Craig Swire from Help Me Rent was the main speaker at our September Property Meet.
Rich gave an update regarding the Welsh Government consultation on fees which are charged to tenants in Wales, the end date to respond to this is the 27th September.
The full PRA changes are due to come into effect on the 30th September.
There is now a pre action protocol for debt claims. This is a more drawn out process with an obligation to try and mediate with the debtor first, before then looking at ADR. It can take up to 90 days before you can take the debtor to court. This comes into effect on the 1st October.
There have been some changes in Scotland; they have got rid of no fault evictions i.e. the Section 21 equivalent. A landlord now has to have a reason to evict their tenant; they either need to be selling the property or carrying out a major refurbishment to it.
Craig Swire was introduced and welcomed to the property meet.
Craig began by outlining his experience in the lettings industry. He set up Help Me Rent which is an online letting agency 18 months ago and is currently managing just under 60 properties.
He explained that in his opinion rental rents are very strong at the moment, as is the demand for people looking to rent properties. If a property is priced correctly on the rental front, there are tenants who are happy to move in and carry out bits of work to the property themselves. In the medium term he sees a bit more levelling out or stagnation depending on Brexit. Some tenants are already packing up and selling, whilst others are nervous and are relocating. If a labour government comes into power, he believes it will be harmful to the rental market but is unsure of the effect at the moment.
There has been an increase in cash purchases by people who have money sitting in the bank. He is actively looking at sourcing properties for people at the moment and has been working with some consortiums in this regard.
He commented on the tenant fee ban which is coming into force in England and stated that in his view it wouldn’t be long before it is introduced in Wales as well. Some national chains in Wrexham are already pre planning for this. He anticipates agency fees increasing from 10% to 12-12.5% in lieu of this ban. The fee ban will wipe off 25% of agents income, this will result in some closing whereas others will diversify.
Craig was thanked for his update on the rental market. Should anyone wish to speak to Craig then his contact details are:-
Phone:- 01978 79958