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Rental Houses are in High Demand

Thursday 22nd October 2020

Following the re evaluation of tenants’ priorities following lockdown – and a continuing of restrictions on those of us living in the central belt of Scotland – it appears that houses are currently in higher demand than flats or apartments both in Glasgow and across the rest of the UK.

According to research from Howsy which looked at rental data across 22 major cities across the UK, demand for houses is currently at 29% whilst demand for apartments and flats is an average of 26%. Here in Glasgow the demand for houses is currently 59% with flats and apartments at 41%. The overall tenant demand currently stands at 42%.

Regional variations show that Belfast was as much as 69% as tenants look for more inside space to accommodate home working and spending more time at home, and a need for outside space as for many people socializing in the garden is the only way they can see friends and family at home.

However, there were some cities where flats and apartments remained the most popular option with Manchester showing the highest demand at 57% so for some major cities, the demand for apartments remains robust.

As Scotland returns to some form of normality – which looks like next year at the earliest – demand for flats and apartments should increase, especially in university towns and cities. This will be welcome news for landlords.

If you are looking for a house to rent register for property alerts.  Following the re evaluation of tenants’ priorities following lockdown – and a continuing of restrictions on those of us living in the central belt of Scotland – it appears that houses are currently in higher demand than flats or apartments both in Glasgow and across the rest of the UK.

According to research from Howsy which looked at rental data across 22 major cities across the UK, demand for houses is currently at 29% whilst demand for apartments and flats is an average of 26%. Here in Glasgow the demand for houses is currently 59% with flats and apartments at 41%. The overall tenant demand currently stands at 42%.

Regional variations show that Belfast was as much as 69% as tenants look for more inside space to accommodate home working and spending more time at home, and a need for outside space as for many people socializing in the garden is the only way they can see friends and family at home.

However, there were some cities where flats and apartments remained the most popular option with Manchester showing the highest demand at 57% so for some major cities, the demand for apartments remains robust.

As Scotland returns to some form of normality – which looks like next year at the earliest – demand for flats and apartments should increase, especially in university towns and cities. This will be welcome news for landlords.

If you are looking for a house to rent register for property alerts. 

