Hello and a warm welcome to our February newsletter.
2012 has started strongly with activity levels in the private rented sector remaining at high levels.
As the economic situation gets tougher for many people, there are now some signs of an “overheating” of the market with rental levels having peaked due to potential tenants becoming overstretched financially.
At Lenwell we have long advocated the need for landlords to balance the desire for the maximum rent with ensuring that a secure and good quality tenant is put in place and incidents of arrears or defaults remain rare. Nationally there are growing numbers of reports highlighting this issue and, whilst we still believe the outlook for well managed property in the private rental sector is strong, we continue to stress the need for vigilance in setting up and managing tenancies in order to benefit all parties.
In this issue Lucinda Newell takes her own inimitable look at 2012 as a Leap Year.
Landlord mortgage arrears set to rise as tenants struggle with rent.
Arrears are set to rise in the buy-to-let market, as more landlords face having to deal with tenants who cannot keep up their rent payments. Click here to read the full article
Market positive on Buy to Let lending for 2012.
More than half of intermediaries expect to do more buy-to-let mortgage business in 2012 than they did last year, Paragon Mortgages claims Click here to read the full article
Landlords to have another bumper year.
Landlords and lettings agents will capitalise on favourable market conditions and have a good 2012, said Landlord Assist.
The tenant referencing firm said the continuation of low interest rates and the gradual easing of lending restrictions by financial institutions have seen many Buy-to-let investors return to the marketplace to expand their portfolios. The Government’s housing strategy will boost the buy-to-let sector and should provoke further debate on tenant rights and the need for a landlord register. Click here to read full article
The Lucinda Newell Column
To be seen pottering along the highways and byways of Luton in her Mini Clubman, her trusted Scottie Malcolm at her side, our super sleuthing property rental expert Ms Lucinda Newell is on the case on your behalf!
2012 is a Leap Year and as such we get an “extra day” in February – Leap Day on February 29th. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the history and tradition surrounding this, once every four years, event. Click here to read full article… Click here to read full article
The Government has announced a review which could see it pull back from proposed powers that would make residential landlords liable for their tenants’ unpaid water bills.
Under the Flood and Water Management Act, the Government can make property owners liable for payment of water and sewerage bills if they fail to provide details of their tenants within a specified time.
However, the Government is now considering whether a voluntary approach would work better.
The concern is that unpaid water and sewerage bills add about £15 to the bills of those who do pay.
Analysis shows that around 80% of those who do not pay their water bills are private tenants – either because the identity of the tenants is not known and the water company doesn’t know who to bill, or because they simply don’t pay up.
Once the tenant has moved out of the property, it becomes harder to chase the debt.
Before 1999, the approach to bad debt was straightforward: the water companies simply turned off the supply. Now, however, they are not allowed to do this, and while they have a statutory duty to supply water, they have no statutory power to withdraw supply, or to insist that occupiers or property owners give the identity of those who should be billed, or even to require a contract between the supplier and the customer.
Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said he welcomed the review: “Government policy in other areas is pushing for personal responsibility, and the same should apply here.
“Landlords should not be held liable for their tenants’ debts as this is simply unfair.
“We agree that water companies could do more to limit bad debts. Many landlords do already voluntarily provide information, but this could be made far easier and therefore encourage far more data sharing with the right systems in place.”
The consultation closes on April 16 and can be found at:
Should you have any comments or questions, as always, we would be delighted to hear from you.