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Rogue landlord, Airbnb re-openings, house prices, and rental yields

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It’s fast becoming business as close as possible to normal once again now that the property market has reopened for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.

The return to business is accompanied by a steady stream of news items – some good, some not so good – for homeowners and landlords alike. Here is just a small sample of recent headlines.

Rogue landlord gets 5 years ban from PRS

Bournemouth’s Daily Echo exposed a rogue landlord on the 17th of June.

The landlord was the owner of let accommodation above a kebab shop in the nearby town of Poole and was prosecuted on 12 charges relating to his failure to comply with management orders for Houses in Multiple Occupation.

He was further accused of broader failures in the maintenance of his property, resulting in danger to the health and safety of his tenants, breaches of the fire regulations, and failure in the adequate upkeep of common areas.

In addition to a £3,000 fine, the breaches were considered serious enough for an order banning the offending landlord from letting or managing private rented property for the next five years, on pain of jail or a further £30,000 fine.

Will Airbnb re-open next month?         

The Prime Minister has announced that hotels, guest houses, and Airbnb accommodation in England can reopen with effect from the 4th of July. On the 24th of June, the Guardian newspaper published official guidance on the health safety measures that must be taken in Airbnb lettings.

The measures include a closer than usual cleaning routine, the listing of all “hand-contact services”, and the cleaning of keys, which must be handed over in a socially-distanced manner.

Voicing his support for this fillip to the hospitality industry, the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said that he considered self-catering accommodation to represent a lower risk than other sectors, reported Property Investor Today recently.

While Airbnb accommodation is re-opening in England on the 4th of July, it remains to be seen when Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may follow suit.

Sellers feeling bullish as listings return with higher prices

Not only is the housing market opening once again, but it is also doing so with sellers in an apparently bullish mood, according to a story by Property Industry Eyes on the 17th of June.

The confidence is shown by the upsurge in sales listings online – with one website recording a total of 44,198 new listings in May compared with April’s 14,604 listings.

Confounding many expectations, not only has the volume of listings surprised market analysts but asking prices have also shown a healthy resurgence. Asking prices this month are already 0.7% ahead of those in the previous month and show a year on year increase of 0.8% – to a new average of £310,819.

What property type offers the best yields?

New research has shown which types of let property are likely to provide the best yields across UK cities, according to a report in Landlord Today.

Overall, one-bedroom homes are currently offering the highest buy to let rental yields – of an average 6.2% – according to the study.

Two-bedroom properties are in second place, with an average return of 5.6%.

Three-bedroom homes are currently returning an average of 4.3% - a notable reversal of previous research, which had suggested three-bedroom homes offered the highest yields.

One- and two-bedroom properties naturally represent a smaller capital investment and demand remains high, so, boosting rental yields. As fears over the pandemic subside, however, market analysts predict that these figures may reverse yet again as tenants pursue renewed shared living opportunities in bigger homes with improved social lifestyles.