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Liberal Democrats Announce Help To Rent Scheme

Liberal Democrats Announce Help To Rent Scheme

Help To Rent Scheme To Support Young Workers 

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has announced plans for a new ‘Help to Rent’ scheme should his party get elected to power in May. The scheme is intended to support young workers who want to move out of their parents homes and rent their first property in the private rental sector (PRS).

According to some of the latest research it is thought that around two million young working adults still live with their parents because they cannot afford to move into a property of their own, either purchased or rented.

The proposals for the Help To Rent scheme will include a government loan of up to £2,000 (GBP) in London, and £1500 (GBP) in other UK regions to cover the cost of tenancy deposits, with loan repayments staged over 12 or 24 months.

To be eligible for the proposed Help To Rent scheme and secure a loan for a deposit, tenants would need to be in paid employment, aged between 18 to 30 and not be property owners or seeking a tenancy in social housing provided by local authorities. 

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Political Parties Focus On Housing In Attempt To Win General Election

Political Parties Focus On Housing In Attempt To Win General Election

Conservatives Want  Tenants To Have

Right To Buy Housing Association Properties

With the UK’s General Election called on the 7th May 2015 it is almost time to decide which of the political parties you will vote for.

Election campaigning usually sees a raft of ill thought out policy ideas being spouted by politicians in an attempt to win public support and publishing election manifesto’s that promise to deliver what each political party thinks the public want.

On the run up to the election Spotlight will examine some of the key statements and manifesto hype about the UK housing market and private rental sector used to influence public support.

It appears that all political parties will focus on these topics to win the hearts and minds of voters, regardless of whether the ideas are good or not.

In fact, housing will be one of the biggest issues facing the country at the General Election in May. Polling by Ipsos Mori suggests that the cost of housing is of growing importance to the UK public. In 2010 only 5% of those polled ranked it as their biggest concern but by 2014 this figure had almost trebled to 14%.

With this in mind, one of our reporters spotted this gem of an article in the Huffington Post written by David Orr, the Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation (NHF), entitled:

Seven Reasons Why Extending ‘Right to Buy’ to Housing Associations Is Plain Bad Policy

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Government Set To U-Turn On Immigration Checks By Landlords

Government Set To U-Turn On Immigration Checks By Landlords

Immigration Checks Unworkable Say Critics

There could be a moral victory for common sense on the cards as the UK Government are set to perform yet another U-Turn on policies as they are forced to back down on requiring landlords to conduct immigration checks on all tenants.

The Government plan was announced in the Queen’s Speech back in May and intended to force private rented sector (PRS) landlords to check their tenants’ immigration status or face fines of up to £3,000 (GBP).

Under the intended reform, all UK landlords and letting agents would be forced to check the immigration status of every tenant and tenants would have to produce documents showing they have permission to be in the UK.

There are also been concerns raised about landlords’ ongoing responsibilities for tenants already in their rental properties whose status may have gone from legal to illegal. Under the proposals, first-time offenders could face fines of £1,000 (GBP) per illegal immigrant in their rental properties. Landlords who failed to make proper checks within the last three years could also be fined £3,000 (GBP) per tenant.

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Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Slams Government

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Slams Government

Government Not Doing Enough
To End Housing Shortage

A recent study by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has shown that the Government still are not doing enough to alleviate the chronic shortage of residential housing in the UK.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have again stated that successive governments have failed to produce a coherent long-term strategy for UK housing.

The RICS housing commission may concede that some of the coalition government’s policies are producing short-term help for the UK house building industry but they are prepared to argue that successive ministers’ lack of consistency in policy over the past 50 years has exacerbated the failures of the UK property market.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors think that current Government housing policies are merely clearing up the problems left by their Labour party predecessors, and current government ministers are struggling to find a viable alternative solution to the current housing shortage.

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Even MP's Think Landlord Immigration Checks Are Unworkable

Even MP’s Think Landlord Immigration Checks Are Unworkable

MP’s Question Immigration Checks By Landlords

The Governments plan to make private rented sector (PRS) and social housing landlords legally responsible for checking the immigration status of all tenant applicants has raised questions on the policy from MP’s.

The proposal to make landlords perform immigration checks on tenants and prosecute those who fail to comply has caused outrage among UK PRS landlords, who would be expected to be doing the UK Border Agency’s work without payment.

