Rents ‘grew 3% in 2014’

(19/01/15)

The average private rent in the UK increased by three per cent over the course of last year. This is according to the latest research from Your Move and Reeds Rains, which found the typical costs of a rental property in England and Wales stood at £767 in December 2014, compared to £745 one year earlier. Despite this, rents actually dropped by 0.1 per cent between November and December. Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, stated: “Recent months have shown a divergence from usual seasonal norms. Historically, there is a tendency for rents to ease […]

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BTL sector plans ‘significant investment in 2015’

(23/12/14)

Confidence in the health and security of the buy-to-let (BTL) market will lead to an increase of investment next year, despite the fact that more than half of investors believe that interest rates will rise during 2015. This is according to the latest research from Platinum Property Partners, which surveyed 500 UK BTL investors. Almost 30 per cent said interest rates were their biggest concern going into 2015, with 42 expecting an increase of less than two per cent, while ten per cent predict that it will be more. However, the idea of a looming hike in rates hasn’t dampened […]

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The implications of the Immigration Act

(05/12/14)

The Immigration Act 2014, which came into force from December 1st, means potential tenants will need to be vetted to check if they have the right to live in the UK. What does this new legislation hold in store for landlords and letting agents ‘ Fran Mulhall, operations and lettings manager of GFWLettings, believes that the pace of growth being seen in the industry means that increased regulation is required in order to protect all parties involved and weed out rogue traders. The new legislation will mean that landlords and lettings agents will need to conduct background checks on prospective […]

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Is renting going to overtake homeownership?

(18/11/14)

In the UK, homeownership has long been considered a key life ambition. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this may no longer be the case, with a combination of economic and cultural factors meaning the private rented sector (PRS) could eventually overtake ownership as the UK’s dominant form of housing. According to research from Savills, the number of private rented households in England and Wales will grow by 1.2 million between now and the end of 2019. This would take the number of rented homes up to six million – 24 per cent of the […]

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Eight in ten landlords ‘unaware of immigration check legislation’

(10/11/14)

The majority of landlords are unaware of the impending legislation that will require them to carry out immigration checks on potential tenants. As of December 1st, the ‘right to rent’ legislation will come into force in the West Midlands regions of Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. This means landlords will need to check any tenants they take on have a legal right to live in the UK. The scheme will then rolled out nationwide at a later date. However, a survey carried out by Easyroommate.co.uk found 80 per cent of rental property owners are completely unaware of the rules. […]

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Politicians ‘must not ignore renters’

(03/11/14)

The UK’s politicians have been warned they cannot afford to continue ignoring the needs of people living in rented accommodation.A new report released by Generation Rent has revealed there will soon be more than 100 MPs whose constituencies contain more tenants than homeowners.The organisation said the number of constituencies that are dominated by renters has grown from 38 in 2001 to 65 in 2011. If current housing trends continue, it believes this figure will have reached 104 by 2021, accounting for 16 per cent of all MPs. In London, the number of renter-dominated constituencies is expected to account for 49 of […]

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AIIC warns landlords over unfair charges for wear and tear

(27/10/14)

Many landlords today appear to be unclear on the legal principles that determine whether or not they are able to charge tenants for wear and tear. This is according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), which issued a statement this week (October 21st) warning that a number of landlords and agencies are guilty of acting illegally when it comes to deciding who pays for what at the end of a tenancy. Pat Barber, the organisation’s chair, explained that there is a legal concept called ‘betterment’ which prevents landlords from replacing items that were old when the tenant moved […]

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Young renters ‘need more support’

(22/10/14)

MPs have called on the government to provide greater support to young people who want to rent property in the private sector.A new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Private Rented Sector claims that a range of issues may be making life more difficult for under-35s seeking tenancy agreements.These include council powers to prevent properties being turned into shared homes to rent, and housing benefit restrictions for young people.In a new report, the group has called on ministers to look at whether planning powers – known as Article 4 Directions – are unduly restricting the supply of new […]

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Student rental yields hit 13%

(13/10/14)

Average gross cash rental yields for the student property sector in the North West reached 13 per cent during the first three quarters of 2014.This figure is significantly higher than the 6.37 per cent forecast for average student property yields across the UK for this year.This research, conducted by The Mistoria Group, also shows that the gross cash rental yields for student property in the north-west increased by eight per cent year-on-year and are up 22 per cent over the last five years.In addition, the yields from this type of property are between five and six per cent higher on […]

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Brits ‘the most desirable HMO tenants’

(06/10/14)

Tenants living in houses in multiple occupation (HMO) would most like to share their home with British renters.This is according to research from Easyroommate, which asked people living in HMOs about their preferences regarding who they live with. A compatible personality was ranked as the most important factor in a housemate, but when asked if they could choose the nationality of who they share with, a significant number of renters said they would pick a British or English individual.An Easyroommate spokesperson told Property Reporter: “It’s not surprising to see that the Brits are the most desired housemates. British flatsharers prefer being […]

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Number of tenants ‘outweighs available properties’

(30/09/14)

