Posts tagged ‘Landlord’
This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
They steal your milk, eat your chocolate stash and leave their stuff all over the living room floor. Now, it turns out, your flatmate might be doing more damage than you thought.
Young people, particularly those in shared rented homes, are more than twice as likely as the rest of us to fall victim to identity fraud, according to some disturbing research that crossed FindaProperty’s desk recently.
And a quarter of identity fraud victims suspect it’s their flatmates or lodgers who are responsible for stealing their personal details.
The survey of more than 5,000 victims of identity fraud was conducted by Experian’s ProtectMyID, which offers insurance and support against ID fraud.
“Flat sharing and rental is fast becoming the best option for millions of Brits unable to provide the necessary deposits to make their first step up the property ladder,” says ProtectMyID’s Peter Turner. “In the majority of cases this is a great option to meet new people and experience living away from home for the first time.”
But as one of the fastest growing groups targeted by both professional and amateur fraudsters, flat sharers who live in rented accommodation need to be more vigilant to the dangers and effects of ID theft.
“By sharing your home, flatmate fraudsters have all the access they need to a vast amounts of your personal information in the way of post, personal documents and photos,” Turner warns.
He says there are a number of simple ways flatmates can rent a room without opening themselves up to ID fraud.
- Don’t publicise where your personal banking statements are kept in your room
- Make sure unused credit cards and cheque books are well hidden or locked away
- Keep PINS and passwords private – memorise security information rather than writing it down
- Don’t leave unopened mail lying around the house
- Delete your cookies and history when using a communal or personal computer
As of today, Energy Performance Certificates become mandatory for all new tenancies, and landlords will face charges of up to £200 per property if they don’t provide them.
The certificates, which will be valid for a period of ten years, must be issued by an accredited energy assessor, and provided free of charge to tenants.
EPCs rate a property’s energy efficiency using an A-G system of grading, with an ‘A’ rating being an all-singing, all-dancing top score and a ‘G’ being the equivalent of a ‘see me after class’ scrawled in red ink.
The certificates were introduced last year for homebuyers, and so far, the average rating has been a ‘could do better’ ‘D’.
While recommendations to improve a property’s efficiency rating are given as part of the EPC, landlords are under no obligation to carry out any improvements.
However, if tenants are faced with a choice of properties with different ratings, it seems likely that they’d opt for the more energy efficient one, as their fuel bills would be lower.
We’d be interested to know what you think about EPCs:
How would you feel about renting a flat from Google or Apple?
That may be on the cards if the property industry succeeds in convincing the Government to back the introduction of build-to-let schemes in the UK.
Build-to-let encourages big business to buy whole blocks and rent them out as branded accommodation.
So instead of paying your rent to Bob the part-time buy-to-let landlord, you’ll hand over your hard-earned coin to “Google or Virgin style brands”.
The advocates – including what one commentator has called “an unlikely and unholy alliance” of Shelter and The British Property Federation – argue that tenants will be the real winners (there’s a discussion of the subject here: Today Programme – Feb 08).
The quality of the property, they say, will be more predictable; you won’t get slung out onto the street if your landlord can’t pay the mortgage; leases will be longer than six months; and your leaky tap will get fixed pronto … though it might also mean this…
|From: Google Tenant Alerts
Sent: 30 May 2010 12:59
To: Michael OFlynn
Subject: Google Tenant Alert – Michael O’Flynn
Google Tenant Alert for: Michael O’Flynn
Yo, dude, your rent is like WAY overdue… don’t make us do something evil!
I can see the sense in that – pretty much everyone who’s searched for a good rental property has a horror story about some sweaty bloke in a string vest showing them round a rancid basement with chanterelles sprouting from the lino.
But on the other side of the coin, I’m not so sure I’d want to live in a branded block populated exclusively by tenants.
I currently rent a period conversion in an area with an interesting mix of people – some renting, some owner-occupiers – and my landlord is a decent bloke who sorts out problems quickly and leaves me pretty much to get on with it.
True, the sash windows rattle, the boiler, for some mad reason, is in the wardrobe, and the washing machine sounds like a 747.
But would I swap it for a flat in a branded building? I don’t think so (there are enough Apple zealots here at FAP Towers … not sure I could handle a building full of them!)
The Government isn’t convinced either, but they’re currently considering it as part of a major review of the Private Rental Sector (due in October).
It will be interesting to see what they come up with … but in the meantime:
Landlords and tenants: what do you think about build-to-let, and how could the rental sector be improved? (Comment link below).
I was in a taxi the other evening making a big effort to increase my carbon footprint (difficult when you don’t have a car, but I try to make up for it by not recycling).
Anyway, the driver was Polish – a sort of thoughtful, well educated and very polite Travis Bickle with a Masters in electronic engineering.
He’s spent the past three years on the mean streets of Brighton, and as we drove along he cast a rueful eye over the more risqué cavortings of our friskier local residents (“Is crazy,” he muttered.)
Britain has been great, he said, but he was planning to go home, as were many of his friends. The Polish economy is on the rise, jobs are more plentiful and better paid, and you get fewer zloty to the pound now than you did a few years ago.
This, I’m extremely sorry to say (I’m seeking professional help), brought to mind the latest ARLA missive on buy-to-let.
The people at ARLA seem to be fairly upbeat, and a good deal of their optimism is based on the following:
“Increased demand is being driven in part by immigration. Across the country, the average proportion of properties taken by immigrants through ARLA members is 20 per cent. More than 16 per cent of these are from the European Union.”
You see where I’m going with this? There are, by some estimates, 1,000,000 Poles in this country. What will happen to ARLA’s happy landlords if they, and the other Eastern Europeans, go home?
One would imagine it can only have a negative impact on the investment market, albeit in quite a localised way. Or am I missing something here? Let me know.