A new look for the new normal – why lockdown caused so many companies to rebrand

A new look for the new normal – why lockdown caused so many companies to rebrand

United Kingdom
  • Housing Hand launches a new brand and new services in midst of COVID crisis
  • Move reflects trend for brands to look inward during lockdown and focus on their core values
  • Emphasis on creating something positive out of coronavirus pandemic
  • Housing Hand still able to operate during the COVID crisis, continuing to offer guarantees and help

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused companies up and down the UK (and elsewhere) to look inward like never before. With staff working from home or furloughed, many management teams have taken the opportunity to review their internal processes, customer engagement strategies, services offerings and more.

UK rent guarantor service Housing Hand is one business that continued to operate during the crisis and used the lockdown time productively. The company has rebranded and launched a new website packed with additional features, in a move displaying determination to create something positive out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re living through extremely worrying times right now, with both health and financial concerns weighing heavily on many individuals, families and businesses. For companies, the need to adapt to the new normal has been intense. At Housing Hand, we’ve used the lockdown to focus on our brand, our values and make some exciting improvements to the services that we offer through our website.

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

Housing Hand’s fresh website includes a new pricing guide to enable students and working professionals to get a free quote prior to applying for a rent guarantor, along with a booking system for arranging meetings and calls with the company’s helpful team via their website. Not only that, but the enhanced House Finder service sends out thousands of free leads to Housing Hand’s partners.

Housing Hand’s new look for the new normal sees ‘Percy the pigeon’ walking applicants through the site’s contents in pursuit of their new ‘nest,’ whether that’s student accommodation or a private rental property.

“We were able to continue operating during COVID, using the time to re-strategise and realign to our core company values. We’re so happy that we’ve launched a fully rebranded website that enhances the user experience and makes it even easier for individuals from around the world to access the information that they need on how to apply for a UK rent guarantor.”

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

News of the rebrand comes hot on the heels of Housing Hand’s acquisition of the UK Guarantor website, further cementing its position as the country’s leading rent guarantor firm. A referral partnership between Housing Hand and property platform Accommodation for Students has also just been revealed.

For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Housing Hand acquires UK Guarantor website and secures partnership with Accommodation for Students

Housing Hand acquires UK Guarantor website and secures partnership with Accommodation for Students

United Kingdom
  • UK’s leading rent guarantor firm acquires the website of the country’s second largest service
  • Housing Hand has covered more than £646 million in rent since 2013
  • Accommodation for Students partnership to support students across UK

The COVID-19 lockdown has been an exceptionally busy time for the team at Housing Hand. The UK’s largest rent guarantor firm has just announced that it has acquired ukguarantor.com. Student Marketing Agency Ltd, who previously operated the website will no longer process guarantor applications but will continue to manage existing guarantor commitments and support Housing Hand in the smooth transition of new applicants.  The move means that Housing Hand will be taking over all of UK Guarantor’s new and renewal applications (previous matters will still be dealt with by Student Marketing Agency Ltd).

The new arrangements will build on the foundation that Housing Hand has already built. The company has helped and processed 87,764 applicants since 2013, working with more than 3,500 accommodation providers. The total rent covered in that time has topped £646 million.

We are delighted to have acquired the UK Guarantor website to serve even more tenants and students across the UK. Through this and the new partnership with Accommodation for Students, we will offer an enhanced, UK-wide service that enables individuals to rent the properties of their choice without needing to find thousands of pounds for a deposit.

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

We’re living in unprecedented times and the need for guarantor services has never been more acute. We will be working closely with Housing Hand to ensure a smooth transition for new applicants. Housing Hand provide an invaluable resource for many of those who are already facing additional pressures in their lives.

Nick Emms, UK Guarantor

Housing Hand acts as a guarantor for students and other renters who otherwise would not have one. Housing Hand liaises with the potential landlord, letting agent or university in order to make the necessary arrangements. Renters who would otherwise be asked to stump up six to 12 months’ rent in advance are thus spared the difficulty of having to do so. The service costs from as little as £295, with payment by instalments also available.

In order to streamline the guarantor process, Housing Hand is built into many accommodation providers’ booking forms. This is where the new partnership with Accommodation for Students comes in. A property platform for students, Accommodation for Students acts as a referral partner for UK Guarantor – and now for Housing Hand. The arrangement means that students in need of a guarantor are provided with an established, trustworthy service that can enable them to access the accommodation they desire.

