At Pennington we pride ourselves on Customer Service, below is an example of what our valued customers have said about us …
"In May this year, as part of the Queen’s Speech, when the government set out their plans for the next parliamentary session, there were four key elements on the housing sector. These were significant changes to planning rules, a new Building Safety Regulator, leasehold changes which affect ground rents, and the next steps for Renters Reform. The developments for reform in the private rented sector (PRS) include the government’s consultation response on reforming tenancy law to abolish Section 21, along with their proposals on the ‘lifetime’ tenancy deposit scheme. A White Paper detailing the whole reform package will be published in the Autumn with legislation following shortly after. At the time of the speech Timothy Douglas, Propertymark Policy and Campaigns Manager commented: “Propertymark will be engaging with MHCLG and MPs to ensure they fully understand the consequences of any changes. We will also be scrutinising the White Paper and proposed legislation, to ensure the best possible outcome for our members.” More recently we have heard confirmation from the government on what the plans mean for a shake-up with assured shorthold tenancies, when Housing Minister Lord Greenhalgh said the government was committed to delivering a package of reforms. “A key part of our future PRS reforms is to ensure the flexibility of private rental tenancies is retained, whilst balancing increased security for those tenants who need and want it, alongside driving an improvement in the quality and standards of PRS accommodation,” Lord Greenhalgh commented. In the consultation document – A New Deal for Renting - the government said landlords who evict tenants for rent arrears or anti-social behaviour using ‘no fault’ grounds masked valid reasons for eviction, which fuelled a culture of mistrust and uncertainty. “The ability to use section 21 rests in the assured shorthold tenancies regime. The government is of the view that, with section 21 removed, the assured shorthold regime no longer serves a practical purpose as the ability to create fixed-term tenancies already exists in the Housing Act 1988.” With section 21 removed, all future tenancies would be assured, either as fixed-term assured tenancies or contractual periodic assured tenancies. It would mean the default position will be that a tenancy is a periodic assured tenancy unless the landlord and tenant have agreed a fixed term in writing. A tenant under an assured tenancy won’t be evicted unless the landlord can provide grounds under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 or at a break point in the tenancy contract where a break clause has been agreed between them. We will await the publication of the White Paper due in the Autumn to see the details of the whole reform package to see what new legislation the sector could be facing. I will keep you updated but if you would like more information or to discuss any other matters on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me."
"Latest reports on the private rented sector show that there are more tenants recorded than ever before. Even with decreasing rental stock, there is an average of 88 new prospective tenants recorded per branch across the country. As one of the largest local agents, at Pennington, we know how strong the local market is and in line with these national results, we too are finding an increasing demand with a supply shortfall. This all means that rents are healthy but what does it mean for those thinking about investing in property? With the turmoil of the past 18 months, those who may have considered investing in or continuing with holiday lets may be less confident now, compared to long-term rental as the stability and guarantee of income is a significant factor for many. The question of buy-to-let investments is, perhaps unsurprisingly, one I get most questions about. So, if you are considering a BTL and you have the finance to do so, is now a good time to invest and what should you be buying? As with any investment you make, I would always advise to do your research. A successful investment will depend on what you want to achieve and the longer-term plan you have. Tax changes over the past few years have meant that new investors might be looking at alternative strategies and while I can’t give advice on your personal tax liabilities, I can work with you to make sure that you get the best value from your investment. I have seen too many times BTL properties bought almost on a whim. Investors may have bought in a certain area because they liked it, but I always look to advise how to get the best return on their investment in terms of where to buy, what to expect to pay for the property and what return to expect in rental income. As well as initial sale price you will also need to look at what rents have been achieved in the past, how long it will take to let, what your potential outgoings will be for the property, also what is required of you as a landlord and more importantly what regulations you need to adhere to. For many, the lettings market can feel like a minefield, as there are many potential pitfalls with letting a property. If you are not up to speed with legislation and the changing implications of owning a BTL property, you could leave yourself exposed to penalties and incur hefty fines and financial losses as a result. The best advice I can give is to get assistance from a professionally qualified agent. At Pennington we have a number of in-house licensed members so there is always someone on hand to assist. I have assisted hundreds of first-time landlords and seasoned investors purchase the right BTL property, so please do not hesitate to contact me for any advice. "
