According to a recent report released by the Halifax, a whole generation of Britons are giving up on the idea of ever owning their own homes. Nearly half of 20-45 year olds, dubbed ‘Generation Rent’, say that they see Britain becoming more like Europe, where renting is more common than home ownership. But the rental market can be a minefield for the unwary tenant or inexperienced landlord. Alistair Millar, solicitor at Tallents in Southwell, explains what this report might mean for the UK housing market and how Tallents can advise both tenants and landlords. Says Alistair, “The report, carried out for the Halifax by the National Centre for Social Research, identified that house prices have dropped, deposits demanded by lenders are much higher than previously required and mortgages are harder to obtain. These combined factors are driving more young people into the rental sector than ever before, both as tenants and as landlords. “However, renting in the UK can be precarious without experienced legal advice. Standard assured shorthold tenancy agreements are commonly drawn up between tenants and landlords, but do not offer the tenant much security beyond the fixed term of the tenancy. Equally, a badly drawn-up agreement can have serious financial implications for a landlord.” He continues, “As a tenant signing a shorthold tenancy agreement, you might not be aware that the landlord can reclaim the property with a minimum of two month’s notice once the fixed term has expired. Or that the rent can be increased once the fixed term has expired. “As a new landlord, if the fixed term is less than six months, or hasn’t been specified, then you might not be aware that you can’t reclaim the property until at least six months have elapsed since the start of the agreement. As experienced solicitors we at Tallents can help protect the rights of our clients.” But it’s not all doom and gloom for the British housing marketing as the report also stated that three-quarters of people in the UK still have aspirations to buy a house at some point in the future. Alistair comments, “For those people who still want to either own their own home or purchase an investment property, then it pays to speak to a solicitor sooner rather than later, so when the right house is found, the deal can be negotiated quickly without any hold ups.” Tallents has been advising the people of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire for more than 237 years and has a wealth of experience in dealing with rental agreements and home purchases.
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