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Green Party Leader Blames Landlords For UK Housing Crisis

Green Party Leader Blames Landlords For UK Housing Crisis

Green Party Leader Under Attack For Demonising
Private Rented Sector Landlords

The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett has attracted a great deal of criticism after she attacked buy-to-let landlords operating in the private rented sector (PRS) blaming them for helping to cause the UK’s housing crisis.

Ms Bennett cited extremely high rental returns for landlords with property in the UK private rental sector in the recent television debate between the opposition leaders.

She referred to a report published by the Wriglesworth Consultancy and lenders Landbay stating that there had been a 1,400% return for buy-to-let landlords since 1996.

But the report’s authors suggested that the calculations and methodology involved were far more complex than the Green Party leader had portrayed.

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Flooding Spells Trouble For PRS Landlords

Flooding Spells Trouble For PRS Landlords

Post Flood Checks for PRS Landlords
Of Properties Affected By Flooding

The recent flooding observed in the South of England this winter have seen a large number of landlords and home owners properties damaged by flood water with around 6,500 properties damaged by flood water since December 2013.

This has meant that both landlords and tenants have had to put in a great deal of time and effort to put things right, with landlords spending a substantial amount of time contacting their landlord insurance providers to inform them of the situation and trying to arrange repairs.

However, there are some landlords who remain unsure of where to start when it comes to flood damage, so we take a look at what landlords can do if property has been affected by flooding:

  • Wear waterproof clothing, boots and a face mask
  • Get a qualified person to switch off electricity at mains – don’t touch sources of electricity while standing in water
  • Remove water using pump and generator – position generator outside as it produces carbon monoxide fumes which can kill
  • Only pump out water when flood levels outside house start to be lower than inside – this reduces the risk of structural damage
  • Houses can be cleaned and disinfected using ordinary household products
  • If drying property naturally, keep doors and windows open, if using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows

Severe Flood Damage

Unfortunately, if you own property in the South of England there is a good chance they have been severely affected by flooding, especially if they are located near the Somerset levels or by the River Severn or River Thames.

The Environment Agency (EA) issued 16 severe flood warnings (meaning severe flooding with a danger to life) and 76 flood warnings (meaning immediate action should be taken) in January 2014 for the South West and South East of England.

If your rental properties have been affected by severe flooding then there is the likelihood that the tenants will have already been evacuated.

UK PRS landlords may find that they have to foot the bill to re-house tenants while their property is unfit to live in, and even after the flood waters have receded and it could still take months for damage to be repaired.

It is important for landlords to keep in constant contact with their landlord insurance provider and their tenants in order to make sure the restoration process runs as smoothly as possible.

Traditional brick or concrete walls will generally dry out well so long as they are clear for ventilation.

Wall cavities need to be inspected by an expert to ensure walls are secure and any damaged wall-cavity insulation will also need to be removed.

Internal walls, damaged plaster, plasterboard and wallpaper will have to go. Holes might also need to be drilled through plasterboards or dry linings to drain trapped water and aid ventilation, and timber partitions may rot if not dried properly and property owners are advised not to redecorate for at least three months after walls have dried and repairs have been done.

Modern wiring can withstand a short period of flooding, but if a property has been flooded for more than a few hours, it will probably need rewiring – downstairs at least. An electrician will also need to give junction boxes, socket outlets, light switches and ceiling connections a thorough check to ensure there is no water trapped inside them.

Moderate Flood Damage

Properties have been affected across the whole of the UK, even though properties worst affected by flooding are mainly in the South West and South East of England. Many of these properties are still habitable, however there are a number of other issues that landlords have to deal with.

Flooding can destroy the fabric and structure of property if left and it’s hard to be sure how solid a property’s foundations are after flooding, as some problems may take years to materialise.

There can be subsidence – which causes foundations to “sink”, and heave – which forces foundations upwards. Subsidence occurs when the ground under a building “shrinks” through lack of water, whereas heave occurs when the ground expands because of excess water. There is also the possibility of sinkholes and signs to watch out for are cracks and general movement in the building, but both can often remain undetected for some time.

Other indicators of structural damage include buckling of walls, bulging or dislodged sections of property and new cracks above windows or doors

Tenants will often get in contact immediately if they feel that their property is affected by flood water, and landlords should try to get as much information as possible about the amount of damaged caused.

