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ASIAN

HOUSE AND HOME SUMMER EDITION 2014 PRICE: £1.50

Riding the Property Wave ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: News on planning updates p.24

ASIAN HOUSE AND HOME PRODUCED BY:

Finding a builder in a bull market p.17

A room with a view p.23


Here at Mark & Co we are dedicated to providing the highest standard in legal service. We are always looking to go the extra mile for you and as a firm we firmly believe that communication and transparency are the key to a successful and speedy transaction. We aim to take all of the pressure off you and deal with all aspects of the transaction fast & efficiently whilst keeping you fully informed. Contact us at any time for further details.

Putting the pieces together

Residential Property Commercial Property Remortgages Transfer of Equity Loan Agreements Probate Litigation

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t. 020 8920 9999 f. 020 8447 9078 m. 07843 476 594

Contact: Vijay Chandras vchandras@markandcolawyers.co.uk www.markandcolawyers.co.uk


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Read our interesting chat with these property tycoons Editor/Publisher: CB Patel Consulting Editor: Suresh Vagjiani Editorial Board Asian House and Home: Kish Bhudia, Mitesh Vekaria, Vijay Chandras, Anna Patel, Kamlesh Padhra, Pank Parekh, Mayur Vashee, Jayesh Patel, Shiuli Davis, Kunverji Patel Identity Concept and Design: Bland to Brand www.blandtobrand.co.uk

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Contents Riding the wave p.7 Property ownership: Let’s appreciate the importance p.9 Who should make a will? p.11 Big but not bad p.12-13 Flavia’s property predicament p.15 Cartels - finding a builder in a bull market p.17 At home with Kish p.18 -19 Up size with 30K p.20 Don’t get carried away with the wave p.22 A room with a view p.23 Planning updates p.24 Property hot spots p.26-27 A legal sector challenge p.28 Meet the specialist contributors p.30

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Comments from the editors

We are a nation of property owners. In comparison to the rest of Europe, Britain is fixated by the property market, even though we have had four boom-and-busts in the housing market in the past four decades. As of 2012, 66.7% of the nation’s property is owner occupied, ranking above France, Germany and Switzerland. A disproportionally large element of these are likely to be Asians. Many of the landlords providing property to the private sector and housing associations are likely to be Asians, despite starting in the property market later than the indigenous population. For these reasons we feel it necessary to continue and expand our edition of Asian House and Homes. This edition features Bhiku and Vijay Patel, who’s family I have known personally for many years. Like many Asians they have diversified into property as a means of parking their wealth. Their story makes interesting and informative reading.

CB Patel - publisher/editor

It’s hot out there!

We are a dominate force in the UK property market, and our presence is felt in both the residential and commercial sector. Not just those who are resident in UK are investing here, there is a lot of money coming in from India and East Africa.

It’s a hot market at the moment and it’s getting hotter by the minute. A large Institution in London who is lending aggressively mentioned to me that their valuers are struggling to value properties in auctions because there is no comparable evidence to justify the prices which are being paid. Investors and end users are buying properties at unprecedented prices with the anticipation of price rises in the future. A herd mentality is developing and being whipped into a frenzy. It is with this backdrop in the market we are bringing out our fourth issue of Asian House and Homes. It has the refreshing theme of enhancing or adding value, perhaps this seems old fashioned given the current state of the property market. This brings me to a saying which I probably have used too many times but here it is again as it’s one of my favourites: ‘You do not know who’s swimming naked until the tide comes in’. It is when the speculative bubble has burst you will see who has been concentrating on the old fashioned fundamentals and who has been purchasing speculatively, banking purely on future price rises simply because everyone else is. This edition has been brought out to help investors enhance the value on properties they already own and to see angles on properties they will be purchasing. So please enjoy this edition. As always if you have any comments please email us on: aveditorial@abplgroup.com

Editor/Publisher: CB Patel Managing Editor: Kokila Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Consulting Editor: Jyotsna Shah News Editor: Kamal Rao Chief Operations Officer: L George Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel

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Accounts Executive: Akshay Desai Business Manager: Alka Shah Advertising Manager: Kishor Parmar Business Development Manager: Rovin George, & Urja Patel Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Graphic Designer: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar

Suresh Vagjiani - consulting editor

Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market (off Coronet Street), London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4085 Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com gseditorial@abplgroup.com www.abplgroup.com ©Asian Business Publications Ltd


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Riding the wave Getting a mortgage to buy your first home is probably the most important financial decision you will ever make. Preparation is key to getting the best arrangement and choosing the most sensible option. Therefore, arming yourself with as much information as possible will help you achieve your goal. The housing market has picked up and continues to get stronger. House prices have also seen a significant rise throughout the UK, especially in the south. These rises are expected to continue making it more difficult for first time buyers to enter the market. There are however two new government schemes aimed at first time buyers (but not exclusive to) to help them get on to the property ladder. NewBuy This was the first ever government-backed mortgage scheme and became available in March 2012. The NewBuy Guarantee scheme aims to help homebuyers who only have access to a 5% deposit. Under the scheme, 95% percent mortgages are available to first time buyers (FTBs) and existing homeowners on new-build properties (houses and flats) worth up to £500,000 in England only. Although the scheme is now into it is second year, first-time buyers in the capital and surrounding areas, where the average price of housing is much higher than anywhere else in England are continuing to benefit. This has also benefited existing homeowners who are looking to move up the property ladder into larger homes. Help to Buy- Equity Loans Introduced in March 2013, a Help to Buy equity loan helps buyers purchase a newly built home with at least 75% of the cost met by a mortgage and a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price. The rest is covered by the Government through an equity loan. These loans are open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes valued up to £600,000. Buyers cannot then sub-let this property. There is no charge for the first five years of the loan. In the sixth year, the homeowner will be charged 1.75% of the loan’s value. After this, the fee will increase every year. This increase is calculated by using the Retail Prices Index plus 1%.

