My thoughts to the landlords and homeowners of Leighton Buzzard…
The tightrope of being a Leighton Buzzard buy-to-let landlord is a balancing act many do well at. Talking to several Leighton Buzzard landlords, they are very conscious of their tenants’ capacity and ability to pay the rent and their own need to raise rents on their rental properties (as Government figure shows ‘real pay’ has dropped 1% in the last six months). Evidence does suggest many landlords feel more assured than they were in the spring about pursuing higher rents on their properties.
During the summer months, historic evidence suggests that the rents new tenants have had to pay on move in have increased. June/July/August is a time when renters like to move, demand surges and the normal supply and demand seesaw mean tenants are normally prepared to pay more to secure the property they want to live in, in the place they want to be. This is particularly good news for Leighton Buzzard landlords as average Leighton Buzzard rents have been on a downward trend recently. So look at the figures here...
Rents in Leighton Buzzard on average for new tenants moving in have risen 1.5% for the month, taking overall annual Leighton Buzzard rents 1.6% higher for the year
However, several Leighton Buzzard landlords have expressed their apprehensions about a slowing of the housing market in Leighton Buzzard. I think this negativity may be exaggerated.
Before we get the Champagne out, the other side of the coin to property investing is capital values (which will also be of interest to all the homeowners in Leighton Buzzard as well as the Leighton Buzzard buy-to-let landlords). I believe the Leighton Buzzard property market has been trying to find some level of equilibrium since the New Year. According to the Land Registry…
Property Values in Leighton Buzzard are 10.05% higher than they were 12 months ago, rising by 0.61% last month alone!
Yet, I would take those figures with a pinch of salt as they reflect the sales of Leighton Buzzard properties that took place in early Spring 2017 and now are only exchanging and completing during the summer months.
The reality is the number of properties that are on the market in Leighton Buzzard today has risen by 32.2% since the New Year and that will have a dampening effect on property values. As tenants have had less choice, buyers now have more choice ... and that will temper Leighton Buzzard property prices as we head towards 2018.
Be you a homeowner or landlord, if you are planning to sell your Leighton Buzzard property in the short term, it is crucial, especially with the rise in the number of properties on the market, that you realistically price your property when you bring it to the market ... with the increase in choice of properties, the balance of power during negotiation generally sways towards the buyer. Given that everyone now has access to property details, including historic stats for how much property have sold for, they will be more astute during the offer and negotiation stages of a purchase.
However, even with this uplift in the number of properties for sale in Leighton Buzzard, property prices will remain stable and strong in the medium to long term. This is because the number of properties on the market today is still way below the peak of summer of 2008, when there were 650 properties for sale compared to the current level of 205 (if you recall, prices dropped by nearly 20% in Credit Crunch years of ‘08 and ‘09).
Compared to 2008, today’s lower supply of Leighton Buzzard properties for sale will keep prices relatively high...and they will continue to stay at these levels for the medium to long term.
Less people are moving than a few years ago, meaning less property is for sale. Fewer properties for sale mean property prices remain relatively high and this is because of a number of underlying reasons. Firstly, buy-to-let landlords tend not to sell their properties as often as owner-occupiers, consequently removing the property out of the housing market selling cycle. Secondly, Stamp Duty is much higher compared to 10 years ago (meaning it costs more to move). Next, there is a dearth of local authority rental housing so demand for private rented housing will remain high. Then we have the UK’s maturing owner occupier population, meaning these older people are less likely to move (compared to when they were younger). Another reason is the lack of new homes being built in the country (we need 240k houses a year to be built in the UK and we are currently only building 145k a year!) and finally, the new mortgage rules introduced in 2014 about how much a person can borrow on a mortgage has curtailed demand.
Some final thought’s before I go – to all the Leighton Buzzard homeowners that aren’t planning to sell – this talk of price changes is only on paper profit or loss. To those that are moving ... most people that sell, are buyers as well, so as you might not get as much for yours, the one you will want to buy won’t be as much, (swings and roundabouts as Mum used to say!)
To all the Leighton Buzzard landlords – keep your eyes peeled – I have a feeling there may be some decent buy-to-let deals to be had in the coming months.
For more thoughts on the Leighton Buzzard Property Market, please visit the Leighton Buzzard Property Market Blog
“What’s happening to the Leighton Buzzard Property Market” is a question I am asked repeatedly. Well, would it be a surprise to hear that my own research suggests that there isn’t just one big Leighton Buzzard property market – but many small micro-property markets?
