In light of recent figures from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) claiming that complaints against letting agents have risen by 37 per cent this year, a Nottingham based property consultancy welcomes moves for a redress scheme.
PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, is backing a new scheme to ensure that tenants and landlords have a straightforward option to hold letting agents to account after it has been found that there was a sharp increase in consumer complaints.
The report found that 1,187 complaints were resolved in total about both sales and lettings issues between 1 January and 30 June 2014, with 721 complaints (61 per cent) made against letting agents. TPO say that 74 per cent of the complaints made by landlords and tenants against letting agents were upheld.
Simon Perkins, a Partner at PWR, said: “PWR welcome the scheme because our high standards mean that we don’t have anything to worry about. The redress scheme is a fantastic idea and will stop rogue letting agents taking advantage of landlords and tenants.”
Until now there has been no legal requirement for any letting agent to register with a redress scheme, which has left thousands of tenants and landlords unable to access TPO’s free, fair and independent dispute resolution service. The new legislation will put an end to this.
TPO’s redress scheme requires agents to join one of three schemes and letting agents face a fine of up to £5,000 from their local council and could be forced to close the business for repeated abuses of the scheme.
Simon added: “The redress schemes will help ensure standards are maintained and give landlords and tenants assurance as well as some where to go to complain if they feel they are being treated poorly. PWR also suggest that landlords protect themselves by using a professional agent, taking out landlord insurance and by doing proper credit checks on tenants before they move in to a property.”
Letting agents who are using one of TPO’s schemes can be found online through the organisation’s web site. Official figures estimate that the UK has around 18,000 letting agents and at least 5,000 of these do not belong to a redress or client money protection scheme.
Following recent reports that HMO investments are out-performing general buy-to-let properties when it comes to gross yields, a Nottinghamshire based property consultancy is advising landlords to invest responsibly.
PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, has seen a large yield increase in large multi unit blocks, including properties with multiple tenancy agreements and student houses.
The report from the Buy-To-Let Index by Mortgages for Business, stated that whilst gross yields on single tenancy agreement properties fell slightly in the third quarter at 5.9 per cent in comparison the previous quarter’s 6.3 per cent, multiple tenancy agreements are generating yields of up to 8.3 per cent which is an increase of 1.3 per cent from the first quarter.
Simon Perkins, a partner at PWR, said: “PWR has seen similar trends in Nottinghamshire. If a landlord decides invest in a HMO, they must make sure it is done responsibly. Often requiring a license from their local authority, HMO's can be a great investment if handled correctly. Landlords will also need a specialist mortgage product for more complex types of property."
Simon added: “As long as landlords go through the stages responsibly and properly by using a professional agent, they can earn greater yields."
Following recent reports that show that show the threat of rising mortgage interest rates, a Nottinghamshire based property consultancy says the future is bright for buy to let landlords.
PWR Lettings, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, says that despite the threat of mortgage interest rates increasing, tenant demand is larger than ever and landlords shouldn’t be afraid to increase their property portfolios.
The report comes from a survey by BM Solutions and the research revealed that 42% of buy to let landlords saw strong tenant demand in the past year. More than a quarter of the landlords in the survey are planning to invest in more rental property.
Simon Perkins, a partner at PWR Lettings, said: “Despite the fact that mortgage interest rates are increasing the future is optimistic for landlords as many are planning on expanding their portfolios due to increasing tenant demand. The more properties a landlord has in their portfolio the larger the gross income will be, PWR is confident that any new properties will be leased as demand is that high.”
A deep analysis of the buy to let market across the country found that landlords with portfolios of four or less rental homes paid an average £10,335 a year on buy to let mortgage repayments in the year. The average buy to let portfolio is 6.5 rental homes worth £1,031,000. This average portfolio generates £48,000 a year in gross rents with an average of £20,950 going on mortgage repayments.
The report shows that on average, landlords are paying approximately 40-50% of their rental income on but to let mortgages.
Mr Perkins, added: “The report shows us that the increase in interest rates shouldn’t deter landlords or potential landlords from investing in new properties as demand is that high for buy to let properties. Landlords should be confident that there properties will be leased.”
Every once in a while we get an employee who shows true dedication to their career and the recipient of September’s Top Dog award does just that. Although she has only been with the company for over a year, she has proved to be a fundamental asset to the Mansfield team. On a daily basis Laura aims to excel in what she does. She is a determined and loyal individual who is willing to accept any challenge put her way. Enthusiastic to the core, her passion for property is evident as she strives to impress in every element of her role.
Laura has passed her NFOPP level 2 examinations and now as an individual member of ARLA she can proudly have the initials MARLA after her name. It is not just the fact that Laura has passed the examination that impressed us all, it is the fact that she passed within such a short timescale and that she wanted to be one of the first in the country to pass. We are pleased to say that she has achieved her goal two fold as she takes top billing in the ARLA magazine.
