There were EU Elections

Our nation’s intent to leave the European Union on the 29th March 2019, meant that we should not have had to elect anyone to represent us in European Parliament following that date, however, unless you have been living on the moon (and even then there’s a strong chance), you’ll know that Brexit has been a little bit messy, and that, for now, Britain is still part of the EU.

But what happened with these elections and what do the results mean for the lettings sector?

Well, aside from Nigel Farage getting back on tv a lot, we elected 73 individuals to represent us at the European Parliament. But, beyond the headlines, anti-Brexit parties still reigned supreme.

Yes members of ‘The Brexit Party’ won over the other individual parties in terms of seat numbers, yet, as a collective, pro-Brexit parties actually only make up 34.9% of the elected members, with anti-Brexit parties making up 40.4% (the rest being made up by mixed Labour and Tory party members). This means that there are a greater number of individuals at the table fighting Brexit than there are advocating it. But, headlines do matter and in terms of perception, the Brexit mood still rules the roost.

For one side of the property sector this is bad news, as buying and selling both continue to slow, but for the letting sector, it’s better. Recently, Property Industry Eye explained how the private rental sector was growing amidst uncertainty. READ MORE.

Theresa May resigned

Now, as if the Brexit debacle wasn’t complicated enough, following the Tories resounding defeat at these recent elections (only taking 5 of the 73 British seats available at the EU parliament), the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, finally waved a white flag, surrendering to pressure and resigning from her role. Cue a race to fill her spot.

In terms of the lettings sector, this matters because we know that new leadership will bring new policies but in a more relative sense, it has also been revealed that Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse has been revealed as the 10th person to throw his hat into the ring for the job.

He has certainly not been the most outspoken of ministers in this position but with his objective being, “to build as many high-quality homes as possible”, he could maintain these priorities in leadership and that could negatively impact the private rental sector by reducing demand.

Moving on from that, we should also consider that the winner of this leadership race may only be required for a temporary period as the shake-up and unelected PM will surely lead to a general election. Should that lead to a Labour insurgence (unlikely but hear us out…), we could see the rise of a state-backed national estate agency, rumored to the be the brainchild of man of the people, Jeremy Corbyn.

We counted down to the fee ban

Just like Brexit, this one has loomed over us for a while. Equally, it’s been pushed back more than once, yet the time has come and as of the end of this month letting agents will no longer be able to charge fees to tenants. However with only days to go, it has been reported that ads are still being listed on Zoopla and Rightmove with the term, “fees apply”, and others which show deposits at a higher rate than will be allowed after the ban is enforced.

Daz Bradbury, of OpenRent, confirmed the listings but said: “The properties and adverts will be updated prior to the fee ban next week. We’re making sure that tenants and landlords have the opportunity to complete tenancies prior to the fee ban with a six-week deposit if they so wish. Once the fee ban is active our systems won’t allow a tenancy to be signed that falls foul of the law.”

Additionally, lettings platform Goodlord said yesterday that it will automatically remove fees and cap both holdings and security deposits to the new amounts.

How are you playing it? And what are you doing to counter the ban? TAKE OUR SURVEY.

What’s coming up…

It’s almost that time of year again, Pimms, Sue Barker and many, many new balls but, with private holiday lets continuing to boost individual incomes, a new segment has been added to the Wimbledon economy as it has been reported that some homeowners are making up to £4k per week when renting their homes during the tournament.

If you haven’t opened your business up to Air BnB management yet, then it could be your perfect evolution following the tenant fee ban.

Let us Assist you in June

If you are in need of a property inventory clerk to support your lettings business in June then please get in touch. We can manage inventories, check in and check out services as well as interim inspections. View our property inventory services, sample reports, and pricing.