HOUSING CRISIS IN MANCHESTER

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/homeless-children-manchester-living-dire-15510000

 

The Manchester Evening News has produced an article on the housing crisis in Manchester.

 

The article briefly looks at the terrible conditions that families are being put in as they require urgent accommodation due to being evicted from private rented accommodation.

 

These conditions are not acceptable. It has a massive impact on the family’s and their children.

A lot has been caused by the government and the local authorities have added to the problems.

The freeze on local housing allowance since April 2016 has meant the housing allowance for anybody on benefits has fell short of what they should be entitled to. The local housing allowance was set at the 30th percentile point and along with the increase in rents over the last two years has meant many tenants are having to pay the difference out of their other benefits that are meant for day to day living

The change in taxing of private landlords meaning the section 24 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/restricting-finance-cost-relief-for-individual-landlords/restricting-finance-cost-relief-for-individual-landlords) increases the burden of tax for many landlords has meant rent increases.

The increase in stamp duty means that any landlords buying have additional cost at the outset meaning rents are set higher.

The increase in the number of selective licencing schemes throughout Manchester mean that landlords are met by further expenses meaning a further increase in rents. The councils are doing very little for the money they have received when they already have existing powers to resolve the issues they bring licencing in for.

The government’s intentions to stop letting agents charging administration costs to tenants will mean this extra cost could be passed on to tenants with an increase in rent.

The governments intention to limit deposits will also effect the supply of property’s for people with pets or on benefits as there will be many landlords insisting on home owning guarantors meaning that again this puts many benefit tenants out of reach of private rented accommodation

The government’s roll out of universal credit means many benefit tenants are put in arrears with the rent causing many landlords to evict the tenants usually on a section 21. The tenants can not find alternative accommodation, they lose their deposit because of the arrears and then leave the property in a poor state of repair a lot of the time because they are unable to take their items with them or afford storage.

The government’s insistence on paying tenants that are vulnerable the housing element of the rent and the tenants failure to pass it to the landlord means they spend it on other things and fall into arrears.  The landlord then has court fees, arrears and the updating of the property to there long list of increased cost and again this effects the rent on an upward cycle and will also mean that there earnings are lower meaning the tax payable is less..

 

The social impact along  with the additional burden of cost is unacceptable and, whilst we accept that some legislation maybe required, the government and the councils are stabbing themselves in the foot. There are many landlords who are deciding to self-manage to bring down their costs but with little training errors are being made and costs are being cut adding to the issues. Landlords should have to follow the same rules that apply to letting agents regardless if they have one or ninety houses. There should be a serious consultation with the government and leading representatives of private landlords to decide on a scheme moving forward that is acceptable to all. Not a consultation were the councils and governments steam roll in with little thought after already making up there own minds on how to deal with the issues with proper consultation listening to those in the industry.

 

 

 

 

Regards,
Mike Brown

364 Moston Lane
Moston
Manchester
M40 9JS

Tel: 0161 681 3724
Fax: 0161 681 3725
Email: Mike@Brentwoodinvestments.co.uk

Property bought for cash, property management and property refurbishment/maintenance
 

Ride A White Swan.

A few weeks back Brentwood and a group of friends rescued a rather poorly Swan from a lake in Accrington. It’s all for the charity Make Some Noise run by XS MANCHESTER.

On Friday the 5th of October DJ Steve Berry pedalled the swan down the River Irwell from Bury to Manchester.

The swan team managed to raise £1300 for the charity which supports organisations in Manchester such as The Joshua Tree who help families affected by childhood cancers.

If you would like to donate and help us get over our £1500 target please go here

Section 21 – Are You Compliant?

As a responsible agent it is imperative that I know all the rules around serving a notice to quit such as a Section 21 notice, the most common notice used by landlords and agents.

However with increasing compliance in the PRS I MUST stay ahead of the game & ensure this is done in a correct way which does not cause issues further down the line.

We have dealt with countless landlords/landladies over the past 12 months who have asked us to take over managing a property due to their limited knowledge around  this subject.

If you are considering serving notice on your tenant the following MUST be done in all cases.

  1. You must ensure the deposit has been protected with an approved deposit scheme & the tenant has a copy of the prescribed information & deposit leaflet.
  2. The deposit MUST be protected within 30 days of receiving it.
  3. You must provide a minimum of 2 months’ notice, this can be from the day you serve & does not need to run in line with the tenancy period.