Small amounts of water in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms are less disastrous than in carpeted areas such as bedrooms or living rooms, and if it is safe to do so you can advise your tenants on how to contain flood water.

Landlords should keep in regular contact with tenants in the worst hit areas to monitor the situation and make preparations to re-home them if necessary.

Minimal Flood Damage

Rental properties built on high ground, away from lakes and rivers, will probably be unaffected by flooding. However, with the high winds and increased rainfall over the past few months there is still a danger of damage, so landlords need to make sure that basic checks are carried out to assess the damage when they are able to.

Roof tiles, chimney stacks, gutters soffits, and window frames can be adversely affected by strong winds and continuous heavy rainfall. If left in unchecked these minor issues can become major problems in the future.

Tenants may have noticed small leaks in garages and lofts during heavy rainfall, which should be treated as warning signs.

Unfortunately, nearly every landlord across the UK right now needs to have some sort of plan in place in case their properties are affected by flooding; otherwise they could find themselves in a difficult situation.

The Environment Agency website is updated on a regular basis with information concerning flood warnings and what to do in an emergency.

The new “Flood Re” proposals intended to replace the current statutes of the Water Bill will leave landlords high and dry as insurance companies withdraw insurance for rental properties in areas prone to flooding.

 

Government Seek Bids For Build-To-Rent Scheme

Government Seek Bids For Build-To-Rent Scheme

Build-To-Rent scheme seeking bids from property developers to help bring about the fastest rate of affordable residential property construction for two decades 

UK Government Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, last week announced a second round of funding for the construction of new rental properties and the government are seeking fresh bids for a share of at least £400 Million (GBP) to build new properties specifically for the private rental sector (PRS).

The funding is part of the flagship £1 Billion (GBP) Build-To-Rent fund, which offers support for property developers and property investors who want to get into the private rental sector for the first time.

Mr Prisk said the new Build-To-Rent scheme would encourage investment in the UK’s private rental market and offer prospective tenants a greater choice of rental property. The scheme is intended to run alongside up to £10 Billion (GBP) in government housing guarantees.

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New Affordable Housing Guarantees Funding Is Intended To Deliver

New Affordable Housing Guarantees Funding Is Intended To Deliver
Thousands Of Affordable Properties

New Affordable Housing Guarantee Funding Is Intended To Deliver Thousands
Of Affordable Properties

On the 24th July 2013, Government ministers announced a multi-million pound boost to build thousands of new and affordable residential properties in the UK.

69 different housing associations and developers will each receive a share of £220 million (GBP) to deliver almost 14,000 new and affordable residential properties outside of the London area.

Work on the new residential properties will be started by March 2015 and will be expected to be completed by 2017.

The move is part of wider government efforts to get Britain building, which will lead to the fastest annual rate of affordable house building for over 2 decades.

The increased funding is part of the expanded £450 million (GBP) Affordable Housing Guarantees which will support up to £3.5 Billion (GBP) in government debt guarantees to deliver thousands of new homes.

Of the almost 14,000 homes this money will help deliver, the majority will be available at an affordable rent with 2,000 of those available to buy through shared ownership.

Housing associations and developers who plan to use the guarantee scheme will now work with the Affordable Housing Finance to finalise the details of the loan funding that will work alongside today’s grant allocations.

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Mark I’Anson – Dominate Your Ground 

Dominate Your Ground by Mark I'Anson

Dominate Your Ground by Mark I’Anson

Dominate Your Ground” is the revolutionary new book from Mark I’Anson, the renowned investment property trader, trainer and coach. 

Dominate Your Ground” details highly innovative techniques, all designed to dramatically improve your wealth opportunities through successful UK residential property trading and investments. 

Learn how to effectively and profitably set up as a property trader, learn the business from the start, source the RIGHT below market value properties, convert and close deals, all from one of the country’s leading authorities on the subject.  

This book is a MUST read for anyone who has a genuine interest in trading in property and wants to realise an un-rivalled level of profit from property!

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Landlords Risk Losing Insurance Claims

Landlords Risk Losing Insurance Claims

UK Buy to let landlords have been warned not to try and make false economies by attempting to make savings on their annual insurance premiums.

