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Frozen Italian Meatballs

Sunday December 1, 2019

The Heaton Property Team preparing for Christmas
The Heaton Property Team preparing for Christmas

It is that time of year again, when thoughts of peace, goodwill and optimism help temper the revolting weather and endless repetitions of ‘So here it is, Merry Christmas’ by Slade in every shop and supermarket.

For those of you with daughters, there is good news. Just when you completed therapy for ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen on repeat on the car audio, Frozen 2 was released last month. You may look forward to your little darlings belting out the theme tune till February.

For me, this is a season of mixed blessings. The blessings?  I love Christmas and time spent with family is always a joy. On the downside, an Anglo-Italian-Bulgarian Christmas dinner means two days in recovery. I have purchased a defibrillator to be on the safe side.

So, once the turkey, ham, Italian meatballs, turshia and brussel sprouts with Aunt Liliana’s panettone have been put behind us, it is time to reflect upon the year past and make plans for the year to come.

The year past has been a tad fraught for many. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 has caught several national lettings agents by surprise resulting in liquidations and shockwaves through the sector. The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA), when it comes into force in 2020 will require lettings agencies to comply with regulations like those imposed upon independent financial advisors. This will drive smaller, non-compliant agencies from business.

The year to come presents new challenges but equally, new opportunities. Many smaller landlords with two or three properties are beginning to realise that they can no longer wing it, regarding their properties as an income stream. They need to put their investments onto a business footing or sell up and find a new income stream.

This may seem harsh for a landlord who regards their portfolio as a pension pot. But with an increase to over 150 pieces of legislation that must be complied with, that is the harsh reality. The landlord needs to treat their investment as a business or, like non-compliant lettings agents, get out of the business.

In the lettings sector, 2020 may be the Year of the Still Standing (YSS). Landlords with a small number of properties will be unable to deal with new legislation and will sell up. Lettings and property management agencies unprepared for this legislation will go out of business.

For those of us who are fully YSS compliant, 2020 presents an opportunity. We will be Still Standing because we are fully compliant, protecting the interests of our landlords and tenants. Ensuring staffs have our support to achieve the professional qualifications required by law and, basically, doing what we have done since we first setup in business.

As we move into the festive season and a glorious new year, is my glass half full or half empty? I am of Italian descent so take a wild guess. I leave the final word to American actress Goldie Hawn who said “I don’t eat a lot. I think we overeat”. Goldie clearly never spent time with my Anglo-Italian-Bulgarian family. That is her loss! Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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