Category Archives: Tenant News

Homeownership Amongst Peterborough’s Young Adults Slumps to 44.99%

The degree to which young Peterborough people are locked out of the Peterborough housing market has been revealed in new statistics.

A Peterborough landlord was asking me the other week to what effect homeownership rates in Peterborough in the early to middle aged adult age range had affected the demand for rental property in Peterborough since the Millennium. I knew anecdotally that it affected the Peterborough rental market, but I wanted some cold hard numbers to back it up. As you know, I like a challenge when it comes to the stats.. so this is what I found out for the landlord, and I’d like to share them with you as well.

As anyone in Peterborough, and most would say those born more recently, are drastically less likely to own their own home at a given age than those born a decade earlier, let’s roll the clock back to the Millennium and compare the figures from then to today.

In the year 2000, 45.6% of Peterborough 28-year olds (born in 1972) owned their own home, whilst a 28 year old today born in 1990) would have a 24.3% chance of owning their own home. Next, let’s look at someone born ten years before that. So, going back to the Millennium, a 38 year Peterborough person (therefore born in 1962) would have a 67.2% chance of owning his or her own home and a 38 year today in Peterborough (born in 1980) would only have a 52.4% chance of owning their own home.

Since the Millennium, overall general homeownership in the 25 to 44 year old age range in Peterborough has reduced from 62.22% to 44.99%

 

If you look at the graph below, split into the four age ranges of 25 year olds (yo) to 29yo, 30yo to 34yo, 35yo to 39yo and finally 40yo to 44 yo, you will quite clearly see the changes since the Millennium in Peterborough. The fact is the figures in Peterborough show the homeownership rate has proportionally fallen the most for the youngest (25yo to 29yo) age range compared to the other age ranges.

The landlord suggested this deterioration in homeownership in Peterborough across the age groups could be down to the fact that more of those born in the 1980’s and 1990’s (over those born in the 60’s and 70’) are going to University and hence entering the job market at an older age or those young adults are living with their parents longer.

I read some national homeownership statistics of different age groups with the same number of years after they left education (rather than at the same age) and that gave an identical dip to the graph above.  Neither are these drops in homeownership related with a significant increase in the number of young adults living with their parents. Again, nationally, that has hardly changed over the last 20 years as the percentage of 30-year-olds living with Mum and Dad only increased from 22% of those born in the early ‘70s to 23% of those born in the early ‘80s.

So, what does this mean for the rental market in Peterborough?

Only one thing .. with the local authority not building Council houses, Housing Associations strapped for cash to build new properties and the younger generation not buying, there is only one way these youngsters can obtain a roof over their head and have a home of their own .. through the private landlord sector. Now with the new tax rules and up and coming licensing rules, Peterborough landlords will have to work smarter to ensure they make the investment returns they have in the past. If you ever want to pick my brains on the future direction of the Peterborough rental market .. drop me a line or pop in next time you are passing my office.

Landlords Gas Safety Checks – New Legislation

Gas Safety Checks New Legislation effective from 6th April 2018; 

Landlord gas checks will now be allowed up to 2 months ahead of time from the 6th of April to start the process early and have a valid test certificate in place before the old one runs out without affecting the renewal dates. This is to prevent landlords and agents falling foul of the law when they experience difficulties in arranging access to a property for annual gas safety checks.

Failure to comply with the gas and other safety standards in rented properties render landlords open to heavy fines and or even prison if things go wrong. The new Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will ‘amend’ those in force since 1998. The Health & Safety Executive detail they are not aimed at reducing or relaxing safety standards, but to allow greater flexibility over when regular checks are being carried out.

Landlords and agents can’t force property access without a tenant’s cooperation, so through no fault of their own, they may be put in a position where they are breaking the law. The new system is designed to give landlords, agents and tenants more time to comply. Any transgressions though will now become less likely to be tolerated by the enforcement agencies, including local authorities and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Gas Safe Register Tips on Gas Safety in Rental Property:

  1. All gas appliances in a rental property must be safety checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A tightness test of the pipework to ensure there are no gas leaks, and a visual inspection of accessible gas pipework should also be completed as part of the checks to ensure the installation is in good condition.
  2. Gas safe engineers must carry a valid ID card at all times. The front will confirm their registration and identity, the back will confirm they can do the gas work you’ve employed them to do.
  3. Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning which include – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse. An audible carbon monoxide monitor must be located in any room with a solid fuel appliance, and a gas burning appliance.
  4. Be aware of signs that a gas appliance isn’t working properly– lazy yellow flames, excessive condensation and black marks/stains. However, gas appliances can be unsafe without displaying these symptoms.
  5. Gas appliances should only be used for their intended purposes only – i.e. cookers should not be used to heat a room.
  6. Provide enough ventilation for gas appliances to burn correctly, making sure no air vents or chimneys are blocked.
  7. Tenants must be provided with a copy of a current annual gas safety check certificate – at the start of their tenancy and updates

Just Lets – Peterborough Nominated Charity

Just Lets – Peterborough is happy to be working with The Alzeimers Society as its chosen charity. We hope that we will be able to raise awareness of the various forms of Dementia and the support structures that are available for those who have the disease and for those who care for them.

