Greetings humans of Landlord Broadband,
Thank-you for subscribing to our quarterly newsletter that keeps you updated on what we have been getting up to, and what has been moving and shaking in our industry. We hope you find it informative and a useful check in. We look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Whats going on in our Industry?
During the last quarter we have seen several significant changes in data laws (GDPR), Wi-Fi technology and the financial sector.
Legal: GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation) came into play on the 25th of May. The GDPR will replace all the existing data protection laws across Europe and shape the way in which companies handle, protect and profit from data. It will give citizens and residents back control of their personal data and simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
What does it mean for me? As a consumer you have a huge amount of power to hold company’s to account and eventually your data will be only used in the ways you have agreed to. GDPR is a great way to clear out your inbox or resubscribe to email lists that you really care about.
What does it mean for my business or me as a Landlord? Any business, big or small, will have to comply with new regulations regarding the secure collection, storage and use of personal information. What’s more, violations will be met with fines. This affects Landlords and Letting Agents and how they manage tenant information.
What happens after Brexit? The regulation will shortly be part of UK law, thanks to the data protection bill that has been working its way through parliament since September 2017, and the government has committed to maintaining it following Brexit.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming more relevant than ever. This can be seen across the sector from Apple’s new smartwatch app that can monitor for Parkinson’s disease to the explosion of cryptocurrency and bitcoin, digital currencies that rely on the internet. The internet is becoming more integrated into every aspect of the world around us. Our business is growing in the same direction, integrating this forward thinking into our service. At a base level we provide the foundation of a super-fast unlimited 24/7 managed Wi-Fi service that is required for these IoT elements. This will serve as a fantastic platform for smart property solutions which will be a big focus for Landlord Broadband over the coming years.
Interest rates remain at 0.5%, however there has been calls this week from Bank of England Policy makers to increase them in order to to keep inflation down.
On the letting agent fee front It has been 18 months since the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced there would be a ban on letting agent fees for renters in his 2016 Autumn Statement. The Government currently expects the ban to come into force in 2019, with Letting Agents predicted to react with increasing rent to cover costs.
Mandatory licencing for HMO’s initially happened in 2004, however the government have announced an extension that is expected to come into play in October. The extension will now include properties that have five people or more regardless of stories (this was previously 3 stories and above).
What are we working on?
Recently we have been gaining growth in the rapidly expanding serviced accommodation sector. We have been working with serviced apartment partners Portico alongside our ASAP (The Association of Serviced Apartment) members and other serviced accommodation clients. We are seeing huge growth in this sector which is reflected in ASAP’s statement earlier this year that confirmed the strong growth of the sector is on track to continue this year with over 2,000 new units set to open during 2018, representing a + 9% increase on current stock.
Build to rent:
We have recently seen a very exciting development in the construction industry in the form of Graphene concrete. It has shown its potential to lead the way for smart building materials which will shape the future of construction. Graphene is made from transparent sheets of honeycomb patterned carbon, it is the strongest, lightest, best-heat and electrically conducting material that’s ever been discovered. In addition it is four times more resistant and twice as strong as existing concrete. Researchers are talking about the ways that this new concrete could be scaled up to meet the needs of modern production at a distinctively low cost.
On an employment basis employers and the construction unions have agreed a two year pay deal which will see minimum rates rise by more than 6%. The agreement covers more than 400,000 construction workers and will see pay rates rise 3.2% in year one and 2.9% in year two. The new Construction Industry Joint Council Working Rule Agreement comes into effect from June 25.
Brexit has attracted investors far and wide who wish to capitalise on Britain’s weakened pound. There remains some unforeseen consequences of the process, such as a potential loss of EU funding for universities. However, it is likely that the UK property market will be able to withstand any of these potential issues. The UK’s student accommodation sector has continued to experience significant growth this year. In the first quarter alone, investment in the sector totalled £975 million. A sum that followed on from the end of a strong 2017. According to an article by the Property Forum the best university town to invest in, in terms of rental yields, is currently Nottingham.
Having had discussions with large housing associations such as G15, we are increasingly seeing the need for Wi-Fi in sheltered accommodation. Digital inclusion is necessary to bring opportunities such as online education platforms, and online banking. Wi-Fi is being used to remotely control heating CCTV and other monitoring systems. These can help save money and increase efficiency in properties.
Meet the team?
Meet Managing Director Andy. Our Broadband and Wi-Fi Boss/ management officionado: Here’s what he get’s up to when he’s not running Landlord Broadband. ‘I am a father to a 3 ½ year old daughter and a 4-month old baby boy. Most of my spare time is spent with my family with the occasional night/day out with my friends. I like most sports and was a semi-professional footballer in my younger days. Now I mainly watch sport but do try and keep fit by cycling, swimming and going to the gym. I take a big interest in how the housing market and technology is changing and love reading about management and business systems in general. Away from Landlord Broadband I am a professional landlord/investor who really enjoys development projects and refurbishing properties. Prior to setting up Landlord Broadband I spent my working career in corporate business. I worked in the rail, energy and telecommunication sectors’.
That’s it from us, we hope you enjoyed our newsletter,
(The champions of Wi-Fi friendly accommodation)
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