Lincoln Jeweller Saves Thousands of Pounds!

Andrew O’Dowd has secured Jolly’s Jewellers Lincoln, a reduced and more realistic Rating Assessment, which has literally saved them thousands of pounds.

For years Jolly’s had been paying over the odds to Lincoln City
Council. Andrew carefully measured the property and then after thorough investigation, initiated the valuation and Appeal Process, coupled with meticulous negotiation, with the Valuation Office Agency, that resulted in this reduced Rating Assessment. Andrew says “I am delighted that our Client will eventually, not only receive a refund due to the over payment, but will also see their payments reduced until the next Revaluation, which is scheduled to take place in 2017″

Thomas Ginever, Property Manager at Jolly’s was thrilled to hear the good news of their windfall. “I’m delighted to see that Andrew has managed to deliver exactly what he promised, after he had finished his investigations. Andrew under took Rating Surveys, for all of our Commercial Properties, and then went away for a few weeks while he thoroughly investigated those Rating Assessments. Clearly we have really benefitted from using Andrew’s expertise and rest assured we will certainly be recommending him and making sure that we use all of his services in the future.”

Historically, the Commercial Rating System attracted a considerable number of operators, who, it seems, may not necessarily have had the appropriate skills to successfully submit and negotiate their Client’s Appeals. Consequently, the official statistics demonstrate that as many as 85% of all Rating Appeals submitted are in fact withdrawn with no
reduction forthcoming. It would seem sensible therefore that no Rating Appeals should be submitted without proper investigation.

Often, an ill placed Appeal can actually indirectly result in an increased assessment. Andrew says “it is vital to make sure that any reduction proposed, can actually be achievable. As an appeal can only be made once, it is important that its made  properly, or not at all.”

Rate Payers tend to improve their properties, in their efforts to become more efficient in their businesses, unbeknown to the Valuation Office Agency. Many such improvements can and do increase Rateable Values and consequently Rates Payable.

Andrew offers a unique Rates Mitigation and Rates Checking Service, which thoroughly investigates the background to the assessment, long before any formal Appeal is submitted. Such investigation is vital to ensure that the Client’s
best interest is served.

Andrew would be delighted to arrange to investigate property, for anyone with a query about their Rating Assessment. So if you think that your Rates are too high and would like to have an informal chat, give Andrew a call.

Help to Buy- An Important Development for the Housing Market…..or a further opportunity to accumulate debt?

The Chancellor George Osborne has given details about the government’s Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to lenders. But is this scheme an Important Development in the Housing Market or a further opportunity to accumulate debt?

At a meeting in Downing Street he spoke with lenders and builders about the details of how the scheme will work and how to get more first time buyers on the property ladder. The object of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme aims to support an increase in high loan-to-value mortgages for people who cannot afford large deposits.

Help for first time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder is to be welcomed, if that is the route that people wish to go, its all about providing choice. However there is widespread criticism that this scheme will do little to bring the cost of housing within the reach of low and middle income earners. The Housing Market actually needs schemes to build more affordable homes, which if not done, then home ownership for millions of first time buyers will remain a pipe dream. The second phase of Help to Buy could benefit the whole market, particularly existing homeowners who want to move up the housing ladder but have not been able to.

These latest amendments to the Government Backed Scheme, when added to the criteria set out at the Budget, aims to try to helps a large number of people onto the property ladder while ensuring responsible lending. Anybody wishing to borrow money will be subject to income verification and stress testing, as set out in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Mortgage Market Review. Borrowers won’t be able to access guaranteed mortgages if their credit history doesn’t meet FCA restricted credit standards, including having a County Court Judgment over £500 in the past three years, nor will people be able to use the mortgage guarantee scheme to buy second homes.

The Rental Market has been very buoyant these last few years, probably due to the fact that  choice to purchase homes may have been restricted due to the availability of funding coupled with the more responsible criteria of the lending institutions. We must therefore also consider the impact on the wider housing market, which has been littered with reluctant landlords, who have wanted or needed to move house and been forced to offer their homes for rental, whilst they themselves have then rented instead of buying on.

I therefore suspect that this indemnity scheme will simply increase the number of options for first time buyers or home movers who need a mortgage at a higher loan to value level. What is certain, is that it will increase the level of debt to both the public sector and the private sector, a loan is a loan, wherever it comes from!

Therefore the statement that ‘The launch of the scheme is an important development and will give a significant boost to the housing market by addressing the issue of accessibility’ has to be coupled to the statement that ‘confidence in our housing market needs a boost, if we are to see both levels of activity and growth increase significantly’. So is this Help to Buy an Important Development for the Housing Market…..or a further opportunity to accumulate debt?