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Gordon & Rumsby: New Rules For The Holiday Let Business

March 16, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby Estate Agents: New Rules For The Holiday Let Business.

Devon & Dorset: The Place To Buy A Holiday Let.

Statistics reveal that more and more people are choosing to holiday in Britain. There has been an increase in both British and overseas travellers. Evidently their top choices of accommodation are luxury city apartments and traditional cottages in the country. Until recently the owners of holiday lets have enjoyed advantageous tax benefits, but, unsurprisingly, the government is tightening up the rules.

So if you are down our area of Dorset & Devon looking for a quaint cottage to let out through the year, hopefully this information will be of some use to you. Nevertheless, Gordon & Rumsby advise you to discuss the tax implications fully with a financial/tax expert prior to entering into negotiations on a property.

Since April 6 2011 you cannot set furnished holiday let losses against other income to reduce the overall tax bill.

From April 6 2012:

  • Long-term lets: Are defined as more than 31 days but must not exceed 155 days during the relevant tax period. Letting to the same person for more than 31 days is not regarded as a holiday let.
  • A  furnished holiday let will be viewed as, and must be run as a commercial business with a view to profit.
  • The property must be available for holiday accommodation for the public for at least 210 days during the relevant tax period.
  • Occupancy: The property must be let commercially as holiday accommodation to the public for at least 105 days during the relevant tax period.
  • Capital gains: A holiday let business can take advantage of Asset Rollover Relief . This means when you transfer the property (for a gain) and purchase a replacement asset, the tax is deferred until the replacement property is sold. The new asset does not have to be another holiday let. It can be a completely different business.
  • The business can make use off Capital allowances for depreciation for such things as a washing machines for the property
  • Landlord’s energy-saving allowance is available.
  • A holiday let may also qualify for Entrepreneur’s Relief which can significantly reduce the tax bill.
  • Income from a holiday letting business counts as earnings for the purpose Income Tax Relief on pension contributions.
  • Losses incurred by a UK holiday let business can still be set against future year’s profits, but only if the losses and profits are generated from UK property.

Gordon & Rumsby’s new office telephone number in Market Place, Colyton is 01297 553768, and you can still contact us on 01460 30888 or

Gordon & Rumsby: New Office In Market Place, Colyton

March 9, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby: Coming Home To Colyton!

Gordon& Rumsby Estate Agents Open New Office In Market Place, Colyton.

We are tremendously excited to announce the opening of our new office in Market Place, Colyton, East Devon. We have been trading as Gordon and Rumsby for over three years now as an internet based company and we are ready to expand. We have chosen the bustling market town of Colyton as we have a great deal of local knowledge, and it is in this area that I first started my career in Estate Agency.

It feels a bit like coming home!

We are being joined in the Market Place premises by Rob Holman (Surveyor and Designer) and Linda Cleaves (Mortgage Advisor). Together we can offer a more rounded service to the customer – a sort of “One Stop Property Shop”.

Linda Cleaves is an Independent Mortgage and Life Insurance broker. Being independent ensures that she can act in the client’s best interest, as she is not tied to a particular bank or building society. She says the best parts of her role are that:

No two days are the same, you meet great people and help them fulfill their plans and dreams.

Rob Holman of RH Survey and Design will be offering his vast experience in all things building related. He is an RICS surveyor but will also be offering a design service and examples of his work will be available to view at the office.

Pop in and have a chat with him.

The Gordon & Rumsby ethos is based on excellent customer service delivered at a reasonable price. Much of our business is based on recommendation. The opening of this office will allow us a good base to offer more to our existing customers and we look forward to welcoming many new ones in the surrounding area. We hope to be in Colyton for many years to come.

Gordon & Rumsby currently have property as far west as Branscombe and as far east as Bridport.

The new office telephone number will be 01297 553768 or you can still contact Gordon and Rumsby on 01460 30888 or visit our website: http://www.gordonandrumsby.co.uk/index.php

Gordon & Rumsby Estate Agents: Energy Efficiency Certificate Update

March 2, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby Estate Agents: Energy Efficiency Certificate Update

EPC rules are changing on April 6th 2012.

If you are just about to sell or rent your house, then you may wish to know that the rules for the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) are changing from April 6th 2012. Gordon & Rumsby see the main changes will be the time frame in which to obtain the certificate, and the fact that the rules now apply to residential and commercial property.

An EPC provides information about the energy efficiency of a property, with recommendations on how to improve its efficiency, and how to reduce CO2 emissions.

