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April 24th, 2014

Yields for buy to let landlords are becoming slimmer than in previous years, due to UK house prices rising faster than rents, it is claimed.

According to the latest data from BM Solutions, the average rental yield fell slightly in the second half of 2013 from 5.6% to 5.5%, with the smallest average yields apparent in London at an average of 4.8%.

Despite this, average rents in London stand at £1,417 per month – some 102% higher than the UK average of £701.

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April 17th, 2014

The government’s plans to increase court fees have been called extortionate as landlords seeking repossessions of their properties face higher costs.

Fees relating to Section 8 (PCOL) claims and Accelerated (S21) claims will increase by as much as 60% from 22 April, which Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action says are only justifiable if landlords receive a better service in return.

Application for possession currently costs £175, but will increase to £280 when the changes come into effect.

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April 10th, 2014
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Unless restrictions on new shared housing are eased more people could be forced into poor quality ‘beds in sheds’ accommodation, according to private landlords.

Recent changes to housing benefit rules mean more young people are fighting for each room in shared houses – and MPs on the Works and Pension select committee have warned that vulnerable tenants could end up in inappropriate or even illegal housing.

Increasing the age limit at which single claimants can only claim for a room in a shared house from 25 to 35 “may have reduced the availability of safe, appropriate accommodation for younger people, some of who are vulnerable,” according to the committee’s report.

It advised that the government should “investigate introducing exemptions for vulnerable people, and take steps to increase provision of appropriate accommodation.”

However, the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA), warns that planning red tape is making it difficult to provide the new shared homes needed to keep up with demand.

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April 8th, 2014
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The unexpected recent changes to UK pension regulation – which allow savers to do as they please with their pension pot – have led to speculation that many retirees could choose to invest in the buy to let property market.

Many of Britain’s 1.4 million private landlords have enjoyed a significant profit over recent years, helped by rising rents, a shortage of available property and limited mortgage availability for first time buyers increasing the pool of tenants.  So it is easy to see why many pensioners could see property as a simple way to guarantee an income.

However experts are warning that potential landlords need to do their homework and bear in mind that mortgage rates are unlikely to stay at their current historic low for much longer.

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March 27th, 2014
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It is easy to see why many landlords are tempted by the “guaranteed rent” concept – after all how many landlords would say no to guaranteed rent plus not having to find and manage tenants?

Under a guaranteed rent arrangement, the landlord signs over their property for a specified period of time – typically 5 or 10 years – in return for a set monthly income.

The agent then sublets the property and manages the tenancy.  They make their money on the difference between the rent they pay the landlord and the rent they receive from the tenants. Most schemes will promise to cover any void periods and maintenance costs.

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March 25th, 2014
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MPs have passed the first stage of a bill calling for greater protection for private rented sector tenants.

The bill was introduced by back bench Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert and calling for the housing ombudsman to be given powers to oversee private landlords.

It calls for a ban on “exorbitant” letting agent fees to prepare or renew contracts, a review of the law applied to landlords and tenants, and a review of the way councils set up landlord and property accreditation schemes.

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March 20th, 2014

Advertised rents in the UK reached their highest level since the third quarter of 2012, according to the latest rental index.

Nine out of 11 regions surveyed saw growth, with Scotland seeing the biggest increase of 2.8%, taking the advertised monthly rent to £695 and up 3.96% compared to the same time last year.

The country’s average asking rent is now at the highest level since it was first recorded by Move with Us in 2012.

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