The price of a typical UK home increased by 0.4% in May and was 1.1% higher than May 2012, according to the latest data from Nationwide.
The typical UK home is now worth £167,912.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: "House prices edged up by 0.4% in May, providing further support for the view that the housing market is gradually gaining momentum. The three month on three month measure of house prices, which is a smoother measure of the underlying trend, has been in positive territory since October last year. The annual rate of house price growth also ticked up to 1.1% in May - the fastest pace since November 2011.
According to the government's quarterly court statistics in March 2012, there has been a further increase of over 5% in the annual number of possession cases in England and Wales, to 142,088, the highest since 2008.
What is particularly significant is the number of landlords preferring to obtain possession without a money order. Under the accelerated procedure for shorthold tenancies, the number of claims is up by over 30% following a similar increase from the previous year.
In nearly a quarter of the courts in England and Wales the number of claims brought by landlords and agents which resulted in an order being made for possession has increased by over 20% on the previous year.
These increases are being seen throughout the country with some substantial increases in south east and eastern areas. Chelmsford has seen a 65% increase, Ilford a 36% increase, and Luton a 56% increase. The M4 corridor has also suffered with increases of 24% in Reading and 27% in Swindon.
Michael Portman, managing director of LetRisks said that in a recent survey the firm conducted amongst private landlords, it found that nonpayment, late or partial payment of rent is the biggest worry for them.
‘With the continuing rise in possession cases, it is vital that landlords and agents deal with potential problems with tenants early, to prevent court action later on. It is also wise for agents and landlords to ensure they have insurance cover for their legal costs, as a court cases can be expensive and cost up to £5,000 and beyond,’ he explained.
LetRisks has compiled tips to help minimise the risk and disruption for landlords and agents. It says that if the rent is late, don’t delay action. Let your landlord know immediately what you are doing if the rent is outstanding, and manage their expectations.
In terms of chasing the rent arrears it is helpful to establish a firm rent chasing timetable including letters before legal action, telephone scripts, serving notices etc, and make sure that that all staff are aware of these procedures.
Get the right tenant in the first place by working with a good tenant referencing partner and don’t cut corners in the checking procedures.
Ensure that you maintain up to date contact details for Guarantors so that you can copy them in on all correspondence you send to the tenants regarding their late/overdue rent. This helps apply additional pressure to the tenants to pay.
Checking that your procedure for serving Section 21 notices is compliant. Last year it was reported that 70% of notices were thrown out of court because they were wrong. More landlords are relying on the accelerated procedure to regain possession. If the notices are incorrectly served, there will be delays and additional costs that the landlord may seek to recoup from their agent.
Maintain contact with the tenant, to establish why the rent is late or unpaid. It will improve your chances of a successful outcome. And if you need to make an insurance claim, contact the insurers at the earliest opportunity and follow their claims procedures.
scottfraser have just 0.1% of tenancies in rent arrears. We work with LetRisks who provide bespoke landlord rent protection insurance and are able to offer an in-house solution to landlords who register for our new All Inclusive service, due for launch at the end of May 2012.
If you are concerned about rent arrears, tenant referencing or possession procedures please feel free to contact one of our Branch Managers.
Branch Manager - East Oxford Student & Professional Lettings
01865 244666 / firstname.lastname@example.org