Regulated Tenancies

If you’re here, you are probably wondering what a Regulated Tenancy is, and whether you have one. Indeed, you could have a Regulated Tenancy if your private tenancy began before 15th January 1989. We are going to tell you all you need to know about these distinctive tenancies, from fair rents to what happens to the tenancy should you die.

What Is A Regulated Tenancy?

You probably have a Regulated Tenancy if you pay rent to a private landlord and your tenancy started before 15th January 1989. Likewise, if you later signed a new tenancy agreement after that date with the same landlord, even if it’s at a different address. They are sometimes called Protected Tenancies or Rent Act tenancies. If you are a regulated tenant, you have strong tenancy rights.

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Fair Rents

Regulated tenants pay a fair rent which is lower than a market rent. A fair rent is set by a rent officer at the Valuation Office Agency. This is the maximum rent your landlord can charge you under the tenancy.

Help To Pay The Rent

If you need help to pay your rent, you can usually claim Housing Benefit, if you (and your partner if you live together) are both pension age, or Universal Credit, if you (or your partner if you live together) are working age.

Repairs

Under a Regulated Tenancy, your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your home. They must keep the structure and exterior of your home in good repair, they must also keep any gas, electricity, heating, water and sanitation equipment in good repair. They must arrange yearly gas safety checks if there’s a gas supply. You should report problems promptly and allow access to your home for repairs and safety inspections.

Eviction Of Regulated Tenants

You can only be evicted from a Regulated Tenancy if your landlord gets a court order. They must prove a legal reason for eviction, such as rent arrears. The court must consider if it’s reasonable to evict you.

Eviction of a regulated tenant without a court order is illegal. You are entitled to get help from the council if you’re illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord. You may also be able to get legal help from a solicitor to get back into your home or claim compensation.

In Case Of Your Death

In case of your death, what happens to your tenancy depends on whether it’s a joint tenancy, who else lives there with you, how long they’ve lived there, and if you inherited the tenancy from someone else.

Inheriting a tenancy from someone you live with is known as succession. In many cases, the tenancy can only be passed on once, when the original regulated tenant dies, but there are exceptions to this rule. The type of tenancy will change if it passes to a family member who is not your partner. It will then become an Assured Tenancy.

Sole Tenancies

Your tenancy can usually pass to a partner who is living in your home immediately before you die. Where this happens, the tenancy will continue as a Regulated Tenancy. The exception to this is where you inherited the tenancy from someone else. In this situation, the tenancy will end if you die, unless a second succession is allowed.

If You Don't Live With Your Partner

Your tenancy can sometimes pass to another family member if you don’t have a partner. Your family member must have lived with you at the property for at least two years immediately before you die. If more than one family member meets this condition, they can decide between them who succeeds to the tenancy. A court can decide if they can’t agree.

When A Second Succession Is Allowed

Your tenancy can sometimes pass to another family member if you were the partner of the original tenant or succeeded to a Regulated Tenancy when they died. This can only happen if your family member lived with you for at least two years immediately before your death and was also a family member of the original tenant. A second succession will always be to an Assured Tenancy.

Ending Your Tenancy

Most regulated tenants don’t want to end their tenancies because they have stronger rights than other private renters.

Some landlords will try and negotiate an end to the regulated tenancy. They may offer you a cash incentive to leave so they can rent the property out at a higher rent. Get legal advice if your landlord offers you money or asks you to give up your tenancy. It can be very difficult to find suitable, affordable and permanent housing where you have the same rights.

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.  

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents. 

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Birmingham SHQN

Introduction To The Area

Taking a deep dive into the second city, SHQN will talk you through all you need to know about house prices in Birmingham. In 2019, there were two million residents in the Birmingham postcode area with an average age of 38. Population density was 1.7k residents per square kilometer. Population grew by 12.8% since 2002 and population average age increased by 0.4 years in the same period. Based on the last census, there were 2.54 residents per household in 2011.

The building of the new HS2 rail line between London and Birmingham, which will incorporate a new station at Curzon Street, is underway. It is earmarked for completion in 2026 and is expected to reduce journey time to London to 49 minutes – from more than an hour currently.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games is also set to be hosted by Birmingham. Around 5,000 jobs will be created in the run-up to the event – with more likely to stem from its legacy long after the athletes have left.

In terms of employment, Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled plans to redevelop its Castle Bromwich site, on the eastern edge of Birmingham. It will be the UK’s first manufacturing plant dedicated to electric vehicles and expects its first model – an electric version of its luxury XJ saloon – to roll off the production line next year.

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Summary Of Price Moves

According to RightMove, Properties in Birmingham had an overall average price of £213,001 over the last year. The majority of sales in Birmingham during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £227,790. Terraced properties sold for an average of £181,770, with flats fetching £158,795. Overall, sold prices in Birmingham over the last year were 4% up on the previous year and 7% up on the 2018 peak of £198,503.

New builds are cropping up, such as Axium on Windmill Street, close to the famous Bullring shopping centre and New Street railway station. The high-end property development is nearing completion and offers 304 apartments with prices starting at £193,950.

There’s also Arden Gate to consider, which comprises apartments and duplexes with starting prices of £192,950. Located in the Westside quarter of the city centre, it is one of nine separate developments that will deliver 1,900 homes to the city centre over the next couple of years. Away from the city centre there is a substantial housing development at Longbridge, the site of the old Rover motor works.

Recent Developments

Birmingham is forecast to see the strongest house price and rental value growth over the next five years, compared to the rest of UK cities, with year on year growth expected from 2022-2025.