“As the UK’s number one student accommodation website, we are thrilled to be working in partnership with Housing Hand. Together, we aim to ensure that those studying at the UK’s world-renowned universities are able to access appropriate accommodation throughout their higher education.”

Simon Thompson, Managing Director, Accommodation for Students

Finding a way forward as part of the ‘new normal’ has seen many organisations innovate and form new alliances in order to adapt. Housing Hand has used the experience to take the next step in its history, enabling it to support the ongoing stability of the UK rental sector.

For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Burrough Court launches Zoom Rooms as part of ‘new normal’ business package

Burrough Court launches Zoom Rooms as part of ‘new normal’ business package

United Kingdom

Rural business premises and office accommodation provider Burrough Court has revealed it is launching new ‘Zoom Rooms’ for its clients to use free of charge. The launch is part of a raft of measures designed to adapt the new normal that office life requires as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Zoom Rooms at the family-run business provide private, professional spaces for clients to use to host virtual meetings that they would otherwise have held face-to-face. The spaces undergo regular deep cleaning and comply with site-wide usage of hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes and other safety measures.

“We’re looking to embrace the changes that are resulting from COVID-19 as an opportunity, rather than a challenge. From working in partnership with one of our tenants to produce ‘corona hinges’ that hold external doors open for touch-free access to setting up the Zoom Rooms to enable our clients to host professional meetings, we are doing all we can to turn challenges into chances to innovate.”

Fred Wilson, Director, Burrough Court

For more information, call 01664 454 690, email info@burroughcourt.com or visit www.burroughcourt.com

Only My Share seeks to reassure private renters

Only My Share seeks to reassure private renters

United Kingdom ,
  • 25% of tenants fear falling into rent arrears (Landlord Information Network)
  • Clarity lacking on eventual outcomes for renters struggling due to pandemic
  • Only My Share offering reassurance to renters in shared households 

It’s a troubling time for renters. While the UK’s major banks are working with the government to provide property owners who need it with a three-month mortgage break if required, plans for private renters (who account for one in five UK households) have unfolded far less rapidly and clearly. 

What the government has done is announce that “no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.” 

“While ensuring no evictions is a positive step, it does nothing to address the issue of tenants who find themselves unable to pay their rent and are thus building up rent arrears. Many people who are self-isolating or looking after children who would otherwise be in school or early years childcare settings, may suddenly find themselves unable to work and unable to earn. If they’re building up rent arrears, what will happen as soon as the eviction ban lifts? The government’s plan to leave landlords and tenants to ‘work together to establish an affordable repayment plan’ doesn’t sound very reassuring.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

Cases of tenants who are seriously behind on their rent were already rising, before the added complication of the global pandemic. The Landlord Information Network reports that over 25% of tenants fear they will fall into rent arrears. 

For those living in shared houses, the issue of rent arrears has been a thorny one for some time. ‘Joint and several’ tenancy agreements mean that all tenants are equally liable for each other’s obligations under the contract. This means that a tenant can be taken to court for their housemate’s rent arrears (once the courts begin processing such cases again).

Those who are concerned about being in such a situation are not without options. Rent arrears protection service Only My Share exists to deal with precisely these circumstances. Housemates and their guarantors can both enjoy protection of  up to £10,000 of fellow housemates’ arrears from just £99 per year; subject to their standard terms and conditions

“Many sharers don’t realise that they could be liable for thousands of pounds of rent arrears based on payments that were never theirs to make in the first place. With the current pandemic highlighting the precarious conditions that many renters face, services like Only My Share can provide a very welcome degree of reassurance.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

Only My Share is part of the Housing Hand group. Housing Hand provides a UK rent guarantor service, while Only My Share protects the guarantor… and the tenant. 

For more information please contact Only My Share today on +44 (0) 203 887 2961 or visit https://www.onlymyshare.com/ 

Putting the PR into PRoperty: AB Property Marketing celebrates 15 years of success

Putting the PR into PRoperty: AB Property Marketing celebrates 15 years of success

United Kingdom
  • Agency has represented property clients around the world for past 15 years
  • From Albania to Zambia, from new builds to BTR, PBSA, B2L, second homes & interiors
  • Agency based on a passion for property, innovative PR techniques & attentive client service

March 2020 sees leading property PR agency AB Property Marketing celebrating 15 years of successfully representing clients around the world. From a two-woman Surrey start-up, the company has grown and flexed since forming in 2005, finding new and innovative ways to promote a wide range of different property clients and their projects.

