Oldham Council Selective Licencing

Oldham Council has decided to introduce a selective licencing scheme under the Housing Act 2004.

Under this scheme private landlords who rent out a property which falls within the designated area will be required to apply for a licence. This will cost £490 per property and will last for 5 years.

This link

http://www.oldham.gov.uk/downloads/download/955/selective_licensing_of_private_landlords_street_lists_and_maps

provides access to the Oldham Council website which shows maps of the designated areas and also a street checker. This allows landlords to check if their properties are affected.

At Ryder & Dutton we have already written to our landlords with details of the scheme. There are full details at the end of this blog. However, since we wrote to our landlords the Local Authority has changed the dates on which the licences will be needed. Originally it was for all designated areas from 1st May 2015 but now a phased approach has been adopted. The revised implementation dates are

St Mary’s                                                 1st May 2015

Hathershaw                                            6th July 2015

Waterhead                                              6th July 2015

Hollinwood                                             1st September 2015

Primrose Bank                                        1st September 2015

Coldhurst                                                 1st January 2016

Oldham Edge                                          1st January 2016

Alexandra                                                1st January 2016

In order to apply for a licence a landlord must  complete an application form. These forms are available using this link.

http://www.oldham.gov.uk/downloads/download/941/selective_licensing_application_form

However, Ryder & Dutton are in discussions with the Local Authority regarding the simplification of the forms and would recommend to our clients that they delay submitting the application form until this process is complete and the simplified form is available. Please do not contact us for the information required on Parts 2 and 3 of the form as we are unable to provide this directly to you.

For clients with properties in the St Marys area we recommend that you contact us on 30th April for an update on this process.

Ryder & Dutton are unable to complete the application form on behalf of landlords as personal information is required. However our managed clients need not complete Parts 2 and 3 of the simplified form (when available) as Ryder & Dutton has already supplied all the required information in those sections directly to the Local Authority. Only sections 1. 4 and 5 need to be completed by our landlords.

Where Ryder & Dutton are the managing agents the landlords themselves must be the licence holder. Ryder & Dutton are not prepared to become the licence holder themselves in any circumstances.

Landlords are strongly recommended to read the information that sets out below the additional responsibilities they will now face as the owner of a licenced property in a selective licencing area.

In particular we draw attention to the need to PAT test electrical appliances provided and also importantly the need to have a 5 year certificate of safety for the electrical wiring. A licence will not be refused if such a certificate does not exist but an undertaking to get one must be given and if the Local Authority inspects the property subsequently and such a licence is not in place then the landlord may be liable to a very substantial fine.

Ryder and Dutton are doing our utmost to help make this process as simple as possible and have undertaken to continue to manage properties in these areas on our clients behalf on the same management terms as previously although we do reserve the right to increase our charges should the requirements of the Local Authority become too onerous.

We would also welcome any new landlords who need assistance with their selective licencing arrangements.

Any further queries regarding the scheme can be made to us on 0161 626 6800

Set out below are more details of the scheme.

Selective Licensing Conditions                                      

In these conditions, the term “house” refers to the building or part of a building, which is licensed under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004.

Housing Act 2004 Mandatory Conditions

Section 90 of the Housing Act 2004 imposes certain mandatory conditions which the Council has no discretion to vary and it gives the Council the power to include such conditions it considers appropriate for regulating the management, use or occupation of the house concerned.

The following five conditions are mandatory conditions imposed by the Act and the Council has no discretion to vary these conditions.

  • A gas safety certificate must be obtained annually and produced to the Council (if there is a gas supply to the house);
  • Electrical appliances and furniture supplied by the landlord must be kept in a safe condition;
  • Smoke alarms must be installed in the house which should be maintained in good working order;
  • The Licence Holder must supply the occupiers of the house with a written statement on the terms of occupation;
  • The Licence Holder must demand references from persons who wish to occupy the house.

