Britain experiencing surge of ‘part-time’ landlords

November 27th, 2014

According to the latest research from LV= landlord insurance, over 7% of adults in Britain rent out a property to help supplement their income and receive on average £678 per month.   The driving force behind the trend is people moving to a new home and then renting out their old one, with one in twenty having ended up renting out a property because they moved in with a partner and did not want to sell or couldn’t sell their own.

Whatever the reason may be, all landlords must comply with current regulations on rented homes.

Read the full story on Property Reporter

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


Winter is setting in but no freeze on rent or tenant demand

November 26th, 2014

This month there have been many stories in the press about the positivity of the private rented sector.  At the beginning of the month it was reported that tenants have rebuilt their financial position, with the total number facing serious rental arrears falling by a significant 9% over the last 12 months.  The average tenant deposit has also increased by 11% over the last year, and with deposits usually reflecting rental values, the figures appear to imply that demand for rental properties is outstripping supply causing pressure on the rental market.

Two reports out this month also predicted the long term growth of the private rented sector.  The forecast from Savills predicts that there will be an additional 1.2 million households in England & Wales in the private rented sector by 2019, and the report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, predicts that by 2040 one in five people will live in private rented homes.

Brandon Lewis, Housing Minister, rejected calls earlier in the month from SAGEagent to make Client Money Protection compulsory.  However, he seems to have had somewhat of a change of mind, as just this week the Government amended the Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection, a move that was welcomed by SAFEagent.


Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection (CMP)

November 25th, 2014

In a surprise move yesterday the Government amended the Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection (CMP).  This amendment has been welcomed by SAFEagent, who had wrote to housing minister Brandon Lewis recently requesting that CMP be made mandatory.

Chair of the SAFEagent steering group, John Midgley said: “We are delighted that the Government has made this common sense move and listened to our concerns on the need for financial protection for landlords and tenants.  This is the first step in ensuring that being part of a CMP scheme is made a mandatory requirement.”

Read the full story on Letting Agent Today

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


99.5% of people have no knowledge of tenant protection scheme

November 21st, 2014

Research from sales and lettings firm KIS shows that just 1 person in 200 is aware of the existence of a government scheme designed to protect tenants. As of October, letting agents have been required to sign up to one of three redress schemes designed to give tenants a recognised independent place to take their complaints. The schemes are run by the Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property and the Property Redress Scheme. Each scheme can assess tenant complaints and award compensation where appropriate.

Full story available from Property Reporter: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/view.asp?ID=15703

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


New online Section 21 eviction service launched

November 13th, 2014

The government has launched a new service enabling landlords to use the Section 21 accelerated possession procedure online. With many landlords often making mistakes in court applications the online process is designed to ask questions in plain English and check the eligibility of the landlord for making such a claim.

Full story available from Property Reporter: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/view.asp?ID=14661

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

 


Trading Standards authorities actively searching for non-compliant letting agents

October 13th, 2014

Letting agents are being warned that they face possible prosecution if they have not joined one of the compulsory redress schemes. Fines of up to £5,000 can be imposed on non-compliant letting agents. The Property Redress Scheme said that it is being actively contacted by local authorities questioning whether lettings and property management agents have joined one of the three approved schemes.

Property Industry Eye: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/trading-standards-authorities-prowl-letting-agents-breaking-law/

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


New type of tenancy for private rented sector in Scotland

October 7th, 2014

A consultation on a new type of tenancy has been launched for the private rented sector by the Scottish Government. The primary aim of the new tenancy type is to give tenants better security of tenure. Two aspects have the potential to prove controversial: the scrapping of the no-fault ground for repossession and the possibility of rent controls.

Full story available from Property Industry Eye: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/rent-controls-scrapping-fault-ground-horizon-scottish-prs/

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


Sharp increase in Complaints received by Property Ombudsman

October 3rd, 2014

A new report published by The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has revealed a big increase on the number of complaints made by tenants and landlords. The figures show 721 complaints made against letting agents in the period 1 January through 30 June 2014. This represents a 37% increase on the same period last year. The increase can at least partly be explained by an increase in the number of letting agents registering for redress with TPO. As of 1st October 2014 all letting agents in England have been required to register with an approved redress scheme.

Full story available from LandlordZone: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/increase-in-complaints-to-property-ombudsman

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


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.


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.