Thursday, 26 July 2012

Student Letting - A bright property sector in UK

The student letting in UK as a part of UK property market has undoubtedly outperformed every other property investments. With UK, being one of the most preferred destinations for higher studies, students, around the globe are considering to go there. This is made the student letting, one of the top performing sector.

There are many reasons for the sector showing out performance. The biggest reason is the number of overseas students choosing UK as their destination for higher studies. Now, since these are students, with low budgets, they don't mind living in lower or middle rent bracket houses of UK. Therefore, landlords with smaller property portfolios can now attract such overseas students as their prospective tenants.

These overseas students choose cities, which have great income generating potentiality and the ones which have best universities.

According to one of the UK property consultancy firm, Savills, provides data on the cities in UK which are experiencing a higher level of student letting demand.

The report points Lancashire and Edinburgh as areas experiencing high student letting demands. This was seen in rise in first year applications by 105% at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, and by around 100% at Lancaster University. Similarly, the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, saw a 100%rise in undergraduate applications.

That side, other UK Universities which have witnessed a 60% rise in their applications and those include Dundee, Huddersfield and Stirling.

"There is a strong likelihood that universities will increasingly seek to avoid calls on capital and revenue arising from their own ageing accommodation and will look to generate capital receipts and improvements to their accommodation from investors through stock transfer. This offers unprecedented opportunities for investors in high-quality university locations not otherwise available to them due to lack of newly built supply. We have analyzed where the best opportunities lie.", said the Savills report.

Further the report suggests that UK will witness a growth in terms of number of students coming from overseas to study there from countries like rest of the Europe, US, India, China and more so, from the developing economies of the countries like that of South America, Africa and Far East.

The thriving rental market of UK

Latest report from Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), states a marked increase in the rental rates of residential property in UK from the onset of the year till month. The increased rental rate has been due to an increased demand over the supply.

One of the effective reason for seeking rental houses is due to the struggling times the economy is challenging people to lead a different style. This had made renting a "way of life". It is for this reason we see the private rental sector growing wherein more household are seen renting houses for a longer time of period. With the house price rising, and mortgage finance becoming expensive, renting is the only way out as it is a feasible option and easy to fund.

Now these rental rates for residential properties are not high everywhere. It is true that rates have roared in general, but if considered city/area wise, the rents could be much more higher/lower than that of other areas. For instance, in London, a two bed house is equivalent to 53% of the average single person's salary whereas the same property in North East of England is equal to 25% of an individual's salary.

Other factor affecting the rent, other than the area is the size of the property. The smallest of the properties have seen a rush of demand for them since they are cheaper. This is good for the landlords holding small property but on the whole, this has been creating enormous demand over supply, thereby only letting to increased rental rate, which in future will have a detrimental effect on the present as well as prospective tenants. While the rental rates for big properties and those in posh areas have registered a downfall, while making the median band of property remain stable.

Many people in UK are considering buying a property but with the higher mortgage finance, renting only seems to be an affordable option. But, however, even here the demand will make sure the tenants pay more rent. Therefore, the rental rates are expected to go up further in the next one year.

The survey by the RICS prompts a positive growth trend of the renting marking from the second quarter of 2012. 13% of the survey participants predicted a rental increase while the rest predicted for the stability in the rental market.

While on the whole the rent market of UK looks too good and promising, there is the problem of rent arrears, with the unpaid rent going up to as high as 10%, around £306 million.

Today, with the changing times and the economic pressure faced, people are choosing to rent rather than to buy. Keeping the factors in mind, it becomes vitally important to regulate the renting sector and provide the best services to the needed.

UK landlords not returning tenants’ deposits

According to the reports from the Shelter, a housing charity, complaints have been surging of private landlords deny repaying rental deposits of the tenants. Shelter, worrying about the trend measures 86% of such grievances from the UK tenants.

The UK government have had come up with several schemes ensuring tenancy protection, despite; the tenants are unsecured about their stay/occupancy. In the face of that, shelter helpline is still getting calls on this issue.

Under the rules of schemes established, it is needed requisite on behalf of the landlord to place the tenant's deposit in any one of the authorized tenancy protection scheme in 30 days from the time he has received it, failing that, the landlord can face severe penalties in from of being taken to court and making them pay fine of between one and three times the value of the deposit.

However, according to the research by digital data Collector Company, it was noticed that 57% of people who were tenants in private rental properties weren't aware of such schemes, thereby making it defensive stance for the private landlords.

Such instances can snatch a roof from someone's head and that could prove disastrous for them. There have been complaints on not returning deposits having to lead tenants going bankrupt or homeless.

