Extolling the Benefits of Living Closer to Work

Live closer to work and avoid crowded public transport

Live closer to work and avoid crowded public transport

With working days getting longer, continual transport issues and the ever increasing cost of commuting I know that many people (including myself) have asked, “Wouldn’t it be nicer to live closer to work?”.

There’d be no overcrowded buses or tubes, no delays, no traffic jams and (possibly) no travel costs. Just a delightfully slow amble or bike ride to the office each morning, as the rest of the country battles their way in.

It seems I am not the only one who thinks like this, as Young London has recently seen a jump in the number of requests for rental properties within an easy commute (walk or bike ride) of the main employment areas in London’s Zones 1 & 2. As these are the areas we specialise in we’ve been more than happy to help people in their search.

But moving closer to work is not just about decreasing travel stress! There are also a raft of other benefits that this move can provide.

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Landlords Lack Awareness of their Agent’s Professional Memberships

Property Academy Landlord Survey

Property Academy Landlord Survey

A Property Academy survey, which questioned 2,948 landlords, has turned up some interesting information in regards to landlord awareness of what professional memberships their chosen lettings agent hold.

Over half (55%) of the landlords that use a letting agent did not know whether that agent was a member of a professional body. Only 37% were aware if their agent was a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, the largest membership body in the lettings sector.

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PRSupdate Autumn/Winter 2014 Has Arrived

PRSupdate has arrived

PRSupdate has arrived

The hard work has paid off and the 2014 Autumn/Winter printed edition of PRSupdate has arrived!

This invaluable publication is full of insightful articles focusing on Delivering the Private Rented Sector.

We are pleased that a raft of top contributors wrote articles for this issue and made it such a great success. We know you’re looking forward to reading what they have to say on topics that are fundamental to delivering a successful Private Rented Sector scheme, such as; financing, land acquisition, master planning and space planning, asset management, branding, and much more.

Our PRSupdate publication is a great resource for anyone developing, investing or operating in the Private Rented Sector.

Through PRSupdate, Young Group shares best practice and encourages discussion about the Private Rented Sector and we’re pleased that so many of you are continuing that conversation with us and helping to improve our sector.

Don’t miss out!

If you haven’t already, sign up here to receive a complimentary copy straight to your letterbox. It’s quick, easy and you get to control what you want to receive from us.

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Looking Ahead to RESI 2014

Young Group is again gearing up for the annual Property Week RESI conference, where we will again be sponsoring the RESI Café. We will also be providing conference delegates with a must read publication in the form of the latest edition of our biannual PRSupdate.

But we’re not the only ones looking ahead to the event. Cathy Fuller, Head of Events at Property Week, is here to provide us with a rundown of the latest preparations for, arguably, the most important date in the UK residential calendar.

Cathy Fuller, Head Of Events at Property Week

Cathy Fuller, Head Of Events at Property Week

RESI, the UK’s premier residential property market conference, is back for its eighth year and with our best line up yet.

I am proud to say that between September 10-12 the Celtic Manor, host location of the 2014 RESI Conference, will welcome more than 1,000 delegates from across the investment and development sectors; providing a forum for intellectual debate and unrivalled networking opportunities.

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Can You Trust House Price Index Data?

Can you trust House Price Index stats?

Can you trust House Price Index stats?

A House Price Index… is it worth the paper it’s written on?

It seems that every month the property industry, and the general public, is bombarded with another statistic relating to average house prices. The headlines usually heap a lot of importance on these statistics, either stating that it highlights the impending burst of the “property bubble”, its continued inflation or using it to show people are being priced out of the market.

But each House Price Index uses different measurements and covers different sample sizes, areas and date ranges. Many can indicate a national average property price that varies greatly from the consumers experience.

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In Conversation With… John Grimes

John Grimes, Managing Director, Drummond House Developments Ltd

John Grimes, Managing Director, Drummond House Developments Ltd

We are regularly in conversation with a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate. The purpose of this feature is to get them to discuss the topics and issues that are currently affecting the Private Rented Sector.

If you would like to take part in an In Conversation piece then please do get in touch with us.

Today we are in conversation with John Grimes, Managing Director at Drummond House Developments Ltd.

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Number of Amateur Landlords on the Increase

Rajiv Mehta, Asset Manager – Investment, Young Group

Rajiv Mehta, Asset Manager – Investment, Young Group

According to a new report the level of amateur (part time) landlords, those who use their investment property to supplement their other income, have reached the highest ever levels.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) claims that amateur landlords now make up more than 70% of the Private Rented Sector and that they typically own around four properties.

Due to the current strength of returns seen in the rental market 25% of these amateur landlords are intending to add to their property portfolio with 40% planning to use buy-to-let financing to fund their lettings portfolio.

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8 Simple Rules for Providing Amazing Customer Service

Samantha Richardson, Head of Service Delivery & Training, Young London

Samantha Richardson, Head of Service Delivery & Training, Young London

Good customer service should be the lifeblood of any business as getting it right is what will keep people coming back to you time and again.