Featured Stories

Rental Houses are in High Demand
Thursday 22nd October 2020
Following the re evaluation of tenants’ priorities following lockdown – and a continuing of restrictions on those of us living in the central belt of Scotland – it appears that houses are currently in higher demand than flats or apartments both in Glasgow and across the rest of the UK. According to research from Howsy which looked at rental data across 22 major cities across the UK, demand for houses is currently at 29% whilst demand for apartments and flats is an average of 26%. Here in Glasgow the demand for houses is currently 59% with flats and apartments at 41%. The overall tenant demand currently stands at 42%. Regional variations show that Belfast was as much as 69% as tenants look for more inside space to accommodate home working and spending more time at home, and a need for outside space as for many people socializing in the garden is the only way they can see friends and family at home. However, there were some cities where flats and apartments remained the most popular option with Manchester showing the highest demand at 57% so for some major cities, the demand for apartments remains robust. As Scotland returns to some form of normality – which looks like next year at the earliest – demand for flats and apartments should increase, especially in university towns and cities. This will be welcome news for landlords. If you are looking for a house to rent register for property alerts. 
Avoiding Potential Void Periods
Wednesday 14th October 2020
One of the most crucial elements of your buy to let property is the rental income. Not only can it cover your costs including your mortgage repayments, but it can also provide a source of income and the ability to scale your portfolio. At present, the UK average void period at the start of your investment is 20 days (Goodlord’s rental index). That’s why it may be worth exploring two options – choosing a property with tenants and choosing a new, pre-tenanted property. A property with a tenant in-situ According to recent research by Howsy, less than 1% of properties currently listed for sale across the UK have a tenant in situ, so they are a rare find. However, if you do manage to find the right one it can be extremely beneficial. By choosing a property that already has a tenant who is in a rental contract enables you to have immediate rental history which means you can better predict the return on your investment in the future. In addition, it means that the property will already have furnishings with no extras to pay for. Make sure you check how long the tenant has been paying the rent but also how long it has been since it was increased. With the current COVID situation you may choose to keep the rental fee the same depending on your tenants circumstances, but it will indicate whether they are paying the current market rate. If they are a good tenant and you want to keep them, it may be worth fixing the rent for a period of time. Remember a good tenant is worth its weight in gold – you’ll have regular income, paid on time and a property that is well taken care of. Pre-tenanted This means that the property is newly built and the developer or agent has already agreed on the tenancies ahead of completion. Although a new property won’t have a rental track record, you can still do your due diligence to find out what the rental income will be and can predict how well it’s likely to perform. One of the benefits of a pre tenanted property is that you have control over the rental income you will earn from the off. As a new property, the agents responsible for agreeing on pre-rentals will have marketed the property at the full market rate, so from the very start you should be able to make a great return. If you want to avoid the initial void period, or want to guarantee a good tenant, buying with a tenant in place can prove to be a viable solution.
Supporting Tenants in Scotland
Wednesday 7th October 2020
There is some good news for private tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties and unable to access certain benefits or support that will help them to meet their rental payments. A sum of £10 million has been allocated to the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund with details of who is eligible and how to apply will be announced soon, with the loan set to be accessible from November. An extra £3 million is being pumped into the Discretionary Housing Payment fund, which has been implemented in order to assist tenants already in receipt of benefits. The Discretionary Housing Payment fund was originally a £60 million budget set up to mitigate the impact of the bedroom tax in Scotland. It has now been increased by £19 million including the latest £3 addition. Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart believes that these measures will ensure no one is left in a position where they cannot access support to meet their rental payments. During the same announcement, the Housing Minister extended the current ban on evictions (due to end on September 30th) to March 2021. This means that regardless of the type of tenancy, or what kind of notice is served, or for whichever reason, all eviction proceedings will be placed on hold. The only exceptions to this are cases involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse. Find out more: Scottish government’s support for tenants.  
Covid19 Update - Property Viewings
Monday 28th September 2020
Here at Newton Letting we are keeping a close eye on Government guidelines and have implemented all requirements to ensure the safety of our landlords, staff and tenants.
Anyone looking to view a property with Newton Letting, will need to adhere to the following rules and guidance in line with the Scottish Government.
All viewers must be registered to attend a viewing with Newton Letting and a register will be taken at the viewing prior to going into the property and only the registered viewer will be able to attend.Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) MUST be worn at the property including gloves, mask and hand sanitizer. Please note that Newton Letting will NOT provide this. An allocated time slot will be given for you to attend. If you are late, it’s at our Viewing Representatives discretion on whether or not they will allow you to view. Only one person will be permitted to view the property at a time so please do not bring family members or children with you to the viewing as they will not be able to enter the premises.
Whilst you are in the property we politely request that you limit touching any fittings or furnishings and refrain from opening doors, cupboards and drawers. We would ask that you view the property and ask us any questions after you have left the premises. For further guidance/information on Covid-19, please see the following link:
We appreciate your cooperation at this unprecedented time and if you have any questions prior to viewing, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team.
Investing in Buy to Let During a Recession
Friday 18th September 2020
