Latest News

HM Land Registry portal enhancements – a benefit to the property industry

11 August 2020

Following the announcement on 27 July that transfers of ownership of property, leases, mortgages, and other property dealings can be signed electronically, HM Land Registry has also confirmed that customers in Wales and England can now manage all portal applications and correspondence in one central place. Read More...

Government urged to speed up cladding remediation process

10 August 2020

The second report from the Industry Safety Steering Group on the progress of culture change in the construction sector was issued on 5 August, which highlighted the need for further change for the industry now, ahead of the legislation. Read More...

Consultation to reform planning system launched

06 August 2020

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick announced today, 6 August, the Government is ‘Planning for the Future’ and aims to overhaul outdated systems and reform the way the country builds. Read More...

Property market to continue through Aberdeen lockdown

06 August 2020

Following the announcement on 5 August by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, that Aberdeen is in lockdown for a period of at least seven days, the Scottish Government has published regulations clarifying the property market can still function. Read More...

COVID-19 not dampened enthusiasm to get OnTheMarket

06 August 2020

A property market online portal has seen the number of agent branches listing exclusively rise by 1,619, which is a year-on-year rise of 42 per cent. Read More...

Staying safe whilst lifting lockdown

04 August 2020

COVID-19 is a powerful disruptor, responsible for the delay of almost 450,000 property transactions. It goes without saying that everyone has to take action in order to minimise the ongoing impact. Read More...

HS2: Property owners still forced to accept low offers for homes along rail route

Friday 03 July 2020

HS2 has issued updated guidance and route maps for property owners in Phase 2a of the scheme, which runs from the West Midlands to Crewe.

Agents may find the updated maps helpful in identifying where properties will fall under the jurisdiction of HS2 support schemes, but very little has changed for property owners affected by the search in terms of support.

Raised prices may trap vendors

Property owners are still required to accept any offers within 15 per cent of their properties’ unblighted asking price. For example, if a home was for sale at an unblighted asking price of £400,000 and a potential purchaser offered just over £340,000, a vendor would have to accept this price.

Agents should be aware that these criteria are likely to lead vendors to put their properties on the market for higher prices, increasing the risk that the property becomes unsaleable. The likely result of this is the property being forced into the Need to Sell scheme for purchase by HS2 Ltd.

Other additions to the guidance

New additions to the guidance are the Residents Charter and Commissioner, Special Circumstances for atypical properties, and Construction Commissioner.

Residents’ Charter

A new Residents’ Charter outlines HS2’s commitment to carrying out works in a considerate and responsible way, overseen by a Residents’ Commissioner. This may become a useful tool for agents handling properties that are near to works for the rail line, proving accountability for any issues caused by work taking place.

HS2 pledges to:

  • continue to build respectful, long-term relationships with communities and encourage our workforce to listen to local concerns and be considerate and accountable for their actions at all times.
  • work with communities to develop local two-way involvement and communication programmes, making sure they are accessible and tailored to local needs.
  • make sure we tell communities beforehand about any activities taking place in their area.
  • run a Freephone community helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • make health and safety a priority for communities and our workforce.
  • respect the wellbeing of communities, keeping disruption to their lives to a minimum through local plans and activities, while making sure we meet the standards set out in the Code of Construction Practice.
  • leave a positive and sustainable legacy for communities, which will benefit future generations.
  • respond to questions and complaints quickly and efficiently, by acknowledging them within two working days and responding fully within 20 working days if we cannot answer your question straight away.
  • promote awareness of all our property schemes so that anyone who may be eligible has all the information they need and knows what support is available; and
  • include the Residents’ Commissioner’s and Construction Commissioner’s contact details, and information about our helpline and complaints procedure, on all relevant materials.

Special circumstances for atypical properties

Guidance has been updated for residents and businesses near the HS2 route who need assistance despite not meeting the strict eligibility requirements of the HS2 property schemes. This assistance could include the Government buying their property, making a payment, or providing some other form of support that would not normally be offered. Agents with vendors in this situation can help vendors request a review of their situations, using the guidance in the document.

Construction Commissioner

An independent Construction Commissioner will act as a mediator in any unresolved disputes about construction between us and individuals or organisations and advise members of the public on how to make a complaint about construction, which may assist agents with vendors affected by construction.

Phase 2a guidance

PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES

Propertymark has a directory of current information and resources on HS2, which agents are encouraged to use. 
Thank you to NAEA Propertymark Regional Executive Mark Bentley for inputting on this using his experience with HS2 affected properties in the Midlands.

HS2