Private Rented Sector Report 360 degrees - Including discussions with ARLA, RLA and the RICS

publication date: Feb 9, 2015
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

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What's happening in the private rental sector?

I had an amazing week last week.

Property, Politics and Economics
Tuesday I spent with some fantastic investors in London at the Propertymeetup to chat about how politics can make or break your property investment. Of course this is especially important with the election coming up.

Who is going to harm or help your property investment ambitions? 
See our new ‘how to analyse a property for Buy to Let investment’ checklist

Read the presentation

Investing in Kent
Thursday was an equally great day in Ashford, Kent chatting to a super group of investors and meeting and doing some filming for Fergus and Judith Wilson, two of the biggest landlords in the country.

Read the presentation which is on whether Ashford, Kent is a good place to invest and how to maximise your investment in this area, there are some fascinating stats, all free of charge!

Private Rented Sector 360 Degrees
And I didn’t stop there, I had an amazing event on Wednesday at One Birdcage Walk near the Houses of Parliament and Westminster. Never thought I’d be doing this!

The event was to launch my new report about the PRS, but instead of looking at the market from just one sectors perspective, looking at the market from a:-

  • Landlord’s perspective
  • Letting agent’s side
  • Tenant’s view

The report looks at the issues in the market – what works and what doesn’t and makes the following ten recommendations to improve the PRS.

See me chatting about the report and comments from Peter Bolton King, Global Director for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, David Cox MD of ARLA and Alan Ward, Chairman of the Residents Landlord Association.

Peter King global director of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors discusses Kate's report

Alan Ward chairman of the Residents Landlord Association discusses Kate's report 

David Cox managing director of  the Association of Residential Letting Agents discusses Kate's report

Here’s the suggestions of 10 ways we can improve the PRS, none of them are rocket science and not too difficult to secure change either.

To support excellence:-

  1. Fifteen clear, easy to understand checks, that a rental property is legally let, especially regarding electrical checks.

  2. Compulsory client money protection for all letting and managing agents.

  3. A taxation system where rented properties are treated as businesses, encouraging landlords to invest.

  4. A rental market free from controls

To drive enforcement:-

  1. A tick box on council tax forms to say a property is rented.

  2. All landlords and letting agents must adhere to the same standard within the self-regulated sector, e.g. place the PRS code on the statute books and ensure all letting agents sign up to the Landlord Rental Standard.

  3. Existing and new regulations to be enforced with a realistic budget, e.g. penalty notices for tenant/landlord offences, proceeds to be kept by the local authority and re-invested in further enforcement and education

Make sure tenants and landlords are well educated

  1. Cross government, industry and organisations agree to educate tenants and landlords from one source.

  2. Ensure the ‘how to rent’ guide is included in the national and higher education curriculum under Pfeg and NUS.

  3. Mandatory CPD training for all involved in the PRS (e.g. lenders, insurers, landlords, letting agents, charities, housing associations) on property conditions and maintenance, e.g. working with organisations such as Peter Cox and CFOA.

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