Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath and North Somerset Regional Meetings

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Angharad Trueman

April 2019

As this is my first regional roundup, I felt it important I get views from the patch as a whole, so I’ve been meeting with many letting agents across my region.

Now, obviously everyone’s main worry is the Tenant Fee Ban and although loss of income is the biggest concern for most business owners, the actual logistics of understanding the ban and making sure staff are fully trained is top of everyone’s agenda. I also recently spoke at length with my local trading standards officer about how they are going to enforce the ban after 1 June 2019. Although he was aware of the ban, it was slightly disheartening that I had to explain the detail of the legislation to him, his response being “Well, we haven’t had the training yet!” It definitely seems that we have interesting times ahead as we navigate this in our brave new lettings world of 2019.

Interestingly, although Bristol remains a hugely popular choice with a busy January south of the river, another common theme was the slowing of tenant enquiries elsewhere in the region. It seems demand from foreign workers previously moving to the UK for agriculture and food production jobs in the South West may have lessened, causing a problem for agents shifting much of their lower value rental stock which is then forcing landlords to consider tenants in receipt of benefits or with dubious credit history.

Some agents commented on the lack of the usual ‘Christmas break-up’ activity although enquiry levels have significantly picked up for February. Pleasingly we are seeing new landlords still joining the market as one of the more notable Brexit factors has been vendors trying to let their property for six months to then try their luck again once decisions in Westminster have been made. Many of these vendors are previous landlords who have made the decision to sell up because of Clause 24 but have found it more of a challenge with any investors still wishing to purchase rental stock being more cautious of good returns.

Angharad Trueman MARLA
ARLA Propertymark Regional Representative
angharadtrueman@arla-reps.co.uk

 

South West

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