Welcome to our Autumn Newsletter 2023
Landlord Broadband welcomes you to the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter. We hope that you enjoy it. If the latest industry news, customer market updates, and new content interests you, then read on. Want more? You can check out our previous newsletter here.
The Landlord Conference 2023!
We’re delighted to announce we’ll be exhibiting at the Landlord Conference on the 24th of October 2023 at the National Conference Centre Birmingham! The event is now sold out. We look forward to seeing you there…
The Renters (Reform) Bill will deliver on the government’s commitment to “bring in a better deal for renters”, including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds. It will legislate for reforms set out in the private rented sector white paper published in June 2022. This will make it illegal for landlords and agents to refuse to rent properties to people who receive benefits or have children. The Reform Bill means the creation of a national landlord register through the new property portal which will give renters all the information they need to make an informed choice before entering into a tenancy agreement. A landlord register means that people can enter into a tenancy agreement knowing who they will be paying rent to and who they’re trusting to follow the law.
There are particular concerns for the student market where no eviction actually takes place. A one-size-fits-all approach will have a negative impact on the student market and Landlord Broadband CEO Andy Simpson has been leading lobbying activity relating to this through his role as the Chair of York Residential Landlords Association (York RLA).
York RLA instructed landlord regulation specialist David Smith to support with an impact assessment and briefing paper in preparation for a second reading of the bill. It was viewed that York is a good case study example due to the scale of the student population relative to the size of the place and its intrinsic influence on York’s culture and local economy as students form around 10% of the population. However, the key messages are applicable to any student area of the country and the paper has been positioned to represent the whole private rented sector.
The briefing paper has been sent to all MPs with an interest in housing including Michael Gove. It has also been sent to:
• The senior leadership and in particular housing departments at the University of York and York St John University.
• Senior figures and the policy team at the NRLA.
• All other local landlord associations in England and Wales including EMPO, Leeds Property Association, and iHowz.
• Unipol. They are influential when it comes to student housing standards and are supportive of our points.
• Social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, and all the key property investment communities on Facebook.
• Online landlord media platforms such as Property 118 LandlrodZone and Property Tribes.
Please see the briefing (link below). At this stage, it is unclear when it will reach the second reading but the work that has been done so far presents a good platform for future communications and possible meetings. The hope is that at some point a sensible solution will be reached as in its present form it won’t work.
According to Savills landlords are making their lowest profits for 16 years as interest rates rise. This is due to the Bank of England continuing to increase its base rate and mortgage costs rising. The number of homes available to rent is also decreasing as landlords near retirement age and sell up. Larger landlords could be the most likely to stay in the sector. Savills research suggests 1.9 million properties are owned by 620,000 landlords aged over 65, with a further 1.9 million owned by landlords aged between 55 and 64. With fewer homes available renting becomes more expensive. Interest rates have been rising since December 2021, and in recent days expectations of further increases have been heightened. This has led to government borrowing costs which directly impact mortgage rates rising to their highest rate since last year’s mini-budget. Mortgage rates are expected to continue rising leaving landlords particularly exposed. Total mortgage borrowing stood at £58.8bn, down 23.6% in a year. The Bank also recorded a rise in people falling behind on mortgage repayments. Mortgage rates have climbed for borrowers looking for a new deal, with a typical two-year fixed-rate deal now at a rate of 5.9%. The average rate on a five-year fixed-rate mortgage is 5.55%.
Here are three ways landlords can use technology in the management of their buy to let portfolios. By using these systems you can increase efficiency and improve profit margins.
Firstly, the new version of Landlord vision v2 provides an all-in-one tenant and property management tool. Highlights of this system include the ability to upload expenses, sign documents electronically, set up a live feed with your bank account. It even helps track the Right to Rent status of each tenant, and set up notifications when the Right to Rent is due to expire. The Basic package is £19.97 a month and the Standard is £29.97 pcm. A drawback is the time it takes to upload all of the documents, set expiry dates, and customize the settings.
Secondly, Lendlord is a portfolio management platform that enables landlords to save their property documents on the platform. It is well known for its excellent free BTL Deal Analyser, which calculates the key metrics of a buy to let purchase and its Flip Analyser. The core functionality is free and the app is particularly well-designed and easy to use. The Premium version is only £99 a year. However it can be seen as a half-way house towards the full property and tenant management system that Landlord Vision offers.
Finally, Trello and Asana are online project management platforms that enable members to exchange information, set up processes and tasks as well as track progress. Landlords can set one up for each property and file safety certification, keep details of trades people, template emails and messages, store checklists and tenancy documentation all in one place. It’s possible to use the list, board and calendar functions on Asana free of charge. However, the calendar view is not free in Trello. The Premium Plan for Asana is £9.49 pcm and Trello is $10 pcm. Of course Asana and Trello are only as good as the quality of the information being continually uploaded and updated.