There are more would-be tenants on the rental market than available properties, according to new research.A survey of letting agents, carried out by ARLA, found more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of letting agents think demand from renters outweighs supply of homes. This figure stood at only 59 per cent when the same question was asked in the second quarter of 2014 and was just 46 per cent in quarter three last year.The ARLA members surveyed revealed a six per cent drop has occurred in the number of properties they manage, falling from an average of 143 to 135. This shortage […]

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TV housing expert urges Britons to rent, not buy

(22/09/14)

As house prices across the UK continue to rise, Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud believes the private rented sector holds the answer.Latest figures from the ONS revealed the average residential property now costs £272,000, while this is as high as £500,000 in London. As a result, the housing charity Shelter has expressed concerns people throughout the country are being priced out of the housing market.However, Mr McCloud revealed during an interview with The Times that he believes many are too focused on purchasing a home, largely ignoring the benefits of renting.“For a start we are going to have to reconsider […]

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Buy-to-let portfolios increasing

(18/09/14)

There is good news for letting agents, as research has revealed the average landlord’s buy-to-let portfolio size has increased.According to Paragon Mortgages, the typical number of properties owned by a landlord is currently 14.9, compared to 13.5 in the second quarter of this year.John Heron, managing director, stated: “With the wider housing market gaining back some momentum, landlords are beginning to be more active in expanding their portfolios. However, our research does indicate that tenant demand is rising, and in order to meet this demand the private rented sector will need to see an increase in investment from landlords.”When Paragon’s […]

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Average rent for new tenancy ‘up 8%’

(10/09/14)

The average rent for a new tenancy in the UK private rented sector (PRS) has increased significantly, according to the latest research for HomeLet. In its Buy-to-Let Index for July, the organisation said the typical new contract signed last month was worth £900 per month, which represents an increase of 8.3 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. When London is taken out of consideration, this figure drops to £723, up 3.3 per cent on July 2013. New tenancies in the capital have reached a record-high average of £1,429, HomeLet said. This represents growth of 9.4 per […]

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High number of inexperienced landlords in PRS, says NLA

(01/09/14)

New research from the National Landlords Association (NLA) may have highlighted an opportunity for letting agents as it shows a significant number of rental property owners are inexperienced. According to the organisation, 27 per cent of landlords have been renting out properties for less than five years, while 14 per cent have only done so for two years. Some 21 per cent of landlords have been letting between six to ten years, while the remaining 52 per cent have been renting out homes for more than ten years. This high number of inexperienced landlords could well represent a good opportunity […]

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Young people ‘turning to HMOs’

(27/08/14)

An increasing number of young people are choosing to live in houses of multiple occupation (HMO). This is according to student property investment organisation the Mistoria Group, which has claimed house sharing is the only way many young adults can afford to live independently. In a survey – the results of which have been highlighted by Property Reporter – the organisation said the north east alone has seen a 15 per cent increase in the number of young professionals renting rooms in HMOs in order to save money. Mish Liyanage, Mistoria Group managing director, stated: “Many young people are finding […]

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Letting agents urged to join Ombudsman Services

(11/08/14)

Letting agents have been urged to offer an improved standard of customer service for people that wish to rent and let homes. The Ombudsman Services, which handles complaints about the energy, communications, property and copyright licensing sectors, has called for a review of the buy-to-let sector. Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith commented that more and more people have to rent as they cannot afford to get on the property ladder. The expert claimed that these individuals “deserve high quality standards” and so he encouraged agencies that are members of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) to join Ombudsman Services. NALS […]

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Serious arrears drop 35 per cent

(21/07/14)

The number of private tenants in serious rental arrears has fallen by 35 per cent over the past 12 months. This is according to new research from LSL Property Services, which found the number of people who are severely behind on their payments is down by 35,000. As a result of this fall, only 1.5 per cent of total tenants are now in serious arrears. Some 67,000 households are more than two months behind on their rent, which is down from 102,000 in the second quarter of last year. According to LSL, arrears counted for seven per cent of total […]

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More than half of UK homes will be rented by 2032, research finds

(14/07/14)

Over 50 per cent of the UK’s households will be rented by 2032 if current trends persist. This is according to new research from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), which revealed the private rented sector (PRS) has grown from 14 per cent of the country’s housing in 2007 to 18 per cent in 2013. Owner occupation has fallen from 68 per cent to 64 per cent in the same period and social housing’s share of the market has also dropped. The IMLA said there are a number of factors that are behind the growth of the PRS. These include […]

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Over a million tenants at risk of electrical hazards

(09/07/14)

More than one million tenants in the private rented sector (PRS) are at risk of electrical hazards. This is according to figures published by Electrical First and Shelter, which revealed 1.2 million renters are in danger due to faulty electrics every year. The organisations came to the figure by calculating that a third of the homes in the PRS fail basic electrical safety standards. In a report entitled ‘Home Improvement: Tackling Poor Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector’, they called on the government to change the law to ensure tenants are better protected. Phil Buckle, director general of Electrical […]

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Good communication ‘is essential for successful strategies’

(02/07/14)