For all tenancies from 01/10/15 the below must also apply

  1. You must provide the tenant with a copy of the gas safety certificate, EPC & latest version of the “How to Rent” document
  2. If you have received an “improvement notice” from the local authority regarding repairs then a notice cannot be served for 6 months.
  3. A notice cannot be served within the 1st 4 months of the tenancy.

It is important to ensure you comply with these points BEFORE notice is served, otherwise your notice will be dismissed at court if you attempt to evict your tenant.

Furthermore from 01/10/18 ALL tenancies no matter when they started will be protected by the above points.

10 years of regulations, rates and growth.

Next year will be my 10th anniversary working at Brentwood Lettings, in that time I have seen many changes in the PRS which have been both helpful & a hinderance to agents & homeowners.

There have been new regulations on many issues such as EPCs, Smoke alarms, serving of a notice, right to rent, displaying of fees  and these are just a few.

However it’s not all doom & gloom , in that time I have noticed a gradual shift in tenant demand towards the private sector, from the more traditional social or council houses.

We are constantly receiving multiple applications for our properties due to such a high demand, which is due to the shortage of available properties & high wait times for social or council homes.

This has slowly pushed rents up in the PRS above the local Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate, just a few years ago market rent was around 20% less than the LHA rate.

With rents rising at a higher rate than property prices, yields of 8-10% are common.

I am often contacted by investors who are looking at the stagnant London market & seeing the rewards of investing in Manchester, its no myth there really is a boom !

Last week we let a property before it was advertised, and just yesterday someone rang the office to book a viewing on a house that was not listed…..because they had seen me taking photos of the house.

We have increased the staff hours to deal with the demand & have changed our business model to help cope with the influx of applications.

If you require any advice or are looking at possibly investing in the Manchester area please get in touch & I will guide you in the right direction.

Joe Beck

What rules are there in the private rented sector

The private rented sector is a minefield of rules & regulations these days. You can no longer just take the rent  and hand the keys over.

I am often hearing of private landlords or fellow agents who are falling foul of the rules by not doing what is necessary BEFORE the tenant moves into the property.

So, lets go back to basics. You have an empty property & want to find a tenant, easy right?

Have you thought about

  • Does the property have an EPC? what is the rating?  All properties must now carry a MINIMUM of an E rating.
  • Have all the gas appliances been checked & declared safe by a gas safe engineer?
  • Have you downloaded the latest version of the “How To Rent” checklist for renting in England document?
  • Are the electrics safe? What is the condition of the wiring/consumer unit/socket/switches
  • Does the property have a working smoke alarm on each level of the property.
  • Does the tenant have the legal right to live in the UK?
  • Have you protected the deposit with an approved deposit scheme & given the tenant the correct paperwork.

The above MUST be done before a tenant moves into the property.

With more applicants than ever due a to a shortage in houses it is important that you do not leave yourself open to a breach in these regulations.

At best you may have issues serving notice on a tenant ,at worse you may be liable for a hefty fine or prison sentence.

Do not delay, take action NOW to ensure you are compliant with all of the above.

Selective Licensing is coming to Moston

Manchester City Council have confirmed that just over 300 properties in Moston will be covered in their selective licensing area.

This will come into force on 23 April 2018 and will have effect until 22 April 2023.

If you rent out a property in this area, you will HAVE to have a  License from Manchester City Council. There are a few exceptions, but from our experience and knowledge of the area, Licensing will apply to 99% of the landlords in the zone.

Licenses are per property, not per landlord.

The aim of this scheme is to contribute positively to improving neighbourhoods. Manchester City Council hope that this will

  • Make more people want to live in the area
  • Make people want to stay in the area for longer
  • Reduce the amount of time houses are empty
  • Increase Property values as the area imrpoves
  • Reduce Crime and antisocial behaviour.

You can view the affected are on this map, or you can see a full street list on the Manchester City Council Website here

A public consultation took place online between 20 March and 2 June 2017. Responses were recorded from 30 Landlords & Agents and 38 Residents.

97% of residents highlighted that houses were in poor condition and 91% reported problems with rubbish and flytipping.  29 of the Residents who responded highlighted issues with poorly managed private rented houses and people moving in and out of the area often.

You can download the full results from the residents survey here

55% of landlords highlighted issues with rubbish and flytipping, and 50% said houses were in poor condition and there were poorly managed private rented houses.

