Living in Darwen we are truly blessed with some brilliant events, such as this year’s 6th annual ‘1940’s Day’; described as the ‘best one ever’! The centrepiece; an amazing replica of the famous Second World War fighter, as well as two special models of the warplane gifted to the town. It’s not often an event brings together such a wide range of ages, but I’ve honestly never seen the centre of Darwen so packed!
So this got us thinking about what the property market must have been like back in the ‘40s, and what the biggest changes to it have been since those by-gone days. Here are our highlights over the past 75 years in British property:
Landlord and Tenant (Rent Control) Act 1949
This act of parliament extended the provisions of the Furnished Houses (Rent Control) Act 1946, intended to control exorbitant rents being charged by landlords. The major new provisions of the Act were:
-The protection of the Rent Restriction Acts was given to both landlords and tenants sharing certain types of accommodation.
– Rent tribunals were given the power to extend the security of lease given to tenants indefinitely, in three-month periods, and to review lettings made for the first time since September 1939.
– Tribunals could now review the premiums paid for accommodation as well as the rent itself, and payments for furniture and other articles. Excess premiums could be recoverable by a reduction in rent.
Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
A very poignant time to leaseholders in England and Wales, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 was a UK Act of Parliament primarily responsible for laying down the bare minimum standards in tenants’ rights against their landlords.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 made adjustments to sections 18 – 30 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. It also introduced 3 new provisions:
- Renters and landlords were granted specific rights to apply to a Court or Tribunal to vary the terms of a tenancy.
- It introduced specific rules about retaining service charge contributions in designated trust accounts.
- Landlords were now obligated to provide their name and address when issuing service charge demands.
According to The Lloyds Banking Group, from 1959 the average house price in the UK has increased by 273%, at an average annual rate of 2.7%. The worst performing decade for house prices was in the 1990s, when prices fell by 22% (in real terms). They’ve also recorded their biggest increase in the latest decade with a real rise of 62% during the 2000s, marginally ahead of the 61% increase in the 1980s.
Stricter mortgage rules
Just last year saw lenders imposing stricter rules on UK mortgage approvals. This means that a borrower’s personal life now comes under fire, from their spending habits to parenthood plans. Lenders are judging these facts on the buyers ability to meet the mortgage repayments, following first-time buyer numbers hitting pre-crisis levels. As all types of borrowers are affected and face extensive interrogation, some fear that this could dampen the UK’s housing market.
Help to Buy
Help to Buy is a government loan scheme first introduced in April 2013, for buyers of newly-built properties worth up to £600,000. A recent estimate shows that it has been taken up by more than 49,000 Britains, more than 40,500 of those first-time buyers.
The 2008 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations have changed the way property sales are now carried out. Protecting consumers, sellers must now disclose all information that could affect the buyer’s decision. A stark change to the previous principle of ‘Caveat Emptor’ aka ‘Buyer Beware’, meaning that agents and/or sellers who now fail disclose such detrimental information (that a buyer later discovers) could face criminal charges and up to two years in prison. Such information includes structural defects, if a previous sale has fallen through e.g. because of a bad survey and even minor disputes or disturbances such as noisy neighbours must be brought to the buyers attention. A real bonus for buyers, don’t you think?