The property market is open for business and so are we

 

Not quite the start to the New Year we had all been hoping for, but in many ways it was inevitable. Fortunately, unlike the first lockdown, WeBuyProperty welcomes the news that the property market can remain open for business.  This is a huge relief for many home movers. With thousands of property transactions currently in the pipeline to complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday, shutting down the market would have created an avalanche of transaction fall throughs.

Operating as Normal

Estate agents, removal firms, and tradespeople who need to attend people’s houses are able to continue operating whilst adhering to strict safety and social distancing rules. Of course, there is likely to be increased caution whilst the new strain of Coronavirus is so prevalent, with homeowners less willing to permit several house viewings. This may lead to some properties being taken off the market for now.

The biggest challenge is going to be getting all the current transactions over the line before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31 March. Many mortgage lenders, surveyors and conveyancers are already at maximum capacity with current applications.  Despite the property market remaining open, the latest lockdown will inevitably cause some delays with more people working from home.

Those most impacted will be buyers who would not have the funds to complete a purchase if it meant they would incur extra costs due to missing the Stamp Duty deadline. There have been calls on the Government to extend the deadline or phase the holiday period out on a sliding scale rather than a hard deadline. However, so far, the Government has rejected calls to extend it.

Demand shows no signs of slowing yet and positive news for prospective vendors is that the sales price growth reached a six-year high of 7.3 per cent in December, according to the Nationwide House Price Index, making six consecutive months of jumps in the rate of annual price growth.

If you want/need to sell your house fast in London but do not want physical viewings of your home, or you are concerned that your current chain may fall through and need to complete before the Stamp Duty holiday, we are here to help you. WeBuyProperty is fully operational and has the ability to transact property sales in a matter of weeks.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Will 6 months’ notice mean more landlords sell with tenants in situ?

Legislation has been introduced so that landlords must now give tenants 6 months’ notice before they can evict tenants until March 2021, except in the most serious of cases, such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators.

 

The Second Wave…

However, as the global pandemic enters a second wave, it is hard to see that this rule will be reversed in spring. Despite many landlords supporting their tenants during this difficult period with reduced rent or a rent holiday, with the furlough scheme now ended and unemployment on the rise, some landlords are being forced to consider an exit strategy.

Tommy Hughes, Managing Director of WeBuyProperty, says: “We have been contacted by a number of landlords who, for their own personal financial reasons, desperately want to sell their buy-to-let property.  The problem is that the six months’ notice period means it will be some time before they can sell with vacant possession, and even longer if they have to go through eviction proceedings. To get around this, we’re finding that some landlords are enquiring about selling their property with their tenant(s) in situ.”

However, selling a property with a “tenant in situ” or “sitting tenant”, terms used to describe a person (or people) who has a legal tenancy which entitles them to occupy a property, is not without its challenges because the market for a house with a sitting tenant is generally quite small.

By having a tenant in situ, landlords limit the number of people who would be interested in buying their property as it rules out anyone who would want to purchase it to live in themselves. That then leaves landlords or investors, but this can still prove difficult because many banks and building societies will not give a mortgage on a property with a sitting tenant.

One quick and straightforward solutions for landlords who do not want to wait for vacant possession could be to sell their property to a cash buyer, complete with tenant in situ. Although landlords are less likely to achieve full market value, a cash buyer will be able to give a guaranteed completion in a fairly quick time-frame without the hassle of having to wait to evict the tenant.

“From an investors point of view, buying a property with a tenant in situ can be a win-win, purchasing a property with a ready-made income. With tenants less likely to move in the current climate it also means that income could be guaranteed for longer.”

For advice about selling a property with a tenant in situ, contact WeBuyProperty

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Short lease selling saga

Not only has the global pandemic changed the way we work, shop and socialise, it has also got many of us thinking about how we live…or rather, how and where we want to live.

Forced to spend much more time at home than we perhaps normally would, lockdown has encouraged homeowners to reevaluate their living requirements, with many seeking more space and flexible living to accommodate changing work/commuting habits.

The problem for some, is that there has been a shift in demand, with flats becoming somewhat less desirable than houses.  According to Zoopla, houses are currently selling 33% faster than flats.