We will be helping, where we can, to raise funds for the much needed charity. If you would like to help too then please get in touch with Just Lets – Peterborough Office Manager (Heidi Birkhead) on 01733 346255

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading care and research charity for people with dementia and those who care for them.

There are over 800,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to one million by 2025.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzeimers Disease
Alzheimer’s disease, named after the doctor who first described it (Alois Alzheimer), is a physical disease that affects the brain. There are more than 520,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer’s disease. During the course of the disease, proteins build up in the brain to form structures called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue. People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemical messengers help to transmit signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals are not transmitted as effectively. As discussed below, current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease can help boost the levels of chemical messengers in the brain, which can help with some of the symptoms.

Vascular Dimentia
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia (after Alzheimer’s disease), affecting around 150,000 people in the UK. Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels. To be healthy and function properly, brain cells need a constant supply of blood to bring oxygen and nutrients. Blood is delivered to the brain through a network of vessels called the vascular system. If the vascular system within the brain becomes damaged – so that the blood vessels leak or become blocked – then blood cannot reach the brain cells and they will eventually die. This death of brain cells can cause problems with memory, thinking or reasoning. Together these three elements are known as cognition. When these cognitive problems are bad enough to have a significant impact on daily life, this is known as vascular dementia.

Alzeimers Society – Help and Support
Alzheimer’s Society provides information and support for people with all forms of dementia and those who care for them. It runs quality care services, funds research, advises professionals and campaigns for improved health and social care and grater public understanding and awareness of dementia.

You can find a raft of information on the types of Dementia and the support that is available by visiting the website at: Click Here

The Alzheimer’s Society – Peterborough Branch can be found at: Dementia Resource Centre, 441 Lincoln Road, Millfield, Peterborough, PE1 2PE. Tel: 01733 893853

National Pet Month – Your Pet, Your Home…Your Responsibility

The 2017 National Pet Month is on the way. This is the 27th annual National Pet Month and runs from 1 April to 1 May 2017.

Through this period thousands of people around the United Kingdom will be celebrating life with their pets, spreading the word on responsible pet ownership and/or raising money for their favourite charity in fun filled events.

National Pet Month is a charity set up to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership through education campaigns. The National Pet Month is also set to act as a focal point to encourage fundraising for the nation’s needy pets. Sadly not all pets are cared for and loved by their owners.

You may wish to get involved with some of the fundraising activities and you can find more here http://www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk/

Here at JUST LETS we believe that being responsible pet owner is more than just about micro-chipping, keeping up to date with vaccinations and the inevitable vet bills. For us being responsible pet owner is about taking care of your pet but also your property and your community.

As part of a community you should ensure that your pet is safe and will not hurt or frighten anybody in the area. Additionally we all know that dog mess (the stuff from the rear end) can cause offence, but it can also cause serious harm and disease especially to children. It is important therefore that you ensure you clean up after your pet. This also applies in and around your garden area.

If you are a tenant there are number of other factors you must consider if you own a pet.

1. It is important that you have written consent from your landlord and agent which allows you to have and keep a pet in the property. If you do not have a formal written consent, and you do have a pet you MUST contact us and ask for this formal permission.

2. You must ensure that every effort is made to prevent your pet from causing damage to the property and any fixtures and fittings belonging to the landlord.

3. Any damage caused will be noted at the checkout you will be held accountable for the cost of repair or replacement. This will be taken from any deposit monies held. However, in order to mitigate any hardship you should consider taking a suitable pet insurance policy.

4. You should take care and pay special attention to the cleaning of carpets and soft furnishings. Any fluids from your pet, be it urine diarrhea or vomit should be cleaned up immediately. These fluids can cause staining and bad smells. If not cleaned straight away, these fluids can become ingrained into soft furnishings, carpets, underlay and if especially bad the concrete floor. Take care to use effective cleaners or disinfectants – but be sure that these cleaning agents do not cause further damage by staining or colour bleaching.

Utilities – Can You Afford Not To Change?

Can You Afford Not To Change Supplier?

This month sees three of the Big Six energy companies hiking their prices again, and it can only be a matter of time before the other three follow suit. The Lettings Hub has been working behind the scenes, to develop a new Utility Management Service that will help save our tenants and landlords money on their energy bills.

With Scottish Power increasing its standard energy prices by an average 7.8%, affecting 1.1m customers and adding £86 a year to a typical dual-fuel bill, npower raising standard energy dual-fuel variable tariffs by 9.8% and EDF raising the cost of its electricity by 8.4%. Many households will soon be feeling the pinch.

