Is the prospect of longer tenancies good or bad news?

In early July, the Government opened a consultation into the benefits and barriers to landlords offering longer tenancies. This is the latest step in its commitment to increase security of tenure for tenants in the PRS, while making sure they balance landlords’ needs to regain possession of their properties when their circumstances change.

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What you need to know about letting to students

Historically, letting to students was seen as pretty much the bottom end of the buy-to-let market. Students were viewed as party lovers, who would treat the property like a dump; landlords of student properties were widely criticised for providing dated, often unsafe housing that lowered the tone of a neighbourhood.  But that’s rarely the case in today’s market.

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How have prices and rents performed this year versus forecasts?

People always want to know what’s going to happen to property prices. For landlords, the experts’ forecasts can play a big part in helping you decide what to do moving forward: should you buy more investment property; is it time to sell or is it better to concentrate your budget on upgrading your existing properties?

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Demand for Ombudsman services continuing to rise

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) recently released its annual report, revealing figures and results for 2017. The number of lettings complaints was up by 8% on the previous year, and the value of financial awards to landlords and tenants was a huge 18% higher than in 2016, to an average award of £625. Significantly, since the introduction of a 24/7 online customer service facility, there was a 68% increase in enquiries across both sales and lettings. All in all, it’s clear that more and more people are reporting issues with their letting and estate agents and more of those agents are being held to account.

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What to consider when raising finance for flats

There are a number of key differences between buying a leasehold property and one where you own the freehold. That’s mainly because there is a third interested party in the purchase – the freeholder – and the lease contains numerous terms and conditions that need to be investigated and agreed to. So, when you’re raising finance to buy a flat, you need to be prepared for several things that are particular to the purchase of this kind of leasehold property.

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Latest on tenant fee ban

It’s nearly two years since the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced in his 2016 Autumn Statement that there would be a ban on letting fees, so what’s happening?

Well, the ‘Tenant Fees Bill 2017-19’ is currently making its way through the parliamentary process. It’s had its first and second Readings and the Public Bill Committee has reported the Bill to the House. There will be a third and final reading in the House of Commons, before the Bill is passed to the House of Lords, where it follows the same process and any amendments are considered before it’s given Royal Assent and becomes law.

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