The main body representing landlords’ interests has reacted angrily to government plans to introduce mandatory three-year tenancies, with a six-month break clause, to give tenants more security. The National Landlords Association (NLA) says that the new proposals will be too “rigid” and that it has been “misled” (Property Investment).
Richard Lambert, the NLA’s chief executive, said that when plans for a consultation on longer tenancies were announced last October, he believed the tone of the discussion was one of consultation and encouragement. He now says he feels misled as he believes the new plans should be about making existing tenancy agreements more flexible rather than introducing a minimum three-year rental contract. In particular landlords have highlighted that the research on which recommendations are based found that although around 40% of tenants want longer tenancies, just as many are perfectly happy with the status quo (Property Investment).
Property market doldrums
UK house prices barely grew in June, with homeowners reluctant to sell and few signs of a pick-up in activity according to monthly data from mortgage lender Halifax. Prices climbed 0.3% from May, which followed a 1.5% month-on-month rebound in May after a very weak April, when prices had fallen more than 3%. While homeowners could still expect to receive more for their property than a year ago — prices in the three months to June were 1.8% higher than the same period in 2017 — prices are likely to rise by at most 3% over 2018 as a whole and could end up seeing no growth at all, according to Halifax. Of note, as price growth has stagnated, fewer people have been choosing to sell their homes. UK home sales were almost 5% lower in the three months to May than the same time last year (Property Investment).
Good news for mini-bond investors
The Financial Ombudsman has upheld complaints about the role of an authorised company in selling failed mini-bonds that cost investors millions, offering hope that they may get their money back. Secured Energy Bonds collapsed in early 2015 after taking more than £7m of investors’ cash, intended to fund solar panel installations with an advertised return of 6.5% annually. The investment itself, as with all mini-bonds, was not regulated nor protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The fate of the SEB bond investors is good news for other retail investors who have been lured to mini-bonds by the promise of relatively high returns.
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