According to recent data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), I have discovered that at least three of these micro-property markets have emerged over the last 20+ years in the town.
For ease, I have named them the …
The ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ sectors of the Leighton Buzzard property market have been fuelled over the last few years by two sets of buyers. The first set, making up the clear majority of those buyers, are cash rich landlord investors who are throwing themselves into the Leighton Buzzard property market to take advantage of alluringly low prices and even lower interest rates. The other set of buyers in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ Leighton Buzzard property market are the first-time buyers (FTB), although the FTB market is in a state of unparalleled deadlock as it’s been trampled into near-immobility and incapacity by the new 2014 stricter mortgage affordability regulations and also fewer mortgages with low deposits.
Some of you may be interested to know how I have classified the three sectors ..
…. and if one looks at the figures for Central Bedfordshire Council area you can see the three different sectors (lower, lower/middle and middle) have performed quite differently.
You can quite clearly see that it is the ‘lower to middle’ market that has performed the best.
You might ask, what do all these different figures mean to homeowners and landlords alike? Quite a lot – so let me explain. The worst performing sector (with the lowest Percentage uplift) was the ‘middle’ housing market. Therefore, interestingly, if we applied the best percentage uplift figure (i.e. from the ‘lower to middle’ market percentage uplift), to the ‘middle’ 1995 housing market figure, the 2017 figure of £291,340, would have been £323,725 instead – quite a difference you must agree?
Now, I have specifically not mentioned the upper reaches of the Leighton Buzzard housing market for several reasons. Firstly, the lower or middle market is where most of the buy to let investment landlords buy their property and where the majority of property transactions take place. Secondly, due to the unique and distinctive nature of Leighton Buzzard’s up-market property scene (because every property is different and they don’t tend to sell as often as the lower to middle market), it is much more difficult to calculate what changes have occurred to property prices in that part of the Leighton Buzzard property market - looking at the stats for the up-market Leighton Buzzard property market from Land Registry, only 28 properties in Leighton Buzzard (and a 5 mile radius around it) have sold for £1,500,000 or more since 1997.
So, what should every homeowner and buy to let landlord take from the information that there are many micro-property markets? Well, when you realise there isn’t just one Leighton Buzzard Property Market, but many Leighton Buzzard “micro-property markets”, you can spot trends and bag yourself some potential bargains. Even in this market there are still a number of bargains to be found with the right research especially in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower/middle’ market.
For more thoughts on the Leighton Buzzard Property Market, please visit the Leighton Buzzard Property Market Blog
I would love to know if you have spotted any micro-property markets in Leighton Buzzard.
The most recent set of data from the Land Registry has stated that property values in Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding area were 10.05% higher than 12 months ago and 31.21% higher than January 2015.
Despite the uncertainty over Brexit Leighton Buzzard (and most of the UK’s) property values continue their medium and long-term upward trajectory. As economics is about supply and demand, the story behind the Leighton Buzzard property market can also be seen from those two sides of the story.
Looking at the supply issues of the Leighton Buzzard property market, putting aside the short-term dearth of property on the market, one of the main reasons of this sustained house price growth has been down to of the lack of building new homes.
The draconian planning laws, that over the last 70 years (starting with The Town and Country Planning Act 1947) has meant the amount of land built on in the UK today, only stands at 1.8% (no, that’s not a typo – its one point eight percent) and that is made up of 1.1% with residential property and 0.7% for commercial property. Now I am not advocating building modern ugly carbuncles and high-rise flats in the Cotswolds, nor blot the landscape with the building of massive out of place ugly 1,000 home housing estates around the beautiful countryside of such villages as Little Brickhill, Stoke Hammond and Hollingdon.
The facts are, with the restrictions on building homes for people to live in, because of these 70-year-old restrictive planning regulations, homes that the youngsters of Leighton Buzzard badly need, aren’t being built. Adding fuel to that fire, there has been a large dose of nimby-ism and landowners deliberately sitting on land, which has kept land values high and from that keeps house prices high.
Looking at the demand side of the equation, one might have thought property values would drop because of Brexit and buyers uncertainty. However, certain commenters now believe property values might rise because of Brexit. Many people are risk adverse, especially with their hard-earned savings. The stock market is at an all-time high (ready to pop again?) and many people don’t trust the money markets. The thing about property is its tangible, bricks and mortar, you can touch it and you can easily understand it.
