Tag Archives: Rent

Tenants prepared to pay more for energy efficient homes Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

Tenants are willing to pay a 13% premium for an energy efficient home as low carbon homes with sustainable features become more important than the size of the property, research reveals.

Legal & General Capital say their findings will help landlords, local authorities, developers and registered providers wanting to invest in environmentally friendly properties.

The firm adds that homebuyers are willing to pay a 10.5% premium for a low carbon property, with Generation Z future buyers willing to pay 20%.

Helping to boost interest in eco homes

The insurance firm points to energy price chaos over the past year and the UK’s continued reliance on fossil fuels for helping to boost interest in eco homes.

And with the government’s energy price cap expected to be lifted for all but the poorest households next April, all households will see their energy bills continuing to rise.

These prices are projected to account for 11% of household income – which would be a historic high.

This means that both tenants and house buyers are prepared to pay a premium for energy efficient, sustainable housing.

One in three people ‘clearly’ understand Energy Performance Certificates

However, the research also reveals that despite growing consumer appetite for eco homes, just one in three people ‘clearly’ understand Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for determining energy efficiency.

This highlights, Legal & General says, that more clarity is needed about what makes a home energy efficient to help boost interest.

John Alker, the firm’s head of sustainability, said: “Climate change and energy efficiency have risen right up the agenda for many people when choosing a home.

“With buyers and renters prepared to pay a 10.5% and 13% premium respectively, energy efficiency and sustainability in homes make a material difference to the consumer.”

‘Research also shows that clarity is key’

He added: “The research also shows that clarity is key when it comes to low carbon and energy efficiency.

“Energy Performance Certificates are not well understood — they need reforming to better reflect real world energy consumption and to help incentivise the adoption of low-carbon technology.”

Simon Century, the director of housing at Legal & General Capital, said: “Approximately one-fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions come from homes.

“Legal & General’s research shows that location, good insulation and lower energy bills are the top three general criteria when selecting a property.

“For the first time, energy efficiency is now as important as the size of the property, a welcome change to the way consumers think about buying a home.”

Shelter staff announce strike – workers ‘unable to pay rent’ Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

More than 500 workers at the housing charity Shelter will stage a two week strike next month, in response to the organisation’s management attempt to impose a real terms pay cut on its staff.

Unite the Union believes that Shelter can make a fair pay offer and points to its reserves last year of £14.5 million, substantially higher than its target reserves of £8.9 million.

And a regional union officer has called Shelter’s management ‘arrogant and high-handed’.

One member of Shelter’s staff said: “The work we undertake, particularly in frontline services, is so valuable and clients depend on our teams.

‘Experiencing housing insecurity as a result of being unable to pay rent’

“At the very base level, absolute bare minimum, those working for a housing charity shouldn’t be experiencing housing insecurity as a result of being unable to pay rent.”

The staff, who are based across the UK, returned an 85% vote in favour of industrial action and will begin strike action on Monday 5 December, with the strike ending on Sunday 18 December.

Management at Shelter has sought to impose a 3% pay increase on staff, which the union says is a real terms pay cut with the inflation rate currently at 12.6%.

The union says that Shelter’s management has refused to negotiate and has instead begun to impose one-off payments – believed to be £1,500.

These payments will leave pay rates at low levels, the union warns, and fail to consider rampant inflation.

‘Management refused to listen and understand their financial plight’

Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Shelter’s workers are absolutely dedicated to the organisation but they have been forced to take strike action as management refused to listen and understand their financial plight.

“Rather than sit on ever-expanding reserves, Shelter should be paying its workers a fair pay rise.

“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and always prioritises the jobs, pay and conditions of its members, the workers at Shelter will receive the union’s unstinting support.”

Unite regional officer, Peter Storey, said: “Strike action will inevitably cause substantial disruption to the services that Shelter provides.

‘Created this dispute through the arrogant and high-handed manner’

“However, the organisation has created this dispute through the arrogant and high-handed manner in which it has treated its loyal workers.”

Tim Gutteridge, director of finance and strategy enablement at Shelter, told Third Sector: “Industrial action is not the outcome we wanted, but we fully respect people’s right to strike.

“Regrettably, the cost-of-living crisis is impacting both our colleagues and operational costs, and we are doing what we can to navigate these challenging economic times.

“This year, we gave all staff a 3% consolidated pay increase, as well as a one-off payment of £1,500. As a result, non-management staff are receiving an increase this year of between 8% and 12.3%.”

Council tax bills equate to 37.5% of a tenant’s rent Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

With rumours that the Government might be about to increase council tax bills in its Autumn Statement comes news that hard-up tenants are already paying council tax equivalent to 37.5% of their rent.

Ocasa, the specialist rental platform, says that the cost of the average council tax bill in England is equivalent to 17.7% of a tenant’s rent bill.

But for the hardest-hit renters, this rises to 37.5%.

The firm also highlights that rising inflation and interest rates, along with living costs mean that tenants are bracing themselves for hard times ahead – just as many landlords look to increase rents to cover rising mortgage rates.

Renters are responsible for paying the council tax bill

Most renters are also responsible for paying the council tax bill on their rented property and in England, the average council tax bill is £164 per month.

With average rent at £926 per month, this means council tax costs the equivalent of 17.7% of the rent.

Looking at the regions, Ocasa says that council tax is hitting tenants in the North East the hardest.