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By Pank Parekh Mortage specialist from MPI Investments The homeowner will then be contacted before the fees start, to set up monthly payments. Help to Buy- Mortgage Guarantee Scheme The second part of the Help to Buy scheme available to the whole of the UK, was launched in October 2013. The scheme aims to encourage mortgage lenders to offer higher loan-tovalue mortgages at lower interest rates. Borrowers need to raise 5% deposit in order to qualify. The Help to Buy indemnity, or insurance, will compensate mortgage lenders should borrowers of these higher loan-tovalue mortgages default on their loans. The Government hopes that this insurance will boost the availability of mortgages between 80% and 95% loan-tovalue, making it easier for borrowers with small deposits to get on or move up the housing ladder. The other important fact is that loans can be used against new builds as well as older properties.

There are two new government schemes aimed at first time buyers to help them get on to the property ladder. This scheme will also be available on mortgages up to £600,000 and will not be confined to first-time buyers, but will only be offered on a borrower’s main residence, rather than buy-to-let or second homes. For FTB’s in particular this is welcome news in difficult times. However, it is important to note that all the usual requirements must still be met. Yes it’s important to have money set aside for Solicitors costs; Surveys fees etc but lenders will still require a clean credit history. This will still be the single most important factor in determining whether you will qualify for a mortgage. Therefore, to prevent any unnecessary delays in getting on the property ladder, get a copy of your credit file. The two main credit reference agencies are Experian and Equifax. Both currently offer you a free 30 day trial to access your credit file. Experian also provide you with your credit rating at no extra cost. Getting this report early will give you piece of mind and allow you to address any negative issues that arise before entering the market. First time buyers generally have no understanding of their mortgage options or how their actions can affect the process. Therefore a little financial foresight can pave the way to owning your first home.


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Property ownership: Let’s appreciate the importance! Unlike our European counterparts where long term renting is preferable, the political and economic climate in Britain encourages home ownership. We typically live in terraced houses, semi-detached and detached houses, Victorian, Georgian, neo 1960’s or 1970’s homes and yet there is predominantly one standard layout template, 2 rooms per floor with a connecting staircase to one side. Everything else is an extension, loft conversion or basement excavation. Instinctively territorial, we build external walls, rig up fences or walls of greenery to protect our privacy. So it is a privilege and a pleasure to be invited to see what lies within those walls.

This is why managing that space and designing the interior to optimise its value and ultimately its return on investment, should be given far more time and importance than is currently the case. When I first walk into a client’s or friend’s home I am always amazed. Amazed because from the typical layout, without exception, everyone creates a different feel to suit their own comfort and configuration. It is important to tweak that space emotionally to optimise its comfort factor. But there is a greater reason why we should do this. In a fast moving world where the ordinary person’s wallet is constantly challenged on a daily basis as cost of living versus income level rises, you need to be on top of your game. Think about it - owning a property in the UK is the single most expensive purchase you will make. This is why P. 9

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By Shiuli Davis Interior design specialist from Metro-pad managing that space and designing the interior to optimise its value and ultimately its return on investment, should be given far more time and importance than is currently the case. When you buy new clothes for a special occasion you will spend at least 2-3 days shopping for the entire outfit and then indulge in the necessary pampering for the event, with the total cost anywhere between £500 and £1000. Similarly when you buy a new car, you research, evaluate, visit showrooms and shortlist before a test drive and then take time deliberating and negotiating before parting with £20,000 - £50,000. When you buy a house or a flat it will be at least 100 times the cost of that special outfit and at least 10 times the cost of your car. So why not give maximum time to what will inevitably be your single most expensive purchase, both during and after purchase? What I find so surprising is that the decision making time spent on property is completely disproportionate to the money spent, when compared to these other purchases. And yet a truism albeit ironic is (and I can sense all those automobile enthusiasts wincing as they read this) that the moment you open a car door ( non vintage that is) it starts depreciating. And yet if you you’ve bought judiciously in the right area, your new home starts appreciating the moment you open its front door and step over its threshold. If you’ve bought wisely then nurture those aspects of home that will appreciate in value. Moreover, all the improvements you make will enhance the quality of your life and enjoyment for the duration of ownership of what will be the most expensive purchase, until that is, you decide to trade up to a bigger home.


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Who should make a will? Despite this being an age of increasingly intricate financial affairs and family relationships , more than two thirds of people in the UK do not have a will. So why do so many people simply put this vital matter on hold or ignore it’s importance? Here are some of the reasons why you should leave a will. If you care about what happens to your property after you die, you should make a will. Without one, the State directs who inherits, so your friends, preferred charities and relatives may get nothing. A will is also vital if you have children or dependents who may not be able to care for themselves. Without a will there could be uncertainty about who will look after or provide for them if you die. It is also very important to seek advice in relation to inheritance tax and how it P. 1 1

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By Anna Patel Family Law specialist from Ansham White Solicitors affects what you own. You should also consider taking legal advice about making a will if: •

• • •

several people could make a claim on your estate when you die because they depend on you financially you want to include a trust in your will (perhaps to provide for young children or a disabled person, save tax, or simply protect your assets in some way after you die) anything over £325,000 ( present Nil Rate Band) is subject to Inheritance tax at the rate of 40% upon death. With careful estate planning you may be able to minimize the impact of IHT on your estate and pass this money to your loved ones instead of the tax man your permanent home is not in the UK or you are not a British citizen you live here but you have overseas property, or you own all or part of a business.

