Well, the big news this week is that Client Money Protection (CMP) is going to be made mandatory for agents.
As I reported in my ARLA Conference post, the announcement came on Conference day which was very gratifying for the ARLA people who had negotiated for this for so long.
It is well overdue, so many landlords have suffered major financial losses that would never have happened if only the agent had carried CMP.
The smell of curry
Fergus Wilson is in the news again, having instructed his agents not to let to ‘coloured people’. Further enquiries revealed that this was because they left the property smelling of curry which also stuck to the carpets.
If you read my discrimination post earlier this week you will know that race is a ‘protected characteristic’ so it is not surprising to learn that Mr Wilson is now under investigation.
Plumbers will be disappointed to learn that his apparent prejudice against them is not illegal (unless I suppose it was confined to ‘coloured plumbers’).
David Orr writing in the Guardian asks why changes are being made to the way supported and sheltered housing is being funded. This, he says, will have massive knock-on effects and could end up costing us more in the long term.
The proposals have also caused uncertainty for housing associations who don’t know where they stand.
Agents throwing in the towel?
A report on Property Industry Eye indicates that some agents are quitting the industry due to financial problems. Witness it seems some 20% are not renewing their professional indemnity insurance.
Oliver Wharmby, PI specialist at Lonsdale Insurance Brokers said
“The consumer is better protected than ever before and with legislation constantly evolving, property professionals are finding themselves more and more exposed to negligence claims.
“No Win, No Fee law firms only serve to exacerbate the problem and increase the duration of the claim and the costs incurred.”
Things are not going to get better for agents if the tenant fee ban comes into force (as is looking increasingly likely) as it seems these fees form some 10-20% of agents’ income.
However, this (ie 20% agents leaving) could actually be good news for the industry if the agents leaving are the bad or less efficient agents. I suspect the better agents will be able to plan for and ride out these issues fairly easily plus they will have the grateful loyalty of their customers to support them. Good agents are gold.
Housing news from abroad
Be grateful, you are not looking for accommodation in Stockholm as apparently the waiting list for rent controlled accommodation is so long, 20 years, that they are being considered for a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Affordable housing is also, it seems, in short supply in Australia where they are investigating micro homes, also being used in Hong Kong and New York.
London is not the only place with a housing crisis.
What made me smile
There was a great cat video on twitter which I spotted when doing searches for news, re-tweeted from a Japanese account with cats ringing bells when they wanted to be fed.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you a link to it though.
Next week will be Ben.