That’s according to JLL’s UK Residential Forecast Report, ‘Home is… for everything’, which says UK house prices are forecast to dip towards the end of 2021 in the face of a number of headwinds, before growing strongly again from 2022 onwards. Going into 2021, house prices will continue their current strong growth across the UK until the Stamp Duty holiday is removed, the report predicts. For Birmingham house prices and rental values will remain flat in 2021 with house prices going up 4% and rental value increasing by 3.5% in 2022.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics have shed light on house and flat prices at ward-level over the last 20 years. They reveal massive variation in house price growth depending on the neighbourhood. Bordesley and Highgate has seen property prices increase faster than anywhere else in the city in the last year.

The average home in the ward sold for £169,950 in the year to March 2019 – up by 42% from the average sale price of £119,950 in the year to March 2018. It’s also 62% more than the average house price of £105,000 five years ago in 2014, and is nearly four times as much as the £43,125 you would typically have paid in the area in 1999. House prices in the ward still don’t come anywhere near the most expensive in Birmingham – which can be found in Sutton Four Oaks, where the average house sold for £412,500 in 2019 (up by 7% from £384,250 in 2018). However, the increase seen there makes homes in the area hot property when it comes to return on investment.

 

Estate Agents' Comments

Dixons state that “Birmingham is the largest British city outside London. It grew to international prominence in the 18th century as ‘the first manufacturing town in the world’. One of the most important inventions in British history, the industrial steam engine, was pioneered here. These days, the city is still a major international commercial centre. It has a thriving economy and six universities – making it England’s largest centre of higher education outside London. The city links with the M5, M6, M40, and M42 motorways, as well as Spaghetti Junction.”

Savills echo this statement, pressing that “Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading cities, and the vibrant centre has one of the youngest populations in Europe. It’s an expanding hub for finance, tech and media, so there are plenty of opportunities in these fields. The city and the suburbs around it are becoming more and more popular, especially with those looking to move on from London, but still have a lifestyle full of culture.”

As Raj Bedi, owner Martin & Co, puts it: “Birmingham is thriving and will only grow in popularity once large-scale infrastructure projects are completed.”

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.  

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents. 

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Southend SHQN

Introduction To The Area

Southend is becoming a property hotspot for investors and landlords to purchase new-build properties for younger couples and families looking for a fast commute into London recent figures show. With a good seaside location and fast commuting times into Central London, Londoners and other city workers are looking for opportunities to move to Southend.

In 2019, there were 546,000 people living in the Southend-on-Sea postcode area with an average age of 41 years old. Population density is 1,400 residents per square kilometer. The population has grown by 11 percent since 2002, with the average age increasing by 2 years in that same period. According to the 2011 census, there were 2.39 residents per household. The average salary is £32,600 for full-time employees, based on data published in November 2020, which is slightly below the National average of £38,600.

Summary Of Price Moves

According to RightMove, properties in Southend-On-Sea had an overall average price of £321,255 over the last year. The majority of sales in Southend-On-Sea during the last year were flats, selling for an average price of £192,983. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £351,075, with terraced properties fetching £279,481. Overall, sold prices in Southend-On-Sea over the last year were 11% up on the previous year and 11% up on the 2018 peak of £290,253.

Thorpe Bay is the smartest address in town, where a four-bedroom detached Thirties house will cost you about £400,000 — less than a one-bedroom flat in Canary Wharf.

Southend’s world-renowned pier and beaches have made the town a household name across the UK, boosting its popularity with buyers. Property prices in Southend represent fantastic value when compared to the average price in Essex, as of October 2020, house prices in Essex are averaging at £367,381. The current value also indicates great value when compared to various major areas of the UK including London, demonstrated as of October 2020, the average price for a home in London sits at a shocking £653,965!

The typical price of a detached home in Southend is currently £501,228, with the average price of a semi-detached home currently £310,297. If you are thinking of buying a terraced home, the average price in Southend is £254,660, with flats currently averaging at £177,600.

Recent Developments

In March 2021, the number of properties advertised for sale in Southend was 1143, which is down 35 percent from the previous year. No doubt this is down to the third National Lockdown. Similarly, the average time that a property spends on the market in March 2021 is 172 days, which is an 18 percent rise from the 146 days last March. Luckily, the end of this third lockdown is laid out ahead of us, if all goes to plan, so there is much less uncertainty – meaning it is likely these figures will return to something more desirable by the time all restrictions have been lifted.

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Estate Agents' Comments

Southend is becoming a hot prospect based on what the past year has done to working mindsets, as head of Savills residential for the the southern region has noted, saying that “with many anticipating continued flexible working and less frequent commuting, houses which offer more space, in well-connected town or village locations, are particularly sought-after.” The latest statistics from YouGov show that a third of buyers said the pandemic has made having a garden more important to them, whilst three in ten buyers said the pandemic made a home workspace a priority.

Gary Denyer, branch manager of Bairstow Eves estate agents, estimates that 50 to 60 per cent of homes are sold to incomers, most from east London seeking affordability.

Shaun Church from the mortgage brokers Public Finance has said that “Southend is a popular spot for renters, with all the benefits of living in a popular seaside town less than an hour’s commute from central London, and with good airport connections,” boasting it’s own ‘London’ airport. He went on to mention that “with the high cost of renting pricing many out of the city, towns in a commutable distance from London that offer a more relaxed lifestyle at an affordable price are becoming increasingly popular among young professionals.”

To back him up, Mike Gray (owner of Dedman Gray estate agents) has gone on record as saying that “One of the strong points of Southend is that since the recession of 2008, the town has carefully planned regeneration projections going on. Added to that, we have seen growth from development of the university, the improved rail communication with the line to Fenchurch Street and the expansion of the airport.”

The estate agents Hunt Roche have stated that “Southend is most famous for its world record holding pleasure pier (it’s the world longest), its pebble strewn beaches and as the place where the characters from East enders spend their summer holidays. Southend has an excellent transport network with train lines into two London terminals (Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street), excellent local bus route coverage plus a growing International Airport serving popular European destinations. The high street is lined with household names including Marks & Spencers and HMV and stretches all the way from Southend Victoria station to the seafront.”