The average council tax bill in that region is £175 per month, equivalent to 30.3% of the average regional rent bill which currently stands at £577.

For renters in the North West, average council tax bills of £171 per month equate to 25.3% of rent, and the same is true in the East Midlands where council tax costs £172 per month.

Council tax as a percentage of rent

Council tax as a percentage of rent is also higher than the national average in Yorkshire and Humber (25.1%), the West Midlands (22.6%), and South West (19%), while renters in the East of England (17.5%), South East (16.3%), and London (8.7%) are paying less than the national average.

When analysing the nation at local authority level, it is revealed that the tenants whose council tax bills equate to the largest percentage of rent are those in Hartlepool, County Durham.

Here, the average monthly council tax bill is £183 which is equivalent to 37.5% of the local average rent bill of £488.

It’s the same situation for tenants in Burnley, Lancashire, where an average council tax bill of £179 is also equivalent to 37.5% of rent (£479).

Tenants in Middlesbrough are handing over the equivalent of 37.3% of rent, while renters in Pendle (36%), Hyndburn (35.5%), County Durham (35.1%), North East Lincolnshire (34.9%), and Redcar & Cleveland (34.7%) are also dealing with expensive council tax.

London tenants are enjoying the lowest proportion

At the other end of the scale, London tenants are enjoying the lowest proportion of council tax versus rent.

Renters in the City of Westminster are paying an average monthly council tax bill of just £72 which is equivalent to 3.1% of the average monthly rent price of £2,359.

In Wandsworth, council tax of £73 per month equates to just 3.7% of rent, while tenants in Kensington and Chelsea (4.2%), the City of London (4.8%), Hammersmith and Fulham (5%), Camden (7.5%), Southwark (7.5%), and Tower Hamlets (7.6%) are paying well below the average for council tax as a proportion of rent.

‘Tenants who can afford to pay the highest rent’

Jack Godby, the sales and marketing director at Ocasa, said: “This research makes it glaringly obvious that those tenants who can afford to pay the highest rent are being gifted with below average council tax bills, while those who live in the most affordable locations are being saddled with the most expensive tax.

“Is it fair that the wealthiest people are paying the least council tax, while the hardest-up are paying the most?

“It certainly doesn’t seem so, but the government will argue that public services in the wealthiest areas are under much less strain – and therefore require less money to operate – than in those places where the population relies more heavily on government-funded assistance.”

He added: “The result is a vicious cycle in which those with the least advantage become even more disadvantaged.

“As the current cost of living crisis becomes more entrenched, more people are going to have to turn to public services for help.

“And this comes at a time when the government is already expected to increase council tax rates.”

Good feedback for Landlords from Tenants reported by NLA Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

The majority of tenants say their rent provides good value for money, according to the National Landlords Association’s NLA latest research findings*.

More than seven in 10 tenants (73 per cent) rated their rent as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ when asked their opinion on whether it represented value for money. One in five (20 per cent) perceived their rent as ‘poor’ value, while just three per cent rated it as ‘very poor’.

The findings also show that the majority of landlords haven’t increased rents in the last 12 months, with three quarters of tenants reporting they’re paying the same rent (72 per cent) or a lesser amount (3 per cent) compared with a year ago.

In total, 85 per cent of tenants said they were happy with the length of their most recent tenancy agreement and four in five (79 per cent) said that their tenancy was either renewed or continued on to a rolling Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT) at the end of the previous fixed term period.

When it comes to the end of the tenancy, fewer than two per cent of tenants said their landlord ended their last tenancy (1 per cent) or felt they were forced to move out because of increases to their rent (0.6 per cent). Three per cent of tenants said they decided to move on or end their last tenancy of their own accord.

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA, said: “It’s pleasing to see that so many tenants perceive their rent as good value because landlords face a lot of unjustified criticism for the rising costs of living.

“The NLA has long argued that rent levels in the UK are a consequence of a market economy, with the determining factor at present being a chronic undersupply of affordable housing, compounded by lethargic efforts on the part of Government to foster more construction.

“On the whole the findings are encouraging for tenants: they demonstrate that rents on private lets over the past year have remained fairly stable and show that, in reality, very few feel pressured to move out or actually have their tenancy terminated by their landlord – a common misconception.

“However, most important of all the findings suggest that the majority of landlords are in the business of providing good quality, affordable homes and are making sustainable tenancies a mainstay of most tenants’ rental experience”.

*NLA Tenant Panel research, October 2013 – 550 online respondents.feedback

Paying rent late will hit credit score Latest Articles

Of interest, I think, to fellow landlords; Experian expects to include 600,000 rental records by year-end of tenants who pay late, starting with social housing and expanding to all private rentals. Lenders will have access to the information next year. Paying rent late will hit credit score

Tenants who get a black mark will could ruin their chances of securing a mortgage, credit card or being accepted by their next landlord. Missed payments will damage a credit score, regular payments will improve it ……

Rental arrears down, say LSL Buy to Let News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Market News

House made from money

LSL have found the maket is still very favourable for landlord

Rental arrears decreased for the second month in a row, according to LSL Property Services latest buy to let index. The figure now stands at £257million, down 18% on May’s figure of £315m.

This was a result of 9.3% of rent being paid late or missed in June instead of the 11.5% recorded the month before.

David Newnes, LSL’s estate agency managing director had expected the change but there was more to it than tenants being better off. He also offered a warning for future months. Continue reading Rental arrears down, say LSL

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