Your Cardiff HMO in Safe Hands

Employing any of our House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) services you can rest assured your property and rental income is in safe hands.


We are a Rent Smart Wales accredited letting agent, a member of The Property Ombudsman Scheme and a member of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) that employs Client Money Protection (CMP).

If you would like to discuss any of your services  email info@roomsincardiff.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or complete the form below to receive a call from one of our experienced HMO managers

More Reasons for Private Rented Sector to be Scared

The Department for Communities and Local Government and Housing Minster, Brandon Lewis MP have played another “blinder” and hammered home yet another nail in the coffin for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in the form of “Pay to Stay”.

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, said:

 “It’s not fair that other hard-working people are subsidising the lifestyles of higher-earners to the tune of £3,500 per year, when the money could be used to build more affordable homes.”

 “’Pay to stay’ will ensure that those tenants on higher incomes who are living in social housing have a rent that reflects their ability to pay, while those who genuinely need support continue to receive it.”

Here is the link to The Department for Communities and Local Government press release:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fair-rents-will-ensure-higher-earning-tenants-pay-to-stay

 

So why is the “Pay to Stay” bad for Private Rented Sector?

Housing Associations can now charge full market rent to tenants who have a household income in excess of £30,000 per annum, the very same tenants the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is looking to attract, but which is more appealing to a tenant a private landlord or a Housing Association?

My guess would be a Housing Association is the more attractive option for a host of reasons but the most obvious being:

  • Tenants will be able to buy their Housing Association property after just 3 years with a 35% discount if it’s house and a 50% discount on a flat

So for professional working tenants currently renting from a PRS landlord making the switch to a Housing Association landlord makes sound financial sense.

Next question where are all the low income and tenants in receipt of benefits going to be housed?

You can also read about other ways Government Attacks Private Rented Sector

Sorry Housemates Cardiff Council have Shrunk the Bins

cardiff bins

Landlords and housemates be warned!   Your black general waste bin is getting smaller. This is happening right across Cardiff so if you own, manage or live in a Cardiff house share disposing of your general waste maybe about to get a lot more difficult.

General waste black bins are currently 240 litres buy are being replaced by a smaller 140 litre version.   This was brought to my attention last week when I put the bins out at a house share on North Road, Cardiff currently home to 5 house mates.

Five housemates produce a fair amount of general waste over a 2 week period and to be fair they all do their bit for recycling, utilising green bags and food waste brown bins, but now there has been a slight of hand and the bin has transformed from a just about adequate 240L to a worrying small 140 litre bin.

I have spoken to Cardiff Council about this as I am worried about other house shares across Cardiff with 6 or more people and was informed that letters have been sent out to all households and those with 6+ housemates should contact the council to stop their existing black wheelie bins being replaced.

So if you own or manage or live in a house share in Cardiff with six or more people make sure you contact them ASAP to ensure your bins don’t shrink!

Here is a link containing a contact number for Cardiff Council Waste & Recycling Team

Government Attacks Private Rented Sector

Landlords and property investors across the UK have come under attack from most sections of society with the most serve attacks coming from Government in this year’s Summer Budget and Autumn Statements.

So Rooms in Cardiff have put together a handy resource for landlords and investors operating in Cardiff property market.

Summer Budget 2015 & Autumn Statement 2015

Summer Budget 2015 was where the most damage was inflicted. Hot on the heels of an outstanding success at the general election the Conservative party began to set out their stall and plans for the PRS and how they plan to remove small scale landlords via taxation:

Mortgage interest relief for buy-to-let homebuyers to be restricted to basic rate of income tax as it is, the tax relief will be halved for those paying the highest tax rates. The removal of mortgage interest relief will be gradually phased in from 2017-18 enabling landlords to claim relief to 75% their finance costs and reducing 25% each year until 2020-21 where only basic rate relief will be available, essentially higher rate tax paying landlords paying tax on their turn over and not profit.

Removal of 10% Wear & Tear for Furnished Lettings To take affect from 6 April 2016 the ‘Wear and Tear Allowance’ is to be replaced by a new ‘Replacement Furniture Relief’ (RFR) for all landlords whichever type of property, furnished or unfurnished.