Now based in London, Founder and Managing Director, Charlotte Ashton, comments,

“It’s incredible to think that the start-up I co-founded all those years ago has grown to represent household names within the property industry. I’m so proud of the work that the team has undertaken in gaining in-depth knowledge of our clients, their markets and products. We’ve purposefully kept a focus on property alone and strived to deliver an attentive service that you can only get with boutique PR agencies, meaning that our clients always get fully committed, bespoke services.”

Over the past 15 years, AB Property Marketing has worked with leading names in the property sector, including Taylor Wimpey, Quintain, JLL, Tipi, be:here, Millgate, Alexander James Interior Design and Currency Index. The company has delivered PR expertise for UK new homes, international second homes, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), hotels and resorts, investment properties (from buy-to-let to care homes), the build to rent sector and much, much more.

“We’ve worked with AB Property Marketing for over a decade now and are still impressed by the team’s enthusiasm, knowledge and personal service. I’m delighted that they are celebrating 15 years of success – but certainly not surprised!”

Marc Pritchard, Head of Sales and Marketing, Taylor Wimpey España

One of the keys to AB Property Marketing’s success has been the company’s willingness to adapt. Popular property investment products and locations change over time, as does everything from the types of second homes available to property-related tax regimes. By utilising their passion for property and staying two steps ahead, AB Property Marketing has been able to support clients to navigate the shifting landscape, just as it has done itself.

“In the past 15 years, we’ve gone through everything from a major global recession to the painfully drawn-out Brexit process. Factors such as these can have a dramatic impact on the property market, both domestically and overseas. That’s why adaptability and horizon-scanning are so essential when it comes to working in the property industry over the longer term.”

Charlotte Ashton, Founder and Managing Director, AB Property Marketing

AB Property Marketing has become the partner of choice for developers looking to bring new property products to market, as well as established brands with their own long history of success. The agency is also a long-term friend to those who write about property, providing up-to-the-minute commentary on political developments, local insights into sun-kissed holiday destinations and everything in between.

“Charlotte’s longevity is proof of her talent for good PR in a very transitory business. Never just reactive, she is great to deal with and great at balancing the often-conflicting demands of property client and journalist (!). Experience does count.”

Liz Rowlinson, freelance property writer for The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times & Editor of A Place in the Sun magazine

For all your property public relations needs, contact AB Property Marketing on +44 845 054 7524 or visit www.abpropertymarketing.co.uk.  

Housing Hand highlights pressure on UK universities as political and economic factors take their toll

Housing Hand highlights pressure on UK universities as political and economic factors take their toll

United Kingdom
  • Enhanced further education sector in China may dent UK’s international student numbers
  • Potential tuition fee cuts could jeopardise course quality
  • Brexit’s impact on the 18% of academic staff who hail from the EU is not yet known

The UK’s universities are under increasing pressure to do more for their students, even as resources are being cut, UK rent guarantor service Housing Hand reports. Housing Hand is working in partnership with select universities in order to better support students in accessing safe, appropriate accommodation during their studies. Most recently, it launched a year-long trial with Goldsmiths, University of London, that sees the Housing Hand rent guarantor service available to all Goldsmiths students at a significantly reduced rate.

Academic institutions in the UK are trying to deal with a range of issues at present, while still trying to fulfill their duty of care to all those who study at them. We’re looking for innovative ways to try and help universities support their students in the face of diminishing resources, so that they can ultimately deliver greater value.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Housing Hand helps students with no UK-based rent guarantor to secure suitable accommodation, whether that be through a landlord, agent or other student housing provider. By using Housing Hand, students can mitigate the need to pay 6-12 months’ rent upfront – a standard requirement for those who have no guarantor. The service is available to domestic students, as well as those from the EU and further afield. At present, domestic students account for around 40% of those that the company serves with the other 60% coming from overseas.

International students are a particular point of concern for many universities at present. China, which sends more students to the UK than any other country, accounting for 106,530 students in 2017/18, has recently done much to improve its own higher education offering, creating more attractive degrees at home. The UK also compares unfavourably with countries such as Canada when it comes to visa terms for those who’ve graduated here, even accounting for the recent announcement that international students will be allowed to stay in the UK for two years after graduating.

