What follows is an extended post collating a wide array of commentary from property industry thought-leaders, who kindly took the time to reflect on the market moving into 2018. In addition to high-level insights into macro influences, price and rental trends, it is interesting to see the experts delve into a number of specific topics. Examples include the notable demographic shifts occurring across the country alongside the real effects of the Universal Credit (UC) rollout, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) freezes and the widening risks of homelessness. The continued evolution of the build-to-rent, property crowdfunding and online auction sectors have also been explored in some depth. For higher tax paying private landlords, taking heed of the intensifying effects of Section 24 of the Finance Act is frequently mentioned, as are some useful tips to best prepare, and indeed capitalise, for what … [Read More]
Launched in 2013, Universal Credit’s underlying aim was to simplify the welfare system by merging six of the main social security benefits into one. Monthly Local Housing Allowance (or housing benefit) payments will now be pooled into a single sum alongside Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. By the end of 2017, the roll-out is to be “accelerated” into a further 150 new areas . With the number of claimant households expected to grow from 570,000 today to 8 million in 2022, the implications for landlords who house LHA tenants are noteworthy (see the Department of Work & Pensions landlord’s guide here). A Disaster Waiting to Happen? Part of the former coalition government’s drive to “make work pay”, i.e. rewarding people for transitioning into gainful employment, the initial phasing of Universal … [Read More]
Accurately tracking the how many people are homeless and rough sleeping has become practically impossible given that an increasingly large number of people are falling in and out of fixed accommodation. However, there is little doubt that the problem is getting worse, particularly when observing the “hidden homeless” phenomenon – i.e. those in gainful employment that are still struggling to find a decent and affordable place to live. Exclusively blaming the speculative nature of larger property markets such as London would be unfair – but, objectively speaking, market rents that are increasingly out of sync with incomes and other negative influences such as Local Housing Allowance caps are undoubtedly having a contributory effect. Many readers would already aware of the charity Crisis´ work both in service centre provision across the UK and as a central government lobbyist. What may not be known is that the organisation is also actively looking to build synergies with the private … [Read More]
In the second part of the interview with Chris Hancock, Head of Housing at Crisis (see part 1 here), we continue to explore tenancy lengths, ensuring that management and solid lines of communication are in place, mortgage borrowing on properties specifically let to LHA tenants / ex-homeless, the noteworthy political will to eradicate rough sleeping (particularly in London), what the UK can learn from other global models and initiatives. Scroll down to the bottom of this post, for information about up and coming events in London, Scotland and Wales which will certainly be of interest to landlords interested in this area. PIB: This may be a difficult question to answer – as you may find that there´s a trade-off between longer, secure tenancies with landlords perhaps being wary about extended commitments and other unknowns – but what kind of tenancy lengths are … [Read More]
An interview with Paul Shamplina from Landlord Action focused on the recent changes in the landscape of social housing including preconceptions of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA); new ‘austere’ measures being introduced by the new coalition government; the implications of the Comprehensive Spending Review; research and the role of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA); the role of the ‘floating tenancy support service’; recent comments by the Department of Work and Pensions on LHA landlords; Paul’s thoughts on the future of the property market amongst other topics.
An interview with Patrick Clift of the British Property Federation (BPF) discussing the importance of landlords post-credit crunch; the need of professional standards in the industry; what the BPF are doing to encourage the sector; tax incentives; reforms to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) system / social housing policy; UK infrastructual improvements and the future role of the organisation.
An interview with Paul Howard – Head of Intermediary Sales – at The Mortgage Works (TMW), one of the UK’s leading buy to let lenders. We ask what was their reasoning on being one of the first lenders to reintroduce higher LTV ratios in the market in recent times, as well as looking into their thoughts on the short, medium and long-term; how lender behaviour has / is changing; the new Financial Policy Committee (FPC); their new build criteria; Local Housing Allowance lending and more: