Useful Links

Please see a collection of links below for anyone looking for more information on Residential Property, whether buying, selling, researching an area or just general interest.

If you would like to include a link to your company, please send us the website link with a description of the services you offer.  We only list either government bodies or companies with a proven track record, so don't be offended if we ask for references!

If any of the links cease to work, please also let us know.

Energy Performance

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) - Since October 2008 all properties - homes, commercial and public buildings - when bought, sold, built or rented need an EPC.  When selling residential property, this must be made available within 28 days of putting the property on the market, but there are limited exemptions.

The EPC Register allows anyone to find an Energy Performance Certificate for any building which has been surveyed.  Click here and search by Property Address.  You can also use it to find a Domestic Energy Assessor who is accredited.

For Energy Performance Certificates of Non Domestic Property - i.e. commercial property - you can obtain Energy Performance Certificates by property address by Clicking Here.

General Research

Bank Of England - The Website for the Central Bank of the United Kingdon.  Sign up here for email alerts on Interest Rate Decisions.

Companies House - find information on every UK Registered Company, including share ownership, directors, returns and registered business addresses.

They Work For You - find out who your local MP is, and what they're up to, by signing up here for email alerts.  This site will also tell you what their attendance in Parliament is like, has transcripts of any speeches or debates they've made to the House, and any Parliamentary questions they've tabled.

The Office for National Statistics produces "...independent information to improve our understanding of the UK's economy and society."

Worried about Data Protection?  A lot of companies we deal with now store and use our personal data.  "The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals."  Click here to search their database, and see if the company you're giving personal data to is registered to use it legally.

 

Landlords

All residential property rented in the UK needs a Gas Safety Certificate, renewed annually.  On 1 April 2009, the Gas Safe Register took over the statutory gas registration scheme in Great Britain from CORGI.

Tenancy Deposit Protection - Since 6 April 2007, all deposits (for rent up to £100,000 per annum) taken by landlords and agents for assured shorthold tenancies (AST) in England and Wales have had to be protected by an authorised tenancy deposit scheme. ASTs are the usual tenancies made between a private landlord and his tenants.

ARLA - The Association of Residential Letting Agents - has 3,500 member offices throughout the UK including large multi-branch national companies as well as the smaller single office practices. Membership is achieved only by agents who demonstrate that they have a thorough knowledge of their profession and that they conduct their business according to current best management practice.

Do you need to make a Claim for Possession?  New from HMCS, Possession Claim Online (PCOL) is Her Majesty's Courts Service's Internet based service for claimants and defendants. "PCOL is a simple, convenient and secure way of making or responding to certain types of possession claim on the Internet."

Property Owners and Buyers

 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for England and Wales - The Land Registry registers all property sold in the UK.  You can find out who owns what - and often what they paid for it - for £4.  Also includes the Land Registry House Price Index - which includes every residential sale in England and Wales.

Communities - Communities and Local Government sets policy on local government, housing, urban regeneration, planning and fire and rescue.

Planning Portal - the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.  Use this site if you're planning building work, or use it to find out more about a Planning Application in your area.

 British Geological Survey website - Section on sink holes. "Areas prone to sinkhole formation occur throughout the UK, although most are relatively small or are in upland rural locations."

The Environment Agency are the "...leading public body for protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales."  They also are responsible for warning people about Flooding, and build flood defenses.

The Essential Information Group "...was formed in 1990 to provide the property industry with detailed information as to the results of all London property auctions. It now covers the whole of the UK and is recognised as the industry standard for auction information and currently includes details on over 400,000 properties and over 35,000 lots each year worth in excess of £5.6 billion." Subscribe to this site and receive email alerts when any property in your area is put up for auction.

Sitefinder is a voluntary scheme under which mobile network operators make information available on the location and operating characteristics of individual base stations, so that people who wish to inform themselves about this can do so.  Just type in your postcode and see the location of any mobile phone cells or base stations near you.

RICS - The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - Use this site to find a Surveyor in your area.  "Our members offer the very best advice on a surprisingly diverse range of land, property, construction and related environmental issues. As part of our role, we help to set, maintain and regulate standards. We also provide impartial advice to governments and policy-makers."

Do you need to check a Mortgage Company, Financial Adviser or Lender?  "The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an independent non-governmental body, given statutory powers by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.  The Treasury appoints the FSA Board...".  Use the register to see if they are registered, where they are based and how to contact them.

Under the Clean Air Act, Defra is responsible for establishing and policing areas in the UK where certain fuels can and cannot be burnt.  Houses in London for example are only allowed to burn smokeless fuel in stoves.  You can find out more and check whether you are in a Smoke Control Area here.

Stamp Duty Land Tax ("Stamp Duty") becomes payable when purchasing property in the UK.  Following the 2014 Autumn Statement a new marginal rate has been introduced, and there are some reliefs for first time buyers, zero-carbon homes and disadvantaged areas.  For up to date information on what you may have to pay, click here.  There is also a useful calculator provided by HMRC for residential and non-residential property.

The Police have a crime map of the UK - just type in your postcode to see how many crimes were logged - and what type - over the last six months.

If you're doing work - or having work done - on a wall that is shared with another building owner, you'll need a Party Wall Award.  More details on the Communities website, and you should also seek the advice of a Surveyor.

Residential Property Prices

The Halifax House Price Index is based on the lending of the UK's largest mortgage lender and "...provides the longest unbroken monthly data series of any UK housing index."  Although now part of the Lloyds Banking Group, it is still referred to as the Halifax House Price Index.

The Land Registry's House Price Index is "...the most accurate independent house price index available. Using our data set of completed sales, it is the only index based on repeat sales. It includes figures at national, regional, county and London borough level."

The Nationwide has a range of residential property price data available for download in Excel format, and a price calculator to estimate the value of your property.

There are many other companies and organisations that offer an index of Residential Property Prices across the UK - 24 at the last count - but keeping up to date with them - and their URL web links - is a challenge so we have included some of the main ones here.  However you may also wish to look at Home.co.uk, Hometrack, Rightmove and Chesterton Humberts.

The indexes are compiled depending really on how the company aggregate their data, and often have a lean towards what they're trying to achieve.  Mortgage companies base data on mortgage approvals (but not actual sales or cash purchases which constitute at least 25% of the market).  Portals base their results on asking prices - but again not actual sales or selling prices.

In our experience the best data comes from the Land Registry - based on every single residential transaction in England and Wales.  A separate Registers of Scotland index is also available.

We also like to see what the Office of National Statistics report, and the RICS publish data on many aspects of residential property, including prices.

Utilities, Business Rates and Council Tax

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is an executive agency of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) with offices spread throughout England, Wales and Scotland.  On this website you can find out your

Council Tax - To work out your council tax click here

and Business Rates - To view your property valuation click here 

To find your Gas Supplier you can call the National Grid on 0870 608 1524.

Click here to find out who is your Water supplier.

Leaseholders

The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) is "...the only body in England & Wales to focus exclusively on matters relating to the management of residential leasehold blocks of flats."

LEASE - The Leasehold Advisory Service is "...an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB) funded by Government to provide free legal advice to leaseholders, landlords, professional advisers, managers and others on the law affecting residential leasehold and commonhold."  Use this site for information on how to buy a lease extension, or your freehold.

The Residential Property Tribunal Service is "...the public body that can decide many Rent and Leasehold disputes. We provide a fair, unbiased service used by thousands of Landlords, Tenants and Leaseholders every year."