Since the UK came out of lockdown there have been reports that we are seeing a property mini boom: *Sales agreed data suggests a 13 year high for the market. Year-on-year, the number of sales per branch increased by 44%. *The number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch rose by 13%, increasing from 379 in June to 428. (Zoopla) *In July 2020 in the UK 8% of properties sold for more than the original asking price and year-on-year housing demand is up by a third. (Zoopla) *Year-on-year, housing demand is up by a third. *The post-lockdown housing market rebound shows few signs of slowing despite the UK going into recession, with the number of new sales agreed in August on Zoopla running 76% ahead of the five-year average. (Zoopla) *Buyer appetite since the start of 2020 is now 34% higher than the same eight months in 2019 and, despite the summer holidays, it remains unseasonably strong. (Zoopla) *More homes are coming onto the market, with the flow of new supply over the last month 50% up on this time last year. (Nationwide) *Edinburgh house prices rose by 3% and Glasgow 2.2% *During Q2 of 2020, average rents in Glasgow rose by 1.4% year-on-year to £810. Four bedroom properties experienced the greatest year-on-year increase in rents, rising by 3.1% to £1,858. (Zoopla) *The buy-to-let mortgage market is showing signs of recovery after the number of deals nearly halved during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. The average cost of two-year and five-year fixed rate mortgages have also fallen slightly compared with March, to stand at 2.72% and 3.11% respectively. (Nationwide) How is this possible when house prices crashed in the last recession? It’s possible that this is because the recession we are seeing today has been driven by a health crisis wheras the last recession in 2008 was driven by finance. The Government chose to shut down certain markets whilst implementing measures to support businesses affected by the pandemic with incentives to boost the property market such as a rise in the Stamp Duty/LBTT threshold. So why is it still a good idea to invest in property? House price predictions from Savills shows that prices are expected to grow by an average of 15% by 2024 although London will see with just a 5% increase. Alongside house price rises, rents are also set to increase. Demand for homes is exceptionally high and this supply and demand imbalance is supporting the headline rate of growth with the time to sell a property falling since lockdown. With the stamp duty holiday set to end in 2021 it’s a great time to take advantage of this – although for investors the 3% additional property rate is still in effect. Aside from the financial analysis, socially nearly 40% of millennials are still renting at age 30 and a third of the wider generation are expected to rent into retirement. It’s also believed by the Resolution Foundation that UK renters will outnumber homeowners by 2039. What’s more, the UK population looks set to reach 74 million in 20 years, a sign that the house demand is rising. At present interest rates are low so you can secure a very competitive buy-to-let mortgage rate making the investment process more accessible. Finally, for foreign investors, the weakness of the pound continues to be an opportunity to save money long-term especially where the market here in Scotland is so affordable compared to the rest of Europe. Talk to us if you would find out more about rental values in Glasgow.  
Renting Your Property In A Recession
Saturday 5th September 2020
It was announced last week that the UK is officially in a recession, so how can you successfully operate as a landlord throughout this challenging time? Prioritise good tenants over high rent It’s better to accept a reasonable offer that’s slightly lower than you anticipate, rather than experience void periods. Now more than ever, it’s important to retain good tenants so carefully weigh up the risks of increasing your rent if you have a great tenant in-situ. Rent insurance During an economically difficult time, make sure you are proactive and take out rent guarantee insurance to protect your income during times of increased risk. Talk to a broker who can look at the whole of the market and find a policy to suit your circumstances. Mortgage payment holiday Payment holidays are for people who need financial help – but it is worth remembering that this should be a last resort and only if you are struggling to make your repayments. Your credit file shouldn’t be impacted but lenders could still use this to make lending decisions in the future. Talk to an independent mortgage advisor for in-depth advice. Rent reduction If you decide to reduce rent to help your tenants during financially challenging times, makes sure there’s a clear agreement in place. Put an addendum in your rental contract with details of the deferred payments along with details of the repayment plan. Cutting costs Talk to us and other letting agents about our rental void periods and how we find renters in a tough market. Choose an agency that utilises social media and the latest technology to reach the right people as well as competitive fees. Help renters to find financial support If your tenants are struggling to pay their bills, help them to find assistance through Citizens Advice who can help them to budget, access financial aid and find out what benefits they are entitled to. Be aware of the ‘new normal’ In today’s ‘new normal’ outside space and an area or home office to enable working from home is now much higher on renters’ wish lists. A property with a balcony, garden and even proximity to outside space is in higher demand and people are very conscious of another lockdown and want to be prepared for the event. Is your renter profile accurate? Consider widening your reach – if you previously wanted to rent to students could you make alterations to appeal to professionals? Look at how you could adapt your property to appeal to a wider audience. Consider pets During lockdown there has been a surge in pet ownership and research and it’s worth considering that over 44% of households currently own a pet. If you buck the trend and allow pets, then your chance of attracting long-term, trustworthy tenants will increase. A tenant who is lucky enough to find a pet-friendly property is more likely to be a great tenant in order to protect their future rental opportunities. Just make sure that there is an additional clause in your tenancy agreement to ensure that any damage is paid for or fixed and that the property is left clean and in good order. Talk to us at Newton Letting if you would like further advice on renting your property during an economic downturn.  
A Bright Outlook for Buy to Let
Friday 14th August 2020
  According to the latest House Price Index from the website ‘Home’, we can rest assured that there’s an optimistic outlook for landlords and buy to let investors across the UK. Across the UK there have been reports of rising rent and lack of supply – even though many Airbnb properties have come back to the market following lockdown. For this reason, reports show that supply is up by an incredible 30% compared to the same time last year. Whilst rents are rising across the UK, rent in London is actually falling and is currently down 5.2%. The report shows that in northern regions of the UK, annualised rises are around the 10% mark and this, combined with the capital gains to be had in these sales markets, there is likely to be further BTL investments. At present the value of the pound is relatively low and the Stamp Duty holiday – with the threshold raised to £500,000 in England and LBTT raised to £250,000 in Scotland, is a significant draw to property investors and in particular for foreign investors and expats. The Stamp Duty surcharge will go back to pre lockdown levels from April 2021 and so many people considering investment will bring plans forward and invest in the next six months.
Understanding Capital Growth and Rental Yield
Thursday 23rd July 2020
It’s important as a property investor that you make a good return from your investment. This can be from rental yield which gives you regular income, or capital growth which is the increase in value of the property over time. Your return could be from either one or both of these things.