A good level of communication is essential for successful tenancies. This is according to Landlord Assist, which has claimed regular contact between renters and letting agents or landlords is the key to avoiding disputes and raising standards in the private rented sector. Stephen Parry, commercial director at the organisation, stated: “To help prevent disputes from occurring, better communication between landlords and tenants is required, together with clear guidance for tenants on what repairs and maintenance the landlord is contractually responsible for and which the tenant should undertake as part of their tenancy conditions.” Mr Parry said tenants should be willing […]

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Local knowledge and demand ‘crucial considerations for buy-to-let landlords’

(10/06/14)

Landlords seeking to expand their buy-to-let portfolios prefer to invest in areas where they have local knowledge and understanding of market trends, according to a new study. The report from Paragon Mortgages and BDRC Continental surveyed more than 1,000 National Landlords Association (NLA) members to find out what were the top factors that landlords consider when getting ready to make a buy-to-let property purchase. It was revealed that the most common factor is a landlord’s own knowledge of the area, with 86 per cent of respondents to the survey reporting this is at the top of their checklist. Meanwhile, 68 […]

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Younger tenants ‘no longer obsessed with home ownership’

(03/06/14)

Younger people no longer see owning their home as being as important as it was to previous generations. This is according to Strutt & Parker, with new research from the company finding people under 30 are generally quite happy to rent, Property Wire reports. Zoe Rose, head of London lettings at the organisation, stated: “We are finding that there is no longer such as obsession with home ownership amongst our younger tenants. The majority of our tenants are in their 20s and 30s and very used to renting. “Singles or couples in their 20s tend to favour one and two […]

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More than half of UK homes will be rented by 2032, research finds

(27/05/14)

Over 50 per cent of the UK’s households will be rented by 2032 if current trends persist. This is according to new research from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), which revealed the private rented sector (PRS) has grown from 14 per cent of the country’s housing in 2007 to 18 per cent in 2013. Owner occupation has fallen from 68 per cent to 64 per cent in the same period and social housing’s share of the market has also dropped. The IMLA said there are a number of factors that are behind the growth of the PRS. These include […]

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High demand sends rents higher

(07/05/14)

High levels of tenant demand have seen the average rent in the UK increase significantly. This is according to Sequence, which has reported the typical rent in March was £762 – representing a one per cent monthly increase and eight per cent growth compared to the same period in 2013. The organisation said tenant demand rose 21 per cent between February and March, while it is up ten per cent on an annual basis, Property Reporter has revealed. However, the number of properties on the market has not been able to keep pace with this growth – failing to increase […]

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One in five young people ‘have no desire to own a home’

(30/04/14)

A significant number of younger Britons have no desire to own their home and are happy to rent. This is according to new research from Halifax, which found one in five 23 to 27-year-olds do not mind not being a property owner. The organisation’s latest Generation Rent Report revealed attitudes towards housing are changing with young people choosing to “accept the reality” of renting rather than buying homes that are becoming increasingly expensive. A survey of 23 to 27-year-olds carried out by the National Centre for Social Research on Halifax’s behalf found 48 per cent believe the UK will soon […]

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All letting agents must join redress scheme in 2014

(23/04/14)

The government has announced new regulations that mean all letting and property management agents must join an approved redress scheme later this year. Agencies will be required to sign up to one of three schemes – the Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property and The Property Redress Scheme. These organisations will investigate any complaints about hidden fees or poor service and provide compensation when a grievance is upheld. Housing minister Kris Hopkins stated: “All tenants and leaseholders have a right to fair and transparent treatment from their letting agent. Most are happy with the service they receive, but a small minority […]

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Insurance stats show students ‘are most reliable tenants’

(15/04/14)

New research suggests students are the most reliable tenants in the private rented sector (PRS). Statistics from Total Landlord Insurance show only 9.6 per cent of insurance claims come from student properties, which is the second lowest of any tenant group, according to Property Reporter. The average claim from a student property was £2,090.18 in 2013, compared to £6,072.97 for the typical house with Department of Social Security tenants. Eddie Hooker, chief executive of Total Landlord Insurance, stated: “Students tend to live in properties for nine months of the year and then move out, giving landlords the summer months to […]

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Increased landlord confidence is good news for letting sector

(01/04/14)

The letting sector has received a welcome boost this week as new research shows landlord confidence has increased significantly in the past year. According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), the number of rental property owners who feel positive about the UK’s financial markets has tripled over the past 12 months. Some 31 per cent of landlords said they expect the financial situation in the country to be good or very good in the near future, which is up from just ten per cent last year. Furthermore, 27 per cent of respondents said they plan to expand their property portfolios […]

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Letting agents ‘should consider taking on more benefits tenants’

(25/03/14)

Letting agents and landlords should think about taking on more tenants receiving housing benefit. This is according to website Dssmove.co.uk, which has claimed renting to these individuals could help compensate for the falling rents that have occurred in some parts of the UK, Property Reporter reports. Aki Ellahi, the organisation’s director, said there are currently five million people receiving housing benefit and this is expected to increase in the near future due to increased migration, the failure of wages to keep up with the cost of living and government austerity measures. “There is a shortage of properties for housing benefit […]

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Void periods dropped at end of 2013

(17/03/14)

