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 [...]

Housing Market View From London

May 11, 2014

With properties in Hackney and Walthamstow, I am slightly aghast at the stratospheric shift in prices in both of these ‘hotspots’ over the past few months.  This was confirmed in April by the Nationwide house price index for the first quarter of 2014 showing annual prices had increased 23% and 21% in the boroughs of Hackney and Waltham Forest, but other boroughs like Brent and Lambeth topped this with 31% and 30% rises.  Meanwhile my one bedroom flat in Nottinghamshire is still worth 20% less than what I paid for [...]

Labour Party Housing Policy Is Flawed

May 2, 2014

Labour leader Ed Milliband announced a change in Labour Party policy today in a London borough where I rent two properties, Redbridge.  The proposals turn previous policy musings into concrete manifesto ideas, most notably the idea for a national register of landlords in England.  I was sad to hear Ed speak in favour of local authority licensing schemes, now championed by many Labour authorities, his reference to them as registers shows he fails to understand the complexities of this area of policy.
After extolling the virtues of five year tenancy agreements in their PRS [...]