The 2017 General Election and the Nuneaton Property Market.

The past does not equal the future however, it’s as good a barometer as any when it comes to making attempts to predict it, and the Nuneaton hosuing market…

Looking and analysing the past 5 general elections I have made some interesting discoveries on the before and after a general election and how this affects the property market…if at all.

Out of the five general elections (1997, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015) two were not certain (2010 with the coalition government of Lib-Dems and Conservatives and 2015 with the surprising Tory majority). So I wanted to compare what happened to the number of houses sold and prices achieved between the three certain elections (1997, 2001 and 2005) against the unexpected ones of 2010 and 2015.
Look at the first graph below comparing the number of properties sold and the dates of the general elections….

Looking at the number of monthly transactions (the blue line), there is a certain pattern to the housing market. That pattern has never changed since 1995 (meaning the periodic fluctuations that occur regularly based on a pattern – i.e. you can see how the number of properties sold dips around Christmas, rises in Spring and Summer and drops again at the end of the year).
The red line is a 12 month ‘moving average’ trend line which enables us to look at the ‘de-seasonalised’ housing transaction numbers, whilst the yellow arrows indicate the times of the general elections. It is clear to see that after the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections, there was significant uplift in the number of households sold, whilst in 2010 and 2015, there was a slight drop in house transactions.

The next thing I did was to consider what happened to property prices. In the graph below, I have used that same 12-month average, housing transactions numbers (in red) and yellow arrows for the dates of the general elections but this time compared that to what happened to property values (pink line).

It is quite clear none of the general elections had any effect on the property values. Also, the timescales between the calling of the election and the date itself also means that any property buyer’s indecisiveness and indecision before the election will have less of an impact on the market.

So finally, what does this mean for the landlords of the 18% of privately rented households in Nuneaton? Well, as I have discussed in previous articles (and just as relevant for homeowners as well) property value growth in Nuneaton will be more restrained in the coming few years for reasons other than the general election. The growth of rents has taken a slight hit in the last few months as there has been a slight over supply of rental property in Nuneaton, making it imperative that Nuneaton landlords are realistic with their market rents (I’ve seen properties on the market with asking prices inflated by 20%!!). But, in the long term, as the younger generation still choose to rent rather than buy … the prospects, even with the changes in taxation, mean investing in buy-to-let still looks a good bet.

If you see a Nuneaton property you think will make a good buy-to-let and need a second opinion, send me the Rightmove or Zoopla link. As my readers will attest, I don’t charge for an opinion.

Is your buy to let in Nuneaton being Sub-let??


Investing in a buy to let property is not an easy process – it’s expensive, and it can feel like a real labour of love being a landlord in today’s market. So, what do you do when you find out your tenant has decided to turn landlord and sublets your property? Should you accept it, or are you within your rights to be unhappy about this? With subletting on the rise in our towns and cities, this isn’t something that can be ignored.
What is it?
As the cost of living is creeping up, people are getting more resourceful with how to save, and make, money.
One of the most popular ways to increase an income and minimise outgoings – especially in the UK’s pricey towns and cities – is for a tenant to sublet a property. The subtenant would be given a tenancy for part of the property, which is let to them by the named tenant, who is acting as the landlord of the property.

Why is it a problem?

Subletting can pose a problem with regards to you as a primary landlord’s mortgage of insurance conditions.
Additionally, research by the National Landlords Association (NLA) has revealed that almost 50% of tenants who sublet their property do so without their landlord’s consent. If you are not aware of who is living in your property, you can face numerous issues further down the line, for example you have no control over the sub-letters or their actions, but can be pursued should any anti-social behaviour, noise or nuisance notices arise.

What are the legal implications?

It is important to remember that your tenant needs your written permission before they are legally allowed to start subletting your property. In some cases, if you refuse the request and the sublet goes ahead you are permitted to start possession proceedings against your tenant for breaking the terms of their tenancy agreement and in some cases, social housing tenants can be prosecuted for unlawful subletting, which carries an unlimited fine and a potential prison sentence of up to two years.
It’s only legal to sublet part of the property, such as a spare room. If they let the entire property, their status as a secure tenant could be invalidated.
If they choose to sublet, your primary tenant would take on the role as landlord. This would mean that they would be responsible for vital legal checks, such as Right to Rent checks on all incoming tenants. If your tenant fails to undertake these checks, and the incoming tenant is not legally allowed to rent in the UK, the primary tenant could face an unlimited fine, or even a prison sentence.

How can I stop it happening?

One of the first things you should do is make sure that the tenancy agreement that you provide your tenants with includes a clause stating that subletting is only allowed with the landlord’s permission, which will not be unreasonably withheld.
It was made illegal in 2015 for tenancy agreements to completely ban subletting within a property, however by including a clause which enables you to consider every request, you can work with your tenant, whilst still protecting yourself, your investment, and your primary tenant from potential difficulties!

What do I do if my tenant goes ahead and does it anyway?

If your tenant is illegally subletting, chances are they will be being fairly clever about the process- as no one does it with the intention of getting caught!. Before you do anything, it’s important to establish whether they are subletting or not! And this does require a little detective work…
If there are multiple occupants in a property which has been marketed for sole occupancy, you would expect to see higher levels of wear, tear and damage – after all, there’ll be a higher level of footfall! You will know what you will expect to see in your property, and if you need too- refer back to the inventory you did at the start of the tenancy- so schedule a maintenance check and keep an eye open for tell-tale signs of another person in the property.
Without getting too Sherlock Holmes, pay attention to small details such as the number of toothbrushes in the bathroom, shoes by the door, and lived-in bedrooms in operation.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of the curtain twitcher- and lets face it, most streets have them! A casual chat over the garden fence to neighbours to ask if they have noticed lots of different people coming and going from the property could shed some light on whether your single-person tenant has actually turned into small HMO!
Although time consuming, it may pay to sit and watch the property- particularly in the morning when people are leaving for work- just to see if you can catch the same ‘un- authorised’ person leaving the property consistently. This would also give you opportunity to approach them about your concerns.
If from your findings you find that there is evidence of someone else definitely living there, the time has come for an awkward conversation with your tenant. From a legal point of view, your tenant can have a friend or relative stay with them, and as long as they are not charging them rent this would not be considered subletting.
However, if your tenant admits to taking in a tenant of their own (or if you manage to speak to the subtenant who clarifies the situation) you are able to start possession proceedings against your tenant to evict them using a Section 21.
If your tenant has sublet the entire property, they have forfeited their tenancy status. This means that the tenancy ceases to be secure, flexible or introductory, and they have lost the protection of the law. In this instance, you are able to start the eviction processes by serving a ‘Notice to Quit.’

How do I evict the subtenant?

Once the tenant that you have a legal agreement with is no longer in residence at the property, the tenant who was subletting is considered a trespasser. You have no legal agreement with this tenant, and do not require a possession order to evict this tenant, although you can arrange one if you choose.
It is worth considering though that in many instances this person acted in good faith, and rented a property through your tenant in the belief that everything was ‘above board’. Taking time to speak with them where possible, and if you can, come to an agreement that makes the change as easy as possible for all parties will help ease the pressure on this innocent party!

If you are a victim of subletting, why not give us a call to see what we can do to help. If you want to keep your property but feel like the management of the property is getting you down, why not visit our website for more information on how we can help http://www.qthomes.co.uk/