The Brits have historically put their faith in bricks and mortar, which they expect to rise in value, in numerical terms, at least. Nationally, the value of property has risen by 635.4% since 1984 whilst the stock market has risen by a very similar 593.1%. However, the stock market has had a roller coaster of a ride to get to those figures. For example, in the dot com bubble of the early 2000’s, the FTSE100 dropped 126.3% in two years and it dropped again by 44.6% in 9 months in 2007… the worst drop Leighton Buzzard saw in property values was just 19.51% in the 2008/9 credit crunch.
Despite the slowdown in the rate of annual property value growth in Leighton Buzzard to the current 10.05%, from the heady days of 13.88% annual increases seen in early 2015, it can be argued the headline rate of Leighton Buzzard property price inflation is holding up well, especially with the squeeze on real incomes, new taxation rules for landlords and the slight ambiguity around Brexit. With mortgage rates at an all-time low and tumbling unemployment, all these factors are largely continuing to help support property values in Leighton Buzzard (and the UK).
For more thoughts on the Leighton Buzzard Property Market, please visit the Leighton Buzzard Property Market Blog
What is bringing uncertainty to the housing market and talk of house price correction in Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard and the rest of the UK ?
It has been an interesting time recently if you took the time as I have to sit back and digest what is happening in both the local property market and the UK market.
For 27 years I worked for Architects mostly in London and started in a small 12 staff practice to a company that at one point employed approximately 200 staff. In all that time I have witnessed and felt the effects of the highs and lows of the property/construction industry on a number of occasions. One thing I did learn is that if there is a potential for a slowdown it is the biggest of big ticket items that people stop buying first. It’s not holidays, cars or eating out, but buying or moving house. You might test drive many cars before you commit to buying, but a house purchase is often done on a 20 minute viewing that then takes many months to complete. If you are a little unsure what the future holds in the next 6-12 months this is where you first decide to reign in your spending. Working for Architects you were often the first profession to feel the slowdown and strangely the last to feel the uplift.
There is a long list of reasons for people taking a breather from a property market that was racing away for the last 2-3 years: Brexit, Referendums, Elections, Stamp Duty changes, extra taxes on landlords all leading us to the current situation.
The number of available properties is lower than it has been for years so you would think buyers would be fighting over them, but instead the number of buyers has also reduced. Whereas 8-12 months ago the price a property was marketed for sale at was usually the price you had to make offers above the opposite is now happening and offers below the guide price are being accepted.
Since 2009 house prices in the UK have continued to rise to new highs allowing many investors to buy and either resell to make a quick profit after some cosmetic work or rent the property which after 18-24 months has grown so much in value that they have been able to re-mortgage and extract the capital gain to use for a deposit on another property. This has al been very well for the last 5-6 years, but many of these investors forget or have never been in the situation where house prices can also fall and they need to be aware of the current signals in the housing market
So what are these indicators ?
As the house prices increase at a rate that far outstrips that of salaries the affordability calculation of buyers becomes more difficult as the deposit required continues to increase. This in turn reduces the number of new buyers which has a knock on effect for other properties.
We are seeing the market beginning to stagnate, in fact I suspect that if we look at the numbers we will see that the housing market started to slow significantly in the 2nd half of this year, but the warnings have been there since last Autumn.
The number of houses coming to market has slowed significantly which you would expect to mean that this would push prices up instead we have also seen the number of buyers reducing. Where 8-12 months ago a guide price on a house was the starting price and offers were made above this we are now seeing offers below this figure becoming more common.
There will always be those who have to sell, who in order to do so will need to drop the price. According to Zoopla, there are more than 30 towns and cities in the UK where more than 40% of sellers have cut their asking price. In Stockport, Chesterfield, Huddersfield, Doncaster and Wigan more than 45% have done so.
It was recently announced that a study by the National Association of Estate Agents found that in May 77% of homes sold for below the asking price.
There were 3 consecutive months of falling house prices in the spring until June where there was a 1.1% rise wiping out those loses. If this is a return to growth is something we can only wait to see.
We have seen house prices falling in London for the last 18 months and the trend in London does tend to ripple out across the country and they are still struggling.
