Inside Property Website


Broken Housing Benefit System

November 7, 2017

We are seeing an increasing number of press reports about housing benefit where the landlord is cast as villain.  Today BBC London reported on a house that had been converted into an HMO housing five tenants on benefits. The tenants were receiving the one bed LHA rate and the story argued that the landlord was receiving housing benefit for five studio flats.  I’m not a great fan of converting houses into grim HMOs with lockable doors and austere communal areas and I don’t condone greedy profiteering.  I prefer to create comfortable homes [...]


The Manifestos

May 21, 2017

In this blog, I take a sideways look at the political parties’ private rented sector manifesto commitments – and then put forward my own manifesto ideas.
I am really struck by how back-of-an-envelope the three main parties’ manifestos are for the forthcoming election.  In many ways it is a relief that there are not too many shoot-from–the-hip, vote winning, yet impractical proposals.  The fact that they are so thin on the private rental sector (PRS) either suggests that politicians lack vision on housing or they are looking for a blank cheque to do whatever [...]


Airbnb Creep

May 18, 2017

I’m staying in New York this week, as ever the city offers some insights into trends that might be heading our way.  I’ve just had a look around a state of the art gym that is huge but borrows design ideas from the boutique hotel and offers one to one sit down sessions on your metabolism to aid nutritional understanding.  That’s as well as a personal trainer.
When I was looking for accommodation, I went down the Airbnb route and I’m staying with a great guy close to all the action in Hell’s Kitchen.  [...]


Upbeat or Downbeat?

I recently spent two days at the Property Investor Show, held twice a year at Excel in East London.  Footfall was noticeably lighter that at events in 2016.  I gave two talks and was sat on a panel called ‘The Great Landlord Debate’ about the state of the market and forthcoming regulation.
There’s a lot of sobering data around at the moment.  House prices are falling, rental demand has slowed significantly and rents are falling in many parts of London.  NLA research tells us that 19% of landlords are planning to sell in the [...]


Another Election…

April 23, 2017

Theresa May’s snap election has knocked housing well and truly off the news agenda for the time being and I am now fascinated by the politics of what lies ahead.  Firstly the question of why she called the election.  I thought it was astonishing that she claimed that there was too much opposition in the House of Commons and the House of Lords to her vision of Brexit, when debate is Parliament’s raison d’etre and she had won recent Brexit votes comfortably.   With the Tories at 48% against Labour’s 25% in the opinion [...]