Whilst there will always be a market for flats, those struggling most in the otherwise buoyant market are homeowners looking to sell a property with a short lease.

In the last month alone, WeBuyProperty has received five enquiries from potential vendors who thought they would be able to bag a buyer looking to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday, only to later realise the challenges presented by their short lease.

Owning a property on a leasehold basis means that you only have the right to occupy the property for a fixed number of years, which on many properties can be up to 999 years and therefore does not present a problem. However, once a lease has less than 80 years to run, the value of the property begins to fall.

The big problem is that banks and building societies will not usually lend money on houses, flats or apartments with a short lease. Some banks will not lend to a person buying a property with a lease under 70 years, which means unless the vendor can find a cash buyer, the property is impossible to sell.

In addition, whilst the value of a property with a short lease comes down as every year rolls on, the cost of solving the problem rises. That is why it is imperative that leaseholders find out how much time is left on their lease, particularly if they think they are nearing the risk zone of around 85 years.

There is nothing more frustrating than making the decision to move and then finding that external factors are preventing you from doing so. However, there are a number of options depending on how quickly you need/want to sell:

  • Once you have a lived at the property for two years you can apply to extend the lease. Typical extensions are 90 years for a flat and 50 years for a house. However, extending a lease can be a costly exercise running into thousands of pounds depending on the value of the property and time left on the lease.
  • You can also buy the freehold, but this can be challenging in a block of flats as it requires all neighbours to come to a joint agreement to do so, and again can be costly.
  • WeBuyProperty will make cash offers to vendors who wish to sell properties with a short lease.

If you would like to some advice, or to find out how quickly you could sell your short-lease property, contact:

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Are you struggling to sell because of cladding?

In January this year, Government fire safety guidance on external walls of apartment blocks, which used to only apply to blocks taller than 60ft, was extended to buildings of all heights with any cladding.The new safety advice was issued in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 but does not only apply to buildings with the type of cladding that caused the Grenfell fire.

cladding diagram

 

Why is this a problem for homeowners?

The new requirement of an EWS1 form not only demonstrates that a building is safe but was brought in to give lenders more confidence in providing mortgages on multi-storey buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire.

However, there is a huge backlog in getting the forms due to the volume of properties which now fall under this requirement (an additional 2.7 million) and the very limited number of chartered fire engineers who can carry out the inspections. 

This means that property sales are collapsing because to follow official guidance, many lenders are requesting an EWS1 form to show the building is safe. Without the form, buyers are unable to get a mortgage which means sellers are left trapped and unable to move. 

We have been working with vendors who are unable to wait for the building inspections to be carried out due to a change in circumstances, such as a new job or growing family, and therefore need to sell quickly. We buy the property from them, with transactions completing in a matter of weeks or a timeframe to suit their requirements, and then we will pursue the building safety sign-off.  

 

Whose responsibility is it?

To get these guarantees of safety, flat owners usually have to apply to the freeholders of the building. The freeholders then have to find a company to take samples of cladding from the external wall and have them sent away for testing.

However, freeholders are not obliged to get the building signed off if the building’s cladding is classified as low-risk.  The problem for vendors is that some banks are so nervous that these flats could be declared unsafe in future, that they are requesting the EWS1 forms regardless.

WARNING: We have also read reports by Which? that leaseholders are being duped into paying thousands of pounds to fraudsters who are providing fake EWS1 inspection forms.

We have spoken to some flat owners who are unable to sell, even though the cladding material on their building is not combustible, as the freeholder will not pay for it to be tested. The issue can also affect those flat owners who are simply looking to re-mortgage.  Even more worrying, is that some homeowners are being told it could take years for their building to be declared safe.

This is a situation that WeBuyProperty is monitoring very closely and will update our readers should we be informed of any updates. In the meantime, if you are in this situation and wish to discuss options for selling your property without the EWS1, call us on 0207 449 9797.

Eviction Ban

Due to the new eviction ban that has now been extended, millions of people have been affected. Currently, there are eight million renters in the UK, of whom 4.5 million have private landlords, while the remainder rent from social landlords such as councils and housing associations. Thousands of landlords have now become trapped, but there is a way out. 
 
Webuyproperty will still buy your property with your current tenants and will save you the hassle that most Landlords are now facing.  Learn more about how we can help.
 Property Buyers London 


What Challenges Do Landlords Now Face With The Eviction Ban Being Extended?