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.  

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents. 

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How to Sell a Probate Property

In This Article This guide will help you navigate the world of the probate property. From taxation to answering questions such as ‘can you sell a house before probate is granted?’, ‘how long does it take to sell a house through probate?’, ‘can the executor sell property without all beneficiaries approving?’, and ‘how long does probate take when selling a house?’

What is a probate property?

When someone dies, their estate, which includes their own home, other property, money, investments and other assets, must be disposed of in accordance with the law and their will and therefore inheritance, if one exists. Applying for the right to deal with someone’s estate according to their will is called applying for a grant of probate. A grant of probate is an official document, sealed by the Probate Registry. It confirms that the will is valid and that the person who holds it is legally entitled to settle the estate. Once a grant of probate is made the deceased person’s property can be transferred to their beneficiaries or sold.

With regard for the prices of getting probate. The application price is £215 if the price of the estate is £5,000 or over. There’s no price to pay if the estate is under £5,000. Extra copies of the probate are priced at £1.50 each. This means you can send them to different organisations at the same time.

What happens when a property goes into probate?

If you are involved with the sale of a probate property it is useful to know how the probate process works. If the deceased person left a will then the process is known as obtaining a grant of probate. Whoever is named as an executor in the will can apply for a grant of probate. If the deceased person did not leave a will the process is instead known as obtaining a grant of letters of administration, although it is similar to probate. Anyone over 18 can be what is known as the administrator but it is generally their next of kin if possible. Executors and administrators can apply for probate themselves or pay a probate solicitor to do it on their behalf. You will need the original will if applicable and the original death certificate. Before probate can be granted you will need to estimate and report the value of the deceased person’s estate to the Inland Revenue. This includes estimating the market value of their property and finding out the value of any debts they may have had. If Inheritance Taxation or IHT is due on the estate you will have to pay some or all of this before probate can be granted. Once all the necessary information and supporting documents are obtained you can apply for a grant of probate. You will want these before considering a low offer on your probate.

Can you sell a house before probate is granted? No, you cannot. You cannot legally sell a house while it is under probate. What you can do is put a house up for sale, market it, conduct viewings, agree a sale price with people interested in buying and conduct other preparatory work before the probate process is completed. However, you cannot exchange contracts and complete until probate is granted. You will not be able to accept anything, high or low offer on your probate.

If you decide to put the property up for sale before probate is granted be sure to tell any prospective buyers, estate agents and others that the sale cannot be completed until probate has been granted. Some prospective buyers may be willing to wait but others may not be able to wait if they need to move quickly, or perhaps if they are involved in a chain. So, it is not possible to sell a house before a probate is granted.

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What are the problems that come from selling probate properties?

Selling a probate property involves a number of potential problems, such as extra fees and taxation:

Selling a probate property involves much more bureaucracy than with a normal sale. Selling a probate property can create a financial problem. You may need to pay out probate fees, Inheritance Taxation (if applicable), maintenance costs and other out of pocket expenses yourself before you can obtain probate and then reclaim those costs from the estate. Maintaining the probate property before and after probate is granted can be a problem, keeping it desireably for anyone interested in buying the property.

If the inheritance includes a lot of cash, a novice could be pressured to begin distributing money to beneficiaries too early. This could become highly problematic if Inheritance Taxation payments still need to be made before the selling of other assets or if the estate is, unknown to the executor, indebted. Consider this before thinking of agreeing a low offer for your probate

How quickly can I sell a probate property?

Selling a probate property can take much longer than a normal sale. Granting probate can take around 12-14 weeks, according to a report from ‘This Is Money’. Then the sales and conveyancing process can take several months as with a normal house sale. It will take a long time until you start to find people interested in buying your probate property, you may want to consider a low offer on your probate property

The UK Care Guide suggests that selling a house through probate takes between 6-12 months with an average of nine months for probate to complete, with the most complex cases sometimes taking several years. For most people, this is how long it takes to sell a house through probate.

You may ask ‘can the executor sell property without all beneficiaries approving?’ Yes. An executor can sell a property without the approval of all beneficiaries. The will doesn’t have specific provisions that require beneficiaries to approve how the assets will be administered. However, they should consult with beneficiaries about how to share the estate before a process of buying the property begins. You don’t want to create tensions and arguments, so it is best to consult the beneficiaries, even if it is tempting to sell the property without all beneficiaries approving.

If you are unable to ask the question how long does it take when selling a house through probate, it is possible to sell through a quick cash house sale company. They will likely make a low offer on your probate property, but this comes with the benefit of saving the time it would have taken to sell the house.

This removes the issues surrounding selling a house through probate. It will be done quickly, can be done without all beneficiaries approving, and will cut the agonising and burdensome time of selling a house under probate. You will not have to even ask ‘how long does probate take when selling a house’, the issue will be sorted as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Increasing the value of a probate property

There is no hard-and-fast rule for increasing the value of a probate property. There are some things you can do, such as key and necessary structural repairs that the property may need, getting rid of damp, and renovating any outdated aspects of the home. If someone is buying a probate property, they will want it to be as clean and functional as possible. 

 

 

 

Useful Links:

https://www.pettyson.co.uk/about-us/our-blog/255-probate-property-what-is-it-and-what-do-i-need-to-know

http://www.propertyacquisitions.co.uk/content/guide-buying-house-probate

https://www.gov.uk/applying-for-probate/apply-for-probate

According to Experian, what happens when you pay off your mortgage is you’ll receive a number of documents from your lender that show your loan has been paid in full and that the bank no longer has a lien on your house. These papers are often called a mortgage release, or mortgage satisfaction.

