Development Jobs Set to Boost Housing in East London

The Royal Docks is to become home a New Business District - the Biggest UK Development to Date

East London’s Royal Docks have attracted Chinese business Investment to Develop the Area (Image courtesy of the Royal Docks Trust)

The London borough of Newham is set to become the next property hotspot following an announcement by the Mayor Boris Johnson of plans to develop the land north of the Royal Albert dock as a business district set to be worth £6 billion to the UK economy. The site will be developed by ABP China (Holding), a successful commercial developer, who have estimated creation of 20, 000 jobs in this region in what will be the biggest shift east since Canary Wharf was built in the 1990’s.

The development land, which comprises some 35-acres, is situated in the heart of Royal Docks Enterprise Zone and is owned by the Greater London Authority. ABP will be aiming the majority of the business at Chinese and other Asian businesses looking to establish headquarters in our capital as a gateway to Europe. It is the first direct investment by a Chinese developer in London. When it is completed it will provide over 3.2 million square feet of work, retail and leisure space.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “For centuries the waterways of east London were the throbbing arteries of UK trade and commerce. This deal symbolises the revival of that great era, continuing the re-invention of this once maligned part of the capital into a 21st century centre of trade and investment.

Creating a third financial district in the capital, this development will act as a beacon for eastern investors looking west, bringing with it tens of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment for the UK economy.”

This will make it the largest UK development of its kind, which is great news for the borough, which has also benefited from the successful and on-going regeneration of Stratford, following the Olympics in 2012. The hope is that the site will boost local employment by some 30% and generate around £23 million in business tax alone, and in addition it is expected to act at a catalyst for further development in the area. It is certainly likely to see an increase in new homes developments to service the area as it grows.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “The Royal Docks Enterprise Zone offers an unrivalled investment opportunity and this deal further strengthens Newham’s growing reputation as an ideal destination for international business.

We welcome ABP’s ambitious vision for the Docks which are already home to London City Airport, the University of East London, the Siemens Crystal and the Excel. ABP’s proposals will bring further investment from abroad and unlock future development. It will also create benefits for local people by providing thousands of new jobs and further enhancing the waterfront for people to enjoy.

Newham will work closely with ABP and their UK development partner, Stanhope, to ensure that as many of these jobs as possible are accessible to local residents. Our successful Workplace jobs brokerage scheme is ideally placed to ensure this happens.”

Developers, ABP, have recently completed a large development in Beijing, and they are currently working on a 75 million square foot development in Shenyang in north-eastern China. They will be working with UK developers Stanhope and architects Farrells, and they predict the first occupiers will move in in 2017.
It is the latest in a string of investments in the area including exhibition space at the Siemens Crystal Centre, Emirates Air Line – the UK’s first urban cable car, and new homes development along Great Eastern Quay, and Silvertown Quays. There are also future plans to create the UK’s largest floating village at Royal Victoria Dock. Transport links to the area will be enhanced by the new Crossrail station coming to in 2018.

Chairman of ABP, Mr Xu, said: “I am very pleased and very proud that my company ABP has reached this agreement for the Royal Albert Dock with the Greater London Authority. This project will be hugely significant for both the Chinese and UK economies.

My vision is to develop a world class international business district which will initially target Asian businesses to help them secure a destination in London, which in China is seen as the gateway to both the United Kingdom and the wider European economy.  Our plans aim to strengthen trade between east and west, provide new local jobs and deliver benefits for the wider London and UK economy.”

Tenant Admin Fees Guide for Tenants

Estate Agents fees need to be transparent

Letting Agents Need to Ensure Their Tenant Admin Fees are Transparent

Tenant Admin Fees are a Fair Way to Do Business

Housing Charity Shelter would like to see letting agents fees outlawed in England and Wales having already persuaded the Scottish Parliament to scrap tenants’ fees. We want to explain why this could be a bad thing for tenants.

The job of a letting agent is quite time-consuming and, as we know, time is money. It is expensive to rent property to tenants. There are many costs involved in setting up tenancies, and obviously the majority of these costs are borne by the landlord. However there are costs that link directly to a tenant including references, legal documents, and the time spent with tenants finding just the right property for them. All of these are legitimate reasons that the tenant should bear some of the costs of renting property, and are often charged as tenant admin fees, but perhaps the most relevant one is to ensure that the tenant is fully committed to the process.

Where a tenant does not pay any fees but decides to take a rental property the landlord often suspends marketing the property while the agent takes out references. (Even where marketing continues the agent is accruing costs by keeping that property on the market in terms of advertising and conducting viewings). There is nothing holding that tenant to the property and so in the meantime he finds another property that suits him just a bit better and so off he goes leaving the first landlord and agent high and dry.

Rising Costs Mean Rising Rents

Who should bear the costs of referencing the tenant, and any other legal and administrative work that has been undertaken by the agent? If it is the landlord then he will put his rent up, if it is the agent he will put his fees up, then landlord will then put the rent up.

With no fees charged to them the tenant could switch properties several times before committing himself, with no financial penalty at all. Most landlords will have experienced this problem even where the tenant has had to lose a couple of hundred pounds to move on to another property, so imagine how much worse this will get if there is no financial commitment on his part.

There is a myth that all landlords are rich, that all agents are rolling in money, and that all tenants are honourable people who are taken advantage of by sharks.

Most people are reasonably honest and respectable, and I include landlords, agents and tenants in this generalisation, but of course there is a measure of self-interest driving all of us, so if there is no concrete commitment in place there will be more timewasters costing the industry money, and so overall prices will rise, and this will mean that rents will rise.

In our opinion the only way to deal fairly with this situation is for agents to charge a reasonable fee for the work they do; to be open and transparent with their fees; and for everyone to keep to their side of the bargain.

Guide for tenants

  • Ask your Letting Agent what fees they charge before you view a property.
  • When you have found a property, ask for a written break-down of how much you will pay for the specific property you want to rent.
  • Check if the Agents charge for renewals, check out fees, and any other miscellaneous fees.
  • Make it clear to the Letting Agent that you will not pay for any charges that they do not detail in this initial exchange.
  • Ask for confirmation from the Agent, in writing, of all monies that you will be expected to pay including the rent up front and deposit so you are absolutely clear in your own mind what you will need to pay for.
  • Don’t commit to renting a property unless you intend to move into it.

It will be interesting to see how the Scottish system works out over a period of time, and whether in fact tenants are any better off due to this change in legislation north of the border.

If you want to find out more about becoming a tenant, and avoiding tenancy pitfalls check out the Top 10 things tenants should know, when renting a property on DIY Doctor’s project pages.

You can read more about Protecting yourself from Rogue Agents if you are thinking of renting a property.