Tuesday, January 27, 2009

British Property Federation’s Annual Residential Conference

Property industry wants radical rental solution to UK housing crisis

The British Property Federation said that with repossessions almost doubling and tens of thousands facing negative equity, the creation of a professionalised, branded rental sector, where large landlords provide long term homes to rent, 'could be the answer to Britain’s woes'...The BPF is seeking changes to stamp duty when buying multiple properties and portfolios, reinstallment of the system of direct payment of local housing allowances to landlords, and it also wants rental developments to be specially recognised through the planning system...

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:17 AM (1386 views)
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12 thoughts on “British Property Federation’s Annual Residential Conference

  • Housing crisis are man made by governments imposing rules and regulations with a view to control prices. When rental and property prices will have fallen to affordable levels, there will be renters and buyers.

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  • Economicvoicedotcom says:

    …..”where large landlords provide long term homes to rent, ‘could be the answer to Britain’s woes’.”

    One wonders if this would be more likely designed to be the answer to the BTL woes. More enforced tenants, more enforced rent. Nice for some.

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  • Agreed fjcruiser.

    Also instead of helping the developers make masive profits again what about letting the market fall naturally and then the people who will actually live in the houses will have a chance.

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  • More biased towards the Landlords, when do families ever get the upper hand ?

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  • Actually I agree with this article. A professional rented sector is just what we need. Right now trying to rent a house feels like buying drugs – meeting shady people in dodgy areas, arguing about money and quality, then having to call for force when one side fails to honour their agreement.

    In most civilised countries, a block of flats is owned, managed and let by a single company. Often that company owns multiple buildings. The whole process is clearer, simpler and fairer.

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  • mountain goat says:

    Drewster I have personal examples to illustrate your point. The house 2 doors down from us has been empty for months. Yesterday a guy walked up to me on the street and asked if I had seen the owner recently. He said he had furniture and a fridge in there that belonged to him. He had been trying to contact the owner without success, and was now at the point of getting the police and courts involved. At this point he started angrily waving a letter from his solicitor.

    I have also had problems getting back my deposit from landlords. I now prefer renting through agencies and estate agents as a result.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    If in doubt go through a letting agent, whether you’re a landlord or a tenant.

    The BPF can shut up as far as I am concerned. This is all best left to the markets with a hefty kick up the behind from Land Value Tax.

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  • This is a case of killing two birds with one stone. Helping developers & agents and controlling a fast expanding rental market.

    Fine if it benefits renters in being fair,practical and efficient. Someone is always in it for business and I don’t begrudge that at all.
    There certainly is a need for strict regulation in the rental market which could be helped with tax breaks that would only be given to those landlords who can show the correct standards and book keeping.

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  • MarkW (and others),

    Let me give you an example of where the present system goes wrong but the BPF’s idea would work.

    A few years ago I lived in a new-build block of flats. Like many large blocks of flats, there was a managing company who dealt with site-wide issues like external repairs and cleaning the corridors and stairways. They also provided a 24-hour security guard. All this is paid for by the owners’ service charge.
    Things quickly started to go wrong. The managing company decided to trim their costs by cutting back security from 24 hours a day to 12 hours a day. A small number of residents met up and discussed what they could do about it. Out of 30 flats in the building, it turned out there were just four owner-occupiers – the rest were tenants. As tenants we had no direct leverage over the managing company – we had to go to our letting agent, who had to talk to the landlord, who then had to talk to the managing company. Needless to say nothing got done. The only threat we could employ was moving out, which was more hassle than it was worth.
    Over the following twelve months, the situation deteriorated further. Automatic systems – the electronic front door and the lifts – began to fail. The managing company dragged its feet over repairs, and as tenants we had no direct relationship with them and no leverage over them. Worse still, the one remaining security guard began pestering female residents.
    Later, new tenants moved in who were noisy and anti-social. There was significant damage to communal areas. Again, who does one complain to? The letting agent? The police? The management company (who I have no direct relationship with)?

    Compare my experience with the American system, where large blocks of managed rented apartments are common. The management company and the letting agent are one and the same. If anything goes wrong – problems with other tenants, communal areas, services, repairs, even just a broken boiler – one phone call and the people responsible are aware and can fix it. There’s less risk of dodgy landlords because all the companies are public and registered. The management companies themselves are structured as REITs and are owned by shareholders, so even investors get a fair deal here.

    The BPF’s ideas are very much worthy of consideration.

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  • str2007 said: More biased towards the Landlords, when do families ever get the upper hand ?

    Shut up you uppity peasant and get back in line…you won’t get a NWO council house if you keep making trouble. 🙂

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  • “The BPF is seeking changes to stamp duty when buying multiple properties and portfolios, reinstallment of the system of direct payment of local housing allowances to landlords, and it also wants rental developments to be specially recognised through the planning system, given the different financing model they use to properties built for owner-occupation.”

    Ahh, so it wants tax breaks for buy to let investors, direct control of their council tenants finances and planning laws relaxed in favour of buy to let investors.

    Trouble is for the government and local councils is that tenant’s won’t vote for their own serfdom. And they outnumber buy to let investors.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    @ Drewster, of course if it is block of flats, it is best if it is owned and managed by a single company/landlord, makes life easier for all concerned.

    The question is, why doesn’t this happen spontaneously in this country? I’d never really thought about it.

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