Read the EstateAgentToday article here
A new national housing agency – Homes England – has been launched by the newly-rebadged Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.
Read the EstateAgentToday article here
Due to uncertainty following the First-tier Tax Tribunal decision on the treatment of VAT on disbursements in Brabners LPP v HMRC, the Law Society is setting up a working group to provide updated guidance on the treatment of VAT on disbursements.
Consternation and confusion has been caused in the profession by the Tribunal decision that the act of obtaining electronic property searches from a search agent formed part of the overall service provided by a firm to its client on the basis that the searches enable the solicitor to advise and therefore, the fees for those searches could not be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes.
For more information on the Law Society Working Group click here
According to Homes&Property website "gazanging is when sellers change their minds and decide to 'hang tight' - taking their property off the market part way through the sales process."
It is one of the practices that the government consultation into the property buying process is investigating in an attempt to make it “cheaper, faster and less stressful for those involved.”
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said he wants to hear from everyone with an interest in home buying including estate agents, solicitors and mortgage lenders.
He is seeking views on;
You can read and respond to the Government consultation here
The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 17 December 2017
Read the homes&Property article here
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has introduced a compulsory scheme whereby all CLC firms with a website are required to install the CLC's secure logo on their website.
All firms need to be in compliance with this requirement by 1st November 2017.
The CLC provides each firm with a unique piece of code that will provide a CLC secure badge for the firm to display online. The CLC will then monitor use of that code to ensure there is no unauthorised use of the secure badge.
Consumers can click on the badge to see information about the regulated firm on the CLC’s website.
The CLC will promote the secure badge to consumers and encourages firms to do the same.
Property Industry Eye has reported that over a third of licensed conveyancers have not yet istalled the secure logo on their website.
Read more about the scheme on the CLC's website
Russell Quirk of Emove has some interesting points to make about the Governments proposal to investigate referral fees paid by Estate Agents to conveyancers and mortgage companies.
Read his article here
The Information Commissioner's Office has announced a dedicated telephone service to help small and micro business owners prepare for incoming changes to data protection laws.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25th may 2018 but a recent study has revealed that as many as 90% of firms were were not yet adequately prepared for it.
Small business owners may be ignoring the issue as they can find it difficult to find a simple explanation of what the regulation means.
The GDPR helpline will go live on 1st November 2017 but help can be obtained before that by using the ICO's general helpline.
The Bank of England's 2017 Q3 summary of business conditions has commented that there were more reports of transactions falling through due to surveyors down-valuing properties, reﬂecting concerns about falling prices.
The report also stated that In the residential mortgage market, both lender and broker contacts reported that competition remained intense, driven by new market entrants and low funding costs. However, this competition was mainly concentrated on customers with the cleanest credit history. More customers were taking out fixed-rate deals; mortgages with longer terms, in many cases over 30 years, were becoming more popular.
Read the full Bank of England 2017 Q3 agents summary of business conditions here
An article on the The Daily Mail's This is Money financial website states that 'Lawyers who fail to protect their customers from houses with rip-off leases were last night accused of being ‘developers’ stooges’ and could face a Parliamentary inquiry.'
The article quotes Sebastian O’Kelly, of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership campaign group as saying: ‘These conveyancing firms are little more than developers’ stooges. The idea they act independently is laughable. We’ve got to stop developers from having panels of stooge solicitors who they recommend to house buyers.’
Read the article here: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-4830596/Lawyers-face-backlash-rip-leases.html#ixzz4r8Cnhg7t
Solicitors could now be prosecuted for failing to report information that could undermine the UK’s financial sanctions regime.
New financial sanctions regulations came into force on 8th August expanding the scope of the reporting requirements in the original European Union Financial Sanctions Regulations 2017. The regulations now include ‘independent legal professionals’, accountants, auditors, trust or company service providers, estate agents, dealers in precious metals and stones, and casinos.
These businesses are now covered by the criminal offences associated with a failure to comply with the duty to inform HM Treasury “if they know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a person has committed an offence under the relevant regulations or is a person who is the subject of an asset freeze for the purposes of the relevant EU financial sanctions regime”.
The countries covered by the regulations are;
Click on the link for details of the regulations;
A new lender has launched in the buy-to-let space, ditching the traditional loan-to-value (LTV) method of mortgage finance. Instead, the new “productless” property lender, Octane Capital, says it will price each individual loan according to the “real” risk of the borrower assessed by their underwriters.
Octane Capital says it will provide bridging finance as well as buy-to-let loans for up to three years on properties worth a minimum of £100,000.
It will consider buy-to-let loans for individual landlords and companies, and the rental income will need to cover 100% of the pay rate.
Read the Property Industry Eye article here
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