According to an article in This Is Money, published in 2016, customers of the Big Six energy suppliers throw away £4 billion a year by staying on the most expensive tariffs. It claimed Big Six households overpaid on their energy bills by an average of £292.

It’s no surprise then that 2.3 million families live in fuel poverty in England, according to an article published last month in The Guardian. If true, this means that 1 in 10 households are currently struggling to afford to sufficiently heat their homes. That figure rises to 1 in 5 for those renting from private landlords; which could account for some of the 17% of ageing housing stock that are currently rated with an EPC rating lower than E (see our article on EPC changes to legislation for further information) in the Private Rental Sector.

The article goes on to claim that of the affected households renting from a private landlord, single parents with dependent children are at the highest risk with almost 25% in fuel poverty. We’re sure you’ll agree this is worrying news for our industry.

Clive Lewis, the former Shadow Business Secretary, said “The Government has done nothing to enforce advice from watchdog Ofgem that there should be no hikes. Britain is facing an energy bill crisis, with over 2 million families who can’t afford their bills.”
Despite repeated calls from politicians for people to switch to a better deal, uSwitch research shows that only four in 10 households have changed energy supplier. The same research showed that there are many misconceptions about how hard it is to switch energy suppliers. For example, some believed their cables and pipes would have to be replaced or that they couldn’t change as they only rented and weren’t the property owner.
The truth is consumers aren’t always aware of how easy it is to switch to a better energy deal, with younger tenants being particularly confused. We want to help combat these statistics by educating tenants so that they can make informed choices and better manage their household bills.

Our Utility Management Service – Helping You Save

At a time, when so much new legislation is targeting energy efficiency in the home and the largest energy providers are indicating price rises, it has never been so important to try to help tenants help themselves by budgeting for their energy bills and increasing awareness that there are better deals out there.

Just Lets – Peterborough have partnered with The Lettings Hub to offer tenants unbiased recommendations and give straightforward, easy to understand advice on how to choose the best energy and media deals to suit their circumstances. There’s no hard sell involved. We search the whole market, working with both big and small suppliers to bring them the best tariffs currently available. Our tenants won’t have to spend hours on the phone as we have direct access to suppliers so we are able to bypass the switchboards and speak to them directly. We also enjoy a priority booking service, which means we can help our tenants get their media and telecoms packages installed faster, as this can take up to 2 weeks in some cases. In addition, we also offer a free annual review every year to help tenants ensure they remain on the best tariffs available.

Start to Save – Now!

For more information on our Utility Management Service, and to see if you can save on your energy and media suppliers contact Just Lets – Peterborough…..Sooner the better!

Email: Peterborough@ www.www.justlets.com
Tel: 01733 346255

Scam Awareness

Scam Awareness Month has been and gone but that does not mean that we should not all continue to be vigilant and mindful of the threats that exist.  We should all be very mindful that sensible precautions will help to keep us safe and, importantly, keep our details and our finances safe and secure.  The precautions are easy to follow and do not cost anything to implement.  However, if you fail to take the precautions the costs could be significant.

July 2015 was Scam Awareness Month

Scam Awareness Month ran throughout July 2015, with the intention
of assuring consumers are informed and are ready to talk about their own experiences to help prevent others. Sporting the headline “Don’t be rushed, Don’t b
e hushed”, the campaign is supported nationally by Trading Standards and other organisations.

Each year millions of people in the UK are victims of scammers.  Estimates put the figure lost to scammers by as much as £5 billion.  The truth is – with reporting levels as low as 5% for some types of scams – the real impact cannot be quantified.

Scams are crimes that affect many different groups of people with distressing, and sometimes disastrous consequences. Many go unreported either because the consumer does not spot something amiss or because people who become victims of scams feel a sense of shame.

To understand and prevent such crimes, it is essential that consumers get the information they need to spot scams in the first place; report them when they are targeted and get the advice they need to help protect them in future.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER & SHARE

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • It you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it.
  • You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
  • If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
  • Persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No thank you”.
  • Contacted out of the blue – be suspicious.
  • Take your time – resist pressure to make a decision straight away.
  • Never send money to someone you don’t know.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
  • Your bank will never attend your home to collect cash, your PIN, payment card or chequebook if you are a victim of fraud.
  • Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN number.
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited calls to help you fix your computer.

Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams and help others to not fall victim to the scammers.   If you have had a strange call from a company or individual that you do not know nor recognize do not give any personal details.  Go talk to friends and neighbours and see if they have had the calls too.  Like the campaign says:  Don’t be Rushed…Don’t be Hushed.

If you would like more details on information shared within the campaign you can use the link below to view a leaflet and guide:  It is FREE and could save you a fortune.

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/scams/sam15-briefing.pdf

This information is brought to you by Just Lets and courtesy of www.safelocaltrades.com an online register of local vetted and recommended trades people.