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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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Private Rental Sector Void Periods and Rent Arrears 

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Rent Guarantee Insurance Helps Landlords Avoid Rent Arrears

Rent Guarantee Insurance Helps Landlords Avoid Rent Arrears

UK private rented sector landlords are reaping the rewards of the development of specialist products and services designed to ease the burden for landlords and the UK lettings industry.

According to data from the National Landlords Association (NLA), private rented sector void periods have fallen to their lowest level in over 12 months, with only 33% of landlords experiencing vacant periods in the last three months. The figures are down 13% when taken year on year.

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Government want to ensure tenants in the

Private Rented Sector are not illegal Immigrants

Landlords Warned Over Illegal Immigrants

Landlords Warned Over Illegal Immigrants

Government ministers want to ensure tenants in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) are not living in the UK illegally and are already working with local authorities to tackle rogue landlords who exploit immigrants by housing them in ‘beds in sheds’.

Many private sector landlords already take the correct measures by tenant referencing all applicants to check the tenants’ identity and credit status, making it difficult for illegal immigrants to rent properties from them.

However, despite numerous calls from UK property industry specialists, not all landlords bother with tenant referencing, and a small minority of rogue landlords knowingly target illegal immigrants who would not be in a position to complain about any sub-standard rental accommodation.

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Specialist Insurance can help landlords profit from property

Specialist Insurance can help landlords avoid tenant rent default

In the UK private rented sector, the average rent for a residential property now stands at a staggering £777 (GBP) per month across the whole of the country but there are some regional differences.

Private sector rents in Greater London rose by 6.7% during the last 12 months to reach a regional average of £1,224 (GBP) per calendar month (pcm).

In stark contrast, PRS tenants in the North-East living in similar sized properties are paying an average rent of just £512 (GBP) pcm.

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Fall in the number of tenants in severe rent arrears

Fall in the number of tenants in severe rent arrears

The number of tenants in severe rent arrears declined by 15.6% during the final quarter of 2012, according to data released by Templeton LPA, part of the LSL Property Services group.

The data indicates that in the last quarter of 2012, almost 16,000 fewer tenants faced severe rent arrears of more than 8 weeks rental costs, compared with the previous quarter of 2012.

The number of tenants in this situation has dropped for the first time in over a year and could in part be due to the development and availability of Rent Guarantee Insurance products.

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More PRS tenants are struggling with rent arrears

The latest UK Court Statistics released by the Government continue to indicate a steady rise in the number of claims for possession by landlords that have resulted in orders for tenant eviction being made.

Tenant Evictions Still Increasing

Tenant Evictions Still Increasing

The continued rise in severe rent arrears have lead to more than 25,000 landlords making successful claims for possession of rental property from tenants in the second quarter of 2012, and it is thought the third quarterly report due out imminently will show similar, if not higher results.

The number of tenants experiencing severe rental arrears is at its highest level since 2008, with over 100,000 tenants behind with their rent payments.

Sim Sekhon, spokesman for Legal 4 Landlords, the UK’s leading eviction specialists, said “Unfortunately it is unlikely that the problem is going to improve in the near future, and as a result an increasing number of landlords are now opting for rent guarantee insurance products in addition to their normal forms of insurance. Legal4landlords have seen a sharp increase in demand for rent guarantee insurance as landlords and their appointed managing agents look to find ways to protect rental income. The problem of tenants getting into financial difficulties is not going to go away and with the Government’s welfare reforms and additional austerity measures still to come, we expect tenant arrears and tenant eviction cases to continue to rise well into 2013 and beyond.”

70% Rise in Tenant Evictions over last 3 years

70% rise in Tenant Evictions over 3 years

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and homless charity Crisis say that UK court orders to evict defaulting tenants in the Private Rental Sector have risen by more than 70% over the past 3 years.

Homeless charity Crisis analysed Ministry of Justice figures to reveal that within the last 12 months some 36,211 landlords have been granted a court order to evict bad tenants, an increase of 12% on the previous year and 70% higher than the 21,351 court orders granted in 2009.

Duncan Shrubsole, director of policy at Crisis, said: “Sadly it is no surprise that we are seeing thousands of private tenants facing eviction. They face a dreadful combination of high unemployment and underemployment, draconian cuts to housing benefit and soaring rents. Our concern is that many of these people will have nowhere to turn, and end up falling victim to homelessness. In fact the Government’s own statistics point to this already happening. We are calling on the Government to rethink cuts to housing benefit that will inevitably leave increasing numbers of people unable to pay the rent. We are also in desperate need of more social and affordable housing in order to rein in the soaring rental market.”

The RLA want more done to prevent tenants getting into rent arrears and are currently lobbying the Government to change the way that the housing element of the new Universal credit system will be paid.

Latest Government figures show that between 2009 and 2011, the number of people approaching their local authorities as homeless due to the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy or due to rent arrears increased by 42% to almost 10,000 households.

Sim Sekhon spokesman for the UK’s leading Tenant Eviction specialists, Legal 4 Landlords, said “Landlords who do not have specialist insurance in place to protect rental incomes face the prospect of rent default by tenants as they in turn face increasing financial pressures. At Legal 4 Landlords we provide the complete tenant eviction service for landlords with a success record that speaks for itself, that’s why we are the UK’s leading tenant eviction company”.

Tenant Demand Boosts Landlord Confidence

Tenant Demand Boosts Landlord Confidence

UK Buy-To-Let Landlord confidence has been boosted by continued strong tenant demand and falling property prices, according to the latest landlord survey conducted by LSL Property Services.

• 48% of UK BTL landlords believe that now is a good time to invest in property
• Less than 1% think it is now a good time to reduce their portfolios.
• 82% of landlords who think now is a good time to buy rental property cited attractive property prices
• 53% of UK landlords mentioned strong tenant demand.

The strength of tenant demand has been the major driving force behind recent UK rent rises, with rents at a record high of £725.00 (GBP) in England & Wales in July 2012.

In the past six months,

• 44% of UK landlords have seen a rise in tenant demand,
• 1% of UK landlords have observed a decrease in demand.

UK property investors are hoping that this growth will continue, with 64% of landlords anticipating a further increase in demand over the next twelve months.

40% of landlords expect to increase rents by an average of 4.5% in the coming 12 months, with just 1% expecting that they will be forced to reduce rents.

Sim Sekhon, spokesman for specialist landlord services provider, Legal 4 Landlords also commented on the latest LSL survey: “The findings show what UK Buy-to-Let landlords and property professionals have suspected for a while, that the UK PRS market is gaining strength and investors are able to get realistically good rental yields. Many landlords are taking advantage of the wealth of products and services designed to help them maximise profit and provide peace of mind for both tenant and landlord. Our Rent Guarantee Insurance and Tenant Referencing services have been sought by thousands of UK landlords over the last 12 months, as landlords look to avoid causing their tenants, or themselves, financial stress”.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, commented: “House prices are still subdued in many parts of the country and tenant demand is still growing. This is presenting landlords with the opportunity to secure strong yields on properties, and boosting confidence in UK Buy-To-Let as a long-term investment. The majority of landlords expect tenant demand will increase in the future, and as long as lending to first-time buyers remains in the doldrums, and new house building remains subdued, we won’t see demand for rental accommodation tail off. In these conditions, while affordability may increasingly come into play as landlords set rents, they are far more likely to continue to rise than tumble in the coming 12 months.”

Read more about the specialist landlord and letting agent services offered by Legal 4 Landlords

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

Massive rise in tenant eviction orders as landlords are forced to get tough causing outcry from homelessness charity Crisis.

Over the last three years there has been a 70% rise in court orders for the eviction of tenants in the UK Private Rented Sector (PRS).

12% Rise in Tenant Evictions over last 3 years

12% Rise in Tenant Evictions over last 3 years

Homeless charity Crisis set about analysing figures released by the Ministry of Justice that revealed in the last 12 months some 36,211 PRS landlords have been granted a court order for the eviction of tenants, a rise of 12% on the previous year, and 70% higher than the 21,351 court orders for tenant eviction granted in 2009.

The data shows that between 2009 and 2011, almost 10,000 individuals approached their local authority claiming to be homeless due to the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) or because of rent arrears. A rise of 42% on previously released figures.

Duncan Shrubsole, Policy Director at Crisis, said: “Sadly it is no surprise that we are seeing tens of thousands of private tenants facing eviction. They face a dreadful combination of high unemployment and underemployment, draconian cuts to housing benefit and soaring rents. Our concern is that many of these people will have nowhere to turn, and end up falling victim to homelessness. In fact the Government’s own statistics point to this already happening. We are calling on the Government to rethink cuts to housing benefit that will inevitably leave increasing numbers of people unable to pay the rent. We are also in desperate need of more social and affordable housing in order to rein in the soaring rental market.”

Sim Sekhon from the UK’s leading tenant eviction specialists, Legal 4 Landlords commented: “In these austere times UK landlords are being forced to take action with bad tenants or tenants with rent arrears as they simply cannot afford to go without the rent. We have seen a significant rise in tenant evictions in the last 12 months and unfortunately this trend is set to worsen due to the raft of benefit cuts and welfare reforms being pushed through parliament. Landlords are finding their own finances stretched and are having to take legal action for the eviction of non paying tenants before their entire rental businesses go bust. There are ways for landlords to avoid being in this situation but it does require action to be taken before the start of a tenancy, all applicants should be thoroughly tenant referenced and landlords can utilise Rent Guarantee Insurance to keep the monthly rent flowing.”

Legal 4 Landlords the UK No.1 specialist landlord service provider

Legal 4 Landlords the UK No.1 specialist landlord service provider

To find out more about the specialist products and services

offered by Legal 4 Landlords please visit their comprehensive website

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