You can download the full results from the landlords survey here

 

We actively manage around 30 houses in the highlighted area and our office is based on Moston Lane between Stovell Street and Fold Street. We are perfectly placed to help bring about positive change for this small area. The main priorities that we see from the consultation results are:

  • Rubbish & Fly Tipping
  • Houses in poor condition
  • Poorly Managed Private Rental Houses
  • People Moving in and Out of the Area often

 

What can we do?

Rubbish & Fly Tipping

 

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste and is a crime. We checked out Fix My Street and noticed, unsurprisingly that there have been ongoing complaints of fly-tipping in the highlighted zone You can view this interactive tool here

Local community group North City Community Action Group are working really hard to raise awareness of the local rubbish and fly-tipping problems and envoke positive change with the Council. We fully support their efforts and always welcome them to work with us to ensure the tenants and properties that we manage are not contributing to the problem. The very local team at North City Community Action Group are local residents who volunteer their time to help rebuild the communities in and around Moston. You can find out more about them and get involved here

 

Houses in Poor Condition

There are a number of tenanted and empty houses in poor condition in the highlighted area. Bringing them up to the required minimum standard is going to be costly

 

Poorly Managed Private Rented Houses

13 years ago, when we setup in Moston, letting and managing private rented houses was an easy enough task, even for the most inexperienced of landlords. As the years have passed, regulations have tightened, expectations have grown, compliance, reporting and monitoring requirements have rocketed and the required systems and procedures that need to be in place for successfully and legally letting a property have become difficult for even the most experienced of landlords.

Whilst 13 years ago using an agency was a nice have to save time and hassle, nowadays its a MUST have to ensure you are fully compliant and covered under all aspects of property law and legislation.

For advice on how to successfully manage your property, or for a free property management health check, call our office on 0161 681 3724 and we’ll be happy to help

 

People Moving in and Out of the Area Often

The highlighted area on the map is made up of most 2 & 3 bed terraced houses.

Our average length of continual tenancy in the area is 2-3 years (Manchester average 1 year 4 months- source), however in other areas we do see a rise of an average tenancy length being 3-4 years. Whilst our tenant retention rates are above average for the city, we are certain that positive action towards increasing management standards of surrounding properties and eradicating fly-tipping would see this figure naturally and organically grow.

 

Houses in Poor Condition

 

 

Buying a house next to your favourite Football Stadium

Recently, The Manchester Evening News ran an article on the average house price on the streets where your favourite Football Stadiums are, the list looked at house prices around Bury FC, Rochdale FC, Oldham FC, Stockport County FC, Altrincham FC, MCFC, MUFC, Bolton Wanderers FC, Wigan Athletic FC and Salford City FC. Missing from the list was everyone’s favourite F.C United, on Lightbowne Road in Moston.

So, we can plug that gap for you and give you the low down on the house prices near our favourite football stadium.

 

FC United, Broadhurst Park, Moston

Closest street: Lightbowne Road

Average house price: £86,647

Last sale: A semi detached house sold for £94,000 in May 2017

 

Whats really interesting about Moston as an area, is that despite being within the M60 ring road, the property prices are still surprisingly affordable. Sitting on the edge of Moston and New Moston the properties around Broadhurst Park are quietly residential, away from the bustle of the Moston Lane district hub and mostly owner occupiers staying for a long time.

Although these properties represent remarkable opportunities as investment properties, they do not come on the market very often, and when they do, they do not remain available for very long. This is a well sought after are as it has excellent links for schools, transport, access to the city centre whilst remaining quiet and still somewhat suburban.

If you want to talk more about the local property market, pop in to our office or give us a call on 0161 681 3724

 

 

Insight into rentals in North and East Manchester

As we settle into the new year I thought I would share with all my friends and investors my insights into the market over the next twelve months

Manchester City centre is booming. There are developers building everywhere. As the city centre grows all new and growing company’s employing more staff and occupying  the many high rise flats and swanky apartments the need for increased infrastructure pushes the boundaries of the city centre.

North and East Manchester will only benefit. There are many workers involved in these new offices and hotel developments that can not afford the high purchase or rental prices the city has on offer. The need for increased workers in the service industry’s that work many unsociable hours need to live in affordable housing close to the city centre with good transport links. Moston, Gorton, Newton Heath, Harpurhey, Blackley, Failsworth and Middleton are all areas that fit these requirements. They all sit on major bus links to the city and many have the additional benefit of the metrolink. We have seen a greater demand for rental property’s within the area and in many cases the tenants are staying longer. The number of tenants that are totally reliant on the LHA to pay there rent has decreased dramatically with many tenants now in some form of employment being part or full time. The fact that this employment may see many tenants looking to purchase there own house and with the increasing number of landlords entering the market this is putting increasing pressure on prices meaning this is an added benefit for any investors. The increase in new builds at higher prices means that many of the cheaper homes have also moved upwards.