Keeping in mind the importance of having a proper shelter over your head, it becomes way too necessary to be abreast of all the rental schemes. For, they are for the tenant's good. These schemes are meant to protect and empower tenants, so that they can live a peaceful, secured life under the rented house.

However, for that it is needed on part of tenants to read property news from journals, magazines, websites and newspapers, ask out people, consult property consultants before staying in the rented property.

Shelter , is urging tenants to visit its new webpage – – to use its new three-minute checker to make sure their deposit is protected.

According to Countrywide, the estate agency, have pointed a marked rise 275,000 new tenants have registered to rent private accommodation in 2011, making it an increase of 24% in 2010.

Campbell Robb, chief executive at Shelter, said: "It is extremely worrying that we have seen such a huge rise in problems with tenancy deposits at a time when privately renting is no longer just a stepping stone to something better but a long term reality for more and more families.

"While we know that most landlords do the right thing, some cause absolute misery for their tenants, accusing them of owing thousands of pounds for damage that doesn't exist or falsely claiming to have protected their deposit and then never returning it."

Withholding tenants' deposits is indeed a very stressful situation for them as that deposit can be used for so many things, even for letting another house. In such grievous economic time, the money out of these deposits can be tremendously useful.

Families in London need, £ 3, 500 per month to afford a rented home

Families in London need, £ 3, 500 per month to afford a rented home

A report analysis, Homes for London campaign, by Shelter, analyzed the cost of renting across the capital . The report showed that people in London needs to earn £3,500 per month, making it a total of £ 52,00 per annum to afford themselves rented property in UK. More important, that this amount is needed to afford a two bed house only.

However, if you're eyeing to be a tenant in eight London boroughs including Hackney and Tower Hamlets, then they would need to earn more than £60,000 per annum. The numbers of tenants under private renting have increased to about one in every four households and on the same, even the rents have risen by 7% in 2011.

Keeping the economic downturn in mind, many people are coming to London for work, and with the current trend, as such earning is a hard thing, and on top almost many tenants spend half their incomes on paying rents. This brings us to question the trend of high rents and its detrimental effect on tenants'' savings. If this rate of rent is to continue, then this will seriously pose financial for tenants the challenge of struggling financially, in the already finically odd time.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: "With so many Londoners locked out of homeownership, more and more families have no other option but to rent – but rents are now so out of touch with wages that some families are spending over half of their income just to keep a roof over their head, leaving little left for food, fuel and other essentials."

The only thing that Homes for London campaign is asking for lowering or at least regulating the private rented sector, so that the private landlords don't charge the economical /vulnerable tenants high rental charges. For this, the Homes for London campaign is wanting the next mayor to stand up for this cause and help influence the sector by formulating local policies that will help bettering the position of the tenants and prevent the capitalist tendency of the private landlords when they charge high rents, or deny repaying the tenant deposits, or any of such scrupulous acts performed.

This was seen true in an Ipsos Mori poll released last week, where the people of London, more precisely, the tenants in London have had only stressed on making policy with the mayoral candidates to chalk a way to reduce the cost of private renting.

Since, in this hard hit economic time, buying and selling home doesn't fetch you a regular income, renting does exactly what you need. It is this very mentality attached to renting, that has made the minds of the landlords, private landlords especially, capital minded. If the landlords can get a steady monthly income, then why not increase and earn more in these times? This very mindset makes leads to tenants' exploitation. This is why we see, the value of let homes in UK mounting to £840bn. If this trend continues for a long then by 2016, we'll see the rental incomes generated by the private landlords shall be to the tune of £70bn.

With the problems of house building happening to the minimum and the demand increasing as hell due to the increase in population, changing needs of ageing population, the changes in family pattern, the break-ups and divorces, have all led to an exceeding demand not able to keep pace with the supply.

Keeping in mind the problems, UK needs policies and laws both at state and national level to ensure its people their right to live in a house, securely and safely.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

London Landlords Letting Agent Services

With renting property having a renaissance in the UK, property investors have the opportunity to capitalise on this ever-growing lifestyle choice. By working with a well established, professional letting agent such as Entwistle Green, landlords can benefit from our nationwide coverage and expert knowledge.
We are part of Countrywide, the UK's largest specialist lettings agency network, offering a range of tailored services and property management expertise to landlords nationwide.
  • Range of letting and property management services
  • Competitive fees
  • Timely rental payment
  • Tenant profiling
  • RICS & Property Ombudsman for Lettings compliant
  • Properties viewable on all latest smartphones
  • SMS alerts
  • EPCs for Landlords
  • Tax services
  • Low rental arrears
  • Landlord Zone
  • 96% online coverage including portals, blogs and social media
We help hundreds of landlords to let their property quickly and easily, utilising a range of innovative techniques to ensure your property finds a tenant. Our new Landlord Zone will allow you to access your account 24/7 and view your statements from anywhere in the world.

