Latest News

Have I got some (good) news for you!

15th August 2019

Mark Mugliston, Residential Sales Manager at our Diss office, shares some good news on the wider property market and industry.

It’s nice to hear some good news occasionally isn’t it? Whilst I can’t tell you the housing market in Diss & Harleston is booming just yet, I have got some other positive news to share relating to the wider property market and industry.

Welcome regulations

The government has published proposals for far-reaching changes to the way estate and letting agents are regulated, trained and licensed. The proposals have come from the Regulation of Property Agents working party, set up last year by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. Although the recent statement from the working party consists only of proposals, it is understood that they have already been signed off by the MHCLG and are likely to form the basis of legislation in the near future.  As agents we really welcome this – our industry is sometimes seen as ‘dodgy’ and anything that enables us to slay that myth is good news.  Fortunately we are ahead of the game and we are all either qualified, or are in the process of gaining qualifications with the relevant regulatory bodies, the National Association of Estate Agents or the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

Overdue reform

The issues well documented and written about in this column before of buyers and sellers being able to withdraw from a transaction with no consequences or penalty may also finally be tackled as the government has announced it is considering introducing pre-sale contracts.  This would mean a house purchase will look more like the Scottish system so once a deal has been agreed it is legally binding, other than in exceptional circumstances.  It’s another thing we have been calling for many, many years. It will not only take a lot of the stress of moving away completely it will also speed up the process and reduce the workload for everyone.

Lettings legislation

The much debated ban on tenants fees came into force last month and I’m pleased to report it hasn’t affected the market place so far.  The cost of previously earned income from tenants has to be earned somewhere and there were fears this would result in higher rents.  The rental market has stayed buoyant and many landlords have taken our advice and switched to a managed agreement with their agents. It’s very early days on this but the early signs are promising.

New homes double whammy

All new homes will soon be built freehold or with no leasehold fees. This will alleviate owners from being trapped into leasehold properties that have extortionate ground rents - making them difficult to sell – and also cheaper to buy initially as solicitors often charge more for a leasehold conveyance.

If you’re buying a new home direct from a developer, then you are not currently covered under the 1979 Estate Agents Act and have no redress if you are treated badly.  A specific Ombudsman is being established to police developers and ensure they act to the standards and laws us agents have too. This should also help when there are disputes over building quality issues – which has been in the news quite a lot recently.

It’s good to know that there is life outside of Brexit for our Westminster-based representatives!