Compulsory redress schemes for UK letting and property management agents confirmed

April 18th, 2014

All letting and property management agents in the UK will be required to join an approved redress scheme later this year under new plans announced by Housing Minister Kris Hopkins.

Millions of tenants and lease holders will receive stronger protection from unscrupulous letting agents under the three approved redress schemes which Hopkins said will ensure they have a straightforward option to hold their agents to account.

The three schemes are The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property and The Property Redress Scheme. They will offer independent investigation of complaints about hidden fees or poor service. Where a complaint is upheld, tenants and lease holders could receive compensation. Continue reading »

Shocking NUS Housing Survey Reinforces Need for Purpose-Built Student Accommodation

April 11th, 2014

‘Homes Fit for Study’ released by the NUS last month revealed that more than three quarters (76%) of respondents had experienced problems with the condition of their home in the private rented sector. From mould to mice, the report reinforces a need for new quality housing. Continue reading »

Move into private rented sector ‘a natural step’ for ALMOs

April 2nd, 2014

Two thirds of housing ALMOs plan to be working in the private rented sector by the end of the year, according to a report published today.

The National Federation of ALMOs ‘Right Time Right Place’ report says the move into market rent homes is a “natural step” for the sector and can help to drive up standards and address local housing need.

The private rented sector has grown in recent years, to a point where it is now larger than the social rented sector. This trend is set to continue over the next five years, with a predicated increase of at least one million more households. Continue reading »

Rents up, Voids Down and Green is Good

March 28th, 2014

Build to Rent

At the beginning of the month a report from non-profit company Million Homes, Million Lives, claimed that ‘Half of Britain could be renting within 30 years’, and called for changes to encourage institutional investors to invest in long-term property portfolios.  The Government also continued its push for a bigger private rented sector as it published a short-list of developments in areas including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Kirklees, which could benefit from a share of the £1 billion Build to Rent fund to deliver homes specifically for private rent. Continue reading »

Go green to get a good deal

March 24th, 2014

It’s not surprising that the news that the government is extending Green Deal finance to landlords and tenants in England, Wales and Scotland has been welcomed by lettings bodies.

With just four years to go until the Energy Act 2011 comes into force, I’m sure that many landlords were sweating on how to fund costly energy efficiency improvements to ensure their properties meet EU environmental standards which require accommodation to be rated E or higher on Energy Performance Certificates. Continue reading »

Private rental sector to play a crucial role in providing much needed homes in the UK

February 26th, 2014

The private rented sector will be crucial in the UK’s recovery from the housing crisis and the build to rent sector is growing at a time when more rental properties are needed, a property industry conference has heard.

The British Property Federation’s annual residential conference, hosted by Deloitte Real Estate, also heard that some local authorities are already at the vanguard of welcoming what is a very different private rented sector offer and are helping to open doors to a more diverse range of housing. Continue reading »

NLA launches social media campaign against Selective Licensing

February 20th, 2014

A social media campaign against the introduction of Selective Licensing in certain parts of England has been launched by the National Landlords Association.

The NLA said more councils were bringing forward Selective Licensing schemes where there was little substantial evidence to justify them.
Continue reading »

Avoid a stormy tenancy

January 16th, 2014

Following the UK’s recent bad weather ARLA is reminding tenants to be aware of who is responsible for what in the event of damage to a rented property.

Storm damage, power cuts and flooding can be unpleasant and stressful experiences for those involved, but familiarising yourself with your tenancy agreement can help ensure any problems are sorted as quickly as practically possible.

Susan Fitz-Gibbon, president of ARLA, said: “The recent bad weather has affected homes across the UK. As well as the inconvenience and expense suffered by homeowners, many tenants will have been caught up too, and it is essential that they know where their responsibilities lie if they do experience weather damage. Continue reading »

Landlords Slammed For Failing On Repairs

January 14th, 2014

A trade body claims a quarter of a million private tenants are withholding rent from landlords who fail to make essential repairs to their properties.

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks claims research shows that 34 per cent of private tenants have faced a home emergency in the past 12 months; only one in three were dealt with on the same day while almost a quarter took more than a week to resolve. Continue reading »


December 6th, 2013

In his Autumn Statement, George Osborne confirmed that, after five fraught years, the British economy is finally inching closer to sustained growth.

However, the Chancellor warned that the days of austerity are not yet over; and, only continued measures to restrict Government spending will finally deliver the country out of the dark days caused by the financial crash of 2008. Continue reading »