New regulations being implemented on 25 November 2020 will allow non-UK nationals in England to evidence their status for Right to Rent through a digital Home Office check and reduce letting agent workloads. Going forwards, the new system will mean that these digital checks specifically, can be conducted permanently via video call, with no need for letting agents to review documents.

New Process

The system will clearly display whether follow up checks are required and provide a record of the check for the agent to store. Some additional checks will still require documents from letting agents, as not everyone will currently have an immigration status that can be checked online. Therefore, agents must be prepared to continue conducting traditional checks involving the original documents.

Digital Checks Required

Groups that may present you with a share code for a digital check are:

  • Non-EEA nationals with a current biometric resident permit or card;
  • EEA nationals and their family members with status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • Those with status under the points-based immigration system;

 

The Home Office has updated the existing Code of Practice, and these include reference to the status of visitor nationals – known as B5JSSK nationals – from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA, which were introduced in July 2019.

A new Short Guide to Right to Rent has also been published, within which, the existing visual reference tool designed to provide examples of relevant identity documents has also been updated.

Where can a tenant/applicant obtain a ‘share code’?

The share code for these new digital checks for tenants/applicants to use can be created via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-rent

Where can I view a tenant’s/applicant’s right to rent? 

You will be able to view a tenant’s/applicant’s right to rent via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-rent

What about Brexit?

Brexit is another external force which may yet have an impact on how these checks take place and the criteria which applicants should meet. Before the UK’s transition period comes to an end, we will continue the right to rent checks with nationals of the European Union as per the current requirements. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Until this deadline, landlords can accept passports and national identity cards of citizens from these areas as evidence of their right to rent during this period. After this period, the government has announced a new points-based immigration system to come into force on 1 January 2021, which will require proof of a job offer at the required skill level from an approved sponsor, and that they speak English. However, the right to rent checks have still not been explicitly defined after the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme passes.

If you would like to find out more information regarding these changes, please complete the below contact form and a member of our team will be in touch.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Chequer, delivered his first Budget Statement to the House of Commons earlier this month, outlining proposals for changes to taxations and included forecasts for the UK Economy. During this announcement, he also made several pledges to support the housing market, which we have summarised and provided a brief overview below.

Stamp Duty Surcharge non-UK Residents:

It was confirmed that a new stamp duty surcharge of 2% for non-UK residents buying a property in England and Northern Ireland will be introduced from 1 April 2021. This new stamp duty surcharge was initially outlined the Conservative Party’s 2019 General Election Manifesto.

What does is stamp duty surcharge mean of non-UK residents?

Properties that exchange after the 11th March 2020 will be impacted by the 2% surcharge if the property is due for completion after April 2021. However, regardless of when the completion date may be, if you exchanged on the property before 11th March 2020, the current understanding is that the new additional 2% surcharge will not be applicable. The UK Government is still yet to provide further guidance regarding this additional surcharge.

 Grenfell Building Safety Fund:

The Chancellor also introduced a Grenfell building safety fund of almost £1bn, which will be used to remove ACM cladding from residential buildings taller than 18 metres. Further guidance regarding this is due to the published regarding how residents, leaseholders, or developers could access the funds etc.

 The Affordable Homes Programme and the Housing Infrastructure Fund

A £12.2billion extension to The Affordable Homes Programme which will now run until 2025, was also pledged by the Chancellor. This programme was initially introduced in 2016 and was scheduled to end in 2021. In addition to this, the Housing Infrastructure Fund will also be allocated an additional £1.1billion to build almost 70,000 new homes in high-demand areas.

The Treasury Green Book review

The Chancellor announced plans to review the rulebook that government uses to appraise and evaluate spending decisions. This could create a significant geographical change in the distribution of funds, which have previously been heavily directed towards London and the south/east regions of the UK. In future, public investment will be set to deliver wider economic, environmental and social benefits across the country as a whole.

All the above measures outlined by Rishi Sunak are aimed to provide support and restore confidence to the UK housing market. If you are looking to make some changes to your investment portfolio or would like to find out more about how the 2020 Budget announcement may affect you, please contact our team at reception@complete-ltd.com.