The new rules will cover residential and non-residential properties for sale or rent:

  • The EPC must be applied for prior to putting the property on the market.
  • You will be required to receive it with in 7 days of marketing the property. Currently it is 28 days.
  • Proof that has been applied for must be available for inspection by a Trading Standards Officer if asked for.
  • If after 7 days the EPC has not been received, the Vendor/Landlord will be given an additional 21 days to produce the certificate.
  • After that a fine may be imposed.
  • The onus is on the Vendor or Landlord to obtain the certificate. However, the responsibility is also extended to those who are acting on their behalf such as estate agents and solicitors.
  • EPC’s will have to be attached to all particulars of property for sale or rent, not just residential but non-residential property too.
  • Air conditioning inspection reports that were previously not obligatory, will now be mandatory where applicable.

Don’t forget it is not to late to take advantage of some grants that are available to insulate your property, thus enhancing your EPC when you sell or rent. This in turn can add value to your home.

Check out some of the schemes available with Martin Lewis, the money-saving expert.

Thinking of selling your home this year? Contact Gordon & Rumsby via the website, or call us for a chat on 01460 30888. We will be happy to visit your property and give you a FREE market appraisal and our honest advice.

Gordon & Rumsby: Activity Up, But Act Fast For Great Mortgage Deals

February 24, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby: Estate Agents In Dorset, Devon & Somerset

Activity Up, But Act Fast For Great Mortgage Deals

At Gordon & Rumsby, we have seen an increase in activity over the last month, with many more new applicants looking for property and an increase in viewings too. In fact our diary has been very busy.

We are still finding that would-be buyers are experiencing difficulties in securing a mortgage, and banks are still being cautious about lending while they try to put their businesses back on track. At the height of the property boom there were 12,000 mortgage deals on offer to the public compared to 3,000 today.

The good news, however, is that those 3,000 represent double what was on offer in 2009.

The not so good news is that new mortgage deals only stay on offer for an average of 27 days, which means the really good deals go much faster.

If you are looking for a mortgage at the present time, you have to operate fast to secure a mortgage-in-principle.

One thing that you can do to help yourself, is to apply through a mortgage broker. Brokers are usually in personal contact with the lender’s decision makers, so can iron out any wrinkles in your application in a timely manner and secure a deal quite quickly.

If you are a first-time Buyer, you can get a free Mortgage Guide from Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert Website. In fact it’s not just for first-time buyers, it is chock full of information for anyone about to apply for a mortgage, including buy-to-let buyers and self-employed buyers.

If you are looking to buy in West Dorset, East Devon & South Somerset give us a call at Gordon & Rumsby on 01460 30888. We might have a property waiting to come to the market that’s not on the website yet, and we can put you in touch with some mortgage brokers too.

Gordon & Rumsby: Update On The Property Market

February 17, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby Estate Agents In Dorset, Devon & Somerset.

Update On The Property Market

We are not out of the woods yet! But there could be a glimmer of light!

The ever-present uncertainty in the European economy is still having an effect on the property market. Many people are opting to stay put, or add space to their existing homes. Buyers are still finding it hard to raise deposits and qualify for mortgages. If you have to sell, it is more important than ever before to present you home in the best possible light, and crucial to get the price right from the outset.

Prices are being reduced.

  • Latest statistics from Zoopla show that vendors in the UK are still having to slash their prices.
  • More than 36% of properties now on the market have been reduced from their original marketing price.
  • The average reduction is approximately 7.5% or just shy of £20,000, as opposed to 7% last year. Glasgow, Blackpool, and oddly, Maidstone appear to the greatest price reducers.

Decrease in the number mortgages for home buyers.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders:

  •  2011 saw a 6% decrease in the total number of mortgages lent to purchasers, compared to 2010.

An increase in overall lending (re-mortgages and purchase mortgages combined).

  • A very welcome increase in the number of re-mortgages.
  • Combined, it meant an increase in total lending for the first time since 2007.

Increase in first-time buyer activity.

  • There was an increase in first time buyer activity in December 2011 compared to November 2011.
  • The number of loans made increased by 7% from the previous month.
  • The current stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers (which ends in March this year) may have been a contributing factor, as the number of homes bought in the exempt price band increased by 3%.
  •  See our Stamp Duty Blog for the details on the scheme.

Thinking of selling your home this year? Contact Gordon & Rumsby via the website, or call us for a chat on 01460 30888. We will be happy to visit your property and give you a FREE market appraisal and our honest advice.

Property Fraud – Update About What You Should Know

February 10, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby Estate Agents:Update On Tips To Prevent Property Fraud.

Since February 1st 2012 the Land Registry has introduced some additional security measures for owners of  property who feels that they are at risk of property fraud.

