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2020 property hotspots, home improvement tips, and the best place to raise children revealed ….

This month, we round up some of the latest recent news and views relating to property. So, whether you are a landlord or an owner-occupier, read on.

Property hotspots for buy to let investors in 2020

If you are investing in buy to let property, you want to know where in the country you are likely to make the biggest returns.

An article in Landlord Today offers a few suggestions.

The latest research shows that Oxford and Manchester are practically neck and neck – with the former slightly edging it in a survey of 25 cities.

In Oxford, some 28% of residents occupy the private rented sector, which has some of the most rental properties available. There are few vacancies across the rental market here, where the average rate is around £596 a month for a single room.

Although property prices in Oxford have risen by an average of 4.8% a year during the past ten years, the highest yields on rental investment are obtained over the longer rather than shorter-term.

Second and third places in these rankings are occupied by Manchester and Edinburgh, with London quite closely on their heels.

Rogue landlord fined

A district judge in the West Midlands perhaps had the approaching Christmas in mind when he described the Dickensian character Scrooge as a philanthropist compared to the rogue landlord who appeared before him in court.

The 55 year-old landlord from Birmingham was fined a total of £20,000, according to a report in LocalGov on the 11th of December.

The offences related to his failure to obtain a licence for the House in Multiple (HMO) he let, plus a string of health and safety infractions that breached HMO Management Regulations. The latter included the absence of smoke detectors, a lack of effective fire doors, blocked fire escapes, burnt electrical fittings, and a failure to obtain the necessary gas and electrical safety certificates.

Looking to improve your property?

On the 11th of December, What Mortgage published a brief list of dos and don’ts for homeowners and landlords looking to renovate their property:

  • check whether you need planning permission and, if so, apply for it in good time;
  • get written quotes from more than one builder and interview each of them to choose the most reliable;
  • if you are the leaseholder of the property, remember that you may need the permission of the freeholder;
  • keep your neighbours full informed of your plans and intentions;
  • when engaging professionals, do so before rather than after any problems have arisen; and
  • make sure to arrange renovation insurance and to review the property’s level of insurance cover once the works are complete.

For more details, you might also want to review our Guide to Renovating.

North Lincolnshire the best place to raise children

For young families, North Lincoln seems to have it all, according to a story published by Property Wire last month.

86% of the local authority schools in the area were highly rated in Ofsted inspections, yet there were still plenty of vacancies for new entrants in the past year – one in seven, or 14%, of places remained unfilled.

North Lincoln is also an affordable place to live, with the average price of a home at £149,000 – which represents just 17% of the area’s average salary of £25,000 a year.

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