London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) came into force.

As from today, vehicles will have to meet tight exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge to drive into central London. The most polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 for cars, motorcycles and vans, and £100 for lorries, buses and coaches. These charges will be over and above the daily £11.50 congestion charge.

Initially, the ULEZ will cover the same area as London’s congestion charging zone, however in October 2021, it will be expanded to cover London’s major circular arterial roads as shown above in yellow (Map provided by Tfl).

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Guidance on the letting fees ban published

As from the 1st June 2019, the tenant fees ban comes into force through which landlords and their agents will be banned from charging ‘agency fees’  to tenants for things like credit checks, inventories and references.

The guidance on the Tenant Fees Ban published by the government makes it clear that ‘The only payments you (landlord and their agents) can charge tenant in connection with a tenancy are:

  1. the rent;
  2. a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above;
  3. a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent;
  4. payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher;
  5. payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant;
  6. payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
  7. A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement”

Fees included in existing contracts can still be charged until 1st June 2020.

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Pound rallies then drops after DUP refuses to support PM’s deal

Chart : BBC NEWS

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Results of Brexit amendments

Votes in 


No deal Brexit
Leaving on the 12th April without a deal
Common market 2.0
Membership of EEA
Does not involve single market membership
Customs Union
Keep the UK in the Customs Union
Labour’s Brexit plan Customs Union but without freedom of movement of people
Revoke Article 50 In the event of a no deal
Confirmatory referendum Public vote on a final deal
Managed no deal Two year transition period with access to EU markets and payment into EU budget till 2020
  • Theresa May offers to step down earlier than planned if her MPs back her Brexit deal.
  • The above amendments are not binding on the government but will put pressure on MPs to back a ‘softer Brexit’ or the PM’s deal. MPs reject all Brexit options.
  • Pound hits 1.1784 (+0.57%) against the Euro and 1.3267 vs the dollar (+0.48%), then losses half its gains immediately after DUP announces that it still will not support the PM’s deal.
  • The government tabled a motion to allow it to bring the withdrawal agreement for a third vote (MV3) on Friday if necessary.
  • The Speaker of the House reaffirmed his position that a third vote on the PM’s deal would only be possible if there are ‘substantial changes’ to the deal.
  • Many Conservative MPs’ including Boris Johnson and the Chairman of the ERG, who didn’t support Theresa May’s deal are now indicating that they would support it.
  • More votes may take place to eliminate the least popular amendments and end up with one that has the most support.
  • A statutory instrument was approved by Parliament in order to delay Brexit scheduled for the 29th March and to adopt the new dates as agreed with the EU last week.
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A sterling roller coaster

A very good indication of the market’s reaction to Brexit is the movement in the pound.

If we consider the various votes held in Parliament in recent weeks together with other Brexit related news a clear pattern emerges. Whenever there is an indication that the UK is moving away from a ‘no deal’ exit there is a noticeable strengthening in the pound (chart above by

In early January 2019, when an ‘no deal’ Brexit seemed to be more possible than it is today, the pound fell to its lowest point in recent months trading at just over 1.10 against the euro. As the appetite for a ‘no deal’ Brexit seemed to wane, the pound regained strength and by the end of January it reached 1.1563 against the euro.

Earlier this week, as it became evident that the UK would crash out of the EU without a deal unless the EU granted an extension to Article 50, the pound fell below 1.15 against the euro (from recent highs of 1.1774). After an agreement was reached with the EU late last night, the pound bounced back  to 1.1692 (+1.39%) against the euro (chart below by the BBC).

Investors have picked up on these patterns and are buying the pound on weakness. Over the past year the pound also weakened against the dollar and as a result we are seeing renewed interest from US investors in the London property market.

In the event of a soft or orderly Brexit, the market expects the pound the strengthen further against the euro and dollar, whilst a no-deal exit will in all probability see the pound weaken substantially against major currencies.

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