You’ll likely receive a statement indicating that the loan’s balance has been paid in full and a canceled promissory note. This is all part of the official process of what happens when you pay off your mortgage. In many cases, your lender will file a certificate of satisfaction with your county government, which releases the home’s deed to you and indicates that you are now the sole owner. Ask your lender if they will do this for you. If they will, be aware that it can take a few weeks or months for it to be filed. Once your lender has told you they’ve filed the documents, contact your local records office to confirm that their records show your mortgage has been cancelled.

If your lender says they don’t file it for you, you can file it yourself—just check with your local county clerk or registrar to find out what the process involves with what happens when you pay off your mortgage.

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.  

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents.

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What Are the Costs of Selling a Home?

In This Article

It’s easy to underestimate the costs of selling a home; many factors are involved, such as estate agents’ fees, solicitors’ fees, conveyancing fees, removal fees, legal fees and stamp duty. Selling costs can really mount up, so it pays to calculate them well in advance when planning to sell your home.

At the time of writing, July 2020, there’s a ‘stamp duty holiday’ in place to try to stimulate the housing market after the coronavirus lockdown. We’ll tell you more about that, and also about how much you might expect stamp duty to add to your costs of selling a home in normal times.

What Costs Are There When Selling a Home?

There are two main categories of expense when selling a home. One is the unavoidable legal expenses, which you have to allow for first. The other is the additional expenses which may or may not factor in your sale, but which you will probably have to take into account in the majority of cases – moving costs, for instance. Though they are not actually part of the cost of selling a home, you will almost certainly have to allow for them if you plan to move somewhere else.

EPC

One of the unavoidable costs is an EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate. You must order an EPC before your property is put on the market, a must have the EPC produced by an accredited assessor.

The EPC gives the buyer data about the energy efficiency of your property, estimated costs of energy to heat and light the property, and recommendations on how the buyer could save money and reduce energy consumption.

You can organise an EPC assessment yourself from a local service provider, or you can arrange it through your estate agent. TIP – an estate agent’s EPC assessor is likely to give you a quicker result.

The assessor will examine the property’s loft insulation, boiler, hot water tank, radiators, windows, and so on, and will award a certificate rated from A for the most energy-efficient to G for the least.

AN EPC will typically cost you between £75+VAT and £150+VAT, but don’t be tempted to skip it as you can be fined if you sell or rent a property without one. Landlords are not allowed to let a property with an EPC rating below E.

EPCs are stored digitally by the government1 and last for 10 years.

In Scotland sellers are required to provide a Home Report2 to buyers. The Home Report includes three separate reports; a Property Questionnaire; a Single Survey; and an Energy Report.

Estate agent fees

It’s not compulsory to sell your property through an estate agent, but between 95 percent and 97 percent of house sellers do use traditional High Street estate agents. Most of these charge a percentage based commission and have a ‘no sale no fee’ policy, so it doesn’t cost you anything if the property does not sell.

A typical estate agent’s commission for sole agency is 1 to 1.5 percent, plus VAT, though if you use more than one estate agent it’s normal for you to be charged more like 2-3 percent. Fees should always be quoted including VAT at 20 percent.

As a rough guide, on a property which sells £200,000, the agent’s fee at 1 percent would be £2000, plus 20 percent VAT would come to £2,400. Commission rates are often less on more expensive properties.

It’s always worth negotiating an estate agent’s commission, but not necessarily always best to go for the lowest charges; find out exactly what you’re getting for your money, such as preparation of property details, placement on property websites, property photography, For Sale boards and so on.

You are not obliged to use estate agents’ in-house services such as conveyancing or arranging mortgages, but if you consider doing so, make sure to compare rates.

Online agents

An increasingly popular option (though still only around 5 percent of the market) is the online estate agent.

These services, which may or may not have bricks-and-mortar offices, often charge a fixed sum rather than a percentage commission on sales. Fees are typically around £600-£1500 including VAT.

While this one-off payment might seem like an attractive option, there are two main problems with online or hybrid estate agents. One is that the one-off fee is not refundable if the property is not sold; the other is that the proportional of properties they sell may be as low as 50 percent (though some claim more like 80 percent).

If you fail to sell through an online or hybrid agency, that money may be wasted, and you may then have to pay again to sell through a conventional estate agent.

Auction

A third option is to sell by auction. There are normally two charges involved in this route: an auction entry fee of anything from zero to £3,000 plus VAT, pus a commission on the sale of around 2-3 percent plus VAT.

Some property auctioneers claim to sell with no commission charge, but in this case the charge goes to the buyer, so bids are likely to be lower – the result being that the seller still pays, though indirectly.

Conveyancing

Conveyancing, the legal charges involved in a property transaction, typically costs between £550 and £1,000. Some solicitors charge a percentage of the value of the property, some a fixed fee.

Conveyancing fees can vary according to whether you are buying or selling (which is generally cheaper), whether the property is freehold or leasehold, and whether or not the property is mortgaged.

If you are selling and buying at the same time, it’s usually more practical and cost effective to use the same solicitor for both.

A solicitor’s quotes should take into account basic fees for their time and work, plus disbursements for search fees, stamp duty calculations and so on.

In Scotland, rules are somewhat different as many solicitors also function as estate agents.

You can do your own conveyancing, if you enjoy pastimes like bankruptcy searches, drainage searches, land registration, stamp duty calculation and the like – but it involves a shocking amount of effort, and is legally risky if you don’t have indemnity insurance in case anything goes wrong.

Mortgage exit fee

If the property you are selling is mortgaged and you wish to pay the mortgage off, you may have to pay a Mortgage Exit Administration Fee (MEAF) of around £50 to £300.

The MEAF is supposed to cover the administrative cost of closing a mortgage. In 2007 a Financial Services Authority investigation3 ruled that increases in some MEAFs were unfair, and some lenders no longer change them.