In addition to her extra commitment, Laura has accepted the challenge of taking on the responsibility for the extensions covering both Mansfield and Nottingham offices. The general consensus has been that Laura has done a superb job and everyone is impressed with her dedication and commitment. Laura has not only listened carefully and applied what she has learnt effectively she has been mature enough to seek guidance to ensure that everything is correctly executed and that the standards are maintained. It is clear that Laura is ambitious but what is special about her is that she is aspiring to be someone who is well thought of and not simply motivated by the monetary rewards that her success brings. Despite the extra workload Laura has not compromised on her contribution to the office as a whole, as she consistently lets properties on a monthly basis above our expectations.
Laura struck us as a little fire cracker when she interviewed with us in 2013 and although we knew that she was a diamond in the rough we never expected her to excel or make the huge self- improvements that she has in both her professional and personal life. We are very proud of Laura she is one of PWR’s success stories and we are thrilled that we have thus so far been able to support her on her journey.
Demand for rental properties in Nottingham has soared in the past twelve months, something echoed in a national report claiming that as many as seven tenants are trying to lease each new property
The rise in demand has seen rental prices increase as properties to let rose by 18 per cent in July on an annual basis and seven per cent since June across the country. A tenant in the East Midlands pays on average £704 a month to rent a property. Even though demand for properties has increased so dramatically in the past year, supply has fallen by 19 per cent.
Despite the increasing demand for rental properties, PWR Lettings is still renting properties on average within seven days, Simon Perkins, partner at PWR said: “We are finding similar trends to the national trend here in Nottingham. At PWR Lettings demand is strong for rental properties and we are renting properties here on average within seven days. We let over 20 properties every week across Nottinghamshire and North East Derbyshire.”
Strength in the rental market usually signifies that there is less desire to purchase properties. It appears however that demand to buy is still strong but there is a lack of rental supply that is pushing up the prices of rental properties.
Many landlords are applying for more buy-to-let mortgages as demand for rental properties is increasing radically with applications rising 20 per cent year on year.
The recent relaxation of pension rules has encouraged people in Nottingham and across the UK, to invest heavily into property to earn money through retirement. Due to this and the continuing applications for buy-to-let properties, which have increased three per cent since June, the supply of rental properties will increase reducing the shortage.
PWR manage in excess of 1300 properties for their clients and are specialists in acquisition, letting and management, for more information or to get the most out of your investment contact PWR Lettings.
Four courageous professionals from PWR Property Consultancy plan to take to the sky in a bid to raise money for local visually impaired people.
Daredevil staff from PWR Lettings, who have offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, will take part in a fundraising skydive to raise money for My Sight Nottinghamshire.
Taking place on October 18th at Langar Airfield, Adam Kingswood, Laura Coakley, Natalie Ford and Simon O’Neill from PWR Lettings will be raising money for the charity’s Nottingham centre. The centre provides emotional support as well as a range of accessible sport and leisure activities for blind and partially sighted children and adults across the county.
Lillian Lintwhite, 83, uses the services that My Sight Nottinghamshire provide and was just one of many local visually impaired people to nominate them as PWR charity of the year said: “My Sight Nottingham is a truly wonderful charity that deserves the funding boost after all the support they’ve given me over the years.”
After being selected back in March, for its fantastic support and services for blind and visually impaired children and adults across Nottinghamshire, PWR officially announced, My Sight Nottinghamshire as its charity of the year.
Mrs Lintwhite added: “Losing your precious eye sight is a terribly frightening experience and My Sight Nottinghamshire is a real life line, I simply couldn’t live without it and the advice, support and services it provides; that’s why I decided to nominated it as PWR Charity of the Year.”
After naming My Sight Nottinghamshire as PWR charity of the year, the property management company have arranged two big events in the last few months, donating £1278 to the charity.
Mrs Lintwhite said that she was absolutely delighted to hear that the PWR team is keeping up the good work and continuing to raise funds for such a worthy local cause. She said: “I and the thousands of other visually impaired people across the county who benefit from the charity’s services wish the brave skydivers every success in the daredevil venture. A big thank you to everyone involved!”
For information and to donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/PWRLettings/
In light of recent figures highlighting that thousands of landlords take out the wrong buildings and contents insurance for their properties, leading to significant personal and financial risks, one Nottingham based property consultancy is warning of the pitfalls.
PWR Property Consultants, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield has now agreed with figures from leading insurance firms, that landlords are price-led and often purchase the cheapest coverage, often resulting in the wrong policy.
Simon Perkins, partner at PWR Property Consultants said: “Many landlords do not realise that standard home insurance policies do not cover letting properties, meaning that in the unfortunate event of a personal claim, they are unlikely to pay out and it may result in a landlord settling claims out of their own pocket."
Insurance giant AXA recently reported that one in four new landlords had the wrong insurance, or worse- no cover at all.
