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Capital gains tax could ‘be brought into line with income tax rates’

CGT

Capital gains tax (CGT) increases could be around the corner as the chancellor Rishi Sunak looks to find the money needed to cover the government’s unprecedented spending and borrowing during the pandemic.

Given that the prime minister Boris Johnson has already ruled out a return to “austerity” in public spending, this money will have to come from somewhere.

There has been speculation for some time that CGT rates would increase.

Anthony Codling, CEO, twindig, commented: “As we enter 2021 chancellor Rishi Sunak is reviewing the structure of UK taxes. The pandemic has been costly in both emotional and economic terms, UK government debt is at an all-time high and eventually, these debts will need to be repaid. Taxes are therefore likely to rise.”

CGT is currently charged at 20%, but there are growing calls that it should be increased to 28% across the board or possibly aligned to income tax rates – at up to 45%.

The government’s tax adviser recently recommended that CGT be overhauled with proposals that could see the number of people hit by the duty increase sharply.

Rishi Sunak, who commissioned the review, is considering proposals by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), a Treasury-based body, to reform capital gains tax in the light of the economic and fiscal impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

The move has the potential to bring in an extra £14bn by reducing exemptions and doubling rates, according to the review.

Codling said: “Our working assumption is that capital gains tax rates will be brought into line with income tax rates, higher rate taxpayers will therefore pay higher rates of capital gains tax.”

Currently, a taxpayer’s primary residence is exempt from capital gains tax, but this could soon change for some homeowners.

He added: “We do not expect this exemption to be taken away completely, but we would not be surprised if the amount of exempt gain was subject to either an annual cap, a lifetime cap or a combination of both. This would be similar to pension relief where the amount of tax benefit in any one year is capped as well as the taxpayers lifetime tax benefit.

“Second-home and buy-to-let property gains are already subject to capital gains tax at a higher rate [28%] than the capital gains on other assets [20%]. We forecast that these rates will be equalised and reflect the taxpayer’s income tax rates.

“This will mean a tax rate increase for higher rate taxpayers and a lower tax rate for those with earnings below the higher rate tax threshold. However, it is likely that a capital gain on a property will move a lower rate income taxpayer into the higher rate tax bands.”

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 04/01/2021

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A Quick Guide to Purchasing a Buy To Let Property in Chelmsford

buy-to-let

If you’re considering becoming a landlord, there are many elements to consider and understand before you purchase a property. The process of buying a buy-to-let property differs compared to buying a residential property that you will live in yourself, so it’s good to know what exactly to expect. Of course, it’s a long-term investment that shouldn’t be made in haste, so if you’re reading this, you are probably looking for the right kind of information. 

Our team at Essex Homes And Lettings are experts in buy-to-let advice, so here is our straight forward guide to purchasing a buy-to-let property in Chelmsford.

What is buy-to-let?

First things first, the basics: buy-to-let is a property that is specifically purchased with the intention to rent it out to tenants. It’s an investment property that can generate a monthly income, as long as the rent being charged is higher than the monthly buy-to-let mortgage payments. 

A buy-to-let mortgage is different to a residential mortgage, and if you can’t afford to simply buy the property outright, you will need to apply for one. When applying for a standard mortgage, your income is taken into consideration, whereas with a buy-to-let loan, the lender considers the potential rental income as your primary income source, and considers your personal income as secondary. The interest rates tend to be lower, but they have larger upfront fees, so keep that in mind. Moreover, deposits on buy-to-let mortgages are also typically larger than the deposit needed for a standard mortgage, so expect to put down at least 25% more than you normally would. 

What kind of buy-to-let property should you buy?

The right property is important and can include factors such as the location in proximity to amenities and transport, as well as the neighbourhood and the demand in the area. Much like when you’re searching for your own place to live, you should ensure you do adequate research into the area you want your buy-to-let property to be located in. 

Consider what kind of tenant you want to target and include that in your research. If you’re trying to rent to families, your best bet is to find a property in the suburbs close to good schools. If you want to rent to students, a property near a university and good but cheap restaurants and nightlife is key. Keep in mind, the type of tenants you have renting from you can affect your mortgage, as many lenders have restrictions on student rentals, for example. 

Do you need buy-to-let insurance? 

The short answer is yes; you should have buy-to-let insurance (also known as landlord insurance). It gives you coverage for the building and the contents inside and any landlord liabilities. 

