Real estate is one of the most important markets in London and it can be an excellent investment sector for foreigners as well. To orient yourself in the search of the house you have to remember that the quality parameters are very different. The apartments often take advantage of the small spaces and the plaster walls are used to divide the rooms. Finding a bidet in the bathroom is a utopia.
In this guide we will delve into some key concepts of the reality of London real estate.
- Different types of house
- Council Tax
- Rent or purchase
- Rent a room
- Internet, TV and more
- Responsibility of a Landlord
|THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOUSE (house)||TYPE OF APARTMENTS(flat)|
|Terraced house||House in row||Maisonette (duplex)|
|Semidetached||Two-family villas||Council Flat (Local authority)|
|Detached||Independent villas||Ex council flat (ex local authority)|
|Bungalow||Detached house or two-family single-floor||Council Building|
|1 Bedroom Flat|
The Utilities (Bills)
Water, electricity and gas can be paid with two methods:
- by means of invoices
- by means of a pencil or electronic card
In the first case, the agency, once the lease or purchase contract is made, calls the companies to update their database indicating the new data. Invoices can be paid through:
Direct Debit: the money is taken directly from the bank current account
Debit or Credit Card: it is necessary to call On Line, the website of the company that distributes the service.
- In the bank
- In the mail
The second method allows the company to be paid before offering the service. They are always installed more frequently outside the apartments or houses of the electronic machines that control the flow of the service. These machines work through the insertion of pencils, similar to USB or cards delivered at the time of installation. If one runs out of credit, a valve closes automatically and can not benefit more from the service until it is not recharged again. The machines are mainly used for gas and electricity, while a single tariff is normally applied to water.
Some useful numbers
Invoices: 0845 9200 888
Emergencies: 0845 9200 800
Customer Service (Customer Service): 0845 9200 888
Customer Service (Customer Service): 0800 096 9000
Emergency with electricity: 0800 028 0247
The Council Tax
The Council tax is a communal tax paid by the domiciliary for public services. It is in the information given at the time of purchase. Each house is assigned a classified value through letters. This allows you to calculate the monthly payments that must be paid to the Borough (mayor). For more information one can go to the city office itself. In some situations one may be exonerated from partial or full payment. For example, if the house is not furnished, if it is shown that you have no income, if you are a student or single.
Sometimes it is possible to obtain a mortgage for the purchase of the house, giving adequate guarantees to the credit institutions. You have to bear in mind that sometimes paying the monthly installments of the mortgage costs less than paying the rent. Different from the rest of Europe, is the regime for ownership of property
Leasehold: gives the right to ownership of the property, but not to the land on which it was built. That is granted in rent (lease). The contract is always renewable to a figure that changes according to the parameters legacy to the district and the number of years remaining.
Free Hold: at the time of purchase, you can buy the house, be it the land where it was born.
Once the house has been chosen for purchase, you can start with an offer, which has to be accepted by the seller. At that point the buyer has to give the name of his lawyer (solicitor) to whom the seller’s will present a sales memorandum with all the conditions. The buyer may request an expertise, made by a surveyor (surveyor). Until the exchange of contracts is made (which corresponds to the agreed) neither the seller nor the buyer are sure of the purchase. After the change, according to the agreed conditions, a completion of the transaction will be reached (completion).
The payment of the commission of the agency is responsibility of the seller.
The rental contracts are generally one year with the possibility of breaking it after six months, with one month’s notice, in relation to the agreed conditions. It is not renewable by tacit agreement. The owner of the house is responsible for the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance in case something breaks, unless it happens by misuse by the tenants.
Each agency works differently but in most cases before renting a house, documents are requested that prove your identity and financial status (references).
Here is a list of the documents that must be submitted:
- identification document
- Bank statement
- credit card status
- references in the workplace
- possible references of the previous homeowner
TV and internet
The television canon costs about 134 pounds a year. The controls are very frequent and the fines for those who do not pay are over a thousand pounds. To install a telephone line, the main operator is British Telecom.
The telephone line is indispensable for the connection to the internet. The minimum cost per line is 12 pounds per month. The flat rate (24h a day) of the internet costs around 15/30 pounds per month. It is possible to select the different operators.
The document that contains the references that regulate the relations between landlords and tenants is the Housing Act 1988. This allows the homeowners to prepare an agreement / contract (assured shorthold tenancies) and requests