A MEAF is not the same as an early redemption penalty (the fee lenders can charge when a mortgage debt is repaid before the end of the mortgage term). The amount of any mortgage redemption penalty should be detailed in the terms of your mortgage, and could be anything from 1 percent to 5 percent of the original loan amount. If the early redemption charge seems unreasonably high you should complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service4.

Who Pays The Stamp Duty When Selling a House?

Stamp Duty, or to be strictly accurate Stamp Duty Land Tax5, is paid to HM Revenue & Customs by the buyer of a property. It can be a major factor in buying costs and depends on the location of the property, its sale price and whether it is the buyer’s first property.

Normally the buyer’s solicitor takes care of stamp duty payment as part of the process of purchase.

Scotland and Wales have different rates of stamp duty compared to England and Northern Ireland. In Scotland it is known as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax6 (LBTT), rates are similar but thresholds differ, while in Wales it is known as Land Transaction Tax, and both rates and thresholds vary.

From 8th July 2020 – 31st March 2021, stamp duty relief is in effect on properties costing less than £500,000, unless it is a second or buy-to-let home. For additional properties the stamp duty rate of three percent is levied on properties worth over £500,000.

The current stamp duty thresholds and rates are:

£0-£125,000: 0%
£125,001-£250,000: 2%
£250,001-£925,000: 5%
£925,001-£1.5m: 10%
Over £1.5m: 12%

The HMRC website has a stamp duty calculator7 which will work out the SDLT payable for most transactions. You should check the guidance if you are uncertain about how SDLT applies to your purchase or if you believe it may qualify for a relief.

There are different rules for a corporate body purchasing residential property for more than £500,000, and there are some exemptions, such as building companies buying an individual’s home, employers buying an employee’s house, local authorities making compulsory purchases and right to buy properties.

It used to be possible to reduce your stamp duty bill by subtracting the value of removable fittings from the total price of the property, but this practice was widely abused so it’s now subject to much greater scrutiny by HMRC.

Do You Have To Pay Any Tax When Selling A Home?

In some circumstances you will have to pay Capital Gains Tax when selling your home.
The amount you pay is calculated from the gain in value since you bought the home – so for a residential property you may have to pay 18 percent of the gain in value (not the total value) in CGT.

Usually CGT doesn’t apply when you sell your only or main home, or if you sell a property that was occupied by a dependent relative, but it may apply if:

• The home includes a lot of land of 5000 square metres or more, or other buildings
• Part of the home is sub-let
• Part of the home is exclusively business premises
• The property was bought for gain (i.e. you are a property developer)
• It is not your main residence

However, you have an allowance of £12,000 capital gains before any tax is to be paid, and this is per person, so a couple can both claim this allowance.

Calculating your CGT liability can be tricky as it depends partly on your normal tax rate. If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, subtract your CGT allowance from your gain, and your bill will be 28 percent of the remainder.

For basic rate taxpayers, you need to calculate whether your gain, minus allowance, takes you into a higher tax band will lift your income into the higher-rate band. Mounts below the band are taxed at 20 percent, and above it, at 28 percent.

An independent financial advisor will help you to calculate your CGT, and can advise on reduction techniques such as claiming a spouse’s allowance, delaying a sale until the next tax year, or nominating the property as your main residence.

What Other Costs Are Involved With Selling A Home?

While there are certain unavoidable costs of selling a home, such as getting an EPC, other costs are if not unavoidable then highly likely. For instance, you will probably have to spend some money preparing your home for sale, and some moving to a new one.

Preparing for Sale

Though not strictly speaking part of the cost of selling a house, preparation for sale will probably be an additional expense in most cases.

A YouGov survey indicated that the average spend on preparing a home for selling is £3,000, with the most popular renovations including:

• New kitchen – 22%
• New garden – 20%
• New bathroom – 16%
• Extension – 10%
• Loft conversion – 7%

But it’s often argued that it’s a mistake to spend a large amount of money on say, a new bathroom, kitchen or central heating. These are features the buyer would typically rather sort out themselves, and you will probably not recover the amount you spend on them.

Much less expensive measures you can undertake are a deep clean, preferably done by a specialist cleaning company, and minor DIY jobs such as fixing broken windows, sticking doors or cracked paving slabs, clearing untidy gardens and giving woodwork a lick of paint.

Removal costs

Again, not strictly speaking part of the cost of selling a house, but in most cases you will have to budget for the costs of moving to a new property.

Obviously this is something you can do entirely on your own, if you have the time to pack and transport all your property, and take into account the cost of vehicle hire, packaging material, and goods in transit insurance.

If you choose to use a firm of professional movers, charges may vary according to:

• The amount of property to be packed and moved, usually calculated by the number of bedrooms
• Whether you do the packing yourself
• Distance you are moving
• Temporary storage charges
• Accessibility of the old and new properties

So while it’s hard to estimate removal costs, they could be anything from £200 to £2,000 or more.

So, How Much Does It Actually Cost To Sell Your Home?

So, let’s do a quick calculation based on an average property and the most likely costs involve in selling. This doesn’t take into account possible extras such as a remortgage valuation survey or portage fee (£450), or an arrangement charge on a new mortgage (£1,500).

EPC: £120
Estate agent fees: £2,500
Conveyancing: £500
Preparation: £200
Removals: £500
Total: £3,820

Obviously this is all highly variable depending on your circumstances, and mainly on the value of your property if you use an estate agent and pay a commission based on property value. But working from these tips you should be able to calculate your likely cost of selling a house, and budget in a way which will avoid you getting any nasty shocks when you sell.

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents.

1. https://www.epcregister.com/home.html
2. https://www.mygov.scot/buying-a-home/home-report/
3. https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/mortgage-exit-administration-fees-meafs-update
4. https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
5. https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax
6. https://www.revenue.scot/land-buildings-transaction-tax
7. https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

How Much Is My House Worth?

Why Is It Important To Ask The Question, “How Much Is Your House Worth?”

For those looking to sell their homes, it’s important to ask yourself: How much is my house worth?

The property value of your current home will help you get an idea of a fair asking price before you put it on the market. For homebuyers looking to upgrade (or even downsize), this ballpark number will also be your budget for your new place. When it comes to the valuation of your property, variables like location, size, and condition will determine the value of your property.

How Are Property Price Estimates Worked Out?

For a quick and easy way to check your property value, you will want to use our online property value calculator, a fast and hassle-free way to check the valuation of your home. A property value calculator won’t give you a definite price, but these market-value estimates will give you an idea of what your home is worth based on other similar properties that are currently on the market.

For a more accurate estimate you may want to ask an agent for a valuation.

• An agent valuation should include a full examination of the property
• You should get a range of agent valuations to get a range of estimates
• You should not have to pay for an agent valuation and should not be obliged to go with any of them

Estate agents are bound by the terms of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.1

What Affects How Much Your House Is Worth?

It’s certainly true that location is king when it comes to property value, but here are a few others factors that may affect it, some obvious, others less so.

• Street names. According to research, houses in a Warren sell for the most, a lot more than those in a Street. Roads with King in the name sell for 20 percent more than those with Queen, and a suggestive name like Slag Lane or Bell End can knock a good fifth off the value.

• Odd numbers. We must be a suspicious lot – apparently odd-numbered houses sell for less than their even-numbered equivalents, and Number 13 is always unpopular.

• Cats, dogs and kids. Noisy, messy or intimidating cats, dogs and kids can knock from £5,000-£8,000 off the value of your house, so keep them tidied away when selling

• Local supermarkets. A Lloyds Bank survey suggested that an up-market local supermarket such as Waitrose can add 12 percent to the value of a property.2

• Decoration. It’s always a good idea to keep decorations plain. Passing fads such as wood panelling or fancy wallpaper may not appeal to potential buyers, and could knock 5-10 percent off value.

• Neighbours. If you’re buying, it’s worth contacting the local council to see if there are any records of disputes with neighbours over noise or territory.

• Storage. Making the best use of storage spaces such as under stairs, airing cupboards, garages, lofts and basements can add enormously to the appeal of your property.

• Public transport. One of the biggest factors in urban areas. In London, for instance, a survey by Nationwide found that being within 500m of a Tube station can increase property values by 10.5 per cent, but 250m further down the road that figure drops to 7.6 per cent.3 Having a bus stop outside your door is not popular though.

• Parking. Off-road parking, particularly near town centres, can add as much as £50,000 to property value.4 If you have a front garden that can be converted, it’s worth considering the added value it will bring to the house.

Another factor that could play a large role in your house price estimate is demographics. A young couple may not want to move into a suburb of retirees, but they may be more willing to buy a fixer-upper rather than insisting on a hassle-free house standing in good condition.

How To Improve The Value Of Your Home

Location and condition of your home will always be the main factors in its value, but if you’re willing to invest some time and money you could enhance its worth in many ways.

• Tidy the garden
A simple step but one that can add appeal. Manicure the lawns, tidy the borders, fix up outbuildings, and consider a decking or enhanced patio area – it’s the easiest way to make your house look more attractive at minimal cost.

• Cellar conversion
This change of use doesn’t require planning permission5 so it’s a good way to add living or storage space and can add up to 30 percent value to your home. If you don’t have an existing cellar you can dig down, but this is a specialist job and may cost more than the value it adds to the property.

• Loft conversion
A very popular way to add a bedroom and possibly 15 percent value to your home. En suite bathrooms are always a bonus, but if you add a mansard roof with steeper slopes you will need planning permission.

• Garage conversion
An unused garage may become valuable living space. You may not need planning permission, but will have to comply with building regulations.

• Bathroom or kitchen replacement
A modern kitchen or bathroom will add value to your house – just make sure the style you choose isn’t too distinctive, as this may put off some buyers..

• Convert into flats
In areas with a high demand for rental property, it can be rewarding to turn a property into flats, bringing in rental income and maximising profit on a later sale.

• Side-return extension
The side return or alley which runs adjacent to the kitchen in many semi-detached houses can be ideal for a kitchen extension, and is usually classed as a permitted development. A partially or fully glazed roof can bring in welcome light.

• Conservatory extension
A conservatory is one of the cheapest and easiest conversions and can add around 10 percent value to your property. Again, this is normally a permitted development but you will have to think about building regulations and energy conservation.6

• Knocking through
Removing a dividing wall between your front and back rooms or kitchen can modernise a home, but be sure to consult professionals if this involves load bearing walls

How Accurate is an Online House Valuation?

The accuracy of an online house valuation depends largely on the amount of information you are asked to input. In some cases, you are only asked for your postcode and house number. This may not be enough to give an accurate estimation.

Of course a very helpful piece of information is the last known selling date and price.7 If this is available, online valuations tend to be much more accurate. If you can also supply information about the condition of the house, size and condition of the garden, local amenities and so on, the estimate becomes more accurate.

Some online valuations will give you a ‘confidence rating’ along with the valuation, which at least gives you some measure of how accurate the estimate is likely to be.

However, conditions change very rapidly, and an online estimation can only be accurate if the information it is based on is up to date.

What Information Do You Need For A House Valuation?

Some online valuations will go on as little as a postcode. This will use data from the Land Registry to give the last known value, and provide an estimate of the current value. However, it can’t take into account factors such as new local amenities or improvements to the property.

Other estimators will ask you for more detailed information such as age, type and number of rooms, tenure, parking spaces, condition of kitchen and bathrooms, and so on. This will obviously give you more accurate results, but still depends very largely on available information on comparable sales in the area.

It’s worth checking other sources of information; for instance you can check the UK House Price Index section of the Land Registry8 for yourself, and the Halifax keeps its own regional house price index with average values based on mortgage approvals, as does the Nationwide. These often update faster than the Land Registry.

