Posts with tag: rental sector

Scottish rental sector fares well this year, despite lockdown restrictions

Published On: June 15, 2020 at 8:03 am

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Categories: Lettings News

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The rental sector in Scotland has continued to show good levels of demand and activity during the lockdown, according to reports from property consultancy Galbraith.  It has recorded that average rents have risen by over 10% year on year.

The number of property lettings increased by 31.8% for the first quarter of this year (January to March) compared with the same period in 2019.

Since the restrictions were imposed on 23rd March, there has been continued activity from both tenants and landlords in several parts of the country, with new rental properties being brought to the market in Moray, Ayrshire and the Scottish Borders.

Susan Guthrie, head of lettings for Galbraith in the Scottish Borders said: “Perhaps surprisingly there is strong and continuing demand from tenants and sustained landlord activity – this has not diminished since the advent of COVID-19. Landlords are still feeling confident to offer their properties for let.

“We continue to offer a full service for landlords during this period, from rent collection to vetting of tenants, all of which we can do via video calls or digital platforms, and some properties have 360-degree video tours online so tenants can make a decision and be ready to proceed as soon as the restrictions are eased.

“There has been a 30% increase in the number of people viewing Galbraith rental properties online since the UK went into lockdown and we have telephone enquiries every day. Since the lockdown, there has been an increasing interest in rural properties – a sign perhaps that people have been thinking about their lifestyle during this time and how to achieve a good work-life balance.”

In Elgin, the number of applicants registering as prospective tenants has increased by 42% over the past 12 months. Overall 285 prospective tenants registered with Galbraith during the first quarter of this year alone.

Landlords have been concerned by additional legislation in recent years in Scotland but strong demand from tenants continues. The relatively limited supply of property coupled with the buoyant interest has underpinned price growth. The average rental price charged for properties let by Galbraith has increased by 10.8% year-on-year.

Tories Could Lose Next Election as Number of Renters in Marginal Seats Increases

Published On: June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am

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Categories: Law News

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Due to the growth in generation rent, Conservatives could potentially lose the next election. Falling levels of home ownership must be reversed if there is any chance of winning.

This warning has been brought to attention by think tank Onward, managed by Will Tanner, a former Deputy Head of Policy to Theresa May.

From recent analysis, due to be published yesterday, the number of those privately renting is witnessing a rapid increase in marginal seats, meaning that it is imperative for Tories to win the election in order to gain a majority, rather than in safe Tory-held constituencies.

Onward expresses that the prospect of owning a property “is becoming a pipe dream for a generation”. It calls for “very radical action to get homeownership growing again.”

Analysis by MP Neil O’Brien, cites research revealing that private tenants are more likely to vote Labour, while homeowners will opposingly be in favour of the Tories.

The number of constituencies is predicted to rise to 253 by the 2022 election. This is an increase from 18 constituencies in 2001.

Furthermore, the proportion of households in private rentals is expected to climb by 3% by 2022, to stand at 21.8% of all homes. 15.5% of households will be privately renting, in the 20 safest Tory constituencies.

Kensington, Perth and North Perthshire, Dudley North, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Crewe and Nantwich, and Canterbury are all included in the marginal seats that the Tories should be targeting, with the Labour majority of Kensington being 20, Perth and North Perthshire, 21, Dudley North, 22, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 30, Crewe and Nantwich, 48 and Canterbury, 187.

 

AIIC suggests deposit cap could lead to more disputes

Published On: August 23, 2017 at 9:10 am

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Categories: Property News

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The Government’s plan to introduce a cap on deposits paid by for UK tenants in the private rental sector could actually lead to an increase in formal deposit disputes, according to a new claim.

Earlier this Summer, as part of the Queen’s Speech, the Government unveiled the draft Tenants’ Fees Bill, which included details of the upcoming ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants. In addition, the ‘Speech gave the first mention of a cap on holding and security deposits.

Deposits

It has been mooted that holding deposits are capped at no more than a week’s rent and security deposits at no more than one month’s rent. This is down from the current level of two months.

The National Landlords Association predicts that almost 40% of present security deposits exceed the proposed one month rent cap. An entire draft of the Tenants’ Fees Bill is expected to be published later in 2017, with full legislation set to be introduced in 2018.

However, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) believe that while a cap on deposits will help tenants initially, the lower sums required could lead to a rise in the number of formal deposit disputes.

Disputes

Danny Zane joint chair of the AIIC, noted: ‘A cap on security and holding deposits is certainly more positive than an outright ban as has been proposed for up front letting agent fees charged to tenants. However, we are concerned that as tenants will be committing less money to cover damages at the start of a tenancy, they may take a more laissez faire approach to the rental property, and landlords could therefore be left with more damage and repairs to deal with.’

AIIC suggests deposit cap could lead to more disputes

AIIC suggests deposit cap could lead to more disputes

Should this scenario arise, landlords are more likely to make deductions from a tenancy deposit. Of course, this could lead to more formal deposit disputes.

Emma Glencross, joint chair of the AIIC, went on to say: ‘We understand that some tenants are finding damage and holding deposits unaffordable, and a cap on deposits will certainly help them when looking for a rental property. We hope that the lower sums of money involved don’t encourage renters to take less care of their rental properties. Both landlords and tenants want to avoid deposit disputes at all costs and this Government initiative could, in some cases, have unintended consequences.’

Importance of Inventory

Regardless of the proposed cap on fees, the AIIC has moved to once again stress the importance of a professionally compiled inventory. A photographic inventory can certainly reduce the chance of deposit disputes.

