Commenting on RICS’ call to reverse the stamp duty surcharge on additional homes, Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), said: “The stamp duty surcharge for second home purchases was nothing more than a crowd-pleasing policy from a Government that was dead set on championing homeownership at all costs. However, it frankly isn’t raising any money for the exchequer, so it makes sense for Mr Hammond to reverse it and give private residential investors the opportunity to help ease the housing crisis. This Government should be commended for setting out a programme for building one million homes by 2020 and it needs to put the effort into making sure this is realised. In the meantime, we’ve still got a burgeoning renting population that need to be housed right now.”

1 in 3 UK home-owners regret DIY

Home services marketplace’s latest survey has found that over a third (35%) of UK homeowners have regretted the results of a DIY project and wish that they had called in a professional to handle it. Depending on the size of the project, many attempt the work unsupervised in an effort to save money. However, according to Plentific’s statistics, 1 in 3 find their results less than pleasing, and in retrospect, would have chosen to hire a specialist instead. Could this mean the demand for trade professionals can only continue to grow? The younger generation struggle most with DIY, as half (48%) of those aged 18-34 said they have regretted their past results. This high percentage may be down to them being relatively fresh on the property ladder and having yet to gain the relevant experience in DIY. It seems 18-34 year olds would save time, effort and enjoy a more pleasing end result by hiring in a specialist.

Minimum space standards will squeeze renters

One of London’s leading property consultancies has warned that plans to introduce minimum space requirements for rooms in the private rented sector will ultimately harm renters. Under new measures designed to target ‘rogue’ landlords, the Government is proposing a mandatory standard of 70ft2 for rooms and a wider licensing of rental properties, which it says will stop the exploitation of tenants. However, Julian Goddard, Head of Residential at Daniel Watney LLP, cautioned the suggested regulations would harm renters willing to compromise on space in order to save money, and also didn’t reflect recent technological changes. Julian said: “While well intentioned, these minimum space requirements for the rental market will do little to help people looking for cheaper options to live, especially in ultracompetitive locations like London. They also fail to recognise the huge shifts in technology that mean we are increasingly ‘assetlight’. From streaming music on Spotify to watching films on Netflix, people are owning less and less physical copies and relying more and more on digital services, reducing the need for storage space. Housing policy should be made for the future, not the past.”

Can’t sell? Don’t want to sell?

Property owners who are struggling to sell their home have been offered a lifeline, with the launch of a new service that makes short-term letting effortless.

My Property Host is a property management service that handles every aspect of letting out a property on Airbnb. It takes care of everything, from creating the advert to taking bookings, greeting guests and cleaning up afterwards. My Property Host’s Managing Director, Elena Lopez, explains: “Airbnb’s one Achilles heel is that it offers no proper insurance cover as part of its letting agreement, making insurance a worrying blindspot for hosts. My Property Host is a complete management service designed to make the whole Airbnb process effortless and worry-free. With the property market still unsettled following the Brexit referendum, homes are taking longer to sell and many would-be sellers are holding off on putting their property on the market until things calm down.”

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