Building insurance is often required by your mortgage lender in order to secure a loan and will compensate you if your property is destroyed or damaged. This will cover the repairs or rebuilding costs so you don’t have to pay huge expenses out of pocket. 

Contents insurance will cover any furniture inside the property. It’s a smart idea to get contents insurance even if your buy-to-let property is unfurnished because you can choose what level of cover you require, and it can protect any curtains, carpets, and other furnishings that essentially come with your property between tenants. If you choose to rent your property unfurnished, your tenants will be responsible for their own contents insurance when they move in. 

Landlord liability is mostly your choice, but if you’re renting to students, for example, there may be a minimum level required. This covers you for any injuries or deaths of any tenants or visitors in your property. 

Do you need to use a letting agent?

This answer is dependent on the budget you’re working with and the level of involvement you wish to have with your buy-to-let property. If you want to be a very hands-on landlord, you may not want to go through a letting agent or agency, but if you would rather take a more hands-off approach, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a professional, experienced lettings agency.  

Letting agents like us will help you carry out credit checks on your potential tenants, help you come up with a letting contract, chase late rental payments for you, help with any maintenance on site that needs to be done, and assist with mandatory safety and efficiency checks for gas and energy. 

The fees to work with a letting agent typically include paying an ongoing fee to manage the property which varies, so it’s always best to speak with your chosen letting agent to get a complete idea of costs . 

Generally, utilising the services of a letting agent can take a big burden off your shoulders if you are a budding landlord!

For professional advice on purchasing a buy-to-let property in Chelmsford, contact our expert team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 or email sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk.

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Market boom goes on according to strong mortgage search figures

strong mortgage figures

A mortgage technology platform has released figures suggesting the housing market remains strong, with high numbers of searches by buyers for the best loans.

Twenty7Tec’s latest figures show the state of the mortgage market after the second week of the latest England lockdown.

Weekly mortgage online search volumes are currently at 87.33 per cent of the year’s highest figure, down just 0.5 per cent on the previous week.

Specifically, owner occupation mortgage search volumes are at 85.94% of the year’s high, down 1.9 per cent on the week before, while buy to let mortgage search volumes are at 94.18 per cent of the year’s high, up 2.3 per cent on the previous week.

“Any drop in mortgage demand prior to lockdowns – and we have seen this each time regionally and nationally – is offset as soon as the actual lockdown begins. The demand doesn’t want to stay pent up for too long explains James Tucker, chief executive of Twenty7Tec.

“This week is traditionally very busy in the run up to the peak period that runs from beginning October to mid-December. This year, two factors have combined to make it even busier: the stamp duty holiday end date and the longer lead times to get a mortgage approved. 

“We believe that these factors will sustain the levels of searches and documents for at least the next three weeks. It’s worth remembering that we are still at least 10 per cent busier now for both residential and buy to let than we were in our busy springtime.”

He adds: “Buy to let had a definite slump in the run up to lockdown 2.0 and troughed on November 4, the day this second lockdown began. However, since that low, on a seven-day rolling average, we’ve seen quite a return of buy to let search volumes and a smaller but definite recovery in buy to let documents being prepared.

“Buy to let currently forms 19.76 per cent of all searches in the past week and 21.33 per cent of all documents prepared against in the past week. Buy to let searches volumes currently form slightly less than the long term average of market activity – 20.49 per cent and just above average for documentation 21.13 per cent.”

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 23/11/2020

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Which is better, renting or owning a home?

To buy, or to rent, that is the question

Whether you’re going to rent, or if you’re planning to buy, your next move in Chelmsford is a personal choice. There are pros and cons for both, and some thinking will need to be done before making a decision.

But first, let’s look at a couple of statistics.

According to the government, just over 60 per cent of households in England owned their own homes (in the two years from 2016 to 2018). It has also been estimated that more than a quarter of people will rent their home by the end of 2021.

While many people want to own their own home in Chelmsford, for others renting is the best option for them.

It’s not just younger people who are renting either. A large proportion of renters are those who cannot yet find enough money for a deposit to get on the first rung of the property ladder, but there is also a growing number of older people who are renting as they downsize or move to be near family.

But what are the pros and cons of renting or buying?

What should you consider?

Here, we look at some of the things you should be thinking about.

Renting to keep costs down?

