The convergence problem
Tribes with common threats put aside differences to become allied.
Every action has an equal and opposing reaction.
Declaring a trade war against our twenty-seven closest neighbours won’t end well in the short-term. Unfortunately, lives will change, and this could impact your agency and reputation with your client landlords.
Social behaviour and rent payments could begin to slip in homes affected by Brexit. Ensure your rent payments remain a priority by adopting appraisals, so affected tenants can prioritise their finance’s accordingly.
Ensure rent payments remain the priority for the Non-EU immigration that will replace the traditional EU-based immigrants going forward.
2. Shifted responsibility
Cunningly, government policies have successfully shifted their social responsibilities to the private sector.
The horse has already bolted, so all landlords, agencies and tenants can do today is work together to alleviate the madness that comes with failed government policies.
A ‘Section 21’ may be the norm for professionals, but for a private landlord, it can mean the end of the landlord experience and the removal of a quality home from the rental market for real quality tenants.
A lose-lose situation for the lettings industry and society at large.
3. Mandatory terms
The new government forced minimum-term tenancy agreements are on there way.
Mandatory three-year tenancy agreements bring a whole raft of risks to agencies and landlords. That’s why improved scrutinisation will become increasingly necessary.
4. No win; no fee
More complaints about letting agents to The Property Ombudsman come from landlords (49%) than tenants (45%). Most claims were about management issues, communication and record-keeping.
However, some high-profile cases have highlighted a common problem of unsuitable tenant placements, drugs-related use of a property and the actual costs involved in encountering such people.
5. Equality laws
Tenants speaking the words “indirect sexual discrimination” have brought successful legal cases against landlords and agents who refuse to entertain DSS claiming tenants.
Tenants should be judged on past renting experiences and behaviour instead of social class, and thus agents should no longer fall victim to discrimination cases.
With the advent of Easylettings and other online competitors, offering a ‘better’ vetting service for your clients is now imperative. Placing the right tenant with the right property (first time) will give you an advantage and additional value.
200 million African and Middle Eastern settlers are expected across Europe over the coming decade.
Historical information about such tenants can be challenging to research. You may or may not be the first agent, but you could be ‘the next’ agent. The knowledge of how ‘a previous’ agency fared would be useful.
Landlord licensing schemes are now common as local authorities attempt to crack down on rogue operators.
As the lettings industry becomes the focal point of increased scrutiny, the timing is right for tenant scrutiny too.
9. Withdrawal of Section 21
The planned withdrawal of “Section 21”, a rule that allows landlords to evict problem tenants easily. Rights for excellent tenants and bad ones too. Never say never!
10. General societal decline
Short-notice evictions face the axe at a time when the societal decline in standards is accelerating.
Appraise conduct, cleanliness and rent collection in as little or as much detail as you wish.
10.1 Rogue landlord registers
Local authorities have been given the green light to hold data on landlords. Industry-wide data storage capabilities have become a necessity; not a luxury.
A period of digital-upgrade revolving around peer-to-peer co-operation.