Welcome to our Autumn Newsletter 2022

The Landlord Broadband team hopes you enjoy our autumn newsletter, 2022 edition! Read on to find out more about recent industry news and customer markets. If you would like to read our previous newsletter from the last quarter, click here.

NRLA Landlord Conference

We are delighted to announce we will be attending the Landlord Conference on the 15th November 2022 held at Coventry Building Society Arena! Make sure to visit us on stand 22, we look forward to seeing you there…

Conference

Industry News

Regulation

The Regulator of Social Housing have released a consultation outcome for tenant satisfaction measures. The statement includes a summary of responses, with the majority (54%) being social housing tenants in rental accommodation, that indicated responders were happy with the outline. Satisfaction measures ranged from repairs to safety checks, to landlord contributions to the neighbourhoods (Gov.UK). It will be interesting to see what areas tenants are indicating are the most and least satisfactory.

In Wales, they have released the Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan, which ‘tackles the challenges facing Welsh-speaking communities with a high concentration of second homes. Topics include social enterprises, community led housing, local housing campaigns and commission for Welsh speaking communities (Gov.Wales).

The Scottish government is currently in stage 3 of the debate over the cost of living and tenant protection. £3 billion has already been allocated to fight the cost-of-living crisis. In other news, £15 million in Scottish government funding is allocated to housing adaptations, with 113,000 affordable homes being delivered since 2007 and many more to come in the future.

Finance

Goldman has predicted that the price drop for UK commercial real estate will go from 15% to 20% by 2024 (Financial Times). This is anticipated to happen after the government’s mini-budget caused a significant increase in the cost of borrowings for landlords. Over the next 5 years cost of borrowings are set to rise by 75% which equates to more than £700 million. In addition, outside of highly sought-after industries like warehouses, a worsening economic outlook will limit landlords’ ability to pass on inflation in the form of higher rents. This prediction adds to the banks warning that a devastating price drop is coming for UK commercial real estate (BloombergUK).

As of recent, landlords and letting agents are considering taking legal action to determine the legality of Scotland’s rent freeze (Insider). The legislation, that the Scottish government brought in, caps rent rises until 31st March 2023 and is for private and social tenants. To determine if the ban violates their rights, associations like the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), Propertymark, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) and Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) that represent landlords and letting agents have sought legal advice from a lawyer (BBC). John Blackwood, SAL chief executive, stated “seeking a legal opinion has been our last resort because our concerns are not being listened to by the Scottish government” he then goes onto say “the emergency legislation is high-minded in spirit but lacking in the kind of detail landlords need assurance about.” The government is shown to not be appreciating the confusion and stress this has created. Additionally, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, Ben Beadle, made a statement about this situation saying this decision was “far from making things better” and instead is going to mean they’ll be “less choice for tenants, making it more difficult for them to access the housing they need” (BBC).

Technology

In line the UK’s carbon neutral goals, the housing sector is turning to technology to do their part. Specifically, smart meters can help to track energy consumption so that inefficient areas can be optimised. Furthermore, heat pumps and solar power are two popular alternatives to fossil fuels for new builds and retro-fits (Housing Technology).

A great example of how technology has helped to revolutionise the housing sector is the Charter Street project, by Building for Humanity, in Lancashire. £6 million is being invested to build 46 eco homes for low-income families and veterans. The homes will be printed using 3D Construction Printing, with the end goals being to expand across the UK and Ireland. These homes will be net zero carbon and affordable for vulnerable people. This project is extremely exciting and could revolutionise the way the industry functions in the future (The Business Desk).

 

Customer Markets

Landlords

An announcement made by a Labour MP about landlords was perceived as demonising landlords and drew harsh criticism. Rachael Maskell suggested landlords are now ‘cherry picking’ least risky tenants after a commitment to present a new renters’ charter. Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), criticised Labours announcement expressing how it is making all landlords come across in a negative way. Additionally, an NRLA spokesman goes into detail to LandlordZone about how “every tenant should be treated on a case-by-case basis… facing a cost-of-living squeeze, the government needs to do much more to help vulnerable tenants to pay their rent in full and on time.” It is shown that the government need to change a lot within looking after their tenants before criticising landlords, specifically about being selective with who they choose to occupy their properties. Such as “unfreezing housing benefit rates and developing pro-growth tax plans to boost the supply of rental properties which remains the biggest factor determining rents” (LandlordZone).

Calls have been made for the Chancellor to adopt a cost-of-living plan for the private rent sector (PRS). As private rents are rising at a slower rate than inflation, the NRLA has issued a warning that in combination with rising food, energy, and other bills it will make it increasingly challenging for many tenants to pay their rent. As a result of this landlords are now struggling and have been found that due to the impact of rising interest rates on mortgages, landlords are making a loss on their properties. Beadle comments on this by explaining both landlords and tenants “need a package that supports both preventing rent arrears and sustaining tenancies.” With action from the Chancellor this package would have an “immediate and positive on the PRS” (Property Reporter).

Build to Rent

This quarter, Quintain have been very busy in the Build-to-Rent sector! Recently, they have revealed they’re building two new Built-to-Rent residential buildings located at Wembley Park partnered with J.P. Morgan (Quintain). The £277m deal is delivering 769 homes, 74% of which are Build-to-Rent, and is expected to finish by early 2025 and is notably Quintains largest development loan ever. Additionally, they’ve also collaborated with John Sisk & Son on this project, who have previously been in collaboration for over 18 years and now come together in a £227m deal! The residential development and completion of a new 7-acre park represent the largest construction contract at Wembley Park to date (BTRNews).

