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Local Authorities Urged To Build More Private Rental Sector Properties

Local Authorities Urged To Build More Private Rental Sector Properties

Local Authorities Urged To Promote Institutional Investment In Private Rented Sector Over Home Ownership

According to the report “Making Renting Viable“ commissioned by the British Property Foundation (BPF) and conducted by a leading London law firm; more UK local authorities should focus on building new residential properties for the private rented sector to encourage institutional investment instead of promoting local homeownership.

The British Property Foundation and Addleshaw Goddard who conducted the survey, reckon that UK local authorities should earmark land within their council boundaries for private rented sector (PRS) properties and set housing development targets to encourage pension funds and other institutions to invest more in the private rented sector.

Partner at Addleshaw Goddard, Marnix Elsenaar, said: “It’s vital councils recognise both the need for an institutional private rented sector that’s not the same as buy-to-let, while ministers should update planning guidance to make building for rent economically viable. Residential property was seen as more difficult than renting out a commercial office block, but the landscape has changed. Institutions want reliable, long-term returns and they should see a good degree of income growth in the private rented sector.

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HMRC Targeting PRS Landlords Again

HMRC Targeting PRS Landlords Again

Another Clampdown On UK PRS Landlords By HMRC

HMRC has turned its attention to the housing and property rental market with the intention of targeting landlords, again.

The taxman thinks that there are a number of UK private rented sector (PRS) landlords who have yet to declare any income earned from renting properties to tenants, and they are going all out to find them.

The latest clampdown on private rented sector landlords by HMRC is intended to target those landlords allegedly not paying tax and the taxman is using information provided by all UK local authorities to track rental properties.

Letting agents and landlords have already started receiving letters from HMRC requesting information on long-term and holiday rental property addresses, letting periods, tenant numbers and rental income.

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Former Deputy PM Wants Action Against Rogue Landlords

Former Deputy PM Wants Action Against Rogue Landlords

Former Deputy PM Reckons “Rachmanism” Is Back!

We need to take action against private landlords and protect society’s most vulnerable people” – John Prescott

Former deputy PM, John Prescott has used his weekly column in the Sunday Mirror to hit out at rogue landlords in the UK’s private rented sector (PRS).

Mr Prescott wrote: “We tackled Rachmanism through legislation, housing finance and building more local authority housing. But 50 years later Rachman lives on in a new generation of unscrupulous landlords. More than a million rented homes in the private sector are now substandard. But for years, the taxpayer has subsidised them through housing benefit. Research has revealed that at least 36% of London’s council houses sold off by the Thatcher government are now in the hands of private landlords. Rents are at their highest ever to maximise obscene profits.”

Peter Rachman was a Polish migrant, who earned the poor reputation of being the archetypal slum landlord, because he subdivided houses into flats and rooms, forced paying tenants out of their properties to replace them with migrants from the West Indies, as it was easier to charge the migrants higher rents because they weren’t covered by UK rent protection legislation.

Mr Prescott also commented on mega landlord, Fergus Wilson’s decision to evict tenants on benefits and rent to Eastern Europeans instead, writing: “We pay out £9.3 Billion (GBP) in housing benefit every year. It helped people like Wilson build their property empires. But cuts to these benefits and the introduction of the bedroom tax means they’re looking to maintain their margins. Now, only one in five landlords rents to people on benefits. Cutting benefits has led to landlords kicking out the poorest people in society. We must get tough and follow Newham Council’s lead by licensing all private landlords to stop them kicking out the vulnerable to feather their own nests.”

It appears that the former deputy PM must have had a small lapse in his memory because it was the Labour government that introduced Local Housing Allowance, (LHA) – which replaced housing benefit and slashed the amount of money that tenants in private rented sector properties could claim towards housing costs, paving the way for the current unpopular bedroom tax that is affecting tenants in the social housing sector. The Labour government also introduced the ATOS Work Capability Assessments that have been attributed to the welfare reforms that the UK is also currently seeing.

Owning rental properties and letting them to tenants is a business and rental prices are dictated by local area demand as well as the LHA rates in each region, so it is unfair of the former deputy PM to tar all landlords with the same brush. Yes there are some unscrupulous landlords out there, and there are unscrupulous bankers and businessmen too, but they are not being targeted by former politicians who use the media to their own ends.

Wind your neck in 2 Jags, and stick to commenting on matters that you know about, rather than wading into a debate on which you know very little!

Fresh Warnings Over Rent-To-Rent

Fresh Warnings Over Rent-To-Rent

Rent-To-Rent Contracts May
Breach Mortgage Agreements

National newspapers are claiming that the Rent-To-Rent strategy for maximising profits from rental properties is immoral and illegal

Private rental sector landlords who utilise a rent-to-rent strategy, by which a property investor agrees to rent a property from the owner with the intention of sub-letting it to tenants for a profit, are being urged to check with their mortgage lenders that the practice will be allowed.