Once you have had a will drawn up, some changes to your circumstances - for example, marriage, separation or divorce - can make all or part of that will invalid or inadequate. This means that you must review your will regularly, to reflect any major life changes. A solicitor can tell you what changes may be necessary to update your will. Using a solicitor Although it is possible to write a will without a solicitor’s help, this is generally not advisable as there are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your will is valid. Without the help of expert advice, there’s a real risk you could make a mistake, which could cause problems for your family and friends after your death.


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Big but not bad

It is refreshing to see how two Gujarati immigrants from Africa have done so well from their humble beginnings. The Wolf of Wall Street gives us a Hollywood view of those who attract money and succeed, such characters are normally hedonistic and ruthless.

My meeting with Vijay and Bhiku of Waymade shows how you can become wealthy and keep your soul and values intact. They still have the first house they ever brought, live in extended families and attribute success to their dear mother and ‘the man upstairs’, who installed good values and the work ethic in them. Vijay and Bhiku could be mistaken as two unassuming Patels, who like many others, made some money in the pharmacy trade. Yet they are two Kenyan immigrants who own Waymade, which is in the top ten UK Pharma League. They employ over 600 staff in a 100,000 square foot facility in Basildon. One company of theirs was sold for £367 Million in 2012. Founded in 1975 by VIjay Patel and incorporated as a PLC in 1984, Waymade grew from its retail roots to the broad based pharmaceutical company it is today. My recent meeting with the brothers who own it led me to discover what else they do and I drilled straight into this, as this is more my area! I’ll let them explain their property business for themselves.

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Vijay Bricks and mortar have made this country. Our philosophy is if you don’t want the money today or tomorrow and the value is going up, Hallelujah! It’s true, we really are pharma people and that’s our business. Property is a hobby which is getting more serious through. It’s a good time for those in property generally. For Example, the last six months the banks are happy to lend again.

Bikhu The secret is to buy but dont rush into things, our philosophy has always been about safety. VIjay On the other hand we are entrepeneurs who build businesses, thinking outside the box. However, it is essential you do your homework, location is a choice. Don’t follow the successful property tycoons make your own judgement.

Bhiku We went into commerical property organically off the back of the pharma business. It was never intended to be a business in its own right, but just seemed the logical next step. We started to acquire the freeholds of premises already leased, this made our business run more smoothly as we eliminated any landlord/tenancy issues. My background as an Architect obviously gave me a good eye and helps us make the right decisions and capitalise on the freeholds. Plus Vijay and I have worked hard over the last 30 years and our combined expertise, experience and friendship have brought good results.

Bikhu I enocurage people by saying start small. Buy a house or flat for yourself. There are a lot of schemes to help you. The funding for lending scheme is an excellent way of getting into the property market for have nots.

Bikhu We’ve never lost money on a deal yet, but having said that, we did some development work back in 2007/8 and did a deal when we valued our assets afterwards they came down to 30% of the value we anticipated, but there was no pressure for us to sell. Our loss now is 15% of the book value loss.

Vijay And you need to then create a balanced portfolio, not just residential.

Vijay In ten years we haven’t sold a lot. Bikhubhai keeps adding rather than selling!

Bikhu But don’t overstretch yourselves, we remember how we started in Leicester, I was at a school of pharmacy and my mum joined me in 1972 I had to buy somewhere to live as it was hard to rent then. We still have this house.

Bikhu The move from the average retail pharmacist to distribution happened in 1984 and was started by Vijay. The wholesale business took over our attention because it was growing phenomenally well. We moved into the Basildon warehouse as it was near the M25. We had some surplus cash so decided to put it into commercial property. So from 1987/8 onwards we started buying residential units as well and then a pension portfolio. We sourced property initially through agents and people we knew and its grown hugely in the last year.

Success comes from luck, application and the guy upstairs. Always be grateful and don’t take all the credit! Normally, buildings and property portfolio whilst running your business helps in times of down turn as you can rely on the property to bail you out. The brothers didn’t do this but knew they had this cusion if they needed it. Property gives you the confidence to gamble and make decisions. The two are aiming to have £200,000 million worth of property by 2020, with residential as 5% of the portfolio. The grearing has been low at 30% but this allows them to sleep easy.

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Yes they still own their first house they see it as the first step they took in their business. I have seen this a number of times among our clients. When I point out that this property no longer serves you, why don’t you get rid of it, they so no, it was our first stop! Traditional Values!


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Flavia’s property predicament Did you know Flavia’s buying a house in Brixton?

My question caught Karoline off guard and she was speechless. I was a bit surprised at her shock and reminded her that Foxtons now have a branch in Brixton as it is a hot spot for the rapidly growing property market. Britain has become the biggest market for immigrants seeking employment in Europe and this influx of people has of course increased the demand for homes. Londoners have been quick to see there is an investment opportunity here and in other similar areas, such as Wembley, Willesden, Hackney, Shoreditch and Ealing. Flavia was the first to marry a dancing partner from Strictly Come Dancing and now just as likely to be a winner as regards smart house purchases.