At Young London we have taken this to heart and customer service is central to everything we do. Feedback from our residents and landlords forms the basis of how we measure our success and reward the team.

But how do you go about providing amazing customer service?

Well it might be surprising to hear but providing good customer service isn’t as difficult as many would think! At Young London we have our 8 simple rules for providing ‘Amazing Customer Service':

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Spring/Summer 2014: Private Rented Sector Operations – Why Function When You Can Really Fly?

Neil Young

Neil Young, CEO Young Group & Young London

With its focus on operational aspects of the Private Rented Sector (PRS), the latest edition of our Biannual PRSupdate publication has gathered together a selection of articles that gives a flavour of the elements required in managing PRS assets on a day-to-day basis.

Undoubtedly clearly defined processes, supported by robust procedures are at the heart of successful PRS operations, as Kris Wadia explains. Kris was, until recently, a Managing Director with Accenture, a global consulting organisation.

He is now CEO of Humanized Leadership, which advises businesses on profit improvement. However, it is how those processes are brought to life within the business and delivered (both internally and externally), and the tools that are employed that have the potential to differentiate between a business that functions and a business that flies.

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Involving the Private Rented Sector in the development of official statistics

Gary Trent, PRS Stakeholder Lead, Valuation Office Agency

Gary Trent, PRS Stakeholder Lead, Valuation Office Agency

Wikipedia describes statistics as ‘the study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data’. Having worked closely with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) statisticians for the past few years, I can appreciate the importance of each of these elements, no more so than in developing official statistics.

However, from my experience, there are two really important things missing from Wikipedia’s description; understanding what your audience want from your statistics, and then involving them in the ongoing development process.

As we aim for National Statistics accreditation they are the two aspects the VOA is now focussing on, starting with our Private Rental Market (PRM) official statistics.

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In Conversation With… John Coles

John Coles, Director, Evenbrook

John Coles, Director, Evenbrook

We are regularly in conversation with a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate. The purpose of this feature is to get them to discuss the topics and issues that are currently affecting the Private Rented Sector.

If you would like to take part in an In Conversation piece then please do get in touch with us.

Today we are in conversation with John Coles, Director at Evenbrook.

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Spring/Summer 2014: Sometimes It’s Not What You Know…

David Mackenzie, Director of Asset Management, Young Group

David Mackenzie, Director of Asset Management, Young Group

Currently, articles abound, enthusing about how companies, family offices and individuals are getting into the business of investing in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in the UK.

Whilst there is usually a lot of excitement around the physical product and getting it to completion, it can sometimes seem that the huge piece of work and pre-thought that needs to happen in setting up the ‘operator’ side of the investment, in a nutshell the Asset Management of the PRS portfolio, is forgotten.

This encompasses everything from algorithmic based pricing, to marketing, release phasing and mix, through to lettings, property management and back office technical support.

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Time to cool off

Compliance Corner

Compliance Corner

As of today, The Consumer Contract (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013  has extended the contract ‘cooling off’ period from 7 days to 14 days. The regulation will only apply to contracts entered into on or after today (13/06/2014).

The introduction of this new regulation means that the following have been superseded and thus do not apply from today:

  • The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulation 2000
  • The Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008

Most importantly, for the Private Rented Sector, the regulation now states that the ‘cooling off’ period no longer applies to Tenancy Agreements or guarantor contracts.

The extended cooling off period is still relevant for Terms of Business for both sales and lettings, unless the contract is signed at the businesses office.

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Government releases “How to Rent” guide

How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England

How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England

The Government has released its guide, How to Rent: The checklist for renting in England, in a drive to educate the public about renting best practices.

The guide, in an attempt to inform and educate tenants and landlords, has all the important ‘need to know’ rental information in one place.

The Government hopes that, by making the public more aware of their rights, they can help the industry as it strives to stamp out bad practices.

Kris Hopkins, the Housing Minister,  said that “encouraging a new generation of well-informed tenants with easy access to useful and understandable information would help root out the small minority of rogues and raise the game of any landlords who don’t know what is expected of them.”

Young Group believes that educating tenants and landlords is an important step in helping to improve the sector. This guide is a step in the right direction in the fight to help improve the growing Private Rented Sector market.

Young London has produced its own series of information guides to help renters navigate through the process of renting in London. Young London has produced its own series of information guides to help renters navigate through the process of renting. A market of informed renters will demand positive renting experiences which will in turn raise standards and root out bad practice.

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Spring/Summer 2014: Making Customer Feedback Count

Howard Morgan, Managing Director, RealService

Howard Morgan, Managing Director, RealService

When RealService was founded 15 years ago the idea of measuring customer satisfaction within the UK lettings industry was virtually unheard of.

In 2014, customer satisfaction measurement has become a core operational skill for many of the leading owners and managers, looking for competitive advantage, in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

For years the PRS in the US has been gathering feedback from residents, and measuring customer satisfaction, but this is a practice that has only just started in the UK, where the PRS is still a developing market.

So, what lessons can we learn from the USA and the UK commercial lettings sector? And why bother gathering and measuring customer satisfaction in the first place?

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