Our range of property management and service packages can be tailored as required:

Letting and Full Management ServiceLetting and Rental Collection ServiceIntroduction Only Service
Market appraisalSelectedSelectedSelected
Marketing, advertising and conducting viewings at the propertySelectedSelectedSelected
Tenant selection, introduction and referencingSelectedSelectedSelected
Transfer of rentsSelectedSelected
Preparation of the tenancy agreement*SelectedSelectedSelected
Preparation of the inventory and schedule of condition*SelectedSelectedSelected
Arranging routine repairs and maintenance under £250Selected
Project management of repairs and refurbishments*Selected
Regular Routine property visits*Selected
Payment of property related outgoingsSelected
Notifying utilities at the beginning and end of the tenancySelected
Rental Protection and Legal Expenses Indemnity Insurance*SelectedSelected
Lets-Cover Buildings and Contents Insurance*SelectedSelectedSelected
Tax Advice and Rental Income Reports*SelectedSelectedSelected
Managing the commencement of your let and any subsequent extensionsSelectedSelectedSelected
Tenancy Extensions*SelectedSelectedSelected
Tenancy Deposit Scheme administration*SelectedSelectedSelected
Gas, Electricity, and Energy Performance Certifications*SelectedSelectedSelected
Expert property adviceSelected
Legal Advice (Landlord and Tenant)*SelectedSelected
* Additional charges may be applicable
We can also arrange for Energy Performance Certificates,to be produced through our Countrywide Surveyors. Additionally our financial services division can provide access to a range of specialist buy to let mortgage products.

TEL:    0208 200 2424

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Long term tenancy should be guaranteed to the tenants in Private Renting Sector

In our previous blog posts we have been already mentioning about the rush in the home renting sector, and how that is living on rent becoming a trend in UK. Having also known the problems that these private tenants face from their private landlords, the problem does really need a check.

More people are going to opt for living in private rented sector over social housing in UK because social rents will be 80% of the local market rate. Since, the supply is low and the other options unviable, many in UK are finding house renting quite attractive, which facilitates making initial payments through overdrafts and the best thing, you can quickly move out and quickly get a house – only possible through renting. Since the supply is already low, there are many youngsters in London, who having no option are living with their parents and grandparents.

Today, we all know that the UK’s private renting sector is booming. However, we don’t even want to it boom through unfair means. Thus we can ensure their fair growth of the private rental market in two ways:
  • Build more houses – increase in supply
  • Renting needs to be easier, i.e. affordable - even if there is a sudden increase in the demand, the landlords need not higher the rents. This will only cause them the problem relating to irregular rental payments or else losing out on the tenant.

Therefore, long term renting is what is advisable for the private landlords of UK, if they really want to cash on the situation fairly. “There is nothing wrong with long-term renting per se: it's the norm in most European countries, where the law tends to favor tenants. And so it should: a tenant's need for secure shelter takes moral precedence over a landlord's right to safeguard his income” – should be remembered by the private landlords.

How to regulate the Private renting Sector in UK

Today, renting a house has become the way of life in UK/London. Since the home buying in UK is expensive and even those who want to move up in the property ladder by purchasing a house in UK through, do so through mortgage finance or mortgage loan, later only to repent on the decision as they find themselves unable to repay the mortgage loan, seeing themselves fixed in a situation, they get burdened by the debt. The other reasons attributed are the consequences of the economic downturn in terms of lower salaries and higher rate of home loans.

Plagued by the situation, people in UK have no other option but to be tenants of private rented sector in UK.  Desperate by the situation, this has led to an increase in the demand for rented houses in UK, falling short of supply, the private landlords capitalizing on this situation, are charging exorbitant rent from the tenants,  added to it are the problems of  unsecured tenancy and non-returning of tenants’ deposits. 

Keeping in mind these issues, there is thus a grave need to regulate the private rented sector of UK.  So what really can be done? Here are some of the suggestions:
  • The government and even the local authorities should come up with plans, programs and policies that guarantee tenants secured tenancy and also regarding security of tenant’s deposits and returning them on due time.
  • Institutional investment will help make better, quality rented accommodations
  • Building more houses, as this will increase the supply, the problem of demand will be eased and so will the rent become cheaper/affordable.
  • Rent control is a better way out, only in hard situations
  • License should be made compulsory for every landlord who has decides to rent out their home/ property.
  • Quick renting websites

Following are some of the tips to regulate the private rented sector in UK. All of them have its on advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, while implementing, a thorough research needs to be done. Also, what is more important is the fact that legislation is vey easy but implementation and further recognition of such unfair practices is what is more important for having sustained results from a policy/plan/program.

