More buy-to-let landlords will exit the private rented sector

Last month the government released its long-awaited white paper “A fairer private rented sector” which sets out plans to reform the private rented sector and level up housing quality in this country.

As part of this, it confirmed that section 21 “no fault” evictions will be abolished and the industry will move away from the current tenancy structure to a simpler structure of periodic tenancies, which will enable tenants to terminate on two months’ notice at any time.  The intention is to give more flexibility to tenants, who will no longer be tied into any fixed term and empower them to challenge the threat of eviction without good reason, thereby incentivising landlords to engage and resolve issues.

Many landlords will be concerned by the loss of section 21, as it means they may find it more difficult to remove tenants. However, landlords must also recognise there is a greater possibility of ending up with a void period as landlords will no longer be able to tie tenants into fixed contractual terms so could end up with a vacant property at any point on two months’ notice.

Landlords will also be banned from discriminating against tenants with pets or those receiving benefits.  Landlords who are forced to allow tenants with pets are concerned about the mess and further damage to their properties, with some we have spoken to mentioning that allergies would mean they would be unable to enter their own properties to carry out routine checks.

There is already a growing number of landlords exiting the private rented sector (PRS), owed largely to an increase in regulation and tax hikes, including stamp duty changes on buy-to-let and the loss of tax-free allowances.

This means these latest upcoming changes are a major cause for concern. Smaller buy-to-let landlords with one or two properties say the new plans make their business models unviable and they will have to sell up for good.

The more landlords who leave the PRS, the fewer rental properties that are available for tenants, increasing competition and unintentionally increasing rents.

New landlords are not coming into the sector, reflecting the challenging environment in the private rented sector.

The white paper says that landlords’ possession rights will be strengthened in cases of serious arrears and when a landlord wants to sell a property. But many landlords are concerned that the eviction process will be more difficult if they need to prove wrongdoing such as anti-social behaviour as this is often difficult to prove.

The Government must release more details of the eventual legislation to retain landlord confidence. If they fail to make changes which support landlords, they will exacerbate the housing crisis by forcing landlords to sell up at a time when renters are struggling to find the homes they need.

We are already being contacted by landlords looking for a quick sale who just want out of the private rented sector.

If you are a landlord looking to sell some or all your portfolio, contact us to discuss your options.  We can buy your property and pay all the fees, transacting within a matter of weeks or to a timescale that suits you.

Phone number: 0207 938 3007

Will rising interest rates slow the house price growth?

In May, the Bank of England raised interest rates from 0.75% to 1%, with further increases expected over the coming months as the Bank of England seeks to contain inflation – which is already looking on course to pass 10 per cent before the end of the year.

The question is, will higher interest rates help to control the country’s over-heated property market?

According to figures from Halifax, there wasn’t much indication of a slowdown in April with prices rising 1.1 per cent compared to March. The average house price hit £286,079 after the 10th consecutive monthly rise in prices, marking the longest run of increases in six years.

April’s price increase was slightly slower than the 1.4 per cent recorded in March, but the annual increase was still 10.8 per cent which is far greater than the average pay rises.

Ultra-low interest rates have made mortgage borrowing cheap, inflating a housing bubble that has made homeownership a distant dream for many renters in some parts of the UK. Some analysts had predicted house prices could slow down when the Stamp Duty holiday came to an end last year, but so far there is no sign of this.

However, there is much uncertainty in the economy right now.  We believe that the impact of a rising base rate above 1 per cent, which will affect mortgage affordability, the fears about living costs and big increases to energy bills will contribute to a steady readjustment of house prices.

Inflation being at the highest since 1982 is a cause for concern.  If the Bank of England is forced to raise interest rates too quickly, we could see people who have pushed themselves financially in the ‘race for space’ being forced to sell up. This would of course contribute to higher supply of properties, which in turn would dramatically cool house prices.

For those on fixed-rate mortgages, a rate increase will only make a difference when their term comes to an end, so for now their payments will not go up.