Inheritance tax threshold to increase to £1m, phased in from 2017, underpinned by a new £325,000 family home allowance

The Autumn Statement 2015 had a further shock for Landlords and property investors with the introduction of higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for buy-to-let investors and second home owners, new purchases from April 2016 will be taxed an addition 3% above current SDLT rates so a £100K property will now pay £3K (was previously exempt) and a £200K property £10K in Property taxes previously £4K.

Here is the legislation taken from Governments Autumn 2015 Spending Review

 “Stamp duty land tax: additional properties – Higher rates of SDLT will be charged on purchases of additional residential properties (above £40,000), such as buy to let properties and second homes, from 1 April 2016. The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current SDLT rates. The higher rates will not apply to purchases of caravans, mobile homes or houseboats, or to corporates or funds making significant investments in residential property given the role of this investment in supporting the government’s housing agenda. The government will consult on the policy detail, including on whether an exemption for corporates and funds owning more than 15 residential properties is appropriate. The government will use some of the additional tax collected to provide £60 million for communities in England where the impact of second homes is particularly acute.”

Benefit Cap & Universal Credit

Benefits have been capped across the UK and there is now a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. The level of the cap is:

  • £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
  • £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
  • £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them

You can find out information of the Government’s Benefit Cap and which benefits will and won’t be affected. Housing Benefit is also frozen for a four year period from 2016-2017 making it even harder for tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit to secure housing in Cardiff and across the rest of the UK when rents continue to rise in the PRS.

November 2015 is a big month in Cardiff as Universal Credit will also begin to be rolled out across the Welsh Capital (Cardiff Council Link to Universal Credit) although this is mostly likely to only affect single “new” claimants.

Rent Smart Wales is here!

We knew it was coming but not quite when, but it’s official it is up and running but seems to be having numerous issues with registering as landlords, agents and taking payments.

You need to determine whether you simply need to register with Rent Smart Wales, or whether you need to register and be licensed you can do so by visiting Rent Smart Wales. As a landlord with property in Cardiff you have two options:

Register Only: If you use a managing agent and do not involve yourself in the setting up of tenancies or day-to-day property management, you will only need to register.

Registration and a licence: If you find tenants yourself or take care of the day-to-day property management yourself, you will need to register and be licensed.

If you haven’t already been on the Landlord Accreditation Wales training course, you will need to do landlord training before being granted a licence. Currently, the required training can only be attained by attending a one-day course in person, but there will be online training available in the New Year.

Rent Smart Wales and Section 21 Notice

 No section 21 notice may be given if:

  • The landlord is not registered, or
  • The landlord is not licensed and the landlord has not appointed a person who is licensed to carry out all property management work in respect of the dwelling on the landlord’s behalf

Ouch! Landlords May Have Rent Stopped or Have to Repay Tenants

Yes Landlords may have their rent stopped via a Rent Stopping Order or your tenant may apply for a Rent Repayment Order! What is even more worrying the person who is alleged to have committed the offence does not have to have been charged or convicted of an offence for a rent stopping order to be made?

The effect of a rent stopping order is to stop, for a period, any rent payable by a tenant. Legally the tenant will be considered to have paid this rent and no rent arrears claim could be made.

Renting Homes Wales Bill

 The Renting Homes Wales Bill has been passed by the Welsh Assembly and is likely to receive Royal Assent in December 2015. The main points of the bill include:

  • All tenancies and licenses are replaced by two “occupational contracts”
  • Tenants will have a minimum 6 month occupation period
  • Landlords to ensure property is fit for human habitation
  • Joint tenancies will be treated differently if joint tenant wishes to leave tenancy the tenancy will continue in remaining tenants sole name

One major benefit stands out for Landlords. The Bill will enable landlords to repossess an abandoned property without needing a court order!

Also there may be trouble on the horizon for HMO landlords across Cardiff. On Friday 6 November 2015, the government published a consultation paper on changes to mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing in England. A new definition for HMOs could bring in smaller properties under mandatory licensing.

The Government is also considering a new national minimum room sizes along the lines of the statutory overcrowding standard in Section 326 of the Housing Act 1985 of 6.5 Sq. m for single rooms and 10.2 Sq. m for double rooms, here is a link to article complied by Residential Landlords Association

It seems that small landlords are under full scale attack and 2016 will be a challenging year for landlords, tenant and PRS as a whole especially in Cardiff where Universal Credit, Rent Smart Wales and Renting Home Wales Bill will all start to shape the PRS.

