2015 Election Looms – Planning For Change

September 16, 2014

This Autumn sees the usual round of political party conferences and the launch of the 2015 election campaign.  What does this bode for landlords and how should you be adapting your business?  First a quick look at the context.  The regulatory landscape of the private rental sector was transformed by the introduction of Assured Shorthold Tenancies in 1989 and buy to let mortgages in 1997.  It was the 2004 Housing Act that sent out the first ripples of increased regulation with a new definition of HMOs and [...]

London Housing Crisis: Some Causes & Solutions

August 28, 2014

There has been much talk in the press recently about London’s housing crisis and this is set to be a hotly debated issue as the election campaign goes into full swing during the Autumn conference season.  I am always wary of the term ‘crisis’ as it suggests major surgery or state intervention are required.  It is clear to many property professionals that policy makers manipulate the market at their peril, potentially enshrining ideological ideas into law that might be relevant now, but later become entrenched and politically difficult to change.  For example rent [...]

London Sharers Face Housing Time Bomb

July 11, 2014

Last week I took part in a debate on the new TV channel London Live.  25 year old Alice Carder had made a documentary ‘No Place Like Home’ which charted the plight of young Londoners trying to find housing they could afford.  One important option is house sharing.  Many of London’s 300,000 landlords provide good quality housing for sharers who sign a joint tenancy agreement and share the rent.  Sensible lenders will also provide buy to let mortgages where there are up to four people on the tenancy agreement.   Alice lamented the fact [...]

Fear Of Interest Rate Rises

June 15, 2014

I spoke to The Times Bricks & Mortar journalist, Robin Ash, last week about the prospect of interest rate rises and how these might affect landlords.  He thought it was paradoxical that there was a lot of activity in the buy to let lending market at the moment despite falling yields and the likely increase in lending costs.  Latest NLA research backs up his sentiments that there is increased confidence among landlords.  62% say that prospects going forward are good and many ‘amateur’ landlords who use property income to supplement a day job [...]

Landlord Border Force?

June 12, 2014

The government’s Immigration Bill received Royal Assent in May 2014, paving the way for landlord immigration checks to become law later this year. The act forms part of their commitment to “take firm action to address illegal immigration.” The government is also “determined to tackle the problem of rogue landlords and the exploitation of illegal immigrants within the housing sector.”
According to Home Office statistics, 85% of migrants to the UK stay in the Private Rented Sector in their first year. The department sees a strong link between substandard accommodation provided by rogue landlords [...]