It could be said that renting doesn’t cost as much as buying because you don’t have to find a deposit for a house. This is indeed true – but not always! Monthly rents are sometimes cheaper than monthly mortgage payments but this is not always the case. You will need a deposit (which is protected by government-backed schemes), and you will usually need to pay a month’s rent upfront. This however, is still a lot lower than having to find upwards of a 15 per cent deposit to buy a house.

Renting may initially be cheaper, but you will not be on the property ladder and you won’t be investing in bricks and mortar and the potential profits that can accumulate as a property’s value rises.

What about maintenance costs?

This is often a tricky question to answer. Why? Because as someone who rents, your landlord will be expected to keep the property well maintained, and legally they have to make sure that the house is safe to live in, with regular electrical and gas safety checks.

But, as the person who rents, you will need to look after the property and there is an acceptance by many that it is up to you to keep the property in good condition. If you break items, the likelihood is that it is in your contract to replace like for like.

Of course, if you own the home, then all of the maintenance will come down to you and you will incur the costs – but on the plus side it is your home and you are investing in it.

Top Tip: Think about your finances and whether or not you can afford to keep your own property in tip-top condition.

It’s flexible

Renting is a way for you to live somewhere where you may not be able to afford to buy, or where work means you have to live. Renting can be a good option in this case because if you have to move often due to your work, you’re not going to want to go through the selling and buying of a property multiple times.

This is a real benefit to renting, but please be aware that if you are tied into a contract for a specific length of time, then you may not be able to get out of it easily.

Top Tip: If you can, specify the length of your rental contract. If you think you may only be somewhere for six months, make sure you are not tied in to a contract with a no break clause.

When it comes to renting or buying, it’s best to take the time to make a list of all the pros and cons. Circumstances may mean that you have to rent, but if you look at the figures, you might think it better to get on the property ladder.

You will need to do all the financial calculations based on your circumstances to get the answer to these particular equations, but we at Essex Homes And Lettings can offer you our professional advice to help you make an informed decision.

Give us a call on 01245398466 for more advice. We might even have a house for sale that is perfect for you!

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Essex Homes And Lettings and our responsibilities to you during COVID-19

At Essex Homes And Lettings we take the health and safety of our staff and clients extremely seriously. We are staying up to date with, and taking advice from the Government, Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer as the COVID-19 situation progresses.

Given the current level of concern, we want to reassure all our clients that we have taken and will continue to take the appropriate and necessary steps to ensure our levels of service and quality are maintained, without risk to staff and clients and without loss of service whilst adhering to recommendations.

We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and we will provide updates accordingly.

We have already taken the following steps and are confident that we can and will operate with minimal disruption through the next phases of the coronavirus outbreak whilst meeting the needs and requirements of our clients and the wider public.

Office

As per current guidance, we have asked that most of our team members work from home. We have a limited number of staff working from our office, but we request that you do not attend our office unless it is absolutely essential. Please also do not attend without prior arrangement. 

We will be avoiding handshakes and asking anyone who visits our office to wash or sanitise their hands.

Staff still situated in our offices understand their responsibility to report immediately any change in their health, family health or circumstances.

We have provided hand gel on all staff desks and do not allow staff to share phones or equipment.

All door handles, phones, keyboards and other office equipment is cleaned regularly.

Clients

Where possible we are offering the following:

  • 360-degree viewings
  • Video call viewings
  • Recorded video viewings

All of our communication channels – telephone, email, text messages, messenger and social media are all operating as normal and all staff members are contactable. 

Buyer and Seller Information

We have introduced new procedures and guidelines in the event of viewing requests. These will be reviewed as the situation evolves but our foremost concern is to keep staff and clients safe. Please talk to our staff on 01245398466 or email sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk with regard to this.

We are here to help and support all of our clients and we hope you, your friends and family remain safe and healthy for the duration of COVID-19.

Thank you for your patience, support and understanding during this challenging time.

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How to Rent out Your House in Braintree

If you haven’t rented out your home in Braintree before, then it can be difficult to know where to start. From ensuring the property adheres to the electrical safety regulations set for landlords, to finding the right tenant, to getting a handle on the tax implications; the vast number of tasks you need to complete can be overwhelming.

However, there is a way to make the process simpler, and less stressful.

All you need to do is follow the steps below for renting out your home and you will be receiving your first month’s rent in no time!