In addition to the mandatory conditions outlined above, the Council may attach local conditions. The Council has discretion to vary these conditions with every licence issued; conditions can be added or removed subject to individual circumstances and on appeal. In Oldham, the following local conditions will also apply:-

Local Conditions

  • The House is free from category 1 hazards (this means the house is legally safe to occupy);
  • Any house legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must have one;
  • An appropriate electrical test certificate for the fixed wiring in the house must be provided at least once every five years and an annual portable appliance test be carried out on any portable appliances supplied by the landlord;
  • Where there’s a gas supply, a suitable carbon monoxide detector must be provided, maintained in good working order and tenants aware of its operation;
  • Occupiers are reminded of their responsibilities for the storage and disposal of household waste; Landlords must ensure the correct bins are at the property at the start of the tenancy and carry out regular checks to ensure refuse is being disposed of correctly;
  • Landlords must keep the property free of pests and carry out any pest proofing and treatment needed;
  • The Licence Holder does not knowingly allow the house to be overcrowded;
  • At the change of tenancy the house and any land associated with it is in a clean and tidy condition with reasonable levels of decoration;
  • The property is kept secure and free from accumulations of refuse during vacant periods;
  • A copy of the licence including the conditions attached, is provided to all tenants;
  • All tenants are provided with contact details including emergency telephone number of the License Holder and if applicable the manager;
  • The Licence Holder and any appointed manager provide up to date contact details (including telephone number) to the Council, so that problems can be swiftly addressed;
  • The Licence Holder takes all possible actions to resolve anti-social behaviour and remove occupiers where there is evidence of criminal activity or serious anti-social behavior.

These conditions will be monitored by the Council during the licence period to ensure they are being complied with. Circumstances behind any breach of the licence conditions will be investigated, and any Licence Holder found to be in breach of the licence conditions can face, upon conviction in a Magistrates court, a fine of up to £5,000. In such circumstances, the Council will then consider whether it is appropriate to revoke the licence and make a Management Order to take over management of the property.

UK residential landlords see lowest void periods for 13 years

On average void periods in rental properties have fallen to the lowest levels for 13 years.

House to rent

A major concern for Landlords with rental properties can be the void period between tenancies. The void period is the length of time a property is left vacant between tenancies and any void periods will result in a lack of rental income for Landlords, which can be costly over time.

New research however shows that the average annual void period for residential landlords in the UK has dropped to its lowest level since 2002.

In a survey carried out by Paragon Mortgages the rental void period in the first quarter of 2015 was just 2.4 weeks on average.

Paragon has surveyed a panel of landlord customers for 13 years, and the current average void period recorded represents the lowest levels since the survey began.

The survey also found that in the first quarter of 2015 some 42% of landlords said in their view tenant demand was either growing or booming. 54% of landlords also felt demand was stable within the private rented sector and this follows the news that Buy-to-let mortgage valuations also rose by 41% in February.

Working to reduce void periods in rented properties is crucial for Landlords and lettings agents should take steps to try and protect their clients from this as much as possible.

Ryder and Dutton have a team of dedicated Portfolio Managers who liaise directly with our landlords to find a new tenant as quickly as possible, and make sure the property is in a suitable condition ready to let upon tenants leaving. We will always endeavour to advertise the property at the earliest opportunity to try and minimise any void periods.

If you have a rental property and would like further advice contact us on 0161 626 6800 to speak to our specialist rental department.

Help to Buy Isa Boost for First Time Buyers

In the recent budget the Government unveiled a new Help to Buy Isa designed to help first time buyers save a deposit for their first home.

ArticleImage

As unveiled in the recent budget there is a new Help to Buy Isa available exclusively for first time buyers to help them save a deposit to enable them to purchase their first home.

With the new Help to Buy Isa the government will add 25% to the monthly contribution made by prospective purchasers. There is no minimum contribution required; however there is a maximum contribution that purchasers are eligible to make of £200 a month, which would qualify for a maximum government contribution of £50 a month.

As an added bonus you can also start the account off with an initial balance of £1,000 and you will have £250 added to the balance immediately.

The Isa’s are only available for the next four years until Autumn 2019, however exact dates are yet to be confirmed.

Unlike other Government schemes, you are not restricted on buying a new build or second hand home.