Mortgages are still very affordable and many don’t know what it is like to be in a market of rising mortgage interest rates which can wipe out the small profit some investors are making. Even those who have bought houses to live in during the last 3-4 years have only known very low rates. We have heard the phrase ‘JAM’ ( Just About Managing). This also relates to some home owners who would be in serious trouble should interest rates start to rise. Only in last months Monetary Policy Committee meeting at the Bank of England 3 members voted to raise interest rates. This was seen as a warning to households that a rate rise could soon be on the cards.
Two separate academics from the London School of Economics have recently warned that a 'correction' is due - and it could get ugly. There has been speculation that this could mean price drops of the magnitude of the last great house price crash in 2008 and 2009 - where prices fell almost 40%.
There is no guarantee that the so called ‘experts of economics’ are right, but there are enough warning signs at the moment to proceed with extreme caution on your next purchase.
“Do you need a shop front?” I am often asked by my landlords. Well this Saturday 2 properties were let to tenant ‘walk ins’ therefore benefiting our landlords where the Internet didn’t.
As mentioned in my last article the housing market in Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard has seen a slight slowdown in the last couple of months in both sales and lettings and when this is happening you cannot rely on the buyers and renters only finding your properties online. We have found that many of the overseas buyers and renters now living in the UK are not aware of the portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla when they are carrying out a search for property. They still rely on walking into a shop on the high street or if they do use the internet they will use sites such as Gumtree.
Our position on Church Street in Dunstable means that we are seen by many of the workers from Amazon and Woodside Industrial Estate as they walk into town and pass by our shop. We also have traffic siting outside our shop for around 2 minutes each time they wait for the traffic lights to change at the main junction and the main bus stop opposite at the entrance to The Quadrant Shopping Centre. All of this gives our landlords properties exposure that cannot be relied upon on the internet only.
This was very much the case on Saturday when 2 of the visitors who popped into our shop were tenants looking for the type of property we currently had available. As the properties were local I could arrange to meet them at the property that day and after a successful viewing at each property they were taken.
The days of advertising properties in newspapers are most likely a thing of the past. Properties available for rent are often gone before the paper is available and the amount of information and photos shown are limited.
The internet and portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla have made access to all the photos and full description of the property easily accessible if you use the internet and are aware of those property portals. They also give you more flexibility about when you search for your property.
We do still find however that tenants and landlords still prefer to be able to come into a shop on the High Street. Here they can meet the Letting/Estate agent who is dealing with the property and discuss anything they wish face to face. This gives them a feeling of security and both tenants and landlords can build a relationship with the agent and can come to the shop to discuss any issues instead of having to pick up the phone to talk to someone who might not know a thing about their property.
Are the Stamp Duty changes, Elections, Buy-to-Let tax implications and general housing market slow down impacting the Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard housing market ?
We have seen huge rises in both property prices and rents in Luton, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding areas in the last 18 months. Mostly this has been as a result of the overpriced London market forcing buyers and renters to look outside the capital for more affordable housing. Of course this has pushed prices up locally to a point where some would say it has now become unaffordable and those house hunters will now be looking further up the M1 and A1 to towns such as Northampton and Biggleswade.
Last Friday I took the opportunity to visit 5 or 6 of the local Agents and the message was the same from all of them. There is a short supply of new properties for sale compared to a year ago and offers on the properties they have are not arriving after the first viewings as they were. We are also finding the same with rental properties and this is being reflected in the number of properties both for sale and for rent that you see being reduced in price on the property portals.
Recent figures from HMRC show that the number of transactions nationally in the stamp duty bands fell in April to 83,010 from 107,090 in March. April’s figures cannot be compared on an annual basis as last April the number of transactions slumped after the rush in March 2016 to complete purchases before the new stamp duty rules on second properties started in April 2016. In fact when talking to a property expert and auctioneer recently he pointed out that many of those rushed transactions to save on the extra 3% stamp duty actually cost the buyers more as some agents inflated prices on typical BTL properties and the buyers in their rush were paying over the asking prices. At auction they had also witnessed properties selling for more than expected. If some of those buyers had waited until after the April deadline many properties were reduced in price and they could have made offers below the asking price. The saving made would have been easily more than the extra 3% they were trying to save on stamp duty.
What will this mean for an investor? In a slowing market with prices being reduced and properties taking longer to sell this could be the time to grab a bargain. Homeowners who have found a property to buy might now be in a position where they need to find a buyer for their own property and it is taking longer than it should.