Then there’s Brexit. Not only does Brexit have the ability to cause a drop in EU student numbers, it can also cause headaches for those establishments employing foreign teaching staff. Universities UK reports that 18% of the UK higher education sector’s total academic staff in 2017/18 had an EU nationality. And that’s not to mention the loss of EU research funding.

It’s no wonder that universities are doing all they can to support international students and increase their numbers. Part of this includes using services such as Housing Hand to help students deal with the chronic undersupply of suitable student housing in many UK cities and ensure that they can access safe, appropriate places to live.”

Saasha Verma, University Partnerships Manager, Housing Hand

The pain felt by universities as a result of international competition and domestic political pressures is exacerbated by potential fee cuts. Earlier this year, a landmark review commissioned by the government recommended that tuition fees be capped at £7,500, instead of the current rate of £9,250. Such a move would have a dramatic impact on the funding available to the UK’s higher education establishments and likely an inescapable knock-on effect on the quality of the courses on offer.

The UK’s universities have been turned into businesses – businesses that are trapped between government controls and deregulation. Competition is fierce, with the 450+ institutions struggling to find the flexibility to generate additional income.

“Housing Hand doesn’t have the power to solve every issue that our universities are facing, but when it comes to student welfare, we are here to help. Higher education faces a tough few years ahead, which is why a plethora of independent services are needed to work alongside the UK’s universities in order that they can remain attractive to bright young people from around the world.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

 

For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

 

 

Housing Hand to meet Housing Minster in bid to support those who find it hardest to access housing

Housing Hand to meet Housing Minster in bid to support those who find it hardest to access housing

United Kingdom
  • Rough sleeping up 165% between 2010 and 2018 (MHCLG)
  • Housing Hand meeting Ester McVey to discuss UK housing solutions
  • Supporting people at risk of becoming homeless is key CSR priority

The number of people sleeping rough in the UK rose by 165% between 2010 and 2018 according to figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Supporting people to get off the streets and back into mainstream housing is a complex issue and one that is better addressed by supporting those at risk of becoming homeless in the first place. As such, local councils need to do all they can to support those who find it harder to access housing, according to UK rent guarantor service Housing Hand.

The Museum for Homelessness reports that a homeless person dies every 19 hours in the UK. With homelessness rising so sharply over the past eight years, a solution is needed fast. Housing Hand is one organisation seeking to be part of that solution. The company is due to meet with Housing Minister Esther McVey this month to discuss supporting those who find it harder to access housing, including working with local councils.

Housing Hand acts as a guarantor for students and working professionals who rent their homes and don’t have a UK guarantor. The company has covered £120,000,000 in rent to date and has worked with over 3,000 accommodation providers. Now, it is piloting a scheme working with local councils to support some of those who are most in need of support with accessing appropriate housing.

“Local authorities have a complex task ahead of them when it comes to meeting the housing needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Doing so requires them to work with a range of external agencies and to find new ways of supporting their constituents. As such, Housing Hand is trialling a new way of working with local councils to ensure that those who need housing are better able to access it.”

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

Housing Hand’s service involves it stepping in to act as a guarantor should the tenant not be able to pay their rent. The company works directly with landlords, local councils and tenants in order to provide stability within the rented accommodation sector. It is undertaking the trial with local councils as part of its corporate social responsibility agenda.

“There’s nothing that can’t be solved when it comes to addressing the problems with the UK housing market – it just requires the right combination of vision, practicality and funding. Our business has evolved significantly since we first started providing rent guarantor services and we are delighted to be in a position now to support some of those who find it hardest to access housing to do so with a sense of security.”

Jeremy Robinson, Group Managing Director, Housing Hand

 

For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

 

 

Pending A level results and rising room costs drive interest in Only My Share’s housemate rent arrears protection

Pending A level results and rising room costs drive interest in Only My Share’s housemate rent arrears protection

United Kingdom
  • 54% of all students rent their homes privately (Save the Student)
  • Over 500,000 HMOs in England alone (National HMO Network)
  • Room rents up 11% over past year (Ideal Flatmate)

With A level results due out in just a couple of days, the question of student accommodation is uppermost in many parents’ minds right now. 54% of all students rent their accommodation from private landlords and estate agents, according to Save the Student. Many of them live in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), of which there are more than half a million in England, based on National HMO Network figures.

