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Rental Property Seen As Safe Investment

Rental Property Seen As Safe Investment

Landlords Increasing Rental
Property Portfolios

There has been a rise in the number of landlords expanding their rental property portfolios over the last three months, according to fresh research by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

ARLA questioned its members to find out if landlords are currently increasing their investment in rental properties in the private rental sector (PRS) and they discovered that the number of landlords buying properties has risen from 30% to 39% over the last three months.

ARLA have taken the responses from their members to indicate greater confidence in the UK private rented sector and that rental property is still perceived as a safe investment amidst ongoing global and national financial instability by landlords with existing rental property portfolios.

ARLA research also revealed that fewer landlords are quitting the UK private rental sector and selling their rental properties too, with numbers incrementally down on the previous quarter, from 15% to 14%.

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ARLA Calls For Rental Regulation In England

ARLA Calls For Rental Regulation In England

Government Urged To Rethink PRS Regulation

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) wants the Government to bring England in line with the rest of the UK by calling for greater regulation of the private rental sector to better protect tenants.

ARLA argues that tenants in England could soon be less well protected than their Scottish and Welsh counterparts, due to the delay by the Government to introduce laws allowing for better regulation of the lettings industry.

According to data released by ARLA, 36% of all households in England are in private sector rented accommodation and the lack of regulation of the Private Rental Sector (PRS) is fast becoming an issue that affects more of the population than ever before.

The Scottish government reviewed its strategy for the PRS on the 30th May, while the Welsh government is set to introduce a Housing Bill legislating for a compulsory licensing scheme for all letting agents in Wales, as well as a code of practice, before the end of the 2012/13 Assembly term.

The announcements by Scottish and Welsh parliaments are in stark contrast with the current UK Government’s stance of opposition to regulation of the Private Rental Sector because of an apparent fear that landlords will become bogged down and put off by having to wade through a mountain of red tape.

On the surface this seems incredibly thoughtful of the Government, however, it is not to be forgotten that they also intend for all landlords to become unpaid agents for the UK Border Agency policing the immigration status of all tenants. No matter how watered down that proposal becomes the intent of those in power was made clear – to tap into powerful resources to save themselves money. It does make you wonder if the reluctance for regulation is simply because the Government can’t find a way to financially benefit from introducing new regulatory legislation at this current time.

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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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Buy-To-Let Mortgage Lending Up 20% Over The Last Year

Buy-To-Let Mortgage Lending Up 20% Over The Last Year

UK Buy-to-let mortgage lending has increased by 20% year-on-year during 2012 to reach its highest level since the UK property crash of 2008.

The appetite for buy-to-let mortgages has been boosted by strong demand from frustrated first time buyers, who end up as tenants as they are unable to get themselves on the property ladder. This strong tenant demand has in turn pushed up private rented sector rental prices as tenants find that they have become financially trapped.

£16.4 Billion (GBP) worth of buy-to-let mortgages have been taken out over the last year, showing a 19% annual increase, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

Around £4.6 Billion (GBP) worth of buy-to-let mortgages were advanced in the last three months of 2012, representing a 10% increase on the previous quarter.

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For the first time in UK history the Government have decided to regulate the UK lettings and property management industry

UK Lettings & Property Management Agents are to be regulated for the first time

UK Lettings & Property Management Agents are to be regulated for the first time

Lettings and property management agents in the UK are set to face government regulation, after decisions were made in the House of Commons to take action to clamp down on unscrupulous behaviour, according to reports.

The new rules will see amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, will mean that all lettings and management agents will be required to sign up to a redress scheme allowing consumers to report unresolved disputes to an ombudsman, who will have the authority to ensure that agents repay any tenants and landlords they may have deceived.

The changes have come as welcome news to many property professionals, after calls from many corners for letting agents to be monitored and checked.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) extremely happy with the regulation changes, because they were at the forefront of the campaign for regulation.

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Are Landlords Sure Thay Are Not Victims Of A Rent To Rent Scam?

Are Landlords Sure Thay Are Not Victims Of A Rent To Rent Scam?

There are more worrying developments in the UK PRS, as the practice of Rent To Rent within the UK residential lettings market is causing increasing concern among industry professionals.

The practice of Rent To Rent, sees one set of individuals renting a privately owned residential property within the UK private rented sector (PRS) and then sub-letting it to another tenant for profit, as a business.

It is widely believed that many Rent To Renters are operating without the landlord’s knowledge or consent.

Professional tenants have reportedly accepted a tenancy, signed agreements of multiple properties, then they have proceeded to sublet the properties to unsuspecting third parties, unaware of the true situation.

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To Let - Legal Obligations Apply

To Let – Legal Obligations Apply

 

There are numerous rules and regulations which you must abide by when letting your house. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property which is being let out is fully compliant with all relevant safety regulations. As well as safety regulations, landlords must also be certain that they carry out any duties which are outlined on the tenancy agreement, if the landlord did not draft this agreement themselves, all clauses and responsibilities must be read and fully understood. It is always recommended to have a proper tenancy agreement in place at the start of each tenancy as this can act as protection should any disagreements between landlord and tenant arise.

A tenancy agreement can also outline the tenant’s responsibilities during the tenancy period and what they are required to do, this is mostly common sense but having this in writing with signatures from both the tenant and the landlord means each party have read the agreement and understands what is required of them.

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Online letting agents voted best in the UK 

Online Letting Agents Voted 2012/13 Letting Agent of the year

Online Letting Agents Voted 2012/13 Letting Agent of the year

Online letting agents Tenants4U.com, the low cost letting agent service, has just scooped ‘National Letting Agency of the Year’ at the 2012/13 national Landlord and Letting Awards.  Known as the letting industry Oscars, this award reflects the transformation happening within the lettings industry. 

Just as the Internet turned the world of High Street travel agents upside down, it appears that a similar fate could be looming for High Street lettings agents. 

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Absentee Landlords should be forced to use good Property Management Services

 

92-year old tenant, Mrs Helen Bora, has called for absentee* landlords, to be forced to employ the services of a good property management companies after she was found to be living in a rodent-infested flat with a broken lavatory, broken windows and taps that could only be operated with a pair of pliers.

Mrs Bora, a decorated World War II veteran, had lived in the flat in Bloomsbury for 12 years but her repeated complaints to her landlord, John Garvey, who lives in Ireland, were ignored.

It was only when Mrs Bora phoned the Environmental Health Department at Camden Council about her lavatory, that inspectors took action and moved her to a new home.

When asked about her experiences, Mrs Bora commented, “It affected my health badly and I felt frustrated and angry. That’s what I’ve got against this country; that they let people who live abroad buy properties and not look after them. They should be compelled to use a property management company.”

Camden cabinet member for community safety, Abdul Hai, said: “This is a particularly upsetting case, involving a highly vulnerable lady. We have a duty to protect residents in cases like this and I hope this prosecution acts as a warning to landlords that we will always take enforcement action where necessary.”

Mr Garvey didn’t attend court and was fined £10,000 (GBP) in his absence for failing to comply with two improvement notices on the building and £3,364 (GBP) costs.

  (landlords who buy investment property in a region of the UK but who live in another part of the country or even overseas)

A post from one of our trusted advertisers, letting agents and theLHAexpert John Paul from Castledene Property Management who has a message for all the disillusioned property investors bemoaning their fate…..

Property Investors who can't make money from property should quit moaning and take action!

Property Investors who can’t make money from property should quit moaning and take action!

Property Investors Who Can’t Make Money In Property Should Stop Moaning

“Since attending more and more UK Property Networking Events it amazes me that there are still number of property investors sitting there feeling sorry for themselves, blaming the current economic climate, or the banks, or the mortgage companies, or whoever it may be, that they are the reasons why they can’t invest or make money in property.

I have one thing to say to these people…..

Get a grip and stop moaning!

Stop feeling sorry for yourself and make up your mind if you want to be in property or not.”

Read some of the most common excuses of why people don’t, can’t or won’t make money in property.

Read the full article here

 

John Paul - theLHAexpert and Head of The Castledene Group

John Paul – property author, portfoliuo landlord, professional letting agent, theLHAexpert and Head of The Castledene Group

John Paul is a portfolio landlord in the North East and founder of the Castledene Group of letting agents. The business is a member of ARLA, NALS, PI insurance and subscribes to the Property Ombudsman Code of Practice.

Offices are located in Seaham, Easington, Bishop Auckland, South Shields. Halifax, Leeds, Manchester and Belfast.

Both John Paul and the The Castledene Group have earned an enviable reputation of being leading experts in the management and letting of residential property to benefits claimants in receipt of Local Housing Allowance “LHA”.

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