Research the market
Renting out your home in Baintree is different to buying a property specifically to let, as you have most likely spent a significant amount of time and money making your property as homely and attractive as possible. Therefore, it is not uncommon for homeowners to set the rent too high when marketing their property.

That is why it is important that you find out how much similar properties in the area are being let out for per month. It is also a good idea to work out what type of tenant will be likely to want to rent your property – students, families or single professionals.

Be aware of the financial commitment
Many first-time landlords go into the process believing that it is the easiest way to make money fast. However, they do not take into consideration the ongoing financial costs associated with renting out your home. As well as having to pay tax on your rental income, letting agent fees and any legal fees, you will also be responsible for ongoing maintenance and repairs of the property.

These may include:

Exterior repairs
Installation maintenance
General decorating
Repairing or replacing of white goods
Boiler servicing
Emergency repairs
General wear and tear
It is advisable to have a list of reputable and trustworthy tradesmen that you can call for any maintenance jobs that you are unable to carry out yourself, or for cases of emergency that you are unable to attend to.

Provide a blank canvas
Firstly, you need to decide if you are going to rent your home out furnished or unfurnished. This will be dependent on whether or not you have a need for your furniture in your new home, as well as what your specific demographic of renters will prefer. If you are planning to rent your property as unfurnished, then you will potentially need to look into storage options for any furniture you do not require in your new home.

Once you have decided which pieces of furniture you are going to leave in your property, you should then create an accurate property inventory so that you can avoid any potential disputes over damages.

As a general rule, it is advisable to keep the colour scheme in your rental property as neutral as possible to appeal to the widest variety of potential tenants. You should also clear your home of any clutter and personal belongings that may make the property feel less spacious.

Prepare for becoming a landlord
As the saying goes “with great power comes great responsibility”, and never a truer statement has been said concerning becoming a landlord for the first time. Not only should you be prepared for the influx of calls that you may receive from your tenants, but you also need to make sure you are informed about all your legal requirements as a landlord.

These include:

Checking your mortgage allows you to rent out your home
Ensuring your property is fit for occupancy
Arranging an electrical installation condition report
Arranging a yearly gas safety check
Ensuring your property has an Energy Performance Certificate
Installing smoke alarms and CO alarms
Carrying out right to rent checks on prospective tenants
Protecting tenants’ deposits with a TDP
Paying income tax if required
Getting residential landlord insurance
Getting rent indemnity insurance
Consider hiring a letting agent
Of course, you are under no obligation to hire a letting agent to help you rent out your home, but there are many benefits in doing so. These include:

Advertising your property for you
Showing prospective tenants around your home
Drawing up a tenancy agreement for you
Dealing with your tenants directly if you do not want to
Hiring a letting agent is a good idea if you are either inexperienced in renting out properties, or if you simply do not have the time or inclination to learn all of the processes involved.

An agent will also be able to offer you invaluable advice and experience, meaning you are less likely to incur costly mistakes along the way.

For no-obligation advice on renting out your home in Braintree please contact our expert lettings team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 or call in and see us. We look forward to seeing you.

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6 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Ideas for Your Chelmsford Property

In these days of easy access to drool-worthy home decor inspo on Pinterest and Instagram, we’ve all suffered a case of design envy. Although these design ideas aren’t unachievable, many people get put off by the mere thought of how much redecorating their own home could actually cost.

As your local Chelmsford estate agent, we see stunning homes in Chelmsford every day and we’re here to tell you that it’s very much possible to create an envy-inducing home of your own without breaking the bank!

You just need to get a little creative and take a few risks along the way.

Read on for our top 6 home decor ideas that are easy on your wallet:

1. First, kick off with a deep clean

We know, cleaning up isn’t exactly a decorating tip. But, hear us out here. Our experienced team of negotiators at Essex Homes And Lettings are all in agreement that a good decluttering session is the first step to transforming any room. By getting rid of all your clutter, you’ll get a much better idea of the space you’re working with. It also makes it easier to think of a coherent decor scheme, and you could get rid of some of the more dated design elements along the way.

The best part? Cleaning and decluttering doesn’t cost a thing.

2. Invest in some mirrors to open up a room

What’s one of the easiest ways to ‘add space’ to a room? Simply hang some mirrors.

Mirrors create the illusion of space by reflecting light, making smaller rooms instantly appear more spacious. Invest in some unique mirrors with interesting effects, and you’ll be adding style, light and space in one go.