Despite attacks on the Lettings industry from the government with more legislation and increased tax demands the industry within North and East Manchester is seeing availability or number of rental property’s stagnate rather than drop however as there is no increase in the number of property’s available to rent and an increase in demand this is forcing an increase in rents. The number of people looking for accommodation means that we can in many cases find a suitable tenant quickly and usually with better references and more security than we have been able to achieve in the past.

There are still many landlords that choose to rent out there property’s alone rather than through an agent trying to save on there outgoings however in many cases this can be costly. There is continued changes in legislation that many miss and get caught out with bad tenants.

Brentwood is a ARLA registered letting agent that supports reasonable increased legislation to get rid of rouge landlords and by us being members we support ARLA in fighting bad legislation on behalf of landlords. We are in need of more houses to manage and we have assisted many landlords outside of the region including people from overseas purchase property’s for us to manage and look after there investments.

I always say we are the regions 2nd best letting agent with many landlords responding well who is the best. I can’t answer that but you can rest assured as the 2nd best we are still striving to improve our services to claim to be number 1 but as we will continue to improve we may never rich that dizzy height

It has been a busy year for the property letting market in North Manchester.

Both the Sales and Lettings markets locally have seen their ups and downs.

Data from the NAEA says in the sales market there are 425 registered prospective buyers for 44 properties each month. Yet conversely, 77% of properties were sold for less than their asking price, and only 4% were sold for more than the original asking price.

The Lettings market, as always, peaked at the start of the year, with an average of 1,800 registered prospective tenants for 188 properties each month. 27% of tenants had experienced rent increases, and it was taking 10% more viewings per property to find a suitable match.

‘It was always going to be an interesting year, following the announcement of the letting agent fee ban in last November’s Autumn Statement. I think we’re starting to see a consolidation of some agencies in the industry as the fee ban looms, which could explain why the number of properties under management has increased,’ said David Cox, ARLA chief executive.

He pointed out that landlords are becoming more selective about their property investments in light of last year’s stamp duty changes. ‘Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) is starting to bite which is why we saw an increased number of landlords selling up. It’s likely that as we move into 2018, tenants will continue to see rent increases as supply starts to reduce, demand continues apace, and legislative changes increase costs for landlords,’ he added.

2018 will pose new challenges and new adventures for us as an independent and local agent in North Manchester.  

Our knowledge of the market makes us highly attractive to overseas and remote investors, we specialise in a densely populated 10 mile radius, containing over, 300 communities and 1.5 million properties. Our average BTL yield is 6-8% and the population growth of the city is expected to swell a further 10% within the next 5 years.

Our managed portfolio continues to grow as we see further remote and overseas investment coming in. We are forecasting a manageable growth of 20-30 properties/month as we enter 2018 and are restructuring internally to absorb the upcoming ban on tenant fees.

2017 has had its ups and downs, 2018 will bring whole new challenges – and we will be ready for them.

 

Merry Christmas from Mike and All The Team @ Brentwood Lettings

Whats Happening to the Gas Works Walls?

Last week, we had a really interesting chat in the office about the huge Gas Holders that can be seen from Alan Turing Way in Manchester. As locals, they have been part of the skyline of that area for our entire lives.

Built in 1869, these giants have towered over the local skyline for almost 150 years. They bring us back to a time where gas was stored locally in urban areas and distributed directly to homes and businesses on demand.

Although they were decommissioned in the 1990’s, the writer of this post is old enough to remember days before Eastlands, before Alan Turing Way and before the metrolink, your writer has childhood memories of guessing how full the holders would be as we passed on the orange GM bus, of hearing tales of the mystery gas workers who filled the membrane and how they filled it, and the apocalyptic stories of what happened if they exploded.

It was interesting that the younger members of the office had no idea about the use or purpose of the Gas Holders.

With the recent announcement that Manchester City Centre is Expanding to Eastlands questions are now, obviously being asked about the fate of the Gas Works.

So far, our feelings are they will not be dismantled or destroyed, but maybe repurposed to fit with the redevelopment of the area.

We shall wait and see.

Kenyon Lane, Moston, M40

£ 675 per Month

Clough Road, Moston, M9

£ 200 per Week

Cross Lane, Gorton, M18

£ 580 per Month

Moston Lane, Moston, M40

£ 825 per Month

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