Void periods fell in the closing months of 2013, new research has revealed. A study carried out by BDRC Continental and commissioned by Paragon Mortgages found 34 per cent of landlords experienced at least one void period in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 36 per cent in quarter three. The typical void period lasted 59 days in the final quarter, compared to 64 days and 69 days in the two three-month periods that preceded it. When asked how they deal with the financial implications of a rental property going unoccupied, there were notable differences between small-scale rental […]

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Longer tenancies ‘could lead to more deposit disputes’

(11/03/14)

The introduction of longer tenancies in the private rented sector could cause problems, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has claimed. According to the organisation, deposits may prove a particularly difficult area as the longer a person stays in a home a greater level of wear and tear will occur and this could lead to disputes when a tenancy ends. Pat Barber, AIIC chair, stated: “Landlords and tenants have different expectations when it comes to fair wear and tear issues, so it is no wonder that so many tenancies end in dispute.” She suggested having a professional inventory prepared […]

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New tenancies grew 15% in January

(03/03/14)

The number of new tenancies in the UK grew by 15 per cent over the last 12 months. This is according to the latest rental index figures from Sequence, which show demand was even stronger in London, where new agreements were up 17 per cent. New tenant numbers have grown six per cent, while the figure is ten per cent in the capital. Supply is keeping up with demand in the country as a whole, with six per cent more properties coming to market over the course of 2013. London is an exception to this however, with rental stock actually […]

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Most tenants don’t have deposit deductions

(24/02/14)

The vast majority of tenants receive their full deposit when leaving rental accommodation, new research has revealed. A survey carried out by My Deposits found just nine per cent of renters have had a deduction proposed by their letting agent or landlord. However, the study also revealed many tenants are lacking in confidence when it comes to discussing the issue of deposits. Renters in Wales are happiest to talk about this subject, with 39 per cent willing to do so. Those in the north east are least confident, with the figure standing at only 25 per cent. Eddie Hooker, My […]

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Master Locksmiths Association provides security advice for student properties

(18/02/14)

The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) has provided security advice for letting agents and landlords who rent to students. Speaking to ARLA, the organisation’s development director Dr Stefan George outlined a number of ways a student house can be made as secure as possible. He recommended hiring a security professional to install a patented key system at the property, which will ensure keys cannot be copied without permission. “This system gives the landlord control of who has keys to their property, vital when new tenants are moving in each academic year,” Dr George stated. He also recommended carrying out basic checks […]

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Student accommodation ‘more attractive than buy-to-let’

(10/02/14)

Student accommodation has become a more attractive proposition for property investors than traditional buy-to-let. This is according to Go Global Investments, which has claimed the student market is able to offer yields of between seven and nine per cent, compared to the average 6.1 per cent for a normal rental property. The organisation said demand for student accommodation remains high due to the “ever-growing” number of wealthy people moving from abroad to study in the UK. Peter McDermott, Go Global Investments director, stated: “An investment in student housing generates far fewer headaches than your average buy-to-let, largely because the entire […]

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UK ‘needs more rental homes for retirees’

(04/02/14)

Action needs to be taken to increase the number of rental homes built specifically for retirees. This is according to Peter Girling, head of Girlings Retirement Rentals, who has called for the government to encourage investment in this area. “We have thousands of new enquiries each year from people attracted by the affordability of renting and the availability of assured lifetime tenancies … there are simply not enough retirement properties to meet this demand,” he stated. Figures from Campaign for Housing in Later Life show there are currently only 400,000 specialist retirement properties available for rent in the UK, despite […]

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Majority of Private Sector landlords back housing benefit tenants

(20/01/14)

The majority of private rented sector (PRS) landlords have no issue with their tenants who are reliant on Local Housing Allowance (LHA). Fergus Wilson hit the headlines recently when he served some of his benefit tenants with Section 21 notices, but Residential Landlord Association (RLA) consultant Bill Irvine has moved to quash fears. In a blog post for the RLA he encourages landlords to back their housing benefits tenants, writing: “It must be evident to the government that LHA landlords are playing a key role in providing accommodation to ex-social tenants, displaced by changes like the bedroom tax and benefits […]

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Safety the top concern for renters when choosing a home

(13/01/14)

Safety is the prime concern for Britons when choosing a home to rent or buy. This is according to a new survey by Ocean Finance, which found 60 per cent of people think this is one of the main things to consider when choosing a property. Living in an area where the crime rate is low is also a top priority, with close to three-quarters (72 per cent) of renters saying they would be put off moving to a region known for a high level of criminal activity. Tolerance of crime is highest in London, with only 60 per cent […]

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Postgraduate rental market ‘set for major growth’

(06/01/14)

The UK’s postgraduate rental market is set for significant growth in the near future. This is according to buy-to-let investment firm Assetz, which believes the growing number of people choosing to stay at university is creating good opportunities for rental investors. Its research found postgraduate student numbers have increased by 13.4 per cent since 2007, with international students accounting for much of this growth. Stuart Law, Assetz chief executive, stated: “Under graduate student hall of residence accommodation has long been a sound buy to let investment opportunity, offering excellent yields, but the lucrative market in high quality postgraduate accommodation is […]

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2014 ‘could see buoyant sales and rental market’

(16/12/13)