So will she really live there?

Karoline makes me laugh out loud at times and I decided we must meet in Brixton Village for dinner next time, so that i can show her its brilliant food market. Brixton now has the richness and variety any celebrity might be looking for, with Champagne and Fromage now set up there and Waitrose due soon. I explained how the growth in the property market has led to a new catagory of home buyers, the investors. The last property recession in the late ‘80s is now history, confidence has surged and property is an investment tool again. Bankers have left a shadow of unease over the stock market, so property has returned as an easy to control asset. Flavia was not planning to relocate, though she might have considered it, but attracted by the “buy-to-let” market. I had myself talked to Flavia prior to her purchase and shared some advice with her, given the many stories of both success and failure in this Investment area. I used these same tips before purchasing my own “buy-to-let” property.

Are we onto a winner?

Today’s financial climate is a bit like our weather, variable and increasingly unreliable. Fewer people are paying into dated pension funds and so “My property is my pension” is a well aired phrase when pension provision comes up in a conversation with friends. The solid security of bricks and mortar has become very attractive in comparison to the intangibles of stocks and shares. Yet of course there are always doubts and Karoline and I continued to discuss these over dinner. What if the property bubble burst as it has before? What if interest rates shoot up? What if weather conditions impact on our investments, especially those alongside the Thames? What if all the benefits of the UK economy come to a sticky end? I mulled these thoughts as I enjoyed the wine, but it was a sober reassurance that won out. Like Flavia I had made a good investment, and this would stand the test of time and the ups and downs of financial markets. I had a source of income for my children. Their life events from schooling to marriage and the first home are a huge source of worry for parents but I was on top of this. London and in particular, Zone 3, is leading the way in the property for investment market and while house prices are strong and mortgages so low, there is no doubt this is a great financial option. P. 1 5

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By Mayur Vashee Architectural specialist from Arc3 Architects

Top Tips • • • • •

Try not to buy something that is too old as this will reduce future maintenance costs This is a business deal, so don’t imagine any such purchase as a home Buy the type of property most suited for the area you choose Research the upcoming hotspots. Don’t restrict yourself to your immediate area Make sure the area of choice has a healthy market for the tenants you will target


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HOUSE AND HOME MPI Investments Limited

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Financial Advice and Wealth Management Mortgages Whether you are considering a new home for yourself, for Investment purposes or simply remortgaging we have access to a wide range of lending options for you to consider. We can help you secure the best deal for your circumstances on residential, commercial or buy to let property. Pensions People are more concerned about their retirement provision than ever before. Remember, the right Pension provision can allow you to achieve your dreams and aspirations in retirement. We advise and arrange both personal and company pensions ensuring the best solution to safeguard your retirement income. Insurance & Protection Premature death or serious illness can affect your family, your home or your business. It is important to have adequate protection. At present many people are under insured or have no cover in place. At MPI we can advise and arrange life and critical illness cover, income protection, unemployment cover as well as home or commercial insurance giving you peace of mind in whatever the future brings. Savings & Investments You may be perfectly capable planning your investments but there is no guarantee that you will make the right choice. Also, choosing and watching your investments can be a surprisingly time-consuming business. Whether you want to grow your capital, increase your income or both, MPI have access to a wide range of investment solutions to match your individual requirements from savings accounts to complex investment planning. Inheritance Tax Planning Inheritance Tax is a tax payable by a person, usually a family member who inherits the Estate (money or property) of a person who has died. There are however, ways to r              

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Cartels; finding a builder in a bull market As the UK property market picks up, in turn the construction market shifts up a gear and general builders start to get busier with projects. What has happened during the recessionary period is that many small builders who were struggling to survive have simply disappeared. As a result there is a shorter supply of good small builders available to deal with the demand for building services as the property market improves.

If you, as a prospective customer are looking for a builder and have sent your requirements to several local builders, there is a slim chance that there may be an illegal cartel operating in your locality where the builders know each other Sometimes, the small builders that have survived the recession are inundated with quotations to provide prospective clients and they simply cannot price all the work themselves. They may decide to spread the good fortune (of having lots of work) they are getting through their door to other friends of theirs in the industry who also own and operate their own building firm and perhaps ordinarily would be classed as a competitor.

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By Mitesh Vekaria Construction specialist from Vascroft Contractors

If you, as a prospective customer are looking for a builder and have sent your requirements to several local builders, there is a slim chance that there may be an illegal cartel operating in your locality. The builders know each other (drink at the same pubs/bars) and have pre-agreed between themselves what each of them is going to price the works at and pre-agreed which one of them will win and do your works. This stifles competition and the loser is the client, who ends up paying more than they should do! This may come across as shocking news to some readers, but Cartels and the investigation of them has been top priority for Government anti competition bodies and in recent times there was a list of circa 160 contractors that were named as contractors that were breaching competition law. What should you do? The honest answer to this is that it is very difficult to detect cartel activity and simply put there is nothing you really can do to protect yourself fully. However, you can try and send your quote to a builder from well outside the locality and also seek the advice of your professionals (Quantity Surveyors and Architects) to guide you on these challenging areas.


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name George Harrison and a country retreat in the suburbs of London. Most will picture the Bhaktivedanta Manor in Hertfordshire, which was donated to ISKCON by the late George Harrison, the Beatles lead Guitarist in 1973. However, a new high tech house has just been erected by a speculative developer on the gardens of his former home in Surrey.


