The Rental Market
It was a slow start to 2022 however as January progressed we received a good number of enquiries from new landlords and investment buyers and our current Landlords were keen to relet their properties upon tenant notices. Great news as stock levels still remain low, and perhaps a sense of confidence in the sector despite more regulation to come. Renters were keen to move quickly and properties were Let Agreed in most cases on first viewings.
Average rental asking prices according to Rightmove’s monthly tracker has increased at the fastest rate on record, now at £1,068 PCM outside of London, 9.9% higher than this time last year. Rightmove also reported competition between tenants for available properties is nearly double compared to this time last year with demand 32 per cent higher but available properties 51+ per cent lower.
Buy to Let Mortgages
Now at a 15-year record high for the number of BTL mortgage products available for current or new landlords according to independent mortgage market monitor, Moneyfacts. After a rise of 222 products month on month, the year began with 3528 total products on offer, the highest seen on their records since September 2007 and 945 more products than available pre-pandemic January 2020.
In the news….
A Somerset Landlord was jailed for six months (suspended for 12 months) after being found guilty of evicting a tenant illegally by locking the tenant out of the rental while the tenant was working a night shift. The Landlord was also guilty of removing and disposing of all the tenant’s possessions. The tenant returned home early the next morning following his night shift to find himself homeless and possession less. The Landlord has not been named and there is no detail as to why this action was taken on the Tenant. The Landlord was ordered to pay compensation of £3,000 to the Tenant.
Landmark Eviction Case: Northwood Solihull v Fearn/Cooke. This case involved the Northwood lettings branch in Solihull issuing a Section 8 notice on behalf of a company client to evict tenants who had stopped paying rent. The tenants, Fearn and Cooke argued that the eviction notice had not been signed by two authorised signatories or by a company director in the presence of a witness, contending this was a breach of section 44 of the Companies Act 2006. A High Court judge ruled this law did not apply to eviction notices although upheld the tenants’ claim it applied to a confirmatory certificate for a rental deposit. Northwood’s lawyers argued that having a second signature would have done nothing to improve the tenants’ position. The case was elevated to the Court of Appeal where the judges gave their final verdict against the tenants.
The Guild of Property Professionals
You may have seen the logo in our literature but do you know who the Guild of Property Professionals is?
The Guild is a membership organisation with a network of circa 800 leading independent agents around the UK. The Head Office is located on Park Lane, London and they provide Ashington Page with a wide range of services and support including marketing and compliance for both lettings and sales. As members, we currently advertise our sales property listings on the website and hope to introduce rental properties later this year. Both sales and letting properties are advertised in beautifully presented monthly magazines distributed locally. Visit the Guild for more information on www.guildproperty.co.uk/about-the-guild
New Digital Key Service
Ashington Page is always keen to improve its service. Next month we are excited to move over to a new digital keylogging system. Each key set we hold will have a unique fob with our Ashington Page logo and contact numbers. As keys are moved in and out of the office i.e. for viewings, inspections or by contractors; we can keep track of the keys via a cloud-based platform. Fobs are zapped on an electronic card reader as they leave the premises which feed information onto the platform, then zapped again when the keys are returned. It’s extremely rare for us to lose keys and we have a good process already in place but we feel this will further enhance security and any risk of contractors returning keys to the wrong agent.
If you have any questions or would like specific topics covered in future newsletters, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please email email@example.com
A huge congratulations to 3 of our lettings team who have just become Level 3 qualified!
Jane Davies & Laura Foo have passed all 4 of their units to become Level 3 Propertymark qualified in Lettings and Property Management. Emily Atkinson has passed all of her coursework and exam to become Level 3 CEPAP qualified in Property Advice & Practice. Well done ladies!