We Buy Property London

Due to the ministers extending the current ban on eviction until March 2021 it leaves a lot of landlords now in a very difficult position. Courts were due to resume cases on Monday after a long pause of 5 months due to the Covid 19 outbreak. 
 
Landlords will have to provide six months notice if they plan to evict their current tenants. These actions by the government have left Landlords angered and frustrated. Before the country faced a world wide pandemic the given notice from a Landlord to a tenant on eviction was two months. 
 
“according to independent research, 87% of tenants have continued to pay full rent since the start of the pandemic, with a further 8% agreeing reduced fees with their landlords.”
 
A survey which has been carried out by a homelessness charity shelter recently showed that thousands of private tenants had been threatened with eviction by their landlord or letting agents and thousands of them in England have fallen into arrears since the pandemic.
 
The extended ban comes as the government did not want the ban lifted until they could provide a plan to prevent people losing their homes due to Covid 19. 
  
Sell My Property Fast

What Rights Do Landlords Now Have?
Landlords have been left with little to no power after the unacceptable plot twist from the government. They have no legal rights to deal difficult tenants that are not related or impacted by the results of Covid 19. 
 
Landlords have now no way to evict tenants that are abusive, disruptive or cause problems to the remaining household tenants or neighbours.
Landlords face months of unpaid rent and court cases in the coming future due to the extended eviction. This means landlords will be at a loss.
 
We here at Webuyproperty want to bring it to the attention of Landlords that we will buy your property with or without tenants. We are a company that are here to help. 
 
Please visit our website https://webuyproperty.com to send us a no obligation cash offer within 24hours.
 
If you found this article helpful, please forward this email to someone who would find it useful.
 
To keep up with all our latest updates you can follow us on Facebook.

Sell Your House Fast London
 
 

 
  
 
 

What does Covid-19 mean for the property market?

For months, Brexit and the wobbly state of British politics hit the property market hard. Should we sell? Should we wait? Those were the questions on every seller’s lips. 

The market was slow for most of 2019 as the uncertainty took its toll, with house prices increasing just 0.3 per cent in the last month of the year.

But following the General Election in December, and then Brexit finally happening – whether we liked it or not – things were on the up with stability in the economy at long last.

The number of house sales rose by more than 12% in January 2020, there was a spike in mortgage approvals, as well as an increase of buyer demand in the property market.

Unprecedented times

Then, as news of a novel and deadly coronavirus began to spread, the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic. 

Boris Johnson announced the UK lockdown on 23rd March, grinding the UK economy to a halt. 

With strict social isolation measures and a nationwide lockdown in place, entire buying chains froze, throwing the property market into a position never before seen. Mortgage offers expired, wreaking havoc on chains all over the country.

Landlords were issued with warnings they were not allowed to evict tenants even if they failed to pay their rent.

Mortgage holders were able to access payment holidays to ease the financial strain, but many lenders put new lending temporarily on hold. 

Of course, staff were furloughed, many made redundant and the millions of self-employed saw their income disappear overnight, creating financial crisis for hundreds of thousands.

People were also advised not to move home, with removal firms ceasing most activity, too.

Moving past the peak

Deaths from Covid-19 increased almost daily, hitting a peak of 1172 in late April. 

But now, as the daily Covid-19 infection and death rates begin to slowly – and thankfully – trend down, the Prime Ministers and his team are devising a plan of action to ease the UK out of lockdown.

So, what does this all mean for the property market moving forward?

Data released for the first financial quarter is based on sales finalised before the lockdown began, therefore not giving us an accurate picture of the current state of the property market.

New figures that will be released later this month, or in early June, will give us a better snapshot of the property market during Covid-19 but until we know when the lockdown will end, uncertainty will hang over the property market like a black cloud.

Whatever the statistics, getting your home on the market is going to be more challenging than usual. 

Practical problems

Due to continuing social distancing rules, estate agents won’t be able to come to your home for a valuation or to take marketing pictures of your property for the foreseeable future. 

If your property was listed before this nightmare began, you won’t have had any viewers for many weeks for the same reason. Most people won’t risk buying a property without seeing photos or being able to visit. 

