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Right To Rent Immigration Checks Making PRS Landlords Over Cautious

Right To Rent Immigration Checks Making PRS Landlords Over Cautious

Lawful Tenants Refused Rental Properties
Because Of Right To Rent Immigration Checks

Right to Rent immigration checks could cause more UK private rented sector (PRS) landlords to refuse tenancy applications from lawful tenants because they are over cautious about letting to tenants with foreign accents and names or have unfamiliar identity documents.

According to the Residential Landlords Association, (RLA), the complexity of the Government’s plans to turn landlords into unpaid Border Agency staff could see lawful tenants being refused housing.

The warning comes as new research by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) indicates the difficulties caused by the Government’s Right to Rent scheme, originally piloted in the West Midlands, concluding that UK PRS landlords Right to Rent checks have resulted in discrimination against tenants who appear “foreign”.

The JCWI research discovered that:

  • 42% of landlords were less likely to consider tenant applications from someone who did not have a British passport,
  • 27% of landlords were reluctant to engage with tenancy applications from people with foreign accents or names

Under the new immigration bill, PRS landlords are set to be legally responsible for checking the immigration status of tenants. Following the pilot scheme in the West Midlands, the Government recently announced that the immigration checks by landlords would be expanded nationwide, with landlords facing up to five years in prison for failure to undertake the Right to Rent checks.

Residential Landlords Association policy director, David Smith, said: “Whilst the RLA opposes discrimination against tenants because of their race or nationality, the Government’s plans are causing confusion and anxiety for many landlords. If the Government expect landlords to act as border police it should provide the training and material needed to give them the confidence to carry out the checks required of them. In the absence of such support, today’s research sadly shows the inevitable consequences of the policy which the RLA has long voiced concerns about. Faced with considerable sanctions, landlords will inevitably play it safe where a tenant’s identity documents are either unclear or simply not known to them. It is concerning that the Government remains committed to rolling out the Right to Rent policy nationwide without first publishing its assessment of the impact it has had in its own pilot area. Ministers should halt plans to proceed with its rollout to allow time for proper scrutiny and consideration of the impact it is likely to have.”

The research by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants comes before the publication of the Home Office’s own assessment of the Right to Rent pilot scheme detailing its level of effectiveness.

There seems to be a huge communication breakdown somewhere, we as landlords are now unpaid members of the UK Border Agency, like it or not, we mustn’t discriminate against any tenant applicant because it is an “ism” and can be punished by imprisonment and a large fine, however, if we house someone in need, we leave ourselves open to prosecution and a large fine. If we act in a professional manner, we are accused of not caring, but if we have too much contact with tenants we are seen as overbearing and interfering. If we spend money on properties we are seen as rich money grabbers that are open to exploitation and if we don’t spend vast amounts to correct damage caused by tenant lifestyles as and when tenants demand then we are called tight and heartless. Homeless charities want the UK PRS closed down, the Government want as much of our profits as they can get their hands on and the media think we are all descendants of Rachman and Rigsby – How is the system supposed to work?

New Right To Rent Immigration Legislation Now In Force

New Right To Rent Immigration Legislation Now In Force

New Immigration Legislation Dictates That Landlords Can Only
Let To Tenants Who Have The Right To Rent

As of today, 1st December 2014, new legislation has come into force in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton. The requirement will come in to force in those areas dictating that all UK private rented sector landlords must only let properties to immigrants that have the right to rent property in the UK and the landlords of the West Midlands are the legislative guinea pigs.

The introduction of the Right To Rent law has particular importance to UK PRS landlords who house foreign nationals or operate Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO’s or multi-let properties) and those landlords using Rent 2 Rent (R2R) strategies.

Under the Immigration Bill (2014) private rented sector landlords are responsible for checking the immigration status of all potential tenants, with fines of up to £3000 (GBP) for landlords who fail to conduct this procedure. Employers will also face “more substantial” fines for employing illegal immigrants.

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Landlords Warned To Get Ready For Universal Credit

Landlords Warned To Get Ready For Universal Credit  Chaos!

National Universal Credit Roll-Out
Starts February 2015 

Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith surprised commentators with an announcement that Universal Credit (UC) will be rolled out to all Jobcentres and local authorities in the UK by February 2015 following the apparent success of the pilot scheme that was originally trialled in the North West.

Many Universal Credit detractors predicted that nothing significant would happen, before next year’s General Election, however, Iain Duncan Smith stunned everyone by announcing that Universal Credit will be rolled out to all Jobcentres and local authorities across the country, starting February 2015.

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UK Property Rental Prices Reach New Record High

UK Property Rental Prices Reach New Record High

UK Property Rental Prices Reach New Record High

Latest figures show that the new national average property rental price being advertised has reached a whopping £1,006 (GBP) per calendar month (pcm).

This is the first time ever that the national average property rental price has broken the 4 figure ceiling barrier in the UK.

The increase in the national average property rental price has been attributed to continued growth of the London and South East property markets.

Property rental prices being advertised in central London have reached £2,300 (GBP) per month, the highest recorded rental average apart from during the Olympic’s in the summer of 2012.

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UK Rental Market Remains Healthy Despite PRS Rent Falls

UK Rental Market Remains Healthy Despite PRS Rent Falls

UK Rental Market Remains Healthy Despite PRS Rent Falls

Rental price increases in many UK regions have slowed according to the latest data gathered by the latest Buy-To-Let Index conducted by LSL Property Services group.

The data showed that UK PRS rents increased by 1.5% in the 12 months to December 2013, less than half the 3.2% growth observed in 2012 and on the whole, UK PRS rents fell by 1% in December 2013, (around £8), reducing the average private rental sector rent to £745 (GBP) per calendar month.