Help to Buy Isa’s are available exclusively to first time buyers and are applicable to the individual person, rather than for a property purchase, therefore if there are two people looking to buy a property in joint names they would be eligible for a Help to Buy Isa each.

The government has also capped the bonus they will pay in at £3,000. The minimum you need to have saved to get the bonus is £1,600 earning you a £400 bonus, and the maximum the Government will contribute is £3,000. If you save £12,000 you would qualify for the maximum £3,000 bonus.

A Help to Buy Isa can be used to purchase a property with a partner who has previously owned a property, although they would be unable to open their own Isa.

The maximum purchase price is £250,000 to be able to use the savings towards a property purchase, however the limit in London increases to £450,000.

The Isa will continue to earn you interest until it is used, however the bonus is still capped at £3,000 regardless of the balance. The bonus will be calculated and paid when you buy your first home. A voucher will be issued for the bonus and this will go straight to your mortgage lender towards your deposit, so you will not get the bonus unless you do go on to purchase a property. This also means you will not earn interest on the bonus as the money is never transferred to your account.

Richard Powell Director of Ryder and Dutton comments, ‘For many of the first time buyers locally saving a deposit has been a significant hurdle preventing them from getting onto the housing ladder and so the the introduction of the new scheme will provide first time buyers with a head start when saving their deposit’.

Tamewater Court

Set in a quiet location, and accessed off Delph New Road, Tamewater Court is a stylish and contemporary new development of 1 & 2 bedroom apartments and duplexes, and 3 and 4 bedroom family homes set around a private courtyard at the end of a private wooded road.
The former cotton mill building at Tamewater Court will be restored and converted to provide 20 two bedroom apartments and duplexes to complement the 25 new build properties.

Tamewater Court is available to view on Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 4pm. Viewings during the week can be made by appointment with our New Homes team on 0161 925 3235.

Open Viewing at Hawk Yard, Greenfield, SADDLEWORTH

We have an open viewing taking place at 3 Hawk Yard in Greenfield, Saddleworth on Saturday 4th April 2015 between 3pm and 4pm.

There is no appointment required to attend the open viewing.

3 Hawk Yard is a stone built Grade II listed house located in the hamlet of Hawk Yard, which is nestled on the hills that overlook Greenfield and the beautiful Dovestones reservoirs.

3 Hawk

Accommodation over three floors and there are views from almost every window of the surrounding countryside hills, fields and farmland.

The property offers a very spacious family living with charm and character in abundance including exposed beams, mullioned windows, stone flagged flooring and open stone fireplaces in the dining room and lounge. The kitchen is fitted in a traditional farmhouse style with AGA oven and utility room off with guests wc and shower room beyond. A large conservatory at the side of the property links the main home to the garage and is a superb entertaining space or family room.

To the first floor is a superb spacious lounge with fireplace, exposed beams and mullioned windows, two single bedrooms, one has a shower room. The master bedroom is on the second floor and includes fitted wardrobes. A family bathroom with four piece suite completes the living space.

Externally the property has a cobbled driveway with space for four to five cars to park outside. Steps at the side of the property lead to a good size rockery and lawned garden which is a great position to take advantage of the views.

A stylish versatile home ideal for the growing family situated in a lovely semi rural position with superb view. Rare in this position.

Offers over £449,950.

For full details check the website here. 

Show Homes Available to View Easter Weekend

We have three of our new build developments open over the Easter weekend and the show houses available to view.

Tamewater Court, Manor Farm and The Bakestones will all be open on Saturday 4th April and Sunday 5th April between 11am and 4pm.

 

Tamewater Court, Delph New Road, Dobcross

Tamewater Court

Set in a quiet location, and accessed off Delph New Road, Tamewater Court is a stylish and contemporary new development of 1 & 2 bedroom apartments and duplexes, and 3 & 4 bedroom family homes set around a private courtyard at the end of a private wooded road.

The former cotton mill building at Tamewater Court will be restored and converted to provide 20 two bedroom apartments and duplexes to complement the 25 new build properties, all of which will be finished to an exceptionally high standard. Each of the properties has allocated parking and most houses have integral garages and driveways.

Prices start at £124,995.

