Streetwise Property Alert 20th September 2013

Arrears & Voids

According to new research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), arrears and voids are down. 39 per cent of landlords have had rental arrears in the past 12 months; that’s down nine per cent on the previous year. Void periods are down to 33 per cent, a fall of five per cent on the previous year.

‘It is positive to see reductions in the instances of arrears and voids. This demonstrates that, long-term, enduring tenancies are on the rise as it is in every landlord’s business interest to maintain good, long-lasting tenancies and avoid voids. However, it is worrying that void periods often come as a surprise to landlords. Whilst voids represent more of a problem in the North than in the South, where demand is far higher, it is imperative that empty properties are filled quickly, following any necessary maintenance and improvements.’

‘The NLA’s advice to landlords looking to minimise void periods is to talk openly with their tenants about their future plans. This will give the landlord some idea of when the property might next be empty and allow them to make any improvements and plan advertising activity in good time. It is also wise to budget for 11 months’ rent per year to avoid needing to find additional funds to cover outgoings if a void does arise.” For more information, visit landlords.org.uk.

Exeter Student Accommodation

We have a new university student accommodation scheme coming later this month; I cannot put out full details for about another two weeks but if you have registered your interest in student accommodation with us previously, and might wish to find out more, I can release some information on a one-to-one basis. There will be a head-start visit with me on Saturday 28 September for those who wish to secure a unit.

HMO – Heads Up

We often talk about our expectation that all BTL landlords everywhere will need to be licensed locally; and sooner rather than later. A regular correspondent from Nottingham reminds us of what he calls ‘the creeping expansion’ of HMO rules and regulations and draws us to a local press story.

‘Nottingham City Council is looking at increasing the number of areas where landlords have to apply for a licence for a house to be turned into a house of multiple occupation (HMO). The proposals would affect around 3,200 HMOs in parts of the city, including Lenton, Radford, Arboretum, Hyson Green and The Meadows.’ Food for thought.

Better Hurry Then

BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Housing & The Economy report makes interesting reading. All in all, and mindful of where prices have been these past few years, the report states that UK property prices will rise by a cumulative 33 per cent between 2007 and 2017. As you would expect, London is tipped to lead the way with 69 per cent cumulative growth between 2007 and 2017. Note; London growth was, the report states, 1.6 per cent in 2012, will be 6.8 per cent this year and will be 8.6 per cent in 2014.

All in all, ‘This year is expected to be a turning point for the housing market with house prices forecast to rise across all regions. Price rises will not be confined to this year but look set to continue to the end of our forecast period in 2017. Admittedly, there will be considerable variation in growth rates across the country but it will certainly be an improvement on 2012, when house prices fell in all regions except London and the South East.’

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