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At home with Kish By Kish Bhudia Building Design specialist from KDB

The site in Esher is a square plot bordered by a 3m high brick wall which is listed for its historical merits. The wall had a protective order imposed by the local conservation officer to ensure it was not damaged during the construction stage, and alterations to the wall itself were supervised by English Heritage to ensure the workmanship and materials used were acceptable.

This is 13 times larger than the average semi-detached family home. What more could the average millionaire desire?

So what’s so extraordinary about the house? The sheer scale and form being a crucifix, and the 1,300 square metres floor area, to start with. This is 13 times larger than the average semi-detached family home. It boasts 5 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, staff accommodation, garage for 4 large cars, Snooker/Games room, swimming pool with jacuzzi, sauna & steam room, gymnasium overlooking the pool area, basement wine cellar, cinema room and an amazing landscaped garden on all four sides. What more could the average millionaire desire? Well it certainly doesn’t stop there. What is physically visible is certainly astounding, but the technology behind the walls is also very impressive. The building envelope has been constructed using highly insulated walls, floor and roof, and heat retaining glazing, and there is under-floor heating throughout, with individual controls in each room. If the nights are really cold, there are real gas fires in the master bedroom, lounge and entrance hall. The vast roof has been designed to collect all of the rainwater and store in a large underground vessel, which is re-used for the irrigation of the landscaped gardens. The interior is extremely contemporary with all of the modern features one would expect to come as standard on such a house. On the way out of the private road, the developer has retained the original oak timber gates from the days when Harrison lived there, and the inscriptions from his fans are still visible. If there are any Harrison fans with £12m spare, and looking for something special this is it.

sales agents www.gpees.co.uk

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Up size with 30k In October 2013 the government announced the second phase of the Help to Buy scheme. This became available to both first time buyers and existing homeowners buying new build homes and older properties worth up to the value of £600,000. Borrowers require as little as 5% deposit whilst the government covers up to 15% and guarantees the lender. As you don’t have to be a first time buyer and with no limit on level of income, this phase of the scheme is a way forward for first time buyers and homeowners to move onto or up the property ladder.

In the past, moving onto the property ladder and upsizing has been difficult for most as lenders have been tough with their terms and conditions and expected huge deposits. This scheme makes it affordable for households to upsize and benefit by moving into a bigger property. Since the announcement of this scheme, our agency has seen a growth of first time buyers predominantly by those aged between 18 to 35. In addition there has been a significant rise in existing homeowners ready to upsize. Typically in the Harrow area, a 4 bedroom semi detached house will cost averagely £547,292 (Zoopla Zed-Index).

By Kamlesh Padhra Residential Property specialist from Infinity Property Solutions

As reports suggest house prices have steadily continued to rise from the start of 2013. According to Land Registry, the cost of purchasing a house in London on average is £435,034. The shortage of properties for sale may be a contributing factor for the steadily rising prices. In addition, the scheme is stimulating a new housing bubble as buyers flood to the property market. As prices increase, the gap between different sized properties will widen, as there is a huge difference in price for 1 to 2 bedroom and 3 to 4 bedroom houses. Taking this into consideration, those looking to upsize should move quickly in order to reduce the likelihood of paying more for the larger property. A potential home mover can now take advantage of the second phase of Help to Buy. To upsize, you would need to sell your existing property whilst looking for a bigger property. The home you want to buy cannot be a second home or rented out after purchase. A 5% deposit, which equals to £30,000 or less is required. This scheme is to run for approximately 3 years but it can stop at anytime. All lending is subject to credit score and lenders criteria. In the past, moving onto the property ladder and upsizing has been difficult for most as lenders have been tough with their terms and conditions and expected huge deposits. This scheme makes it affordable for households to upsize and benefit by moving into a bigger property. Those looking to upsize should give this scheme a thought. Since the Help to Buy scheme has been launched approximately 20,548 (Gov.uk) have been legal completions since April 2014. Which represents 87% of the total sales (Gov.uk) up to April 2014. The top five local authorises to do well out of this scheme have been Leeds, Wiltshire, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Central Bedfordshire’.

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ASIAN

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Don’t get carried away with the wave Jump in with two feet but don’t forget HMRC will be after a slice of your profits Individuals buying a home or their first investment property The property market is going from strength to strength. Savings accounts do not pay good interest, so to maintain the purchasing power of your money investing in properties for yourself or for your children could be the answer. The government has set up a scheme for first time buyers to help with the initial financing through an equity loan. Other options are using your own individual savings and asking family for help. Once a decision is made there are so many things to think about. Sometimes the tax implications and the tax planning of purchasing property can be overlooked. Will this be your first residential home? If so, only minimal Income tax or Capital Gains Tax planning is required. A Tax Guide on Rental Income If you plan to rent out, buy or sell houses regularly then read on! Renting and becoming a landlord requires adequate tax planning to reduce the tax on rental income.

Top Tips • •

Keep a separate bank account for your property letting so income and costs are easily identifiable Expenses allowed include:Letting agents’ fees, mortgage interest, repairs, garden upkeep, building and contents insurance, accountants fees, legal fees for lets of a year or less, council tax, service charges, utility bills not settled by tenants A 10% wear and tear allowance is also available. If the property is provided as a furnished let

All individuals will need to inform HMRC on receiving property income and in certain cases the tax due can be requested to be collected through the PAYE coding, without the need to submit a personal tax return.