Scotland’s latest scheme to guard Landlords and Tenants

The Scottish government has come up with schemes related to the renting sector in Scotland, a scheme that is seen beneficial to both the landlords and tenants of Scotland.

The government has given a license to SafeDeposits Scotland for running a tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland.  The recently operationalized scheme, basically meant for the landlords on receiving the tenant’s deposit to be transferred to an autonomous body like SafeDeposit, which will keep the deposit money safe of the tenant and will return at the time when the contract gets over. Like this, the issue of landlords not returning the tenants’ deposits will be resolved.

The Scottish scheme provider is an organization consisting of Scottish landlord, agent and tenant, is a not-for profit organization whose any surplus being made shall be transferred to its sister trust – SafeDeposits Scotland Trust as a charity which will be used to promote education, training and fair practices in the private rented sector in Scotland.

The scheme is a real good one empowering the tenants and bringing forth transparency, accountability and fairness to both parties involved.

Steve Harriott, Director of SafeDeposits and Chief Executive of The Dispute Service, said "We are delighted that SafeDeposits has now been granted its license.  It's the only not for profit tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland and is controlled by directors with the interests of Scottish landlords and tenants at heart.  We fully expect it to be a great success."

Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said, "Tenants, including many students, have waited a long time for a scheme that will protect their tenancy deposits from the small minority of landlords that unfairly deduct or withhold their deposits. Safe Deposits Scotland will therefore not only be good for tenants, but also reward the good landlords and, in time, raise money for good causes in Scotland - a win, win I'm sure all will agree."

Bob Doris MSP, Convener of the Cross Party Group on Housing, said: "I am delighted that the first providers of tenancy deposit schemes as licensed by the Scottish Government are now gearing up to take on their duties from this July. It is commendable that this service will afford greater protection for tenants. It will also be achieved without any additional cost to tenant or landlord, as well as creating an independent dispute resolution system when needed. It is expected that when there is no dispute between tenant and landlord that deposits will be returned within five working days. I believe this has the prospect of being an excellent service."

UK’s torpid economy may flourish its rental market

Recent reports from Resolution Foundation and Shelter from Cambridge University notices serious implications that could been seen in the UK’s housing/property market given the economic indicators such as low economic growth, credit crunch, lower level of incomes, low levels of building houses.

If these indicators are going to going to show the same tendencies, then this would mean that half the UK’s population would opt for a rented house by 2025. Despite the crunch being felt, even in the mortgage sector, still there are a few out there who can afford to buy a home in UK through UK mortgage finance. But a continued weakened Britain economy would mean that the proportion of people who can own a home in UK through mortgage will be one among four households. This accounts to 27% which is much lower than what the percentage of 43, in initial 90s, on the percentage of home buyers in UK through mortgage finance.

That aside, the trend is welcomed by the private rented sector and the private landlords for; the lower mortgage finance will obviously make the Britons want to live in privately rented houses rather than choosing to own a house through mortgage loan.

This trend is further pushed by the families in UK with children. More than half the families of UK with children are now planning to rent a house rather than buying it through a mortgage loan. This increase is recorded at an 86%.

However, with the growing rental market in UK, there are many issues faced by the UK tenants. These prospective tenants, having no way out for a shelter, desperate, chooses to rent a house. The demand being more than the supply, these private landlords are seen to exploit the tenants by charging exorbitant rents and also do not guarantee a secured tenancy to the tenants. Therefore, with the growing rental sector in UK, it does become way too imperative for the government, especially the social housing sector to address the issues of stability and affordability in rents in the private rented sector.

This also means having to make provisions for renters of UK in terms of quality rented accommodation where the families can lead a better, secured, affordable life not only for themselves but also for their children. Institutional investment in private rented sector in UK would surely be a welcoming step that would better and strengthen the UK rent sector.

All in all, this seems to be for time the new reality of the housing market in UK – a flourishing rental sector over the house owning pattern. Having to be known the reality, the challenged faced, its time the government to do something substantial in terms of housing for the people of UK.

Relocate using technology

Moving from one place to another is exciting as well a physically tiring. For people who are relocating have general sense of excitement as they are going to stay in a new home, surrounded by new neighbors, it is a new life, a new beginning for you.