What is property fraud?

Property fraud can happen in several ways. Fraudsters may attempt to acquire ownership of a property either by using a forged document to transfer it into their own name, or by impersonating the registered owner to raise money against it. By mortgaging the property without the owner’s knowledge, they take the money and disappear without making any repayments, leaving the owner to deal with the consequences.

Who is at risk?

In particular, fraudsters may target properties:

  •  owned by a landlord, such as a buy-to-let owner or property developer
  •  where the owner lives somewhere else for all or part of the year
  • where the owner is in temporary or long-term residential care
  • where the owner has died and the property is held in trust
  • which no longer have a mortgage.

How to protect yourself:

If your home is unregistered, it is advisable to register it with the Land Registry. Land Registry is a government agency that maintains the register of property ownership in England and Wales. Registering your land or property shows proof of ownership; makes changes in ownership easier; helps to protect your land if someone tries to make a claim against it.

New additional security measures:

A property owner can place a restriction on their property to help prevent forgery. A restriction requires a solicitor (or conveyancer) to certify that they have checked the person selling the property is in fact the legal owner. There is a fee of £50 for a restriction on a property that is owner occupied. However, for an absentee owner the restriction is free of charge.

At Gordon & Rumsby we recognise that your property is probably your most valuable asset, and as such, it can be an attractive target for fraudsters, which is why you need to do what you can to protect your ownership. Registering your property with the Land Registry provides you with protection.

You can register land or property yourself although most people use a solicitor or conveyancer. Your mortgage provider might insist that you use a professional. For more information visit http://www1.landregistry.gov.uk/register-land

Make sure that Land Registry can contact you wherever you live. This means giving them your up-to-date contact address and letting them know whenever it changes. This is because they may need to write to you when they receive an application regarding your property. You can have up to three contact addresses on your register. Updating your contact details is free. For further information, please visit http://www1.landregistry.gov.uk/property-information/property-fraud

Contact Gordon & Rumsby through our website or phone 01460 30888. When buying we recommend you make sure your conveyancer provides you with the correct documents to register your new property.

Gordon & Rumsby: Tips For Moving House

February 3, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby: Estate Agents In Dorset, Devon & Somerset.

Tips For Choosing Your Moving Company.

There is no denying, moving house is always going to be somewhat stressful, but there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of things going terribly wrong.

We’ve heard plenty of horror stories, and hope that our tips will help you to avoid your own nightmare.

Start to get quotes as soon as you have an estimated moving date.

If possible, try to set it up at least 4-8 weeks prior to the move or you may find that the better companies are fully booked.

Many companies are busiest on Fridays or at the weekends, so it is always worth asking if you can get a discounted price for a slow day.

To help the decision-making process, write a list of information about your move and questions that you can put to each company, so that you know they all have the same details.

Tell the company:

  • Estimated moving date.
  • If  your move is local, long distance or international.
  • Estimate the mileage if possible.
  • If you will pack your own boxes or want the company to pack for you.
  • If you will be hiring the van only or want the company to move you.
  • Details of access to both property if you think there could be any difficulties with a removal van getting to the door.
  • If you will require storage facilities. And if so, for how long?
  • Estimate how much stuff you have.  Although this is difficult until the company comes to give you a quote, you could give them a rough idea of how many large items you have such as beds, sofas and bookcases.
  • If there are valuable or fragile pieces to be moved.

Ask the company:

  • How many years experience they have.
  • If they can they provide references
  • How many people will be working on the moving day
  • If their quote includes the boxes and packing
  • Details of their warranties and insurance.

When you have shortlisted the companies check their reviews on the internet if you can.

You can also choosing a company on recommendation or reputation is OK, but it would still be advisable to check them out in the same way.

Give us your story: If you have a moving story contact us at Gordon & Rumsby, phone 01460 30888 or leave a comment for us here on the blog. Let us know if we can recommend your removal company….. or not.

Gordon & Rumsby – Which Property Portal To Sell My Home?

January 27, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby Use Digital Property  Group For Maximum Benefit For Vendors

Sometimes Gordon & Rumsby’s clients wonder what effect our use of ‘property portals’ has on the marketing of their home.

Well, we just had some interesting statistics sent over by the Digital Property Group that you might like to know about.

The Digital Property Group started in 2008 and unites several property portals including FindaProperty.com, Primelocation. com and Globrix.com under one company umbrella, exposing your property to property searchers who use different sites. It has gone from strength to strength in just 3 years and is now set to merge with Zoopla.com making it, arguably, the best property portal for estate agents to subscribe to.

