Immigration Checks and a Code of Practice for the Private Rented Sector

September 29th, 2014

The beginning of this month seen the announcement of a pilot area for landlords being responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants.  The pilot area chosen was the West Midlands, with Wolverhampton and Birmingham being the core centres of the test area and they will begin the project on the 1st December.  However,  a recent article in LandlordZone highlighted that not all landlords in this area where aware of this upcoming pilot.  A survey carried out in the area found that only 20 of 43 participants from the Wolverhampton area had heard of the scheme and ‘raises questions about the government’s ability to ensure awareness amongst landlords in the area.’

The Government published its Code of Practice for the private rented sector, which was seen as a step in the right direction by ARLA’s managing director David Cox.  Key points relate to agents’ fees, the management of client money and safety checks, all of which have been issues that have in the news this month.  At the start of the month there was further calls to ban letting agent fees from a joint report from the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Resolution Foundation.  SAFEagent called on the government to make Client Monday Protection a legal requirement within the Consumer Rights Bill currently going through the Lords, and this month also seen Gas Safety Week where calls where made to make it a legal requirement that landlords should have carbon monoxide detectors in every rental property.

Looking forward to next month, with October 1st as the deadline for agents to be signed up to one of the three ombudsman schemes or face a fine of up to £5000 for non-compliance, it seems that agents are acting to comply.


Only one third of tenants think that they will ever be able to buy a home

September 29th, 2014

New research from online letting agents Property Let By Us shows that only slightly more than one third of tenants in private rental accommodation in the UK believe they will ever be able to buy a home of their own. The number of people in private rented accommodation has risen to nearly 3.9 million from 2.2 million in 2002/2003. This increase in demand for rental accommodation is good news for landlords but it will inevitably bring greater Government scrutiny.

Full story available from PropertyWire: http://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-tenant-buying-survey-201409299634.html

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


New advise issued for using electronic signatures

September 26th, 2014

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills issued guidance on using electronic signatures over the summer, which will be useful for both estate and letting agents.

Electronic signatures are not only time saving but have cost savings also.

Read the full story on PropertyEye

RentPro is partnered with MailSoft Solutions so you can easily send your tenancy agreements for an electronic signature direct from RentPro.  Find out more in our user manual on this service and the benefits for your company.

http://helpdesk.rentpro.co.uk/entries/25065043-Registered-Emails-Electronic-Signatures

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


With redress scheme deadline looming agents act to comply

September 25th, 2014

The deadline for letting agents to sign up to an approved redress scheme is October 1. With fines of up to £5,000 for non-compliance, signs are that letting agents are signing up to one of three available schemes: the Property Redress Scheme, Ombudsman Services and The Property Ombudsman.

Full story available from Property Industry Eye: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/letting-agents-act-comply-clock-ticks-towards-deadline-week-away/

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


One last chance for landlords announces HMRC

September 24th, 2014

With up to 1.5 million landlords underpaying up to £500 million in tax every year, the HMRC has announced one last chance for landlords who fail to declare all their rental income. HMRC plans to use information it holds about property rental in the UK and abroad to identify people who have not paid what they owe.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today: http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/976-hmrc-offers-landlords-one-last-chance

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


Rents reach record high

September 22nd, 2014

The average rent in England and Wales has reached a record £761 per month. This is £3 higher that the previous record set in October 2013. Seven out of ten regions in England and Wales have higher average rents than a year ago. The highest increase occurred in the South West where rents are up 3.5% on an annual basis.

Full story available in Mortgage Introducer: http://www.mortgageintroducer.com/mortgages/250674/238/Buy-to-let/Rents_rocket_to_reach_record_high.htm

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


Requirement for all Welsh letting agents and landlords to be licensed

September 19th, 2014

After the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 becomes law all letting agents and private landlords in Wales will have to be licensed. The Welsh Agents and Landlords Licensing Scheme (WALLS) will require “fit and proper” checks to be performed on all agents and landlord. Those landlords that fail the check or chose not be registered must use an agent. Agents will be required to belong to and approved body, such as ARLA or NALS, and also register, pass a suitability test and become licensed.

Full story available from Property Industry Eye: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/every-single-letting-agent-wales-will-now-licensed/

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


Is the ‘revenge evictions’ bill needed?

September 18th, 2014

There are growing concerns that a government-backed Private Members’ Bill which attempts to outlaw so-called ‘revenge evictions’ is not required. The aim of such a law is to prevent landlords evicting tenants who have made a complaint about essential repairs or poor housing conditions. However, NLA chief executive Richard Lambert insists that there is lack of evidence to support the need for any law change and the courts will be unable to deal with the extra burden of cases that such a law may bring. Another landlords association, the RLA, insists that such a law will simply hand nightmare tenants another weapon to prevent their removal.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today: http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=959:industry-concern-over-mps-revenge-evictions-bill&Itemid=857

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


Rental demand is growing at the fastest rate in two years

September 17th, 2014

Research by Countrywide found that demand for rental accommodation across Britain has grown on the back of a housing market which is beginning to show signs of cooling.  This increased demand is being reflected in rental values with 15% of properties let for more than advertised in August.

Read the full story on Mortgage Introducer

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


Report unveils what students most desire from their private rental accommodation

September 16th, 2014

According to The Mistoria Group, leading investment specialists in student property, the vast majority of students want to live in high quality, shared accommodation, with good internet access and affordable bills.  If landlords and investors provide the right type of property, they will be able to attract students and obtain high yields from the property.  Like any investment though investors should conduct thorough research before purchasing.

Read the full story on Property Reporter

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