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Month: June 2013

GFW Letting officially launches

The GFW Letting team is delighted to announce the launch of our brand new urban lettings service, as part of the North East’s leading rural property specialist, the George F. White Group.

Led by Holly Armstrong, 28, who has been rising through the ranks at George F. White since she started at the company five years ago, GFW Letting is a new business designed to cater for the ever-growing needs of the modern rental market.

Demonstrating the commitment of the George F. White Group to empowering young people, GFW Letting is made up of a team of five enthusiastic young professionals, including Law graduate, Holly, who bring with them a wealth of established experience and expertise to the modern rental market.

Our perspective on Shelter Research

Following this weeks report by Shelter into ending tenant agency fees GFW Letting thought it was only right to comment on this and give our perspective on where the lettings industry is going on this issue.

Shelter commissioned research into how much tenants were being charged to move into a rental property, they carried out a mystery shop of 58 agencies from six areas of England and they found that average charges were

Thinking of becoming a property investor?

With cash in the bank often giving lesser returns, more people are turning to property as a way to invest in their future.

Think about demand, not supply in the current rental market. You can look on property portals to get a general idea – but just because there’s lots of two bedroom flats available to let does not mean that this is what the demand is for. Speak to a knowledgeable agent – we often get enquiries for types of property that aren’t on the market but tenants wish they were.

In order to get better returns, it is usually best to split your cash and buy multiple properties with a mortgage. Spread your risk further by buying different property types. Potential legislation changes, oversupply in the market and increasing service charges may leave your portfolio exposed if you solely invest in one property type.

Do it right first time when it comes to refurbishment and furnishing. Tenants are increasingly expecting a better quality of rental property and young professionals want to leave behind student style furniture.

Make your property stand out from the crowd – tenants like properties with some personality!

House of Multiple Occupancy restrictions

New planning restrictions mean councils now have the ability to use Article 4 Directions to control HMO’s with the aim of combating anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance and rogue landlords.

This means that if three / four sharers wish to rent a four bedroom home that a family (single household) lived in previously, then the owner may need to apply for planning permission, which may not be granted from the local council.

A report by The Department of Work and Pensions has confirmed that the use of Article 4 is restricting the provision of affordable rental properties. Looking at the changes in Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and caps, especially for single people under 35, whose entitlement now means that sharing rental properties is a reality.

The reluctance of private landlords to enter into the HMO market with potential planning implications will have a detrimental effect on the supply of multiple occupancy homes on the rental market and appears to be at odds with the governments’ changing benefits policy.