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Lettings Regulations explained – what to expect from the new procedures

Formerly, a general lack of regulation in the lettings industry has resulted in some tenants and landlords falling foul of unscrupulous methods, with a reported 40% of letting agents failing to sign up to self-regulation.  The recent changes to the laws governing the lettings industry have stated that, going forward, all lettings agents will be required to register with an Ombudsman, the objective being to uphold best practice and to ensure than both tenant and landlord are better protected.    

Under the new regulations, failure to register with an Ombudsman can potentially result in civil or criminal penalties for agents.  It is believed the amendments will come into force in autumn of this year.  When this is so, should tenants wish to lodge a complaint, they will be able to do so through the appropriate channels.  Prior to addressing an Ombudsman, tenants are being advised to firstly: 

– Ensure that the firm is infact registered with the Ombudsman.

– Ensure that the tenant has written in complaint to the firm in the first instance.

Under the new regulations, any complaint should be investigated within an eight week period, following which, if unresolved, the matter can be referred to the Ombudsman.  If a firm has written to a tenant and the outcome is deemed ‘unsatisfactory’, the case can again, be referred to the Ombudsman.  Sending copies of all correspondence and supportive documentation to the Ombudsman is advised.

However, there are certain matters that cannot be handled by the Ombudsman, these being:

– If your complaint is not against a registered agent.

– If your complaint is being handled by a court or similar body.

– Your complaint refers to an incident prior to the agent joining the lettings part of the TPO (The Property Ombudsman) scheme or more than 12 months before you complained in writing to the agent.

– Your complaint is referred to the Ombudsman more than 6 months following the date of the agent’s final correspondence.

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Student Accommodation Investment

If you have been following the UK property investment market over the past 12 month then you will know that there has been a huge growth in student accommodation investment opportunities.

Here are 5 salient reasons why a growing number of people are opting to make a student accommodation investment.

Links and support from Universities

As well as having a limited amount of accommodation, many university halls of residence are out-of-date and need modernisation. Due to budget constraints the universities are more than happy to work with private accommodation providers, as long as the accommodation is good enough quality and meets their desired criteria and standards.

Top Asset Class

UK Student accommodation has performed very well as an asset over the past few years delivering consistent high yields.  

The CBRE reported that last year student housing strongly outperformed other property asset classes delivering total returns of 9.6pc for investors, compared with 4.4pc for all office properties and 2.2pc for all retail.

Savills 2012 spotlight on student housing also stated that,

“UK student accommodation performed well over the last 5 years, showing average annual total returns outperforming many commercial property asset classes.”

Student Accommodation Investments Are Relatively low risk

With great demand and high occupancy rates investing in right type of quality student housing, in a good location should be the strategy to follow. Jo Winchester, head of student advisory at CBRE explains,

“As an investment, student accommodation is relatively low risk and provides a secure income. Occupancy levels remain high, especially when compared to the vacancy rates in some mainstream sectors, and most university towns remain under-supplied.”

High yields

When managed by a professional management company fantastic occupancy levels of almost 100% can be achieved.

Knight Frank declared student property the best performing property investment in 2012, with rental income rising by 5 per cent per annum and returns averaging 11.5 per cent.

Strong exit strategy

Student accommodation investment properties are an asset that are growing in popularity with rising demand from property investors.

When good and consistent rents are achieved they becomes more valuable, and easy to to sell. When re-selling they can be of particular interest to other investors.

If you own a property that you would like www.mistoriaestateagents.co.uk to manage please get in touch. Or if you are interested in investment properties visit www.mistoriagroup.com.

 

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Number of people looking for a house to rent reaches all time high

The UK’s rental market has gone from strength to strength in recent years as demand for a house to rent is ever increasing. More than 8.5 million people in England now rent, and that number is constantly growing. In turn the number of people who own their own property has reached its lowest point in many years and it seems we are now ‘Generation Rent’.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show a record number of people now forced to rent as levels of home ownership have slumped to just 64 per cent, its lowest levels since the mid-1980s when Margaret Thatcher declared her ambition to see more people able to buy a house.

Experts put it down to first-time buyers struggling to get on the ladder as soaring prices have far outpaced incomes. The Office for National Statistics say high house prices, low wage growth and tighter rules imposed by lenders are to blame for the number of people living in and looking for a house to rent.

As a prospective tenant you must realise that renting holds many benefits

Renting allows you to choose where you like to live and lets you move freely. In most cases you can break a rental contract after 6 months, allowing you to move to a new location or type of house. Or if you are hoping to buy in the future it provides you with the chance to test out a new location before you commit to buying in the area.

In addition as a renter/ tenant you are not going to fall foul of any housing market related conditions. You will of course have to pay rent but you’re not tied into monthly mortgage repayments and therefore cannot fall into negative equity.