By Kunverji Patel Finance specialist from KBMD Tax on Future Sale Once a property is rented it is considered an investment, and when sold there may be Capital gains tax (CGT) payable on the gain. CGT is charged on the disposal proceeds less the original cost of the property, certain legal costs and capital improvements made to the property in period of ownership. There are further reliefs available such as Principal Private Residence Relief & Letting Relief. These reliefs are available based on certain criteria being met if the property was once your only or main residence at any time during your ownership. The amount of relief can vary based on individual circumstances. The total gains calculated for the year are then reduced by any annual exemption available and are taxed at the rate of either 18 % or 28 % or a combination of the two rates based on whether you are a basic rate or higher rate tax payer. CGT is payable on 31 January after the end of the tax year in which the gain is made. Guide for the professional investor Investors looking to turn around properties quickly need to be aware that HMRC are now considering this to be a trade rather than an investment. This means a hefty 40% charge to income tax for a higher rate tax payer on the revenue made on sale rather than the more generous 28% if considered a capital gain. There are other options available for investors who want to continue to grow their portfolio or use the bubble to trade in properties. Any investors jointly purchasing properties will split the annual rental income and expenses based on their percentage of ownership. Joint ownership also gives the ability to obtain full capital gains tax exemptions for each individual in the year of sale. Happy days!

Disclaimer This article is written as a general guidance and does not bind the writer to any personal loss incurred by relying on it. It is imperative that professional tax advice is sought before taking a plunge into the property market, as mistakes made, can turn out to be costly.

HOUSE AND HOME

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ASIAN

HOUSE AND HOME

A room with a view

By Jayesh Patel Windows & Doors specialist from Everglade Windows

In Britain we love our homes and gardens! In a recent survey 81% of people felt a good view was so important that it influenced their mood and 87.5% of people thought a garden view would add £15,000 to the value of their property.

Guarantees - most glazing companies offer a 10 year guarantee, but some products have a longer guarantee. If you’re offered something that’s out of the norm, ask why. For example, if a company offers a 20 year guarantee, but has only been around for 10 years, can you be sure the guarantee is worthwhile?

So it’s no surprise that one of the most popular choices for modern homes is aluminium sliding or folding doors. If you watch Grand Designs you’ll almost always see sliding or folding doors featured. Large expanses of glass and the flexible space achieved is a modern must-have.

In an industry full of copycats, and some unfortunate cases of mis-selling, it’s vital you understand what to look for

But in an industry full of copycats, and some unfortunate cases of mis-selling, it’s vital you understand what to look for.

Top tips for buying sliding and bi-fold doors Try before you buy - the best doors will often cost you as much as a decent small car! I’d never buy a car without a test drive, and understanding all it’s features. The same should be done when you’re buying new sliding or bi-fold doors. Visit the showroom of the retailer you’re planning to use. The time will be well spent and could save you making a very costly mistake.

Design - maximum glass area equals maximum impact. There’s no point having sliding or bi-fold doors that have chunky, ugly-looking frames. The truth is, you will spend most of your time looking at or through your doors, not using them. So you need to make sure they look great even when not in use. The best doors have the slimmest ‘sightlines’ and can achieve the biggest panel sizes.

Choose aluminium - at Everglade we have manufactured and installed aluminium windows and doors for 35 years. We’d recommend nothing else if you want the very best in performance, endurance, value and design.

I’d advise anybody considering new doors to go for it! At Everglade we sell thousands of doors every year and I’ve never heard anybody regret their decision. If you want my recommendation, the best brand is Air - visit www.discoverair.co.uk to find out more.

Security - everybody will say their product is secure - what’s the proof? Modern doors can be independently tested by organisations like the British Standards Institute. The best doors will have been rigorously tested and have an independent certificate proving the performance. When buying new sliding or bi-fold doors, insist on PAS24 approved doors. Energy efficiency - the energy efficiency of doors is measured by the ‘U-Value’. The lower the u-value, the better the performance. Current building regulations require doors to have a u-value of at least 1.8 - if you buy doors with anything lower, it’s a good thing.

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ASIAN

HOUSE AND HOME

Planning updates Ups and Downs to the 8m Extension Bill

What is the 8m Extension Bill?

A single storey rear extension of 8m depth may be added to a detached dwelling house, or a 6m extension to a semidetached or terraced dwelling house. In 2012 Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, created a wave of interest among small developers, private home owners and of course builders with his scheme to make larger home extensions easier with the 8m Extension Rule. Although many were ready to celebrate this increased freedom from some tedious planning regulations, there was much murmuring from the NIMBY faction, with considerable opposition from a variety of groups. The Legislation had to go through a process of revision before it was passed in May 2013

Where do you live?

Although the new legislation applies throughout England and Wales, many authorities have opted out. Among these are several London Boroughs including The City of London, City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

8m Extension Rules rule ok!

Let’s compare this new legislation to football’s ‘offside rule’ in that it’s well known to most of us but little is actually known about it, as guess what, no one really studies the small print. But we have summarised it here for you as it’s essential reading.

By Kish Bhudia Building Design specialist from KDB

An extension,under this new rule, cannot be attached to an EXISTING side extension of the house. Although the new rules are headed ‘Permitted Development’ a home owner must notify their Local Authority, allowing them 42 days to issue a decision. Within this time frame the council must give notice to ALL of the owners of the land that directly adjoins the boundary of the said property and allow 21 days for their objections. Any objection from an immediate neighbour, without having to give any elaborate reasons, would translate into a rejection of the notice. If no objections are received the council would invite you to make a further formal application for a Certificate of Lawfulness, which should be made before the development commences. This would take a further 8 weeks. The building must be completed and signed off before May 2016.