The warning was printed in The Sunday Times and follows last week’s news published by The Guardian newspaper and landlord news portal LandlordToday.co.uk, on the rent-to-rent phenomenon, which drew a mixed reaction.

Some lenders will not allow sub-letting, including The Mortgage Works (TMW), although BM Solutions does permit sub-letting.

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Landlords Still Concerned About LHA Tenant Rent Arrears

Landlords Still Concerned About LHA Tenant Rent Arrears

LHA Tenant Rent Arrears
Are Landlords Worse Case Scenario

The UK private rented sector may be booming and tenant demand is certainly strong but 60% of landlords and letting agents are still concerned about ever receiving the rent if they choose to accept tenants in a rental property who are claiming Local Housing Allowance.

A survey of 500 landlords and letting agents by website Dssmove found that apart from the rent issue, 75% of landlords and agents would be more than happy to let to Local Housing Allowance tenants.

Over half of the landlords and letting agents surveyed believed that tenants claiming Local Housing Allowance are no more troublesome than working tenants, but 61% cite rent collection and rent arrears as a major concern.

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Planning Minister Slams Irresponsible Councils

Planning Minister Slams Irresponsible Councils

Government Planning Minister Claims Planning Laws are sending UK housing back to the 19th Century

Planning Minister Nick Boles has stirred up a real hornets’ nest by claiming that local authorities that save green fields instead of building residential properties are irresponsible, and building new homes must be prioritised above preserving fields.

Nick Boles argued that homes create more human happiness than fields, whilst revealing the Government is determined to speed up the rate of residential house building, despite strong opposition.

Mr. Boles slammed local authorities in an interview with the Daily Mail stating:”Deeply irresponsible councils and communities that refuse to co-operate with the government’s expansion plans will risk losing their hospitals and high street shops as their populations shrink. I understand that rural campaigners are very worried when green-field land is replaced by the sheer ugliness and soullessness of housing estates. However, current planning laws are sending Britain back to the 19th century when only the well-off could afford their own home. The sum of human happiness that is created by the houses that are being built is vastly greater than the economic, social and environmental value of a field that was growing wheat or rape.”

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Welfare Reforms Could Increase Fraud

Welfare Reforms Could Increase Fraud

The Government’s controversial welfare reforms will leave the benefits system more vulnerable to fraud, according to a group of MPs.

The Government decision to press on with welfare reforms means that Universal credit is set to be implemented nationally from October 2013 and replaces a string of existing benefits such as local housing allowance (LHA), housing benefit (HB) and child tax credits.

Changes to IT system for universal credit could make it harder to distinguish fraudulent claims from those that are genuine, and there are calls for the government to give swift assurance that the introduction of Universal Credit will not cause a rise in benefit fraud,

MPs issued the warning after a report by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee into the extent of the welfare reforms highlighted several concerns about the new Universal Credit scheme.

The first trial of the new system begins on 29 April 2013 in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

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Council Tax Changes Costs Landlords

Council Tax Changes Costs Landlords

As of 1st April 2013, all UK local authorities will have the discretion to charge the full Council Tax due on any empty properties within their borough. This is bad news for landlords as this will include any empty private sector rental properties.

The changes are designed to increase local authority revenues and will affect properties that until now had been granted automatic exemption or discounts, including furnished and unfurnished properties in the private rented sector (PRS).

Properties that would previously have been exempt including those that are empty because of necessary building work also lose the automatic right to be let off Council Tax for up to a year.

Numerous local authorities have decided to charge the full amount of Council Tax from the outset. The important changes to Council Tax charges are detailed below:

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Mortgage repayments have fallen by more than two-fifths in Scotland when taken as a proportion of income

 

Scotland is best place to get a mortgage

Scotland is best place to get a mortgage

Mortgage payments have fallen from a peak of 38% in last quarter of 2007 to just 22% in the final quarter of 2012, according to research conducted by Bank of Scotland.

Lower residential property prices and reduced mortgage rates have been the main driving force behind the significant improvement in affordability.

The average monthly take-home wage in Scotland is £1,954 (GBP) while the average monthly mortgage payment is just £424 (GBP).

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Labour leader, Ed Miliband says Labour plan to crackdown on rogue landlords and grant local authorities greater powers.

Labour Leader Plans Crackdown on Rogue Landlords

Labour Leader Plans Crackdown on Rogue Landlords

Politicians are usually reticent to discuss the UK private rental sector (PRS) because political conflicts could easily arise. Landlords are, of course, great taxpayers and contributors to the economy, where tenants are seen to be the ‘ordinary man’: in reality, both have their place and their way of working. 

However, Labour party leader Ed Milliband was keen to make clear his plans to protect tenants from rogue landlords in a speech delivered earlier this week, in favour of longer tenancy agreements.

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