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Landlords want to avoid LHA tenants

UK Landlords Want To Avoid Tenants Claiming Benefits

A survey conducted by the National Landlords Association (NLA) revealed that nearly half of its members felt that they could no longer afford to rent their properties to tenants receiving Local Housing Allowance or Housing Benefit, and as a result they would almost definitely stop considering LHA tenants for their properties.

Similarly almost 70% of the landlords that responded to the survey felt they would completely withdraw from the UK benefit sector within the next 3 years.

The recent cuts in LHA payments has meant that benefit claimants can now only be awarded a maximum of 30% of the local average rent, whereas before the cuts it was 50%.

Also, the age at which claimants can claim for more than a single room in a shared house has been increased from 25 to 35, meaning more people are being forced to share…a prospect that could result in some landlords needing to register their property as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).

David Salusbury, Chairman of the NLA, commented on the findings saying; “It’s concerning that so many landlords appear to be planning to withdraw from the LHA market within just three years, as they can no longer afford to let their properties to tenants at the reduced benefit rate.”

Local councils have been given permission to contact private landlords with the option of direct LHA payments in return for slightly reduced rents, however it seems that only 25% of councils in the UK have made any effort to speak directly with landlords about the matter.

And those local authorities that have contacted landlords, have offered such lowly reduced rental payments, that UK landlords are refusing to deal with them.

Property investors need to research before they buy in 2012

UK BTL property investors urged to be thorough with Due Diligence

Property investors are being urged to thorough research in order to be very selective about the areas they choose to purchase investment property in during 2012.

Poor returns from savings and the continuing strong demand for rental property will be the driving factors behind an increase in property investment in the UK buy to let (BTL) market.

However, taking a gamble on certain locations could be risky for would-be Buy To Let landlords with unemployment rising, Government welfare reforms and the fallout from the Eurozone crisis still looming.

UK property investors are urged to seek to purchase Buy-To-Let properties in popular residential areas with a good infrastructure and a strong employment market, such as upmarket commuter hotspots around all major cities.

Buyer and tenant demand will continue to outstrip the current supply of UK housing stock, supporting property price growth.
Property investors should avoid areas that are reliant on manufacturing or the public sector, during 2012 as these areas may face high levels of unemployment, and with the cap in housing benefit payments now in effect, rental yields may not be as healthy. Such areas are expected to see relatively low property transaction levels in 2012 and a fall in house values that could be more than 5%.

By conducting thorough Due Diligence property investors can purchase Buy-To-Let properties in strong locations that will deliver a reliable rental incomes and a good supply of quality tenants, in addition to a modest capital growth

A list of useful Due Diligence sites to aid property investors in their search for the best areas can be found here

Private Rental Sector property rents are expected to continue growing strongly in most areas, hopefully, in the region of +5% this year, due to continued restricted mortgage lending and poor employment prospects leaving a whole generation of potential first time buyers (FTB’s) with little prospect of buying a home.

To ensure rental income remains constant throughout the duration of a tenancy, landlords can utilise Rent Guarantee insurance to keep a regular income coming in from their buy-to-let property.

Policies offered by Legal 4 Landlords include 6 and 12 Month Rent Guarantee insurance policies designed to protect landlords whose tenants default on rent payments.
Rent Guarantee insurance can also provide additional cover to meet the cost of legal proceedings for the eviction of defaulting tenants from rented properties.

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