The most professional and quality driven estate agent we have used. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I would highly recommend them.
Mr R Burns, Nocton
"head and shoulders above everyone else"
They're so reassuring, giving us the latest information we needed at any given time. I wouldn't use anyone else again in the future, they're head and shoulders above everyone else we've used in the past.
Mrs K English, Welton
We didn't really expect to get this level of service from an estate agent. It's the first time we really came away very satisfied with the outcome.
Mr & Mrs S Almond, Sleaford
I would say they were proactive, reliable and just outstanding. We really got the impression that they genuinely wanted to help us sell our home and help us move to our dream property.
Mr M Smith, Long Bennington
"a real pleasure to deal with"
Mount & Minster were recommended to us by one of our friends who had also used them recently. Outstanding service from beginning to end. I can't recommend them highly enough, they were a real pleasure to deal with.
Miss E McKenna, Lincoln
"know their business inside-out"
They are articulate, intelligent and affable with a can-do attitude. Flexible in their approach, they know their business inside-out as well as being RICS qualified which is reassuring.
Mrs A James, Grantham
Buying & Selling Property with Land
Since early 2020, after the first lockdown, the East Midlands has seen a significant increase amongst buyers seeking out large rural homes enjoying extensive external space.
Another outcome of the pandemic has been a desire for secondary accommodation, whether that’s newly built or renovated outbuildings, for family and/or holiday rentals.
Property with a couple of acres of land tends to be reasonably uncomplicated from a buying point of view; but properties with 30 acres or more fall into the category of small farms and can present complications. Buyers should take steps at an early stage in the process to ensure they are fully conversant with issues that might arise.
Ralph Wyrley-Birch, Senior Partner at Mount & Minster, explains "the series Clarkson's Farm highlights why a ‘how difficult can it be’ attitude is generally to be avoided.
“The primary consideration when buying land is what you will be permitted to do with it, so establish the curtilage, where the residential part of the property stops and the agricultural part starts. Agricultural land is very different to ‘garden’; it would be unwise to assume that planning permission will be granted to turn some of the land into an extended garden on which to construct a tennis court, swimming pool, garage or annexe. You will however be permitted to make it more manicured, growing trees or meadow flowers and mowing."
The financial implications are also very relevant. Mr Wyrley-Birch goes on to explain “residential mortgages usually don’t lend on the land element of a purchase. Some only lend on two-acre curtilages, and others on land up to ten acres, so buyers need to be aware that more equity may be needed to make the sums add up. Or a different type of finance for all or some of the lending.
“If there are outbuildings, barns or properties on the land, you’ll need to establish what category they fall into – residential, agricultural, commercial or brownfield. Different rules apply to all three. Properties that are part of the farm may have an agricultural or equestrian ‘tie’, and this should certainly be flagged by the selling agent.
“Buyers will also need to check whether there are any footpaths and bridleways across the land. As the landowner you will have responsibilities to maintain them and keep them safe. Be aware that cyclists are permitted to use bridleways. Don’t assume you can divert these paths if you don’t like the route they take, it may be possible, but it’s certainly not straightforward.
When acquiring real estate located in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, freehold properties with land that have third party leasehold interests such as rental agreements with farmers or grazing licences with equestrian enthusiasts means you’ll need to be clear about whether you are going to continue with the inherited arrangement or bring it to an end. If the latter is the case, then you’ll need to deal with it sensitively – these people are likely to be your new neighbours. Either way, the costs of maintaining pasture or woodland, fencing, hedging and waterways, can be significant. If you rent land out for livestock, or for country sports, this will restrict your ability to ride or walk across it.
“Generally speaking, there’s a huge amount to assess when viewing property with land" says Mr Wyrley-Birch. "Buyers will need good advice from several different sources.
“Choice of solicitor is vital, you’ll need one who is well versed in rural property with land, and the tax issues surrounding the acquisition of multiple-use property. There are significant benefits to buying property with land or with more than one property on the estate. It may be appropriate to use a land agent (a la Clarkson’s Cheerful Charlie), for advice on grants, subsidies and your obligations to ensure you keep them; a planning consultant if you’re considering renovations and new builds, and of course a good buying agent who has experience of acquiring farms and properties with land."
Should you require professional advice about buying or selling a country house, small holding, farm or bare land then please feel free to contact us on 01522 716204 or 01476 515329.
Landlords New Tax Rules
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, recently announced some new tax changes with a strong emphasis on encouraging capital spending. These new rules have been put in place with the aim of achieving recovery in the economy following issues associated with COVID-19.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)The nil rate band will be maintained at £250k until 30 September 2021, after which it will revert to £125k.
The existing 3% additional SDLT for buyers of second homes, corporate buyers and other property investors will remain. Furthermore, an additional 2% surcharge for non-UK residents has been applied to residential property acquisitions since 1 April 2021. It affects both non-resident individuals and non-natural persons (e.g. companies, trusts, partnerships), in addition to the existing SDLT rates of up to 15%. In other words, the top rate for non-residents could be 17% (Scotland and Wales have their own regimes).
