News June 24, 2019
     

City life continues to improve

The news that another Michelin Star chef has secured new premises in the Jewellery Quarter highlights the continuing trend for better restaurants & bars to choose Birmingham City Centre as their new home. The choice is widening for those looking for good venues and the quality is on a distinctly upward path, helped by an increasing audience now living in the City plus those coming into the City in the knowledge that the better establishments are here.

The trend for City Living continues to grow, with the young professional market, singles and downsizers leading the trend. The rental market in the City is bigger than the sales market but often is a stepping board for those on route to putting down roots & subsequently buying.

The rental market is now changing with the Legal & General Whitmore Collection of 221 apartments soon coming to the market close to the City core in Newhall Street. This being the second completed block but really the first fully focussed purpose built PRS investment block in the City. For residents this block offers a club house with lounge, private hire dining room, gym plus co working study area alongside well-planned apartments. It also offers free Wi-Fi, porterage & consent for small pets!

Whilst there will undoubtedly be a premium on the PRS rent it when the property is officially launched, it will be interesting to see if this extra rent can be sustained against the competition from private landlords with well-presented flats located nearby. Going forward the rents asked will also be competing with other investment blocks across the City.

For tenants there has never been a better time to choose an apartment to rent in this City. The nil cost upfront and reduced deposit size now in place, from June 1st, make it easier than ever to move. More importantly it means there is no reason for them to stay in accommodation which is substandard or badly managed. For landlords this is a massive wake up call because they cannot neglect their investments without risking bigger voids between tenancies or looking at a distinct two-tier market where tenants have the choice, often in the same block, of distinctly different rents because of apartment condition.

For landlords their investment market seems to get more complicated every year with laws not only on security of tenure and tenant protection, the landlord’s responsibility to repairs & condition, with its associated safety certificates needed for gas, electricity & fire. There are sub-sections for Houses of Multiple Occupation & their associated licencing plus discrimination on tenants looking with benefits. This year’s new laws are focussed on energy efficient standards, Fitness for habitation standards & client money protection. Next year’s focus we understand will be on mandatory electrical testing & further fit for purpose accommodation standards.

Interestingly since most of Birmingham City Centre are apartments have been built within the last twenty years the ongoing law changes are going to be about habitation standards plus keeping up with the utility supply certification. Its though probably not the time to self-manage your own portfolio.

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