Are UK House Prices set for a 15% fall?

At Rooms in Cardiff we aim to provide landlords, home owners and property investor’s detailed analysis of the property market in Cardiff, Wales and across the UK.

There has been a wealth of housing data released all hinting at which direction UK house prices are going over the next 12 months, but at Rooms in Cardiff we have been doing our own online research and wanted to share this with our readers.

 Net Mortgage Lending Growth

The Bank of England (BoE) provides monthly data on UK net mortgage lending growth (NMLG). Historically this has proved a handy guide to house prices.

September 2012 saw UK NMLG remain at 1.1%. That compares with annual growth of 1.9% two years ago, 5.7% in December 2008 and 11.1% in February 2007. Meanwhile, the October Nationwide UK house price index was down by 0.9% year-on-year.

What does this mean for UK house prices?

As you can see from the above graph, this long-term collapse in NMLG suggests UK house prices are standing at the cliff face. If they follow net lending trends, residential property values could slump by over 15%.

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@RoomsInCardiff.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

The Court Process of Possessing a Property

We thought the following flow chart and information relating to the process of gaining legal possession of a property may be of use to all the landlords out there.  The flow chart and information is taken from the Ministry of Justice.

To obtain a court order granting the entitlement to take possession of a  property, a claimant – a mortgage lender or a landlord – must first make a claim which is then issued by a county court. Generally, the issuing process involves the arrangement of an initial hearing before a judge. At such a hearing, a judge may:

  • · grant an order for outright possession of the property at a date decided by the judge;
  • · grant a suspended order for possession of the property; or,
  • · grant no order for possession (e.g. after deciding the claimant has no legal right to take possession of the property).

The suspended order for possession of the property usually requires the defendant to pay the latest mortgage or rent instalment, plus some of the arrears that have built up, within a certain defined period. As long as the defendant complies with the terms of the suspension, the possession order cannot be enforced.

More than one order may be granted during the course of an individual case. For example, it is possible that after an initial possession order is granted, the defendant may make an application to the court for the order to be varied or set aside, which could then result in another order being made.

A granted order entitles the claimant to apply for a warrant to have the defendant evicted by bailiffs, so taking possession of the property. Only then does repossession occur. Actual repossession figures (including voluntary repossessions such as where the mortgagee or tenant hands back the keys) are only available for mortgages and are compiled by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Throughout the court process, even where a warrant for possession is issued, the claimant and defendant can still negotiate a compromise arrangement to prevent eviction.

A flow chart showing the court process of possessing a property for landlords and mortgage lenders

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@RoomsInCardiff.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

Swansea HMO a battleground for Students & Council

Swansea HMO have become the latest battleground for Students and the City’s council

Swansea Student representatives and Swansea council are involved a row over houses of multiple occupation (HMO) a house of multiple occupancy is a dwelling which is occupied by three or more unrelated individuals.

Swansea Councillors like some many councils across England and Wales want powers to control planning over HMOs in the city saying some areas have too many and that residents want their streets back but Swansea University students’ union say Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) provide affordable student accommodation which is vital in times of economic uncertainty and rising university fees and they fear that new powers could result in fewer affordable housing options.

Welfare officer Charlotte Britton said: “A lot of HMOs are student houses, and are some of the most affordable housing in the private rented sector.

“This makes them very popular for a lot of young people and those on low incomes in cities across the UK.

“These caps on HMOs have already been introduced in some university cities in England, due to certain lobby groups who think that stopping HMOs will solve problems such as incorrect waste disposal, poor housing standards and anti-social behaviour.

“So far, there is no proof that these caps have made any significant improvement in any of these areas.

“Swansea students’ union also shares the same view as NUS Wales, that encouraging people within their community to engage with each other and work together to solve community tensions is much more effective than using badly thought-through planning laws.”

Swansea’s Labour-led council said in its election manifesto that tackling what it called an “overconcentration” of HMOs which “blights” many parts of the city would be a major priority.

Brynmill and Uplands are areas where many students live in shared homes.

And earlier this month first minister Carwyn Jones said capping would be “the last thing” the Welsh government would do.

But John Bayliss, councillor for Uplands says the issue is not about placing a cap on the number of HMOs.

“We want to control them, we don’t necessarily want to cap them,” he said.

“The densification in my ward is the main issue. We have a problem where 80% of a certain street is HMO and the remaining 20% don’t feel there’s a community.”

Mr Bayliss said having planning control would allow the council to make sure HMOs could be placed in suitable locations.

He added that it would give them the power to force landlords to improve property standards or take their licence away.

The councillor also pointed out that there were about 1,400 HMOs in his ward and the neighbouring Castle ward.

As many of them were rented by students, he said no council tax was paid but money still needed to be found to provide services in those areas like rubbish collections.

“I think the student body have their own interest and they exclude the needs of the local community,” Mr Bayliss added.

“The statement from the welfare officer of the Swansea students’ union is unfortunate. I see their argument but it’s only one part of an argument.”

Councillors are due to meet housing minister Huw Lewis at a later date.

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@webletz.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

Swansea HMO Landlord: License Properties or Face Fines

Two Swansea HMO Landlords have received heavy fines by magistrates after failing to license their respective House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Fines of more than £9,000 were handed out to Huw Rees Davies of Llangennech, Llanelli and Mark Gethin Harris of Mildenhall, Suffolk.  Both defendants failed to obtain licenses for their House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) after several reminders from the council.

Mr Davies, appeared before Cardiff Magistrates and was fined a total of £1,450 in relation to two properties at William Street and Clarence Street. He pleaded guilty to a total of 15 offences including failure to license an HMO at one property and breaching licensing conditions at another.

Mr Harris appeared before Swansea Magistrates and pleaded guilty to 12 offences linked to a house at Chaddesley Terrace. They included failure to license an HMO and failure to comply with Management Regulations. He was fined a total of £8,000.

Swansea Council is now urging landlords who rent out Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in the city to check if they need a licence.

The Council was awarded a total of £2,193 costs for both cases.

Mark Child, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “Tenants in private rented accommodation in Swansea need to be reassured that the property they are living in is safe and is maintained to an acceptable standard.

“The licensing scheme we have in place helps to verify that landlords are carrying out their responsibilities to provide good quality accommodation.

“We will continue to prosecute anyone who fails to license their property when they are required to. If landlords are unsure whether they need a licence they can contact the Council for advice.”

Swansea HMO landlords must acquire an HMO Licence and manage their property in accordance with the HMO Management Regulations.

There are around 2000 HMOs in Swansea, many of which are located in the two central wards of Castle and Uplands.

All HMOs in Castle and Uplands need to be licensed. HMOs in other areas require a licence if there are three or more floors and five or more occupants.

Landlords in Swansea can visit Swansea Council’s website for help and advice about licensing an HMO. Visit www.swansea.gov.uk/hmos  or phone 01792 635600.

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@webletz.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

Welsh House Prices Set to fall in 2013

At Rooms in Cardiff we aim to provide landlords, home owners and property investor’s detailed analysis of the property market in Cardiff, Wales and across the UK.

The latest House Price report from Knight Frank bears grim reading for UK home owners and property investors in Wales and across the UK as Knight Frank predict house prices to fall across the UK with Welsh house prices predicted to fall a further 3.8%.

Key headlines of the Knight Frank report include:

  • UK house prices will not reach their 2007 peak until 2019: the longest housing market recovery on record, according to Knight Frank’s new forecast
  • UK housing transactions to rise 2% in 2013, but to remain well below peak levels for the rest of the decade
  • Tax changes forecast to weigh on prime central London prices, with no price movement expected in 2013.
  • 5 years since start financial crisis and UK housing market is not fully functional
  • Transaction levels 50% lower than in 2007 and 35% below 20 year average
  • House prices being supported by unusual economic conditions, ultra-low interest rates
  • Further correction in house prices is needed as relationship between average earnings and average house prices is well above long term average.