Capital growth

This is also known as capital appreciation and refers to the increase or decrease in the value of your property or property portfolio over time. If you purchased a property four years ago for £200,000 and the current value is £250,000 then your capital growth is £50,000. There are lots of factors that can affect your capital growth such as the economy, local regeneration, new transport links, low mortgage rates boosting demand in new homes and lack of supply. It’s important to invest somewhere that property looks set to increase in value and you can usually get this information from property experts and literature surrounding what’s happening in the general property market and also within each region.

Rental yield

Rental yield is the return you make or expect to make from your property. To work out the rental yield for a particular property, you will need to know the purchase price of the property, or a current market value, and the annual rental income that you expect to receive. Take the annual rental income amount and divide it by the property value or purchase price. To convert this figure to a percentage, you will need to multiply this by 100. This percentage is your rental yield. For example, your new property purchase would give the following rental yield: Annual rental income: £10,000 Purchase price: £200,000 Rental yield: 5% A gross yield is when you take the example above and work out your rental yield. If you are trying to work out your net yield, you will need to take into account other costs such as your insurance, mortgage repayments, letting management fee and maintenance costs.

Location

Each city and region across the UK differs in terms of rental yield as average rents vary. Recent research has shown that rental yields in Glasgow in particular are higher than in other regions. If you are looking to invest in a rental property, talk to us at Newton Lettings as we can advise you on the rental value of property across Central Scotland.  
Are You New to Property Investment?
Thursday 23rd July 2020
Property investment can be extremely rewarding – both on a personal and professional level. It can give you financial freedom, a flexible work-life balance and surprising returns especially here in Glasgow where they are higher than anywhere in the UK. However, it can be extremely daunting so it’s important to do your homework first.

Buy to Let

If you are going to let your property – either privately or via a letting agent, you need a buy to let mortgage on your property. If you have a residential mortgage, you’ll need to talk to your lender about your plans. As a landlord with a buy to let property, you have several legal obligations and responsibilities that you need to be aware of.

Finance

You will need to ensure your finances are in good order and in place before buying an investment property. Talk to a mortgage broker about your plans and find out how much you will need to invest and whether you will be eligible for a buy to let mortgage. They will also set out any additional costs and fees.

Time

Do you have time to be a landlord? If not, can you outsource the management of your property to a letting agent? It’s important to be realistic about not only the time you have to spare, but whether you have the experience and knowledge to undertake the running of your investment property.

Location

When buying a property to let out, it’s important to do your homework and find the right area. Are you going to buy a property where you live or are you going to buy it in a city centre, close to a university or in an area popular with young professionals. The type of property you buy has to marry with the location – there’s no point in purchasing a luxury flat in a student area nor a family home where there are no good schools. You’ll also need to decide on the type of property within that location – new build, off-plan or resale. You may even decide to visit the local auctions – but we strongly advise only doing this if you have had sound advice first. Talk to your local estate agent about rental values, the types of renters in the area, transport links, schooling and amenities. Get the advice from several agents.