For students and those who act as guarantors for them, renting a room in a shared home like this carries a particular risk: if one housemate doesn’t pay their rent, the others (and their guarantors) may end up liable for their share. That’s why rent arrears protection service Only My Share exists.

“There are countless cases of students and their guarantors having suddenly become liable for monies owed to HMO landlords as a result of other tenants not being able to pay their rent. Only My Share seeks to protect students and their guarantors from being in this situation so that they can have peace of mind and enjoy their university experience to the full.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

The problem of rent arrears is widespread. The National Landlords Association reports that 32% of landlords have suffered from rent areas, while court order eviction rates and rental default claims are rising. Meanwhile, the LIN reports that 25% of tenants fear that they will fall into rent arrears.

Against this worrying backdrop, Only My Share provides up to £10,000 of housemate rent arrears protection for just £99 per year. When tenancy agreements are ‘joint and several,’ all tenants are equally liable for each other’s obligations under the contract. However, if a housemate fails to pay their rent, Only My Share will stand as a guarantor in order to protect others from becoming liable for that housemate’s share.

With a simple, online application and payment process, which has been streamlined as part of the company’s new website, Only My Share makes it easy for students and their guarantors to enjoy far greater peace of mind.

“Issues around providing rent guarantors can be a real source of stress for students. With little to no credit history, many have to rely on their parents to act as guarantors. While many parents are happy to do so, they are less keen to sign up to potentially cover their child’s housemates’ rent as well – and with one in ten students dropping out in their first year, that risk is far from insignificant.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

The average yearly student rent is £6,792, according to 2018 figures from Save the Student, while Cushman & Wakefield report that private rental sector increases are outstripping those of university bed spaces, at 3.0% and 2.6% respectively from 2017/18 to 2018/19.

Only My Share is part of the Housing Hand group. Housing Hand provides a UK rent guarantor service, while Only My Share protects the guarantor… and the tenant.

“We discovered, through running Housing Hand, that there was a necessity for a separate service that worked with those at risk of paying another’s rent arrears. We created Only My Share in order to fill that gap, ensuring that as many students’  needs as possible are met through the Housing Hand group.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Only My Share 

Only My Share is also available to others who rent accommodation in HMOs, with a commission structure in place for letting agents that are keen to see their constituents benefit from the scheme. Outside of the student sector, room rates are also rising, with Ideal Flatmate reporting an increase of 11% over the past year. London’s rooms are the most expensive, at an average of £745 pcm, followed by Glasgow (£588 pcm) and then Bournemouth (£575 pcm). The organisation projects further rises over the remainder of 2019, with high demand and insufficient stock fuelling the increases.

 

For more information please contact Only My Share today on +44 (0) 203 887 2961  or visit https://www.onlymyshare.com/

 

 

 

 

Housing Hand partners with Goldsmiths, University of London to help students afford their homes

Housing Hand partners with Goldsmiths, University of London to help students afford their homes

United Kingdom
  • The service marks 3rd Housing Hand university partnership in UK 
  • Just 23% of care leavers attend higher education by age 23 (NNECL)
  • Goldsmiths to fully fund service for 35 vulnerable students
  • Housing Hand service available to all Goldsmiths students, in push to prioritise academic ability over socio-economic factors

UK rent guarantor service Housing Hand has announced a new partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London. The organisation is collaborating with the university to deliver an enhanced rent guarantor service available for all its students, regardless of nationality, to secure suitable private rental accommodation.

Housing Hand works with landlords, agents and other student housing providers to help students with no UK-based rent guarantor to secure their preferred accommodation without the need to pay 6-12 months’ rent upfront. Housing Hand is working with Goldsmiths Student Support Services to establish a rent guarantor service at a significantly reduced fee for all Goldsmiths students. The service will be available to international, EU and home students, including both continuing students and those about to start in September.

Under the new partnership, Goldsmiths will also sponsor this significantly reduced fee for up to 35 students:

  • 20 international and EU students
  • 10 home students.
  • 5 care leavers and estranged students.

Housing Hand and Goldsmiths hope that their new partnership will be a success and provide a better experience for students.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London to try and ensure that higher education is available to all based on academic ability rather than particular socio-economic factors.” 

