Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Dorset and Channel Islands Regional Meetings

  • Solent Hotel - Tuesday 25th September 2018 13:00 - 16:30
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Valerie Bannister

January 2018

It is great to return as your ARLA Propertymark rep – and a huge thank you goes out to Elspie Munro-Price for all her hard work as our former rep for the region. We have a mix of different challenges across the region, starting in Southampton where members are finding that the local authority are constraining new HMO and Article 4 applications; and this is against a backdrop of purpose-built student accommodation which is continuing to fill up the Southampton skyline!

Build to Rent blocks of flats reflect further changes in the Southampton rental sector and are inclusive of ‘lifestyle’ attractions such as Netflix and gym facilities, albeit these rents are higher than the market rents letting agents charge. Traditionally the Build to Rent model usually doesn’t apply any tenant fee charge and often offers longer term tenancies.

Moving down the coast to Portsmouth, members are still reporting that there is a big demand for 5/6 bedroom properties suitable for shared accommodation for students, and it appears that Portsmouth local authority is still accepting new HMO licence requests.

Members with a private rental in any of the local authority blocks which may have had suspect cladding following the shocking Grenfell Tower block tragedy, have been kept up to date via the ARLA Propertymark updates and with information from DCLG – and certainly in Southampton blocks have been identified which need cladding to be checked.

Elsewhere steps to improve enforcement policy are to be adopted by Dorset council partners. This will include first checking if the tenant has made contact with their landlord to report a defect, and if not, to encourage that route – which will save the local authority time on inspections and hopefully prevent unnecessary escalation. They are also looking at improving knowledge by running seminars on HHSRS, which is often a reason local authorities become involved.

A final plea to all members – make sure your branch is displaying the ARLA Propertymark Protected

logo and remove any old circular ‘ARLA Licensed’ logos. Whenever I see any member firms displaying the old style logo, I’m letting membership know so that they can send you out the up-to-date logo. If we can all work together by displaying the correct logo, this in turn helps to reinforce the TV campaign and reach out to the consumers we want to attract. And a big thank you to the members who have displayed the TV advert either on their interactive window display or on their website – Robinson Reade in Park Gate was the first letting agent‘s window I noticed on one cold evening showing the TV advert!

I’m sure members share the same concerns for 2018, with further challenges for both letting agents and landlords. Pending legislation and tax changes will mean rising costs to landlords, and lets coming up for a renewal (or new lets) will need to have an energy performance rating of E and above by 1 April 2018. Concerns over the pending tenant fee ban will also mean that customer service will be paramount, and you should continue to highlight to your clients why they should be using an ARLA Propertymark Protected letting agent. 

Valerie Bannister PPARLA (Honoured)
ARLA Propertymark Regional Representative