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Issue:- 28 August 2014

Major campaign launched to raise awareness and action amongst local MPs

THE Labour Party proposals designed to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords and agents are "set to backfire; resulting in higher rents and a dramatic drop in quality rented housing", according to a press release issued by Powell PR for Belvoir.

The press release also said that:- "That's the stark warning from Belvoir, one of the UK's largest lettings agencies, that is rapidly gathering support in a campaign to inform MPs and tenants about the flawed policies being put forward by the current Opposition party."

Belvoir, which has over 150 offices nationwide, including 6 on Merseyside, manages a portfolio of over 30,000 properties. It says that:- "Labour's controversial proposals, which include the banning of tenancy fees, introduction of rental caps and statutory long term rental agreements, will only help rogue landlords and agents to introduce higher rents 'by the back door'."

Dorian Gonsalves, Commercial Director at Belvoir, in the realese says:- "The truth is that each and every day professional, responsible and reputable agents, who charge a reasonable and proportionate fee for the services they provide, actually SAVE tenants money. Those agents who don't follow the rules; and there are still a lot of them out there; may appear to be cheaper by offering a 'cut price' service, but in many cases this service could be inadequate and fail in meeting certain legal requirements that could prove costly for both landlords and tenants in the longer term. Self regulating agencies, such as Belvoir, provide high levels of service, expertise and objectivity when managing landlord/client relationships and we ensure that tenants' interests are always safeguarded and protected; particularly when dealing with issues such as maintenance or breakage costs and end of tenancy agreements."

Major campaign launched to raise awareness and action amongst local MPs

LABOUR is also proposing the introduction of capped rental increases and yet the majority of landlords have not increased rent levels at all since 2008. This according to the release this is "supported by Belvoir's nationwide Rental Index Survey, which tracks and monitors property rental prices throughout the UK. However, if interest rates rise, as they are widely predicted to do, a cap on rents could have a real negative impact on many landlords, who could be forced to sell off their property portfolios, thereby reducing even further much need stock of private rented properties." added Dorian.

Also in the release, Paul Rice, who owns the Belvoir Office, located on Cheapside in Liverpool, says:- "As a company that is consistently recognised and awarded top honours by the UK's property industry for our professional and ethical approach, we have taken a lead in contacting MPs throughout each region to make them fully aware of the benefits and high levels of protection that professional, self regulating agents provide to tenant clients. We intend to fight Labour's proposals in order to protect tenants from falling prey to many of the rogue landlords and agents which, sadly, still exist. We believe these proposed policies are unworkable, not properly thought through and ultimately will only harm the interests of housing tenants. It's a message that we want all existing or prospective tenants to hear and many of our offices are already receiving a very positive response from their local MPs, keen to understand more in depth about these important issues."

Dorian Gonsalves also adds that:- "Belvoir, along with all other reputable agents, wants to see Government bring in regulation for the entire sector, but it is essential that we, along with other professional bodies, are given the opportunity to help shape the future of such regulation so that both tenants and landlords can be assured of a high quality and transparent service in the future."

Do you agree with this? Email your views to us via:- and let us know what you really think...

The latest update from the Formby Photo Group

THE Formby Photographic Club is holding it's 1st meeting of the new 2014 to 2015 season, at Formby Fellowship Church Hall, 93 Church Road, Formby, from 8.00pm to 10.00pm, on 4 September 2014. The club says that:- "All would be new members are welcome to come as a guest, 3 times at £2 per visit, which will include refreshments. If after the 3 visits you would like to join then the £3 will be deducted from the Membership fee of £25 for the season."  The 1st Speaker at a club meeting, of the new Season, will be conducted by Barry Aldous, on Thursday, 18 September 2014, at the same time and venue as that of the 1st meeting. Barry's presentation will be entitled:- "Introducing The Third Dimension" It will comprise image sequences and audio visual shows by stereo photographers, past and present, and will demonstrate the range of photographic styles and techniques used by stereoscopic photographers since the early days of the Society. This should be a fantastic night as he is the Folio Group Co-ordinator of The Stereoscopic Society. The Society (founded in 1893), has a long tradition of capturing the world stereoscopically in 3D using ready made cameras and self build equipment.   Also the 2014 Annual Photo Exhibition, on 6 September 2014, will be held by the club at Formby's Holy Trinity Parish Hall, on Rosemary, from 10am to 4pm. The club will be charging just £1 admission £1, that will include refreshments and catalogue of the 200+ exhibition prints on display. The event will also showcase the winners of the club's Annual Competition - 2014.  Further details about the club and it's activities can be found online at:- also on Facebook.

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