with the death of 13-year-old Oliver.

The family were able to enjoy time together at the hospice and, after Oliver’s death 18 months ago, they were also helped with bereavement counselling.

‘It was really nice to be able to spend time with the children when their care needs were being looked after’ Roger said.

‘It would be unimaginable to try to cope with the challenge of a life-limiting condition and bereavement without the support of Martin House.’

Copyright: Wharfedale Observer

Please donate now: www.justgiving.com/iain-c-maitland

Hotels – Check Social Media

The first thing we do when we look at a hotel with a view to investing is to check what the social media sites are saying about it; now I have to say that, as anyone who spends much time online knows, the internet is full of trolls and what have you. However, looking at a range of comments, and trying to ignore the obvious PR comments on the one hand and the serial killers’ ravings on the other, should create a broader picture than the glossy brochure will do.

On that subject, we note that a new Which? report gives a thumbs down to Britannia Hotels. ‘Which? asked its members to vote on UK hotel stays they had undertaken in the last year and rated 36 hotel chains on cleanliness, customer service, quality of breakfast, bed comfort and value for money. Britannia came bottom of the survey, receiving an overall customer score of 36 per cent.’ By the by, Q Hotels got the highest rating of 78 per cent followed by Radisson Blu Edwardian at 77 per cent and Premier Inn at 76 per cent.

That’s all for now, see you again soon. We are at work on the UKPA newsletter for December so please do send us any ideas you have for articles you’d like to read, thank you.

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