Bristol tops list for best quality of life in the UK
People living in Bristol have the highest quality of life in the country, according to a new report from MoneySuperMarket. The 12 largest cities in the UK were assessed on a range of factors including: property market activity; rental costs; salary levels; disposable income growth; cost of living; unemployment rates and life satisfaction. Bristol came top (partly due to its higher than average employee salary, disposable income growth and low unemployment rate). It was followed by Edinburgh, then Cardiff, Liverpool and Leeds.
Are letting agents fleecing tenants out of hundreds of pounds in hidden fees?
Letting agents are forcing tenants to pay up to £600 in non-refundable fees to rent out a one-bedroom apartment, claims Rentify, an online service for tenants and landlords.
Its report shows that letting agents charge an average ‘administration’ fee of £220 to secure a rental property in London, and nearly 25% of the London letting agents surveyed charge over £300 in administration fees (the most expensive agent charged £600 in East Ham). The most expensive letting agents were all found in London. Bristol was the only city with a higher average fee of £251.
George Spencer, CEO of Rentify, said: “As if it wasn’t bad enough that letting agents charge these unnecessary administration fees to tenants, some of these charges are also passed onto the landlord so the agent makes double the profit. These fees lack transparency and are simply unfair. Sometimes they cause tenants to pull out of properties because they have not been disclosed upfront, or budgeted for.
‘The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that from next month these costs must be clearly displayed in adverts alongside rental prices but there is no onus on agents to make their charges fairer, or better still, remove these unnecessary fees completely. These figures are especially interesting in the light of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ recent promise to cut down on rogue agents through compulsory redress schemes. Perhaps Mr. Pickles could have gone further by seeking to introduce new regulations, such as a qualification scheme for agents.”
Unusual property website of the week: diedinhouse.com
Currently only available in the US (though with plans to expand…), Died in House is a search engine which “determines if a death has occurred at that location” and additionally notes the ‘Vitality Status of Previous Residents’. The site says the information is aimed at home buyers, renters, home owners, home sellers and those who are just plain interested in the paranormal.
New app for first time buyers
Nationwide Building Society has created a free new mobile app to help first time buyers, and indeed other home movers, as they go through the often painful trial of buying a home. Its Homebuyer’s Companion app includes calculators to help work out affordability and borrowing requirements for mortgages.
Pictured is a 3 bedroom semi detached house for sale in Lidgett Place, Leeds LS8, on with Manning Stainton for £229,950
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