Your return on investment

Rental yield and capital growth are the two ways that you can increase your return on investment. Take a look at the differences here. (link to existing blog) If you are a first-time investor, we hope you’ve found this information helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to talk to us.
What Landlords Need To Do From Today
Monday 29th June 2020
The Scottish government has published the rules that landlords will need to adhere to from today, following the reopening of the property market here in Scotland. Although landlords will need to observe safety measures such as regular hand washing, socially distancing from clients and team members and using face masks, the testing and maintenance of gas and safety equipment has been relaxed until later on in the summer. Landlords will still need to make every effort to abide by gas safety rules, but local authorities will take a more lenient view of electrical safety maintenance and testing. Unless there is an ongoing problem or emergency with these utilities, maintenance won’t be required to be completed phase 3 of the route map out of the cororonvirus lockdown. Additional measures include not enabling house moves where any of the tenants are still shielding or self-isolating, and that physical viewings of properties should only take place if virtual viewings are not an option. Landlords should ensure that any repairs, maintenance and gas and electrical safety checks are carried out between tenancies where the property is vacant. If this isn’t an option, then appointments need to be made in advance and if possible, when the tenant is not present and give appropriate notice except in an emergency. In between the tenancies, landlords must carry out a deep clean to prevent the spread of the virus and for tenants’ peace of mind. If you would like further advice or help on your responsibilities as a landlord during this time, talk to a member of the Newton Lettings team.
Opening Back Up For Business
Wednesday 24th June 2020

The property market here in Scotland will officially open back up for business on 29th June as we move to phase two of our roadmap out of lockdown.

This means that home moves will surge ahead with stringent safety measures in place. Here at Newton Letting we believe that June 29th can’t come quick enough - we have many tenants waiting to get the keys to their new home and many more seeking suitable accommodation.

Pent up demand

According to latest reports from Citylets, letting agents have already experienced a huge spike in new tenant enquiries property, with transactions that were put on hold due to the pandemic, finally able to complete. We believe that there will be a big surge in demand as soon as the market opens and that the backlog of tenants that have been unable to move over the last 3 months will no doubt cause a ‘ripple’ effect with people looking to move over the peak summer months.

The importance of finding the right tenant for your property

We are yet to see the full effects of the pandemic on the economy, but with the Job Retention Scheme soon to be phased out, we do have some concerns that some tenants will not be able to meet their financial obligations. Therefore, securing the best possible tenant has never been more important going forward. It’s imperative that tenants stay as long as possible to minimise any void periods and that they are in a secure position to ensure that they can pay their rent month to month.

Keeping clients safe

The Scottish Government has issued new home moving guidance and virtual viewings should take place wherever possible and if viewing in person, virtual tours should be used prior to visiting the property to minimise the time spent at the property. In addition, it’s important to develop effective contactless tenancy moves and to keep any measures in place until the risks are negligible.

Could the market have opened sooner?

Whilst we are all relieved that the market will re open in less than a week, we also question whether the market could have opened sooner, in line with England. We believe that with the correct procedures in place to protect everyone from the risks, the market could have already reopened.

Coronovirus – A Landlord’s Guide
Thursday 4th June 2020
The buy-to-let market has been put under pressure with the financial implications making it difficult for tenants to pay their rent. But how can you navigate your way through this crisis? If your tenant has lost their job, they may struggle to pay their rent. You may be confused as to what your obligations are to your tenants during the pandemic and what financial support they can claim to stop their income from halting. Here are some of your obligations during this time:

Maintenance

Your repair obligations have not changed – as long as you practice social distancing works can still be carried out. You may have difficulty in finding contractors to do the work required, which could make it difficult to ensure your property meets the legal requirements. If you can’t resolve any issues due to the pandemic keep a record of the issue and what you have tried to do to solve it. Government advice states that you should take a pragmatic approach to any non-urgent issues and if you have taken appropriate steps, you won’t be in breach of your duties.

Rental payments

Tenants have been informed that they should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms in the agreement if possible. If they have lost their job, there are support systems available such as Universal Credit and help for the self-employed. Benefits payments may not be enough and so property owners could take a mortgage payment holiday and agree a schedule for the repayment of rent that has been suspended.

Eviction

The Government has said that tenants can still be evicted but the notice period has been extended. The courts have also suspended hearing repossession cases for 90 days.

