Busiest Time For Rental Market – Even In 2020!

Information provided by ARLA Propertymark suggests private rented sector tenants are looking for a property than ever before in the United Kingdom. However, landlords are also entering the market in more significant numbers, as there has been an increase in the number of rental properties available.

The organisation’s Private Rented Sector Report suggests there was an average of 97 newly registered tenants in July. This was a significant increase on the 79 new tenants per branch in June of this year. Back in January 2020, which seems a lifetime ago, the highest figure was 88 prospective tenants per agency, so the increase is also real when reviewed alongside pre-COVID figures.

The Private Rented Sector Reports also indicates there was a record high for managed properties per branch in July. An average of 208 rental homes were available per agency branch.

Phil Keddie, president of ARLA Propertymark, said: “Our latest figures show the rental market still continues to gather momentum following the reopening of the housing market in May. We have seen a record-breaking level of rental stock, and demand from tenants continues to grow, providing a positive outlook for the future of the private rented sector.”

It is hard to look at 2020 figures alongside other years, as this is a year like no other. However, it is helpful for landlords to familiarise themselves with what are the traditionally active times of year in the rental market.

Between April and June, enquiries rise in the rental market

As a rough rule of thumb, most landlords experience an increase of enquiries between Easter and the May Bank Holidays. There is a number of factors which might explain this, but the number of Bank Holidays on offer at this time of year, providing many people with three- and four-day weeks, might justify why many people find it easier to arrange rental property at this time.

July and August represent the peak months in the rental market

July and August are recognised as the peak months in the rental market. This ties in with the 2020 figures announced by ARLA Propertymark, and it is easy to justify why this is a busy time of year.

People might have more spare time in the summer months, moving in better weather is easier, and families want to be settled before the start of a new school year.

September is a busy month for towns and cities with a student population

The student market is critical in many buy to let areas, which means the start of the new academic year is a busy time for landlords. While it is best for students to arrange their accommodation in advance, it is no surprise to learn it is a “last-minute” thing for many students.

From October onwards, there are fewer enquiries in the rental market, but there is often an increase in the quality of tenants.

Also, it must be remembered that 2020 is not your standard year. With the UK in recession, and various economic forces in play, there might be a greater than usual level of demand for rental property. Job changes and people re-evaluating their finances often leads to greater demand for rental property.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property or tax requirements, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Opportunity for BTL Landlords

The stamp duty holiday will hopefully help buying a home more affordable for many people. However, there is criticism for the measure, with many industry experts stating it does very little, if anything at all, for first-time buyers.

There is a suggestion the stamp duty holiday is more beneficial to existing homeowners looking to upscale their home. Many industry experts have also suggested buyers in London and the South East of England will enjoy a greater benefit than buyers in other parts of the country.

Stamp duty holiday lowers cost of buying property

It should be remembered though that the stamp duty holiday also provides an opportunity for buy-to-let landlords. There is an opportunity for landlords to lower the amount of money they spent on rental property.

If you have been considering expanding your property portfolio, the next few months might provide you with an ideal opportunity to do so. This is the case being made by Mortgages for Business, who implore landlords to at least consider the possibilities offered to them by the stamp duty holiday.

Steve Olejnik is the Managing Director of Mortgages for Business and he said; “Clearly, landlords need to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday before the window closes in March next year. Property investors are in a better position to qualify for a mortgage now that reduced stamp tax allows them to wield a larger deposit. Furthermore, if the measures Rishi Sunak has put in place underpin property values, the cut will help those looking to remortgage as well.”

Steve continued by saying; “Less obviously, landlords may not appreciate they need to act while they are well-placed to move in a way that owner-occupiers are not. We know property investors have been remortgaging with a view to picking up some bargains. Owner-occupiers have not been doing the same. Landlords have been preparing since the start of the lockdown, remortgaging to enlarge potential war chests with an eye on bagging bargains in the future. First Time Buyers don’t have that flexibility and owner-occupiers haven’t been remortgaging in the same way.”

Are you ready to expand your property portfolio?

Not every landlord will feel the stamp duty holiday is an opportunity for them to expand their business. With the UK being in a recession, many landlords will prefer to sit and wait for more clarity before making a monumental business decision.

There is uncertainty in the economy, but this is a situation where demand for rental property increases. It is very unlikely that demand for rental property will diminish at any point in the near future, and demand is already outstripping supply.

Landlords who are in a position to further invest in their business have a chance to set themselves up for further success in years to come. This is also the opinion of Steve Olejnik; “That means landlords are currently very well-placed to seize the day. But that advantage won’t last forever. That’s why smart investors will start expanding their portfolios immediately, rather than waiting and then scrambling to try to do deals at the last minute.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property or tax requirements, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

2020 Landlords Regulations – Are You Compliant?

2020 has been a challenging year for landlords. The industry has faced many new challenges, but this doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore existing challenges. One of the most important issues for landlords to consider is the huge array of regulations you must comply with.

