Threat of jail for housing illegal immigrants

August 3rd, 2015

The government has announced a series of measures to tackle illegal immigration. They will be included in the forthcoming Immigration Bill that will require landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. Landlords will face tougher penalties including a prison sentence of up to five years if they persistently let to illegal immigrants. The new legislation will also empower landlords to evict illegal immigrant tenants, after a short notice period, without the need for a court process for repossession, unless eviction requires the use of force. For those landlords and letting agents repeatedly convicted of housing offences the government also plans to create a blacklist.

Full story available from LandlordTODAY:

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

Britain on verge of ‘rental revolution’

July 31st, 2015

A new report to be published on Monday 3rd August suggests that Britain is on the verge of a rental revolution. The report by Addleshaw Goddard states that Build to Rent could bring in substantial additional finance for housing. The Build to Rent concept relates to institutional investment earmarked to build and manage homes for rent, and is borrowed from North America’s multifamily sector where listed companies own much of the housing stock. This could signal a shift towards a professionally run rental market, with developments owned by single companies rather than multiple speculators and buy-to-let investors.

Full story available from Property Reporter:

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

The effects of the Budget and future of licensing schemes

July 29th, 2015

The start of July saw the first Budget from the Conservative Government and despite pleas to the Chancellor ‘to seize the opportunity to encourage growth in the sector by introducing changes to the tax system to adequately recognise small scale landlords as undertaking a business activity’, the PRS was left disappointed.  Not only was it announced that mortgage tax relief for buy-to-let home buyers was to be restricted to the basic rate of income tax, currently 20%, with the measure being phased in from 2017 but also that from April 2016 landlords will no longer be able to claim a 10% allowance for general wear and tear of furnished properties.  The full impact of these changes will only be seen with time but many are predicting that the change in mortgage tax relief will see ‘rents increased to cover the financial hit of the new tax rules’.

However, this month also saw the announcement from the Welsh Government of a new compulsory licensing and registration scheme for landlords to be launched this autumn.   Continue reading »

Almost half of tenants don’t attend ‘check-out’

July 29th, 2015

Figures published by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) show that almost half of tenants in England and Wales do not attend a ‘check-out’ at the end of their tenancy. Of these, almost half claim that they did not attend because they were either not invited or were not informed of the date or time. To ensure that problems are resolved quickly and to prevent long disputes, the DPS states that it is vital that landlords enable tenants to attend, and that tenants should go along when invited.

Full story available from LandlordTODAY:

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

Call to weed out rogue landlords

July 28th, 2015

Campaigning group, Generation Rent is calling on the the government and local authorities bring rogue landlords to justice. Following a legal battle with the Ministry of Justice to release details of landlord convictions, it appears that only 2006 landlords have been convicted between 2006 and 2014. Generation rent claims that most local authorities don’t even know how many properties they have in their boroughs and don’t devote anywhere nearly enough resource to ensure that rented accommodation is safe and secure. The calls for action are backed by landlords’ associations who claim that local authorities are not using the powers that they already have to identify and prosecute landlords acting illegally.

Full story available from LandlordZONE:

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

Three quarters of buy to let properties purchased as means of investing in their family’s future

July 27th, 2015

According to Barclays Mortgages latest data, the buy-to-let climate is very much thriving across the UK with three quarters of UK buy-to-let homeowners choosing to purchase their property in order to invest in their family’s future, including retirement and supplementing university fees.  The survey also revealed the regions where there has been a significant increase in buy-to-let properties purchased: Birmingham, Greater London, Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester.  The largest jump in buy to let purchases however was in Plymouth which went from 212th in the Barclays ranking last year, to 16th in 2015. Its growing economy and £90 million investment pledge from the Government as part of their support for seaside towns may be the reason behind the growing surge in the rental market, as more businesses flock to the South West.

Read the full story on Property Reporter

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

New tax rules will negatively impact both tenants and the economy

July 24th, 2015

An opinion piece in London’s daily business newspaper, City A.M., focuses on the remarks made by the chancellor in this recent budget statement that buy-to-let landlords have a huge advantage in the market as they can offset their mortgage interest payments against their income, whereas home buyers cannot. The article’s author, Alan Ward, argues like many others in the private rented sector, that a landlord’s private property portfolio is a business, and under the changes to be introduced  in 2017, this form of business will pay tax on borrowings, whereas other types of business will not. In addition to landlords, tenants are likely to suffer too, with rents increased to cover the financial hit of the new tax rules. Furthermore, ripple effects of the changes may reduce the volume of available rented accommodation and thereby reduce the flexibility of the country’s work force.

Full story available from City A.M.:

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


New crackdown on buy-to-let sector ‘imminent’

July 23rd, 2015

In the wake of the warning from the Bank of England that the buy-to-let bubble could threaten the financial stability of the entire country, the UK chancellor, George Osborne, has indicated that a crack down on the buy-to-let sector is imminent. This is likely to take the form of new powers being given to the Bank of England to restrict the number and size of buy-to-let mortgages. The news was revealed in answers from the chancellor to the UK’s Treasury Select Committee.

Full story available from Property Industry Eye

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

3.1% increase recorded in Scottish residential rents

July 22nd, 2015

The average Scottish rent has reached a new peak of £549 per month according to the latest index data from letting agent Your Move. For the month of June this represents a year on year rise of 3.1%, up from the 2.7% recorded in the previous month. Further analysis of the data shows that rents are hitting all-time local records in parts of Scotland that have been traditionally more affordable to live.

Full story available from Property Wire:

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

Details of wear-and-tear tax changes revealed by HMRC

July 21st, 2015

In the budget delivered by George Osborne earlier this month it was revealed that from April 2016 the formal Wear and Tear Allowance, which allows 10% to be written off for notional wear and tear, will be replaced with a relief on costs actually incurred on replacing furnishings. The scope of this change has been detailed in an 11 page consultation document. An important detail that has been revealed is that the relief will apply to all properties, irrespective of the level of furnishing.

The consultation document can be viewed in full here.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today:

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