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Survey Shows UK Public Think Property Investment Is Best Way Forward

Survey Shows UK Public Think Property Investment Is Best Way Forward

Survey Shows UK Public Think
Property Investment Provides Best Returns

A new survey has discovered that 40% of UK residents would rather choose property investment over all other investment types.

The YouGov survey commissioned by InterTrader found that 40% of UK residents reckon that property investment is the best vehicle for generating a good Return On Investment (ROI).

In addition, over half of UK residents would consider a more active role in managing their own investment opportunities, with 38% of respondents saying they would not trust financial professionals to generate high enough positive returns with their hard earned savings.

The findings of the YouGov survey were published amid the concern that parts of the UK, especially London and the South East, are experiencing a localised and unsustainable property bubble.

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3 Compulsory Redress Schemes To Investigate Lettings Complaints

3 Compulsory Redress Schemes To Investigate Lettings Complaints

3 Compulsory Redress Schemes
To Investigate Lettings Complaints

The Government have approved three compulsory redress schemes to offer landlords and tenants in the UK private rented sector independent investigation into complaints in the property management and lettings industry, bringing them in line with redress schemes already in operation for residential property sales.

The 3 lettings industry redress schemes are:

  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Ombudsman Services Property
    • The Property Redress Scheme 

The new schemes will consider all complaints made by tenants and landlords including non-disclosed fees and poor service delivery, and as with residential property sales where a complaint is upheld, tenants, landlords and leaseholders could receive compensation.

Two of the three redress schemes have been around for a while and The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is probably the most recognised of the two pre-existing schemes but little is known about the new Property Redress Scheme.

Most letting agents in the UK are already registered with at least one redress scheme, however 40% of the entire lettings industry, estimated to be around 3,000 agents, are to be encouraged to join up before membership is made mandatory later this year.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said that he hoped the new rules would strike the right balance between protecting tenants in the UK private rented sector and not harming the UK lettings industry with excessive red tape. The new redress schemes were just one part of the government’s efforts to secure a better deal for tenants in the PRS, stating: “All tenants and leaseholders have a right to fair and transparent treatment from their letting agent. Most tenants are happy with the service they receive, but a small minority of agents are ripping people off, and giving the whole industry a bad name. That’s why we will require all agents to belong to one of the official redress schemes. They will ensure tenants and landlords have a straightforward route to take action if they get a poor deal, while avoiding excessive red tape that would push up rents and reduce choice for tenants.”

The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer said: “TPO experienced a 34.2% increase in consumer enquiries relating to unregistered letting agents during 2013, which really underlines the importance of mandatory redress. Whilst my role as Ombudsman means that I am not a regulator and I can only review complaints after a dispute has occurred, making redress a legal requirement for lettings is a positive move. Clearly it would be better if complaints did not arise in the first place and robust legislation to enforce controls was in place.”

There are thousands of decent letting agents in the UK but there are also a fair proportion of rogue agents who operate under the radar, that lack the much needed transparency on fees and who are fleecing both tenants and landlords alike.

Landlords should ensure their appointed property managing or letting agent is registered with the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA).

Most UK tenants are unaware that they could be leaving themselves open to exploitation if the agent is not a member of at least one of the regulatory associations.

Over 30% of UK adults expect to spend less in 2012 compared to just 20% in October 2011, suggesting that more British people have become even more pessimistic about their finances this year.

The survey carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf, the Resolution Foundation, who are an independent research and policy think tank organisation which aims to improve outcomes for people on limited income suggests that people have become more pessimistic about their finances since autumn last year, when the Eurozone crisis worsened.

23% of respondents to the survey said they expect their financial situation to deteriorate over the next 12 months, compared with just 15% in October 2011, when the survey was last carried out.

The latest survey also found that more people are now saving, with 30% of respondents saying they were putting money away every month, compared with 22% in October 2011.

20% of respondents to the survey also said they would not be able to go away on holiday this year.

The Resolution Foundation’s Chief Executive, Gavin Kelly said: “The longer households cut back on spending, the longer it will be before we see real economic recovery.”

The survey is part of a wider report by the Resolution Foundation, called ‘Squeezed Britain’, highlighting the pressures on low and middle-income households.

Last week, housing charity Shelter warned that more than a third of people have cut back on their food bills in the last year, in order to pay their mortgage or rent, representing an increase of 44% since 2008.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “These staggering findings show just how many millions of people are cutting back on essentials as the continued squeeze on incomes starts to really bite.”

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