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PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: House Buy Fast urges tenants to consider rent insurance | NAPB reacts to Autumn statement

NAPB: “Nothing announced today will help first-time buyers get a foot on the ladder.” 

Commenting on today’s Autumn statement, Jonathan Rolande, spokesman for the National Association of Property Buyers, said today: 

“There was a disappointing lack of focus on the housing market in the statement today. By blanking the housing crisis the Government has, once again, looked away from what is fast becoming one of the biggest socio-economic crises of our times.

“For many, the prospect of owning a home is a pipe dream, and it feels as realistic today as winning the Lottery. Nothing announced today will help first time buyers get a foot on the ladder. And I doubt it will encourage older property owners into downsizing which would help many looking to move.

“Mr Sunak, just 12 months ago, vowed to turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy. Yes, there have been changes in circumstances since then, but we seem further away now than ever from making this a reality. 

“It’s short-sighted that neither Mr Hunt nor Mr Sunak realise that solving our housing crisis isn’t just the way to stimulate growth and prosperity. It could also help ensure they keep hold of the keys to Downing Street.”

On the measures announced Mr Rolande added: “Jeremy Hunt hasn’t delivered any early Christmas presents for home-owners, or for those working in the property sector.  The fact that energy bills are predicted to rise will be of particular concern to many. So to will be the fact the Government is yet to offer reassurances as to what support they will offer in the longer term in this area to bill-payers. 

“A lot of focus will be on the decision to “sunset” Stamp Duty. This was portrayed as being an assistance to the property market and the people employed within it. But it is a potential blow, albeit one that will impact the sector further down the line. 

“The market has so much to get through by then, that the effect of the loss could be insignificant. The decision to cut Capital Gains allowances is a good move, and taxing unearned income is the least painful way to generate money for the treasury.

“The decision to reduce the amount Housing Associations will be able to increase rent by will be popular, and it may lead to pressure on the private sector to follow suit with rent control, although I suspect this would be some time away.  One chink of light is that if the money markets respond well, we could see some of the pain of tax rises offset by cheaper mortgages as the pressure on longer terms loans eases. 

“Mr Hunt hasn’t rolled out any punitive measures that could worsen future prospects. And most importantly we haven’t seen a set of measures which risk causing the chaos of the botched mini Budget which caused so much damage to the property sector. This is damage we are still reeling from.”

Property Expert Says Anyone Considering Renting a Property Must Make Sure They Think About Rent Insurance

PRESS RELEASE: Property expert says anyone considering renting a property must make sure they think about rent insurance.

NEW figures show rent insurance claims have soared as rising numbers of tenants fall into arrears with their payments.

According to newly-released data, claims were 46 per cent up in October this year, compared with April. 

Over the same period, demand from landlords has increased by 60 per cent. 

With cover currently costing as little as £160 a year – which can compensate landlords for lost income and court costs if they need to evict – it’s predicted that policies will soon become more expensive.

“For the first twenty years I was letting property thousands of clients weren’t bothering with rental insurance. Fast-forward to 2022 and I’d recommend every landlord considers it.”

Jonathan Rolande, House Buy Fast

But property expert Jonathan Rolande said landlords should definitely be checking if they have solid rental insurance in place.“For a premium of around £200 a year a good policy will cover landlords’ contents and accidental damage,” said Mr Rolande, the founder of House Buy Fast. 

“It should also include property owners’ liability and provide access to legal expenses and excess protection insurance. This means that if the worst happens and a tenant runs off without paying and helps themselves to your fridge and washing machine before they go, you’ll be covered.

“A worse situation is where a tenant stops paying, but remains in the property leading to lengthy and expensive court proceedings. If that happened this would also be covered.”

Mr Rolande said many landlords had, in the past, tried to muddle through without using insurance. 

“For the twenty years I was letting property for hundreds, perhaps thousands of clients, fewer than 1% bothered with insurance,” he said. 

“But fast-forward to 2022 and I’d recommend every landlord considers it. Why? Well firstly the courts are slow. Post-Covid, they are still catching up meaning it can take months to evict a bad, non-paying tenant and you’ll pay thousands in fees, all whilst receiving no rent.

“Arrears are more likely right now too. It’s a sad fact, but the cost of living crisis makes it much more likely a tenant will default,  whether they want to or not.

“Mortgages are more expensive right now too. The margins are being squeezed so one bad tenant could have life-changing consequences for a landlord who can’t afford to subsidise the property and cover court fees.

“It’s also the case in most regions of the country that builders are more expensive than ever. And so are materials for repairs. A year-long policy costs about the same as one day’s labour from a builder. 

Explaining what people need to remember when taking out a policy, Mr Rolande added: “You’ll need to be very careful with references to ensure you’re covered for each tenant.

Insurance companies are there to make a profit so expect some quibbling if you need to claim.

The  price of premiums is likely to go up as there are more claims.”

According to data compiled by the Alan Boswell Group,  rent insurance claims were 46pc higher last month compared with six months previous. 

Heath Alexander-Bew, of Alan Boswell Group, said landlords were buying policies that cover at least 18 months of rent. He said: “Evictions are taking longer and there can often be considerable vacant time while any remedial work is completed.”

Proptech and Property News in association with Estate Agent Networking.

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Andrew Stanton Founder & Editor of 'PROPTECH-X' where his insights, connections, analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are based on writing 1.3M words annually. Plus meeting 1,000 Proptech founders, critiquing 400 decks and having had 130 clients as CEO of 'PROPTECH-PR', a consultancy for Proptech founders seeking growth and exit strategies. He also acts as an advisory for major global real estate companies on sales, acquisitions, market positioning & operations. With 100K followers & readers, he is the 'Proptech Realestate Influencer.'