A survey conducted by Preply found that Manchester scored a nearly perfect relocation score of 9.4 out of 10 out of 35 of the UK’s largest cities. 8 metrics were used including internet speeds, expat’s monthly cost of living, average salaries after tax, local amenities and attractions, and safety. Manchester has one of the fastest internet speeds in the country at 57 Mbps which is great for remote workers. Second ranked was Portsmouth due to its healthy salaries and low rents for apartments. Portsmouth scores higher on the city safety index score however internet speeds in Portsmouth are just 17 Mbps. Thirdly placed was Southampton which scored well when it came to salaries and rents and has slightly faster internet than Portsmouth but safety was a concern. London occupied the 20th spot in the rankings due to the extremely high cost of living and rental prices. The city also had below average internet speeds.
Build to Rent
Bricklane is a residential property investment platform which is currently accelerating the growth of its single-family housing Build to Rent portfolio. Bricklane works by acquiring properties and modernizing them through sustainability-focused retrofit and aesthetic upgrades. This means Bricklane can cut costs through avoiding the carbon cost of demolition and destruction. Supported by institutional capital, Bricklane is active in six major markets including London, Bristol and South East and continues to grow into new areas including Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds.Bricklane offers residents three-year tenancies which include fast response times on maintenance requests, and 24-hour support available through a dedicated tenant app. 75% of Bricklane residents say that it is the best rental experience they have ever had. If current success continues then Bricklane could revolutionize the UK rental market.
The current success of PBSA is due to demand outstripping supply. However, for its continued success especially against current circumstances such as the cost-of-living crisis and immigration changes for students. Developers of PBSA should diversify their offer meaning they offer a range of accommodation within the same building from en-suite flats to shared bathroom apartments. Research by The Property Marketing Strategists found that most students didn’t want to pay more for amenities such as dining rooms, cinema rooms or even gyms. This means the removal of extras amenities could mean the consolidation of space for more beds, especially affordable if non ensuite or smaller. Currently PBSA planning permissions come with restrictive planning conditions which are limiting the use of the buildings; typically PBSA accommodates registered students at the university. To tackle this policy makers could open the market meaning part time students and apprenticeships could also live in PBSA. The UK housing crisis means that the market is being stretched with HMO’s coming out of the market. Some strategists believe that PBSA should not be a high-end product instead focus on utilizing design and technology aided with the support of policy changes.
Global Serviced Apartment Industry Report (GSAIR) 2023 revealed that serviced accommodation usage is on the rise. 53% of corporates said they are now using serviced accommodation for business travel more than they were twelve months ago. Average length of stay is also set to rise, as 89% of corporates predict this will increase or stay the same in 2023, while 87% of agents reported an increase among their clients, compared to 45% in 2022. The survey also found that important priorities for clients include location, length of stay, price, quality and guest experience. Sustainability was featured among the top priorities for corporates, but according to the report, “it remains unclear whether corporates are really prepared to pay more for a more sustainable accommodation product”. Europe remains the epicentre of serviced apartment demand, with global growth concentrated in the established markets of London and Singapore, according to the report.
Social Housing and Private Landlords
The Prime Minister has axed landlord requirements to make expensive energy efficiency insulation upgrades much to many Landlords relief. This means proposals to force landlords or homeowners to upgrade homes to an energy performance certificate (EPC) grade C by 2035 would not be taken forward. The PM has sided with landlords over renters, as renters will find their energy bills and living costs increase. Some are confused with this decision as excess cold in homes costs the NHS £1.2 billion per year and renters are amongst those with the lowest incomes. National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) praised the dropping of plans to fine landlords who fail to meet energy efficiency targets, it criticized uncertainty over Government policy as “hugely damaging to the supply of rented properties”. Chief executive Ben Beadle said: “The NRLA wants to see all properties as energy efficient as possible. Making homes as energy efficient as possible is a win-win as it helps save our planet but also boosts our economy by creating jobs and most of all saving money.
Landlord Broadband’s Care Level Structure
To ensure the best possible service is given to customers, 3 care levels have been created to cover a larger variety of budget options!
Overall allowing landlords with properties of any size and complexity to benefit from our solutions here at Landlord Broadband.
Wi Fi Extenders VS Wi Fi Installations
Find out the difference between Wi-Fi extenders and a Wi-Fi installation
We explain why installing Wi-Fi extenders yourself isn’t a suitable solution to your problems and how investing in our Wi-Fi installations is a much better solution!
What do you really need to know about pest control if you’re a UK landlord?
This article by GoSimpleTax goes through your responsibilities as a landlord, tenants responsibilities, 6 of the common UK household pests and how to remove them.
Thank You for Reading!
We hope you enjoyed this latest edition of our quarterly newsletter. We hope to see you next season!
If you would like to know how Landlord Broadband can help you:
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