The news is of course less positive for those on tracker mortgages, where the home loan tracks the BoE base rate, as the base rate increase will be passed on to borrowers delivering an immediate increase to their mortgage payments.

For those that are able to, such as borrowers on a variable rate, it would be advised to lock in to a fixed-rate deal, preferably for as long as possible, as interest rates are expected to increase further over the coming months, potentially hitting 3% by the end of the year.

What must a seller disclose when selling a property?

When selling your property, you naturally want to portray it in the best possible light. But in some circumstances, homeowners are aware there is a problem but don’t know how much information to disclose for fear they’ll struggle to sell.

Ever since 2013, selling a property falls under the Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations. This places the onus on the seller to divulge anything that may impact the buyer’s decision to proceed with the purchase. If the seller omits anything of importance (that they were aware of) they could face prosecution – whether the buyer asked about the issue or not.

What kind of issues should be disclosed?

However uncomfortable it may be to be honest about an issue with your home, it is better to be honest and upfront than to face legal action later down the line. The new owners could commence legal action months or even years after your sale completes.

Issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Flooding issues, current or historic
  • Structural problems
  • Japanese knotweed, current or historic
  • Pests, current or historic
  • Planning permission on the property, be that pending, granted or denied.
  • Disputes with neighbours that have resulted in written exchanges, local authority or police involvement
  • Whether the neighbours have any anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs)
  • Whether there is a flight path nearby
  • A previous sale falling through due to bad survey results
  • A violent death that occurred at the property.

Obviously, there are minor things which could affect any property, such as neighbours with a noisy dog or lots of children – but we are talking about the more fundamental issues. If you are not sure what information you are or are not required to disclose, seek advice from a solicitor.

Serious issues will be revealed in the conveyancing process therefore it would be prudent to reflect such issues in the asking price.  You would also be advised to demonstrate how the issues have been resolved with all relevant paperwork, or if they are in the process of being resolved.

If you have a ‘problem property’ and have perhaps tried to sell on the open-market or would prefer not to so you don’t have to disclose whatever issue you have with your home to lots of people, we may be able to help you.

WeBuyProperty are a property buying company specialising in quick sales. We have funds ready to purchase properties and have helped hundreds of sellers with tricky properties.

You can discuss any issues with us (we will have come across them all before) and we will happily provide you with a no obligation offer.  If you accept this, we will guarantee to buy your house and pay all the fees, transacting within a matter of weeks or to a timescale that suits you.

Phone number: 0207 938 3007


Selling a Property under Probate

The loss of a loved one is a traumatic time for anyone and whilst trying to come to terms with such a loss, being faced with a barrage of legal and financial administration only adds to the distress.

This is being made even more difficult at the moment as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When someone passes away their estate, which includes their own home, any other properties they may own, money, investments and other assets like cars, must be disposed of in accordance with the law and their will, if they have made one.

Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) is called ‘applying for probate’. Once a grant of probate is made the deceased person’s property can be transferred to their beneficiaries or sold.

The probate process can be slow and lengthy, but it’s facing additional delays due to the pandemic. From application, probate used to be granted in a few weeks, though a backlog caused by Covid has changed that, mainly due to the increased workload as a result of Covid deaths.

You won’t be able to legally sell a property until probate has been granted however, although you can market the property, conduct viewings and agree a sale with a buyer before it has completed, if you decide to sell through an estate agent. You will need to inform the agent that it is a probate property so that they can inform buyers that they will not be able to complete until probate is granted, which can be off-putting for some buyers if they need to move quickly.

If you cannot face the drawn-out process, need to release inheritance as quickly as possible, or find it too distressing putting the home on the market after long delays waiting for probate to be granted, you may want to consider selling the property directly to a cash buyer.

WeBuyProperty has vast experience in buying probate properties and can guarantee the transaction is handled efficiently, sensitively and hassle free. We offer a fixed cash price and can complete as soon as probate is granted. We’re happy to guide you through the process, giving advice about securing the property, informing the insurance company and local authority, and will take away as much of the administration hassle as we possibly can.