And you don’t need to invest a lot. There are some great charity shops in Chelmsford  so head on over and upcycle old mirrors with a new frame or fresh paint.

3. Add some natural green

Amp up the style and the feel-good vibe of your home in Chelmsford by adding some cute indoor plants in quirky pots. Not only will they add some colour, but plants will also purify the air, and they’re known to boost your mood.

Plants aren’t pricey and can last for ages with care and love. Pop to the garden centre and buy local or check out online plant stores.

We’re not all green-fingered, so if you are worried about accidentally killing your plants, choose low-maintenance options such as jade or aloe vera that practically take care of themselves. Invest in a couple of statement pieces for the main living areas and dot smaller potted succulents around your bedroom and kitchen. Even your bathroom will benefit from a bit of green.

4. Style your bed

Yes, your bed is primarily for sleeping and lounging, and the occasional Netflix binge, but it can also be a statement style piece for your bedroom. And dressing it up won’t break the bank.

Get yourself some gorgeous new bed linen and an assortment of quirky cushions. Add a season-appropriate throw – furry for winter and bright/light for summer – to add a more cosy style.

If you’re feeling creative and don’t have a headboard, consider painting one on the blank wall behind your bed. It’s cheap and can easily be painted over whenever you fancy a change.

 5. Search for bargains online

Google makes bargain hunting a lot easier than it’s ever been, and home decor is a category where you can find some of the best bargains online. You’ll be surprised at just how many gems you can find on sites like eBay and Gumtree. If you’re prepared to go for second-hand or ‘pre-loved’ items, you can get your hands on quality furniture pieces for a lot less.

If you’re prepared to drive over for pickups, some online sellers are even willing to give away large items for free.

6. Give your walls a fresh lick of paint

Despite what some people may assume, you don’t need to be a DIY expert to paint a room in your home. Give any room a quick spruce with a fresh lick of paint. Or be bold and transform any space by painting a statement wall. This involves painting just one wall with a different colour or design, so it becomes the focal point of the room. You can also use wallpaper to create an interesting statement wall. 

A tin of paint or a roll of wallpaper is not expensive, and it’ll take just a few hours to make a significant style impact.

Once you’ve spruced up your property in Chelmsford, give us a call at Essex Homes And Lettings and we’ll be delighted to give you a free valuation. We can be reached at sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk or 01245398466.

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Essential Tips to Help You Rent Out Your Home

Considering renting out your home in Chelmsford but not quite sure where to get started? You’re in the right place. With years of experience in matching landlords with tenants, we’ve got the lowdown on all the essential steps you need to take to rent out your home. The team at Essex Homes And Lettings have put together our top tips for homeowners who are now thinking of renting out their home:

First things first: research, research, research

As with most things, renting out your home in Chelmsford should start with lots of research!

Start by checking out other properties being let in your area to see what’s on the market. What kind of features do they have? How much rent are they being advertised for?

We can help you greatly in this regard, allowing you to get a good idea of the local rental market and help you feel prepared.

Find yourself a great letting agent (Hint: we can help!)

This is an essential step that can make or break how smoothly the letting process goes.

If you’d like expert help with the letting process, take the time to find yourself a capable local letting agent. Do your research online and check out customer testimonials and online reviews.

We recommend getting quotes from at least three local letting agents and having a face-to-face meeting or video call with them all before you decide to entrust them with your property.

We would love you to choose Essex Homes And Lettings to help you let your property, but we also understand that it’s essential you get a good fit. We are happy to discuss your requirements, and you can book an appointment with us on 01245398466 for an informal chat!

Not quite sure why you might need a letting agent? Here’s how we can help:

Advise you on how much rent to charge
Market the property for you
Hold viewings and show prospective tenants around
Draw up tenancy agreements
Deal with any property maintenance and repairs directly with the tenant on your behalf
Most letting agents will charge around 10% of your rental income for this service. Which brings us on to our next point…

Do the maths

Before you commit to renting out your home, take some time to weigh up the costs to see whether it will be worth it financially. You can do this once you’ve researched the market and spoken to us to get a better understanding of how much rent you should charge. Factor in tax, agent fees and any other costs involved in maintenance and management to figure out how much you’ll actually be left with.

