The ‘war against the bedroom tax is being won’ say Bolton campaigners
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Campaigners from pressure group Bolton Against The Bedroom Tax have claimed they are winning the war against the somewhat controversial policy as senior Liberal Democrats called for it to be axed.
Since April, 2013, the spare room subsidy has led to tenants losing a portion of their benefits if they have been classed as having an extra room in their house.
However, this could all be about to change as Danny Alexander, the chief secretary of the Treasury, announced that the coalition party wanted “fairer rules” for social housing and council house tenants.
Buy to let renters facing unfair eviction.
For more information go to: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/buy-to-let-renters-face-unfair-evictions
According to evidence from the charity Citizens Advice, the number of private tenants facing eviction from buy to let homes, despite keeping up with their rent, has soared. The concern has arisen as the charity has seen an increase in calls for help of up to 38% in the last year, and all of which are from tenants without arrears. Consequently, this year, around 5,000 private tenants contacted help lines, compared with 3,750 in 2013.
Henceforth, without the issue of arrears the most common problems for these tenants have been:
- A landlord wanting to sell their buy to let property
- Rents being put up to a level the tenant could not afford
- Retaliatory evictions – after tenants asked the landlord to make repairs to their home
Citizens Advice identified the problem as being the most severe in London and the South East, where pleas for help from tenants increased by over 50% in the first three months of 2014 – from 400 to 900 people. Furthermore, the charity also recognised a correlation between the rising number of calls and house price increases.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy went on to commented on the fact that that “tenants are treated as cash cows” and recognised that the chronic housing shortage pushes up prices and forces renters out of their homes. Henceforth, as a result of competition for properties, tenants are easy to replace, leading to increased insecurity amongst those trying to create a home in the private rented sector.
Finally, over the past year, 150,000 people sought advice on renting from a private landlord on the charity’s website, resulting in a 13% increase on the previous year.
Huge annual fall in number of tenants in severe arrears.
Number of UK tenants in severe arrears on their rental payments has fallen by 35% in the last year – by around 35,000 people.
This now means that 98.5% of private sector tenants are successfully avoiding significant arrears – according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker from LSL Property Services.
Despite this, 67,000 households still remain in severe arrears as they are deemed as being more than two months behind on rent. However compared with the figure of 102,000 from the Q2 2013 an improvement has been made.
Furthermore, the proportion in Q2 2014 was 1.5 per cent, compared to 2.2 per cent in the previous year, marking an annual improvement.
The figures follow the trend on overall rent arrears, with LSL’s most recent Buy to Let Index showing overall tenant arrears at 7% in May 2014, down from 8.2% the previous year.
For more information click on the link below: http://www.mortgagesforbusiness.co.uk/news/detail/Huge_annual_fall_in_number_of_tenants_in_severe_arrears/9729/58.aspx
Buy to let boom sees product numbers soar.
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Research conducted at IRESS revealed 90% of mortgage brokers have seen an increase in demand for buy-to-let mortgage products over the last 12 months where as just 2% saw demand fall.
Having conducted the research Dave Miller, executive general manager (of sourcing) at IRESS commented on the fact that “increasing product diversity is a sign of a healthy market, reflecting the confidence of lenders in the buy-to-let market”.
However, there is evidence that lenders are remaining cautious and constraining the variety of products available to landlords with smaller deposits.
Furthermore, this increased demand has been matched by an increase in product variety. 90% of intermediaries have seen an increase in the number of buy-to-let products available on the market over the same time period, with a further 28% believing it has increased significantly and less than 2% seeing a decrease
Foreign student renters on the up
The number of independently wealthy foreign student renters has been increasing with their share of the market increasing by over 50% from 12% to 29% between 2006 and 2012
Furthermore, according to research undertaken by London Central Portfolio, students now represent the largest proportion of new tenants at 41% in the last 12 months. On the contrary, there has been a corresponding decrease in new tenancies from finance professionals – falling to 21% (lowest on record).
Moreover, students are now outbidding those in the corporate sector for property – paying £600 per week for an apartment, which is 7% more than the average market rent of £562.
For more information go to: http://www.mortgageintroducer.com/mortgages/250193/238/Buy-to-let/Foreign_student_renters_on_the_up.htm