If we look in Dunstable at current properties this one stands out as a potential investment property. Ok Viceroy Court in Dunstable does not have the best of reputations, but for a 1 bedroom flat with a guide price of £95,000 and over 140 years left on the lease it has to be worth a look especially with an expected minimum rental of £600pcm giving you a basic rental yield of 7.5%. This is a town centre location and walking distance for workers in Amazon and the Woodside Industrial Estate so demand for a rental property such as this is high at the right price.
On the 18th April the Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election to take place on the 8th June and the Members of Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the election to go ahead. This could give some leverage for property and landlord groups to put pressure on the government to reconsider changes that have directly affected the property market such as the stamp duty and tax changes.
So where does this leave the UK property market?
Since the election announcement some local Estate Agents I have spoken to have seen continued interest and have seen a marked increase in instructions to sell post Easter, with no evidence as yet from buyers to suggest that any have abandoned their search because of the election announcement.
Historically the run-up to a general election has caused a slowdown in activity in the housing market as the process would usually take many months, but on this occasion with such a short timeframe any impact before the election is expected to be minimal. A recent poll from online estate agents eMoov found that just 18.4 per cent of sellers and 17.5 per cent of buyers said that they would wait and see what the result of the poll is before continuing with a sale or purchase.
After an election there is historically a boost in the number of transactions, as a result of renewed certainty and due to the shortened time span before the poll this is expected to take place sooner rather than later.
Property values would usually drop slightly before an election due to the period of uncertainty as sellers discount to stimulate a sale, but again, due to the short time frame from the announcement to the election this is unlikely to happen with the continued lack of housing supply also keeping the housing market on track. It is well reported that there is a shortage of new housing, so whoever is in power after the election will still have building more homes and supporting the UK property sector at the top of their agenda.
It is expected that the Conservatives will win and a stronger Tory majority would mean less opposition to the government’s Brexit negotiating plans, which would make the country’s future much more predictable and stable for investors. Instability can easily frighten investors or property buyers, however the prospect of five more years of Conservative rule will be seen by many as a real positive and many expect a boost in the UK property market.
A Dunstable landlord buys a 2 bedroom apartment for £180,000 and a Ferrari for £180,000. Which will bring a better return and which is he likely to spend less on ?
We all want a bargain and might drive to the Sainsbury’s petrol station where petrol is £1.17 per litre instead of the BP garage a stones throw away where it is £1.21 per litre. This could save you £2 on a full tank of petrol if you are one of the few who fill up the tank on each visit. You might go to Poundland for a lightbulb where it is cheaper than Wilkinsons, but the bulb might only last a few weeks and then you are buying another one. Need some screwdrivers ? How long do you expect a pack of screwdrivers from Poundland will last and how many screw heads will they ruin ? Yes we all like a bargain, but too often we then regret making that decision, but to remedy it is fairly inexpensive and just a small inconvenience.
What if you have just purchased an asset that could be worth upwards of £150,000. What if it cost you £300,000? If you bought a Ferrari 308 GTB "Vetroresina” for a modest £180,000. This classic could go up in value, but not likely to be by the same amount as your 2 bedroom apartment, but yet would you take this ‘Magnum PI’ Ferrari to Mitchells Car Servicing and Repairs in Walford, East London for its oil change ? Of course not so when it comes to choosing an agent to look after your property are you really going to go with the cheapest agent with his threadbare carpet and 1970’s brown office furniture. Yes you might think he obviously isn’t charging too much as he can’t afford matching office chairs, but when he is working and presenting himself at that level you can be sure he also isn’t charging enough to look after your property and ensure his landlords are kept up to date with the latest legislation.
So next time you ask walk through an agents door and the first thing you ask before you even sit down is ‘How much are your fees’ take a moment and instead try asking them ‘What makes you the agent I should choose to look after my property and what level of service should I expect from you ?’
Think about it. For the cost of a cup of coffee a week you might choose an agent who is not going to look after your property, will not care about the tenants until they don’t pay the rent, will not be using the most current tenancy agreements and notices, will not be up to date with current legislation, might not have Client Money Protection or PI Insurance and could be using your tenants deposit money for running his business.
I could lower my fee to match those of ‘Let, Lets & lettings’ a few doors down but do you expect me to lower my level of service to you as well ? I thought not.