The largest drop in PRS rental prices was observed in the South East, with rents down 2% since November 2013, rents also fell 1.9% in both London and Wales.

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House Prices Officially Rising Across The UK

House Prices Officially Rising Across The UK

UK House Prices Rising Faster Than Inflation

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recorded year-on-year house price increases across the UK with property values increasing by:

  • 5.6% in England
  • 5.4% in Wales
  • 2.5% in Scotland
  • 3.3% in Northern Ireland

The increase in house prices and activity in the UK property market has been credited to an increase in first-time buyers (FTB) purchasing residential property using the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme.

The ONS have revealed that annual house price growth outpaced the cost of living in November 2013, even after removing property market activity in London and the South East of England from the calculations, property prices were up by an average of 3.1%, compared with a 2.1% rate of inflation.

Property price increases in the UK are generally driven by market activity and price increases in London and its surrounding areas, although other regions have started to show accelerating property price increases.

Property prices in London were up by 11.6% in November 2013, compared with a year earlier, and property prices have also increased strongly across the whole of the UK according to official figures

Regional Property Price Increases

  • London: up 11.6%
  • South East: up 4.5%
  • West Midlands: up 4.4%
  • North East: up 4.2%
  • East: up 4.1%
  • Yorkshire and the Humber: up 3.2%
  • South West: up 3.1%
  • East Midlands: up 2%
  • North West: up 0.6%                           Source: ONS annual change, Nov 2013

UK regions are becoming far more buoyant and less reliant on activity in the London property market and the majority of buyers are having to look further afield than central locations to find affordable properties, creating a halo effect on property prices.

The annual increase in UK property prices in November follows on from the 5.5% rise observed in October 2013 and although the annual comparison did not show any acceleration, property prices were higher than the previous month increasing by 0.5% in November compared with October, with an average residential property valued at £248,000 (GBP).

The ONS house price index is based on mortgage completions, and is considered to be more comprehensive than House Price Indices (HPI) produced by mortgage lenders such as the Halifax and Nationwide whose figures are based on their own mortgage data.

 

Where Will Property Investors Get The Best Return From In 5 Years Time?

Where Will Property Investors Get The Best Return From In 5 Years Time?

Where Will Property Investors Get The Best Return From In 5 Years Time?

Savills have released their UK property price predictions for the next 5 years identifying what they think are the best UK regions to purchase properties in based on expected Capital Gains.

Residential properties in the South East region are predicted to increase in value by as much as 31.9%, whilst the East of England could see property prices rise by 30.4%.

In the South West region of the UK, Savills expect property prices to jump by 29.4% with increases in property values not increasing by as much in more Northern parts of the UK.

According to the 5 year forecast, East-Midlands property prices could increase by as much as 24.6%, however, London property prices are only expected to rise by 24.4%.

West-Midlands property prices are also expected to increase by up to 23.4% according to the forecast, but property prices in Wales are only predicted to increase by 21%

The city of York in the Yorkshire & Humber region could expect property price rises around 20.5% according to Savills and over the Pennines in the North West, property prices are estimated to increase by 19.3% in next 5 years, as is also the case in Scotland.

North East property price predictions are the worst of the company’s forecast only expected to grow by 17.6% over the next 5 years.

The property price predictions do not appear to take into account the effect of the Help-To-Buy scheme on the UK property market, nor do they allow for the prospect of another property price bubble or even another huge property crash.

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Rightmove Think London Property Prices Are Unsustainable

Rightmove Think London Property Prices Are Unsustainable

London Property Prices Increase
More Than 10% In October

Average UK property prices increased by 2.8% across the country in October, however property price rises in London are going through the roof and are unsustainable, according to property portal Rightmove

London property prices increased by £50,484 (GBP) equivalent to a 10.2% increase in October, after two consecutive monthly falls in the price of properties marketed.

Property prices in the Capital had fallen by -2.8% and -1.5% in August and September respectively, and the double digit price increases reported in October has analysts worried about the volatility and sustainability of the London property market.

The huge rise in London property prices has been attributed to corresponding factors;

  • Lack of supply of residential properties coming to market
  • Overseas investment in new build properties by foreign property investors

October’s strong recovery means London property prices are now 5.6% or £28,852(GBP) up on July’s all-time high of £515,379 (GBP), pushing the year-on-year increase in London to +13.8% or £66,161(GBP).

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Average PRS Rents Hit New High

Average PRS Rents Hit New High

Buy-To-Let Property Investors Benefit
From PRS Rent Increases

The average rent in the UK’s private rented sector has increased to approximately £757 (GBP) per month, the highest level ever recorded, as rental prices increase by 1.8% on the previous month.

The data is from the latest Buy-To-Let Index, published by LSL property services.

PRS rents are 2.1% higher than they were in September 2012 and tenant demand is still strong with lettings activity growing by 9.2% over the last 12 months.

Average PRS rents are now £13 (GBP) per month higher than the previous all time record set in October 2012, when monthly PRS rents averaged £744 (GBP) per month.

Nine out of 10 UK regions saw rents rise between August and September 2013 with the fastest monthly rise observed in the South East, where PRS rents are 3.3% higher than they were a month ago.

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Best Places For UK Property Investment

Best Places For UK Property Investment

UK Property Investment Hot Spots
Identified By Journalist

The post-recession boom in house prices has prompted Christopher Middleton to write about the best property investment hot spots in the press this week and he put forward some of the best areas of the UK that can provide property investors with decent returns.

According to the Office for National Statistics, UK house prices are officially on the up. Property values rose by 3.1% in the 12 months to June 2013, compared to 2.9% in the year to May 2013.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), say that property prices are rising at their fastest rate since the pre-crash days of 2006.

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