"Following last month’s decision to leave Capital Gains Tax (CGT) as it is for property and not use it – as some had speculated - to help plug some of the financial gap left by the impact of Coronavirus, there has been even greater relief for what it means for the private rented sector. It means that capital gains are still available to landlords at previous rates. However, with the boom in property it also means that with the current market and annual price rises of around 9% that the gains are increasing. According to a piece of research by Hamptons it appears that the number of properties sold by landlords last year was 131,900, which was the smallest annual figure since 2013. In addition, the average landlord who sold up in England and Wales last year had owned their property for just over nine years and sold for 42%, more than they paid for it. This was the first annual rise for five years. As we have experienced here in Suffolk, demand for desirable country property is increasing far greater as tenants are looking to move out of cities, which is having an impact on asking rents as more rental property becomes available. Lockdown has meant those looking for a change of lifestyle are looking to places like Suffolk more and more as a desirable permanent move. Locally we have access to beautiful countryside, wonderful parks and open spaces. This has meant that exercise and enjoyment of the outdoors has been possible. There are also factors around how we will be working going forward and with the increased acceptance of working remotely and ability to work from home, means more space is sought and again Suffolk has great attraction. There are also the commercial aspects locally too with Felixstowe, for example, continuing to be a major factor in Suffolk’s success as one of the biggest and busiest ports in the world and contributing hugely to the local economy. The same with the booming technology sector in Suffolk. Ipswich Waterfront will continue to be a real asset to the town and we look forward to when the restaurants and hotels will be packed again every night. The University will continue to go from strength to strength and we are fortunate to have a wide range of leisure, arts and other entertainment locally too, so once back up and running, the area has something to offer everybody. Suffolk has always been a great place for families and it is interesting to see how family living could significantly change after lockdown. Parents and grandparents could look to move to be closer to their families and settling in Suffolk in their later years has appeal too, with the pace of life and quality of living they are looking for. As always please do not hesitate to contact me as I am happy to help with any advice on our local property market."
"In July 2020, the Chancellor asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to carry out a review of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). It was widely anticipated that CGT would increase to help plug some of the financial gap left by the impact of Coronavirus. So, there was surprise in the private rented sector – and a sense of relief - last week when an announcement was expected, but CGT has been left unchanged. The OTS is the independent adviser to government on simplifying the UK tax system and aiming to improve the experience for all those who interact with the system, both taxpayers and HMRC. The OTS makes recommendations for the government to consider but it does not implement changes. Buy to let (BTL) property owners fall into one of the three broad groups who are liable for CGT, as if you sell a BTL property for more than you bought it, you make a ‘capital gain’ which is subject to CGT. The rate at which you pay CGT following the sale of a BTL property depends on your taxable income. If you are a basic rate taxpayer with an income of £50,000 or less, the rate is 18%. Higher rate taxpayers with an income of £50,001 or more pay 28%. Over 1,000 responses were submitted to the OTS review via an online survey and 96 formal written responses to a call for evidence. The review was also supported by an extensive range of meetings with interested parties with a wide variety of perspectives. “Letting agents and their landlords play a key role in maintaining a strong and thriving private rented sector,” commented Timothy Douglas, Policy and Campaigns Manager, ARLA Propertymark at the time responses were being submitted. “To this end, the current system of Capital Gains Tax does not paint the full picture of costs and responsibilities. Given recent changes to mortgage interest relief, the wear and tear allowance, and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, the UK Government must tread carefully with any plans to change Capital Gains Tax as this could dramatically reduce the supply of rental properties.” This does not mean CGT for the private rented sector is protected and while no consultation was announced last week, there is a warning that letting agencies and landlords should continue to prepare for changes to the CGT system in the future. The sector must carry on to lobby on what increases to CGT would mean to landlords as the last thing the private rented sector needs is more landlords selling up or investors discouraged from the buy to let market. The impact to housing would be significant. As always, I will keep you up to date with any developments, but if you have any questions on these issues or anything else you need advice on in the local property market, please call me as I am always happy to help. "