Both the property sales and rental market could expand in the new year, according to new research. A study by Rightmove has found the Help to Buy Scheme may aid more people in buying a house, but this is unlikely to have a negative impact on the private rented sector. The effect of the government initiative will be most pronounced in Greater London, with 44 per cent of tenants in the capital saying they expect to purchase their first property in the new year. In other parts of the country, the figure is noticeably lower and does not exceed 33 […]

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Reasons to be positive about the student rental market

(10/12/13)

Students are a key part of the letting sector’s client base and account for a significant proportion of the private rented sector (PRS). However, the government’s decision to raise tuition fees a few years ago caused concerns the number of students in the country would drop and the PRS would suffer as a result. Thankfully, that situation doesn’t appear to have come to pass, as a new report has revealed the student rental market is in good health. Rising returns CBRE has released its latest Student Housing Market Review, which found the average return on a student property between September […]

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Government to review condition of private rented homes

(02/12/13)

The government is to review the condition of homes in the private rented sector (PRS) in December. A new paper is to be published, which will ask for the opinions of the housing sector on whether the current system for regulation of PRS homes ensures good conditions and safety are upheld. It will also seek to discern the minimum standards tenants should expect when moving into a rental property. One of the major issues the review will focus on is the rules surrounding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. A recent amendment to the energy bill means the coalition has the […]

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Government says ‘good progress made’ on letting agent redress plans

(25/11/13)

The government has revealed it is making “good progress” on the introduction of compulsory redress schemes for letting agents. In a statement released on Wednesday (November 20th), the coalition said this policy will make it easy for agencies to be investigated if they have provided misleading information on fees and other issues. It also claimed a redress scheme will ensure it is more affordable and less time consuming for tenants or landlords to pursue compensation if they have a complaint. Housing minister Kris Hopkins stated: “Having a redress scheme will provide confidence to both tenants and landlords that any problems […]

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Third of renters end tenancy due to poor condition of property

(18/11/13)

One in three renters end their tenancy due to the poor condition of the property they are living in. This is according to a new survey carried out by shower manufacturer Methven and the National Landlords Association (NLA), which found low quality fixtures and fittings are a major cause of tenant grievances. It also revealed less than ten per cent of respondents were completely happy with the condition of their home. Close to two-thirds of tenants said the standard of bathrooms in rental properties is normally average or below, while 16 per cent said they are poor. A further 53 […]

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Worst Winter on Record Forecast set to Cause Havoc with Properties

(04/11/13)

Britain is braced for the ‘worst winter in decades’ with the first major snowfall expected in weeks.  Forecasters have warned the entire country is set for a horror freeze which will bring brutal winds and fierce blizzards. Many tenants will be hoping to save money on heating in the face of escalating energy bills, by turning off their heating when they go away for a few days to visit family or friends.  The AIIC (The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks) is urging agents and landlords to be vigilant about checking their properties are safe from potential water and fire damage. […]

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New Landlords on the Rise

(28/10/13)

The number of first-time landlords in the buy-to-let sector has increased, according to new figures. Research from Paragon Mortgages has revealed 27 per cent of mortgage applications in this area involved novice rental property owners. This is up from 22 per cent in the previous quarter and the highest level recorded since the financial crisis struck. John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, commented: “First-time landlords have been an important source of growth at a time when more established landlords with larger portfolios have found themselves constrained by limited equity.” He added individuals are being attracted to the private rental […]

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Rents across country rise to new record highs

(22/10/13)

Rents across England and Wales have overtaken all previous records, two new buy-to-let surveys have found. Average rents in September reached £757 per month, up 2.1% on a year ago and a rise of 1.8% on August.  Rents now stand £13 per month higher than the previous all-time record set in October 2012 when monthly rents averaged £744 across England and Wales. Record rents also mirrored faster lettings activity. The number of new tenancies across England and Wales increased by 6.5% compared to August. On an annual basis, the East of England was also the only region with lower rents […]

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Government: redress schemes for letting agents

(17/10/13)

New regulations are to be published “within days” by the Government, which will require all letting and managing agents to join an approved redress scheme. A new Code of Practice setting standards for the management of property in the private rented sector is also to be published, and could become statutory. Additionally, a Tenants’ Charter is being published and goes out to consultation, and a timetable given for the introduction of a new model tenancy agreement giving tenancies of three or more years. Local councils will also be expected to step up their activities within the private rented sector. They […]

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Golding gear up for November deadline on agents’ fees

(02/10/13)

Golding are gearing up for the November 1st deadline set by the Advertising Standards Authority. From that date, all letting agents must display their actual fees to tenants in adverts where there is room to do so – including on their own websites and in press advertising – or flag up the existence of fees where there is not room, for example in tweets.Tuesday 17th September 2013 However,  on the main property portals, agents’ actual fees will not be displayed. Instead, a ‘fees apply’ message will be shown leading to a pop-up window with generic examples. Agents will not be […]

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Tenant deposit issues…… why an Inventory is vital!

