What tenants leave behind, insurance doubts, and bathroom turn-off: Property news

The Home Front: A rundown of the latest property statistics

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The Independent Online

Nearly one in 10 of landlords say they have found or received sensitive personal information such as bank statements, payslips, utility bills, chequebooks and passports when a tenant has moved out. Royal Mail and the National Landlords Association are warning renters who don't update their address details that they are putting themselves at risk of identity theft. The most common items left behind by tenants are clothes, followed by toys, and then animals.

Winter bills

Two-thirds of people expect to make major lifestyle cutbacks this year to pay their energy bills – 6 per cent will even downsize their home to do so. Santander's survey also shows that around 17 per cent turn on the oven at home to warm up and 6 per cent spend more time than usual at work because it's warmer. 

Home insurance companies 

A quarter of people aged over 50 do not trust home insurance companies to handle their claims fairly, according to SunLife. Of those without cover, a fifth say they don't have enough contents to justify having cover and a similar figure say it is simply too expensive or the cost of premiums outweigh the risk.

Home alone

In a poll asking about the biggest financial turn-off in a relationship, around 10 per cent of people told Ocean Finance that they would not continue seeing someone who is financially incapable of moving out of their parents' home into a place of their own. A separate survey from Hugo Oliver suggests that one in five people have broken up with a partner over a dirty bathroom.

Cost of renting 

The average first-time buyer getting on to the housing ladder this year will already have spent £52,900 on rent, says a new report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla). First timers in the North-east will have spent £31,300 on rent, the lowest amount in England, while in London the average amount is £68,300. Last year Arla says on average people in the UK spent 22 per cent of their wages on rent. In a separate report, HomeLet says the average rent in the UK (excluding Greater London) is now £740 per month, and £1,510 per month in Greater London itself.

Capital stamp duty

Knight Frank's latest research shows that London boroughs accounted for 44.3 per cent of all stamp duty in England and Wales between January and October 2015, up from 41 per cent in same period in 2014.

Stories behind the pictures

The housing charity Shelter is searching for the children and families featured in iconic pictures of England's 1960s slums taken by its photographer Nick Hedges over three years showing families living in cold, damp and dangerous conditions. An exhibition of Nick's photos will tour Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester next year. More information at http://stories.shelter.org.uk/make-life-worth-living

Bournemouth on the up

House prices rose £700 in January in England and Wales, according to Your Move, to push the average just past the £290,000 mark. The largest monthly jump was in Bournemouth, up 2.9 per cent or £7,370.