Knight Frank forecasts that UK prices will fall by 3% this year, then bounce back by 5% in 2021, in line with its predictions the country’s economy will shrink as a whole due to the impact of the pandemic.

Practical solutions

There is good news, though.

Our team at webuyproperty.com does not require a visit your property to complete our valuation. We have cash in the bank to buy your property outright, right now, meaning uncertainty in the economy doesn’t impact our ability to buy properties.

We’ll complete in a time frame to suit you too, meaning completion is possible in as little as two weeks, or as long as you need to get your next property lined up. We can even buy your property and rent it back to you until you’re able and ready to move out, giving you the upper hand as a cash buyer when the market gets moving again.

It sounds too good to be true but trust us – it’s not. You can read the details of our ethical and straightforward work here.

For more information, please get in touch with our experienced team who are on hand to talk you through your options. Like many companies, we’re working remotely to protect our staff, so drop us a line on info@webuyproperty.com and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Tax, probate and mortgages

The death of a loved one is ranked the most stressful life event. Dealing with grief takes a huge toll emotionally and physically. But what happens when you combine that grief with the stresses of inheriting a property?

And what does it actually involve? The formal process won’t happen overnight, which in a state of bereavement, might feel like a blessing or a curse. But the drawn-out proceedings are in place for good reason…

The legal bit

If the property has a mortgage, you’ll need to contact the lender to inform them the mortgage holder has passed away as soon as you can.

If you’re the executor of your loved one’s will, this will be straight forward. If no will was left, the court must appoint one. You can apply for a grant of representation, which confirms your legal status and ability to deal with your loved one’s estate (a person’s property, savings, investments and belongings).

Probate – a legal process in the courts to deal with a loved one’s estate – can take up to a year whilst the will is verified, assets are sorted, debts cleared, taxes paid and beneficiaries (a person named to inherit in a will) are given their share of the rest, which might include a property.

The Government has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic may cause further delays in court proceedings, including probate. But you can start the process yourself now, or pay a solicitor or specialist to do it on your behalf.

Mortgages

Lenders usually allow a grace period and monthly payments on your loved one’s mortgage are typically frozen (usually the duration of probate). Be mindful that interest may still accrue in that time, so it’s worth checking what the exact details are, and what the lender expects from you now, and when probate is finalised.

Once the executor has settled any debts, taxes and legal fees are paid, probate will be complete, and the property will become yours with a notification to the Land Registry.

If there is still a mortgage on the house you’ve inherited, there are a few ways you can settle it.

· Use the life insurance policy of the deceased

· Sell their valuable items (e.g. jewellery, artwork, furnishings)

· Use your own savings

· Re-finance the property

· Rent it to a tenant

· Sell it on the open market

· Or, sell it quickly to a specialist company like ours

We buy properties in cash and can complete a sale in as little as two weeks – our average offer is 80 per cent of the current market value of the house. We’ll even cover your legal costs if you use our solicitors.

You can learn exactly how easily you can complete a property sale with us with confidence and ease here.

Taxes

The amount of inheritance tax that will need to be paid during probate depends on the value of the estate. Anything under £325,000 and nothing will be due. Anything above is liable to 40 per cent tax.

e.g. if the value of the estate is £400,000, tax at a rate of 40 per cent will be due on £75,000.

That threshold increases to £500,000 if a home was gifted to the deceased’s children or grandchildren. This can include step, adopted or foster children.

Capital gains tax

If you sell the property you inherit as a beneficiary of a will, and that house increases in value between the time you inherit and sell, capital gains tax will be due on the profit.

Everyone has an annual tax-free capital gains threshold of £12,000.

If the profit (capital gains) is above £12,000, and you pay the basic rate of tax on your usual income, your capital gains tax will be 18 per cent.

If you are a higher or additional rate taxpayer, the rate of tax rises to 28%.

But, if you decide to move into the property and it becomes your main residence, no capital gains tax will be due when you sell it.

Income tax

This is only due if you start earning money on an inherited property, for instance, if you rent it to tenants. For more information, visit gov.uk and search ‘death and bereavement.’

Dealing with probate issues can be a stressful process, but we’re here to answer any questions you have about selling a property to us for cash. Contact us on 0207 4499797 or info@webuyproperty.com