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Home insurers and the UK’s coalition Government are still arguing over paying for flood protection, meaning Millions of homeowners and Buy-To-Let Landlords are facing uncertainty over house prices, mortgage availability and the validity of their insurance policies.

Buy-To-Let Property Owners In Flood Risk Areas Fear Worst

UK Landlords With BTL Property In Flood Risk Areas Fear Worst

If the UK Government fails to meet the demands of insurers to reinstate flood protection cuts then insurance cover for millions of homes, including buy to let rental properties, could be withdrawn from June this year.

Although insurers pledged to offer insurance premiums for properties at risk of flooding, it was on the proviso that the UK government would invest money in flood defence protection.

The agreement is set to run out on July 1st 2013, but Millions of pounds have already been cut from flood defence budgets earmarked for improving sea walls and river banks.

Insurance policies starting at the end of June 2012 could be withdrawn for properties in high flood risk areas if an agreement isn’t reached, as the policies would be in force after the date the current agreement ends.

Flood defence protection is a priority for all residents living near to waterways, lakes and rivers, many people in flood-prone areas now have the added worry that their properties may be difficult or even impossible to insure later this year.

Some insurers are already warning that property owners in high flood risk areas, might not be able to renew their cover after the end of June this year, because their new insurance policy will extend beyond the 1st July 2013 agreement cut off date.

Not being able to obtain insurance cover will blight property values in many areas, as mortgage lenders may not offer funding and in many cases the properties will be very difficult to sell on.

Many home owners and buy-to-let landlords could also risk breaching stringent mortgage conditions that require them to have buildings insurance in place for the life of their mortgage loan.

Business Development Director for SearchFlow, Richard Hinton, said “Buyers will be able to obtain flood insurance for the next few months, but the long-term prospects of properties at risk of flooding are potentially bleak. Buyers purchasing in high-risk flood areas face the possibility of very high premiums, significant reductions in value, less access to mortgage finance and even action taken by the mortgage lender due to breach of the mortgage agreements.”

Check if you have a property at risk by going to the Environment Agency flood pages

 

UK Buy-To-Let Mortgage numbers up 84,000 on 2010 figures

UK Buy-To-Let Booming Again!

2011 saw the number of UK residential properties bought using Buy To Let mortgages rise by 84,000 on 2010 figures.

Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) figures show that landlords advanced a total of 34,800 buy to mortgages in the last three months of 2011 alone, with a total value of more than £4 Billion (GBP).

Therefore buy to let mortgage lending now accounts for almost 13% of the total outstanding value of all residential mortgages in the UK.

CML Director General, Paul Smee said “Buy-to-let lending continues to perform well. Demand for rented property remains high, so the rationale for buy-to-let remains strong and there is little reason to foresee any change to this positive outlook for the UK private rental sector.”

With improvements in the general availability of Buy-To-Let mortgage products, better tenant referencing and the introduction of specialist insurance policies such as Rent Guarantee Insurance, landlords are likely to have a few less financial worries, so, the PRS Buy To Let mortgage figures are very likely to rise again this year.

There are currently more buy to let mortgage products available than at any time since the onset of the financial downturn in 2007 and specialist mortgage lenders recently referred to 2012 as being ‘a boom time for landlords’.

Buy-To-Let is Booming in the UK

Buy-To-Let property is Booming in the UK

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), have revealed that the UK is in the grip of a Buy-To-Let boom that shows no signs of stopping, as property investors snap up UK property worth £160 Billion (GBP).

The CML state that there are a record 1.4 Million Landlord loans, valued at almost £160 Billion (GBP), currently invested into UK Private Rented Sector (PRS), residential properties.

It appears that property investors have been keen to cash in on the soaring PRS rental demand and have been snapping up large quantities of residential properties.

The rental demand exists because many people still feel that they can’t afford to buy a home of their own and those who want to buy, are forced to rent whilst saving huge cash amounts required for the deposit for a property purchase.

With income from savings wiped out by low interest rates, mortgage repayments have become cheaper and landlord numbers have increased.

With Private Rented Sector (PRS), rents close to all-time highs across the country, there has never been a better time to get into Buy-To-Let!

Owning a residential property that is suitable for buy-to-let (BTL), that produces a regular rental income can be a real money-spinner for both amateur and professional landlords.

In London the average rent is approximately £1000 pcm, however in the rest of the UK, the average rent is only £711 per month.

According to the CML, in 2001, when the UK Buy-To-Let market was still in its infancy, landlords had obtained 185,000 loans to invest in rental properties.

Today, landlords have taken out 1.39 Million loans, worth about £160 Billion (GBP), to spend on their property empires, with an estimated 84,000 homes bought using specialist Buy-To-Let mortgages last year alone.

Critics have claimed that the UK buy-to-let market has forced property prices up to levels which many first-time buyers cannot afford.

Although buy-to-let loan numbers have ballooned, the number of mortgages to first-time buyers has taken a dramatic nose-dive.

Last year, according to lettings agent Countrywide, about 275,000 new tenants registered their interest in private rental accommodation – a 24 per cent increase on the previous year.

It said that a typical tenant is a couple under the age of 35, although the number of families is rising.

During the past ten years, the number of young people getting on the property ladder has collapsed from about 500,000 each year to just 200,000 and the lack of available finance, high deposits and employment stability being blamed for the fall in applicants .

Read the full Daily Mail article here

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Insurance is a must!

Specialist Insurance provides landlords and tenants with peace of mind

UK landlords should already be aware of the necessity, legality and financial importance of having the right insurance protecting their property asset and should always seek to get their rental properties suitably covered with a comprehensive landlord or Buy-To-Let insurance policy.

However, whilst landlords stay insured keeping their property assets protected, very few tenants bother to investing in contents insurance or specialist tenant insurance.

Even though the tenants don’t own the property and are therefore not responsible for the actual bricks and mortar, the property does still contain all of their personal belongings, including important documents and irreplaceable mementoes and so insurance should be an important consideration.

In the event of a claim having to be made, in the case of a fire, for example, tenants may have mistakenly thought they would automatically be covered by the landlord and tried to claim for loss of their important and expensive items from the Landlords Insurance policy, the landlord would receive compensation for the damage to the property, whilst the tenants would find, in most cases, that their claims were unsuccessful and they would be left with nothing.

Tenant Insurance is a necessity is because it is highly unlikely that any tenant belongings will be covered by the landlords insurance. The landlord should have insurance cover to protect the fabric of the building itself, (including certain contents such as the kitchen cupboards, bathroom fixtures etc) and even cover for loss of rent but not the contents of the tenants.
Tenant insurance will also help to protect the tenant’s deposit as good policies cover tenants against accidental damage.

Read the full article on Legal 4 Landlords Blog

The new coalition Governments coveted Green Deal, an attempt to insulate British homes and reduce energy usage and costs has made it into the statute books as the Energy Act 2011 and is now law, the Green deal is set to be introduce in late 2012…

What does this mean for the UK buy to let property rental market?

From the Autumn of 2012 landlords and tenants will be able to benefit from the new Green Deals Scheme for home improvements and energy efficiency with approved Green Deal providers offering upfront finance to businesses…

Read The Full Article Here

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