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Tenant Arrears Tracker - November 2014

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Tenants rebuild finances as severe arrears recover 9% in a year

  • Number of tenants severely behind on rental payments has fallen by 9% over the last twelve months
  • Improvements mean an overwhelming 98.6% of private sector tenants now avoid significant rent arrears
  • Progress begins to be reflected in rate of evictions, as court orders drop by 16% in latest quarter
  • 65,200 UK households remain more than two months behind on rent, compared to 71,700 in Q3 2013

Tenants have rebuilt their financial position over the last year, with the total number facing serious rental arrears falling by a significant 9% over the last twelve months, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by estate agency chain Reeds Rains part of LSL Property Services PLC.

In absolute terms, those more than two months behind on their rent now number just 65,200.  This compares to 71,700 tenants at least two months in arrears in the same period last year, or an annual improvement of 6,500 households who no longer face the potential threat of losing their home.

As a proportion of all tenants, those in serious arrears of more than two months have also improved, standing at just 1.4% in Q3 2014, compared to 1.6% of all tenants in Q3 2013.  This means an overwhelming 98.6% of tenants in the private rented sector now avoid falling into significant rental arrears.

Improvements in the most serious rental arrears also tally with the latest figures on overall levels of late rent, including shorter lapses on payments. According to LSL’s latest Buy-to-Let Index, overall tenant arrears of any duration now stand at just 7.2% as of September 2014, down from 8.5% in September 2013.

David Newnes, director of estate agent Reeds Rains, comments: “The private rented sector has mustered enough new capacity to meet, in part, the growing demand for affordable housing, through the greatest economic depression in modern times. This isn’t just about those relatively prosperous households forced to put ownership plans temporarily on hold.  For many thousands of others, with far tougher monthly budgets, private tenancies have also provided a lifeline.  For many renting is now their chosen route as it provides flexibility and mobility.

“Gradual rent rises, on a par with inflation, have helped. But now a bigger turnaround appears to have happened.  For many years more momentary cases of rent arrears have been in decline, yet it’s only recently that the most serious cases – where families could actually lose their homes – are following suit.

“One explanation is the improving jobs market, with the improvement in unemployment constantly outperforming expectations.  Wages would however need to rise faster for most households to feel the full effects of economic recovery.  Reduced unemployment levels would seem to be far more beneficial for those households who are struggling the most.”

Reeds Rains win Gold for Best Property Management at the Lettings Agency of the Year Awards and Silver for the Best Large Lettings Agency 2014

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Reeds Rains representatives at the Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2014


Reeds Rains has been successful at the Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2014 where we won Gold for Best Property Management and Silver for the Best Large Lettings Agency, despite tough competition from some of the leading names in the market. The Awards, in association with The Sunday Times and The Times and sponsored by Zoopla, are some of the most sought after in the lettings industry and to be acknowledged as a winner is seen as a major triumph for Reeds Rains – providing us with yet more ammunition to promote our great lettings services.

What the judges said about our entries 

Gold - Best Property Management Lettings Agency of the year Awards 2014

Reeds Rains impressed the judges who said: “The team at Reeds Rains takes innovative ideas to a new level, which for a business of this size impressed the panel. Systems are centralised and automation is in place where appropriate to effectively manage all branches and ensure consistency of service levels. The property management team is also centralised and they support the client facing offices via a number of core specialist units so competencies are focused in required areas and used to the best effect. The directors are very clear on the business strengths and weaknesses and what action they need to take to improve. They actively seek customer feedback, whether positive or negative, via social media platforms and the judges loved the honesty and passion of this approach; allowing landlords and tenants to appraise their services publicly is a bold move but is one which is paying off as an open testament to a fantastic business.”

Silver - Best Large Lettings Agency 2014

Reeds Rains also went onto win silver for Best Large Lettings Agency 2014. This is a fantastic achievement, which demonstrates that they really do deliver the best class in customer service.

The judges commented that:  “As a franchise model, Reeds Rains leverages its position to combine the best of services that a large corporation can offer with small independent agency work. It offers extended opening hours and second viewings are encouraged where appropriate so tenants can spend time making a decision and don’t feel rushed. Additional time is also spent with first-time renters to ensure they fully understand the contracts and their obligations as tenants. This has reduced problems during tenancies and also during vacation and the number of complaints has dramatically reduced. A dedicated management centre offers seamless service to both landlords and tenants as all the staff are fully apprised of each person’s file through the online systems and can help immediately. There is a culture of personal accountability at Reeds Rains so every employee takes full responsibility for every client interaction they participate in. The directors are hands on and remain fully involved with the business at grass roots level; every branch is audited quarterly and they value their team, rewarding them well with bonuses, incentive trips and excellent training provision.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director at Reeds Rains adds: “This is fantastic news, to win these awards is a testament to all the hard work and commitment of staff from across the business. Your diligence and care is also reflected in all the positive feedback given from our customers and – with our awards success – provides us with the opportunity to produce even greater results in the future”.

