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Energy efficiency enforcement, what your home “earns”, affordable makeovers, house prices, and other UK property news

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The enforcement of energy efficiency legislation for landlords in Wales leads the UK property news headlines for the private rented sector. And homeowners might be surprised to discover that the continuing increase in the value of their home is greater than a third of what those owners earn from work in a year.

While one newspaper also offers tips on how to give your home an affordable makeover, the BBC reports that an anti-money laundering property register has been set up.

Energy efficiency enforcement warning to landlords with properties in Wales

Councils in Wales are warning they will clamp down on those landlords who have not yet complied with the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulation 2015 which allows them to let property only if it achieves an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least E or better.

A story in Landlord Today on the 2nd of August explained that Caerphilly Council in South Wales will be checking that let properties achieve these energy efficiency standards and that the required copy of the certificate is also given to the tenants concerned.

Confirming that landlords who fail to comply with these Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) a Council spokesman stressed that they are in place to protect the environment by reducing harmful carbon emissions and also improve the health and wellbeing of tenants by helping to avert fuel poverty.

Is your home ‘earning’ more than you?

In a posting on the 1st of August, online listings website Zoopla asked its readers whether last year their home “earned” more than their salary from work.

Its survey suggested that as many as 9.5 million homes could have earned more than the average UK worker in the past 12 months.

In the past year, says Zoopla, the average home in the UK has increased in value – or “earned” its owners – at least £31,400. That is more than the median average take-home pay of £25,971, according to the website AV Trinity on the 30th of May 2022.

On those scores, Zoopla says 7% of all UK homeowners are earning more from the rising value of the property they own than the average UK salary.

Affordable ways to give your home a makeover

Recognising that it can often be expensive and time-consuming to give your home a thorough makeover, the Daily Mail on the 30th of July offered tips and suggestions for more affordable approaches to such a facelift:

  • declutter – the “father” of modern domestic design, Sir Terence Conran, held that the key to improving the appearance of any room was a decluttering that starts with taking everything out of it and beginning all over again;
  • make the most of colour – choose colours that best favour the light coming into the room, so that you use warm whites, with hints of pink or grey, in otherwise cool-looking north-facing rooms;
  • choose cool blues and greens in those east or west-facing rooms that receive the full glare of the sun in the morning or afternoon;
  • remember that in any south-facing rooms, any colour you choose is likely to have a stronger tone of yellow;
  • let there be light – changing the lighting effects in any room can be achieved as easily and as cheaply as simply changing the lampshades; and
  • be creative – be creative in the positioning of artwork you hang on the walls and make a break with the convention that typically puts it all at eye height.

House prices continue to rise - up for the 12th month in a row

The relentless march of steadily rising house prices means that new records have been struck for the 12th month in a row, according to a news report by Sky on the 2nd of August.

Citing figures compiled by the Nationwide Building Society, Sky News reported that average house prices had grown by 11% in the 12 months to July – still faster than the 10.7% increase recorded in June.

On a month-by-month basis, this represents a further 0.1% increase – marking monthly increases for the 12th time in a row and taking the average national price of a home in the UK to a record £271,209.

New property register aims to stop money laundering

In a bid to clamp down on money laundering – and against a background of tighter controls over the activity of Russian oligarchs in the UK – the Government has established a register of foreign-owned property, reported the BBC on the 1st of August.

Any land or property in the UK previously identified under anonymous foreign ownership must now reveal the identity of its true owners. Existing owners will be granted a maximum of six months within which to identify the managing officers or beneficial owners.

The penalties for those foreign companies that fail to disclose ownership in this way will be fines of up to £2,500 a day or as long as five years in prison.