Mr Zane added: ‘An impartial, professional inventory comprehensively details the condition and contents of the property at the start and end of the tenancy. They help to protect tenants from unfair charges and can also stop landlords being left out of pocket.’[1]

[1] http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/planned-uk-deposit-cap-lead-disputes-says-industry-trade-body/

 

 

Rise in use of letting agents could be unsustainable

Published On: June 5, 2017 at 11:21 am

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Categories: Landlord News

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A recent rise in the number of landlords using letting agents to help manage their property may not be sustainable, according to a new report.

Last week saw research from the National Landlords Association reveal that 61% of landlords currently use a letting agent – a 7% increase from the final quarter of 2016.

Abnormal

The increase was described as a break from the norm by the National Landlords Association, with the proportion of landlords using an agent remaining relatively consistent during the last few years.

In addition, the report found that the proportion of landlords self-managing their property has slipped by nearly 10% during the last year.

Richard Price, executive director of the UK Association of Letting Agents, believes that the fact more landlords are relying on letting agents is testament to the service that many provide in the sector.

Mr Price said: ‘It is an uncertain time for anyone who owns a buy to let property, so the steady hand of a reputable agent is exactly what many landlords are looking for right now.’[1]

Rise in use of letting agents could be unsustainable

Rise in use of letting agents could be unsustainable

Changing Sector

However, recent changes in buy-to-let taxation, coupled with the proposed ban on charging fees to tenants, could mean a number of landlords will be searching for different ways to save money. This could see less landlords using services provided by agents.

Chief Executive of the National Landlords Association, Richard Lambert, observed: ‘As landlords plan ahead to compensate for the tax changes over the next few years we would expect to see the number who use an agent to slowly fall away, and for more to start considering whether they are able to manage their properties themselves.’[1]

[1] https://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2017/6/rise-in-number-of-landlords-using-letting-agents-may-not-be-sustainable

 

Lib Dems make housing pledges in manifesto

Published On: May 18, 2017 at 11:44 am

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Categories: Property News

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Election fever is now in full swing, with all of the key political parties unveiling their manifestos for the coming years.

Yesterday saw the Liberal Democrats unveil their plans, which centered around calling another EU Referendum, in the unlikely event that they get voted into office.

Housing and Landlords

Like the Labour party, the Lib Dem’s back the controversial ban on letting agents’ fees levied on tenants throughout England.

What’s more, the Liberal Democrat’s called for:

  • Tenants to be given first refusal to buy the property they are renting from their landlord, should they decide to sell up during the tenancy
  • Increased tenancies, of three years or greater, with inflation-linked annual rent increases to give tenants more security
  • More protection against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing, with full access for tenants to a database of rogue landlords and agents
  • A ban on letting agent fees, with the addition of capping upfront deposits and increasing standards
  • Assistance for helping young people into the rental market by introducing a Help to Rent scheme. This would provide tenancy deposit loans for all first-time tenants under 30

Lib Dems make housing pledges in manifesto

Lib Dems make housing pledges in manifesto

For wider housing issues, the party’s manifestos calls for a new ban on new homes being advertised overseas, before they are marketed to UK residents.

Under the Liberal Democrats, there would also be at least 10 new garden cities and an end to some housing association Right to Buy pilot schemes.

 

Government Must Do More for Those at the Start of the Property Cycle, Insists Student Platform

Published On: January 6, 2017 at 9:28 am

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Categories: Property News

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The Government must do more for those at the start of the property cycle, particularly students, insists free-to-list student rentals platform, StudentTenant.com.

While this week has brought good news for the property market, following announcements to build the first wave of Starter Homes and the development of 14 garden villages, StudentTenant believes that more must be done for those at the beginning of the property cycle, especially students living in the rental sector.

Government Must Do More for Those at the Start of the Property Cycle, Insists Student Platform

Government Must Do More for Those at the Start of the Property Cycle, Insists Student Platform

Over the past few years, investors have spent billions of pounds on student accommodation due to current shortages and high demand. Despite this, many campuses find themselves with an inadequate number of properties, warns the platform.

In addition, despite the huge spike in tuition fees in recent years and Britain’s departure from the EU softening interest from foreign students, UK universities continue to experience overwhelming levels of interest from prospective students.

But with a lack of suitable housing in the student rental sector to meet this demand, not only is the education of these students being hindered, as is their first experience in the property cycle, the firm states.

Danielle Cullen, the Managing Director of StudentTenant, says: “It is great news that new homes are being built for homebuyers in 2017, but we also have to address the burning issue in the rental sector.

“Many look at first time buyers as the start of the property lifecycle, but this just simply isn’t the case, especially for those that fall within the generation rent category, where homeownership may never be obtainable.”

She explains: “For many of us, going to college or university will be our first taste of the property lifecycle in the rental sector. Unfortunately, there is a high chance that this will leave a sour taste in the mouth, as many students struggle to find suitable accommodation.

“It is a shame that the rental sector in the UK is not a top priority on the Government’s agenda this year, because so many people across the nation depend on this form of housing. If they can’t manage to provide an appropriate level of affordable housing, they should at least ensure that there is an adequate rental sector to fall back on. Regulation of pricing in the sector would be a good start, particularly for students, who are forced to pay extortionate prices in areas of high demand.”

Landlords, if you provide housing for those at the start of the property cycle, remember to stick to the law and protect your tenants by providing safe, secure and good quality accommodation. Our guides explain all you need to know to be a responsible landlord: /guides/