Posts with tag: letting agents

NAEA and ARLA’s Housing Market Predictions and How to Overcome the Crisis

Published On: December 17, 2015 at 9:36 am


Categories: Property News

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The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) have joined together to set out their housing market predictions for the next ten years and suggestions for overcoming the current crisis.

The organisations report that house prices and rent prices will soar over the next decade, while buying a property will become further out of reach for many.

NAEA and ARLA's Housing Market Predictions and How to Overcome the Crisis

NAEA and ARLA’s Housing Market Predictions and How to Overcome the Crisis

The NAEA and ARLA predict that homeownership will decline by 7% by 2025, while the number of people living in rental accommodation will increase by 9%.

ARLA believes that rents will rise by over a quarter, while the NAEA expects house prices to surge by 50%.

The sister bodies state that a “drastic and immediate” overhaul is needed to fix the current housing crisis.

The report, compiled with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, suggests what can be done to repair the broken market.

The average house price in the UK is currently about £280,000, with the Housing 2025 report forecasting that it will rise to £419,000 over the next ten years.

In London, prices are expected to almost double in the next decade, from an average of £515,000 at present to £931,000.

Rent prices are predicted to grow by 27% from the current average of £134 per week to £171 in 2025.

Again, those in the capital will face higher rises, paying an extra 34% in rent per week by 2025, from £234 to £314.

The study states that the current level of homeownership amongst the working population of around 62% will drop to 55%, while those living in rental housing will rise from 20% to almost 29% in the next ten years.

David Cox, Managing Director of ARLA, says: “Buying and renting a home is a giant step, and is out of reach for many. Rent costs are already growing at a rate that people are struggling to keep up with and they’re due to become even less sustainable over the next decade.”

Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the NAEA, also comments: “House prices are only going to go one way and unfortunately, that is up. For so many already priced out of the market, this is news aspiring house buyers will not want to hear.”

The organisations are calling for a number of measures to be introduced. These include:

  • Building on some parts of the greenbelt.
  • Mandatory licensing of landlords and letting agents.
  • Encouraging institutional investment in the private rental sector.
  • Encouraging more construction workers from outside the EU to work in Britain.
  • A Stamp Duty exemption for pensioners looking to downsize.

The managing directors say: “The housing crisis Britain is facing is deep-rooted, and if it is to be solved will require finance, suitable land, time, new skills and most importantly, the appropriate national regulation of the key stakeholders, not least the estate agents and letting agents that form our membership. We are calling for change, and it needs to happen soon.”1 


Another 8,000 Properties in Camden Require Licensing

Published On: December 11, 2015 at 9:54 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Landlords and letting agents in Camden are warned that earlier in the week, new licensing rules were introduced.

Another 8,000 Properties in Camden Require Licensing

Another 8,000 Properties in Camden Require Licensing

As of Tuesday 8th December, all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) must be licensed in the London borough.

This scheme extends property licensing to around 8,000 homes and applies to all private rental accommodation shared by three or more people that are not related, even if they moved in together on a single tenancy.

The new scheme also includes Section 257 HMOs. These are properties that have been converted into self-contained flats, but do not comply with the relevant building regulations.

Camden Council has restricted the licensing of this type of HMO to properties where at least 50% of the flats are privately rented.

The scheme has been enforced in a bid to push up standards in the private rental sector.

When gathering evidence to support its plans, Camden environmental health officers visited 391 HMOs in the borough, rating 19% as very poor or poor in regard to property management and condition.

During its 22-week consultation, the council received 1,400 responses to its online survey – the majority (70%) were in favour of the proposed licensing scheme.

To obtain a license, landlords must complete an application form, supply various supporting documents and pass a fit and proper person test. The application fee per property is £450, plus an additional £45 for each separate letting, for example, a bedroom, bedsit or studio flat, within the property.

Landlords accredited by a scheme approved under the London Rental Standard will receive a £95 discount.

The council insists that every property now subject to licensing will be inspected.

More information can be found here:














Landlords and Agents Called to Help Detect Modern Slavery

Published On: December 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Landlords and letting agents have been called upon by Thames Valley Police to help tackle modern slavery.

Landlords and Agents Called to Help Detect Modern Slavery

Landlords and Agents Called to Help Detect Modern Slavery

Modern slavery has been identified as a growing problem, with the latest Government estimate suggesting that there are 13,000 victims in the UK.

Police state that every victim is forced to live or work somewhere, thus, they are urging landlords and letting agents to help combat the issue and to be aware that modern slavery is occurring in many communities.

Victoria Butler, the Modern Slavery Intelligence Lead at Thames Valley Police, says: “We know victims of modern slavery are often forced to live in accommodation with others, frequently in large groups, which causes overcrowding.

“They are sometimes transported from home to work and made to work long hours. They have their documents taken from them and they do not control their own finances.

“I would ask any landlord or letting agent to ensure they know exactly who is renting their premises. If they have any concerns about the welfare of those living and working there, or suspicions about the financial arrangements, they should contact police.”1

If you are renting out a property, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know exactly who you are letting the property to and who is living there?
  • Is the occupant the same person that signed the tenancy agreement?
  • Does the occupant pay their own rent from their own bank account?
  • Are you aware of any anti-social behaviour complaints regarding the property?
  • Do the occupants of the property change regularly?
  • Is the occupant in possession of their own passport or identification documents, and have these been checked prior to the start of the tenancy?
  • Does the tenant seem withdrawn, frightened or show signs of physical abuse?

