SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER
The latest property news
Hello to you all wherever you are in the World.
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well and that some semblance of normal life is beginning, or about, to return.
In the UK, despite many Government mistakes, one thing they have seemingly got right is the roll out of the Vaccination Programme which hopefully means that their ‘roadmap’ is on track for all restrictions to be lifted by 21st June – we can but hope!! I have learned, as I am sure you all have, to wait and see where Covid-19 is concerned.
I have to say that personally hearing the Skylarks on the South Downs and the clocks going forward an hour has certainly improved my own mental wellbeing as it has been a very long winter! We have had some lovely sunny weather and it does do wonders for most of us.
GENERAL MARKET CONDITIONS
The market has, since Christmas, been very buoyant. We currently have only 2 properties available from our entire stock that we manage on your behalf. Properties are receiving a good deal of interest although we are finding that applicants are most certainly using the ‘Covid card’ when trying to negotiate monthly rent levels. Rents need to be realistic and in line with others on the market as certainly the ‘savvy’ tenant is coming to viewings prepared to negotiate!
Due to the National lockdown we were unable to proceed with our planned recommencement of inspections from January. This is an important part of our role for you and we are keen for these to commence as soon as practicable. I have taken the decision to begin our inspections once again from 1st June. The Guidance on entry into people’s homes is that this can be two households or six people from 17th May and so 1st June for six-monthly inspections seems an apt point to begin. If there are any issues we will of course update you as per our normal procedure.
I know that our colleagues in RDA estates, who carry out the inspections on our jointly managed properties, are also planning to begin at this time.
It is fair to say that we have not reviewed rent levels (other than being aware of market conditions) since the pandemic began as we have kept our focus on the day to day running of the business and ensuring that tenants’ rent is paid and dealing with urgent maintenance. My view is that this summer will be a ‘wait and see’ moment in the general world economy and that a small increase in rent level is not worth the possibility of losing well paying tenants and ending up with void periods – no matter how short. I am happy that we put early processes in place with regard to tenants and rent payments and that this has borne fruition with us, thus far, receiving well below UK averages in shortfalls of rent for our clients.
I want to assure you however that I make my income from a percentage of the gross rent that you receive so it is in my interest that we are achieving optimum rent levels for your return on investment. If you feel that you want to discuss individually the rent levels you are receiving then please do not hesitate to contact me.
I will continually monitor this and we have the advantage, as an independent agency, to be quite nimble if we feel that rent levels can increase due to general economic conditions.
I am excited that we have just started a new property information blog and this can be found here www.brightonhoveproperty.news
This is going to be a bit of an extension from these newsletters which have been warmly received by many of you.
It was set up, in part, due to the unprecedented events of the past year and requests for information I have received due to the constant changing nature of the industry. It will provide information and news for both tenant and landlord alike for the local lettings and property management market in and around Brighton and Hove and surrounding areas as well as the national picture. Please do take a look and subscribe if you are interested.
Not a day passes where I do not feel like getting my tin hat on for the onslaught of potential changes to our sector. The Renter’s Reform Bill is still very much on the table with it being a well used political ‘football’ for all parties and it was in the Conservative Governments pre election manifesto. This is meant to include the abolition of Section 21 notices and changes to deposits among other things. Details can be found here https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8756/
It is a long way off with the Government having more pressing matters currently and I of course will keep you updated when anything pertinent crops up.
After the past 12-14 months I would like to send my best wishes to you and hope that this Spring really does bloom into life for us all after the strangest period certainly in my life time.