desine 01/03/2018

Good Morning Everyone,

With the weather that we’ve had, the Townsends office is shut for today (Thursday 01/03/18), however you can still email us on as normal and we will endeavor to answer all queries and try and help as best we can.

In regards to outside, please ensure that you wrap up warm and try to keep travel to a minimum and check out local radio stations for more information.

Stay safe!

Everyone here @ Townsends…

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Building to Rent

Barbara Townsend 16/06/2016

Developers and investors have written to the housing minister, Brandon Lewis, proposing a 3 point action plan that could see more than 250,000 extra homes built for rent.  The Better Renting Campaign letter signed by 11 companies says that Build to Rent – where corporate’s build clusters of homes that are let rather than sold, could help the Government deliver on its pledge to build 1 million homes by 2020.

This letter claims that traditional house builders are at full capacity and that support for corporate landlords could bring £50billion of new money into this sector.

They are asking ministers to set aside an agreed proportion of public land for Build to Rent development.  Council and public landowners could generate long term rental income from buildings or land allowing them to fund under-pressure public services.

The group also calls upon Chancellor George Osborn not to apply an additional 3% stamp duty to professional…

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Referencing your Agent/Landlord

Barbara Townsend 09/06/2016

Despite typically having to pay for the privilege of having background checks on themselves, most renters don’t carry out checks on their potential landlords or agents, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1000 adult renters reveals that renters in London are the least likely to research a potential landlord.  The reason given is that due to the highly competitive nature of the lettings market in the capital means that renters cannot afford the time to do the research before accepting a property.

Across the UK only 20% of those surveyed did any sort of check on their landlord/agent before agreeing a tenancy; in London that figure is only 8%.

One in five renters believe that if they use a letting agent, they do not need to carry out any checks either about the agent or the landlord. Of those who have researched a potential landlord, 43% say that they have found…

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Energy Performance Ratings

Townsend Accommodation 26/05/2016

From April 2018, the Government is introducing legislation  that the minimum Energy Performance rating must be E.  Any property with a lower rating (F downwards) will not be able to be let.  This time frame looks generous but in view of the fact that the Government Green Deal Scheme which offered loans and grants to landlords to fund energy efficient improvements was axed in 2015 due to low take up. A new scheme is due to come into effect in 2017.  All agents should be watching for the details to help their landlords to at least reach the minimum requirement although it is also a good idea for landlords to do the same.  For example, a simple thing like changing all light bulbs to low energy alternatives is sometimes enough to lower the rating.  Obviously loft insulation is another fairly simple measure that can help.  There is plenty of information…

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Stamp Duty Land Tax

Barbara Townsend 12/05/2016

Higher Charges for Landlords:

The UK Government introduced higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the purchase of ‘additional’ residential property in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from1st April 2016. Throughout the UK, these proposals mean that purchasers face an additional charge of 3% on the purchase of most buy-to-let property or second homes. There will be a blanket exemption for purchases with a total consideration of less than £40,000 but the additional 3% charges will then apply to the total purchase price of any property in excess of this amount and not just to the excess over £40,000,

The higher charges will only apply to residential property and are targeted at anyone purchasing a second, or subsequent, residential property. In other words, the higher charges will generally be payable on any purchase where the person making the purchase already owns one or more other residential properties. The one major…

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About Time!

Townsend Accommodation 05/05/2016

Following intense lobbying by ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents), the Housing Minister Brendan Lewis has sent a letter to all local authority Chief Executives stating that if a tenant has been served a valid Section 21 Notice, the local authority should not advise the tenant to stay until the bailiff arrives.

He writes: ‘The statutory Homelessness Code of Guidance, which local authorities are required by law to have regard to, is clear on this matter. It says that housing authorities should not, in every case, insist upon a court order for possession and that no local authority should adopt a blanket policy in this respect. Unless a local authority has very good reason to depart from the statutory guidance, then they should not be placing households in this position”.

It will be very interesting from an Agent and Landlords point of view, to see whether the local authority actually takes note…

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For Your Information

Student Properties for 2017 are advertised on our website. Please DO NOT go to the properties without an appointment.

All Properties are available from the 3rd July 2017, unless otherwise stated.

All Tenants are subject to a non-refundable £150 application fee. Booking to view student properties is available after 3rd Jan 2017, for viewings to start early Jan 2017.

At the start of your tenancy

Once you have completed your student tenant detail form and paid your non-refundable application fee for a room in a student property we will raise your tenancy contract and send this to your stated guarantor for signature. The contracts should be returned to us by the date stated in our letter to your guarantor. We will hold the contracts until the date of commencement. Please ensure you are aware of your contract start date.

On the day your contract starts you should come to our office to sign the contracts and collect your keys to the property. This should be between 10.00am and 5.00pm.At this time we will require your first rental payment. Rental during the months of July, August and September (where applicable) may be paid monthly on the 1st of the month. Thereafter rental payments should be made quarterly in advance on 1st October, 1st January and 1st April. Payments may be made by bank transfer (details of our account are as stated on the letter to your guarantor), debit card payment, cheque or cash. Any returned cheques will be charged at standing banking charge rate. Any late rental payments will be subject to a charge of 6% per annum as stated in the tenancy contracts.

If you are unable to visit our office on the day of your contract starting you may come in on any weekday thereafter between 10.00am and 5.00pm. You must however arrange to make your rental payment on the day of your contract start. Please note that it is not our policy to post or issue keys on your behalf as all contracts must be signed by the tenant on the day of key issue. Student tenants are exempt from paying council tax but in order to qualify an exemption certificate must be provided to the council tax office if required. If you are a first year student you will not be exempt until your course actually starts and should therefore be aware that you will be liable for council tax from when your contract starts until the start of your course. Similarly, if you change course, starting a new course in the new academic year the council will not consider you exempt again until your new course starts.

How to secure a room?

Rooms may only be secured by the payment of a non-refundable application fee of £150. This can be paid by cash or card at our office or by card over the phone or bank transfer(please call 01326 315000 for details).

New Student List For 2016/2017

We will be releasing our list of properties available for the academic year 2015 / 2016 during the first week of January 2016.

For properties available now, please click HERE.