Will Leyland, 04 July 2016
Despite vast improvements in the regulation and customer service of letting agents there are still many landlords and agents that participate in shady practices. As ‘generation rent’ continues to grow demands for suitable rented accommodation are staying strong. With this in mind more measures are being considered to protect renters from rogue landlords and unscrupulous agents.
In the wake of ‘Brexit’ it has become clear that regardless of what happens the demand for rental properties from tenants isn’t going to go anywhere with recent news confirming that a raft of new house building projects have been mothballed as share prices for building companies continues to plummet. The speed of the contraction in June took the industry back into recessionary territory but fell short of the frantic tumble in activity last seen in the post-financial crash era in 2009.
As pressure groups pushed for further measures for protection, tenants could have access to a database of “rogue” landlords and letting agents, under a bill debated in the House of
Lords. The Renters’ Rights Bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat Baroness Grender, proposes to publish a public list of criminal landlords.
It also proposes to ban “rogue” landlords from being able to own a house in multiple occupation (HMO), which is a property where more than two separate households share living space and
facilities. Campaign group Generation Rent gathered in support of the Renters’Rights Bill, which had its second House of Lords reading last month. Baroness Grender told The Debrief, an online magazine that has also been campaigning for renters’ rights, that the bill was intended to improve the quality of accommodation.There are fears among experts that new taxes which reduce landlords’ ability to deduct their mortgage interest from their rental income before calculating their tax bill, which are being phased in from next year, could also hit renters hard. Although so far there has been no discernible impact.
This is mainly good news for tenants who often are unaware of the dangers of going through disreputable agents or landlords. Often for inexperienced tenants there isn’t a great deal of guidance on what to look out for when dealing with a letting agent, and subsequently a landlord that instructs through them. Reputable agents are extremely unlikely to work with disreputable landlords and this benefits tenants whilst being managed through good agents increases landlords’ likelihood of tempting quality tenants. A beneficial arrangement from both tenants and landlords can be sought through quality agents with a record for success.
As the net widens for renters and traditional reasons for renting evaporate for a modern world it certainly can be argued that property represents the best value for landlords, and as the renting market diversifies in a modern market there are benefits for approaching the experts. Letting agents will and have improved relations and conditions for landlords and tenants alike and as the market prospers we can expect to see their popularity increase. Good service and quality accommodation is mutually beneficial to both landlords and tenants and it seems the answer to this, with growing protection for tenants, is to seek quality and reputable letting agents who are able to serve both sides for a happy,successful relationship.
Will Leyland, 04 July 2016