 

UK Regional Market House Price Growth

  20 Year Average to 2011 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
East Anglia 5.8% 5.7% -16.6% 4.5% 3.4% 1.4% -2.4% -0.7%
East Midlands 5.5% 2.8% -14.2% -2.5% 1.7% 0.7% -1.6% -1.0%
London 7.4% 12.8% -15.1% 7.0% 2.5% 5.4% -0.2% -0.6%
North East 4.9% 3.7% -11.0% -2.0% 0.6% -1.0% 0.5% -2.3%
North West 4.9% 3.5% -14.4% 2.7% -1.9% -1.1% -1.8% -2.6%
Scotland 5.3% 10.1% -8.1% 1.0% -2.1% -0.8% -3.6% -3.2%
South East 6.4% 7.9% -15.7% 6.0% 2.4% 1.6% -0.9% -1.1%
South West 6.3% 6.4% -14.9% 3.8% 2.1% 0.8% -1.0% -2.2%
Wales 5.6% 4.2% -12.1% -0.3% -1.9% 1.6% -3.6% -3.8%
West Midlands 5.2% 4.4% -14.0% 2.1% 0.6% 0.4% -1.3% -2.1%

Read the full Knight Frank report here

The figures above suggest home owners, landlords and property investors across Wales should expect further house price drops so what can you do to weather the storm and shelter yourself from falling house prices.

At Rooms in Cardiff we are able to provide financial security to those of you with negative equity or landlords with empty homes by providing a guaranteed rental income for period of 12 months or more.  Rooms in Cardiff guaranteed rental income scheme is a great solution to landlords and homeowners across Cardiff and South Wales as we can help lighten the financial burden by providing a rent guarantee ensuring a monthly payment with no void periods, no set up fees and often with no maintenance costs.

Rooms in Cardiff are a specialist multi let and House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) landlord service provider and can provide a HMO Rent Guarantee as well as providing a guaranteed rental income for apartments, bungalows, flats and homes across Cardiff and South Wales.

To discuss how Rooms in Cardiff can help relieve the financial burden of a house in negative equity or a rental property that is left empty and provide a guaranteed rental income, why not email info@webletz.co.uk or call 0845 496 0000.

Landlords lure Students with iPads & More

Yesterday a post appeared on Property Tribes “London landlords lure students with iPads as university fees bite”.  The article was first published by Reuters news agency highlighting the incentives London landlords are offering to attract student tenants as student numbers are dropping in the capital due to introduction of university fees and tighter restrictions being imposed on the number of non-EU being able to obtain a Student Visa.

Student accommodation as always be looked upon as a safe property investment with excellent annual returns but is student housing reputation looking a lot more shaky?

The problem isn’t just affecting small landlords it’s proving problematic for corporate organisations too.  Irish owned O’Flynn Group, Carlyle Group’s Pure Student Living and Quintain Estates are among developers who have struggled to fill student rooms in London this year after the British government tripled maximum university fees to 9,000 pounds ($14,400), triggering a 12 per cent fall in numbers from Britain and the EU.

Investment in student housing has risen from 350 million pounds in 2009 to some two billion pounds in the first nine months of 2012, data from CBRE Group showed. Investors are attracted by high occupancy rates and stable income streams.

Read the full article from Reuters >>> here.

Back in September Rooms in Cardiff published a post titled “Cardiff Student Housing or Professional House Share?” which highlighted the fall in student numbers across the UK, Wales and Cardiff with the aim of providing an alternative use for large family houses, Multi Let property and House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) in the Welsh capital.

The aim of the post was to draw landlord’s attention to professional house share a real alternative to Cardiff Student housing.  There is huge demand for professional house share in Cardiff as well as fantastic annual returns as professional tenants require your House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) 12 months of the year.

As a landlord and owner of a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) in Cardiff you are ideally placed to utilise your property more efficiently and take advantage of the growing professional house share market.  So if you are interested in moving away from Cardiff Student housing have Rooms to Rent in Cardiff why not contact Rooms in Cardiff to discuss how we can help you find professional tenants for your professional house share with our low cost, fixed price £120 tenant finder service.

We can also provide landlords with a complete HMO Rent Guarantee scheme taking the complete hassle out of HMO and Multi Let management, with no void periods, no set up fees and no maintenance costs; we can provide a guaranteed rental income for a 12 month plus period.

Contact Rooms in Cardiff on 0845 496 0000 or email info@webletz.coc.uk to discuss how you can diversify into the professional house share market in Cardiff and across South Wales.