Landlords ‘persecuted’ by local authorities

March 18th, 2014

Buy to let landlords are being “persecuted” by local authorities.

This is according to a new investigation by the Telegraph, which spoke to landlords and trade bodies about what the Residential Landlords Association described as a “creeping plague” of costs. Continue reading »


2013 – Moving towards regulation in a growing market

December 19th, 2013

Looking back on the newsletter that I wrote this time last year, many of the topics are still being discussed such as regulation of the industry.  Predictions of rents rising and increased demand have both been realised and predicted again for next year.  This year though has seen some movement in regards to regulation albeit only small steps.

Continue reading »


Housing leaders: What we want from the autumn statement 2013

December 4th, 2013

Housing chief executives tell us what they want to see in George Osborne’s autumn statement. Continue reading »


November round up of the private rented sector

November 27th, 2013

Through the year there has been continuous calls from various bodies for regulation of letting agents, and this month is no different with Arla calling on the Chancellor to regulate agents working in the expanding private rented sector, and to also encourage landlords to make improvements to existing properties.

Whether or not this call will have any impact though seems unlikely, as yet, apart from the Government announcing reviews into the sector and setting draft rules that are to be debated next month, there has been no solid positive movement on this so far from the Government.

It has not been all doom and gloom this month, with many stories reporting how the private rented sector is growing rapidly with property group Savills predicting that “more than a million households are expected to join the UK’s growing army of tenants over the next five years, despite government efforts to boost home ownership.”  Knight Frank also argued that the Help to Buy scheme would not have a negative impact on the rental market particularly with rising interest rates putting further upward pressure on rents from 2015 to 2016, and affordability levels for home ownership also being eroded, they expect residential property rents across the UK to rise by 16% by 2018.  The campaign group, PricedOut has even claimed that “First-time buyers would be better off renting than buying a home with a 95% mortgage through the government’s Help to Buy scheme, and are being pressured into taking on unaffordable amounts of debt“.

So as we start to look towards next year it could be said that the private rented sector is not going any where and is firmly set to stay for a while.  Now only if the debating could materialise into action on regulating agents to assist with this growth could be decided upon!

 


Government takes more steps to force all letting agents to join redress scheme

November 21st, 2013

The requirement for all letting and managing agents in England to belong to an ombudsman scheme as from next year has come closer.

Yesterday, the Government set out its measures, saying: “Compulsory redress schemes for these agents will ensure agents can be investigated where they have not been clear about fees or other issues, and will provide a cheaper, easier way to pursue compensation if there is a complaint.” Continue reading »


New advertising rules kick in – but are many agents taking notice?

November 5th, 2013

As from last Friday, letting agents should be displaying their up-front, non-refundable charges to tenants on advertising.

So are they? Continue reading »


October round up of the private rented sector

October 31st, 2013

Regulation

Proposed regulation of the private rented sector has been ongoing this month.  Building on announcements at the Conservative Party conference, Eric Pickles “plans include forcing letting agents to join a redress scheme allowing complaints about poor service or hidden fees to be independently examined.”  As well as publishing a new tenant’s charter that will set out details of a new code of practice setting standards for the management of property in the private rented sector, with a view to making it statutory. Continue reading »


Shelter’s ‘reforms’ would ruin private rented sector, says RLA

October 29th, 2013

Longer tenancies would “fatally undermine” the private rented sector, says a new report published this morning.

Professor Michael Ball says the proposals, from Shelter, are poorly thought out. He also criticises calls to link rent rises to inflation, saying tenants would be worse off. Continue reading »


Landlords face £188m in tenant immigration check costs

October 23rd, 2013

Landlords could face extra costs of up to £188m over the next ten years if laws requiring them to check tenants’ immigration status come into force.

According to the government’s impact assessment, the cost of familiarising landlords and letting agents with the new rules could cost as much as £54.8m.


Lettings industry reform does not go far enough

October 21st, 2013

It is good news that the UK government is going ahead with its Tenants Charter that will better protect renters from the worst excesses of rogue landlords and lettings agents and it is much needed.

My current experience personally dealing with lettings agents has been a poor one and has confirmed in my mind that change is long overdue.

The charter aims to combat the problem of hidden fees and also pave the way for much longer rental periods beyond the current common six months followed by two month rolling contracts so that families in particular can be more settled. Continue reading »