Monthly Archives: April 2012

Benefit Cuts Reduce Options for LHA Tenants

A survey* by the National Landlords Associaion (NLA) has found that “more than half of landlords can no longer afford to rent to Housing Benefit tenants because of cuts to the allowance”.  Nearly half of landlords (46.9%) believe tenants aged 35 and under will be hit hardest by the changes, and almost 69% of landlords say they can’t see themselves letting to LHA tenants in 2015, according to the NLA.

The LHA cuts have seen maximum rent benefit payments reduced to the 30th percentile of local average market rents, rather than the previous 50th percentile.

The age at which a tenant on benefits qualifies for any more than a single room in a shared house has also been raised from 25 to 35, forcing many more people into shared accommodation.

David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, commented:

“It’s concerning that so many landlords appear to be planning to withdraw from the LHA market within just three years, as they can no longer afford to let their properties to tenants at the reduced benefit rate.

“In view of the pressures on housing, the private rented sector will inevitably play an increasingly important role in providing housing to LHA tenants, particularly those aged under 35, who aren’t able to access other housing.

“It is vital that local authorities work with landlords to provide the support services needed to help this demographic, as many are forced to move into shared accommodation.”

*956 landlords were surveyed by the NLA in February 2012

Source: ARLA

Tenants Struggling to Pay their Rent

In a recent poll of ARLA members, in excess of 40% of landlords have reported that their tenants have struggled to meet their rental payments in the 6 months running up to March 20120. The result, according to ARLA, is that more and more tenants are trying to negotiate  a reduction in rent with landlords.… Continue Reading

Rental yields Highest in North West, According to Paragon

Paragon Mortgages have comissioned a report by independent researchers, BDRC Continental, to identify where rental yields are highest. And the results? Well, according to the survey of in excess of 500 landlords (some of whom were Paragon Mortgage and Mortgage Trust customers), landlords in the North West of the UK have been attaining average yields… Continue Reading

Landlord Prosecuted for Falsifying a Gas Safety Certificate

Terence McBride, a landlord from Wigan, has been prosecuted for falsifying a gas safety certificate. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) took legal action against the landlord after discovering that the dates on his gas safety certificate had been altered to make it appear that it was still valid. The tenant of his property had… Continue Reading

Complex Buy To Lets Offer the Best Rental Yields

According to the latest index from Mortgages for Business, the rental yields for complex buy to lets reached their highest level in the first quarter of 2012, at 10.7% per annum. Complex buy to let’s include investments such as Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO).  The index has shown that the complex BTL market place continues… Continue Reading

Buy to Let boom Set to Continue, According to Mortgage Brokers

According to mortgage brokers, the buy-to-let boom is set to continue, with landlords predicted to buy more properties in 2012. Interestingly the number of first-time investors in this sector is also growing, with newbie landlords making up around 23% of the buy-to-let market. While life is still tough for first-time buyers and home owners, with… Continue Reading

Ken Livingstone’s Manifesto for Lower Rents and Better Homes

Concerned by the cost of living in London, Ken Livingstone is making some big pledges in his 2012 Manifesto for the London Mayoral elections on May 3rd. Amongst other things, he promises to “establish an all-London non-profit making lettings agency which, by cutting out Estate Agents’ profit, will help reduce rents and provide secure tenancies” and to campaign for a London Living… Continue Reading

DPG and Zoopla Merger Approved by The Office of Fair Trading

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has now given clearance for the proposed merger of Zoopla with Digital Property Group to go ahead. Digital Property Group is the umbrella for some of the biggest property websites, including Prime Location, Find a Property and Globrix. The transaction is expected to complete within the next few weeks… Continue Reading