Weekly landlord news digest: Issue 33

This week’s news roundup, brought to you by Hamilton Fraser Total Landlord Insurance, features the latest updates from the private rented sector.

This week, two of the biggest landlord associations have announced that they will be joining forces, with parliament suspended we investigate what this means for landlords, take a look at the falling number of property auctions and examine the shift in landlord confidence in the buy to let market.

In addition, we provide further details of a recent roundtable into improving awareness and disability accessibility in the private rented sector and how a city council has used thermal imaging to catch rogue landlords.

 

Landlord associations RLA and NLA to merge

The Residential Landlord Association (RLA) and the National Landlords Association (NLA) are joining forces to form the new NRLA. The combined membership of both organisations makes it the largest organisation in the sector, with membership of over 80,000 landlords. The NRLA will own and manage around 10 per cent of the private rented sector.

The organisation will operate with a regional structure and serve landlords throughout England and Wales.

The combined efforts of both bodies will help to increase support and guidance for landlords in a time of change for the sector, and have released a statement announcing the merger under the title ‘Landlords Stronger Together’.

In a joint statement the two chairs, Alan Ward (RLA) and Adrian Jeakings (NLA) commented;

“After more than 20 years of friendly competition the time is right to create a single organisation to represent and campaign for landlords.

“With so much of our work done in parallel there are major benefits to be gained for our landlord members.

“We will be stronger together when presenting a unified voice to government both nationally and locally about the importance of supporting the majority of landlords who do a good job providing the homes to rent the country needs.”

Hamilton Fraser CEO, Eddie Hooker, said:

“We at Hamilton Fraser Group very much welcome this announcement from these two hugely respected bodies. Having worked with the NLA for twenty years including a successful collaboration on mydeposits and also having developed a strong relationship with the RLA, I know the value of working together and the need for joined up thinking. The rental sector and individual landlords face huge challenges but also opportunities in the near future and this new organisation will be in a great position to ensure a healthy and successful sector.”

The new association will be launched on 1 January 2020. Read more about the new association.

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What does prorogation mean for landlords?

This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he will be suspending parliament. Prorogation, as it is also known, is time parliament spends in recess. Johnson points out that at this time of year, MPs are already away from Westminster for party conferences and his suspension only adds a few days to this time.

Ministers and MPs retain their seats – prorogation does not mean an election – while civil servants keep the government ticking over.

Any laws progressing through parliament are dropped, but can be reintroduced in the next sitting.

The Prime Minister envisages the suspension will last until 14 October. So, what does this mean for landlords?

The tenant fee ban in Wales is unaffected by this and will still take effect as announced from 1 September.

Any consultations remain open for comment, including modernisation of the rental sector, which includes proposals to repeal Section 21 no fault evictions.

Property auctions take a hammering

The number of property auctions across the country hit a record low for July with just 107 auctions open for business.

That was 21 fewer than July 2018 and 72 fewer than the previous low of 189 auctions hit in 2008 and 2011, according to market monitor Essential Information Group (EIG).

The number of residential and commercial lots offered and sold were both down 7 per cent, while the value of sales plunged by £27 million (6 per cent) to £445 million.

In July, 2,699 homes were offered at auction, down 4 per cent from 2,812 last year.

Lots sold were also down to 1,934 from 2,050 (-5.7 per cent) with 72 per cent sold, just 1 per cent down on last year. Homes going under the hammer raised £290 million, down from £308 million last July (-5.9 per cent).

The average auction price of a home in July was £150,103 compared with the average UK house price of £230,292.

“One positive to take from the results is that the sale rate has remained broadly steady in the low-to-mid seventies throughout the past year, demonstrating that competitively priced properties continue to attract buyers.”

– EIG’s David Sandeman