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Tenancy Disputes favouring Landlords

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Tenancy Disputes favouring Landlords

March 29, 2016 Bloggies by danny

Research now shows for the first time since the start of the tenant deposit schemes in 2007 more landlords and agents are being awarded 100% of the disputed deposit amount at adjudications than the tenants are.

The TDS Yearly Review 2015 shows that 19.8% of the disputes raised by landlords and or agents resulted in 100% pay outs, while 19.2% of the disputes raised resulted in 100% pay outs to tenants.  The remaining 61% of cases saw the disputed money split between the parties.

Compared with 2014 when 20.25% of the disputes raised by tenants resulted in 100% payouts to them, whilst 18.21% to landlords and agents.

Tenants had always been awarded the full deposit more so than their landlords and or agents. Adjudicators do not decide in favour of one side or the other but many landlords and agents believe the Courts are biased towards their tenants.
 
According to Jax Kneppers, chief executive officer of Imfuna, these results are a sign that the landlords and agents are presenting better documented evidence at adjudications.

‘For the first time, landlords and agents are now more successful than tenants at winning 100% of deposits. This is a significant achievement, an 8.5% increase year on year,’ he said.
 
‘More and more landlords and agents are recognising the power of digital professional inventories and mid-term inspections and this is why the balance is starting to shift. Many landlords and agents are ensuring that the condition of the property is fully recorded at the start of the tenancy, with a comprehensive inventory, along with a thorough check-in and check-out report,’ he explained.
 
He also pointed out that historically many tenant disputes have gone in favour of tenants, as there was simply not enough evidence to support the landlord or agent’s damage claim and the most common mistake in most inventories is the lack of detail. 

Often there is not enough appropriate photographs and any accompanying description to show the condition of the property and its contents. For example, many landlords and agents fail to record the condition of sinks and bathroom fittings, as well skirting, doors, floor coverings and kitchen units. If an inventory is not a professional and thorough report on the property, then it is not worth the paper it is written on.

Inventory reports really need to be third party, impartial and unbias whilst containing a full description of the condition of the property, noting detail on every aspect of damage and its location at the start of a tenancy. Digital photographs provide vital evidence and need to be of a high quality when printed up to A4 or A3 size, so that any damage can be identified.
 
‘Unless landlords and agents have a water tight inventory, they are at risk of disputes and expensive repair bills. Our research shows that landlords and agents who have switched from analogue to digital inventories, have seen their tenant deposit disputes drop by more than 300% and their success rate at adjudications improve by an average of 75%,’ he added.

Joyful Agents set for house price boom

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Joyful Agents set for house price boom

December 20, 2013 Bloggies by danny

Joyful Agents will see house price booms again.

It appears for the first time in a while the whole countries house prices will jet upwards.

All predictions point towards happy agents and a massive property boom in 2014.

The annual forecasts are unilaterally showing mass recovery and large rises across Britain.

“We believe 2014 will be the fist year of recovery,” says Adam Challis of property analysts Jones Lang LaSalle.

The National Association of Estate Agents, Mark Hayward, said “a reviving UK economy and successful government schemes like Help to Buy and Funding for Lending have created a buoyancy that looks set to continue well into 2014”.

For the first time since 2007 agents across the country are predicting price growth throughout the UK.

The predictions range between 6% and 10% growth for next year, area dependent.

Scotland will be around 6%, with Aberdeen being at the top for growth.  Although with the introduction of stamp-duty, in 2015, this could hinder their property market and price inflation.

The north of England is looking at price hikes of 7%, they are still way behind the South and South East of England.

The Midlands is also around the 7% marker.  With HS2 coming their way, this will help keep the price rises well into the future.

Wales appears to be around 6%, they are getting their own version of Help to Buy from the Welsh Government very shortly.

Central London shows 10% growth, as ever, a very rapid increase and a great investment. In part caused by huge foreign investment.

The South West of England looks to be at 6%. Confidence has been growing amongst people wishing to buy second homes and this is really helping around this region.

Anyone who feels there could be another housing bubble on the way should know we would need price rises of around 35% too 40% and mortgage rates to reach 7% for this to happen. It doesn’t seem that likely.

Knight Frank, estate agent, is airing a word of caution stating that over optimistic views of the housing market could be out of touch during the lead up to the 2015 general elections.