The Police website9 will give you crime statistics for a particular street or neighbourhood, and the Environmental Agency website10 will tell you if an area is at risk from flooding or air pollution.

How Else Can You Discover The Value Of Your House?

Although given enough information an online property value estimator is an efficient way to check your property value, an estate agent will give you a more accurate house price estimate. Additionally, using human resources like an estate agent and a solicitor will help expedite the process to ensure that your house will be sold relatively quickly and at a fair price.

When it comes to outsourcing the work, expect to pay legal fees for the processed paperwork. Fortunately, it will save you from the stress and headache of selling your home. But before you reach out to any estate agent, look at reviews to ensure that team up with a reputable company that can complete this job.

However, if you are strapped for cash and you want to downsize your home quickly, there are quick selling house buying services that claim to be able to complete this sale within seven days! Some companies will even go as far and buy your house in seven days for cash. In terms of valuation, you just have to fill out a form with information on your home and an advisor will figure out the rest. But again, whether you want to use an estate agent or quick selling service, read the reviews.

How Much Will You Offer Me For My House?

Although you may be asking the question, “How much is my house worth?” The better question is really, “How much are you offering?” Even if the property value calculator says a certain range or number, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you will get. Quick selling house buying services that guarantee a sold home within seven days for cash may not offer you a price that you’re happy with.

Although earlier we mentioned the variables that affect the valuation of your property, there is one influential factor that you can’t really control—time.

Timing is vital in the housing market. If a house is on the market for too long, it may depreciate. If the country is facing a recession at the moment, don’t expect to get top prices. Putting your home on the market and buying a new home at the right time will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck.

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents.

1. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/1277/contents/made
2. https://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/Media/Press-Releases/2016-press-releases/lloyds-bank/supermarket-house-prices-2016/
3. https://www.nationwide.co.uk/-/media/MainSite/documents/about/house-price-index/London_Transport_Special_2014.pdf
4. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/phil-spencers-top-20-ways-add-value-home-get-noticed-market/
5. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/when-is-permission-required
6. https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/blog/building-future-energy-efficiency-0
7. https://www.gov.uk/search-house-prices
8. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry
9. https://www.police.uk/pu/compare-your-area-user-guide/
10. https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk

Can A Landlord Sell a House During A Lease?

It will come as a surprise to many tenants, but once a fixed-term rental contract has expired, a landlord or owner can put a property on the market, sell it and evict the tenant even if they have done nothing wrong and have not breached any condition of the rental agreement on their home. This is what’s known as a Section 21 or ‘no-fault’ eviction, and is covered in the Housing Act 1988.1

The notice must be served on a form 6A, Notice Seeking Possession of a Property Let on An Assured Shorthold Tenancy, and must give two months’ notice to quit.

It doesn’t make any difference whether the landlord wishes to sell the property privately, to put it on the market publicly, or to move back into it himself perhaps to downsize – in fact no reason has to be given. In many cases a new landlord will want to continue letting the property after purchase.

Section 21 is a controversial statute and government reviews have been launched as to whether this and other laws should be abolished in favour of measures which give tenants more protection of their home.

To complicate matters, during the coronavirus pandemic, most renting tenants can’t be evicted from their home, as all court action for eviction is on hold until at least 23rd August 2020. The ban on evictions was due to end in June but has now been extended.

During this time, bailiffs won’t evict a tenant, and landlords can’t get an eviction order.

It is illegal for a landlord to harass a renting tenant to leave, to lock them out, or to make them leave without notice. A landlord can serve notice to leave, but at the moment can’t enforce it.

 

Can Your Landlord Sell The House You’re Renting?

In normal times, though, Section 21 applies. If you are a new tenant starting out renting on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) which includes a six-month break clause, your tenancy will be protected for the first six months, but after that the landlord can serve you two months’ notice.

If the contract has no break clause, the landlord can give notice from the end of the tenth month of letting, so reclaiming their property after 12 months in total. The same two months’ notice can be served at any time on tenants who have been in the property for 12 months or longer. Of course, if the landlord has other reasons for eviction, such as non-payment of rent or antisocial behaviour, these could be exceptions to the Section 21 notice rules.

For what it’s worth, charities such as Shelter claim that the Section 21 regulations are the cause of many cases of homelessness, and are campaigning for reviews to the laws, such as the policy suggested by the Institute for Public Policy Research that tenants’ occupation should  be protected for three years, so that the property could be sold only with sitting tenants.

 

Can A House Be Sold With Tenants In Situ?

It is possible to sell or purchase a house with sitting tenants, and in fact there are some hassle-free advantages for landlords in selling and for investors buying a property with tenants in situ.

This change of ownership will not override any condition of the tenancy agreement or the rights of the renting tenant. Benefits of buying a house with sitting tenants to the new owners include not having to search for a reliable tenant, being able to count on receiving rental payments until the end of the tenancy agreement, and knowing the tenant’s complete rental history.

For the tenant in situ, the advantage is that completion of a sale and change of ownership should not affect their tenancy agreement or rental security, so the transition should be hassle-free.

Some letting agents have special platforms for marketing properties with sitting tenants, and finding buyers in the buy-to-rent market who appreciate the advantages of buying properties with sitting tenants in any location and are willing to make a cash offer.

It’s also worth considering that some specialists will make a cash offer on a property on the market in any condition or valuation, any will offer complete repairs and renovation at their expense. If the condition of the property leaves something to be desired, a cash offer an incentive to the landlord to sell, and also offers advantages to the tenant whatever their location.

There are many advantages to buying for cash. One is that there are no interest payments to be made on a loan, so long-term returns are better. Another advantage of buying for cash is that having 100 equity in a rental property offers complete control over its investment value, and enjoyment of the appreciation in its value. A major advantage in buying for cash is of course that it offers more negotiation power in a purchase.