However, the process of moving is tiring, for you are expected to move heavy to fragile furniture, all with care. So, when you relocate your furniture and your belongings, it is obvious they are going to find themselves packed in hard, sealed containers/boxes. Now, if you have so many of the belongings to be relocated, you for sure cannot keep the track of all the containers/boxes and you also don't want to lose your belonging in the transit. So what is the way out?

Your problem can be solved by the magical technology. There are various technological tools that help the moving process easy and transparent. So, with these tech tolls you can ensure completely ensure a safe moving of your belongings. This help seeks order in your entire process of relocating. And what more you can ask for, when these tools are affordable to you.

Now, when you're moving, all most all the houses will have stuff, whatsoever that has been kept in storage houses, or store rooms, or garages or in some closed area. Now this stuff has already been used by you, and you don't need them frequently, which is why they have been kept in a store. While moving, get a check done on that stuff, find out which are the ones you'll be using again and the ones that are just useless, kept there because you never got a time to chuck them off. Take your important stuff and get that moving, while he ones you feel are unimportant, sell them. You don't need to throw them away.  For, some of the things that you throw might be useful to someone, so consider selling it and the money that you get can be used to make small payments. 

Now when you consider selling that stuff, don't just sell it to garbage guy and get yourself a lower return. Rather, try selling it through websites and get better returns. One of the online sites providing the facility is and other of such online auction sites help you squeeze a bit more in terms of currency.  If you're getting to sell your trash by a mere click and at a good offer, why not go for it?

Usually, while relocating, people get the services of removal or moving companies. These companies use latest technology which helps them track the whole process. Their tracking system ensures you get each and every, biggest to the smallest stuff in your new place.  However, not all resort to the services of removal companies. So, if you're one out of them, who due to lack of financial resources, cannot avail moving services from removal companies, still you can get your stuff moved peacefully and in an organized way.  You can be sure of your stuff moved by merely inserting and tallying your stuff's information on Google Document spreadsheets. 

In it you'll be required to assign numbers/names or letters to the boxes of all particular rooms. Once you do that, you mention those details in the spreadsheet. This makes it easy to tally your stuff when it reaches your new destination and what more is that you this helps you keep track of your goods while being so damn affordable.

With the invention and popularization of iPads, now, people who are relocating can look through app such as Move Tools an organizational system that helps you remember where you put what item. Yu just need to tell the app I which ox you're putting what and when you unpack, the app will find items you need from the boxes. Since you cannot remember which thing you have put in which box, this app does for you all that you just need.  That is if you own an iPad.  If you don't have an iPad, then you can avail of such services from iPhone and Android phones as well. Both of them provide you with similar apps.

All in all, you should know that you just don't need avail to moving services, you can do it all by yourself also, if you have lesser goods to be moved. You can keep your move organized by resorting to hi-tech tools, which almost all own, and hence getting work done through their support, is indeed wonderful.

Analyzing/Bifurcating UK’s housing market into homeowners, tenants and people leaving through mortgage

According to the latest data revealed from Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) shows marks the end of UK's property owning democracy.  The European economic downturn has changed the living landscape of Britons.

Report further shows that the trend of owning a home has registered a sharp decline from 71% to 61%, which almost amounts to 14.8 million in 2005 to 14.5 million in2009 -2010.

The particular reason for this decline can be attributed to the fact that buying a home in UK today has become only remained a dream come true for few. As the time has caused much more expense, Britons, already covered by the blanket of economic crunch, have whatsoever no liquid cash to buy a home. This is true especially for the low income bracket of UK, which outgrow in population than the higher income group.  So what generally these Britons do is, they seek mortgage finance. However, because of the Eurozone crisis, it has become much harder to apply for a mortgage loan and even if you are that lucky one who have got the loan, only to find yourself later dipped and chained in the mortgage debt, unable to pay the mortgage arrears.

Hence, the only option left is renting.  Which is what a part of this report shows in its finding. It shows that private renting or rather renting in general has become the way of life for Britons. It shows an intense rise of private sector renting of 56% since 2004-2005.

Below is the chart/table by the Department for Communities and Local Government, helping figure out how Britons live in UK – house owning, mortgage finance or renting:

England's housing market
% 2003/04
Total 2003/04
% 2009/10
Total 2009/10
% change in totals
owned outright
buying with a mortgage
all owner occupiers
local authority
housing association
all social renters
rented privately unfurnished
rented privately furnished
all private renters
65 and over
couple, no dependent children
couple with dependent children
lone parent and dependent children
other multi-person households
one person
full time work
part-time work
other economically inactive
Source: DCLG