Saasha Verma, University Partnerships Manager, Housing Hand

“We understand the challenges faced by students looking for a home and were among the first universities to offer a guarantor provision scheme.  Our new partnership with Housing Hand will enable us to extend this facility to all our students, particularly those who are most in need and provide them with an enhanced service.

Pewist Osman, Head of Student Support Services, Goldsmiths, University of London

The Housing Hand partnership with Goldsmiths is a year-long pilot. It marks Housing Hand’s third higher education venture, following a successful partnership with the University of Bristol, launched in March 2017, and a subsequent one with the University of Salford, launched in February 2019.

Goldsmiths provides its students with a wide range of support, with the university one of the first in the higher education sector to provide its own rent guarantor scheme. To enhance their existing offer, Goldsmiths opted to develop a partnership with Housing Hand to meet increased demand and to offer an improved service available for all its students.

Having already worked with over 3,000 accommodation providers and covered more than £120 million in rent, Housing Hand is in a strong position to ensure that every Goldsmiths student is eligible to apply for its service.

The partnership will help make it easier for students to find quality homes to live in during their studies and will help make the process of finding a home easier. Housing Hand is also well-positioned to support Goldsmiths – along with other higher education establishments – to deliver better services and greater value to their students in a climate of ongoing change and funding constraints.

“Partnerships like this represent a new way to help support students. Running a rent guarantor service in-house costs universities in both time and effort, as well as increasing their liabilities and insurance costs. We bring a network of industry contacts and relationships to the table, as well as the required staff expertise, insurances and the ability to cover larger amounts of debt. It’s a partnership designed to ensure that everyone wins.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

 

For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0)20 7205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

 

 

 

Love the landlords – it’s not their fault!

Love the landlords – it’s not their fault!

United Kingdom
  • Nearly half of UK rents pouring into government coffers (Housing Hand)
  • Huge profit from Generation Rent doing little to inspire government to change housing priorities
  • Only radical new approach likely to fix broken housing market

 

“Theresa May has not only failed to fix the broken housing market but has dealt it repeated blows during her time as Prime Minister. And it’s easy to see why. Despite her rhetoric around encouraging home ownership, the government is unlikely to turn down the near-50% tax that it receives from rents in the UK.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Tax changes that have pushed the majority of landlords into paying 40% tax on their rental income – plus VAT – means that the government is profiting hugely from Generation Rent. While landlords and agencies have taken their turns at being vilified for keeping young people locked into renting for longer, not enough has been said about the government’s lack of motivation to fix the housing market, according to UK rent guarantor service Housing Hand.

The ban on letting agencies charging fees to tenants is likely to drive up rents, just as it did in Scotland. As agencies increase their fees to landlords, landlords will increase the rents they charge to cover the fees. Both have shouldered their fair share of blame for the situation. However, the government is certainly doing little to step back from the additional tax that will pour into its coffers as a result.

“Though a well-intentioned idea, the Tenant Fees Act has made the broken housing market worse. It comes on top of successive changes that have served to drive landlords away from the private rented sector. What we’ve actually been left with is a growing pool of tenants fighting for a reduced number of rental properties. The result? Again, rising rents, as demand increasingly outstrips supply.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Only radical changes will fix the damage that Theresa May’s government has caused, according to the UK-based guarantor experts at Housing Hand. Reverting to taxing landlords on their profits rather than their income is the first step. After all, what business can survive being taxed at 40% on its income, rather than its profit? Scrapping the tax grab will see landlords returning to the market, rebalancing supply and demand and lowering rents as a result.

Then it’s time to address home ownership. Housing Hand advocates a government-backed deposit scheme, where individuals find a 2% deposit and the government loans them the other 8%. Doing so would move a whole generation into their own homes. Appropriate insurance – a reimagined mortgage protection insurance scheme, say – could easily be paid for by the home buyers as their mortgage payments would be so much lower than their current rental payments.

With more people buying, builders would step up their game too, as it would reduce their reliance on investors buying homes to rent out and line up a whole generation of would-be owner occupiers.

“As a result of years of mis-management, the new Prime Minister has a huge challenge on his hands when it comes to the UK’s housing sector. The leadership contenders’ promises will mean very little unless the government dares to make some radical decisions. Sadly, with so much to gain from the growth of Generation Rent, it seems unlikely that any big changes will be made anytime soon.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

 

For more information please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/