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Caxtons is pleased to announce it has recently agreed a three year sponsorship with The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury

Caxtons already supports The Marlowe through its corporate membership and has now partnered with the award winning theatre by sponsoring its Discovery Scheme, which provides reduced price tickets for 16-26 year olds.

David Gurton, Marketing and Business Development director at Caxtons said "We are delighted to join forces with The Marlowe Theatre in this very worthwhile scheme. Our Canterbury office has a specialist student lettings division, dedicated to providing accommodation for those attending the University of Kent, Canterbury Christchurch University and UCA so this collaboration is a perfect fit with our core market."

Mark Everett, Theatre Director at The Marlowe added "We are delighted to welcome Caxtons as the sponsor of our Discovery Tickets scheme. Discovery Tickets help young people between the ages of 16 and 26 see a wide range of performances for just £10. Together with Caxtons, we can help more young people develop a love of theatre and live performance."

The Marlowe Discovery Scheme provides heavily discounted tickets for top-ticket shows. The scheme emulates an initiative that was successfully introduced by the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company some years ago.

Whether a novice or already a devotee, the scheme is designed to attract and enthral a younger audience and to inspire a fresh generation to become regular followers of the wonderful world of theatre.

Discovery Tickets can be purchased for seats in price band A, and with shows spanning theatre, comedy and music, there is always something to please every taste.

Caxtons is keen to support the scheme whenever and wherever it can and has recently commissioned a single decker bus back to promote the benefits of Discovery Tickets. The bus (21a) runs from Hales Place in Canterbury to The University of Kent, a route that is well used by students living in and around the city.

Three of the student lettings team from Caxtons recently joined Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe, to cement the relationship and launch the scheme.

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(l to r) Kevin Tubb, Brittany Holland, Daniel Eley all from Caxtons' Student Lettings division with Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe

The Government and Bank of England seem to have used every weapon in their armoury to quell the appetite of buy-to-let landlords snapping up residential properties. They are determined to stop what they see as a root cause of inflated house prices and lack of available residential property for first time buyers.

Both the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) have voiced their dismay at what they regard as a series of measures that will further damage the residential rentals market.

There are fears that the additional stamp duty land tax (SDLT) premium of 3% on top of normal stamp duty rates for second homes will deter private buy-to-let landlords from investing. In addition, there are concerns that the phasing out of mortgage interest relief, which begins in 2017, will push rents to unaffordable levels.

One proposal, put forward by the Bank of England, is to tighten up the rules for new landlords hoping to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage. This would require residential rental income to cover mortgage outgoings, thus applying the brakes on the number of buy-to-let mortgages approved.

In an effort to beat the system there was a rush to purchase property in advance of the new stamp duty land tax being implemented.

Alan Stewart, director; Head of Residential Lettings; Management at Kent chartered surveyors Caxtons said: "The Government and the Bank of England are introducing new initiatives in an effort to slow the buy-to-let market and realign the residential property market. But it seems there is little anyone can do to quell the enthusiasm of buyers in this sector.

"Following an earlier change to restrictions on the use of pension funds, many new landlords are liberating funds to purchase what they consider to be a reliable long-term investment and interim income stream for their retirement."

Alan continued: "Saving for a reasonable deposit makes it difficult for first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder. The Government's attempts to cool the market suggests they believe buy-to-let landlords and first time buyers are chasing the same properties – and that generally, landlords win. Ergo there is a supply and demand issue that is proving difficult to resolve.

"Then there is a lack of affordable housing stock right across the country but more specifically in overcrowded conurbations, particularly in London and the South East. Would-be first-time buyers thus have little alternative than to rent. This, in turn, feeds the demand for rental property, which results in higher rents."

The Bank of England is concerned that if there were another financial downturn, second homeowners would offload properties en masse in order to realise their assets, thereby causing a housing crash similar to that experienced in the last recession.

The expectation is that the combination of a stamp duty increase, withdrawal of mortgage interest relief and a tightening up of mortgage approvals will all contribute to a slow down in the buy-to-let market, resulting in more affordable first-time property prices.

But while there is such disparity between house prices and income there is little or no hope of a change in the need for landlords and more rental properties. Only a balance in supply and demand will level the playing field.

For further information on residential lettings and management contact Alan Stewart on 01634 576000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or for investing in property contact Neil Chatterton or Charlotte Bland on 01474 537733 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Alan Stewart

Flood Re, the insurance fund developed to provide cost effective home insurance for residential properties in high flood risk areas, came in to effect at the beginning of the month.

It is anticipated that the scheme, funded through a levy (approximately £10.50 per policy) on all home insurance policy holders, will provide cheaper insurance and lower excess limits, and a solution for properties vulnerable to flooding.

Up to 500,000 households will benefit from the introduction of the scheme, which applies to private home owners but excludes certain properties such as blocks of flats and buy-to-let.

Insurers had to carry the burden of flood-related damage claims in the extreme floods of 2007 and 2015, which pushed up the cost of premiums. It is anticipated that this fund will underwrite some of the most at-risk properties that home-owners have found difficult to afford to insure, if not impossible.

Owners of high flood-risk properties will still obtain their property insurance through their usual insurer or broker and it is expected that they will now have access to a greater choice of companies and therefore more competitive prices.

There will be a fixed price for flood cover, based on the Council Tax Band that the property attracts. However, only properties built before 1st January 2009 are eligible to participate in the scheme.

Disquiet amongst commercial and buy-to-let owners rumbles on, as their properties are exempt from the scheme. This unrest is likely to continue until a solution is found that does not exclude SMEs and landlords from prohibitively expensive property insurance policies.

Flood Re was devised in consultation with the government and will be accountable to government henceforth, but is owned and operated by the insurance industry.

While some insurers are absent from the scheme - possibly due to systems glitches or finalising outstanding issues - many companies are now 'signed-up' and affordable choice is plentiful for those who are at risk of flooding.

For further information on property insurance contact Morag Keohane on 01474 537733 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Morag Keohane