Modern slavery includes: Child trafficking; forced labour; debt bondage; sexual exploitation; criminal exploitation; and domestic servitude.

There is no typical victim, but modern slavery is usually more common amongst vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups.

Hidden signs make it difficult to identify a victim, but common indications include: Poor physical appearance; isolation; poor living conditions; few or no personal effects; restricted freedom of movement; unusual travel times; and a reluctance to seek help.



Welsh Government Urged to Repeal Rent Smart Wales

Published On: December 7, 2015 at 9:56 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Welsh Government Urged to Repeal Rent Smart Wales

Welsh Government Urged to Repeal Rent Smart Wales

A new online petition has been published on the Welsh government’s website calling for the repeal of the Rent Smart Wales law.

The scheme requires all landlords and letting agents in Wales to register themselves and their properties and to obtain a license. Find out more here: /todays-the-day-for-change-in-the-welsh-private-rental-sector/

The petition suggests that instead, landlords and agents should join a recognised scheme.

Greg Roberts & Co, estate agents in Blaenau Gwent, brought the petition. The firm states: “The legislation proposes all landlords and letting agents are licensed to be able to let a property in Wales. This in principle does have merit. However, the scheme put forward is over-complicated and extremely costly.

“Making it illegal for individuals or agencies to let properties who are not members of a recognised organisation, i.e. ARLA [the Association of Residential Letting Agents], NAEA [the National Association of Estate Agents], RICS [the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors] or private landlords affiliations, would ensure the tenant is protected, as all the above have standards and criteria members have to adhere to.

“This is also backed up by the need to have Client Money Protection insurance and to be a member of an independent redress scheme, like say The Property Ombudsman [TPO]. Then there would be no need for any further costly Welsh government involvement.”1 

The petition is only open for a month, closing on 31st December 2015. Sign it here: 



















Half of Tenants Suffer Repair Delays

Published On: December 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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New research has found that around 50% of tenants have suffered delays in having repair work completed. Furthermore, one in three tenants has experienced a landlord or letting agent refusing to fix a broken item.

The study, undertaken by – an online letting agent – indicates that one in ten renters has failed to have repairs fixed altogether.

Half of Tenants Suffer Repair Delays

Half of Tenants Suffer Repair Delays

Additionally, many tenants complain that landlords and agents use poor quality tradespeople to carry out maintenance work.

In September this year, three landlords in Peterborough were ordered to pay a total of £19,550 in fines and costs after failing to conduct repairs at the properties they manage.

Peterborough City Council successfully prosecuted the landlords for failing to comply with statutory notices on their properties.

One of the rental homes had serious mould, damp and inadequate ventilation. It also had an unsuitable electrical installation and did not have adequate external lighting.

Another property was very badly insulated, had faulty windows and an entrance door, and an inadequate central heating system. Inspectors also found exposed electrical wiring and poor bathroom facilities.

Managing Director of, Jane Morris, says: “This case should serve as a stark reminder to all other landlords and letting agents that they could face prosecution proceedings and heavy fines if they fail to make repairs to a property and ensure that it meets the required standards.

“There are many tenants that are living in substandard accommodation with hazardous conditions. Too often, tenants are being ignored when they flag up problems to their landlord or agent.”

She explains: “Our research shows that the most common cause of complaints are faulty boilers, leaking roofs, faulty showers, mould and condensation, leaking bathroom and window locks, broken windows, smoke alarms, and pests and vermin.

“Landlords and agents should deal with tenant repair requests quickly and ensure they use qualified and experienced contractors to carry out the work.”1 

The firm has compiled guidelines on response times for various tenant complaints:

  • Landlords and agents have a duty of care to advise tenants on how to avoid problems becoming worse until a contractor is organised to fix an issue, such as turning off gas taps.
  • Gas or major electrical faults are considered urgent and must be fixed within 24 hours or less. This also applies to heating or hot water, especially in the winter.
  • Water leaks should be addressed within 24 hours.
  • If a cooker breaks, it should be fixed within 48 hours.
  • Other broken appliances, including washing machines, should be attended to within 72 hours.

Do not fall foul of lettings law by fulfilling your landlord responsibilities.


New Advice on Serving Section 21 Notices

Published On: December 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm


Categories: Landlord News,Law News

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The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has teamed up with Fixflo, a repairs software specialist, to create a series of timelines that help letting agents understand the changes to section 21 notices.

The new rules apply to every new tenancy in England that started on or after 1st October.

The timelines highlight the importance of providing an adequate response to each repair request from a tenant, if an agent or landlord wishes to be sure that a section 21 notice cannot be invalidated.

Managing Director of ARLA, David Cox, states: “It has become apparent through speaking to our members that the full scope of the changes has not been fully understood across the industry.

“Put simply, if you provide what the legislation considers to be an adequate response to every repair request, then any section 21 notice that you serve cannot be invalidated for being retaliatory.

“While each agency will need to make its own assessment of the legislation, as the law remains subject to interpretation by the courts, in the absence of further Government guidance, we consider that the Fixflo method for handling the need to provide an adequate response constitutes best practice for the lettings industry.”1

Legal lettings expert Tessa Shepperson adds: “I’m a trained lawyer who specialises in this area of law and it took me several hours to fully get to grips with these changes, which should, if properly drafted, have been readily understood by non-lawyers.

“While it’s still open for the courts to interpret the legislation as they see fit, providing an adequate response to every repair request and being able to evidence that response is the best way for anyone managing a property, whether landlord or agent, to protect their business.”1

Any cases under the new rules will not reach the courts until April 2016, due to timing restrictions.

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