Phone number: 0207 938 3007

Relocating and need to move quickly?

Many organisations have used the pandemic to make some big changes, not only to the way they work, but also to the location from which they operate. Whilst more and more people can work from home, some businesses have closed offices and reorganised their teams, whilst others have seen huge growth and are going through a recruitment drive.

The result is that some people have made the decision to relocate. It could be that they have been offered a new job opportunity so need to move or are sticking with their current company but, because they no longer need to be in close proximity to a particular office, can work from anywhere in the world. In some cases, organisations have closed certain satellite offices and now want to operate out of one office which is not in this country.

Whatever the reason, when relocating to another country, one of the biggest things to get sorted, if you are homeowner, is your house… and timing should be your number one priority.

Relocating involves tight deadlines and good time management so make sure you factor in travel rules, visas, possible start dates and access to accommodation on arrival at your new home

Given the sudden surge in home moving over the last 18 months, the process of selling a property is taking longer than ever. It is not always straightforward, particularly when there is a number of people in the chain and you are relying on several buyers and third parties to complete the sale.

If speed is important to you, selling on the open market may not be the right choice for you – it can be notoriously unreliable as offers can fall through and sales can break down at any stage. If you haven’t completed on the sale by the time you need to have moved, it could leave you flying back and forth to finalise the sale.

Another option is to consider a property buying service like WeBuyProperty which can allow you to sell your property and release funds easily and efficiently, enabling you to move in a matter of weeks.

Using a service like ours can mean you avoid on missing out on your ideal property at your new location and we can work to the timeframes which best suit you. If you give us a date you must have completed by, we will work with you to ensure that happens.

For your peace of mind, we are also members from the National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman.

We encourage you to contact us with any enquiry, no matter how small, and if you are considering a number of different options, such as renting, selling on the open market or a buying service like ours, feel free to do your own research and get valuations first so we can assist in giving you the best guidance for your circumstances. If we don’t think that’s with us, we will tell you.

Contact us for a free advice and/or a no-obligation offer within 24 hours.

Phone number:
 0207 938 3007


Considerations when buying a new build

With a dramatic shortage of homes to buy, national and local government are under increasing pressure to build more homes and we are certainly seeing more developments popping up.

There are many benefits to buying a new build home in that no one has ever lived in it, meaning all fixtures and fittings are brand new and never used. Some developers give buyers who commit early enough the choice as to where things go and what extras they want including.

However, there are certain precautions that buyers should take to avoid the dream home turning into a new build nightmare.

New Build or ‘Off-plan’

There is a big difference here. A new build will be completed, and whilst there may be other phases on the same development still underway, the actual property you intend to buy is built and available for you to view. However, remember if work on the rest of the development is still underway you will want to find out an estimated completion date otherwise you could find yourself living in a building site for a long time!

Off-plan means that the property has not been built or is not yet completed. In this instance always seek legal advice so you know exactly what you are purchasing and when it will be delivered.

New Build Premium

Because you are purchasing everything brand new, you are likely to pay 10-15 per cent more than the current market value but the equivalent property second-hand. Whilst some developers may be open to some negotiation, it really depends on how strong the local market is, how many properties are available in the development, the quality of the fixture, fittings and finish. Until a scheme becomes established in its market (unless it’s a, be prepared for the fact that your home may not be as easy to sell as it was to buy.

Leasehold properties

Leasehold is one of the great property scandals of our era which continues to blight homeowners if they are not aware of the conditions they are signed up to. Sometimes a well-maintained leasehold scheme can add value by providing common land, service maintenance, and shared facilities such as a gym, pool or security. Often, though, this ends up being an additional cost for ground rent which can increase year on year.

Even if the property is freehold, it’s useful to check who will have responsibility for any common spaces on the new build housing estate such as parks or greens.