New rules for residential property disposalsFrom 6 April 2020, taxable capital gains made by UK-resident individuals, trustees or personal representatives of a deceased person on the disposal of UK residential property must be reported to HMRC within 30 days of the completion date.
For these purposes, a disposal will include gifts in addition to sales of such property. Payment of the estimated CGT arising on the disposal(s) must be made within the same 30-day deadline. For disposals by UK residents, there are various exceptions to the new reporting and payment rules, for example in cases where no CGT arises on the disposal.
Non-resident immovable property gainsPrior to 6 April 2019, non-UK residents were not subject to CGT in disposals of UK immovable property except in relation to certain disposals of residential property or where a trade was being carried on through a permanent establishment in the UK.
However, the scope of the UK tax net dramatically widened from 6 April 2019: non-UK residents are now subject to UK tax on gains on all direct and certain indirect disposals of interests in UK immovable property, subject to certain exceptions.
The new rules apply to all disposals of UK real property by non-residents that have not previously been within the scope of UK tax e.g. UK commercial property.
Corporation tax changesIt has been announced that the rate of corporation tax will increase from April 2023 to 25% on profits over £250,000. The rate for small profits under £50,000 will remain at 19%, and there will also be relief for businesses with profits under £250,000.
This rate change will impact UK resident companies and also non-UK resident company investors in UK property.
Incentives to encourage investment in Freeport tax sitesSome residential landlords may be interested in diversifying their investment portfolio. Tax reliefs have also been announced to encourage investment in eight Freeport tax sites including East Midlands Airport and Humber Port. This measure will enable tax sites in Freeport locations to be designated and recognised in law as geographical areas where businesses can benefit from Freeport-specific tax reliefs, such as:
● relief from SDLT on the purchase of land or property within Freeport tax sites in England
● Business Rates relief in Freeport tax sites in England
If you would like to discuss property investment and lettings, we would be delighted to offer a complimentary consultation with one of our Partners. Please call 01522 716 204.
Top 10: Homebuyer Turnoffs
When selling your home, it's always nice to know what you can do to make it stand out and ensure there's nothing to put off your buyers that can devalue your property.
New research has revealed the biggest homebuyer turnoffs, from subsidence to smelly dogs, and the financial consequence they can have on the value of a home. Mount & Minster are pleased to share these as follows and, based on the average value of a UK home at the moment being £255,000, the financial loss associated with these issues:
1. Subsidence: 20% Decrease - Subsidence refers to situations when the ground beneath a property is sinking, pulling the foundations of the home down with it and it’s estimated that it can reduce the value of a home by an average of 20%, or £51,000 based on the average house price.
2. Japanese Knotweed: 15% Decrease - Knotweed is a destructive plant that can grow up to 10cm in a single day. It can cause severe damage to the structural integrity of a property and thus reduces the value of a home by 15% - a drop of just over £38,000.
3. Poor Upkeep: 14% Decrease - If a property is suffering from poor upkeep or the garden has been allowed to overgrow it could reduce the value of a home by as much as 14% on average, or £36,000.
4. Neighbouring Infrastructure: 13% Decrease - If new power lines, mobile phone towers, or wind turbines are planned nearby to your property, especially if visible from the house itself, buyers are going to be far less inclined to pay top price for your home. Typically, such a scenario can see an average of 13%, or £33,000, wiped off in value.
5. Risk of Flooding: 10% Decrease - If there's a history of water damage or the Environment Agency considers it to be in a 'high risk' area, this can have a detrimental effect on the chances of getting insurance, or putting your premium up. This will reduce the value of the house by 10% (£25,000)
6. Lack of Parking: 7% Decrease - It's always nice to have the convenience of your own parking, but even plenty of on-street parking directly outside your home is a must for some. With electric cars being more popular year-on-year, the ability to charge these is becoming a big factor when decisions are made by buyers. Lack of parking will reduce the value of your home by £18,000.
7. House Number: 6% Decrease - Believe it or not, if your house is numbered '13' then you're likely to achieve a lower price than an identical home next door! Unlucky numbers and poorly considered house names will put some buyers off, reducing the price achievable by just over £15,000.
8. Power Stations: 5% Decrease - If your property is located near to a power station, this is going to have to be taken into account when deciding a price. Buyers prefer not to live near such structures, but some will compromise for a reduction in price for a comparable property to the sum of £13,000.
9. Pet Odours: 4% Decrease - A house is never really a home without that extra member of the family running around on four legs! Unfortunately, dogs can leave smells that you as a homeowner wont know as you get used to them over a period of time. Ask a friend if it smells and if so, by making the effort, you can save yourselves the reduction of £10,000 associated with smelly pets.
10. Clutter: 4% Decrease - The last on the list is easily fixed. Too much in a house is poor for the photos, looks too busy when your buyer is looking round and just looks untidy and unwelcoming. Clutter can be either thrown away or boxed-up and put out of site in the loft or garage. Less is more! Cluttered homes will sell for £10,000 less so well worth the effort. You might like it, your buyer wont!