From the 1st June 2019, the Tenant Fee Act will be in effect which prohibits letting agents and landlords from charging tenants’ fees associated with the start and renewal of a tenancy.

There is a 12-month transition period. This means any existing fees detailed within a tenancy agreement exchanged before June 1st 2019 will apply until 31st May 2020.

If and when you renew your tenancy the following fees will apply:

  • Security/Damage deposit will be no more than 5 weeks’ rent for new tenancies
  • Cost of replacing lost/stolen keys or security devices – £15 including VAT per hour (staff costs to replace the key), plus cost of the key/security device
  • Novation to the tenancy agreement including change of sharer – £50 including VAT
  • Rental arrears after 14 days will be charged at 3% above the Bank of England base rate

If the Landlord agrees and if the freeholder of the property permits tenants to have a pet within the property, a 7.5% rent levy may be added to the monthly rent to cover any potential damage, increased wear and tear and additional risk.

If you would like further information regarding the Tenant Fee Act 2019, please contact a member of our team on 020 3551 9900 or email us as reception@complete-ltd.com

Complete Prime Residential’s Berlin office is going from strength to strength. The residential lettings team which specialises in finding tenants and managing furnished properties in Berlin have had a fantastic start to 2019. They have secured an incredible 15% increase in lets against target so far during 2019 with another five developments due to come on board this year.

We provide an end to end service for our clients including handing over and snagging of new developments, furniture packages, a tenant find service and property management that includes contents insurance and income tax assistance. The team also provides a resales service for any clients wishing to capitalise on their investment. Our unique proposition is that we provide furnished apartments that appeal to the international tenant community with a customer focused approach to property management.

The team’s success can be attributed to numerous factors including project completions such as KODA, in the trendy Neukolln district of Berlin, which has proven to be extremely popular with tenants, as well as The Galleries, a refurbished building in Friedrichshain. It’s not only project completions which have contributed to the offices’ success, but tenancy renewals have also had a role to play in the team’s performance success with rental increases of 4.2% being secured.

Our Berlin office opened back in 2017 and during this time the team have been working on behalf of their mainly international investor clients for a number of different key rental developments across Berlin. These new developments include: KODA in Neukolln, Am Tierpark 51 in Friedrichsfelde and Richard Quartier, also in Neukolln. Our client services team have conducted some analysis into the first and second tenancies to see what the average results were for our clients, please see below:

First Let:

– 20% higher rents than initially projected on project launch

– 58-day void period (from completion to tenancy start date)

– Average tenancy length 14 months

– 6.35% gross rental yield

Second Let:

– Average tenancy length 12 months

– 2% rental increase

– 7.34% gross rental yield

These achieved figures are a testament to the hard work which our team in Berlin provide to their clients. Over the coming months, we have number of key new developments which will be completing in various locations across Berlin including Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf, which include: Konstanzer, KuStrasse, The Alfred, Haus Brandenburg and Stralauer Allee.

If you would like to find out about our Berlin operations or more information about our forthcoming developments, please contact the team on +49 3094 866863 or by clicking here.

St Mark’s Square is Bromley’s newest residential development, with the final phase of apartments completing over the coming weeks. With a selection of apartments exclusively available to rent through us.

St Mark’s Square is a new destination for Bromley, featuring 200 new homes, 130-bed hotel, nine-screen cinema and nine restaurants. The development is conveniently located two-minutes from Bromley South Railway Station, which provides quick transport links into central London, 14 minutes to London Victoria, St Pancras in 40 minutes.

Brouard Court is the final phase which we will be marketing imminently. Complete will exclusively be marketing five 1-and 2-bedroom apartments for rent. Each of the apartments will be finished to extremely high standard including fully integrated Bosch kitchen appliances, the bathrooms will be finished with contemporary Villeroy & Boch white sanitary ware, all bedrooms will benefit from fitted wardrobes and all of the rooms have underfloor heating throughout. More information about St Mark’s Square can be found in our featured development page, which you can read here.

Interested parties should register their interest with our lettings team by completing the below contact form or calling our London office on 020 3551 9900.

Register your interest at St Mark's Square