AMC FIXED RATES

The cost of fixed rate borrowing has fallen back recently offering an opportunity for some AMC borrowers to switch from variable rates.  The Bank of England base rate for variable loans remains at 0.5%; on Tuesday 6th October the cost of 10 year repayment money stood at 1.43%. In addition AMC will continue to charge their agreed margin to each customer. If you would like to discuss further please contact Mark Webb. 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO MARK WEBB – 30 YEARS SERVICE!

Congratulations to Mark Webb, who on 30th September 2015 celebrated his 30 year work anniversary, having started working for Loveday and Loveday from 1985, before he took over alongside George Paton to become WebbPaton in 1999.  Here’s to the next 30!

 

FRACKING AND RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE SOUTH WEST

The Department of Energy and Climate Change are tendering out to investors four  Ordnance Survey Grid Squares around Wiltshire for fracking opportunities in the next bidding round.  The four areas are around Devizes, Melksham, Trowbridge and Radstock.   WebbPaton are ready to help their clients on fracking and oil / gas exploration matters. 

With the Government moving renewable subsidies away from wind and solar we are seeing renewable developers approaching clients on 2nd generation  renewable technologies these focus on STOR, Gas to Grid AD Plants, Battery Storage, and large bio digesters.    These technologies are less land hungry than solar farms but the returns are still very attractive.  The solar farms now look as if they will all have to be built in a subsidy free world from 1st April 2016, this means only solar farms which are able to export their electricity to a neighbouring factory with a massive electricity consumption will be built.  This so called private wiring means that the wholesale electricity price which is typically 4.2 to 5.2 pence per kilowatt hour can  be sold at retail prices of 7 to 10 pence per kilowatt hour.  Contact George Paton for advice on renewable energy opportunities.

 

LET PROPERTIES – NEW LEGISLATION

There have been several changes and additions to residential lettings legislation this Autumn:

  1. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations   – Landlords are required to ensure that a smoke alarm is installed and in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy on each storey of the dwelling.  Landlords are also required to provide a working carbon monoxide alarm in any room which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance (i.e. open fires/wood burning stoves).
  2. ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’  – this Government guidance must be provided to new Tenants by the Landlord, otherwise a s.21 notice may not be served if the Landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy.
  3. Energy Performance Certificates – properties with an energy efficiency in Bands F and G will no longer be permitted to be let from April 2018, so Landlords may wish to start works to improve the energy efficiency of dwellings which will be re-let in the future.

Please speak to Libby Barron or Gemma Drewett for advice in relation to the new lettings legislation.

CROSS COMPLIANCE BREACH – LATE TB TESTING

From 1st January 2015 Defra extended their cross compliance approach to include most types of TB tests, including enhanced cross compliance controls for overdue TB surveillance and check tests.  Penalties are applied to Basic Payment and any Rural Development Scheme payments (e.g. ELS) for late tests and are based on a percentage of the payments (usually 1-5%, depending on the severity).  WebbPaton have heard reports of tests being carried out within the deadline, but results being sent after the due date to the Animal and Plant Health Agency, resulting in cross compliance penalties.  Please ensure that your TB tests are carried out and sent in advance of the due date.  For any cross compliance breaches, please contact WebbPaton and we will advise and guide you through the appeals process.

 

BPS – EURO EXCHANGE RATE

The 2015 BPS Euro exchange rate has been taken from the average of the European Central Bank exchange rates set throughout September 2015 and has been set at €1 = £0.73129.  (This is lower than last year’s more favourable exchange rate of €1 = £0.77730.)



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