What impact will election policies have on letting a property?
Things are definitely hotting up in the Private Rental Market in England. Shelter and Generation Rent are just two organisations calling for tougher policies that could dramatically impact both landlords and tenants. The main request is for rent controls to limit by how much rents can be increased from one year to the next and, in some cases, even maximum amounts of rents that can be charged in certain areas. There are also calls for all landlords to be licensed and for letting agents to be regulated, which would mean increased costs for all those letting property.
From our perspective, we know that rents are pretty good value for tenants and, although increasing, they aren’t rising ahead of inflation, so rent controls or limits aren’t really required. That’s backed up by our research, which shows that rents are typically ‘naturally capped’ by what people earn. However, we are supportive of licensing landlords and robust regulation of letting agents, both of which would mean tenants could be sure of working with approved professionals.
Our latest House price index shows that prices in January 2015 versus 2014 were up year on year by 7.5%, with the North and Yorkshire seeing the biggest boost, mostly due to an increase in first time buyers. Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains estate agents, comments that this annual growth “is the smallest yearly improvement witnessed for 10 months” and that “average property values haven’t taken any steps forward from where they stood in November”.
Interestingly, it’s London which is leading this slowdown, having seen some big rises over the last 18 months, while in other areas, such as the North, sales were up by 7% and in Yorkshire and Humberside by 4.1% with flats and terraces changing hands due to low mortgage rates attracting new, first time buyers.
From a buy to let perspective, our index shows rents are higher year on year in eight out of ten regions across England & Wales. The best performer was the East of England, which saw rises of +7.6%, followed by the East Midlands at +6.2% and in London rents grew by +4.1%, while in Yorkshire & the Humber there was a +3.4% annual increase. And, just as house prices vary from one region to another, so do rents, which we saw falling in the North East by -2.1% and the South West by -1%.
For more information on the latest House price and Buy to Let Index, visit http://www.lslps.co.uk/
It’s a busy year for new rules and regulations in Wales this year!
Firstly, a minor change. From the start of this year, for all new tenancies, you will need to provide Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water with your tenants’ details to help them chase up any water bill arrears. For existing tenancies, it’s from 21st January 2015.
But some much bigger changes are also being implemented, thanks to the passing of last year’s Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
If we manage your property for you, we’ll take care of everything and keep you up to date, but if you’re managing a property yourself, you need to understand what these changes are and what they mean for you, so that you can take the necessary action.
- You will need to register yourself as a landlord at a cost of £50, plus £10 for each property
- If Reeds Rains manages your property, we’ll look after everything else for you as we will abide by the new legislation on your behalf
- If you manage the properties yourself, then you will need to secure a licence to do so, abide by a new code of conduct and attend a training programme. The cost will be several hundred pounds.
With these new rules, it my be worth considering whether to continue to manage your property yourself, or whether it makes more sense for us to look after it, to help you stay on the right side of the law.
Do contact us on 0845 450 0865* or email Landlords@ReedsRains.co.uk for more help and advice on these changes and, don’t worry, we’ll always make sure you’re kept up to date!
Good news for Wales from our latest House Price Index shows over the last three months it is the Region which recorded the highest rise in house prices in October, when prices rose by nearly 1% in just one month. However, this price growth hasn’t kept up the momentum and over the last few months, dropped back to almost no change at all year on year.
From a sales perspective, in the last quarter of 2014 they stagnated at 10,500 homes in Wales – the same number of sales as 2013. Although this does disguise differences with the types of property people are buying. Flat sales were up by 15% Q4 2014 versus 2013, while detached properties sales were on a par and there was a fall in the number of semi and terraced property sold.
From a rental perspective, rents in the region are on average £566 per month which is a slight fall versus rents in the previous month, but up 2% year on year, so keeping up with inflation, just. On average, yields have remained the same year on year.
For more information on what’s happening in the Welsh market, visit http://www.lslps.co.uk/
All landlords letting property in Northern Ireland need to register themselves by 25th February 2015. If you haven’t already done so, make it a priority as you could be fined up to £2,500 for non-compliance. The Landlord Registration Scheme is aimed at helping make sure landlords are kept abreast of new legislation and ensuring they look after tenants. If you manage your property yourself, make sure you clearly display the Landlord Registration logo and your personal registration number to show tenants (and the local authority) that you’re complying with the law. For more information on landlord registration, do email, call or pop in to your local Your Move office and we’ll be happy to help with any queries you may have about letting.
Tenant demand is still high in the Region despite the fact that first time buyers can purchase a property in the area, on average, for just £90,254. In places such as Carrickfergus, a two bedroom house can be bought for just £22,500!
In a general Landlord Survey we carried out, most landlords are not expecting to raise rents this year, with just four in ten landlords expecting to increase rents to help cover inflationary costs and paying for maintenance the second most important reason to increase rents.
For more information from the survey, visit http://www.lslps.co.uk/documents/landlord_survey_Q3_2014.pdf
For more information call 0845 450 0865* or email landlords@ReedsRains.co.uk . Reeds Rains, winners of the Gold award for Best Property Management and Silver award for the Best Large Lettings Agency at The Sunday Times and The Times awards 2014.
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