Some exciting news for the build-to-rent sector in the North West of England! A new build-to-rent company has been launched by the Manchester-based property business ‘Peel L&P’ called ‘Letta’! The new company will offer properties to be let and managed by a Liverpool-based property agency. Initially they will start with 100 new family homes and have ambitions to deliver up to 1,000 homes over the next five years (UKDaily). This will help benefit the North West by bringing new energy-efficient family homes into various areas, specifically two in Bolton and one in Ellesmere Port (BTRNews). The homes will be available to rent as soon as November 2022! Phil Wilson, Peel L&P’s executive director for land, communities and homebuilding, and chief executive of Northstone, said “the build-to-rent market has grown enormously, predominantly with successful city centre apartment schemes”, so they saw an opportunity to instead “offer high quality and well managed rental accommodation in suburban neighbourhoods that suit their lifestyle changes and more agile working patterns”. Wilson goes on to explain these “homes are ideal for people wanting to move out of the city centre with the flexibility of renting at more affordable prices rather than buying” (The Business Desk).

PBSA

The PBSA market is constantly changing especially after the pandemic due to the rising demand for this type of accommodation. Universities don’t have sufficient stock of university-owned or nominated accommodation meaning they are unable to offer them housing in their own cities which inevitably impacting the students’ experience, wellbeing by housing the students far away (jdsupra). Take York, for instance, students at University of York were placed in accommodation in Hull due to accommodation shortages. This forced them to have to take an hour’s coach journey each day in order to attend lectures, seminars and extracurricular activities.

As of recent, Regal London plans have been discussed for a 349-bed student accommodation in Wembley, north London called The Society! This project is in attempt to bring more affordable housing to more domestic, rather than international students, estimating 240,000 students in London. Regal says they are ‘looking to create one of the best-in-class and sustainable student buildings in the capital.’ As well as aiming for an ‘Excellent’ rating from BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and a WELL Platinum certificate (PropertyWeek). This scheme is going to prove to be very useful to not only students but will help environmentally and grow the market sustainably as well.

Serviced Accommodation

The housing crisis plaguing the nation is still ongoing. With second homes playing a major role in further housing shortages. An example of this is the housing association, LiveWest, having seen an abundance of applicants per rental due to second homes being converted into holiday lets (Inside Housing).

The Scottish government released reports on second homeowners, indicating that in Great Britain there are 850,000 households that own their own home and a second home in the UK with a possibility of further homes in or outside of the UK (Gov.Scot). Just a month later, the Scottish government stated they are implementing measures to ensure long-term residential housing in Edinburgh, becoming Scotland’s first ‘Short Term Let Control Area’ (Gov.Scot). We will be waiting eagerly to see the results of this measure.

Furthermore, Scotland, aiming to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, is considering allowing councils to double council tax rates for second homeowners (Scotsman). Similarly, Wales are considering raising council tax to discourage second home ownership. Alternatively, in Cornwall, a Donate the Rebate campaign urges second homeowners to donate £400 to be used to help vulnerable people deal with rising energy costs (ITV). With all these changes being made, it will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit and implement their own measures and campaigns to help the vulnerable amidst these difficult times.

Social Housing

England is continuing the fight to end rough sleeping, planning to develop more supported living accommodation. An apparent £2 billion in funding will be allocated over a three-year period. (ITV). However, well-intentioned schemes such as these may find themselves being derailed due to the cost-of-living crisis which saw housing association LiveWest’s plan to build 1000+ affordable homes fall short due to inflation and labour shortages (Housing Today). A rent cap is being considered, which would protect social housing tenants from the cost-of-living crisis. A proposed 3%, 5% and 7% rent increase cap are being explored (Gov.UK).

Over in Wales, £65 million has been allocated to ensure everyone has a home by building 1000 homes in the next year and a half (Gov.Wales). Whether or not this will be enough to help alleviate the burden of the housing crisis in Wales is yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon is urged to help tackle the housing crisis in Scotland amidst the cost-of-living crisis by Shelter Scotland (STV). There are reportedly a record-breaking number of children currently living in temporary accommodation in Scotland, with the number currently sitting at a shocking 8,000+ (Shelter Scotland).

New Wi-Fi Survey

  • We want to find out your experiences with Wi-Fi, including:How many times have you been contacted about having bad Wi-Fi?
  • How often do you use Wi-Fi?
  • How often do you notice your internet connection being slow?
  • And much more...

Click here to fill it out!

Our YouTube Channel!

Regularly posting case study videos, CEO Andy Simpson and industry expert interviews, and educational videos based on frequently asked questions about the services we offer— what’s not to love?

Click here to find out more!

Take a look at our most recent case studies below!

9 Bed Student Rental

This is how we tackled providing a seamless Wi-Fi service for a 9-bedroom student rental across 2 floors.

Due to the tenants working from home, video-calling, streaming and online gaming it was critical to have a secure, roaming Wi-Fi network that could reach throughout the entire property, which was no problem for Landlord Broadband!

34 Bed Built to Rent

This video explores how we installed our bespoke broadband solutions for this huge 34 bed build to rent property.

This property spanned over two floors and two buildings on the same plot, therefore, the Wi-Fi layout was critical to providing a seamless solution, of course nothing Landlord Broadband couldn’t handle.

We hope you enjoyed the 2022 Autumn Newsletter, hope to see you again reading our next edition…

If you would like to know how Landlord Broadband can help you email us at customer.services@landlordbroadband.com, call 0333 577 0600 or fill out our free assessment form.