Read the small print

Always ensure you understand what’s included and not included in the purchase price agreed and the guarantees. New build homes come with the NHBC warranty covering

structural defects, but you need to understand the detail in the developer’s own warranty that cover more detailed aspects of your home.

Also remember, housebuilders and developers are not currently under any legal obligation to be signed up to a redress scheme, such as The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or Property Redress Scheme (PRS). This means if you have an issue with the service provided by the developer and they are unwilling to address it, you are unlikely to be compensated. Many developers sign up to redress schemes voluntarily and it would be wise to find out if the one you are looking at is covered by TPO or PRS.

Just be aware that you are buying an asset whose value will likely depreciate rather and appreciate over the next few years so do your research on the developer to avoid issues that all too often arise with buying a brand new house.

If you have purchased a new build property in the last few years and now need to move but are having trouble selling, WeBuyProperty will be happy to discuss your situation and give you a no-obligation valuation to purchase your property for cash.

Phone number: 0207 938 3007 or 0207 449 9797

Noisy Neighbour Nightmares – Is it time to move?

Having spent so much more time at home over the last 18 months, many people, who in the past rarely heard or had much to do with their neighbours, are suddenly more aware of their presence, irritating habits and noise!

Churchill Home Insurance revealed there has been a 28 per cent increase in noise complaints over the past year with around 1,000 cases forwarded to councils across the country every day.

The increase in the number of people getting dogs whilst at home has likely contributed to the issue, with many now returning to work and leaving their previously pampered pooches barking all day.

Being unable to socialise as much in public settings and spending more time in the garden has also led to a surge of people installing garden bars, hot-tubs and social seating areas, leading to more garden parties and ultimately more noise for neighbours.

For most people, these will be minor irritations which can most likely be resolved.  But here are some simple steps to follow if you have a nightmare neighbour:-

1) Remain calm. It is important to approach any situation in a reasonable manner.  Pop over and explain the impact their noise or change in behaviour is having on you, as they may not even realise. Remember, they have a right to enjoy their own home too, so ensure what you are asking is reasonable.

2) Consider your own behaviour. If you complain to them on a regular basis, it is important they cannot bring up any similar arguments against you in response, so consider if your behaviour and use of outdoor space has also changed before you criticise them. Keep your own household noise levels to a minimum.

3) Keep records. If your neighbours are not listening to your concerns, document the times and ways they are being disruptive. It is important in case you need to complain to your local authority.

4) Consider soundproofing. Simple sound-proofing can often make a bad situation more bearable. From using rugs, carpets and soft furnishings to absorb sound to installing specialist tiles in ceilings and party walls, there are lots of affordable options available.

5) Never retaliate. Never let frustration get the better of you. It may feel as though the only way to solve the issue is to retaliate and be disruptive yourself. But this is only going to escalate the issue and will count against you further down the line.

6) Contact your local authority. If you cannot resolve a situation yourself, make a complaint to your local authority first and follow the steps they advise.

7) Seek legal help. If this does not work, seek legal help.

8) Consider a move. Whilst a situation with neighbours should never have to force someone out of their home, for some people who have already been thinking about it, a change may just be the best solution.

If you have difficult neighbours or perhaps have become increasingly frustrated with where you live since the pandemic (more cars parked outside your house with people home working, more dogs barking in gardens, your property no longer suits your lifestyle), then WeBuyProperty can offer no-obligation valuation to buy your home for cash and transact in a matter of weeks.


If you would like to discuss any issues you are having with selling your home contact us on:

Phone number: 0207 938 3007 or 0207 449 9797



Taxed to the hills – Hike in National Insurance, Inheritance and Capital Gains

Boris Johnson will today reveal his long-awaited proposal for solving the social care crisis, which has been twinned with plans to bring down soaring NHS waiting lists. To fund the moves, an increase in national insurance has been proposed.

However, experts are also warning families that a hike in inheritance tax (IHT) and capital gains (CGT) could also be on the horizon as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak hunt for ways to fund social care, the NHS and Covid bailouts. Tax charges could double in some cases and families could be forced to sell homes as a result.

As we have discussed in numerous blogs over the last year, property prices are rising at an extraordinary rate, and these rising property prices are dragging more people into the inheritance tax net.  This means even more will get caught if IHT is increased.

The nil-rate threshold has been frozen at £325,000 since 2009, and that will continue until at least April 2026.  HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) pocketed a whopping £5.4 billion from IHT in the 2020 to 2021 tax year, and will be looking for ways to raise yet more revenue from this hated levy.

Personal taxes, including IHT and CGT, could be in for a massive overhaul given the amount they raise for the Treasury.  Anyone who thinks a rise could affect them should start planning to reduce any potential bill now by making the most of current allowances and passing assets onto loved ones before any new reforms are introduced.

Anyone who sell assets at a profit is at risk of an CGT bill if sold at a profit, including property other than your main home, shares and other investments held outside of a Tax-Free ISA, as well as paintings, antiques and jewellery.

Currently, basic rate taxpayers pay capital gains tax at 10 percent, rising to 20 percent for higher-rate taxpayers. These rise to 10 percent and 28 percent respectively when selling an investment property or second home.

Many suspect CGT will be synchronised with income tax which would mean everyone would face at least a 100 percent increase in the rate payable.  According to some expects, there are some people who may need to go as far as selling family homes to pay their IHT bills,

HMRC generated a record £9.8 billion a year from capital gains tax in the 2019/20 tax year, the latest figures available. That is up fourfold from just £2.5 billion a decade earlier.

If you are looking to sell a second property quickly for cash, WeBuyProperty can offer a no obligation valuation and transact within a matter of weeks.


Are you missing out on a retirement windfall by not downsizing?

Millions of homeowners approaching retirement are living in houses which they themselves consider too large for their requirements (25 percent of over 60s) and yet only a dearth (14 percent) have considered downsizing as an option to free up cash, according to a survey commissioned by Churchill Retirement Living.

Downsizing can have wider social benefits as it is estimated that every downsize move frees up two or three more houses down the property chain. This is important when we consider how many first-time buyers and families struggle to buy an appropriate home.

However, in response to the pandemic, fewer people approaching retirement age are looking to sell, exacerbating the UK’s unprecedented housing supply crunch, and contributing to spiralling house prices over the past 12 months.  According to Legal & General Financial Advice, these proposed moves would free up roughly 2.9m homes.

What is interesting, is it is thought that on average people believe they could make £150,000 if they were to downsize, with 1 in 10 people surveyed by Churchill saying this figure would be between £250,000 and £500,000.

Aside from the potential financial benefits, there are also other advantages to considering a smaller home. Many people are aware that their homes are too large to suit their daily needs and as they get older, properties become harder to clean and maintain, particularly if they become less able to manoeuvre through as many rooms and stairs.

Many people have spare rooms which are seldom used, and often become storage rooms. Downsizing, whilst it can seem a daunting prospect, especially when years of family memories are often engrained in the walls of a home, can also bring about greater freedom and a more enjoyable retirement.

Here are our top 5 benefits to downsizing:

  1. Increased cash flow

Downsizing enables homeowners to free up equity, particularly if you move within the same location or perhaps even somewhere with lower house prices which would enable you to still buy a property with plenty of room…but not too much. If you are approaching retirement age and haven’t yet paid off your mortgage this could be a good way to do so.

  1. Eliminate clutter

Moving to a smaller home provides an opportunity to declutter. As we age, we accumulate pieces of furniture and sentimental belongings. By moving to a home that will not be able to accommodate these possessions, homeowners are stricter with filtering out what they really want to keep.

  1. More time

A smaller home means less time spent on maintenance and chores and more time taking days out and doing activities for pleasure.

  1. Lower bills

One of the main benefits of downsizing is the fact that a smaller home will incur lower monthly costs. Not only will the mortgage be cheaper (if you have one) but homeowners won’t be heating up and powering a 4-bedroom home with multiple living zones when only 25 percent of the space is being utilised.

This results in noticeable reductions in everything from energy bills to maintenance costs. In terms of monetary savings, it is also worth noting that a smaller home will also reduce insurance costs.

  1. Lifestyle changes

Another one of the great benefits of downsizing is the lifestyle changes that such a move triggers. As previously mentioned, downsizing gives more time and freedom to enjoy hobbies, activities and weekends away.

Of course, it is a difficult decision and homeowners must weigh up these benefits against the practical and sentimental reasons which may prevent them from downsizing.

If you have considered downsizing but would prefer not to go down putting your home on the open market and would prefer a quick sale, for whatever reasons, WeBuyProperty is available to talk through your options and provide you with a no-obligation valuation.

We could help you transact and free up retirement cash in a matter of weeks.

Phone number: 0207 938 3007   Email:




The cost of selling a property

You may be tentatively looking at moving or may have inherited a property and be looking at the current market and the best way to go about selling the property. One thing you may not have considered yet is the cost. There is no doubt about it, selling a house can be an expensive business, with the average cost of selling a house valued at £250,000 sitting at approximately £5000-£6000.

Of course, the total cost of selling will vary significantly depending on the price of the house, your choice of solicitor, whether you use a traditional or online estate agent (or even sell privately yourself) and whether you are liable for any other fees such as those for re-mortgaging, if your house requires a new EPC and if you require removal or house clearance services.

In this blog, we have broken down some of the main costs of selling a house to help you budget and consider where you might be able to make savings.

Estate Agent Fees
An estate agent will typically charge a homeowner a commission fee of between 0.5% and 3% (+ VAT) of the final sale price.  As of June 2021, the average house price in the UK, according to Land Registry UK House Price Index, was £265,668. That means selling a property at this value would cost anything between £1,328 and £7,970.  We should point out that paying a fee at 0.5% is pretty rare and most agents land somewhere in the middle around £1.2% which would equate to £3,188 + VAT.

Selling via an online agent may offer a cheaper commission fee, with many offering a fixed price rather than a percentage of the sale. However, it is important to note that you are usually required to pay this up front which means if you pull the property off the market, or the sale falls through and you decide to go with a different agent, you will already have paid the commission.

Conveyancing Solicitor Fees
All homeowners must instruct a solicitor or licenced conveyancer to manage the sale of their property. An approximate fee for selling a property based on the above value would be £1000. This amount will increase with the value of a property, reaching closer to £2,000 for a property priced at £1 million.

In addition to this fee, there will be several administrative costs to cover, including a fee to send the title deeds to the buyer (around £6), the cost of money-laundering checks (£8 per person) and a fee for transferring the final sale funds (around £40).

Re-mortgaging Fees
If you choose to end your current mortgage and move to a new provider, there may be exit fees to pay. These vary but are typically between £50 and £300. You can port your existing mortgage to a new property but that too is likely to come with fees depending on whether you are borrowing the same amount, increasing or decreasing the amount you borrow. Early repayment charges may also apply and these range from 1-5% of the total loan amount.

The Cost of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
You must have an EPC by law when selling your home. These are valid for 10 years, so if you haven’t moved in a while there is a good chance that this will be out of date. The certificate provides a good indication on the property’s energy usage and where areas could be improved, either by you or future owners. An EPC will cost between £60 and £120.

Removal Costs
These can vary wildly depending on the size of your property, how far you need to transport your belongings and what level of service you require, such as if you require the company to pack and unpack your belongings for you. Some companies will charge a fixed fee for the entire job; others will set an hourly rate. Giving an accurate cost is very difficult for the above reasons but as a guide, the average cost for moving from a three-bedroom house is around £800 for 50 miles to around £900 up to 150 miles.

A house buying service such as WeBuyProperty can not only help homeowners to avoid some of the higher fees listed above which are associated with selling, such as estate agent commission, and avoid the stress and cost with a failed sale.

Contact us today for a no-obligation valuation of your property.