(30/09/13)

Landlords are failing to protect themselves from redecoration disputes because they are not accurately recording the condition of the décor at the start of a new tenancy and not being clear with tenants on what constitutes a ‘neutral’ colour. The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks says it has been involved in ‘numerous’ disputes over decor. Industry guidance indicates landlords should expect to decorate every three to five years. Pat Barber, chair of the AIIC, said: “As a general rule, responsibility for redecorating lies with the landlord. “However, lots of disputes are presented where parties agreed to the tenant redecorating, but […]

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Letting agent in Shropshire calls for tighter regulations

(15/02/13)

A lettings expert in Shropshire has called for tighter regulations to clamp down on rogue agents. Dawn Clarke, head of lettings and property management at agency Nock Deighton, believes tighter laws are needed to prevent unscrupulous practices. Speaking to shropshirelive.com she said: “Introducing statutory regulation, and strict professional standards for the lettings industry to abide by, will go a long way to providing a safeguard for both tenants and landlords.” She pointed to cases of agents charging non-refundable fees of £500 just for carrying out a reference check, as an example of the problems the sector faces. Ms Clarke said […]

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Former letting agent awaits prison sentence……..

(15/02/13)

A former letting agent is in prison awaiting sentencing. Ryan Lee, 24, who ran Panache Lettings in Cheltenham, has already had a six-month jail sentence imposed for breaching bail after he fled the country last year before facing court. Lee, who is believed to have gone to Belgium, was arrested last month when he flew into Heathrow. He has now appeared before crown court where he admitted 11 charges of engaging in unfair commercial practices, involving £13,500. The case comes as the Government still argues that licensing letting agents, and setting minimum standards of entry, would amount to too much […]

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Private rented sector at highest level since 1990’s

(15/02/13)

The private rental sector is at its highest level since the early 1990s, according to new figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The DCLG report highlighted the increase in the number of privately rented properties in recent years, which has now grown to 3.8 million. This means the industry is level with the social rented sector. Average rents are higher in the private sector at £164 per week, compared to £83 in social properties. However, private rents have not grown significantly since 2010-11. The report also found that half of all tenants in private homes […]

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Rental costs fall by 0.3% In January 13

(15/02/13)

Rental costs fell by 0.3 per cent in January, according to a new survey by LSL Property Services. However, rent is still more expensive than it was last year. The average monthly rent in England and Wales is now £732, which is 2.8 per cent more than in January 2012. Rents in London have declined by 0.2 per cent, but remain 5.2 per cent higher than last year and well above the national average at £1,086 per month. The greatest fall in costs is in south-east England, where rent has dropped by 1.5 per cent. There are some areas that […]

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Office of Fair trading calls for new regulations!

(15/02/13)

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has called for new regulations in the letting industry. It has released a new report that analyses consumer protection issues in the sector. After assessing 4,000 complaints made by both tenants and landlords, the OFT found both groups were worried about fees and charges levied by agents, a poor level of service and the introduction of surprise charges once a contract had been signed. The OFT has proposed a number of recommendations for both the government and the industry to try to overcome these problems. One of the suggestions is to make sure more […]

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Tips for buying to let during a recession

(09/12/12)

As we are all aware, property prices across most of the UK have been in decline. As a result, many property developers have panicked and sold off a lot of their properties, often making a considerable loss. This fear of losing out tied in with a fall in demand which meant many properties were being sold for much lower than their original price. Despite early signs of improvement in the market, there are still a lot of bargain properties to be had, particularly in central London. However, as confidence grows and the market improves, so too will house prices. When […]

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Golding to be the new property expert in OPEN magazine

(09/12/12)

OPEN lifestyle magazine has chosen Golding to become their regular property expert in the property section of the quarterly magazine. OPEN is a fresh funky lifestyles magazine with its fingers on the pulse of everything that is going in Liverpool, if its not in OPEN, its not happening! Look out for the next quarterly release that will be out in January, magazines circulated across Liverpool. Visit the magazine at: www.openthecity.co.uk

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Calls for the lettings industry to become regulated

(09/12/12)

Calls are being made for rental sector tenants to be given greater legal  protection, which would see rogue lettings agents put out of business in the  worst cases. Which? said that lettings agents should be governed by the same laws as  estate agents and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) should have the power to ban  lettings agents who break the rules. There are 4.7 million UK households in the  private rental sector and two-thirds of private tenancies involve an agent. But Which? said these households face a “gamble” as to whether they get a  good or bad agent. Four […]

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RICS tells Government to stop faffing around over licensing

(01/06/12)

The RICS has called on the Government to stop turning a blind eye to what is going on in the property sector, and start by amending the Estate Agents Act so that it encompasses letting agents.It said minimum standards should have to be met, to prevent just anyone setting up as an estate or letting agent.In a hard-hitting statement, the RICS said that the whole issue of regulating UK agents both sales and lettings ” had been ˜danced around ™ for too long.The RICS said that the range of sector licensing schemes

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Lettings boom could trigger fall in national birth rate

(01/06/12)

Family life is under threat because so many people are having to live in the private rented sector where there is an inadequate supply of stock suitable for families. As a result, younger people are putting off having children and forming households, because they can neither afford to buy their own homes nor find anywhere suitable to rent.Yolande Barnes, director of residential research at Savills, told the Council of Mortgage Lenders conference, Future Housing, yesterday that a falling birth rate could be one of the consequences. She said properties in the private rented sector were geared towards providing apartments for […]

