Welcome to the final 2019 edition of the Fish Need Water newsletter!
Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • It’s election time again! What are the policies this time?
  • All the latest need-to-know news
  • Top tool: EPCRegister

Election promises galore

Who knew we’d be having an “election special” newsletter in December? The parties have been busy launching their manifestos and – as expected – there’s a fair amount dedicated to housing policy.

Here are the, eh hem, highlights:

Labour is proposing limiting rent increases to inflation, banning “unfair” evictions, starting national landlord licensing, and funding tenants’ unions. If you’re a landlord, there’s a good chance you’re now a scared landlord. The good news is that Right To Buy for private tenants (the most ludicrous idea since a teenager decided to get a MacDonald’s receipt tattooed on his arm) is no longer a thing.

The Green Party also likes the idea of rent controls. Additionally, it plans to ensure that all rented homes are rated “A” (“or as close as possible”) by 2030. Interestingly, the Greens have also included a policy about introducing Land Value Tax to replace a whole load of other property-related taxes – something the other parties haven’t touched with a barge pole.

The Lib Dems want to insulate all houses, build a LOT of new ones, introduce landlord licensing, and establish Rent to Own and Help to Rent (among other things).

And the Tories are intending to raise stamp duty for foreign buyers, introduce transferable deposits, and offer “lifetime” fixed-rate mortgages to make it easier for renters to get on the property ladder.

Ah, politics!

Property news

Buy-to-let repossessions are on the rise. But the news isn’t quite as “eeeek downturn time” as the headline implies.

The cheapest postcodes to live in UK revealed – do you live near one? Turns out four of those postcodes are in London. KIDDING! Of course they’re not.

Nearly £11bn of London property “sitting empty”. Not quite sure we approve of how they reached the “11 billion” number. But still… it’s a lot of property.

Our useful tool of the month: EPC Register

If you want to let or sell your home, you’ll need to sort out an energy performance certificate (EPC). The EPC lets the tenant/buyer know how energy efficient the property is – which in turn gives them an idea of what sort of energy costs they’ll face when they move in.

The government’s EPCRegister website is a simple resource to find an accredited assessor in your area. You can also check whether your property already has a valid EPC before getting a new one – which it might do, because they last for 10 years.

Check it out here.

The end! (Until 2020)

Speak to you next year!