Help for landlords

Landlords do not count as ‘self-employed’ and cannot get help from the government rescue package for the self-employed. Landlords can make use of an interest-free loan from the Government if they struggle to bring in rent during the pandemic and to be classified as self-employed would depend on the involvement they have with the management of their properties. A self-employed landlord would need to be operating multiple properties and generating enough income from this for it to be considered a business.

Financial support

If you are a landlord and struggling financially you can defer the payment for your self-assessment tax return from July to January 2021. In addition, you can look to take a mortgage holiday – this shouldn’t hurt your credit score, but mortgage companies may look at this when you take out another mortgage in the future, and they could consider this in any offer they make.

Landlord insurance

Some landlord insurance policies will cover any rental payment defaults, but your policy may only pay out once they have been in arrears for a certain period of time and notice has been served. Tenants failing to pay their rent during this time cannot be evicted for at least three months and you could be faced with delays on your claim.

Finding tenants

If you have an empty property it can still be marketed to let, and it can be viewed via video call. If a lease has been signed your tenant may choose to delay the move in date so talk to prospective tenants to come to a solution. If the property is empty you will still need to pay council tax. If you would like further advice on your obligations as a landlord throughout this pandemic, talk to Newton Letting today.
The Rights of Private Tenants
Thursday 4th June 2020
If you are a tenant here in Scotland, you have a number of rights to protect you and the property in which you live. Here are some of the things you should be aware of as a private tenant: You have the right to live in a safe property that is in good condition. You have the right to live in a property undisturbed, without any unreasonable interference from your landlord or letting agent. You have the right to know the energy performance via an Energy Performance Certificate. Your tenancy deposit will be protected in a government approved scheme. It must be registered with Letting Protection Service Scotland, Safe Deposits Scotland or mydeposits Scotland. You have the right to challenge rent increases that you believe to be unfair. There is a strict legal process that governs when landlords can increase your rent. It can be increased once per year, you will need to be served with a Rent Increase Notice which includes a three-month period before the rent is increased. If you feel it is unfair, you can apply to Rent Service Scotland. You have a right to protection from unfair eviction. If you have a private tenancy your landlord can only evict you for a specific reason as outlined here and it must be stated in writing. Your notice period depends on the reason behind your eviction but in some cases, it can be up to six months. If your landlord ends your tenancy and you refuse to move out, your landlord can only recover possession through court proceedings. If you think you’re being evicted unfairly you can defend this action via a tribunal. It is a legal requirement for tenants to receive a written tenancy agreement called the Private Residential Tenancy Agreement and all landlords are required to register with the local council that covers the area where the property is located as part of the Scottish Landlord Register. Landlords are required to provide information on themselves and the letting agent managing the property (if applicable).

