- On September 20, 2017
- In News
- By Steph Rady
- 0 Comments
So, what’s been going on in the world of lettings in recent weeks and months? Here at ITTRIA we take a closer look…
Industry alliance formed
Nationwide Building Society has announced its plans to assemble an ‘industry alliance’ to support the lettings sector.
The Nationwide Partnership Board, backed by ARLA Propertymark, the National Landlords Association, the charitable Nationwide Foundation, Countrywide and homeless charity Shelter, will closely monitor the health, development and potential of the private rented sector, as well as offering policy suggestions to government and discussing issues of mutual concern.
Controversial fees ban confirmed
It’s been an incredibly divisive issue since it was unexpectedly announced in Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement, but new Housing Minister Alok Sharma has once again reiterated the government’s stance on banning upfront letting agent fees levied on tenants in England. He said details of the ban will be officially publicised at some point this year.
However, there’s still been no set date given and no concrete information on what exactly the ban will include. There was a consultation period (which ended on 2 June 2017), but the government hasn’t yet offered its official response.
The formal announcement may take place at the upcoming Conservative Party conference, which starts on October 1 2017. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, is expected to make a speech during the conference – and could further outline the government’s approach to the letting fees ban. As of now, though, we’re all none the wiser, nearly a year after it was first proposed.
Many landlords could be forced out, claims RICS
According to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), some 61% believe that regulation and tax changes in the lettings sector will cause a net exodus of landlords over the coming year. In fact, just 12% of those surveyed said there would be more landlords entering the market than quitting in the next 12 months.
This is expected to continue for the next three years, too, with 52% of landlords saying there would be a net reduction during this period and only 17% foreseeing a rise.
With this in mind, the majority of respondents predicted that rental price growth would outdo house price growth across the next five years as the supply/demand imbalance worsens.
ARLA promises helping hand to agents over Right to Rent
Letting agents processing large number of overseas students at this time of the year – as the academic calendar begins in earnest – have been offered a ‘big step forward’ by ARLA Propertymark.
Previously, agents have found it difficult to conduct Right to Rent checks on overseas students in joint tenancies in time for the start of the university year. A face-to-face immigration check 28 days before the tenancy begins (as the Code of Practice requirement states) is, in many cases, impossible to achieve with many overseas students capturing tenancies weeks or even months before they actually arrive in the country.
To aid agents, ARLA has raised this topic with the Home Office, who in turn have agreed a template letter that can be used to address the above compliance problems.
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