Ask yourself: will this figure cover your mortgage payments and leave you with a little extra to justify the time and effort spent letting your property? You should also be left a little extra for any ‘in case of emergency’ funds.

Inform your mortgage lender

Once you’re sure it makes financial sense to rent out your property, follow the terms of your mortgage contract and let your mortgage provider know.

It’s easily done, just discuss a ‘consent for lease’ with them and once approved you’re free to start letting.

Arrange your landlord insurance

If you already have an insurer for your house, inform them of your decision to rent out your property. They may need to change your existing insurance policy to reflect that there will now be tenants living there.

Protect your property and your investment further by sorting out landlord insurance. Some landlord insurance policies will cover you in case of missed rental payments. Please ask us for recommendations if you’re not sure where to find the best policy.

Prepare your property

Once you’ve done all your research, worked out your numbers and hired a reputable letting agent, it’s time to shift your focus back to the property itself. Before any tenants move into your house, there are a few vital preparation steps to take. These include the following:

Deciding whether you’ll be including furniture or renting out an unfurnished home. This is important to clarify early on in the process as some tenants are only looking for furnished homes.
Making sure any required maintenance checks and repairs are carried out before your tenants move in to avoid inconveniencing them.
Removing any items or pieces of furniture that could easily be damaged – there’s no point putting yourself through the stress of leaving them there!
Checking that all appliances are working and investing in any essentials that could sweeten the deal for potential tenants.
Giving your property a little spruce up and a fresh lick of paint if needed. Staging your house with appealing decor can make a huge difference in how quickly it comes off the market.
Interested in letting your property? For expert rental advice, please contact our team of professionals at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466.

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Essential Tips to Help You Rent Out Your Home

Essex Homes and Lettings | Letting

Considering renting out your home in Essex but not quite sure where to get started? You’re in the right place. With years of experience in matching landlords with tenants, we’ve got the lowdown on all the essential steps you need to take to rent out your home. The team at Essex Homes And Lettings have put together our top tips for homeowners who are now thinking of renting out their home:

First things first: research, research, research

As with most things, renting out your home in Chelmsford should start with lots of research!

Start by checking out other properties being let in your area to see what’s on the market. What kind of features do they have? How much rent are they being advertised for?

We can help you greatly in this regard, allowing you to get a good idea of the local rental market and help you feel prepared.

Find yourself a great letting agent (Hint: we can help!)

This is an essential step that can make or break how smoothly the letting process goes.

If you’d like expert help with the letting process, take the time to find yourself a capable local letting agent. Do your research online and check out customer testimonials and online reviews.

We recommend getting quotes from at least three local letting agents and having a face-to-face meeting or video call with them all before you decide to entrust them with your property. 

We would love you to choose Essex Homes And Lettings to help you let your property, but we also understand that it’s essential you get a good fit. We are happy to discuss your requirements, and you can book an appointment with us on 01245 398466 for an informal chat!

Not quite sure why you might need a letting agent? Here’s how we can help:

  • Advise you on how much rent to charge
  • Market the property for you
  • Hold viewings and show prospective tenants around
  • Draw up tenancy agreements
  • Deal with any property maintenance and repairs directly with the tenant on your behalf

Most letting agents will charge around 10% of your rental income for this service. Which brings us on to our next point…

Do the maths

Before you commit to renting out your home, take some time to weigh up the costs to see whether it will be worth it financially. You can do this once you’ve researched the market and spoken to us to get a better understanding of how much rent you should charge. Factor in tax, agent fees and any other costs involved in maintenance and management to figure out how much you’ll actually be left with.

Ask yourself: will this figure cover your mortgage payments and leave you with a little extra to justify the time and effort spent letting your property? You should also be left a little extra for any ‘in case of emergency’ funds.

Inform your mortgage lender

Once you’re sure it makes financial sense to rent out your property, follow the terms of your mortgage contract and let your mortgage provider know.

It’s easily done, just discuss a ‘consent for lease’ with them and once approved you’re free to start letting.

Arrange your landlord insurance

If you already have an insurer for your house, inform them of your decision to rent out your property. They may need to change your existing insurance policy to reflect that there will now be tenants living there. 

Protect your property and your investment further by sorting out landlord insurance. Some landlord insurance policies will cover you in case of missed rental payments. Please ask us for recommendations if you’re not sure where to find the best policy.