A spokesperson for the company said: "When you first start renting out a property, you may not realise all the legal implications and duties involved. Last year, for instance, we found that a third of these landlords are inadvertently breaking laws on safety checks, and a quarter had the wrong or no insurance."
Simon at PWR added: “I cannot stress that it is critically important to be insured by the right company that guarantee coverage instead of the wrong insurance provider not covering your damages, which may lead to financial ruin.At PWR we offer expert advice on property management, to offer landlords information on the right landlord insurance, to ensure financial protection.”
For more information, visit www.pwrlettings.co.
As a national survey revealed that 92 per-cent of letting agents believe the national buy-to-let sector will grow by at least five per-cent this year, a Nottingham property consultancy is encouraging potential investors to use a professional letting agent to have the best chance of tapping into this potential growth.
The Buy-to-Let Survey 2014, commissioned by The Mortgage Works, also showed that two thirds of rental intermediaries believed that first time landlords and those with small portfolios were going to be key growth areas for the buy-to-let industry.
PWR Property Consultants, with offices in Nottingham and Mansfield, has warned that potential investors should use an agent with a wealth of experience in letting properties expediently and avoiding the potential pitfalls, to reap the full benefits of the buy-to-let sector growth.
Simon Perkins, partner at PWR Property Consultants said: “2014 looks to be a year of strong growth in the buy-to-let sector. However, that does not mean every landlord will benefit. Our comprehensive service based upon years of experience offers property listing within 24 hours, property management, mortgage finance advice and acquisitions, meaning that our landlords will be able to fully realise the potential growth in the buy-to-let market.”
The report listed that the three main concerns of letting agents were incoming buy-to-let regulation, base rate increases, and the growth in housing prices.
Simon added: “At PWR, our wealth of experience from letting and managing over 1,300 properties locally,means that we are likely to understand how any arising concerns in the buy-to-let industry are likely to impact on our landlords' investment. When landlords entrust their properties with us, they can be safe in the knowledge that there is a greater chance of maximising the return on their investment than with a less reputable agent, or by themselves.”
For more information, please visit www.pwrlettings.co.uk
The recipient of August’s Top Dog is Sam Pynegar who is based at our Nottingham Office. Since joining us in March 2014 Sam has made steady progress in his property management role and has already become proficient in many aspects of his job; but it is not just his performance that has gifted him this accolade, it is his superb attitude that gave him a unanimous vote from the heads of department panel.
Ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to learn more and hone his existing skills, Sam has embraced the knowledge and training that has been bestowed upon him. The fact that he continues to implement these religiously on a daily basis has made him an admirable employee. Sam has been unfazed by scenarios in his wake despite his inexperience in managing a portfolio of this magnitude and we have all been impressed how he has steadily tackled each issue in turn.
It is clear that Sam genuinely enjoys his new role and this is reflected in how he deals with everyone he comes into contact with. Sam has proved to an excellent recruit, as he not only works quickly but effectively. His efficient and conscientious work ethic and ability to work with very little supervision has impressed everyone he works with. He is a delightful young man who has come a long way in such a very short space of time. Sam’s presence in the Nottingham office has made a notable improvement to the customer service levels in the property management department and his desire to do a good job has been a welcomed addition to the team as a whole.
Landlords of domestic properties have a responsibility under Health and safety legislation to carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires' disease, as an absolute minimum. Most domestic rented properties will be low risk, but as it is a potentially fatal disease it is important that properties are checked regularly.
What is Legionnaires Disease?
Legionnaires Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another.
Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems such as cooling towers, hot and cold water systems, humidifiers and spa baths. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 - 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures above 60°C.
What is the Landlord's responsibility?
Landlords are responsible for making sure that the risk of exposure is properly controlled. There is therefore a duty to assess the risk of exposure and if need be implement appropriate control measures.
Landlords must consider the risks from legionella that may affect anyone you employ and any members of the public, including tenants, and take suitable precautions.
The responsible person should record the risks and precautions and review the assessment annually.
What does the landlord need to do?
Detailed guidance is provided in HSE Guidance referred to below. As an agent and /or landlord controlling premises, it is your responsibility to identify any risks of legionella. A risk assessment will need to be completed by a competent person professionally qualified to carry out this assessment. Obviously, the larger the premises the greater may be the likelihood of there being a risk of Legionella bacteria being present. PWR Lettings will shortly have their own qualified assessor to provide the necessary risk assessments on behalf of its clients.
What happens if the landlord does not carry out his/her obligations?
The consequences can be serious. As a landlord you are legally required to manage properties so as not to expose tenants, residents and visitors to risk. Heavy fines or even imprisonment can be imposed especially if someone were to unfortunately die. You can be prosecuted even if there is an exposure to risk without anyone actually becoming ill.
For further information please visit the Health & Safety Executive website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/faqs.htm .