In November 2010 they launched their new ‘telephony service’ which doesn’t directly impact the public, but has improved service to the estate agents that are affiliated with them.

The major change to service is that voicemail enquiries are emailed to the estate agent as audio mp3 files, enabling the agent to pick up the messages when he/she is working away from the office, allowing a more prompt response to would-be buyers.

The result of the changes was almost instantaneous:

  • The number of visits to Digital Property Group websites in November 2011 increased by 22% compared with the previous year.
  • The number of phone enquiries increased by 72% for the same period.
  • DPG attract 16 million visits to their websites each month,
  • With a new advertising campaign on TV this year, are expecting to increase numbers further.

Digital Property Group recognise that it is important in any market, but especially this challenging property market to give the vendor every opportunity to maximise enquiries on their home, which is why Gordon & Rumsby use them.

Thinking of selling your home this year? Contact Gordon & Rumsby via the website, or call us for a chat on 01460 30888. We will be happy to visit your property and give you a FREE market appraisal and our honest advice.

Gordon & Rumsby Estate Agents: What Is The Community Infrastructure Levy?

January 20, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby Estate Agents:

What Is The Community Infrastructure Levy?

Important Information For Developers & Self-Builders:

Local Authorities around the country are in the process of setting charges for a new fee for housing development.

The fee is called the Community Infrastructure Levy (or CIL) and will affect not only developers, but also individuals wanting to self-build.

Newark & Sherwood District Council  and Shropshire Council have already begun to adopt the scheme, with Mid Devon due to come on board in April this year. These and a few other front-runners will help to iron out problems and support other local authorities as the scheme rolls out across the country by 2014.

The current regulations under the Section 106 Agreement (that allows builders to enter into a contract on a local and more individual basis to pay for certain community improvements) will be phased out by the CIL in 2014.

  • The CIL will be a mandatory flat rate charge on all development of over 100m².
  • Extensions are not exempt (unless smaller than 100m²).
  • Replacement dwellings are exempt unless the floor area will be increased substantially.
  • The charge is due within 60 days of commencement of work.

What the money will be used for:

The local authority can choose to use the money for development and improvement within the community, including but not limited to:

  • New or safer road schemes
  • Park improvements
  • New health clinics
  • Affordable housing
  • Additional school facilities

Jason Orme, editor of Homebuilding & Renovation, calls the news ‘depressing’ and from his research claims that the average cost will be around £110/m². This means that for an average 200m² self-build, the owner will have to pay a charge of £22,000.

However the government believes:

  • It will standardise and make more transparent the way in which they raise money for the community infrastructure.
  • It will make the stream of funding more predictable for the community.
  • Developers and self-builders will know what they will be charged up front.
  • The public will have a greater understanding of how new development benefits their community.

Our advice: If you want to self-build, you might want to start the project as soon as possible!

Check out this plot for sale in Tatworth in Somerset with an existing Woolaway bungalow for replacement.

Gordon & Rumsby. We are estate agents in West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset.

Call us on 01460 30888.

Gordon & Rumsby’s Tips For Making A Good First Impression.

January 13, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby’s Tips For Making A Good First Impression.

New Year. New Resolution. New Strategy To Sell The House?

It is very important to make the most of the front of your house when you come to sell your home. As buyers sift through hundreds of house details online or in the newspaper, it can be an overwhelming task to look at every available property. They will, however, stop to look at the property that has something attractive or eye-catching about it.

We are not all lucky enough to own an architecturally stunning property, but there are things that can be done to make your home stand out from the rest.

Even if the buyer has got as far as your front gate, what they see can make the difference between them coming to the front door or turning round and disregarding it altogether.

Landscaping and cleaning are relatively inexpensive ways to make the front of your home more attractive. This should help to increase viewings and the more viewings you get, the better the chances of selling.

Kerb appeal – a phrase coined by the Americans. If you’ve got it, it means your house looks great from the street. If you haven’t got it….well hopefully these tips will help:

  • Make sure your house name or number is clearly visible from the street.
  • Buy a new front door mat and sweep the porch regularly.
  • Trim hedges and prune shrubs in front, so that the house can be seen and the garden is neat and tidy.
  • Do some weeding to make the flower beds look fresh and rake up the leaves.
  • Get the Lawn in good shape.
  • Plant some colourful flowers up the garden path or by the front door.
  • Clean the windows and keep the curtains open in the daytime.
  • Polish the front door knob and the letter box if it is metal.

If you find it hard to be objective  about your own home, ask  Gordon & Rumsby how to get your Kerb Appeal when we come to value your home. We see many homes in the course of our business and can immediately pinpoint areas that could be improved or highlighted.