Currently viewing the tag: "payments"
Government Issue Response To Tax Relief Petition

Government Issue Response To Tax Relief Petition

Government Issue Muted Response To Tax Relief Petition

The Government has published a response to the online petition that opposes the proposals to change the amount of tax relief on buy to let mortgages announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in the post election summer budget.

From April 2017 onwards landlords will only be able to claim the basic rate tax relief rather than the higher rate tax relief on buy to let mortgage payments. It is widely feared that the move will severely affect the profitability of the private rented sector (PRS).

The online petition to reverse the planned tax restrictions on individual landlords has attracted more than 23,600 signatures since being posted.

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What Does The Future Really Hold For PRS Landlords?

What Does The Future Really Hold For PRS Landlords?

Are PRS Landlords Any Better Off
After The Election?

UK private rental sector landlords may have breathed a sigh of relief after the general election results were announced last week, but is the future still rosy for the PRS?

Conservatives Vowed To Leave PRS Landlords AloneThe Conservatives may have been voted into Government by a small majority over the other political rivals, but will all the election promises be kept or is it more likely that we will see additional legislation concerning rent caps, longer tenancies and changes to tenant’s rights being introduced via other means?

The way I see it, the future under a Conservative Government will be no different from the experiences of the last 5 years.
The main targets will still be PRS landlord’s and letting agents and the victims will always be the tenants.

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Failed Warrington Letting Agent Rips Off Landlords

Failed Warrington Letting Agent Rips Off Landlords

Warrington Letting Agent Closes Owing ~
Landlords Thousands Of Pounds

Aspire Lettings based on Padgate Business Park in Warrington, Cheshire have vanished leaving more than 200 landlords without thousands of pounds in rental payments.

Landlords are still waiting to receive rental payments from Aspire Lettings, and they have tried to contact the owner of the company, Becky Westby, on numerous occasions, via telephone and email, but have been unable to get anywhere.

Any landlords using Aspire lettings in Warrington (Company number 09042816) should contact their tenants immediately and stop any further rental payments being made to Becky Westby and Aspire Lettings in Warrington and make alternative arrangements.

Affected landlords are also being encouraged to contact The Property Ombudsman and their local trading standards offices.

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New LHA Rates for 2014 -2015 Published

New LHA Rates for 2014 -2015 Published

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rates Change In April

Every year the Government publish Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates that are periodically reviewed and payment levels in some UK regions may change without notice.

The April 2014 – March 2015 LHA rates have now been published and the revised list makes interesting reading for landlords and letting agents who are willing to accept tenants claiming benefits.

UK private rental sector landlords are able to ensure rental property profits by allowing their properties to be let to tenants claiming housing benefit (HB), with local authority rental payments exceeding buy-to-let mortgage payments.

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Mystery Of Missing £400,000 Housing Benefit Payments

Mystery Of Missing £400,000 Housing Benefit Payments

R2R Company Owes Landlords £400,000 Housing Benefit Payments

Around £400,000 (GBP) in housing benefit payments have mysteriously disappeared after being paid to London Housing Solutions one of London’s biggest property agents, who specialise in letting property to tenants claiming benefits, Channel 4 News have revealed.

Channel 4 News attempted to trace both the present and former directors of the company, who admitted that the money had gone astray, but neither would accept responsibility for its disappearance.

Local Housing Solutions, an offshoot of London Housing Solutions, who until recently shared offices and staff in Catford also denied benefiting from the missing payments.

Channel 4 News understands at least 100 private rented sector landlords are owed rent by London Housing Solutions and the tenants spoken to by Channel 4, fear eviction as a result of the non payments.

The two rent 2 rent companies were originally set up by Keith MacGregor, who failed to respond to Channel 4 News’ accusations.

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Discretionary Payments Scandal

Discretionary Payments Scandal

70% Of Local Authorities Spend Less Than Half  Of Discretionary Payment Pots

Official Government figures suggest that 70% of UK local Authorities are committed to pay out less than half their emergency hardship fund or discretionary housing payments pots by the midpoint of the current financial year.

