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February 2011

Dear ,

Welcome to the Total Landlord Insurance February E-Newsletter for our customers.

House prices 'fell by 2.4% in 2010'

House prices fell by 2.4% over the past year, the Halifax has announced – the biggest annual fall reported so far in the current housing market slide.

Although the lender reported an increase of 0.8% in January compared to the previous month, the quarterly change – lenders' favoured measure because it smoothes out blips in movement – was a fall of 0.7%. The decline left the average house price in the UK at 164,173.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at analyst IHS Global Insight, said the 0.8% rise was probably a correction after a sharp 1.3% month-on-month fall in December, which was probably due to a lack of sales owing to the poor weather.

To view the article in full click here

Tax tips for new landlords

When you're letting a property for the first time, there are plenty of things you need to know about. One thing that you mustn't forget is the thorny issue of tax. If you're embarking upon the landlord game for the first time, you are well advised to have a conversation with an accountant and understand what your responsibilities are and how you can minimise your tax liabilities.

But here are some basic points to help you get your bearings. Letting a property for residential purposes (where people count the property you let as their home) is distinct from renting out a furnished holiday home or letting a room. If you have a lodger in your home, you can take 4,250 in rent tax-free.

To view the article in full click here.

Total Landlord Competition Time

What's the best advice you have for a fellow landlord?

For your chance to win a bottle of champagne, visit our Twitter or Facebook page and share your single best source of advice with your peers. 

Whoever gives the best tip for fellow landlords by 31st March 2011 will win a bottle of bubbly. All entries will be judged by our Property and Claims Manager, Steve Barnes.


Legal Comment – Obtaining a Possession Order for Rent Arrears

A landlord wishing to obtain possession for rent arrears under an assured shorthold tenancy ('AST') must first serve a Housing Act 1988 s8 notice on the tenant. The notice must:

  • specify the statutory grounds relied upon (e.g. 8, 10 and 11) and particulars of the arrears
  • be in the prescribed form, and
  • specify a date after which the landlord will issue proceedings. If grounds 8, 10 and 11 are relied upon then that should not be less than 14 days from the date of the notice

To view the article in full click here


More Letting Agents using my|deposits

Tenancy deposit scheme has seen a sharp increase in the number of protections taken out by letting agents over the past year.

Agents purchased 65 per cent more deposit protections in 2010 compared with 2009.

Each agent purchased an average 46.3 protections last year, compared to an average 28.2 protections in 2007 when launched. And individual landlords have taken out nearly half of all protections during that time at 49 per cent.

To view the article in full click here.

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Total Landlord Insurance is a trading name of HFIS plc, and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Member of the British Insurance Brokers Association (Member number: 00479)
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with its registered office at Elwood House, 42 Lytton Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 5BY.