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Students are scum, aren’t they?

Every year, over 200,000 students rent a house for the first time.  For most, it is their first experience of dealing with a letting agent and all too often their experience is a bad one.  I speak from personal experience as both of my daughters have recently graduated from university. One of my daughters said…

The other credit crunch

A great deal has already been written about the new mortgage rules.  Owner occupiers seem to have come to terms with the new lending criteria and have resigned themselves to the impact that they have had on the type of home that they can afford. The impact of the new lending rules for buy to…

Why tenant fees are not the only problem

Letting agents are understandably concerned about the impact of the tenant fee ban but unfortunately this is not the only threat to your future income.  A far bigger threat is the financial impact of tenants staying in the same property for much longer periods.  This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter…

Fight back or perish

Imagine that you owned a Michelin-starred restaurant that served delicious food at £100 per head.  How would you react if a new McDonald’s restaurant opened right opposite you?  Would you start serving burgers and chips at £2.99 per portion or would you work still harder to serve even more delicious food at a premium price?…

Who Will Defend Us?

I have written about this subject before but it’s becoming ever more important so I make no apologies for writing about it again.  Hardly a week goes by now without a negative article in the press about estate agents and landlords.  Last weekend, a leading firm had their office besieged by a large crowd of…

Why Councils should not be letting agents

For the first time in twenty-five years, I have resigned from a consultancy assignment without finishing it.  I was asked by a council to help them to prepare a business plan to set up their own letting agency.  I had reservations about taking the job from the outset but I had no other clients in…

How Councils are contributing to homelessness

My local pub has an extraordinary notice on the door.  It says “No children in either the pub or the garden, no exceptions.  Dogs welcome!”  Most discrimination is illegal now but child hating, it seems, is still allowed.  So is discrimination against tenants on housing benefit.  Almost every local newspaper, especially those in the poorer…

Tax is no longer optional

I never thought the day would come when I would write an article on this subject but I am going to use my column this month to talk about why you need to pay your tax.  I haven’t suddenly become a socialist and I am certainly not going to give moral advice.  I am well…

Is the tenant fee ban the thin end of the wedge?

I am beginning to wonder what I’ve done to offend this government.  Firstly, David Cameron misjudged the mood of the electorate and triggered Brexit.  As a direct consequence, fifteen of the estate agency business sales that I had arranged fell through.  I spent four months putting most of these sales back together again only to…

What next for the online agents?

The online agents have made considerable progress in the last year but I do not believe that this will continue.  Why do I say this?  Because I suspect that they are not selling enough houses.  A really good estate agent will sell 90% of the houses that they take on and will get 90% of…