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Landlords responding to demand

As the need for good accommodation becomes ever more pressing, it seems as though private residential landlords are rising to the challenge. It appears that landlords around the country are going out and buying landlord insurance policies to cover the new additions to their portfolios.

Day of reckoning

With the impending cuts in Local Housing Allowance drawing closer by the day, Local Authorities around the UK have been drawing up contingency plans to cope with an explosion of homeless families. Many councils fear that private landlords may well start evicting families who can no longer pay their rent due to a shortfall in their Housing Allowance.

Reports of inner London councils mass booking bed and bedroom accommodation properties around the Capital have been rife, as Landlord Associations affirm that their members will not pay for the country’s spending cuts out of their own pockets.

Landlords opening their wallets

It does seem however, that landlords are coming to the rescue. The latest figures from several sources in the sector show that investors are suddenly taking up more buy-to-let mortgages. The last quarter of 2010 showed that buy-to-let mortgages had attracted 7% more business than the third quarter. The loosening of the criteria for getting approval is thought to be a big factor in this, especially Loan to Value demands. The first figures of 2011 may even be better, as since the turn of the year more mortgage providers have entered the market and a lot more products have suddenly become available. It would seem as though landlords are quite willing to go out and buy new properties as long as they know they have good rented property insurance as back up.

Direct payments will help

The good news from the Welfare Reform Act this week will also help. At long last it seems as though the Government have got the message about direct payments to landlords. The difference this will make to landlords considering to go out and extend their portfolios cannot be underestimated. For a landlord to know he will be paid on time makes a massive difference to the way he views his tenant and his property, it is perhaps the best news landlords have had for some time, and that is saying something in what has been quite a remarkable 12 months for those in the Letting industry.

By Simon Dack