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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.

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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2 bedrooms, garden and a new set of friends

A nice story from our Central Oxford office

The perfect tenants strolled into our office for having just arrived in the UK from the other side of the world. They were looking for a property to rent in Oxford, so we took them to a property which we thought would be spot on and the partner of the landlord was in the house and invited the applicants for a coffee.

When the applicants came back to the office to apply for the home, they told us that they had also been invited to the landlord’s leaving party on Sunday so that they might be introduced to their friends.

So that’s a new home, complete with new circle of friends thrown in!

Quarter 1 — Applicants vote with their feet as the election looms

Download our Q1 quarterly report

We thought you might appreciate a spin-free Quarterly Report for the Oxfordshire Letting Market in Q1 2010, given the rising tide of pre-election doublethink from all political parties, lobby groups, unions, etc.

So, keeping the presentation dark arts at bay, here are trends seen across eight specialist letting offices:

Demand firms as February surpasses itself

The Oxfordshire letting market has been extremely busy, with properties of all types letting well. The balance of supply and demand is gently tilting into the landlord’s favour as supply is hit by the lack of new build, the persistent need for 25+% deposits for investment mortgages and the disappearance of failed sales.

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HMO Legislation & Oxford rental properties

FK Adviceline: Letting to Sharers

The Government has been concerned about the creation of ‘student ghettos’ recently dubbed ‘studentification’ of parts of student towns and cities. Following a consultation, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in 2009 have decided to create a new planning use class specifically for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

This new planning use class came in to force on 6 April 2010 by way of an amendment to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. The changes are only valid in England.

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