Homeownership Amongst Tamworth’s Young Adults Slumps to 56.9%

The degree to which young Tamworth people are locked out of the Tamworth housing market has been revealed in new statistics.

A Tamworth landlord was asking me the other week to what effect homeownership rates in Tamworth in the early to middle aged adult age range had affected the demand for rental property in Tamworth since the Millennium. I knew anecdotally that it affected the Tamworth rental market, but I wanted some cold hard numbers to back it up. As you know, I like a challenge when it comes to the stats.. so this is what I found out for the landlord, and I’d like to share them with you as well.

As anyone in Tamworth, and most would say those born more recently, are drastically less likely to own their own home at a given age than those born a decade earlier, let’s roll the clock back to the Millennium and compare the figures from then to today.

In the year 2000, 57.6% of Tamworth 28-year olds (born in 1972) owned their own home, whilst a 28 year old today born in 1990) would have a 30.7% chance of owning their own home. Next, let’s look at someone born ten years before that. So, going back to the Millennium, a 38 year Tamworth person (therefore born in 1962) would have an 85.0% chance of owning his or her own home and a 38 year today in Tamworth (born in 1980) would only have a 66.2% chance of owning their own home.

Since the Millennium, overall general homeownership in the 25 to 44 year old age range in Tamworth has reduced from 78.69% to 56.90%

If you look at the graph below, split into the four age ranges of 25 year olds (yo) to 29yo, 30yo to 34yo, 35yo to 39yo and finally 40yo to 44 yo, you will quite clearly see the changes since the Millennium in Tamworth. The fact is the figures in Tamworth show the homeownership rate has proportionally fallen the most for the youngest (25yo to 29yo) age range compared to the other age ranges.

The landlord suggested this deterioration in homeownership in Tamworth across the age groups could be down to the fact that more of those born in the 1980’s and 1990’s (over those born in the 60’s and 70’) are going to University and hence entering the job market at an older age or those young adults are living with their parents longer.

I read some national homeownership statistics of different age groups with the same number of years after they left education (rather than at the same age) and that gave an identical dip to the graph above.  Neither are these drops in homeownership related with a significant increase in the number of young adults living with their parents. Again, nationally, that has hardly changed over the last 20 years as the percentage of 30-year-olds living with Mum and Dad only increased from 22% of those born in the early ‘70s to 23% of those born in the early ‘80s.

So, what does this mean for the rental market in Tamworth?

Only one thing .. with the local authority not building Council houses, Housing Associations strapped for cash to build new properties and the younger generation not buying, there is only one way these youngsters can obtain a roof over their head and have a home of their own .. through the private landlord sector. Now with the new tax rules and up and coming licensing rules, Tamworth landlords will have to work smarter to ensure they make the investment returns they have in the past. If you ever want to pick my brains on the future direction of the Tamworth rental market .. drop me line or pop in next time you are passing my office.

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Why Tenancy Agreements are Important to Tamworth Landlords

Yes, It is possible to create a tenancy without actually signing a tenancy agreement but who is crazy enough to do that?

Well you would be surprised –  Recently I  have been contacted twice by landlords who allowed tenants to move into their properties without having a tenancy agreement in place.

One of the landlords I am afraid to say does not want me to mention his case in my blog, apparently he is the butt of his friends jokes over his little issue. I have given him my advice and the rest is now up to him!Spit Handshake

The other landlord contacted me when his tenants failed to pay the deposit and rent. He allowed this “lovely” couple to take the keys and move in with the promise of paying the monies owed when they got paid, two days later.

When monies were not forthcoming and the landlord chased, he was told, this “lovely” couple were going to pay their rent in arrears and they knew nothing about any agreement to pay a deposit.

So we now have a frustrated landlord asking  “Can they pay their rent in arrears and what about the deposit?

Yes, they can, unfortunatley.

Under common law, rent is payable in arrears unless there is a tenancy agreement in place and the agreement states rent is payable in advance.

With regards to the deposit, the landlord has no recourse, where is the proof.

By using a properly drafted tenancy agreement Landlords go a long way to protecting their position. It is unwise to add and remove clauses without legal advice  as they can be classed as unfair terms .

For example a clause will normally be unfair if it takes away a right which a tenant would normally have in law.

If you want to prohibit something a tenant would normally be able to do, such as re-decorate the property, your clause must contain wording providing for the tenant to request permission to do whatever they are wanting to do and must state that “the permission will not be unreasonably refused”.

Countless landlords have invalidated their pets clauses by removing this wording on the basis that “no pets allowed in this property under any circumstances”.

A tenant can request permission for something but it does not mean that you have got to agree to it. It may be reasonable to refuse your permissionm, that is your right as a Landlord. But if you deny tenants the chance to request permission – this will invalidate the clause, meaning that there is nothing to stop them keeping whatever pets they like.

Tenancy agreements need to be fair and written in plain English, they can include clauses to protect the landlord’s position. i.e. –

Notifying tenants that you will provide their details to utilities if they default on payment. You should also note down that you may also use tracing agents if they leave owing you money.

Everyone living in the property, including all children are named in the tenancy agreement and there should be a clause saying that no one else is allowed to live in the property.

Remember doing business on spit and a hand shake is no longer good practice 🙁

until next week.

Landlords, would you like a second opinion on a potential Buy-to-Let property or do you have nagging concerns – please feel free to contact us on 01827 425195 or 07531484956.We are here to help you on your property journey.

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With Tamworth Annual Property Values 11.3% Higher, This is My 2018 Forecast

 

Looking at the newspapers between Christmas and New Year, it seemed that this year’s sport in the column inches was to predict the future of the British housing market. So to go along with that these are my thoughts on the Tamworth property market.

With the average 5-year fixed rate mortgage at 1.98% (down from 3.47% in 2014) and 2-year fixed rate at 1.47% (down from 2.37% in 2014), mortgage interest rates offered by lenders are at an all-time low (even with the slight increase on the Bank of England base rate a few months ago). Added to this, there has been a low unemployment rate of 3.5% in Tamworth, which has contributed to maintain a decent level demand for property in Tamworth in 2017 (interestingly – an impressive 1,229 Tamworth properties were sold in last 12 months), whilst finally, the number of properties for sale in the town has remained limited, thus providing support for Tamworth house prices, meaning …

Tamworth Property Values are 11.3% higher than a year ago

However, moving into 2018, there will be greater pressures on people’s incomes as inflation starts to eat into real wage packet growth, which will wield a snowballing strain on consumer confidence. Interestingly though, information from the website Rightmove suggested over a third of property it had on its books in October and November had their asking prices reduced, the highest percentage of asking price reductions in the same time frame, over five years. Still, a lot of that could have been house-sellers being overly optimistic with their initial pricing.

In terms of what will happen to Tamworth property values in the next 12 months, a lot will be contingent on the type of Brexit we have and the impact on the whole of the UK economy. A lot of people will talk about the Central London property market in the coming year, and if the banking and finance sectors are negatively affected with a poor Brexit deal, then the London market is likely to see more of an impact.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is Tamworth homeowners and Tamworth landlords should be aware of what happens in the rollercoaster housing market of Central London, but not panic if prices do drop suddenly there in 2018. Over the last 8 years, the Central London property market has been in a world of its own (Central London house prices have grown by 89.6% in those last 8 years, whilst in Tamworth, they have only risen by 35.5%). So we might see a heavy correction in the Capital, whilst more locally, something a little more subdued.

Hindsight is always better than foresight and predicting anything economic is all well and good when you know what is around the corner. At least we have the Brexit divorce settlement sorted and, as the UK economy and the UK housing market are intertwined, it all depends on how we deal as a Country with the Brexit issue. However, we have been through the global financial crisis reasonably intact … I am sure we can get through this together as well?

Oh, and house prices in Tamworth over the next 12 months? I believe they will end up between 0.4% lower and 1.2% higher, although it will probably be a bumpy ride to get to those sorts of figures.

If you would like to read more articles on my thoughts on the Tamworth property Market – please visit the Tamworth Property Market Blog

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Legislation the Government has planned for 2018 with Tamworth Landlords – day 2

You can make property management a lot easier if you know the legislation and adhere to it.  Today’s will ensure that if you need to serve a section 21 and have provided the “Right to Rent Guide” you have a better chance of having the S21 validated.

paperwork

Day 2  – How to Rent Guide

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published a new “How to Rent guide”.

This booklet must be provided to assured shorthold tenants whose tenancy started or was renewed from 17 January 2018 onwards.

Thinking of Selling your property now or in the near future? Maybe you’re a landlord with property to Rent?

Contact us NOW for a FREE Valuation and find out what Hall and Thompson Estate Agents can do for you.

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Landlord Legislation the Government has planned for 2018

This year  2018 will be a busy year for legislation if you are a landlord.

So over the 12 days we will be giving you a daily outline of the upcoming legislation. Some of the legislation is in the pipeline and  may not come into force until next year, however it’s good to be aware.

no surcharge

Day 1 – Electronic payment charges

From 13 January 2018 a landlord or agent for that matter, can no longer add a surcharge when taking electronic payments  from your tenants i.e Paypal, credit, debit card or mobile phone payments.

 

Can’t find a Tamworth buy to let deal? Visit the Tamworth Property Blog at www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk where I am finding some gems.

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Ask Lorraine – My tenants have left owing hundreds in utility bills

Ask Lorraine  – We  had been renting our Tamworth  property out to a couple who really did seem to be respectable and trustworthy.

Tenants owe utility bills
Tenants owe utility bills

Once they had  moved out we found  they had left owing over £600.00 in utility bills.

Apparently the lady had contacted the utility suppliers and said they were only renting a room from us and  we were  responsible for the bills.

This was simply not true, the couple were renting the whole property. For the past 3 months, we have been in talks with the utility suppliers however as the couple have now  disappeared  we are being pressed to settle these bills. We have been burying our heads in the sand. Please help.

Anna

Bills

Lorraine’s answer  – Hi Anna,

Did you take meter readings and inform the utility companies before the tenants moved in?

Did you also inform the water company and council when the tenants moved in?

As the Landlord and owner of the property, you should really take responsibility to advise the relevant companies when  tenants move in and out. Don’t rely on others to do this!

You need to contact the Utility suppliers and explain that the tenants were liable for the bills, send them the Tenancy Agreement confirming this and make sure they change the owing accounts into the tenants names.

This will ensure their contracts are between them and the tenants plus it should prevent them coming to the property to install credit meters to claw back the outstanding debt from you.

For future reference, you can ask to become an additional name on the account (‘Third Party User’) the tenant has to request this but you can make the tenancy agreement conditional upon this. The landlord would not be liable for the bills, it would give the landlord a way to monitor the tenants account and perhaps be aware of any issues unfolding.

Good Luck.

Until next week

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Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth agent has given me 14 days to vacate my house

Ask Lorraine – Hello hun,

I’m after a little advice as I don’t have many options. My agent gave me a Section 21 on 19th January and has told me I’ve got 14 days to leave the property. I’ve been renting my home for nearly 2 years.

I have nowhere to go and 14 days is not long enough to find another property and pack up my stuff.  I will end up sofa surfing, yes I have paid the rent a few days late on the odd month but I’m currently up to date.

How can an agent treat me like this,  surely this can’t be right?

Name was supplied

14 days to leave

Lorraine’s Answer – I am sorry that you find yourself in this unpleasant situation and I hope that you do find somewhere to live.

I don’t know if communication has broken down between you and the agent/landlord or if there are underlying issues as to why the landlord requires the property back.

I will do my best to answer your question assuming that you are now on a periodic tenancy agreement.

Section 21

A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the end of a tenancy but they must follow the correct legal procedure. This includes serving a valid section 21 notice which is the  easiest way for an agent/landlord to recover a property.

For a S21 to be valid there are a number of pieces of information that you should have been given during your tenancy, If not the notice will not be legal and cannot be enforced.