The figures were confirmed following further research by Inside Housing published in November, which found many local authorities were on course to hand back millions of unspent discretionary housing payment funds in April 2014.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures, released on Friday 20th December 2013, show one in six local authorities have committed to pay out less than a quarter of their DHP pots.

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Property repossessions In the North of England are higher than national average

Property repossessions In the North of England are higher than national average. Property
May Be Cheaper But It Is More Likely To Be Repossessed

4 Of Top 10 Property Repossession Areas
Are In North West of England

A new study by e.surv chartered surveyors has revealed the top 10 hotspots for property repossessions in the UK, and the results show that property owners in the North are less able to keep up with mortgage repayments than property owners in the South.

e.surv’s researchers analysed Ministry of Justice figures for court-ordered repossessions for the 12 months up to 30th June 2013, plus the company’s own data, and found the largest North-South divide since the onset of the financial crisis, with 3.2 repossessions per 1,000 households in the North of England, compared with 2.4 per 1,000 in the South of England.

Four of the UK’s top five “repossession hotspots” are in North-West of England according to the data with Chester, Blackpool, Oldham and Wigan among top five property repossession hotspots.

These areas are among those with the highest proportion of property owners who are struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments.

The data revealed that even despite all the media coverage about surging property prices in and around the capital, two areas within Greater London – Romford (3rd highest number of property repossessions per thousand households) and Croydon came in joint 7th on the repossession hotspot top ten.

Chester is the top UK city for property repossessions by a substantial margin, THREE times the national average!

The rest of the North-West of England does not fair much better with 8 out of 10 towns having above the national UK average number of property repossessions per thousand households.

This news presents an excellent opportunity for new, amateur and seasoned property investors to grab some property bargains as mortgage lenders and banks will be looking to offload these repossessed properties quickly so that they can get their money back, they are not looking to profit!

Lancaster, Liverpool and Carlisle in the North of England showed a lower than the average number of property repossessions, according to the data. However, despite being below the national average, Carlisle had seen a 37% increase in the rate of property repossessions in the 12 months to June 2013.

Other UK regions that also showed huge increases in the volume of property repossessions over 12 months, but remained below the national average are:

  • Taunton in Somerset – 34% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013
  • Brighton – 30% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013
  • Reading – 27% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013

e.surv Director, Richard Sexton, said: “Residential property prices may be high in the capital, and employment prospects may be stronger, but in such densely populated areas, there remain property owners who are struggling with mortgage payments. Many borrowers have seen their finances slowly eroded by high inflation and increasing living costs. This has been particularly potent in London, where less affluent borrowers, by that I mean those who could only just afford to buy, have been badly affected. On a national level repossession numbers are falling as mortgages become cheaper, wages are slowly picking up and the employment market has more vitality. For the UK as a whole, repossessions fell 17% during the 12 month period, with 66,544 repossession orders granted in 2012-13, as opposed to 77,856 in 2011-12. As a region, the north has traditionally depended on public sector jobs, but a squeeze in public sector funding has led to loss of jobs for many, and very slow pay increases for others. Pay increases that are consistently below the rate of inflation have further tightened household budgets, and caused many to fall behind on mortgage repayments. There is still a long way to go before the northern property market returns to its pre-recession health, and all the while the north is still playing catch-up, and falling further and further behind the south.”

Top 10 Property Repossession Areas

 

UK Town / Region

Property Repossessions Per Thousand Households

Total Number Of Property Repossessions In 12 Months To 30th June 2013

1

Chester – North West

8.4

961

2

Blackpool – North West

4.5

570

3

Romford – Greater London

4.4

936

4

Oldham – North West

4.3

829

5

Wigan – North West

4.2

541

=5

Luton – Bedfordshire

4.2

565

7

Bradford – Yorkshire

4.1

1002

=7

Doncaster – Yorkshire

4.1

1356

=7

Croydon – Greater London

4.1

644

10

Northampton – Northamptonshire

3.8

966

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: e.surv 

So what are you waiting for?

There will never be a better time to purchase repossessed properties, there are a great number of deals to be had from the areas listed in the table above.

Think of the table as a treasure map, with 10 UK locations offering repossession property deals direct from the banks and mortgage lenders.

New Row Over Letting Agent's Evil Fees

New Row Over Letting Agent’s Evil Fees

Homeless Charity Wants All
Letting Agent Fees To Be Met By Landlords

The homelessness charity, Shelter have started to campaign to get all letting agent fees currently charged to tenants banned throughout England, and they want landlords to foot the bill for it, a point which has angered the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and caused consternation with the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA).

Shelter have launched a new report, “Letting Agencies: the Price you Pay”, claiming that charging landlords is a fairer way of doing business and the charity also claim that tenants are having to go without food or heating to meet increasing housing costs because letting agents’ fees are out of control.

Shelter were instrumental in getting letting agent fees banned in Scotland and now want the practice outlawed by MPs in England and are calling for politicians to take action.

The homelessness charity seem to think that all letting agents are the devil in disguise and recently questioned 58 separate letting agents throughout England, anonymously, asking them about what fees each charged in order to set up a tenancy for a tenant and discovered the average administration fee charged by agents was £350 (GBP) plus upfront rent and tenancy deposits. Less than a third of letting agents questioned charged fees totalling more than £400 and seven charged in excess of £700.

The Shelter research claims that in the last three years,

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Landlord Possession Orders And Tenant Evictions Increase

Tenant Eviction Figures Increase Again

Tenant Eviction Figures Increase Again

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of PRS landlords seeking to evict bad tenants and the volume of possession orders doesn’t look like abating any time soon according to data released by the UK Government.

Government figures show that there were 103,329 landlord claims for tenant eviction and orders for possession made last year, the highest recorded rate over the last five years and continues to represent an upward trend.

It is estimated that between 67% and 80% of claims led to a possession order being granted by the courts.

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Universal Credit Will Backfire Warns Think Tank

Government Welfare Reforms Set To Backfire As Claimants Don't Want Universal CreditThe proposed welfare reforms are not wanted by the majority of claimants or their landlords according to research by the Social Market Foundation.

Tenants with low incomes and families claiming benefit will be pushed further into financial difficulties and debt by the shift to monthly benefit payments under Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.

Attempts as part of the new Universal Credit system to encourage claimants to budget properly and make their own rental payments risk backfiring, the Social Market Foundation said.

It called for the introduction of an online budgeting tool allowing claimants to set the frequency of payments themselves and allocate income to different items of expenditure.

However the foundation stopped short of calling for landlords to continue to receive direct payments for tenants that were considered vulnerable or at risk.

Under the Universal Credit there will be one single monthly benefit payment – rather than weekly or fortnightly as at present – and all tenants will have to pay landlords themselves.

The Government says it will be “flexible” with those who struggle to manage their money.

Research by the Social Market Foundation, entitled Sink or Swim: the Impact of Universal Credit, found that most low income households were opposed to the moves, expressing fears that they would not be able to budget properly and could end up in rent arrears and even face eviction.

Nigel Keohane, the think tank’s deputy director and co-author of the report doubted whether plans by the Government to provide special arrangements for certain vulnerable individuals was adequate, stating: “The Government’s laudable aim that Universal Credit should prepare families for work, boost their resilience to financial shocks, and simplify the system is at risk of backfiring. By moving to a single monthly payment for all benefits, the Government is removing the markers and aids that families currently rely on to budget effectively. Our research shows that this will throw people in at the deep end leaving them either to sink or swim. This laissez-faire approach will create real problems not only for families themselves, but also for public service organisations, such as social and private sector landlords and childcare providers, that families will end up owing money to. Instead of mandating monthly payments and centrally planning which families to exempt, the Government should allow low income families to take the decision themselves through an online budgeting tool,” he said. “This would allow the reforms to work with the grain of wider government objectives like personal responsibility and increased financial capability rather than working against them as the current system seems set to do.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “Universal Credit will be paid monthly because most people in work are paid that way and the system should help people get used to the patterns of working life. But we will make sure that no one falls through the cracks, and we are working with local authorities and the financial industry on how best to support individuals. We have always said we would be flexible with people who might struggle to manage their money.”

Hmmm…..If that last statement is true, then the DWP had better start preparing to open a separate department to deal with struggling landlords as the Universal Credit system is severely flawed and the majority of claimants don’t want direct payments because they are unable to cope at the present time, so what happens to them in 2013?

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