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Will The Housing Crisis Win The Election?

Will The Housing Crisis Win The Election?

The Politics Of Housing

It is still generally acknowledged by all political parties that there is a housing shortage in the UK, and each political party wants to offer the public alternative methods of tackling the problem in an attempt to win electoral favour.

Most political parties see the housing crisis in the UK as a possible election winning issue and each party’s election manifesto promises the general public many things, including further private rented sector (PRS) reforms and the introduction of additional legislation. There isn’t much offered by any political party for landlords, except for the promise to put an end to the private rental sector.

A recent survey by Ipsos MORI research published in January 2015 discovered a confusing conundrum, in that:

  • 75% of the public agree that there is a housing crisis in the UK
  • 48% of the public disagree there is a housing crisis in their locality

The publication of each political party’s election manifesto is intended to give the public a clearer indication of the housing priorities of the UK’s next parliament.

However, despite claims of a housing shortage nationally there are still some UK regions that have large proportions of derelict and abandoned properties, many still in a habitable condition.

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Referrals To The Property Ombudsman Increase

Referrals To The Property Ombudsman Increase

Huge Rise In Referrals To
The Property Ombudsman

There was a 42% increase in the number of referrals to The Property Ombudsman (TPO) last year, according to The Property Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2014.

The latest publication of The Property Ombudsman’s annual report shows that six months after the introduction of new legislation, making it a legal requirement for UK letting agents and property managers to join one of the three government approved redress schemes, the number of letting agencies and property management companies signed up to the TPO scheme has reached 12,915, a new record level.

The 42% increase in registered property lettings and estate agent businesses brings the total number of UK estate agents and property lettings offices offering free, independent route to resolve property and tenancy disputes to 26,735.

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Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Complaints About Lettings Agents  On The Rise
According To Property Redress Scheme

Due to the fact that more tenants and property owners are now aware of their consumer rights, especially the right to redress, there has been a month on month increase in the number of complaints being made against lettings agents, property management companies and estate agents.

The Property Redress Scheme, (PRS), is just one of three consumer redress schemes set up by the Government to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between the public and property agents.

From 1 October 2014 it became a legal requirement for all lettings agents, property managers and estate agents, as defined by legislation, in England to belong to one of the three Government approved redress schemes, which are:

The number of complaints raised with the PRS is increasing month on month. Of the complaints raised so far,

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MPPT Spotlight are focusing on Tenants this week with a series of articles on getting the best out of tenant

MPPT Spotlight are focusing on Tenants this week with a series of articles on getting the best out of tenants

Tenants Admit Having Problems With Landlords And Letting Agents

55% of tenants in the UK’s private rented sector (PRS) have experienced problems with their landlord or their appointed letting agents according to the latest research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

The most common issue which affected 31% of PRS tenants was the length of time taken to fix problems in rental properties including issues with boilers, heating and electrical outlets.

Once a problem was raised, tenants have waited an average of 36 days for the problem to be fully resolved. However over 14% of PRS tenants never had their rental property problems fixed at all, according to the research.

18% of tenants surveyed also reported frustrating delays with landlords not replacing worn out fixtures and fittings on demand, including requests to replace old or damaged kitchen cupboards or tired and worn carpets.

14% of the tenants surveyed, felt that their complaints about repair issues were either ignored or brushed off by landlords or their appointed letting agents.

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48% Of Tenants Would Like To Withhold Rent Over Repair Delays

48% Of Tenants Would Like To Withhold Rent Over Repair Delays

Tenants wrongly attempt to

blackmail landlords over repairs

Private rental sector tenants are wrongly taking matters into their own hands and attempting to withhold rent from landlords over delays resolving emergencies like heating and electrical faults, according to new research by HomeServe.

The figures show that 1 in 3 PRS tenants have faced emergency repairs over the last 12 months,  with boiler faults and other central heating problems the most common.

Of those, 11% took the wrong action, attempting to withhold rental payments because they claimed that the landlord had taken an unacceptable length of time to deal with the repairs, and 48% of tenant respondents said they would also be willing to withhold rent should the need arise.

  • 1 in 4 problems take landlords more than a week to repair
  • 34% of private tenants have faced a home emergency in the last 12 months
  • 1 in 10 tenants who have had a home emergency withheld rent
  • 1 in 2 tenants would be willing to withhold rent if necessary to expedite repairs

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Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Fracking Concerns Ignored By Local Authorities And Government

There is a great deal of speculation and controversy surrounding the latest methods for extracting natural gas from under our feet, a process known as “Fracking” where a toxic mixture of chemicals are pumped into well heads to release gases trapped in the underlying bedrock.

The process is designed to fracture the rock strata, allowing gas to escape and rise to the surface and the controversial method is already being exploited widely in some states in the USA, with alarming results. Minor earth tremors are being caused and ground water is becoming saturated with methane and other flammable gases and some residents living near the remote drilling sites have to rely on bottled supplies to be able to drink and water cattle, however the companies controlling the drilling are happy to pay people off and ignore what they are being told.

Here in the UK, gas companies have identified potential sites that they reckon hold enough natural gas reserves to last for the next 30-40 years, unfortunately these areas are also heavily populated, not like in the USA.

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Tenants Fear Eviction For Reporting Outstanding Repairs

Tenants Fear Eviction For Reporting Outstanding Repairs

PRS Tenants Living In Fear Of
Retaliatory Evictions

A new survey has revealed that some tenants in private rented sector properties are living in fear of eviction because they had dared to complain to the landlord about outstanding repairs.

A third of tenants have been evicted or threatened with eviction after complaining to their landlord, according to new research carried out by online tenant community The Tenants’ Voice.

  • 61% of tenants said they were wary about complaining to their landlords
  • 71% of tenants have paid for repairs themselves rather than ask their landlords.

The survey suggests that a growing number of PRS tenants are facing retaliatory evictions because they voiced concerns over repairs. Desperate, cash strapped landlords have avoided taking out adequate Landlord Insurance policies to protect their rental properties and instead served section 21 notices to bring about the end of a periodic tenancy, rather than undertake the repairs that the tenants have requested, hoping that any new tenant won’t complain as much.

The UK tenant survey found that many tenants worry about asking their landlords to carry out repairs in fear of reprisals.

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Beware Of Serious Maintenance Issues When Purchasing Investment Properties

Beware Of Serious Maintenance Issues When Purchasing Investment Properties

25% of properties for sale in the UK
have serious maintenance issues

New research by Halifax home insurance has revealed that home owners are far from proficient at keeping their property well maintained.

The research found that whilst 28% of home owners claim to be DIY enthusiasts, almost a third of people surveyed said they only had basic skills and knowledge to carry out basic cosmetic improvements, such as painting and decorating, grouting tiles or assembling furniture rather than tackling bigger property maintenance issues such as cleaning gutters and repairing fixtures and fittings or repairing cracks in plaster.

lacking the confidence to undertake even straightforward maintenance which could prevent problems such as damp in the longer term,

The research found that property owners in Aberdeen had the best maintained properties in Scotland, while Peterborough was the top region in England, and Newport came out top in Wales.

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