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Rental properties run dry in city centre as agents turn tenants away

(01/06/12)

An acute shortage of rental properties which has been a serious problem in London for some months ” has now hit Birmingham in a big way.Major Mahil

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Renting a prime property cheaper than buying

(18/05/12)

It is cheaper to rent a home than purchase a new property, according to new research from PrimeLocation.com.The company’s Prime Rental Index reveals the current state of the housing market in the UK means it is an average of £369 a month cheaper to let a property than buy.This difference is even more marked in Yorkshire and the Humber, with the standard rent standing at £869 compared to a mortgage of £1,320.Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation.com, said: It’s clear that across the UK the more expensive a home is the better value you get by renting rather than owning […]

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Potential landlords must research investments carefully

(01/05/12)

Considering local transport facilities, location demand and a good mix of economic activity” are all factors to consider when planning to purchase a buy-to-let property.This is according to spokesman for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Malcolm Harrison who provided tips for potential landlords.He noted that now is a good time to enter the rental market but individuals must carry out thorough research in order to ensure their investment is profitable.Mr Harrison commented that while some areas do not offer a very high yield but individuals must carry out thorough research in order to ensure their investment is profitable.Mr Harrison commented that […]

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Northern rental yields outperform the south

(23/04/12)

Landlords in the north-west have achieved the highest rental yields in the 2012 league table of regions across the UK.Research from buy-to-let lender Paragon Mortgages has revealed a significant shift in the annual rental income as a proportion of a home’s current value in many northern areas.In the first quarter of the year, a yield of 6.6 per cent was noted in the north-west, which is up from 5.9 per cent in 2011.Meanwhile, the north-east achieved an average return of 6.5 per cent and the south-west placed third with 6.4 per cent.John Heron, director of Paragon Mortgages, said: We have […]

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Five things every tenant should know

(16/04/12)

ARLA’s top tips for ‘generation rent’As demand in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) continues to outstrip supply, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has today issued advice to anyone embarking on a first-time tenancy.Figures from letting agents suggest that the UK’s need for rental properties continues to grow: Over half (55%) of ARLA members* reported that they had more tenants on their books than available properties to rent.Ian Potter, operations manager at ARLA, said: Renting is often seen as a low-hassle lower risk option when compared to purchasing a home yet many people find the prospect of renting a […]

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Rental yields high in areas with limited property, expert claims

(02/04/12)

Landlords looking to invest in a buy-to-let property with a high rental yield have been advised to seek areas where there is a current lack of such abodes. Lee Grandin, director at Landlord Mortgages, explained how individuals need to know their market inside out”.”There can be pockets within even individual towns where one area can yield that much better than another area” he stated.It was noted the north generally offers landlords property with higher rental returns as homes remain considerably cheaper to purchase than in the south.Mr Grandin commented that rental yields are likely to remain stable for the remainder […]

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Countdown to changes for tenancy deposit protection

(16/03/12)

Landlords and letting agents are once again reminded that although, from April 6, they are being given more time to protect their tenants ™ deposits, penalties will be much more strictly enforced. The changes, which come into force on Good Friday, will give landlords and letting agents 30 days to protect their tenant ™s deposit, an increase from the current 14 days. Crucially, the tenant must be provided with proof of the deposit protection and the Prescribed Information by the landlord or agent within this 30-day limit. If the deposit is not protected, courts will be able to order the […]

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275,000 new tenants flooded the UK Private Rental Sector (24% increase) and Buy To Let Mortgage borrowing up 84,000 up since previous year 2011.

(06/03/12)

The Rise And Rise” Of The Private Rented Sector 275000 new tenants flooded the UK Private Rental Sector (24% increase) and Buy To Let Mortgage borrowing up 84000 up since previous year 2011.If you are involved in The Private Rental Market you have many good reasons to be cheerful as more and more evidence and trends emerge to show a very healthy picture of the PRS.Buy to Let Mortgages Booming Again Buy to Let Mortgage lending now accounts for almost 13% of the total outstanding value of all residential mortgages in the UK.Increase in Tenants Looking to Rent ” In […]

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Residential lettings expected to perform better in the next 3-6 months

(27/02/12)

Recent research by Lloyds TSB reveals some of the challenges and opportunities facing landlords: Overall confidence levels for the next 3-6 months have fallen back in the latest quarter across most regions although residential lettings has been overwhelmingly placed as the sector expected to perform the best in the coming period. Bristol and Edinburgh are the most popular locations outside of London and the South East for a maximum return on investment. 48% of small and medium sized property businesses will look to banks first to fund their businesses, but 44% will use equity or cash reserves as primary source. […]

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Buy-to-let remains a profitable investment

(20/02/12)

Landlords should find it easy to secure a buy-to-let mortgage, as lenders see this type of investment as a profitable option.This is according to director at Landlord Mortgages Lee Grandin, who explained how the rental sector is more favourable than the highly competitive first-time buyer market”.It was suggested that interest in purchasing buy-to-let property has risen as rental returns are “holding very well” due to a lack of housing supply.Mr Grandin claimed the drive in the market is partly as a result of both lenders and landlords making a profit from letting property to tenants.Buy-to-let rates are currently proving more […]

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UK Home Renters Increased by 25% in 2011

(14/02/12)

The number of people renting privately in the UK increased by almost a quarter in 2011 according to a recent report published in the Financial Times.New tenancy applications from those moving into rental accommodation was 275,000 which represents an increase of just under 25% over 2010 says the FT.This increase reflects the state of the housing market and the difficulties facing, in particular, young first time buyer singles and couples, faced with stringent mortgage application criteria. This situation, which is exacerbated by the slow rate of new housing development in the recession, has created a mini-boom in renting with some […]

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Tenants staying at the properties for longer periods!