Other Planning News - Rear Dormers

Whilst on the subject of planning updates, a High Court judgment in 2013 led to a legal redefinition of loft conversion rules, meaning that under permitted development rights, a rear dormer had to be set in 200mm from the rear face of the wall, and NOT the eaves as was previously accepted. HOWEVER, this guidance was revoked in April 2014. You are strongly advised to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness to avoid any possible Planning Enforcement at a later date.

Check list for 8m home extensions The dwelling being extended must be a dwelling house. Therefore it does not apply to flats,shops,offices or commercial premises. The house cannot be in a Conservation Area, Green Belt or have Listed status. The height of a flat roof must not exceed 3m or 4m at the highest point of a pitched roof, measured from lowest adjacent ground level.

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Ansham White_A4 Temp 08/08/2013 15:23 Page 1

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HOUSE AND HOME

Property Hot Spots Starting this new year London has had its housing development skates on. The apparent problem of a shortage in homes across the capital has to be solved. As a result a large number of housing schemes are either under construction or have planning consent.. In addition further development of transport links will create more cultural, employment and buying opportunities. Schemes are being launched to generate new neighbourhoods within up-and-coming inner-city areas and super-suburbs. Southall:

The key to the super-suburbs are the transport links. For example outer west London is a good place to buy/invest before the Crossrail line opens up providing a quicker connection to Central London. National Grid unveiled plans for one of London’s biggest new neighbourhoods; a former gas works in Southall. The site will be transformed into 3.750 homes including a primary school and a small business village.

Eltham:

In Eltham there are also plans to develop transport infrastructure. A new interchange at Kidbrooke station allows a 15min commute to London bridge. The interchange is part of a “new garden suburb” called Kidbrooke Village which will be a division of four designed neighbourhoods accommodating more than 10,000 residents within 4,000 homes. This will raise the standard of living and will increase the value of the housing market.

Inner-city opportunities:

Over the next few years prices are set to increase within the areas just outside Central London. the up-and-coming inner-city areas to watch include Vauxhall, Hammersmith, King’s Cross, White city, Farringdon, Southbank, Wapping, Earls Court, Elephant & Castle, Clapham and Balham. These areas are rising in popularity due to major housing developments, for example the redevelopment of the News International’s former print works in Wapping will be transformed into “London dock”, accommodating housing, cafes, restaurants and a secondary school. Elephant & Castle, still remaining the most affordable Zone 1 location, will be giving home buyers and letting agents the opportunity to invest in a newly developed 37-storey skyscraper named “one the elephant”. The benefit of these developments is the central location and shorter commute to work, the rise of the supersuburbs. The commuter territory around London’s green belt should not be forgotten. London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson has set up an outer London commission to support and redevelop suburbs with new transport and business opportunities as well as housing to cater for the mixture of people living within these areas. The constantly improving transport links throughout the boroughs of London attract not only just families but working individuals.

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ASIAN

HOUSE AND HOME

Enfield and Walthamstow:

Hot spots within the northern suburbs of London include Enfield and Walthamstow. Walthamstow is popular with middle class families due to its close location to green spaces, Lee Valley, Hollow Ponds and Epping Forest. The average property value lies around £324,528 to £414, 543 which is reasonable within this sub urban area with brilliant connections into London via the tube. Enfield, voted the third-best area for buy to let properties in London by HSBC, is a great area to invest. Notable is the redevelopment of tower blocks at Ponders End. This development accommodates 794 homes which will be 59% private sale properties and 41% affordable homes with additional commercial spaces available. One of the bigger redevelopments, though, is the Meridian Water development for 5,000 new homes. This complex will have a high street running through the centre and will include health facilities, a library, schools and shops. It will effectively become an individual mini city with its own social infrastructure, yet part of London. Transport links are 35min into London and rightmove’s average property value lies between £230,000 to £279,159.

Barking:

A brand new neighbourhood and property hot spot is being created in Barking, Greater London. This eastern location along the river thames forms part of an ambitious and important development. Strong environmental principles are being used to create larger homes and a number of commercial spaces including shopping, community and leisure. This complex will be directly connected to new transport links into London.

London’s Top Hot Spots 1. Clapham 2. Southall 3. Walthamstow 4. Barking 5. Kensington 6. Tooting Bec 7. Wembley 8. Wood Green 9. Ilford 10. Shoreditch Investment for the future:

London’s property hot spots are increasingly popular outside the “golden centre”. The central locations are desirable for a shorter commute but with the development of the super-suburbs demand for outer city locations are growing. In the end it depends on lifestyle and affordability but buying/investing in property within any of these hot spots may prove profitable in the future.

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HOUSE AND HOME


ASIAN

HOUSE AND HOME

A legal sector challenge The property market is booming again and the rate of transactions high than at the peak of the 2007 wave. Low interest rates, the governments ‘help to by’ scheme and surge in mortgage lending have helped create this exciting rise in sales. The increased demand for conveyancing is of course great news for law firms. However they need to be prepared, and adapt well to this increase in market pressure. If they don’t they’ll merely tread water while their competitors streak ahead. How to stay ahead: 1: Efficiency This is always important in any business but vital if work pours in. Clients like transactions to go through smoothly, and solicitors want to ensure their transaction pipeline is manageable. Thankfully the market has adapted and at every stage of the transaction there are ways to ensure maximum efficiency is available.

