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Good news for landlords

Good news for landlords

There is a lot of Good News For Landlords Around As PRS rents Increase, Tenancies Last Longer And Demand Remains Strong

Good news for landlords as monthly PRS rents have increased by 1.1% year on year to average £845 (GBP) per calendar month (pcm). Scotland has witnessed the greatest rental price increase at 6.7% compared with the first quarter of 2013.

There has also been an increase in the number of older private rented sector tenants according to the latest quarterly index published by Countrywide lettings agency, who noted a 6% annual growth in the number of tenants over the age of 50 renting property in the UK private rented sector (PRS). The lettings agency also report that there has been a 7% annual decline in the number of tenants aged under 25 in the second quarter of 2013.

Buy-To-Let yields are strengthening across the UK, with the average yields being recorded in 3 regions:

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Scotland Leads Way On PRS Regulation

Scotland Leads Way On PRS Regulation

Better Regulation Of Scottish Private rented Sector On Way

As we reported on Wednesday, the Scottish government reviewed its strategy on PRS regulation on the 30th May and more new legislation will definitely be on the way, however, landlords and letting agents will be an important part of the consultation

The Scottish Government said that it “does not have a monopoly on good ideas. In order to deliver on the vision for the sector, we will engage with all of our partners on their innovative ideas.”

The Scottish Government PRS regulation strategy intends to improve the quality of the private rented sector in Scotland, including redefining the landlord registration scheme in order to target the worst offenders.

In 2011 it was estimated that some 11% of all households were within the PRS and the Scottish Government predict that this number will increase as there are already 500+ letting agencies north of the border who are managing over 150,000 rental properties, estimated to be about half the actual number.

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Confusion Remains Over Displaying EPC's

Confusion Remains Over Displaying EPC’s

As of the 9th January 2013 the laws regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) changed, however some landlords have stated that the regulation changes are still causing some confusion.

An EPC is a certificate stating how environmentally friendly a property is. By law an EPC must have been commissioned on all properties prior to marketing for sale or to let, and must be obtained within 7 days of the property first being marketed.

If an EPC is not obtained within 7 days, a further 21 days are allowed providing it can be proven that all reasonable efforts were taken to obtain the EPC beforehand. It is the responsibility of the seller or landlord of the property to obtain the EPC not the Estate Agents.

Although changes have been made there are certain similarities between the new laws surrounding EPC’s and the previous regulations.

For example, EPC’s are still required for all properties with the amendment that listed buildings are now exempt. An EPC must still be displayed on all documents however; the requirement to put the front page of the EPC into advertisements and property particulars has now been replaced with a requirement to insert the asset rating instead.

A summary of changes that have been made due to the new legislation are as follows:

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The Property Ombudsman’s 2011 report, released last week, has shown a large increase in the number of complaints made against UK letting agents managing residential Buy To Let (BTL) properties in the Private Rented Sector, (PRS). .

The Association of Residential Letting Agents, (ARLA) have backed the UK Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, in his call for proper regulation of the UK letting agency industry.

Mr Hamer’s report noted the need for a dedicated council that promotes the importance of using letting agents that are recognised members of either ARLA or the Property Ombudsman Scheme.

However, ARLA want legislation be put in place which demands the registration and licensing of all UK letting agents.

ARLA Operations Manager, Ian Potter, said “As an organisation that strives to achieve the best possible standards within the private rented sector, we are disappointed to see a rise in lettings complaints over the past year. That said, it comes as very little surprise given there is no national regulation in place to stop rogue agents setting up shop and taking advantage of what is a fragile market, 26% of complaints were against agents who did not belong to an Ombudsman scheme.”

Mr Potter then went on to recommend that tenants looking to enter into agreements with letting agents should, for their own protection, ensure they are members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme at the very least.

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