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Renter’s Digest – 29th July 2011

With an ever increasing number of people renting property in the UK, Photoplan blog launches ‘Renter’s Digest’, a regular report for renters to share information and news stories.

The times they are a-changin’:  “Renting is now considered a perfectly acceptable way of life in the UK, whether you simply can’t afford to get on the housing ladder, want to try an area before buying or need to rent out your own home whilst renting a bigger or smaller one or in a different area to be close to schools or loved ones” said Jane Ingram, head of lettings at Savills.

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Photoplan photographed this 4 bedroom Edwardian house for rent through Winkworth, offering enormous character and an abundance of original features throughout. Ideally positioned in the heart of Shepherds Bush, it is incredibly close to all transport links and Westfield shopping centre.

Rental Market In the News:

Property Wire writes on important information for renters regarding letting agents not being forthcoming about terms and conditions:

The Office of Fair Trading in the UK is warning the letting agents sector to check that their terms and conditions are fair and transparent as it publishes an evaluation of its consumer enforcement case against Foxtons for breaching the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (UTCCRs).

In February 2010, the OFT secured an enforcement order from the High Court when it ruled that Foxtons’ renewal commission terms were not transparent, which led to Foxtons amending some of their letting agreement terms. The evaluation finds that the OFT intervention has resulted in positive benefits for consumer landlords that use Foxtons with an estimated annual benefit of at least £4.4 million.

However, the OFT is embarking on further engagement and awareness raising as the evaluation report found that some consumer landlords and letting agents remain unaware of the High Court ruling and its implications for the sector, with similar potentially unfair terms still appearing in some contracts.

The OFT has written to a number of letting agents and their industry associations pointing this out and has also invited a number of agents to an event this autumn that will focus on the need for transparency of terms in contracts, including the need to highlight terms which relate to charges.

‘This research clearly demonstrates that there has been an immediate financial benefit for consumers from our intervention, and also evidence of knock on benefits from making this market more competitive,’ said Amelia Fletcher, OFT chief economist. ‘However, there is evidence of continuing poor practice by some letting agents, which need to go further to make their contracts transparent and fair. We will be engaging with business over the coming months to raise awareness and compliance with the law,’ she explained.

Have you been in a situation where the terms and conditions for renting property was not fair and transparent?  Join in the discussion and add your comment below.

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On another note:

Is this the ultimate summer rental?

If you are a massive fan of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Desperate Housewives, as well as able to spend $20,000 per month on rent, we may have found the perfect place for you.

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Share your property renting stories and news with us at Photoplan, email [email protected].

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