(09/12/11)

With a limited supply of new property and rents now tipping the scales of the previous market peak of 2008, tenants who are coming towards the end of their term are finding fewer options available than they previously had.The UK private rented sector (PRS) is stronger than ever. Residential rental values have resulted in attractive inflation beating yields, and the supply and demand scales are now firmly tipped back in favour of the Landlord!

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High demand for rented property

(09/12/11)

Demand for UK Rental Property continues to soar, with lettings agreed within a record low of 12.7 days and up to 5 tenants competing for each private sector (PRS) rental property. Since the beginning of 2011 there has been a significant increase in tenant demand for private rented sector property. UK residents are adopting the European style of living choosing to rent rather than buy and this trend looks set to continue. Even with a slight seasonal fluctuation, demand for residential rental property has risen rapidly throughout the year.

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Small maintenance issues lead to major issues

(09/12/11)

Landlords may want to take note of one expert’s warning that homes need to be regularly monitored to ensure they are kept in a good condition.Editor at Build It magazine Anna-Marie DeSouza explained how failing to deal with problems when they are small can lead to costly repairs in the future and potentially serious issues.For example, she commented how areas of damp and mould can escalate to the point of causing homeowners to have allergic reactions”.Meanwhile simple refurbishments to rotten wood and loose tiles can prevent injuries Ms DeSouza stated.The property specialist claimed home maintenance is “an ongoing project” and […]

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Pet owners struggle to find rented property

(01/11/11)

Large numbers of pet owners are struggling to find rented accommodation, animal charity the Dogs Trust has stated.It surveyed 5,695 Britons who possess household creatures and found that one in three had drawn a blank when looking for a tenancy.House hunters who do not have a pet in tow take 50 days on average to secure a rented home, but more than half of the survey respondents said it had taken them between two months and over a year to find a landlord or letting agent that allowed animals.The Dogs Trust set up its Lets with Pets initiative in 2009, […]

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Organisation key to securing rented properties

(01/11/11)

People who are looking to find a property to rent have been urged to get organised before they head to see a letting agent.David Lawrenson, private rented sector expert at LettingFocus.com, has suggested that too many tenants are scuppered in their attempts to secure a new home because they do not have the relevant documentation to hand.Indeed, Mr Lawrenson added that house hunters need to have proof of their income and current address before they can sign a tenancy agreement.He also indicated that many people take too long to get their references together and by the time they have, someone […]

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Rents hit record high, says LSL Property Services

(01/11/11)

Rent payments have risen in every region of the UK for the first time in history, new figures compiled by LSL Property Services have revealed.Average monthly rents reached unprecedented levels of £718 per month, while six parts of Britain – Yorkshire and the Humber, the south-east, London, the east of England, East Midlands and Wales – all reported record highs.Rates were up by 0.7 per cent during September, with analysts suggesting the average tenant is paying £29 more than they were in the same month in 2010.Estate agency managing director at LSL David Newnes said the high rents were down […]

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Landlords set to go shopping.

(01/11/11)

Landlords are preparing for a period of sustained shopping and no it is not the pre-Christmas preparations! As rental demand continues to rise with an average of five tenants prospectively trying to obtain the same property coupled with house prices edging downward through weak demand from first time buyers and family homes moving more slowly, landlords are primed for a buying bonanza.According to joint research from the Residential Landlords Association and the Association of Residential Letting Agents the regions with the highest number of landlords who have already bought property in the last 12 months are the North-East, Greater London […]

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Campaigners keep up pressure over tenants&apos, benefit payments

(08/10/11)

An influential group of 15 organisations across the UK has called on work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to allow tenants to choose to have their benefits paid to landlords.Their joint letter to Duncan Smith asks for tenants to have a say over whether the housing element of the new universal credit can be paid to landlords.The Welfare Reform Bill says that the payment would automatically go to tenants, in the same way that Local Housing Allowance is now paid to housing benefit tenants in the private sector. An amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill is due to be […]

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Landlords forced to evict more tenants

(08/10/11)

An increasing number of landlords are being forced to evict tenants, with the main cause being unmanageable rent arrears.There are now double the number of people who are opting to rent an abode rather than buy one outright, but while this is good news for property investors, it has inevitably led to a rise in the number of problem tenants.According to tenant eviction specialist Helpland, 13 per cent of UK renters were in severe arrears” in July 2011.In the past 12 months the number of court orders being issued to oust property inhabitants has grown by nine per cent.Managing director […]

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