Londons Floating Village

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Londons Floating Village

December 17, 2013 Bloggies by danny

Boris Johnson has started the search for the property developer who will tackle London’s floating village project. This will be 15 acres situated in the Royal Victoria Docks and will help ease the pressure from London’s housing crisis.

The partner for this huge housing project will be selected next summer; so in this exciting run up we wonder who will be coming forward to take this on.

The deputy mayor for housing Mr Richard Blakeway said “London’s Royal Docks present a fantastic opportunity, with major development agreements signed this year on both sides of the dock.

This idea of a mixed-use, housing-led floating development, as seen in parts of Northern Europe, has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital.

“Through the mayor’s London Development Panel we hope to vastly speed up development on this stretch of water to create an internationally renowned, innovative and architecturally outstanding visitor destination.”

The Royal Victoria Docks are the location for the Excel Exhibition Centre and very close to Canary Wharf, this housing project will be exceptionally desirable to potential buyers.

This idea stems from Amsterdam’s Ijbury which has 6 all artificial islands that will eventually house 45,000 people. once the project has been finished.

In Hamburg there is HafenCity which is how London’s floating city will be modelled. This is on the Elbe river and will be completed around 2020, housing 12,000 people and 40,000 workers.

It seems as London’s new floating city will  be one and a half times the size of Green Park, with its own new Crossrail station, the Docklands light railway and the cable car system.

With Boris having promised as many as 420,000 new houses in the capital within the next 10 years, this will clearly have to be one of many schemes to meet his targets.


“For over 30 years, regardless of boom and bust, governments of every hue have failed to build enough homes," the mayor said in a recent speech.

"With London’s unprecedented population growth, housing supply and affordability is now our biggest challenge and we need to double the number of homes being built.”

Acidential Landlords

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Acidential Landlords

December 05, 2013 Bloggies by danny

As accidental landlords are on the rise, AXA Business Insurance has warned that these landlords are simply not keeping up their properties and instead they are allowing them to drop into a state of disrepair. This is resulting in their tenants being in danger and them selves at financial risk.

In recent research its shown that accidental landlords i.e landlords who have inherited a rental property, or are forced to rent out their own property:

1/3 do not have their boilers checked every year.

A similar amount do not get a gas safety check carried out on an annual basis, also a legal requirement of renting a property in the UK. Each year thousands of tenants end up in hospital through carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the UK and around 50 people will die from this.

65% of landlords who’s rented properties have chimneys do not get them swept every year, as recommended. Instead less then once every year years; this can result in chimney fires, with over 6000 of these in England alone between 2011 – 2012.

1/3 of landlords in the UK are checking their rented properties electricity and electrical appliances once every 3 years. The recommendation is to have this checked by professionals every 5 years although they say you should look over everything every 12 months. Half of all the residential fires in the UK are caused by electrics and 1 person, each week, is killed by electrics.

A mere 50% of landlords in the UK check the fire alarms each year. There are many regular checks that should be carried out to keep rental properties safe for tenants.

Darrell Sansom, the MD at AXA Business Insurance has said: “Accidental landlords are, as the name suggests, people who never really intended to take on a rental property. And it seems that many are not really aware of the responsibilities that come with the role, leaving themselves and their tenants extremely vulnerable. Things like gas and electrics are potential killers and need to be taken seriously.”

The research also showed that nearly half of all the accidental landlords were also neglecting the critical areas of maintenance with the drainage and drains, guttering, pipes and insulation left unchecked for up too three years.   AXA have now warned that if a landlord has not maintained these things within a rental property and it causes an insurance claim it can lead to that claim declined. This dire situation needs to be addressed; if you are a landlord, be warned.

Property Prices in England

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Property Prices in England

December 02, 2013 Bloggies by danny

When is the madness of the cost of housing going to stop rising? Is it ever? How fast will next years rises be happening and by how much?

As demand increases for housing in the surrounding regions to our Hertfordshire based offices so does the price of the housing itself. In Hertfordshire the rental prices and demand has also been going up. So this means Hertfordshire property rentals are also experiencing a strong rise which some say will continue through 2014.

It seems like the market is going to carry on rapidly rising. The demand for housing in Greater London has rocketed and there is soon to be a new influx of people from the EU heading to London, all needing to rent property…….further demand.

The governments Right To Buy scheme has further fuelled the buyers out there. To a point where it has been reporting that there are 6 serious offers on each property that comes onto the sales market.

It will be very interesting to see what pans out in other the rentals and sales market for UK housing.

Economists seem to be fairly certain its going to keep going up.