Currently viewing the tag: "services"
Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Complaints About Lettings Agents  On The Rise
According To Property Redress Scheme

Due to the fact that more tenants and property owners are now aware of their consumer rights, especially the right to redress, there has been a month on month increase in the number of complaints being made against lettings agents, property management companies and estate agents.

The Property Redress Scheme, (PRS), is just one of three consumer redress schemes set up by the Government to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between the public and property agents.

From 1 October 2014 it became a legal requirement for all lettings agents, property managers and estate agents, as defined by legislation, in England to belong to one of the three Government approved redress schemes, which are:

The number of complaints raised with the PRS is increasing month on month. Of the complaints raised so far,

Continue reading »

RLA Hit Back At Rent Control Calls

RLA Hit Back At Rent Control Calls

Rent Controls Are Not The Answer
To The UK Housing Shortage

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have hit back at politicians and housing and homeless pressure groups who are openly calling for rent controls in the UK’s private sector by claiming that private sector rents are falling in real terms following analysis of the official English Housing Survey (EHS).

The English Housing Survey (EHS) results are taken from a continuous survey conducted by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) and show that average private sector rents increased by just £10 from £153 to £163 (GBP) per week in 2014, representing a rise of 6.5%.

In contrast, average weekly rents in the UK’s social sector increased by more, with weekly rental prices increasing 25.4%, rising by £18 from £71 to £89 (GBP).

Continue reading »

With newspaper reports of rising rent arrears and tenant rent defaults, many landlords want to protect against the loss of rent. There are a number of specialist products available for landlords to use including Rent Guarantee Insurance.

Here Legal 4 Landlords, the UK’s leading provider of specialist products and services to landlords and the lettings industry, explain the benefits of rent guarantee insurance, as well as looking at some of the smaller print.

How it works

The Truth About Rent Guarantee Insurance

The Truth About Rent Guarantee Insurance

In theory, rent guarantee insurance can be a landlord’s proverbial best friend: if your tenant fails to pay their rent, the insurer will pay you instead.

The outstanding amount is then recovered by the insurance company from the tenants directly.

Of course, in some instances you may agree with your tenant to accept a delayed payment because of financial problems or other extenuating circumstances, and therefore would not need to make an insurance claim.

On the other hand, landlords may face difficulties of their own some months, and for around £120 a year rent guarantee insurance offers you piece of mind that your rent will be paid on time and in full when you most need it.

Relief for legal costs and void periods

Most good insurance policies will also include legal cover for the eviction of the tenant. Landlords should note that the eviction process can be a lengthy and costly period of time, the legal cover provides landlords relief in terms of time and money.

What’s more, as long as the eviction process started within the policy period, the insurance company will continue to pay your legal costs up to the policy limit even once the policy has ended.

In addition, most policies will pay 50% of the rent for up to 3 months after eviction whilst you find a new tenant. However, if policy ends during the eviction process you will of course have to renew the policy in order to receive this and your monthly rental payment.

The small print

Tenants need to be thoroughly referenced and credit checked in order to be granted the policy. Landlords should have had these checks done before the tenant moved in so there should be no additional costs.

Some insurers won’t allow claims for the first 3 months of the policy, and there may be an excess to pay that is equivalent to one months’ rent and landlords won’t receive anything without renewing if you are in the last month of an active policy.

It also means that there is little point in claiming for rent that is a month late unless you are sure the tenant will continue to not pay and/or you want to evict the tenant.

With only 30 days to claim after the rent became overdue, this can be a difficult judgement to make as your tenant may well intend to pay.

If you do agree to delay payment by more than 30 days, make sure you keep all your correspondence otherwise you won’t be able to backdate the claim if the tenant doesn’t end up paying.

Not only do you then lose another month’s rent on the excess, but it could void your policy altogether in some instances.

Policy renewals are not guaranteed. Unless eviction proceedings begin immediately, any tenant defaulting towards the end of a policy could stop you from being able to renew and so the eviction costs could have to be met by the landlord

The way that some other rent guarantee policies are set up means that the odds are stacked in favour of the insurance company.

Despite this, in a recessionary environment with decreased job stability even tenants with a good credit history may face financial difficulties, so it is very worthwhile for landlords to take action protecting against rent default.

Mortgage fraud is estimated to cost the UK economy £1 Billion (GBP) every year, according to the National Fraud Authority (NFA).

MyPropertyPowerTeam.com takes a look at the steps some bridging lenders are taking to mitigate fraud and how they vet the solicitors and valuers that they work with.

It is important to ensure that all mortgage lenders’ procedures and vetting measures are consistently in check, particularly for those lenders who outsource their professional services regularly.

In light of the increasing number of products and services being offered by lenders entering the short-term lending sector, the FSA are keeping a close eye on any poor practices.

But, are the systems and controls in place to detect and prevent mortgage fraud robust enough in the industry?

Banks and mortgage lenders are being extremely vigilant when looking at how vulnerable their own systems and controls could potentially be and in what places they can be improved.

The FSA are also keen to crack down on poor practices and in December 2011, they published a guide, entitled Financial Crime: A Guide For Firms.

This document provides guidance to firms on steps they can take to reduce their financial crime risk and is designed to help firms adopt a more effective, risk-based and outcome-focused approach to mitigating any financial crime risk, which includes examples of good and poor practice.

Many Bridging lenders have made substantial investments in ensuring that they mitigate fraud and are using both automated systems and human intervention to detect fraud.

Good bridging companies choose solicitors that they deal with very carefully and will have carried out due diligence to mitigate the risk of solicitor fraud. 

New systems actively search and cross reference data from all lender members and multiple government agencies for any indications of fraud including identifying and investigating potential fraud as well as money laundering and the identification of Politically Exposed People (PEP).

Want to avoid Mortgage Fraud?  Find a reputable mortgage broker here

Many UK landlords are already aware of Legal 4 Landlords, the UK’s leading specialist supplier of products and services to landlords and the UK lettings industry, but did you know that they are offering the opportunity to join them?

Worldwide Master-Franchise Opportunites

Worldwide Legal 4 Landlords Master Franchise Opportunities

Worldwide Legal 4 Landlords Master Franchise Opportunities

Do you have the skills, drive and desire to mirror the success of Legal 4 Landlords in your country?

The award winning specialist products and services offered by Legal 4 Landlords are in incredibly high demand across the globe as the demand for rental property skyrockets.

The company founded in 2008 have built a solid reputation in the UK and have already recruited a number of talented franchisee’s to help them deliver a high quality service to the UK lettings market.

Now the expansion of the brand is set to go global!

“An award winning franchise in a thriving lettings industry”

Join the UK’s fastest growing specialist provider to the lettings industry. This is precisely the right time to get involved in one of the world’s most thriving industries as confidence in the global rental property market grows.

Full training, systems support and onsite training are provided by an expert training team to help you achieve success and build a major financial asset from the very beginning.

Following enormous, award winning, success Legal 4 Landlords are looking for like-minded individuals from around the world, with the skills, experience and drive to expand a highly lucrative brand offering multiple award winning products and services to landlords and the lettings industry in EVERY country.

Profitable, rewarding, motivating & recession-proof

If you are looking to take control of your future and want to join an award-winning company that offers a unique opportunity in one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, then look no further.

Legal 4 Landlords are the No.1 leading suppliers of specialist products and services within the lettings sector and provide award winning services to many of the largest agents in the UK. Now they are ready to offer their services to the rest of the world and are looking for the right people to join them.

13 Great Reasons why you should join Legal 4 Landlords…

  1. A unique and recession-proof business.
  2. Be part of a supportive and growing network but enjoy the freedom to run your own business and be your own boss.
  3. Legal 4 Landlords is a tried and tested business with successful franchise network already in operation.
  4. We will train you in every aspect of the business to make sure you’ve got the foundations for success from day one.
  5. Operate in two busy markets, i.e. landlords and lettings agents.
  6. State-of-the-art website and bespoke software system.
  7. Global brand recognition.
  8. A British Franchise Association (BFA) Associate member.
  9. Multiple income streams including evictions, referencing, insurance and debt recovery.
  10. A white-collar industry.
  11. Support of over 30 head office staff.
  12. A fast paced and growing market; since the global crash in 2007 the lettings industry has grown month on month.
  13. The opportunity to earn a six figure salary

Tenants prevented from switching utilities illegally according to new research.

  • 10% of UK tenants have been illegally stopped by their landlords or property management agents from changing energy suppliers.
  • 3% of private rented sector tenants cannot switch utility companies because of restrictive clauses in their tenancy agreement.
  • 7% were informed verbally by their landlord that they were not allowed to change energy supplier.

    Switching Utilities Causes Landlords Problems

    Switching Utilities Causes Landlords Problems

The assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) or rental contract is allowed to contain restrictive clauses that stipulate tenant’s require permission from the landlord before switching energy supplier, however, permission cannot be reasonably refused.

The same is also true if tenants require payment meters installed for their gas and electricity supply. This is where the bone of contention lies for many landlords, as once a property is fitted with prepayment meters, there is a charge to the property owner (landlord) if they wish the property to be changed back to a normal meter and quarterly billing.

Landlords have been able to offer preferential rates to tenants using Utilities Warehouse offering competitively priced energy, telephone and other cost saving services to tenants as part of an attractive rental package. The services taken up provide the landlord with a small commission, and changing supplier could mean the difference between the landlord operating a profitable business and making a loss. So tenant’s switching utility suppliers is not always in the landlords best interests, despite cutting the tenant’s fuel bills.

Data from uSwitch, showed

  • 38% of private tenants had switched utilities in order to find a cheaper energy supplier
  • 33%of private tenants were unaware of their right to change energy providers
  • 33% of private tenants could see no point in switching suppliers as they would not be living there long-term.

Despite the potential annual savings of up to £420 according to uSwitch.

Tenants concerned about high energy bills should consider approaching their landlord about switching utility companies and seek permission to do so, however according to uSwitch, 22% of PRS tenants claim that their landlords don’t want to be bothered by tenants over energy suppliers.

An attitude that seems to also cover energy efficiency, with 26% of tenants saying that they wouldn’t talk to their landlord about energy efficiency because they didn’t think their landlord would be interested, and 10% of private rented sector tenants wouldn’t feel comfortable raising it with their landlord.

Over 40% of PRS tenants say that the rental property they are currently living in has little or no energy efficiency measures installed.

uSwitch Director of Consumer Policy, Ann Robinson, said: “With more and more people renting, it’s vital that people don’t feel that being a tenant means relinquishing the right to control their household bills. The fact is that if your name is on the bill you have the right to shop around for a better energy deal. If your rental contract says otherwise, then talk to your landlord or letting agent, it is in all parties interests for rented property to be on a cost-effective tariff and as energy-efficient as possible. Now is also a good time for private landlords to look at energy efficiency. Energy suppliers have a pot of money to spend on making their customers’ homes energy efficient and only have until the end of this year to spend it in order to hit government targets. As a result, there are now a huge number of offers for insulation, ranging from the free to the heavily subsidised. Taking advantage of these now would benefit both landlords and tenants, as a minimum outlay will see lower energy bills and a more attractive, rentable home.”

Current energy efficiency schemes available in the UK include:

Warm Front
: Available across England only, Warm Front installs insulation and heating measures for people receiving certain income-related or disability benefits. The scheme is available for people who rent privately or own their own home.

Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) : 
The main energy suppliers (British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, RWE npower, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy) are providing free or low-cost energy efficiency measures, commonly loft and cavity wall insulation. All properties in the UK are potentially eligible for help under CERT, although the most vulnerable people (for example the elderly or people on low incomes) are given priority. Both tenants and home owners can apply, although tenants must have the landlords’ approval for work to begin.

Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) : The main energy suppliers (British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, RWE nPower, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy) are providing free or low-cost energy efficiency measures, such as solid wall insulation, to properties in areas of low income.

Find out if your area is eligible by visiting http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/funding/funding_ops/cesp/cesp.aspx

 

Landlords Need To Educate Themselves To Take Advantage Of Products And Services Designed To Help Them And Their Tenants

Landlords Need To Educate Themselves To Take Advantage Of Products And Services Designed To Help Them And Their Tenants

If you are considering becoming a Buy-To-Let landlord you should calculate the costs involved and do plenty of research before taking any financial risk.

This is according to Sim Sekhon, spokesman for specialist landlord services provider, Legal 4 Landlords, who explained that many new landlords rush in without calculating mortgage repayments or repairs and maintenance to rental property. He said “There are an increasing number of property investors who have been forced to adapt their strategies due to the instability of the UK property market, and they have ended up as reluctant landlords, when they are unable to flip properties. They end up either self managing the property or handing to a letting agent to deal with, often forgetting to calculate running costs. Landlords need to remember that as far as rented property is concerned, profit without Rent Guarantee insurance is a long-term investment, and property maintenance and repairs will be a cash drain.”

Landlords must treat their rental properties as a business and calculate all of the necessary financial requirements of running it before purchasing an investment property, and investors should plan to reap the benefits both in the short and long term.

Mr Sekhon added: “Landlords can increase rental yields and reduce void periods by Tenant Referencing all applicants and using rent Guarantee insurance for all of their tenants. We have developed a range of specialist products and services for landlords and letting agents to get the most from UK Buy-To-Let whilst providing long term reassurance for tenants.”

The full range of all products and services offered by Legal 4 Landlords can be found here

Specialist Insurance can help landlords profit from property

Specialist Insurance can help landlords profit from property

An alarming number of small scale landlords, owning just a single rental property, who are experiencing increased void periods and growing rent arrears has doubled since the first quarter of 2012, according to research carried out by leading market research company, Business Development Research Consultants (BDRC Continental).

The results of the BDRC Continental survey show that 16% of single property landlords experienced increased void periods or growing rent arrears during the 2nd quarter of 2012, up from 8% in the first three months of 2012.

However, landlords with larger rental property portfolios are making healthy profits from the Private Rental Sector (PRS) as they maximise rental yields and take positive action to ensure a regular financial income, whilst keeping tenants happy.

Director of BDRC Continental, Mark Long, commented: “It is a tough time to be a private landlord if you have only one property in your portfolio. Over the last quarter, profitability has clearly taken a dive. Regardless of their size, there is no question the private rental sector relies on private landlords and, whilst a third may aspire to increase their property portfolio, they will only be able to achieve this goal and add to Britain’s privately rented housing stock if they can make a profit from that one property.”

Getting the best from property investment could be so much easier for the minority of small scale landlords if they would just educate themselves and take advantage of the specialist products and services developed to help them profit from property, such as Tenant Referencing, Rent Guarantee Insurance and specialist Landlord Insurance policies.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA), are urging people seeking mortgage advice to ensure they obtain the correct type of mortgage product for their residential property purchase.

The FSA have said that Buy to Let Mortgage applications are rising, but a growing number of applications are fraudulent.

Would be homeowners and borrowers who, for whatever reason are unable to meet the strict lending criteria now demanded for a UK residential mortgage, are attempting to fraudulently use Buy To Let (BTL) mortgages as a means to purchase property, despite having no intention of being a landlord or ever renting the property out to tenants.

Buy to let mortgages are not regulated in the same way as residential mortgages and the borrowing criteria are more relaxed.

This means that buyers who fail to meet the income and credit check requirements of a residential mortgage can still get approval for a similar sized buy to let mortgage.

The FSA believe that intermediaries and financial advisors are involved in the fraudulent applications.

When asked about the rising levels of deception an FSA spokesman commented: “We are seeing anecdotal evidence of unregulated buy-to-let mortgages being used fraudulently as a replacement for regulated residential mortgage contracts, as borrowers and intermediaries seek to circumvent more stringent income and affordability checks.”

New data released by LSL property services has shown that in February, working tenants in the UK Private Rented Sector were paying 0.6% less in rental asking prices than they were in January.

Rents for working tenants have been falling slightly since November 2011, after rising steadily for the preceding nine months of the year.

According to LSL, the average private sector rent for working tenants in England and Wales is now around £707 per calendar month.

Tenants in employment are paying on average £24 a month more now compared to the same period last year, that’s an increase of 3.5%.However, residential property rents in London continue to outpace the rest of the UK, with rental values up 5.6% on March 2011 prices.

Tagged with:
 

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!