The warning has come from Michael Portman, managing director of tenancy referencing and insurance firm Let Risks. He says that in the current financial climate, landlords are trying to keep their premiums low to make savings.

The result, he says, is that there has been a large rise in the number of private rental sector (PRS) properties that are “significantly under-insured”.

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Channel 4's Secret Agent Talks Tradesmen

Channel 4's Secret Agent Talks Tradesmen

Hiring a trusted tradesman can be a daunting prospect for many landlords, especially if it’s a big job on a rental property.

Specialised jobs such as electrical repairs, gas central heating boilers and plumbing jobs require an experienced, time served and qualified tradesman.

However, there are pros and cons to hiring a tradesman.

The advantage is a good quality end result; as a good tradesman will always do a quality job that lasts and looks good.

Beware of cowboys as many landlords and private residential property owners have been on the wrong end of escalating repair works where problem after problem seems to crop up and the overall costs increase massively.

Skilled tradesmen are able to troubleshoot and use the wealth of their years of experience to rectify issues, often finding cost effective ways to overcome problems.

Building a good relationship with any tradesman can often be down to choosing the right one in the first place. Tradesmen who can provide references and recommendations from previous clients are worth their weight in gold, according to Channel 4’s “Secret Agent” Phil Spencer, who says “Three is the magic number when it comes to getting quotes: provide a clear brief outlining the work that needs to be done, with an estimate of your budget. Recommendations are a must, word-of-mouth is often the first point of call, but a choice of three tradesmen is always a plus”.

Read Phil Spencer’s full article on tradesmen for MyPropertyPowerTeam.co.uk here

or

Click Here to Find a Tradesman

We are now building fewer new properties than when the Queen first came to the throne in 1952!

While residential properties are smaller than in previous decades, property prices have increased and modern conveniences have changed beyond recognition.

The biggest change in the last 60 years has been in home ownership: this has more than doubled from 32% of all households in England in 1953 to 66% in 2010-11.

The Right to Buy scheme in the 1980s was a key driver of the rise, helping to lift owner occupation from 57% in 1981 to 68% in 1991.

However, owner occupation has been declining since its peak of 71% in 2003.

The Private Rented Sector (PRS) trend shows the reverse of the home ownership pattern. The proportion of rental accommodation in the PRS has fallen by two-thirds since the fifties, from 50% in 1953 to 17% in 2010-11.

However, the private rented sector has been rising again over the last decade, after being as low as 10% in 2001.

The proportion of social (council) housing has also risen and fallen over the same period. From 17% of all households in coronation year, peaked at 32% in 1981 and is now just 18%.

201,860 new residences were built in 1951, compared with an estimated 137,000 in 2011.

New house building reached record levels in the sixties with 425,830 new homes being built.

New residential properties have also been shrinking in size. Properties less than 538 sq ft in size accounted for just 9% of all new homes built before 1980, this proportion doubled after 1980.

The types of new properties being built has also changed. Semi detached houses accounted for 41% of new homes built between 1945 and 1964, but represent only 15% of homes built after 1980.

Flats used to account for 15% of newly constructed property between 1945 and 1964, but after 1980, accounted for 20% of all new housing stock.

There has been a dramatic improvement in the quality of residential property of all types since the end of WWII.

In 1947, 42% of households had no bath or shower and 64% had no basic water supply: by 1991, the proportion had fallen to 0.3% and 1% respectively.

Households in the UK with a second toilet have increased from 31% in 1996 to 41% in 2007.

Another noticeable trend has been the fall of the ‘traditional’ family unit household.

The proportion of households in England occupied by married couples has dropped from 70% in 1971 to 40% in 2011. Over the same period, the proportion of single person households in the UK has risen from 19% in 1971 to 33% in 2011.

Single person households are expected to replace married households as the most common form of household over the next decade.

Over the last 60 years the average UK residential property price has increased 7,278% from £2,200 in 1951 to £162,338 in 2011. This is three times the rise in retail price inflation over the same period (2,477%).

UK property prices have risen in real terms in nearly two out of every three years – 38 out of 60 – since 1951.

* Research compiled from a number of sources by Lloyds TSB

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