landlords

Wythenshawe

In the past, Wythenshawe has been unfairly characterised as the ‘largest council estate in the UK’. Not only is this factually incorrect, but it also suggests that the area isn’t going anywhere fast. In fact, Wythenshawe one of the few areas in Manchester where prices are still affordable.

 

According to Zoopla, the average property price in Wythenshawe is £154,635, which stands in stark contrast to an average price of £206,734 across the rest of the city. Last year, the average house price in Wythenshawe increased by £4,000, which shows how the local property market is starting to heat up.

Housing Stock

Wythenshawe contains a variety of housing stock, which means there's property which is suitable for families, young professionals and the buy-to-let market. There are rows of Victorian terraced houses which have an average price of just £129,876, while a semi-detached property will cost around £144,707. Modern apartments and new-build developments are also available in the local area, although these typically cost around £200,000.

Transport Links

The primary reason that Wythenshawe is tipped to become a property hotspot is the amount of investment which is planned for the area. In 2014, a new MetroLink line opened, linking Manchester Airport with the city centre. There are several stations on this line in the Wythenshawe area such as Benchill, Crossacres, Wythenshawe Town Centre, Robinswood Road, Peel Hall and Shadowmoss. Trams run every 12 minutes into the city centre and towards the airport. The £280m expansion of Manchester Airport is also expected to create new jobs which will provide a further boost to the local economy. Wythenshawe also offers easy access to the M60 and M56 motorway which connect the area with Greater Manchester, Liverpool, and North Wales.

Local Schools

The Wythenshawe area is home to several primary schools which perform very well during Ofsted inspections. For example, Northenden Community School was judged to be ‘outstanding’ by inspectors, who awarded it top marks after a visit last year. For secondary education, St Paul’s Catholic High School, Manchester Health Academy and Manchester Enterprise Academy have all received positive Ofsted reports.

Local Amenities

Wythenshawe has something for everyone. Covering 109 hectares, nearby Wythenshawe Park is one of the largest green spaces in Manchester. The park includes a community farm which is open to the public and is home to cows, goats, pigs, sheep, horses and ducks. The park also contains Wythenshawe Hall, a 16th-century manor house which is currently being restored after a fire, so it can be opened to the public once again. If you fancy a night out, the Tatton Arms is a traditional pub owned by Robinsons Brewery. Alongside local ale, the pub also serves a range of classic British dishes. If you have children, the nearby Norbrook Youth Club is open to boys and girls aged 8 to 18. If you want to venture further afield, the Metrolink makes it easy to get into Manchester city centre.

If you're looking to buy an affordable property with great transport links and local amenities, then Wythenshawe could be the place for you.

Banned 'Tenant Fees' Part 2

More doom and gloom and yet another own goal for the government  

We were told this would be happening in November last year (see Banned 'Tenant Fees' good for tenants?) but that there would be consultation with the industry into what the impact such a ban would have. Research conducted by Capital Economics for ARLA Propertymark earlier this year carried out surveys with agents across the country to determine what impact the ban would have on a range of aspects, from jobs, to rent prices, to property availability.

The report produced showed a ban on letting agent fees will cost the sector jobs, make buy-to-let investment even less attractive, and ultimately result in the costs being passed on to tenants. The Research shows that referencing checks undertaken by agents take, on average, eight hours to complete. It is therefore right and proportionate that the industry is recompensed for this work, which benefits tenants. The research also showed that letting agents stand to lose around £200 million in turnover, costing the sector 4,000 jobs. Landlords themselves would lose £300 million, meaning they may seek to cover their losses by increasing rents to tenants.

On average, rent costs will go up by £103 per tenant, per year, ultimately meaning tenants who move more frequently will reap savings on their overall costs but longer term tenants, who are usually lower-income families, will see a loss as their rents rise year-on-year.

The ban, therefore, contradicts the Government’s stated aim to encourage longer term tenancies, as tenants who stay in their homes for the long-term will end up shouldering the costs of those who move more frequently.

The impact of recent events

During the time period this report was being conducted, Teressa May decided to call a snap election resulting in a hung parliament with a majority government still to be had. In addition, there have been three terrorist attacks in the UK, the tragic fire in Grenfell Tower and negotiations have started on Brexit.

Therefore it's unlikely the Government had enough time to analyse all of the responses from the consultation, as it only closed 12 working days ago, on the 2nd June. It appears they had already made their decision and therefore the consultation was no more than a ‘tick box’ exercise and they haven’t appropriately taken the industry’s views into account. A bit like the general public's attitude to the Tory manifesto!

Queen's Speech announcement

The Queen's Speech states:

Tackling unfair fees on tenants will make the private rental market more affordable and competitive. The draft Bill will bring forward proposals to: ban landlords and agents from requiring tenants to make any payments as a condition of their tenancy with the exception of the rent, a capped refundable security deposit, a capped refundable holding deposit and tenant default fees cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than one month’s rent

Security deposits

In response to the consultation document, it made clear that security deposits should be set at a level that ensures that tenants have a meaningful stake in paying the rent and maintaining the condition of the property. In setting the figure at no more than one month's rent, the Government are failing to take into account any damage that can be incurred while a tenant is simultaneously defaulting on the rent. Experience has shown that for agents and landlords that have asked for a deposit equal to a month's rent in the past, some unscrupulous tenants default on the last month's rent and simply forfeit their deposit. With no additional funds to cover any cleaning or delapidations that may inevitably arise (especially likely if they are the sort of person to default on rent), the landlord is left out of pocket, paying for cleaning or damages caused by the tenant.

Landlords and letting agents throughout the country will inevitably have to work out how to manage the risks involved and recover the difference in costs, the most obvious being, agents increase fees to landlords, and landlords increase the rent to cover extra costs and damages which a deposit otherwise would have satisfied. 

Final Word

It would have been great if the Government had scrapped this, like they have done with the Dementia Tax, like they have done with the scrapping school meals, like they have done with potentially bringing back fox hunting, like they have done with grammar schools, but sadly no, this piece of legislation has stayed, from a consultation that was ignored. Legislation that is going to have the exact opposite of what it set out to do.

Good job!