At the start of 2020, landlords had to comply with more than 150 regulations. This year has seen existing regulations be updated, and new regulations come into force. Complying with regulations is often a full-time job for landlords, but we are here to help.

At Just Lets Peterborough, we are on hand to ensure you make informed decisions, and aren’t at risk of failing to comply with the leading regulations in the industry.

Do you need a landlord licence?

Selective licencing came into being in 2006 as a way of forcing rogue landlords to adhere to rules and regulations. Local council authorities have the power to implement a scheme if they experience issues with anti-social behaviour or low standard of housing in a local area.

The scheme requires landlords to follow specific management rules, and if they don’t, they can be fined.

There is a Selective Licensing scheme in place in Peterborough. According to the local council website, landlords must have the following information when applying for the scheme:

  • Details of the tenants
  • Information about the property to be licensed
  • Documents relating to the property, the licence holder and any manager (see checklist below)
  • If the manager and licence holder are two different people then an additional Fit and Proper Person Sheet will need to be completed (see below)

Do you carry out Right to Rent checks on all tenants?

Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 requires landlords to verify tenants legally have the Right to Rent in the United Kingdom. This requirement has been in place since February 2016 and landlords who fail to check a tenants’ Right To Rent may face a civil penalty.

Are you protecting a tenants’ deposit in a licenced Government scheme?

Landlords must secure a tenant’s deposit in one of the Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. There are two primary forms of deposit protection schemes, custodial and insurance.

Do you have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place?

Rental properties must hold an EPC rating of at least an E to be valid for rental purposes. Landlords who fail to comply with this regulation may face a fine of up to £4,000.

Have you arranged an annual gas safety inspection?

The Gas Safety Regulations of 1998 means landlords must maintain all gas appliances, flues and pipe works in a safe condition. The annual gas safety inspection must be undertaken by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, who will issue a Gas Safety certificate if applicable.

The landlord should retain this certificate until the following test. A copy of this certificate should be provided to the tenant.

Are you compliant with electrical safety regulations?

As of July 2020, electrical safety regulations, similar to the gas safety regulations, will apply to rental property in England. Landlords must ensure their property is compliant with these regulations. For all new tenancies beginning on or after 1 July 2020, the rental property must hold this certification.

This is a new piece of legislation, and we appreciate some landlords might have overlooked this matter. We are happy to provide assistance in complying with this matter.

Do you comply with smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations?

As of 1 October 2015, landlords must ensure there is at least one smoke alarm on every floor of rental property. Also, when there is a solid fuel source in the rental property, landlords must ensure that there is a carbon monoxide alarm in this room.

The landlord is responsible for ensuring each alarm is in working order on the first day of a tenancy.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property or tax requirements, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Spotting Leaks Early And Preventing Problems

It is far better to prevent a problem from arising than to deal with an issue after it has occurred. This is as true for the letting sector as it is for any other industry. However, there is a lot to be said for being proactive in the rental market.

Spotting leaks early and preventing problems is crucial. Being proactive saves money, it saves a lot of time and effort, and ultimately, it will make tenants happier. In the long-term, a proactive approach should reduce void periods and hopefully generate more rental income for a landlord.

Be proactive in looking for problems

Landlords can create a positive culture around spotting leaks and reporting problems. Regular inspections are crucial for landlords and will make a massive difference in maintaining an excellent standard around the property.

Warning signs landlords should be aware of include:

  • Water stains on walls and ceilings, especially for rooms located beneath bathrooms
  • Mould spores around the home, and you should pay close attention to corners, windows, bath sealant, grouting and curtains
  • Water damage on skirting or flooring
  • Flaking or rotting on exterior and interior window frames
  • Vermin infestation
  • A poor standard of general condition of the external space of the property
  • Water dripping from gutters

Tenants should be advised to look out for these issues and to report prospective problems to the landlord, but this doesn’t always happen. Not every tenant is proactive in maintaining the standard of the rental property, which is why landlords must take it upon themselves to manage their rental property to a high standard.

Viewings in 2020

There is no denying 2020 has been a challenging year for many landlords. It might be that you have been unable to undertake as many property viewings as you would generally like. However, this is no excuse for not ensuring your rental property is reviewed regularly.

Video calls are better than nothing when it comes to reviewing a rental property. Also, landlords should try to find a time or solution that allows them to review the rental property. This is something that should be in the rental agreement, and most tenants will try to assist in this matter.

We appreciate this sounds like a challenging task for many landlords. At Just Lets Peterborough, we offer a range of services, including property management services. If you would like assistance in managing your rental property, we are more than happy to assist you.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property or tax requirements, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

A Handy Tax Guide

At Just Lets Peterborough, we know being a landlord is rewarding, but at times, it can be overwhelming. We are here to help you, and we offer a wide range of serviced aimed at assisting landlords in Peterborough.

If you would like to learn more about what landlords should do to satisfy their tenants and enhance their chances of success, please get in touch. We are always happy to discuss this matter with local landlords.

Also, we know many landlords are concerned about taxes. We have compiled a handy tax guide for you, which you can access below.

Just Lets P – Handy Tax Guide