Government Policy on the Private Rented Sector is Not Joined Up

Sometimes government policy doesn’t seem to join up too well – with different policies apparently conflicting with each other. Two good examples are (1) the lending activities of state owned banks which appear to hamper what local councils are trying to do with their private rented sector access schemes, especially lease schemes and (2) policies on HMOs which appear to […]

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Local Letting Agency Model and Councils. Can Local Authorities Make A Success In This Area

In this blog post we say that local authorities face big challenges trying to make a success of the “Local Letting Agency” concept – and we highlight the areas they will have to work hardest in if they are to be successful. Some groups of local authorities are setting up their own local letting agencies – a topic we have […]

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How Not to Market to Private Landlords and the Private Rented Sector

Landlord readers of this column will know that LettingFocus’s stance these days is now very much built around consulting with organisations who sell products and services to the private rented sector. Basically we tell them how to do it better! Our two biggest client groups are banks / financial institutions who sell mortgage loans to landlords (commonly known as “buy […]

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Local Housing Allowance Concessions Likely and Innovative Thinking Sought from Lenders

I hope you are not too bored by our coverage of the Housing Benefit story. If you are an organisation or public body and are providing / selling services or products to the private rented sector, you should still be riveted because it has big implications for the whole market. Even if you are a landlord who never lets to […]

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Principle Private Residence Property Letting and Tax Advice

Landlords may have seen Ken Livingstone – whom I usually quite admire – propose on “Newsnight” that tenants’ rents should be capped at no more than the mortgage is costing their landlord. It’s an interesting concept and I wonder how Mr. L would suggest this could be policed.  I guess about as easily as the new restriction on child benefit […]

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Housing Benefit Row and London Mayor Boris Johnson

I see the London Mayor has now waded into the debate about Housing Benefit rate changes. This is all terribly interesting. Readers of this blog will know that back in July we were the first to highlight how the changes to Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance) rates could actually result in hugely pushed up rents and house prices in some […]

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Private Rented Sector Schemes, Local Letting Agencies and Private Landlords

In the housing strategy papers of many a local authority the private rented sector can still be something of an afterthought – often tucked away on page 94 along with Dave Spart and ColemanBalls. (Private Eye Joke) This is quite curious and may reflect either the previous small size of the private rented sector or a genuine lack of understanding […]

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Buying a Leasehold Flat, Guarantors in Tenancy Agreements. Plus Local Authorities Survey Private Landlords Housing Benefit Intentions

Next Property Investment Seminar and Networking Event A bit of a quiet week this week, though I was quoted in the FT again:  http://bit.ly/9o5NZ0 so, with not much news to report, I thought I would offer up some random observations from my working week as a speaker and commentator on the world of buy to let and letting property. Local […]

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Housing Benefit Rate Changes, Bumper Bank Profits and a Grouch

A colleague at the on line letting agency, Upad sent me this document: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/impacts-of-hb-proposals.pdf which is a government paper looking at the impact of the future changes to the rates of Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance. At first glance, it seems to play down the cap effect from what I had understood. A bit wordy but worth a read, […]

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Research Is Needed Into Implications of Budget Changes to Housing Benefit Rates for London Boroughs

The detail of how the change to Local Housing Allowance / Housing Benefit rates will be managed in practice will be interesting and the government will need to tread very carefully and will have to carefully consider the needs of the old, the sick and the HB claimants with young families in all this or they could be facing a […]

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