Top Tip for Buyers

The Land Registry has introduced an online registration service. This allows completed matters to be registered in a fraction of the time the postal route takes. Any prudent buyer can ask if the firm is using this system to ensure there is no ongoing delay after completion.

2: Quality This has to be the priority for law firms and will ensure your firm is a cut above the others. Make sure you apply for and get any accreditations available. Make sure you stand out from bulk conveyancers with high billing targets and unmanageable workloads, with the risks of lower service levels.

Top Tip for Law Firms

The Law Society has introduced a quality mark initiative through the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) the CQS award is given to firms that comply with best practice in conveyancing. Obtaining this award will assure prospective clients you have high service levels. 3: Stay Safe and Legal A booming property market inevitable has its downside. Fraud is on the increase, particualary with the increase in house prices and mortgage lending. Clients and firms must be vigilant regarding money going through their bank accounts. Lenders are well aware of the risk and have taken steps to ensure law firms have been removed from respective panels when not vigilant. Some lenders have now chosen to appoint their own solicitors rather than use the same one as the solicitor, to combat the likelihood of fraud.

By Vijay Chandras Legal specialist from Mark & Co

Top Tip for Buyers Make sure you research any law firm you might instruct. Ensure they are on the relevant panels to avoid delays and/or extra costs in transactions.

HOT NEWS - PROPERTY PORTAL The Law Society is introducing a property portal, which is an independent electronic solution for conveyancing. This will allow parties in a transaction to: •

• • •

It is essential as the number of transactions increase we continue to do this to make the most of a thriving market.” Generally speaking the booming property market has encouraged beneficial changes in the legal sector. Although some firms have not yet adapted, market pressure and new services providied by the regulatory bodies will ensure the legal sector continues to evolve. Those who have already adapted will ride the current wave with great success.

View up to date information online in a secure ‘deal room’ eliminating risks from fraudsters or hackers Save time and money on printing, postage, phone and fax Increase client demands for personal visits, for example at no extra cost Maximise safety and efficiency all through the process

The Personal Touch Navinder Singh has the following to say about the surge in property transactions and its implications for the legal sector. “Every effort is made by us at Mark and Co. to ensure clients’ transactions are looked after and that the client is attended to in the most personal way possible. HOUSE AND HOME

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Meet our specialist contributors Anna Patel is one of the founders of Ansham White Solicitors and has helped set up the practice with a following of clients. Having practiced and specialised in Family law for 12 years, she has dealt with high-net worth divorce and financial matters and complex children matters.

Jayesh joined Everglade after a successful career in banking and runs the entire sales and customer care operation. As Sales Director of the largest window & door manufacturer in London, an expert who regularly advises customers from homeowners to major construction companies.

Mr. Kamlesh Padhra Director of Infinity Property Solutions Ltd. Has over 10 years’ experience in the property market, expert in residential sales, lettings and tenant problems. Qualified with BSc (Hons) and awarded NFOPP Qualification. Expert property commentator for local and nation media.

Kish is a Chartered Architectural Technologist & Party Wall Surveyor with over 20 years experience in Local Authority & Private Building Control. Now runs an Architectural & Building Consultancy based in Harrow, specialising in the Home extension, Renovation and New build market.

Mayur Vasse is a Chartered Architect, Chartered Building Surveyor having surveying/ architectural experience of over 35 years. His practice holds the British and European Standard for Quality BS EN ISO 9001 and he sits on a Forum of Consultants to Planning and Building Regulation.

Mitesh Vekaria is a First Class Honours Graduate of the Cass Business School, London and a Chartered Surveyor with over 13 years real estate experience. He is the Managing Director of Vascroft Contractors Ltd, a family owned and operated Main Contractor.

Pankaj Parekh is an Independent Financial Advisor specialising in Mortgage Advice. He has 20 years of experience and have provided his clients advice on all areas of their financial needs, especially Mortgages. His aim is to continue providing the best advice for his clients.

Shiuli Davies, since being featured in the coveted 2002 Andrew Martin Interior Deign Review, Shiuli has designed interiors for Asian celebrities, Chinese businessmen, UK politicians, Russian entrepreneurs, international bankers and even African heads of state working her magic on everything.

‘KK’ has been in accountancy practice for 25 years, dealing with audit and taxation of his clients. He is also a popular speaker at numerous seminars, organised by banks and KBMD. He has trained many ACCA students to enable them to qualify and become astute accountants.

Vijay Chandras is the head of Business Development at Mark and Co. Vijay entered the Legal Industry over 10 years ago and has spent his time building up a large network of clients in the local area. Vijay’s philosophy is that of always going the extra mile.

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S I N C E 19 7 6

Since 1976, Streathers has grown into a respected and trusted firm offering a wide range of legal services to clients of every description. Whether you are buying, selling, investing in, or developing a property, our specialist teams in commercial and residential property, corporate and commercial services, and tax and private client are on-hand to help, providing an open, straight-talking and dependable service. To find out more about how we can help with your transaction, and for a full list of our services, visit streathers.co.uk

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Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AHH 14th June 2014  

Asian House and home - Riding the property wave

AHH 14th June 2014  

Asian House and home - Riding the property wave

Profile for abpl