Another thing we find that our tenants enjoy, is not being responsible for the maintenance of the property, therefore as a renter there are no costs to pay for decoration or upkeep.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR HOUSES TO RENT CALL US ON 0161 707 6106. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.
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Finding a place to call home in Media City Manchester

The development of Media City Manchester has made Salford and Manchester two of the most popular places to live in the UK.

Media City Manchester has been designed to provide a purpose-built home for creative and digital businesses. The first phase, spread over 36 acres, was completed in 2011 but there is the potential to use up to 200 acres of land over the next decade.

With a wealth of exciting employment options, restaurants, shops and entertainment outlets, Media City Manchester is a wonderful place to live, and an amazing hub for students and young professionals.

The idea to create Media City begun when the BBC signalled its intention to move out of London in 2004, and the Salford Quays site was chosen in 2006.

The BBC has relocated much of its broadcasting services; Children’s, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Research and BBC Sport. ITV Granada followed in March 2013, with the first phase of its move to Media City from their historical city centre site in Manchester.

Mistoria Estate Agents has a fantastic selection of properties right on Media City Manchester’s doorstep, and we are committed to helping you find a great place to live.

Renting with us is easy, check out what properties you would like to view through the search function on our home page. We’ll then take you on some viewings, and you simply pick the place you want to live! We’ll charge an administration fee of £100, payable when booking the property. Then before you move in we require a deposit for every tenany, which is equal to £200. It really is as straight forward as that!

For more information or help please call us on – 0800 500 3015 or send an email to – info@mistorialettings.com and we’ll do everything we can to assist you.

We are one of the leading lettings agencies in the UK.  Providing high quality accommodation for students, professionals, residential and commercial tenants, we operate in Salford, Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and across the entire North West region.  With a solid vision for future growth, we aim to be managing in excess of 1000 houses by 2015.

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Number of people looking for a house to rent reaches all time high

The UK’s rental market has gone from strength to strength in recent years as demand for a house to rent is ever increasing. More than 8.5 million people in England now rent, and that number is constantly growing. In turn the number of people who own their own property has reached its lowest point in many years and it seems we are now ‘Generation Rent’.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show a record number of people now forced to rent as levels of home ownership have slumped to just 64 per cent, its lowest levels since the mid-1980s when Margaret Thatcher declared her ambition to see more people able to buy a house.

Experts put it down to first-time buyers struggling to get on the ladder as soaring prices have far outpaced incomes. The Office for National Statistics say high house prices, low wage growth and tighter rules imposed by lenders are to blame for the number of people living in and looking for a house to rent.

As a prospective tenant you must realise that renting holds many benefits

Renting allows you to choose where you like to live and lets you move freely. In most cases you can break a rental contract after 6 months, allowing you to move to a new location or type of house. Or if you are hoping to buy in the future it provides you with the chance to test out a new location before you commit to buying in the area.

In addition as a renter/ tenant you are not going to fall foul of any housing market related conditions. You will of course have to pay rent but you’re not tied into monthly mortgage repayments and therefore cannot fall into negative equity.

Another thing we find that our tenants enjoy, is not being responsible for the maintenance of the property, therefore as a renter there are no costs to pay for decoration or upkeep.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR HOUSES TO RENT CALL US ON 0161 707 6106. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.
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Regulation of Letting Agents

Landlords and tenants are to be better protected by rogue letting agents under new government legislation.

A recent amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has introduced the regulation of letting agents. Until now letting agents have not been legally required to be a member of an ombudsman scheme, despite the huge sums of money the industry handles each year.

It’s thought prior to this new legislation up to 40 per cent of letting agents did not sign-up to self regulation.

This made the situation difficult when things went wrong.  Tenants and landlords now have the chance to get money they are owed back from rogue agents without resorting to the courts.

Mistoria Estate Agents welcomes tighter regulation, we believe until now many agents have been able to operate with impunity as consumers have had no way of addressing the actions of unscrupulous or negligent agents.

Lady Hayter, the Labour peer who has led the campaign for lettings regulation comments,

“While this is definitely a step in the right direction, I think it’s a shame that the government stopped short of introducing full regulation of the lettings industry.”

Ian Potter, managing director of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents says,

“The government’s amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill marks a positive move for the private rented sector and in particular, for consumers, who only stand to benefit from a formal system of redress. However it is vital that the Government begins the process of consultation quickly, taking on board the views of the sector and moves to introduce secondary legislation as soon as possible.”

It’s hoped this new legislation will come into effect by the autumn, following a consultation with both industry and consumer groups.

If you have a property you would like us to manage for you, please get in touch. Call us on 0161 707 6106. We look forward to hearing from you.