Today is the last Newsround of 2020 so what do we have for you?
Private landlords HAVE been supportive during COVID
This is the conclusion from new research from the English Housing Survey which shows that:
- 6% of private renters had secured a reduction in their rent payments since the start of the pandemic compared to just 2% in the social sector
- 5% of private renters had agreed a rent holiday with their landlord, compared to 3% in the social sector
- 12% of private tenants had reached another agreement with their landlord, compared to 9% of social tenants
- 13% of social renters reported being in arrears compared with 7% in the private sector
So despite the fact that social tenants are more likely to be in arrears, the private sector landlords have, overall, been more supportive. Which is pretty good really (although of course, some landlords have been less than supportive, too).
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said:
These figures prove what we have been saying that many private landlords have done everything they can to support renters affected by the pandemic. But their ability to provide further help has run out.
The government needs a proper plan to get Covid-related arrears paid off and sustain tenancies. Simply banning repossessions temporarily is just kicking the can down the road and is just making the eventual problems worse for both tenants and landlords.
The number of landlords increasing rent has also dropped for the third month in a row, according to ARLA.
It looks as if Ministers are now interested in the idea of property logbooks as an ‘oven-ready’ solution to creating a central database of the nation’s properties that doesn’t require government funding.
Nigel Walley, chair of a new trade body the Residential Logbook Association said
Although it might take until 2025 to achieve, with the government behind us and agents beginning to see their benefits, logbooks will get there in the end.
The aim is that every residential property transaction will be supported by one whether sales or lettings, with a trial scheduled for March or April next year.
Only one per property would be created for each interest in the property, which will enable the logbooks to accommodate multiple leasehold interests and different ownership structures. Key information to be included will include:
- Unique Property Reference Number
- Title number
- History of transactions including sales and rentals
- A lettings MOT certificate (if relevant)
- Ground rent info (if leasehold)
- Up-to-date search and other local authority information.
- Land Registry information
- Utility company data.
- Government information such as flooding risk.
- Handover packs.
- Building or retrofit works completed.
No hiding place for landlords
The logbooks and also property MOTs will be based on the roll-out of Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) (which were looked at in the first Landlord & Lawyer Podcast episode) and will make it difficult for landlords to evade their legal obligations. Such as tax, regulation and licensing.
This report for example claims that landlords underpaid tax by some £4,480 last year, compared to £2,610 the previous year.
However, although this new visibility to the authorities may be unwelcome news for rogue landlords, it should help drive a huge improvement in the lettings industry.
And may persuade the crooks and conmen to turn their attention elsewhere. Which would be very welcome.
53% of people in high flood risk areas can’t sell their homes
This is the conclusion of a major survey among homeowners who live in high-risk flood areas. Which is bad news as with climate change flooding is predicted to get worse.
There are a lot of properties involved. 2.4 million people live in immediate flood risk areas, with a further 2.8 million UK properties susceptible to surface water flooding.
Colm Holmes, CEO of General Insurance at Aviva said, “
With extreme weather in the UK set to rise, flooding is expected to become more common and a holistic approach is needed to protect homes, reduce damage and prevent future risk.
Stricter planning laws are needed to prevent new homes being built in flood zones without adequate protection, and more information about flooding is needed for homeowners and renters before they move home.
If you are one of those landlords looking to invest – do check to make sure you are not buying one of these flood risk properties.
- No business interruption decision from Supreme Court until next year
- Candidate makes pet-friendly tenancies a political hot potato
- Labour council, students and charities demand fair deal for tenants
- Keep neighbour disputes out of court, urges master
- £60,000 fine for slum landlord over multiple unlicenced HMOs
- Prominent landlord websites may be unlawfully discriminating, claims BBC
- Why does it feel like the Tories have turned on landlords? Here’s one answer
- £30m fund established to pay for fire alarms within at-risk cladded towers
- Half of all superprime agents breaking AML law, says shocking new report
Newsround will be back next year.