The awards ceremony took place in the luxurious Nine Kings Suite at The Lancaster London Hotel where Reeds Rains representatives received the Awards from celebrity Katie Piper.

Buy-To-Let Index – March 2014

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Buy-to-Let Lending Takes Rent Rises To Four Year Low

  • Rents rise at slowest annual pace since January 2010 – up just 0.9% in twelve months to March
  • Average rent across England and Wales now stands at £741 per month, after 0.2% monthly fall
  • Proportion of all tenants behind on rent stands at 7.8%, down from 8.5% in March last year
  • Rising house prices increase landlords’ annual returns to 12% – or almost £20,000 per year

Rent rises across England and Wales have slowed to their lowest annual rate in over four years, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc, which owns the UK’s largest lettings agent network, including national chains Your Move and Reeds Rains.As of March, rents across England and Wales are now just 0.9% higher than twelve months ago.

Rents have not increased as slowly since they grew by 0.4% in the twelve months ending January 2010, making the latest annual rent rises the slowest for over four years.

In absolute terms this means the average rent in England and Wales is only £6 higher than a year ago, currently standing at £741 per month compared to £735 in March 2013.

On a monthly basis, rents fell by 0.2% between February and March. This leaves rents in England and Wales approximately £1 lower than in February.

David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, part of LSL Property Services, comments: “Mortgage lending is recovering steadily – and the impact is becoming clear.  This year is seeing access improve across all areas of the property market, and that now includes private renting.

“A flow of investment from landlords has increased supply of homes to let, supported by historic low mortgage rates and significant growth in the number of buy-to-let loans.  At the same time more first time buyers are starting to balance the many thousands of new tenants entering the rental market.  And this is slowing demand a little.  The result is a private rented sector where supply and demand are more aligned than for many years.  More mortgage lending is good for tenants too.”

Read the full LSL Buy-to-let index - March 2014 here

Buy-to-let index - February 2014

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Rent Rises Accelerate in February 

  • Rents across England and Wales rise by 1.6% in twelve months to February

  • After first month-on-month rise since October, rents now average £743 per month

  • Seven in ten regions see higher rents in February than January

  • Second best month on record for tenant finances as proportion of late rent falls to 6.9%

  • Landlords earn average annual return of  9.7% (or over £16,000) over last twelve months

Annual rent rises across England and Wales have accelerated, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc, which owns the UK’s largest lettings agent network, including national chains Your Move and Reeds Rains.

As of February, the average rent across England and Wales is now 1.6% higher than twelve months ago, currently standing at £743 per month.

This is the fastest annual increase since November 2013, and compares with a year-on-year rise of 1.4% in January this year.

On a monthly basis, rents increased by 0.1% (or approximately £1) between January and February. This represents the first month-on-month increase in residential rents since October 2013.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, owners of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, comments: “Property to rent remains in high demand.  Despite great improvements in the prospects of many first-time buyers, there are still millions of households who rely on a healthy private rented sector for their homes.

“February’s annual increase remains below the rate of wider inflation.  However, this latest uptick and the high level of demand in the lettings market emphasise the importance.
 

Read the full LSL Buy-to-let index - February 2014 here

Reeds Rains Strikes Again in Lettings Industry Award

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Reeds Rains’ extensive efforts to create a memorable customer experience at its network of branches have received the ultimate endorsement, courtesy of a coveted industry accolade.

The historic estate agent has won the silver award for property manager of the year at the Negotiator Awards 2013, to further vindicate its attempts to leave lasting impressions on tenants and landlords alike.

The announcement underlines an ongoing success story for the brand, which includes a 20 per cent growth in turnover and a 14 per cent rise in managed clients in the past 12 months.

Reeds Rains has invested heavily in training and development across all areas of the company, to provide the most professional service possible.

Mark Chatterton, Lettings Operations Director said: “To be recognised by one of the industry’s most influential publications means a great deal to everyone at Reeds Rains.

“We have always prided ourselves on advising confidently in each local area, the types of property on the market and the rental marketplace as a whole.

“Winning this award reassures us that we are continuing to do the right things and on behalf of everyone at the company, we are absolutely thrilled.”

The event, which attracted a record number of entries was hosted by comedian Hugh Dennis, and was held at the Park Lane Hilton hotel in London on November 5.

Mark said: “We believe we provide an invaluable service for landlords and tenants, ensuring that all legal safety obligations are met protecting both parties.

“Routine repairs and emergencies are attended to with speed and care, because we understand that these are an inconvenience to tenants and an unwelcome expense for landlords.

 “It appears that The Negotiator Awards acknowledged these facts when judging, which is great news for us, in such a high profile event that is attended by the nation’s top property agents.”

Reeds Rains’ latest honour adds to a Sunday Times bronze accolade for property management in the national publication’s prestigious lettings agency of the year awards in March during which the judges praised Reeds Rains excellent rent collection facility and low default rates. 

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