 

What Are Your Rights If Your Landlord Decides To Sell?

The terms of a lease give the tenant certain legal rights regarding a property, and those rights do not alter with a change of owner whatever the terms of purchase or date of acceptance.

The terms of tenancy are maintained complete through the property sale, and tenants have a right to remain in the property for the entire fixed term period. The landlord or letting agent must comply with these rights at least until the term of tenancy is over.

Among these rights are those of ‘peaceful enjoyment’ of the property, so for instance tenants do not have to let estate agents in to conduct a valuation, or potential buyers into the property for an inspection even when it is up for sale. The landlord can give conduct a personal inspection of the property with 24 hours’ notice, though the tenant can still deny entry except in cases of emergency such as fires or gas leaks.

The landlord is still responsible for repair and maintenance of the property under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.3 This includes annual gas safety reviews by registered engineers, and completion of electrical safety checks every five years.

Bear in mind that while the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 refers to all short leases for residential property and tenancies of a period of less than seven years (in other words, Assured Shorthold Tenancies), and Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out who is responsible for repairing a property whilst it is being rented, this covers only repairs and maintenance. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 the landlord is under no obligation to make improvements, or to remedy defects in construction.

In summary, any condition of tenants’ rights remains the same if the landlord decides to sell the property, and whoever is buying, the new landlord or letting agent must:

  • Continue to secure their tenants’ rights after acceptance of an offer on the property
  • Check that the property and the tenancy agreement comply with legal requirements for renting in the UK
  • Transfer the tenancy deposit into a deposit scheme.
  • Notify the tenant of the property purchase, including the landlord’s name, address and contact details, no later than two months after completion of the sale.

Different conditions may apply to business rentals, where the tenant may be required to keep the premises in good condition, even if they are not in good condition when rented.

Different laws again apply if you own a flat or maisonette on a long lease which reduces in value over time. The law gives the leaseholder (tenant) the right to a lease extension once they have owned it for two years.

The lease extension right normally functions to add 90 years to what is left on the existing lease at a ‘peppercorn rent’, which means no ground rent is paid. A typical example of a lease extension would be that a 70 year lease would be extended to 160 years.

The landlord is entitled to a price for the lease extension, based on a valuation formula set out in the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.2

If the landlord has a holding deposit, it must be refunded in full within:

  • 7 days of signing a tenancy agreement with the tenant (unless the tenant has agreed in writing for the landlord to use their holding deposit towards their rent or deposit)
  • 7 days of choosing to withdraw from the proposed agreement; or
  • 7 days from the deadline for agreement passing without a tenancy agreement having been signed (unless both parties have agreed to extend it).

 

Can You Stop Your Landlord From Selling Their Property?

Short answer – ‘No’. However, as previously explained, the tenants’ rights are protected, even after acceptance of an offer on the property, and for instance the price of the rent cannot be changed by the new landlord after purchase without respecting the proper procedures.

One minor exception to the rule is covered by the 2015 Retaliatory Evictions and Deregulation Act.4 This law prevents a landlord from evicting a tenant via a Section 21 notice if the tenant has either complained about their property in writing to their landlord or letting agent or reported them to the local council, or if an improvement or emergency work notice has been served on the landlord by the council.

Once a complaint has been made, the landlord has by law 14 days to respond, and must set out what and when they intend to do about the problem, and carry out the repairs. If nothing is done, the tenant must report the problem to the local authority. By doing this, they are protected from being evicted in retaliation.

The sort of work covered by this legislation must be “a serious issue that might cause a potential risk of harm to the health or safety of the tenant, or a family member”, such as a water leak or a faulty heating system, so something minor such as a dripping tap or a dead light bulb is not covered.

Though they are under no obligation to do so, the landlord may choose to offer the sitting tenant first refusal on the property before it is offered to other potential buyers. This may offer some hassle-free advantages to both landlord and tenant, as it represents a chain-free transaction in which the parties selling and buying know each other. Being in a property chain can be the most stressful part of a transaction, as if any part of the chain breaks, non-refundable fees such as survey costs and can be lost. Often this isn’t under your control if someone else in the chain pulls out, so it’s an advantage to be able to avoid a chain altogether.

 

How Much Notice Should Your Landlord Give You When Selling A House?

In order to evict you from a property, the landlord must serve a Section 21 order and give two months’ notice. Note that this doesn’t automatically end the tenancy, but it does mean that if you do not move out of the location at the end of the two months’ notice, the landlord will likely be granted a possession order.

If a section 21 notice has been properly drafted and served, it will usually take about two months to obtain the possession order. If it comes to the stage where bailiffs or sheriffs are called in to physically evict you, this can take another two to 10 weeks. The landlord cannot apply for a bailiff’s order until the leaving date in the possession order has been passed.

So legally, it’s very difficult for a landlord to make a tenant leave a property on short notice, and any attempt to do so without following the correct procedure may amount to a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.5

It’s also worth remembering that while most landlords who seek possession of a property from the tenants will happily forego the price of any legal fees, as their main aim is to get the property back and re-let, there are situations in which they can claim legal fees and costs from tenants. If a letting agent is used, they may charge the tenants various additional costs and legal fees, although the legal fees they can charge are regulated by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.6

* With SellHouseQuickNow.co.uk, you can get your house valuation quickly, and complete on your house sale fast with no fees.

* Sell House Quick Now is the cheapest way to sell your property, avoiding costs such as agents’ fees, estate agents’ charges, solicitors’ fees, clearance costs, utility charges, mortgage payments and cosmetic repair costs.

* The best part is that selling to Sell House Quick Now is fast – within days, compared to six months or more selling through estate agents.

  1. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/contents
  2. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1993/28/contents
  3. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70
  4. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/20/section/33/enacted
  5. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/43
  6. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted