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PRS Rental Prices Keep Going Up

PRS Rental Prices Keep Going Up

PRS Rents Increase 2.5% In The Past Year

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) latest Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, tenants in the UK’s private rental sector (PRS) have seen rents increase by an average of 2.5% in the 12 months up to June 2015,.

Private rental prices increased across the whole of the British isles with rents increasing by:

  • 5% in England
  • 1% in Scotland
  • 8% in Wales

PRS rents increased across all English regions during the year with rental prices increasing by 3.8% in London, while the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation stood at 0% over the same period.

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Harrow Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme Proposals Could Breach Tenants Rights

Harrow Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme Proposals Could Breach Tenants Rights

Harrow Landlord Licensing Scheme Proposals Could Force Landlords To Make Monthly Rental Property Visits

Harrow council’s decision to force private rental sector (PRS) landlords to make monthly inspections of their rental properties could be in breach of tenant rights, according to the National Landlord Association, (NLA).

Harrow Council’s Selective Landlord Licensing scheme comes into force on the 1st November 2015, and it is proposed that PRS landlords in Edgware will be required to make monthly inspections of their rental properties, disturbing the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property and creating extra work for landlords.

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Landlords Could Be Taxed Out Of The Market

Landlords Could Be Taxed Out Of The Market

Conservatives Set About Raising Increased
Tax Revenue From Landlords

Before the general election the Conservatives were the only political party to not openly target landlords and property investors with manifesto rhetoric, making them the property professional’s choice for power.

Even before the budget statement was delivered by Mr Osborne, there was plenty of press coverage about the generous tax treatment enjoyed by private rental sector (PRS) landlords and buy to let property investors.

So it was of little surprise that the Chancellor chose to turn to the private rental sector in order to raise some additional revenue for the government.

Conservatives Vowed To Leave PRS Landlords AloneSpotlight predicted that this would happen after the Conservatives were elected, and this year’s summer budget could be just the tip of the iceberg.

George Osborne before the  summer 2015 budget announcement George Osborne’s post election Budget announcement, made earlier in July, contained two  important changes to buy-to-let taxation that will impact on portfolio landlords and higher rate  tax payers.

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Letting Agents Confirm Rents Are Rising Again

Letting Agents Confirm Rents Are Rising Again

Letting Agents Confirm PRS Rents Are Rising Again

The latest report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents has discovered that 36% of ARLA registered letting agents reported private rented sector rent increases in June, taking PRS rental prices to their highest point since records began.

80% of ARLA letting agents surveyed expected private rental sector rents to continue to grow significantly over the next five years.

East Midlands letting agents reported 48% of tenants were charged increased rents, while letting agents in Wales only recorded 17% of tenants facing increased rental charges.

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Rent_or_Buy_Property

Number of tenants Renting Property Set To Overtake Number of Home Owners By 2025

 

Renting To Overtake Home Ownership By 2025

According to a new prediction from the professional services network – Price Waterhouse Cooper, (PwC), the number of tenants in rented properties will outnumber the overall number of property owners with mortgages in less than a decade.

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Geo Property Lettings

Professional Property Management in Greater Manchester

Introducing A New Breed Of Letting Agent

Geo Property Lettings are a new breed of letting agency who are very different from the traditional stereotypical letting agents that all landlords complain about.

Based in Irlam and covering the whole of Greater Manchester, we are different because we actually care about our landlord and tenant clients. We may not have a high street presence but that just means our overheads are lower, we know how to market properties and exceed client expectations, consistently!

We have been members of The Property Ombudsman since 2011 and use state of the art property management software to keep track of all our managed properties across Greater Manchester.

Geo Property Lettings get property repairs done when asked, providing photographs before and after works are conducted, with realistic quotes from tried and trusted trades who we have used for our own rental property portfolios over the last 10 years, our contractors have excellent ethics and high standards and we trust them, that’s not something that all other agents can boast!

Geo Property Lettings promise our landlord clients:

  • Quality fast & efficient service
  • High standards
  • No rip-off’s
  • No quibbles
  • No repeat charges
  • No BS!

All tenant applicants are thoroughly referenced by the UK’s leading specialist supplier of products and services to the property lettings industry and we are highly experienced dealing with both working and benefit claimants.

We can even help organise specialist insurance for landlords and tenants including;

  • Rent Protection Insurance
  • Tenant Liability Insurance
  • Landlords Buildings Insurance

Our typical charges are just 10% of the monthly rent for a full all inclusive property management service or 50% of the first month’s rent for tenant find only service.

We pride ourselves on customer retention, always delivering superb customer service and looking out for our landlord and tenant clients interests.

We are looking for landlords who are fed up with spending more time and money than they need to managing their existing letting agents, landlords who are fed up with empty properties, expensive property repair costs and poor service.

Geo Property Lettings are small enough to care

and large enough to cope!

We have a number of pre approved tenants waiting for suitable 2/3/4 bed rental properties within the Greater Manchester area and we can fill your empty properties quickly – Call us today – 0161 777 8844 or visit our website http://www.geopropertylettings.co.uk

Budget Targets Landlords

Budget Targets Landlords

Was The Budget Really That Much Of A Surprise?

The first Conservative budget for 20 years was expected to be good for Britain; however, the reality was not what many landlords wanted to hear.

The decision to target private rental sector landlords and property investors wasn’t too much of a surprise, as the Government can plainly see where the profits are being made and they, like all the rest of the political parties, want a slice.

On the run up to the general election in May 2015 every other political party openly stated that they intended to target landlords, whilst the conservatives remained quiet, prompting a few political commentators to predict that policies would be introduced surreptitiously that would effectively put money into Government coffers.

That’s exactly what we got last week!

The key points that affect landlords from George Osborne’s budget statement include:

Benefit Cap Lowered To £20,000 (GBP)

The total amount of benefits a family can receive over the course of a year has been reduced from £26,000 (GBP) to £20,000 (GBP) – (£23,000 in London).

This is a particular concern for landlords as any loss of income from the reduced benefit cap will hit tenants’ housing benefit first.

Many private rental sector landlords are now worried about increased rent arrears and the probability that many areas of the UK will become unaffordable for large families to live in.

The Government have said that they will allocate £800 Million (GBP) of discretionary housing payments for councils to help affected tenants.

Housing Benefit Abolished For Under-21s

From April 2017 the automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18- to 21-year-olds will be scrapped for new claimants.

Exceptions will be made for vulnerable young people, including those unable to return to their family home and claimants who were in work for six months prior to making a claim.

Working-Age Benefits Frozen For Four Years

The freeze means Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will fall further behind inflation as the chancellor seeks to stop the housing benefit bill soaring with increasing rents.

Buy To Let Landlord Mortgage Relief Cut

In a £2bn tax bombshell, from April 2017 landlords will no longer be able to claim tax reliefs worth 40% or 45% of the interest payments on their buy-to-let mortgages. Instead, the maximum tax relief will be set at 20%, although the change will be introduced over a four-year period.

Effectively it looks as though 40%/45% taxpayers will only get around half of their mortgage interest (and arrangement fees) offset against their rental income.

20% taxpayers shouldn’t see much change as all mortgage relief will be limited to the basic rate of income tax.

The effect of this will be staged meaning that

  • 25% of this extra tax will be payable on profits made in the April 2017 – April 2018 tax year,
  • 50% in April 2018 – April 2019,
  • 75% in April 2019 – April 2020
  • 100% in April 2020 – April 2021 meaning that the full effect of this change won’t be felt until the January 2022 personal tax bill is due.

Despite the staged introduction many PRS landlords have warned that this could see costs passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents.

Wear And Tear Allowance Tightened

Landlords will have to prove they have improved or maintained their rental property before they can deduct the costs from their taxed profits.

Currently, landlords can deduct 10% of the rent from their profits to account for wear and tear regardless of whether they have improved the property or not.

From April 2016 this is set to be replaced by a new system that only allows landlords to get tax relief when they replace furnishings.

Changes To Non-Domicile Rules

This change in entitlement could affect property investment and buy to let, particularly in London as people born in the UK to parents domiciled here will not be able to inherit non-dom status and people will not be able to have permanent non-dom status.

Anyone resident in the UK for 15 of the last 20 years will have to pay full UK tax.

Rent A Room Tax Free Income Threshold Raised

After 18 years, the Rent A Room tax free income threshold is being raised to £7,000 (GBP) per year. There are an estimated 19 million empty bedrooms in owner-occupied properties in England alone. Freeing up just 5% of those rooms would accommodate 1 million people. This move will also fuel the growth in short, informal lets such as the type offered by Airbnb and the like.

The tax reliefs that have been cut by Mr Osborne were hugely important for landlords in being able to offset other astronomic property costs such as lettings agent fees, landlord insurance, maintenance and repairs costs, as well as council tax.

It is still early days and we need to see how HMRC will implement some of these changes, because they may also try to find additional ways to stop property investors and landlords from profiting from property, however, there are ways to get around some of the changes introduced, including:

Tax Relief

Limited (Ltd) companies appear to be excluded from the mortgage relief cuts meaning that property investors and landlords could potentially look to purchase their future investment properties through Ltd companies.

Buy To Let mortgage lenders could become more open to this method of purchasing properties similar to the way that commercial lenders already facilitate.

Landlords who already own properties personally or in a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) may want to transfer them to a Limited (Ltd) company; however, they will be subject to capital gains tax and stamp duty.

An alternative method to transfer property ownership whilst retaining the current mortgage would be by using a deed of trust, which would transfer the beneficial ownership to a Ltd company. A good solicitor can draw one of these up for you.

Property investors and landlords could also switch their focus slightly and purchase more properties that need refurbishments.

As long as the property is in a habitable condition when purchased but still needs redecoration and comes into the lettings market before the refurb is done, most repairs such as kitchens, bathrooms, paint etc can be offset against all property income from a whole rental portfolio.

Bird_OldLadyWe will always try to keep our sector alive and rents affordable as we are providing services to people who need them, we don’t set out to rip people off, we’re not politicians, we are the ones who take the financial risks, we’re the people who provide housing and it’s our name on the deeds not yours.

You see Mr Osborne, whilst you may think that you are being clever and are tapping in to wealth generated by other people’s hard work and risk taking, well, we as landlords won’t be beaten!

Pension Freedom Fuels Increase In UK Property InvestmentPension Freedom Fuels Increase
In UK Property Investment

Since UK pensioners were granted full control of their retirement savings in April 2015, an estimated 60,000 (70%) pensioners have taken advantage of their ability to take some or all of their accumulated pension in a lump sum, with many opting to put their cash into property instead as an alternative to annuities, shares and bonds.

According to the latest Global Real Estate Outlook report published by property investment company IP Global, property remains a far more predictable and stable longer term option compared to alternative investments in the stock market.

In the UK, property prices in London and Manchester are leading the way, with prices in Greater London increasing by 12% in the last year alone.

New properties in Manchester may appear to be valued at less than half the average of London properties, however, residential property prices are expected to continue rising to close this gap, with new projections putting Manchester’s property price growth at a staggering 26.4% by 2019.

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UK PRS Rents Highest In EuropePRS Rents Still Increasing

Rent paid by tenants in the UK’s private rental sector, (PRS), increased by 2.1% in the 12 months up to and including March 2015, according to the latest published figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), drawing claims from the National Housing Federation (NHF), that the UK is the most expensive country to rent property in within the European union.

In the 12 months to March 2015 UK PRS rents increased by:

  • 2.1% in England
  • 2.1% in Scotland
  • 0.8% in Wales

UK PRS rents are the highest in Europe, taking up 40% of tenant income despite having the shortest length of secure tenancies. In comparison our European counterparts only pay an average of 28% of their income on rent.

The NHF analysed the ONS data and found that on average UK PRS rents of approximately £750 per month for properties were almost double the rental costs of dwellings in countries like Germany and Holland, where average earnings are similar. However, it is worse for tenants in shared UK properties, who typically spent around 55% of their income on rent.

Across Europe, 43% of tenants had moved property in the last five years while in the UK this figure was more like 77%.

When the figures are analysed more closely it works out that approximately 23 minutes of every hour worked by UK PRS tenants is spent on rent; elsewhere in Europe, it is more like only 17 minutes.

The NHF also showed that the UK has repeatedly failed to invest in its own housing stock when compared to European standards, between 1996 and 2011 only 3% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was invested in UK housing, compared to 6% in Germany and 5% in France.

Other findings from the analysis include the fact that 72% of tenants renting in the UK private rental sector are employed compared to 62% of residential owner-occupiers.

NHF chief executive David Orr commented on the findings, stating: “UK tenants get a raw deal in comparison to their continental counterparts. High rents are just one symptom of the UK’s housing crisis, as a nation, we are simply not building enough houses due to under investment and problems with the land market.”

The Increasing Need For Student Property

The Increasing Need For Student Property

Student Property: Just How Great Is

The Need For It?

When it comes to tactical property investment, it would appear that the UK student property sector could be one of the shrewdest and lucrative choices property investors can make right now.

In 2013 over £2 Billion (GBP) was pumped into the student rental sector by savvy property investors who calculated the increased potential yields were well worth the risks.

This is because demand for student accommodation is at a record high and seems almost certain to continue increasing due to the growing number of UK and overseas university applications being made by prospective students and the increasing number of places being offered on courses by universities in order to attract student interest.

The UK is the current leading host country for attracting international students, with higher demand for places from foreign students than the USA, making our nation the world’s unopposed central student hub, and with good reason, our higher education system is among one of the best in the world, so it is of little wonder that many world leaders are choosing to send their children here to give them a head start in life. And the way current demand for university places is growing suggests that this top education status will not be changing any time soon.

Year on year there has been an increasing number of international students seeking a decent place to live, among fellow undergraduates, while they embark on their studies. Property investors are looking for properties within the

This means that in many UK university towns and cities, market rental prices will inevitably increase due to the increased demand for dedicated student properties, and property investors are virtually guaranteed to see a quick return on their investments because of the overwhelming need for their services.

Yields in student housing are 5-6% higher on average than the standard residential property in the private rental sector returns are well worth the effort.

See the infographic below to view the most important statistics on the current climate of Student Property Investment in the UK today.

Written by Braedon Frank
AspenWoolf.co.uk

Student Property Investment

Created by Aspen Woolf

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