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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

When I’m cleaning windows…

A vigilant window cleaner detected a strong smell of gas coming from a flat to rent in Abingdon.  The tenant’s cleaner had accidentally flicked on one of the hob burners, leaving gas pouring out.  The window cleaner alerted the next door neighbour, who happened to be an FK tenant too and knew that our Abingdon office manages this property.

We got there in minutes and the neighbour, the window cleaner and an FK manager rushed in to switch off the hob and took it in turns, with breath held, to open all the windows in the flat and ventilate the stairwells.

This heroic window cleaner reminded us of the crime-fighting milkman who was recently awarded an MBE

The Housing Minister’s first speech

So Grant Shapps made his maiden public speech last night at RICS (the surveyor’s trade body).

The speech seems to be long on rhetoric but short on detail. Perhaps that is inevitable at this stage.

Some thoughts:
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A lovely thank you

Thanks you’s are greatly appreciated and the meaning always outshines the message (to misquote the great Marshall McLuhan).

These two lovely bottles were given to our expert Site Manager, Kelvin, who is a key part of the Bricks & Mortar building division.

In this instance Kelvin helped an existing landlord by giving an objective 3rd party view on a lengthy specification of works. Kelvin was happy to help an existing client…..and our client appreciated the advice given.

A Banbury market update

Two weeks ago our Banbury office had a record week.

They negotiated more deals in a week than ever before.

Last week they negotiated five new properties.

Suffice to say that the market in Banbury is busy with a slightly alarming (if that isn’t a paradox) shortage of property.
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A new model for landlord & tenant relationships..!?

Last week we had one request which we have never heard before.

A landlord of one of our houses to rent in Witney asked us to ask her tenant if she could pop back and stay for a week (mid-tenancy) as this would be very useful to her.

We tentatively (and somewhat nervously if we’re going to be honest) put the request to the tenant and she said yes “the landlord can be my guest for the week”!

Very unusual, but everyone is happy with the outcome.

Our 14 NFOPP Technical Awards in print

A huge congratulations to our 14 successful new holders of the ARLA Propertymark Qualified.

Why do we take it you may ask? Read on…

As amazing as it seems, anyone can set up a letting business and start handling large sums of other people’s money.

You don’t need a licence.

You don’t get regulated.

Our 14 ARLA Propertymark stars, almost 10% of the country’s total

There are a lot of cowboys out there who just can’t believe their luck. Some are neither qualified nor a member of an industry body, so the customer has zero protection against the deposit, rent owed, etc.

We want to take a different tack.

We are investing heavily to become Oxford’s most professional letting and property management agents.
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CGT and the private rental sector

This issue has been covered a lot and we have been keen to dive in.

Quite simply, we believe that it might be short term gain for the Government but long term pain for society as a whole.

The reason is that residential investors are far more important to the economy than the lazy “mini fat cat” media stereotype might suggest. Investors help build supply of rental stock, and currently there is a shortage of stock across the UK. The risk of the CGT rises is twofold:

a) Rental stock is sold to avoid CGT rises

b) Residential investors are deterred from adding to their portfolios due to high rates of CGT.

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