I am a landlord with a property in Dunstable or Houghton Regis - Why should I use a reputable Letting Agent ?
In this article we’ll look at the advantages to using letting agents and what they can do for you. A letting agent such as Belvoir Lettings Dunstable isn’t just there to collect the rent; they’re also very good at managing your property for you. This means you have more time to spend on enjoying other things in your life.
Getting the Rent on time
If you are tied into a buy to let mortgage you need the rent to be paid on time, otherwise your property may be repossessed. You will also need to ensure that any other bills are covered by the payments coming in. It can be a real problem if or when tenants don’t pay their bills on time or when cash flow becomes a problem. But worry not – Letting agents can manage rental payments for you so you know you’ll be paid on time, every time. Late payments are sometimes unavoidable but chasing one can be strenuous. Letting agents have experience in rent collection and chasing late payments. Belvoir Dunstable also offer services like Rent Guarantee and free Eviction Cover.
Occasionally you need to make sure the property doesn’t have any damages and that it is safe. A simple task, but it can be a burden if you’re busy. Your letting agent will carry out checks for you to ensure there are no damages. This ensures a middle man is available to gain access to the property on your behalf, and to ensure that everything is as it should be
If any damages are found on a check or reported by a tenant they will need to be fixed quickly to avoid further problems along the way. Here at Belvoir Dunstable we have a network of plumbers, electricians, builders etc that can fix the damage fast, and at a competitive price for you. These costs can then be added to your monthly letting agency fees for convenience. Because we have these existing relationships in place already – we can negotiate the best prices for you with trusted contractors.
Finding suitable tenants
If your property is aimed at certain type of occupant i.e. professionals, non-smokers etc then you’ll want these tenants to occupy your property to be of the right type. Finding these tenants can cost a lot of money and it certainly takes time. A good rental agency such as Belvoir Dunstable can quickly find suitable tenants, carry out reference checks and move them in. This saves you time – leaving you to do what you do best elsewhere.
As a landlord there are certain legal requirements which must be met. These requirements are often changing and you need to make sure you adhere to them. As Belvoir Dunstable are part of the Belvoir group with a legal team in our head office we continuously ensure that we are fully aware of any and all changes in the law – and make sure that your property always adheres to them. Falling foul of ever changing legislation can result in large fines for landlords.
How much do you value your time? By managing your own property you’ll likely spend many evenings and weekends on viewings and carrying out maintenance work. If you don’t have much spare time, let the agency do it for you. This is what we do – this is what we are the best at – and you can rest easy, knowing that everything is being taken care of.
Peace of mind
A letting agent gives you peace of mind. It’s your way of growing your property portfolio with confidence. Once you have your first property – you may find that it is so simple going through a good Letting Agent that you are in a position to increase the number of properties. You don’t have to worry about your property because it’s all being managed by the professionals. If that’s something you want to benefit from; contact us today.
Finally, an agency is often regulated to hold deposits and provide protection come the end of the tenancy. This ensures that the Landlord is not hit with terrible repair bills caused by the tenant, but also to ensure the landlord does not unfairly deduct dilapidations.
This week, Government announced that it intends to make Client Money Protection (CMP) mandatory for all letting agents. SAFEagent has campaigned for the last six years for this decision, which will protect consumers by ensuring all agents holding rent money and deposits must protect it in a CMP Scheme.
Belvoir Dunstable a professional letting agent with CMP already in place, is delighted at the decision, but is reminding consumers that mandatory CMP is not yet law, and their finances are at risk if their chosen agent does not have client money protection.
The market is huge, with an estimated £2.7 billion held by letting agents in client accounts, but unfortunately there are still too many cases of criminal letting agents stealing landlord and tenant cash. This is why it is crucial that consumers check their agent is part of an agent regulatory organisation which already provides CMP.
This is wonderful news that the Government will finally make CMP mandatory, but it isn’t in place yet. That means both landlords and tenants are still at risk of losing money. It is so important that consumers understand that they need to choose their agent wisely by asking if they are part of a CMP scheme before entering into a contract with them.
This is another change in lettings that all landlords should take on board before choosing their letting agent. Those currently with an agent should consider how this will impact on their agent along with the banning of fees that agents can charge tenants which can account for up to 25% of their lettings income. It is quite likely that some Estate Agents will stop lettings altogether and some letting agents could decide to close.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice