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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 Thoughtlessness
May Go Against Tenancy Agreements

According to new research conducted by Ocean Finance, the majority of tenants in the private rental sector could be guilty of breaching their tenancy agreement for their rented properties.

The study found that 94% of tenants in private rented sector properties admitted to acting in a manner that could be considered to be in breach of their tenancy agreements, as not all tenancy agreements include restrictive clauses, but many do.

The survey discovered that:

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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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Reluctant Landlords have been avoiding insurance obligations

Reluctant Landlords have been avoiding insurance obligations

When the banking crisis struck back in 2008, mortgage lending in the UK virtually ceased as lenders became wary of the toxicity of sub-prime mortgage loans and raised their lending criteria (and lowered their Loan To Value ratios) to unprecedented and highly restrictive levels, virtually killing the property market.

This meant that properties became financial millstones for many people who were unable to sell, resulting in an upsurge of reluctant or “accidental” landlords who were able to take advantage of a booming rental market caused by the fact that potential property buyers were forced to hand over substantial deposits in order to be allowed a mortgage or were unable to obtain mortgages due to the tightening of the lending criteria and were subsequently forced to rent!

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The UK government have submitted new proposals that recommend Buy To Let landlords and home owners who apply for permission to make repairs and improvements to their properties are encouraged to make additional improvements at the same time as other ongoing works in a bid to make properties greener.

However the proposals fail to fully account for where the UK PRS landlords are expected to find the money for such extra improvements or even if such improvements will prove to be beneficial to tenants.

Conservative MP Tim Yeo said “The new proposals will effectively force landlords to complete non-essential improvements aimed at improving energy efficiency at the same time as they make minor repairs or improvements to their rental properties. If they refuse they could be denied permission to make essential repairs by their local council.”

It is also widely thought that the UK coalition government want to introduce a scheme that means all property repairs, such as the installation of a new boiler or central heating system, are logged with the council.
The council will then ‘recommend’ additional improvements, such as new double glazing or loft insulation that will also need to be carried out in order to get permission for the boiler installation.

The proposed costs of the ‘recommended’ improvements could be offset using the new government Green Deal scheme due to be launched in October 2012.

Mr Yeo commented on the proposals saying; “You’ve got to find ways of making the public more enthusiastic about energy efficiency and I think compelling people who have applied for planning consent to make some alteration to their home isn’t necessarily going to help.”

The Land Registry has waived its fees for landlords who want an extra security function in a bid to counteract increasing property fraud.

From 1st February 2012, UK landlords will no longer have to pay for restrictions to be entered on their residential rental properties deeds at the Land Registry.

The restriction is designed to help prevent property fraud by requiring that a competent solicitor or property conveyancer must certify that they are satisfied that the person selling or mortgaging the property is the rightful and true owner of the property.

Home owner occupiers will have to continue paying a small fee for the charge, but the new exemption extends to buy-to-let investors and others not living in the property they wish to protect, including elderly people in long-term care or people who have moved out of their home after a relationship breakdown.

Landlords are at a proven higher risk of property fraud than homeowner-occupiers, and there have been cases where tenants have passed themselves off as the owner of the property and attempted to sell it or raise money on it via a mortgage.

See additional “Spotlight” articles about Property Fraud

By law the Land Registry must compensate the rightful owners of a registered property if there is sufficient evidence of a property fraud.

In 2010, 30 of the 71 claims paid out by the Land Registry for fraud and forgery were by non-family members.

Of these, 23 involved properties with an absent owner and amounted to £2 Million (GBP) out of the total £7.3 Million (GBP) compensation paid.

Landlords are urged to take up the land registry safeguard and also to take extra action to prevent ID and property fraud:

  • Use the Post Office’s mail redirection service if you have lived in the property yourself and are now renting it out. Use the service for at least a year.
  • Be extremely careful about details you give out on social networking sites like Facebook. Do not give out personal information such as date of birth.
  • Ensure that all your properties are registered with the Land Registry.
  • Ensure that all your contact details are updated and correct, so that the Land Registry can get hold of you if it wants to query anything.
  • Utilise the Land Registry facility to have three addresses on the register. Email addresses, as well as physical addresses, can be included.
  • Finally, use the free facility described above to enter a restriction on your property, requiring your solicitor to certify that the person attempting to sell or mortgage the property is the owner.

Chief Land Registrar, Malcolm Dawson, said: “It is important to let home owners know what simple steps they can take to protect their property, one of which is now the ability for those at greatest risk to have a free restriction entered which might prevent their property from being targeted by fraudsters and stolen unawares. We have introduced a range of additional safeguards in the last four years and we also work closely with other organisations to do all we can to tackle fraud and identify and take corrective action when it has happened. But home owners must also be vigilant and play their own part in protecting their properties against fraud.”

Original source: LandlordToday.co.uk

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Hello all Spotlight Readers
Please see the post below on behalf of an investor who has become a victim of fraud

There is something very serious that I would like to make all property investors aware of…

I bought quite a few properties last year, and in January this year I found out that one of the properties that I bought the real owner of the property hadn’t actually given permission for the house to be sold.

It was a packaged deal that I brought and I only buy packaged deals from people who I know and trust. Everything was done correctly with very reputable and well known conveyancing solicitors.

It’s a very long story and I won’t bore you with all of the details!

Since January my hands have been tied with the situation as it’s out of my control and the police, land registry and my civil solicitor are dealing with this.

(Total cost so far this year in attempting to sort it out is £6k).

So what I have done is spent a lot of time this year looking into this type of property fraud. Since the electronic title deed was available to download in 2003 this type of fraud has increased tenfold and the conveyancing system has not been made more secure to accomodate this change.

I have written an article and those of you that subscribe to MyPropertyPowerTeam.co.uk would have seen it published on 1st August, and if you haven’t read it yet, please follow this link and read it here!

I have also done a website called: www.stolenhomes.co.uk you can find my article on here along with other articles and a audio of Simon Zutshi interviewing Andy an investor from Birmingham who this happened to also (he managed to get his money back 4 days after completion).

I have the backing of my local MP, to take this to parliament, so I would be grateful if you would log onto my website and sign the e-petition that I have on there.

 I know that this is not a nice story and we all want to be positive, but I think it’s really important for as many people to be aware that this is happening within the property world and is on the increase.

 The Land Registry are aware of my website and they are really pleased that I doing my best to raise awareness of this type of fraud. 

I would be grateful for any feedback about my website, and if any of you have any other contacts who would be willing to publish my article to reach out to as many investors as possible please do let me know.

Thank you for reading this

 Kind Regards

Donna Jeavons

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

MyPropertyPowerTeam.co.uk helps property investors and landlords build their own property power team to enable them to profit from property - Visit our main site now!