 

Manor Farm, Constantine Street, Oldham

Manor Farm

Set within walking distance of Lees village adjoining Lees Brook Nature Park, and close to the centre of a short distance from Oldham Town Centre, Manor Farm is an exclusive private gated development of just ten 3 & 4 bed semi detached houses. These stylish family homes have stunning views and provide spacious and flexible accommodation and have been finished to a high specification to include integrated kitchen appliances and quality bathrooms.

Prices start at £169,950.

 

The Bakestones, Off Huddersfield Road, Delph

Bakestones

The Bakestones is a brand new development of 46 stylish new homes, located off Huddersfield Road, close to the centre of Delph, comprising of a range of contemporary property styles, including 2, 3 and 4 bedroom mews houses, semi detached and detached houses finished in a complimentary blend of natural stone, brick and render, in keeping with the surrounding area.

The development is situated in Delph, close to the River Tame, on the edge of the Pennine Moors and the open countryside. In Delph village itself are many local shops, pubs and restaurants, whilst a little further afield Oldham town centre offers excellent retail, leisure and entertainment facilities.

Prices start at £230,000.

 

We also have a selection of other new build developments that are available to view by arrangement over the weekend.

You can view the full list of new developments that we have available here. 

OnTheMarket.com passes 5,000 offices milestone

 

OnTheMarket.com – the major new property website where Ryder and Dutton is listing all of its properties – has announced its membership has grown to more than 5,000 contracted estate and letting agent offices.

OnTheMarket

OnTheMarket.com launched on January 26 to rival Rightmove and Zoopla and features hundreds of thousands of properties for sale and to rent at all price points across the UK.

The member offices, from over 2,500 agent firms, have moved their properties and their substantial advertising spends from other property websites to OnTheMarket.com.

More and more of its member agents are already advertising their new-to-market properties exclusively at OnTheMarket.com at least 48 hours in advance of displaying them on any other property portal. OnTheMarket.com has already become a ‘must-view’ website with a unique set of properties because many of the properties on its website cannot be found anywhere else.

After just six weeks from its launch, OnTheMarket.com had already had over two million unique visitors to the website.

OnTheMarket.com is a mutual organisation without the requirement to feed dividends to external shareholders. It is focused solely on providing an outstanding service for property searchers, estate and letting agents and their vendor and landlord clients. The board includes senior representatives of Chestertons, Douglas & Gordon, Glentree Estates, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, Knight Frank, Rook Matthews Sayer, Savills, Spicerhaart and Strutt & Parker, all of whom are advertising all their properties at OnTheMarket.com.

OnTheMarket.com member agents commit to advertise their properties on no more than one other portal. In practice, this means in most cases removing their properties from either Rightmove or Zoopla. Neither can now claim complete market coverage. Around 90 per cent of OnTheMarket.com’s members have chosen to remove their properties from Zoopla and remain with Rightmove. In a recent report, Morgan Stanley said it estimated Zoopla had lost 3,500 agents.

The property search at OnTheMarket.com is slick, simple, fast and state-of-the-art, compatible with the latest technologies. The website adapts seamlessly to fit the screen of any device being used to view it. There is no clutter from irritating and distracting third party adverts, nor any spam email.

Every property at OnTheMarket.com is marketed by a locally-based estate or letting agent because OnTheMarket.com knows the majority of the public recognises the benefits of having a local professional agent who can manage the sales or lettings process on their behalf. OnTheMarket.com does not feature properties marketed by online-only “agents”.

Richard Powell, Director of Ryder and Dutton said: “It is fantastic news that OnTheMarket.com has passed the 5,000 office milestone. It is remarkable what has been achieved so far but this is only the beginning. OnTheMarket.com will continue to grow in size and momentum because of its clean, fresh and fast consumer search experience. Ryder and Dutton is proud to be part of this property market phenomenon.”

Ian Springett, Chief Executive of OnTheMarket.com, said: “OnTheMarket.com hit the ground running and is now an essential destination for anyone seriously in the market for residential property.

“We have come a long way in just a few weeks and, with more than 800 new member offices already added in 2015, we are more confident than ever that we will replace Zoopla as the number two player in the market over the coming year.”