Eviction during COVID-19

Updated guidance on evictions during the pandemic has been issued by the Scottish Government. This includes an extension of the notice period for evictions of 6 months. A new law has made all grounds for eviction discretionary, allowing any tribunals to consider the impact of coronavirus before issuing an eviction order or not. If you require any further help as a private tenant, or you're looking for a property to let, talk to our friendly, professional team today.
Fair Rents Bill (Scotland) Bill
Monday 1st June 2020
Today the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament. The aim of the Bill is to change the law in Scotland by amending the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 and to improve the way that rents are set in the private rented sector, with further support for low income tenants and to help reduce poverty and hardship. The Bill will set a cap on any rental increases and allow tenants to apply for a fair rent to be set, which will be considered based on the condition of the property, the décor, the energy efficiency and other issues. Here’s a summary of the proposals in the Bill: Summary of the proposals in the Bill:
  • A cap in Scotland on rent increases for Private Residential Tenancies (PRT) at no more than the annual Consumer Prices Index ("CPI") plus 1 %.
  • Tenants will have a PRT with the right to apply for a fair rent to be determined once in any 12 month period.
  • Private landlords are required to disclose the rents they charge for each property when they register or renew their registration on the Scottish Landlord Register.
  • Scottish Ministers must publish a statement on the impact of the Bill within three years from the commencement of the proposed legislation.
  • Scottish Ministers will be able to vary the additional percentage to be applied to CPI in the fair rent CPI cap either upwards or downwards, including a negative percentage.
  • Fair rent determination by a rent officer of the First Tier Tribunal cannot be increased from the proposed rent figure that is being appealed against.
  • The rents registered in the Landlord Register will be in the public domain.
The Bill will be introduced by May 2021. Talk to us at Newton Letting to discuss this proposal and how it may affect you as a landlord.
Rental Demand Up By a Third
Monday 25th May 2020
The return of the housing market has seen demand for rental property boom - with data from Rightmove showing activity in the first week since the lockdown in England eased, with rental demand on the portal registering at its highest ever in its 20 year history. There is a strong possibility that this will happen in Scotland.
According to Rightmove, almost 23,000 new rental listings appeared on the portal since the first day of reopening, down 10% on the same week last year. However, the total available rental stock is now up 13% since before the lockdown in March.Asking rents have risen 2.1% compared to last year, down from an annual rate of 3% before lockdown. On average they are £1,089 per calendar month across all Great Britain. This new activity on Rightmove shows that home-movers have determination to continue with their plans in the coming months. If you are looking for a suitable rental property, talk to us at Newton Letting and register for alerts.
COVID-19 - Rental Market Rebounds in England
Tuesday 12th May 2020
This week we saw a lifting of many restrictions in England. One of these was that the property market started back up again with estate agents being one of the first businesses to open following lockdown.  Here in Scotland that message is to 'Stay Home' but could we learn lessons from what will happen in England over the next few weeks?
The last few months have been very difficult for letting agents across the UK with a steep decline in completed tenancy applications but these figures have given property owners hope.  The level of demand is vital to agents and we will have to adapt to a 'new normal' when it comes to marketing property to let. It is predicted that over the next few weeks we will see a significant rebound for the market in England once restrictions on moving house are lifted further paving the way for how things could play out here in Scotland. Many moves are on hold at present so we believe that demand is building up each week. Sales will be hit harder than lettings, as people delay getting their foot onto the property ladder and remain renting instead to see how the market is affected over the next six months. Talk to us at Newton Letting if you would like advice, whether you're a tenant seeking a property or a landlord looking to maximise your investment.
The New Normal?
Sunday 10th May 2020
The Government has issued guidance to estate agents, buyers and sellers that more activity should be done online if possible. The new guideline document states "The process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of Coronavirus is reduced as far as possible” This 'new normal' will including much of the home seeking and viewing process taken online, including virtual initial viewings. The document also states that “We encourage people to do the majority of their  property searching online … To support this agents may ask home occupiers to conduct virtual viewings.” In relation to new-build property sales it advises: “Where possible, developers should promote virtual viewings.” And for conveyancers the guidance says: “Conveyancing should aim to conduct as much of their business remotely as possible. The rest of the guidance concerns social distancing, surface-cleaning and hand-washing, including agents being requested to avoid  contact with clients showing symptoms or having been advised to self-isolate, appointment viewing systems, stopping open-house viewings, enforcing 2m social distancing between individuals, clients making their own way to appointments, providing hand sanitising facilities and increasing ventilation by keeping all internal doors open during viewings. See the full guidance. At Newton Letting we will be undertaking all relevant changes to our business practices to adhere to the new rules that will come into force here in Scotland.
Landlord Emergency Loan Scheme Announced
Tuesday 5th May 2020
On May 5th, the Scottish Government revealed details of the PRS Landlord (non-business) COVID-19 Loan Support scheme. It is now open for applications.
The scheme  is open for opened for applications for members of SAL (Scottish Association of Landlords). This scheme is a repayable loan rather than a grant it will go some way to help those in need and has enabled landlords to access government support. The loan scheme is only open to landlords of five or fewer properties and the loan can be applied for just one property within their portfolio, even where more than one property has a COVID-19 related loss. The rationale behind this is based on the fact that 95% of Scottish landlords own between one and five properties and that those with more than five properties can spread the risk of non-payment of rent over the larger portfolio and are less likely to require a loan. This is a welcome first step but SAL believes the scheme should be opened up to help every landlords with portfolios of more than five properties if they are financially dependent on rental income and where their tenants are unable to pay their rent or properties are unable to be let due to the COVID-19 crisis. Without support, landlords will be forced into difficult decisions on disobeying lockdown guidance over viewings and move ins or losing their business, thus removing essential housing from an already short supply. SAL continues to make several points to the Scottish Government: Find out more.