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Landlords Outraged At Right To Rent Prison Threat

Landlords Outraged At Right To Rent Prison Threat

Landlords Outraged At
Right To Rent Prison Threat 

Private rental sector landlords and letting agents have expressed outrage over proposed amendments to the forthcoming Immigration Bill (2015) expected to be introduced in September, when MPs return from their summer break.

Section 20 – 37 of the Immigration Act 2014 contained the provision to make it compulsory for landlords to check the immigration status of all new adult tenants. Now officials want to enforce the measures, in order to strengthen their grip on the private rental sector (PRS).

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Politicians Want PRS Control

Politicians Want PRS Control

Labour Announces Further PRS Controls

The Labour party leader, Ed Miliband, has announced his party’s plans to reform the private rented sector (PRS), with longer term tenancies and rent cap proposals, should they win the May general election.

Labour have been at the forefront of the PRS reform movement for some time, campaigning for longer term tenancies for tenants in the private sector and now the political party leaders want to introduce even more legislation that would effectively cap rental prices so they cannot be increased by more than the rate of inflation (CPI) during the proposed secure three-year tenancies.

The PRS control proposals were supposed to win the hearts and minds of the 9.1 Million households currently living in private rented sector properties, however even tenant campaign groups can see that these new proposals have more holes in them than an old Swiss cheese.

The introduction of new legislation that Labour are proposing would require landlords and letting agents to disclose the rental prices charged to any previous rented property occupants, allowing tenants to have the upper hand in negotiating the best possible rental price with landlords, before the start of a new tenancy.

Do TESCO provide customers with information concerning the actual purchase price that they pay for items before they sell them on at a huge profit, do they reveal operational profit margins – No they don’t!
Prices fluctuate as do operational costs, why should landlords be singled out for special measures when other business sectors are left alone?

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New Warnings Over Using Property For Pensions

New Warnings Over Using Property For Pensions

Relying On Property To Fund Pension Is Not A Good Idea Warn Experts

3.5 million property owners plan to rent out, downsize or sell properties to get enough money in the bank to pay for their retirement according to a survey by an asset management specialist.

However, pension experts are warning that people could be risking poverty in retirement because of the volatile nature of the property market, especially if they were forced to sell properties as values fell.

The research, by Barings Asset Management, discovered that 16% of the UK workforce would be relying on property sales to provide them with all or some of their pension pots, an increase of 13% from 2013 and the highest reported figure since 2009.

Soaring residential property prices are the reason behind the trend. Last week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said average UK residential property prices were up 11.7% in the year to the end of July to £272,000 (GBP).

The biggest rise was 19.1% observed in London.

The hard hitting story was first published by the Express newspaper earlier this week, with warnings from financial advisors that property investment was a dangerous game to play.

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Buy-To-Let Mortgage Lenders Reducing Rates As Demand Soars

Buy-To-Let Mortgage Lenders Reducing Rates As Demand Soars

Buy-To-Let Mortgages Improving To Meet Increased Demand

UK mortgage lenders are offering more Buy-To-Let mortgages, with better rates on smaller deposits, in response to soaring demand from property investors and portfolio landlords over the past year.

Buy-To-Let mortgage lending increased by 18.6% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The last quarter of 2013 also saw Buy-To-Let mortgage lending finish strongly, despite a predictable seasonal dip in December, with lending up 20% against the same period of 2012.

Demand for Buy-To-Let mortgage loans is picking up as landlords in the UK seek to expand their rental property portfolios, with over 30% aiming to buy more properties in the next 12 months and more than 80% of UK private rental sector (PRS) landlords are making a full-time living from their lettings activity according to the latest BM Solutions/BDRC Continental Landlord Panel.

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Flood Insurance Plan Leaves Rental Properties Unprotected

Flood Insurance Plan Leaves Rental Properties Unprotected

New Flood Insurance Plan Leaves Private Rental Sector Properties Unprotected

The ill timed Government announcement over the changes to flood insurance does little to reassure property owners and landlords about flood insurance price rises as huge swathes of the country remain flooded after the winter storms.

The Government has finally reached a deal with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to replace the ‘Statement of Principles’ agreement of the Water Bill, that was originally due to expire on 31st July 2013, under which insurers offered affordable flood insurance coverage to a majority of households in return for the Government maintaining spending on UK flood defences.

The British Property Federation (BPF) reported that an alliance of property industry leaders and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) had huge concerns about the new plan, called Flood Re.

A number of organisations have already called for urgent amendments to the Water Bill, after it emerged that a significant number of properties that had been expected to be included within Flood Re, would instead be excluded.

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Landlords and Property Owners Urged To Be On Flood Alert

Landlords and Property Owners Urged To Be On Flood Alert

Dont Be Complacent About Flood Risks

There has been a great deal of increased flooding across many parts of the UK in recent years and this has lead to an ongoing stand-off between the current coalition Government and the Association Of British Insurers (ABI) regarding flood insurance.

Private rental sector (PRS) landlords and private residential homeowners need to be more alert to the flood risks posed by rivers and an over-stressed sewerage system, and they should have adequate buildings and contents insurance in place to protect their property assets and personal possessions from flood damage.

However, a significant cause of property flooding appears to have been ignored…

Sewer flooding occurs when a main sewage system’s capacity is inadequate and strained due to flash flooding, collapsing drains or as a result of blockages caused by the inappropriate disposal of everyday waste, most notably toiletries and kitchen waste. As a result, surcharging sewers can occur at manholes or even within properties, through the unpleasant scenario of back flowing toilets.

Mark Taylor, Environmental Consultant at risk management consultancy, Argyll Environmental said: “Sewer flooding doesn’t typically attract the media attention evident in press coverage of washed out homes across the country earlier this year but its impact can be equally devastating to property owners.”

Typical damage caused by overwhelmed sewers include land and properties being flooded with water contaminated with raw sewage, an issue that alongside being horrific to clean up poses significant health concerns.

While many insurance companies will typically cover the cost of any flood damage and the clean-up, there are also preventative measures that can be taken by all property owners to reduce the risk of internal flooding.

Landlords and private residential home owners living in older properties in areas with antiquated sewer systems which combine both foul and storm water should consider taking preventative action.

To alleviate the risk of sewer flooding to properties, non-return valves can be fitted to sewage pipes. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to fit.

Non-return valves eliminate the backflow that cause up to 50% of all flood damage and also prevent other unwanted visitors such as rats from entering property from the sewers.

Equally, effective are watertight UPVC doors. Alongside reducing the risk of water and waste entering the property through external flooding, these are easy to clean and maintain, reducing the scale of damage if a flood occurs.

It is the responsibility of landlords, home owners, property investors and developers to find out who exactly is responsible for maintaining the sewage and drainage systems surrounding their properties and that adequate insurance is in place for sewers that are located within a property’s boundary.

Don’t Run the risk – Check Your Insurance Now!

 

Landlords Risk Losing Insurance Claims

Landlords Risk Losing Insurance Claims

UK Buy to let landlords have been warned not to try and make false economies by attempting to make savings on their annual insurance premiums.

The warning has come from Michael Portman, managing director of tenancy referencing and insurance firm Let Risks. He says that in the current financial climate, landlords are trying to keep their premiums low to make savings.

The result, he says, is that there has been a large rise in the number of private rental sector (PRS) properties that are “significantly under-insured”.

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Adjustable Mortgages – A wrong option for commoners is perfect for US Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg!

Ajustable Mortgages - Best Rates For High Net Worth Borrowers

Ajustable Mortgages – Best Rates For High Net Worth Borrowers

According to the recent news reported by Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg successfully managed to refinance his mortgage with First Republic Bank in the U.S earlier this year. The Facebook founder refinanced a $5.95 Million (USD) mortgage on his home with a term of 30-years adjustable-rate loan, starting at 1.05% rate.

It is definitely a perk for Billionaire Zuckerberg, as he scored an adjustable-rate loan that started with a 1.05% rate in May.

This year the lending rate has reached a record low. The borrowing cost is comparatively lower for big shots like Zuckerberg. According to the latest report from the US Labor Department, it estimates a 1.7% inflation rate till May 2013. Although it is considered to be a modest rate, it can still pinch pockets as the US dollar is losing value much faster.

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The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued new guidance for landlords and letting agents to control the threat of legionnaire’s disease to tenants.

The HSE want landlords or their managing agents, to carry out risk assessments for legionnaire’s disease, and if necessary, take action.

The revised Approved Code of Practice: “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems,” underlines the legal requirements for landlords and managing agents to ensure that the potential risk to tenants from exposure to the legionella bacteria from all water systems in UK PRS residential rental properties is controlled.

The new guidance insists that landlords and property management / lettings agents must carry out risk assessments to identify and assess potential sources of exposure, and steps take to prevent or control any risk that is identified and record details on all aspects of their risk assessment controls, keeping records for at least five years.

Landlords and property managing agents need to be aware that the legionella bacteria can thrive and multiply in hot or cold water systems and storage tanks, and be spread throughout the property by showers and taps.

Risk assessments should include assessing whether conditions are right for bacteria to flourish and the following items should all be checked or inspected:

  • In water temperatures between 20C and 45C.
  • Water Storage Tanks, (inc header tanks)
  • Thermostatic mixing valves
  • Debris in the system
  • Infrequently used outlets
  • Areas of stagnant water

Steps taken to control the threat of legionnaire’s disease include disinfecting the system, ensuring water cannot stagnate anywhere, insulating all pipework, and keeping water tanks and cisterns free of debris and covered at all times.

Tenants should also be advised about potential risks and told to take precautions such as flushing through showers they rarely use.

Anyone with concerns can contact their local Health and Safety Executive (HSE) office or Local Authority Environmental Health Department.

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