Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.