The State Of Property

October 30th, 2014

This month has seen many stories revolving around the actual state of rented properties, be it tenants causing damage, landlords not being realistic on fair wear and tear, or even properties causing tenants to be ill.

The National Landlords’ Association released findings from research this month showing that over a quarter of landlords have had their property damaged by tenants in the last 12 months, and that on average one in 12 – approximately 120,000 – landlords in the UK have had to make an insurance claim of some kind in the last 12 months. Carolyn Uphill, the NLA chair, urged all landlords to ensure they have the correct insurance policy in place to protect their investment as a simple home insurance policy will not provide sufficient cover for all eventualities.

Although there are genuine cases of damage by tenants, the latest findings from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) show that some landlords and letting agencies are still pushing for ‘Betterment’ at the end of tenancies, rather than allowing for fair wear and tear.  Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC comments that the key underlying problem is that landlords, agents and tenants have different expectations when it comes to fair wear and tear issues, and best way to deal with this is to have a comprehensive inventory at the beginning of each tenancy with check in and check out reports.

As important as it is to have comprehensive inventories to assist with determining fair wear and tear, equally and if not more so, it is important that properties are in a habitable state to begin with.   Research from a YouGov survey has revealed that 10 per cent of 4,544 private renters in England have suffered ill health in the past 12 months because their private rented housing was of a poor state.  The two most common complaints where of mould and damp which can irritate health issues such as asthma and eczema.  Other issues of concern to tenants were electrical hazards and animal infestations.

Shelter has highlighted this research, as evidence towards its claims that revenge evictions are being carried out by landlords.  The Residential Landlords Association however has pointed out that the number of private sector tenants evicted has fallen over the past year, and the vast majority of evictions happen for legitimate reasons.  ARLA has detailed in evidence to MPs on revenge evictions that ‘it is probable that retaliatory eviction is likely to cost landlords more money than merely remedying any problem.’

 


Allegations of ‘revenge eviction’ refuted by ARLA

October 30th, 2014

The Association of Residential Landlords has detailed the evidence that it provided to MPs who are probing so-called ‘revenge evictions’. In summary, the evidence states that revenge eviction is rare and occurs in only 0.18% of tenancies. Furthermore, section 21 already provides safeguards to tenants, and landlords engaging in a revenge eviction are likely to incur higher costs through void periods and marketing than simply dealing with the reported maintenance issue.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today: http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/1125-arla-evidence-refutes-revenge-eviction-allegations

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Rental demand most important factor for determining level of buy to let mortgage business

October 29th, 2014

According to the latest quarterly survey, intermediaries’ are positive about their future levels of mortgage business over the next year, with many advisers expecting to see a 3% average increase over the next 12 months.  This increase has been attributed to the demand from tenants remaining high for the foreseeable future.

Read the full story on Property Wire

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


ONS figures reveal almost no growth in Wales PRS

October 28th, 2014

From September 2013 to September this year, private rental prices grew just 0.2% across Wales  according to the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices from the Office of National Statistics.  The figures however contrast with other surveys which have suggested that the rental market has seen an upsurge in recent months.

Read the full story on WalesOnline

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Fast track evictions for nuisance tenants

October 27th, 2014

From today, new powers introduced in the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 will give landlords the means to evict problem tenants more swiftly. The fast-track process will take into consideration previous convictions for serious anti-social behaviour. Landlords will no longer have to prove that it is reasonable to grant a possession order, which normally takes around seven months.

Full story available from The Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2808318/Neighbours-hell-kicked-houses-just-TWO-WEEKS.html

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Parliamentary inquiry into retaliatory evictions

October 24th, 2014

Retaliatory evictions are to be investigated by the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector. Such evictions occur when a landlord serves notice on a tenant to the leave their home as a response to a request from the tenant to carry out repairs. A recent parliamentary bill from Sarah Teather MP attempted to introduce protection for tenants seeking protection from such evictions, but now the MPs’ group has launched an inquiry to understand the impact that the legislation would have on the private rented sector.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today: http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/1101-mps-launch-probe-into-retaliatory-evictions

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.

 


North South divide on rents deepens

October 23rd, 2014

Overall rents in the UK may have increased by £66 per month in a yearly comparison to reach £1,034 per month.  However, where as the South East of England, East Anglia and Scotland have seen advertised residential rents reach record highs in the third quarter of 2014, the northern regions of England, have seen rents fall gradually across the board.

Read the full story on PropertyWire

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Some landlords unrealistic at end of tenancies

October 22nd, 2014

The latest findings from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) show that some landlords and letting agencies are still pushing for ‘Betterment’ at the end of tenancies. Simply put, the betterment principle means that if an item was old at check-in, and some additional damage occurs during the tenancy period, then the landlord should not expect the tenant to replace the item with a new one.

Full story available from Property Reporter: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/view.asp?ID=14528

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


September see’s ease in rent prices

October 21st, 2014

The latest figures from the HomeLet Rental Index show that twice as many regions in the UK saw rental price falls than those recording an increase in rental prices in September,  taking the average monthly price to £728.

While the annual data still points to a rental market averaging largely positive growth, Martin Totty, chief executive officer of the Barbon Insurance Group of which HomeLet is a part believes that’with this month’s data being the second consecutive month of slower rental price growth, and house prices indices indicating a slowing of house price growth, this could suggest movement to a period of more settled rental prices.

Read the full story on Property Wire

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Advertising Tenancy Fees

October 17th, 2014

As you may be aware, recent new guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA, previously the Office of Fair Trading) and agreed with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), states that all rental property adverts on portals need to reference tenancy fees, and that information on the actual fees a letting agent charges also needs to be provided.

Rightmove have updated their portal feed to allow this information to be sent through and displayed in a light-box which will appear when a user clicks the “fees apply” link.  This light-box currently contains generic fee information text as agreed with the ASA.  In line with this, RentPro has been updated to allow this information to be added so that it can be fed through to Rightmove, and other portals as they make this change.

The ASA will require that agents update their stock on Rightmove by the end of November. We have therefore introduced this field well in advance of this point so that agents have sufficient time to provide the required information on existing and new stock.  It will be the agent’s responsibility to comply with the guidance and provide specific tenancy fee information.

We realise that the same set of fees may apply to all properties that you market. As such, you can define a standard statement via Admin > Control Panel > Portals tab. This statement will be included in all new properties added to RentPro. Note that all existing properties that you intend to advertise via a property portal, or your agency website will have to be manually updated.