"It is expected that within the coming weeks new regulations around electrical testing will be approved by the House of Commons and the Lords, which could mean fines of up to £30,000 for non-compliance. The new regulations, which we have been expecting, means that landlords and agents will need to ensure that electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1st July 2020 and from 1st April 2021 for existing tenancies. The introduction of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 means landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person. It is the responsibility of agents and landlords to ensure that any inspectors hired to issue an electrical installation condition report (EICR) hold the correct qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. The regulations also state that a landlord is required to obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test and retain a copy until the next inspection is due. They must also supply a copy of the report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from the prospective tenant. In terms of monitoring this, the regulations require local housing authorities to enforce the rules within the private rented sector and upon request, the report must be provided to the local housing authority within seven days. They then have the power to arrange any remedial action that is required and proven breaches of the Regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000. These additional safety measures make sense to many in the industry and many landlords carry these out already. It is certainly welcomed that inspectors will be required to hold the correct qualification and level of competency, as it would make sense for any safety check, like those for gas. There is some concern however that there are enough qualified practioners for the amount of work which is being introduced in July this year. “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants,” commented David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark. “Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections. We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from MHCLG (The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) about capacity in the supply chain.” If you need any advice on what this means for you as a landlord and how to get the testing carried out or about any other property issues you have, please do not hesitate to contact me."
"After purchasing a new-build coach house in Foxgrove Gardens, Ipswich in 2006 Penningtons have provided an exceptional service in finding tenants, managing my property, providing qualified trades people to mend or replace various items and in communicating efficiently and effectively with me as the landlord. I am happy to say I am totally satisfied with their friendly and efficient service."
"During my tenancy at a property managed by Penningtons of Ipswich, I have found the management and staff to be kind, helpful and professional whenever I have had need to have issues resolved. Much appreciated."
"I am Very impressed with the efficiency of your company so far. All of your staff I have dealt with up to now have been clear in their requirements of information and polite, and very efficient. Therefore I am so glad I chose your company to manage my property portfolio - all because I was so impressed with the service I received from Paull Williams in the first instance when he was just assessing the rents of my properties, seeing if I was charging market rates."
"I have just moved back into my flat which Penningtons have looked after since 2003 whilst I was living in New Zealand. Apart from the odd month the flat has been tenanted out constantly since 2003. I have been very impressed with the level of service from Penningtons throughout this time always keeping me informed of any issues and changes of tenants. Any issues were dealt with immediately using trusted tradespeople who were very reasonably priced. The flat has been kept in an excellent condition and was absolutely spotless when I moved back in. If we need to let out the flat again I will certainly be returning to Penningtons"
"I just wanted to say thanks for getting my flat re-let so quickly, sorting out the paperwork and finances meticulously and for ensuring a well maintained flat. I am very very impressed by all of you and the way you have managed my little flat over the last year."
"To receive a 20 page detailed inventory of content and condition was brilliant. To read through it and see the detail in fixtures and fittings, the condition of everything down to the kitchen sink, every picture hook mark to furniture indentation was refreshing. To then see every room, every fixture and every fitting photographed detailing the condition on commencement of tenancy was the finishing touch. To have this document then signed by both agent and tenant made me call my other agents, send them a copy and say... 'See, that's how you do it.. learn from Pennington!' You have looked after my property for several years now, it has never had any void periods over a few weeks, the tenants have always been great and the rent has been paid on time month after month without fail."
"My property was marketed AND let before I could blink! As I'm living some distance away I really do appreciate the peace of mind I feel being kept informed of all things relating to the property. Penningtons are very efficient with this. I have been thoroughly pleased with the service I have received so far and would definitely recommend Penningtons to anyone thinking of letting their home."
"I've been most impressed with Pennington’s and the property that I have rented. I would like to thank you for your help throughout the whole process, this has been the smoothest checkout and we would definitely recommend the property to anyone"