Following the outline of the new proposals, Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, a former housing minister, told the House of Commons during a lively debate on the Queens speech that landlords performing immigration checks on tenants would be unworkable, stating that: “The Government cannot tell us how their policy will be enforced, because they do not know who the landlords are and they will not have a statutory register.”

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Universal Credit will not work say landlords

Private landlords have already rejected the Government’s welfare reform plans for housing benefit, before that have even been implemented, stating that there will not be enough private rented sector (PRS) properties available to rent.

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Tenants caught attempting green fingered financial return

Green Fingered Tenants Void Landlord Insurance as Buy to let targeted by drug gangs

Landlords looking to squeeze every last penny of profit from rental properties may have made the wrong decision when it comes to choosing the right insurance for their rental properties.

Only to find that when they need to make a claim they are either not covered for it or worse still their insurance is actually null and void.

Cheapskate landlords may have taken what they thought was the easy and cash saving option and instead of choosing a specialist Buy-To-Let or Landlord insurance policy, they fulfilled their legal obligation to their mortgage lenders by taking out a cheaper standard Homeowner’s “Buildings Only” insurance policy.

Every day in the UK another unfortunate landlord becomes the victim of crime. From anti social tenants to drug producers, who do not respect the law, the landlord’s rental property, or anything else, including the consequences of their actions, often causing many thousands of pounds worth of damage to the landlords property in the process.

Damage that may not be covered by some insurance policies.

Due to the economic squeeze on many UK household’s finances, the opportunity to make a quick buck has become an increasingly attractive proposition for some members of society, even if that means breaking the law.

Recent reports suggest that an increasing number of tenants in Private Rental Sector (PRS) properties are attempting growing cannabis or marijuana as their way to try and cash in.

The emergence of Buy To Let cannabis farming was first reported in 2003, when increasing numbers of buy-to-let properties up and down the country began to be targeted by gangs of cannabis farmers looking to house their criminal activities.

The gangs would present bogus identity credentials and references and have the cash to cover the rent, the landlord would be fooled into thinking that they had found perfect tenants, only to get a call or knock on the door from the police a few weeks later.

Tenant referencing has become a lot more sophisticated in recent years and all prospective tenants should be comprehensively referenced and credit checked by a reputable provider, such as Legal 4 Landlords, who will do all the work for you.

However, there will be a small minority of people who will pass the in depth referencing process and still go on to carry out illegal practices in a rental property.

Private Rental Sector residential properties in respectable suburban neighbourhoods have become the preferred base for cannabis cultivation for some drug gangs as they think they will attract less police attention in more middle class areas.

If the landlord suspects anything illegal or anti social is going on at their rental property and need tenants to be evicted, contact Legal 4 Landlords at the earliest opportunity and they will handle the eviction process on the landlords behalf

Often when cannabis farms are discovered the damage to landlords and their rental properties, in both financial and legal terms, can be catastrophic. Uninsured landlords may find themselves having to foot the bill for extensive repairs to their properties

Landlords should ensure that their specialist Buy To Let or Landlord insurance policy covers them for all the possible eventualities, including malicious damage by tenants.

If landlords discover that a tenant is carrying out cannabis farming or any other form of anti social behaviour or illegal activity in their properties they should call the police immediately and should not directly confront the tenants.

Legal 4 Landlords can handle the eviction of anti social tenants for UK landlords.

Specialist provider of Buy-to-Let cover, Total Landlord Insurance, has launched Total Rent Guarantee Insurance.

In these troubling financial times it is impossible for landlords to predict whether their tenant’s circumstances will change in the future and whether they will always be able to pay the rent, even though they have a successful reference. With the number of rental arrears on the increase across the nation, it is important that landlords don’t let their investment suffer.

Steve Barnes, Broking Manager, said: “Drawn out legal wrangles, legal expenses and missed rental payments can be a nightmare and play havoc with the landlord’s investment and financial planning. In the current financial climate our customers wanted a policy that would be cost effective and provide legal assistance and rent guarantee in the event of a tenant falling into rental arrears.  That is why we have launched Total Rent Guarantee Insurance.”

 The policies are available both online and by phone, although there are significant discounts if purchased online.  Online, landlords can purchase legal expenses for just £45 saving £31.85 and combined legal expenses & rent guarantee insurance for just £94.50 saving £31.80 over the call centre price.

 For more information on Total Rent Guarantee Insurance, go to www.totallandlordinsurance.co.uk.

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Insurance is a must!

Specialist Insurance provides landlords and tenants with peace of mind

UK landlords should already be aware of the necessity, legality and financial importance of having the right insurance protecting their property asset and should always seek to get their rental properties suitably covered with a comprehensive landlord or Buy-To-Let insurance policy.

However, whilst landlords stay insured keeping their property assets protected, very few tenants bother to investing in contents insurance or specialist tenant insurance.

Even though the tenants don’t own the property and are therefore not responsible for the actual bricks and mortar, the property does still contain all of their personal belongings, including important documents and irreplaceable mementoes and so insurance should be an important consideration.

In the event of a claim having to be made, in the case of a fire, for example, tenants may have mistakenly thought they would automatically be covered by the landlord and tried to claim for loss of their important and expensive items from the Landlords Insurance policy, the landlord would receive compensation for the damage to the property, whilst the tenants would find, in most cases, that their claims were unsuccessful and they would be left with nothing.

Tenant Insurance is a necessity is because it is highly unlikely that any tenant belongings will be covered by the landlords insurance. The landlord should have insurance cover to protect the fabric of the building itself, (including certain contents such as the kitchen cupboards, bathroom fixtures etc) and even cover for loss of rent but not the contents of the tenants.
Tenant insurance will also help to protect the tenant’s deposit as good policies cover tenants against accidental damage.

Read the full article on Legal 4 Landlords Blog

Last week saw the worst rioting in the UK since the 1980’s.

Whilst the unrest caused by the shooting of a man in the London borough of Tottenham sparked a civil disturbance that quickly spread to other parts of the nations capital, others saw an opportunity to jump on the band wagon sparking violent scenes as hundreds of youths went on the rampage through the streets of other major British cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham, Bristol, Wolverhampton and Birmingham where 3 men were callously run down while trying to protect their community.

Whilst the British public focus on the causality of the violence and the financial cost of the devastation that has tainted our cities, the rest of the world looks on as we clean up the smashed glass, burnt out cars and buildings, watching how severley we deal with those people that decided to ignore the law and attempt to devastate our communities.

With over 2000 arrests across the country the police and British legal system are fast tracking justice in an attempt to provide a swift punishment for those involved. The cost to repair the damage is expected to run into Billions of pounds (GBP)

Businesses with damaged or looted sites are able to claim back losses through insurance policies, resulting in increased premiums for everyone in years to come. However, it is not the same story for many homeowners and landlords with Buy-To-Let property in the affected locations.

Hidden in the small print of some UK domestic insurance policies and some landlord Buy-To-Let buildings insurance policies is a “get out” clause for liability.

Under what IS NOT covered, the phrase “ …riot, civil disturbance, violent disorder, strike or malicious acts”, will mean some UK home owners and landlords having to foot the bill for the repairs to property themselves.

Whilst the UK Government state they will back those affected by the trouble, it will do little in the short term for those who have lost everything.

£30 Million (GBP) of Government money will go to help those in need. £20 Million of this will be in the form of a high street support scheme, with the remaining £10 Million to be used as a recovery fund to help clean up the streets and damaged buildings across the country.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched a £50 Million (GBP) fund to make major improvements to the capital’s town centres and high streets damaged by the recent riots across the capital.

Mr Johnson said “We have always recognised the importance of improving London’s town centres and clearly after the destruction caused by the recent events across the city this is a bigger challenge than ever. That is why I am allocating £50 million to ensure that these areas are regenerated quickly and transformed into safe, attractive, vibrant and economically successful places to live, work and invest in”.

The riots could also have an indirect effect on the future UK economy, particularly as foreign companies or overseas developers may be reluctant to invest in London or other UK cities and may choose to take their construction projects elsewhere, in the fear of being vandalised by out-of-control youths.

It is only through excellent community spirit and co-operation that Britain is getting its house back in order.

If you own property in any of the affected areas and were fortunate to escape any major damage from the atrocities on our streets it may be advisable for insurance policy holders to check the specific wording of their insurance policies.

Domestic and Buy-To-Let insurance providers can be found here

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