TSB has introduced a new range of buy-to-let mortgages.
Available at up to 60% loan-to-value (LTV) there is a two-year fixed rate deal at 1.69%, along with a 75% LTV product at 1.94%.
In addition, there are two buy-to-let five-year fixed rates, starting from 1.99% up to 60% LTV and a 2.24% up to 75% LTV.
All of the products come with a £995 arrangement fee.
There are tentative signs that landlords are beginning to return to the buy-to-let market, particularly in London where house price falls and steady rental growth are gradually enticing investors back, according to Knight Frank.
The company reports that during the first 11 months of 2019, landlords acquired 11% of homes sold in Great Britain, the same level as 2018. But in November alone, the proportion of homes bought by investors increased to 12%.
London recorded a bigger rise in landlord purchases. Landlords purchased 13% of homes sold in the capital during the first 11 months of 2019, up from 11% during the same period of 2018. This was the first rise since 2015 but is in part due to fewer owner-occupiers transacting in the market. But will this trend continue?
The latest UK Finance mortgage data published this week suggests that property purchase and remortgage approvals in November held up relatively well given that the country was in full general election mode.
Andrew Montlake, managing director of the UK-wide mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “For a lot of British households, November was a classic case of better the devil you know.
“They chose to get their houses in order and secure a mortgage before a potentially disruptive election result.
“In the week following the general election result we saw a slight uplift in enquiries but the buyer spirit was largely trumped by the Christmas spirit.
“January will be the real test of consumer sentiment as we approach our departure from the EU.
“There is still much uncertainty as to the intricacies of how we leave the EU, but people at least now know it’s coming and that creates confidence.”
The figures also reveal that there were 16,200 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector in October, 2.4% fewer than the same month in 2018.
Montlake added: “While we are expecting an uplift in transactions and remortgages, it would be premature to assume that 2020 will be a boom year for the property and mortgage markets.
“As negotiations with Brussels unfold there is still the potential for volatility.”
Under-resourced county courts are struggling to cope with the number of possession claims being put forward, ‘causing misery for landlords’ not to mention costly delays, according to Landlord Action.
The vast majority of residential possession claims are dealt with in the county courts and enforced by county court bailiffs. But government spending cuts, an increasing number of possession cases, court delays and administrative errors mean evictions are taking longer than ever, pushing many landlords into debt.
In a recent Section 21 case handled by Landlord Action, a tenant claimed she did not receive the ‘How to Rent Guide’ so the court set a hearing date of 27th June 2019. But the court postponed the hearing with just 24 hours notice because the Judge was no longer available.
Several hearing dates have since been set and cancelled, leaving Landlord Action with little choice but to chase for a new date some 12 months after the original Section 21 notice was served back in January 2019, and the landlord no closer to gaining possession.
“We are experiencing cases like this time and time again” said Paul Shamplina. “It’s not only causing extra work for us at Landlord Action, meaning we now have a full-time member of staff whose main responsibility is chasing courts for updates on possession orders, Notice of Issues and bailiff appointments, it is also causing extreme stress for the landlords who are already facing financial hardship as a result of rent arrears.”
Landlord Action is now calling on the government to increase investment in the court system before pressing ahead with plans to scrap Section 21 of the Housing Act, as part of the new Renters’ Reform Bill.
Shamplina continued: “The situation is the worst I have experienced in my 28 years in this industry. Cases are being overlooked, delayed or thrown out due to administrative errors and there is little we can do to improve matters for landlords when we are at the mercy of the courts.
“Remember, many courts were closed due to cost saving by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).”
An unscrupulous landlord has been fined £27,000 over an unlicensed HMO in Luton with multiple fire and safety breaches.
Luton Magistrates Court heard that the unlicensed property at 14 Kenneth Road, Luton, LU2, had poor fire alarm systems and blocked fire exits, missing and broken tiles on the roof, and evidence of rat infestation.
Marco Caruso of Verulam Court, Hendon, pleaded guilty to illegally managing a HMO and seven breaches of HMO regulation.
He was fined £27,000, which included a £170 victim surcharge and costs of £848.70.
Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for housing, commented: “This is a great result for the rogue landlord project [being operated by the council] and an excellent example of how we are working together to ensure that private housing in Luton is of a good standard.
“If an HMO is poorly managed, the tenant’s safety could be at risk.
“We are committed to identifying rogue landlords and making sure the properties they manage are in a good condition and adhere to safety regulations, or face prosecution.”
The tax return deadline when filing your online Self Assessment for the tax year ending 5 April 2019 is less than a month away.
Filing an annual tax return is a necessary task for every self-employed person, including buy-to-let landlords, with the 31 January deadline for the 2018/19 Self Assessment tax return at midnight on 31 January 2020.
Whether you have just started out as a buy-to-let landlord or you are an established property investor, there is much to consider from a financial point of view.
Around 10 million people must complete a self-assessment tax form every year, typically because they are self-employed, run their own business or have untaxed income or capital gains, such as from a buy-to-let property, a trust or investment portfolio.
There is no need to fret over filing your tax returns, as it does not even require an accountant.
However, if you are concerned about going it alone and doing your own tax return, you may wish to check out HMRC’s ‘help and support for landlords’.
For more information, click here.
HMRC also offers online tax return help for landlords to their online series of help and support webinars.
View all HMRC webinars.
A new landlord organisation, which is the largest ever trade body in the letting sector, has been officially launched.
The National Residential Landlords Association, which came into force yesterday, has a membership of more than 80,000 landlords.
The new organisation has come about after the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) agreed to merge in autumn, with a view to delivering a stronger voice for landlords in the private rented sector.
Ben Beadle is the NRLA’s new chief executive, having joined from Touchstone, part of the Places for People housing group. He was previously managing director of TDS Northern Ireland and director of customer service with the TDS.
The two previous chairs, Alan Ward of the RLA and Adrian Jeakings of the NLA, said in a joint statement: “After more than 20 years of friendly competition the time is right to create a single organisation to represent and campaign for landlords.
“With so much of our work done in parallel there are major benefits to be gained for our landlord members.
“We will be stronger together when presenting a unified voice to government both nationally and locally about the importance of supporting the majority of landlords who do a good job providing the homes to rent the country needs.”
The Northampton NN3 postcode district is a very buoyant property market place, with a steady price trend and uninterrupted growth. although it is slightly below the NN4 area on price, the sales pattern holds firm with property selling just was well, if not better.
The most expensive street is still Standing Stones, followed by Park Avenue south and closely behind is Thorburn Road. the streets with the highest turnover of property are, Alvis court (Rectory Farm, followed by Gregory Gardens, on Eastfields and then Chater Street, in Moulton.