Prepare your property

Once you’ve done all your research, worked out your numbers and hired a reputable letting agent, it’s time to shift your focus back to the property itself. Before any tenants move into your house, there are a few vital preparation steps to take. These include the following:

  • Deciding whether you’ll be including furniture or renting out an unfurnished home. This is important to clarify early on in the process as some tenants are only looking for furnished homes.
  • Making sure any required maintenance checks and repairs are carried out before your tenants move in to avoid inconveniencing them.
  • Removing any items or pieces of furniture that could easily be damaged – there’s no point putting yourself through the stress of leaving them there!
  • Checking that all appliances are working and investing in any essentials that could sweeten the deal for potential tenants.
  • Giving your property a little spruce up and a fresh lick of paint if needed. Staging your house with appealing decor can make a huge difference in how quickly it comes off the market.

Interested in letting your property? For expert rental advice, please contact our team of professionals at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245 398466.

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What will the Property Market Look Like in Chelmsford After Lockdown Ends?

Property Market

If you’re a homeowner or a homebuyer in Chelmsford wondering what to expect in the property world when the lockdown is fully lifted, you’re not alone. As this pandemic is so unprecedented, even we in the property industry aren’t entirely clear on what the full reopening of the housing market will look like as it’s impossible to predict. 

As estate agents, all we can do is use our expertise and knowledge to try and understand what this crisis could mean for housing prices and property demands. 

Let’s take a closer look at what the property market may look like post-lockdown, and what it could mean for those of you interested in buying or selling: 

All suspended sales can now be completed 

Reopening the property market as a priority means that most of the sales that were suspended due to lockdown can now proceed. If you committed to buying or selling your property before the lockdown and have been waiting patiently for weeks, your agent will now reach out to you to proceed with the completion of the sale. 

Property demand is likely to rise 

Based on early indicators, activity levels in the housing market are likely to continue to rise, due to demand that has built up during the lockdown period. In fact, demand rose by 35% just one day after the government announced that the market was reopening.

Consumer confidence may be low 

Although demand for housing is on the rise, it’s important to be aware that consumer confidence may understandably be low at this economically uncertain time. Some people may be keen to stay put and will not interested in making big financial investments until things stabilise. 

On the other hand, another potential consequence of the uncertain economic state could be a boost in demand, which here at Essex Homes And Lettings we have already started to see. As people face financial insecurity, they may start to reconsider their housing needs and consider downsizing. Or they may no longer have to commute to work as frequently, with many companies choosing to extend their work-from-home policies well past the lockdown. This could lead to a rise in property demand beyond the most popular commuter zones outside the city.  

Economic instability is likely to lead to house prices falling 

As we’re set to move into a phase of recession, many forecasters are predicting that house prices may fall by around 10% across the country this year. These forecasts are based on how house prices have fluctuated based on economic conditions in the past.  

However, it’s important to note that UK house prices weren’t rising particularly fast pre-COVID. It may also be possible that the government will provide more economic support that is geared towards the housing market. 

Following safety measures is key 

Although the government has officially reopened the housing market and you’re allowed to make house moves, things won’t be exactly the same as they were pre-lockdown. 

As estate agents, we can open our office premises and perform viewings, but both must be done at a safe social distance. Our virtual tours of properties will become increasingly common, and those who would prefer real-life viewings may need to sign health declarations before doing so. 

Although navigating the post-lockdown property market may feel a little more complicated at first, we can guide you through the necessary steps in line with government guidance.

Sellers will need to take extra care to prepare homes for viewings 

Although we advise buyers to don gloves and masks for any in person viewings, not to touch any surfaces and remain at a safe social distance from others, sellers can prepare their home for post lock-down viewings with a good deep clean. Clean all surfaces and door handles with a good antibacterial cleaning product between each viewing. 

It will take time for the property market to rebuild momentum 

So, what happens next? Although the housing market is now open, realistically, it is going to take time for it to fully kick into action. Many workplaces are still closed, with millions still on furlough. We, like many other estate agents are getting to grips with new government guidance and ensuring that our businesses are adhering to safe work practices. However, there’s no reason why your transaction can’t go off without a hitch. 

Want to learn more about how the UK property market will affect your transaction after lockdown? 

Feel free to reach out to us at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245 398466 or sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk and one of our agents will be happy to discuss how the post-lockdown property market will impact your transaction in Chelmsford.