The notice to leave must be at least two calendar months or the same period for which rent is paid, whichever is longer. The notice should end on the last day of a rental period (the day before rent is due).

I do not have all the facts but would certainly recommend that you take your tenancy agreement, complete with any additional paperwork in your possession, to the Council. If the Council cannot help, Citizens Advice will be able too.

Please do this as soon as possible.

Please see below tenants guide to private renting, this will give you lots of helpful advice.

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting

I hope things turn out well for you.

Until next week.

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Ask Lorraine – Can I sell my Tamworth Buy-to-let with a sitting tenant?

Ask Lorraine  – Due to changes in my circumstances, I have decided to sell one of my Tamworth properties. Is there any way of selling with the tenants in situ. They are lovely tenants  who have been renting from me for a number of years,  I would like to ensure they are looked after.

Will other landlords buy tenanted properties or must I sell the house with vacant possession?

Many Thanks  Rodney

Tamworth
Tamworth

Lorraine’s Answer – Hello Rodney

I understand you are trying to do the decent thing by your tenants but you do not owe them anything.

There are many landlords who would welcome buying a property with a good solid tenant  in situ. Generally good, long term tenants are an asset to a sale, rather than a problem.

How about offering a financial incentive for the tenants to help you sell for the best price possible?

Whatever route you decide to go down, the new landlord is duty bound by your Tenancy Agreement until the end of its term, so please ensure that your tenants are made aware of this fact.

If your tenants become jittery with the idea of you selling and  a new unknown Landlord, why not let them leave without giving their full notice. At least this way you will have vacant possession.

Until next week

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Ask Lorraine – Tamworth tenants have damaged white goods

Ask Lorraine

Four months ago I purchased a new washing machine for one of my buy to let properties. The washing machine had the usual one year warranty.

ask loz tenants damaged washing machine
ask loz tenants damaged washing machine

Three weeks ago one of the tenants contacted me saying a leak had developed. When the engineer investigated, he left a report stating that it was a hole which had been caused by coins. The fault would not be covered under the warranty.

Who is liable for these financial costs?

Thank you Jem

 

Lorraine’s Answer – Hi Jem,

I would suggest that the tenants would be liable to pay for the repair of the washing machine especially since it was their negligence that caused the fault.

Some tenancy agreements will have a clause which stipulates – White Goods supplied by landlords to be repaired by landlords. However, where landlords require tenants to carry out any  repairs they should include a provision within the tenancy agreement.

Good luck whichever course of action you decide to take.

Until next time.

ask lorraine washing machine
ask lorraine washing machine

 

I want to share my thoughts and opinions on the real issues affecting the Tamworth property market, warts and all. If you want someone to tell you the real story about the Tamworth property market, be it good, bad or indifferent, then maybe you should start reading my blog regularly.

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Repair/Replacement of White Goods for Tamworth Landlords

We are often asked  “who is responsible for the repair or replacement of White Goods supplied by a landlord at the start of  a tenancy?”

What are “White Goods?”

white goods
white goods

White goods are washing machines, fridge-freezers, tumble dryers and dishwashers, all traditionally coloured white.

 

There is no statutory duty on the  landlord to repair/replace white goods, however, there may be a contractual obligation on either party. If a provision has been included in the tenancy agreement, this will have to be taken into consideration.

Legal
Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act sets out a landlord’s repairing obligations during a tenancy. So where the landlord has supplied White Goods, are they responsible for the repair if they break down? The act does not specifically mention White Goods,  thus not making  landlords responsible.

But, any electrical appliances that are supplied by the landlord must be safe pursuant to the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994. Where they have been supplied they must be of a reasonable standard.

Decide who is to take responsibility to repair/replace  White Goods  and include a comprehensive provision within the tenancy agreement.

Prior to a tenancy commencing, ensure that tenants are fully aware of any provisions made in the tenancy agreement. The last thing you want is a tenant later being advised they have to fork out for White Good repairs!

 

If the Tamworth Property Market interests you then you may enjoy the articles on the Tamworth Property Blog at http://www.tamworthpropertyblog.com.

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