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Estate agency told to remove ‘rent guarantee’ claims from website

first_imgA sales and lettings agency that advertised a rent guarantee service to landlords on its website has had a complaint about its claims upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).The ruling means agents who advertise ‘rent guarantees’ must be much clearer about the service they offer if they want to avoid being referred to the ASA.London two-branch sales and lettings agency www.victoriaknight.co.uk, which is owned by Smartinvest Capital Ltd, published an advert on its website offering “the assurance of a fixed monthly rental income without all the hassles involve in being a landlord”.“Find out more about our Rent Guarantee service and the terms and conditions” the ad went on to say.Someone complained to the ASA, challenging whether the claims within the ad were misleading because they suggested rent would be guaranteed in all circumstances, and did not make clear the limitations that applied to the service.Sub-lettingIn its response to the ASA, SmartinInvest explained that it in effect became the tenant of the property and sub-let it and that landlords saw the full terms and conditions of the deal before signing up. It also said that landlords were covered by insurance that guaranteed rent and paid the legal costs of eviction.The ASA said landlords would understand ‘rent guarantee’ to mean a specific guarantee of payments and would not understand from the advert that SmartInvest/Victoria Knight would become the tenant.It was also found by the ASA that the agreement between landlords and SmartInvest had exclusions including non-payment of rent if the property became uninhabitable, which the advert did not make clear nor make the terms and conditions available on the Victoria Knight website. The ASA therefore considered that the ad and its ‘rent guarantee’ and ‘rent guarantee service’ claims were misleading.advertising standards authority ASA Smartinvest Capital Ltd victoria knight November 21, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Estate agency told to remove ‘rent guarantee’ claims from website previous nextRegulation & LawEstate agency told to remove ‘rent guarantee’ claims from websiteThe Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against London agency Victoria Knight over an advert promoting a guaranteed rent scheme.Nigel Lewis21st November 201801,604 Viewslast_img read more

Major Dutch funds still on course for pension cuts despite September lift

first_imgThe current situation means that the €442bn civil service scheme would have to cut pensions by between 0 and 1.5%, a reduction of €0 to €12 per month for a pension of €800 a month, net. The reduction would also affect pension accrual. A spokesperson explained to Dutch pension publication Pensioen Pro that the current position would effectively lead to a 0.4% cut, which is the difference between the 91% now and the critical coverage ratio of 95%, spread over the maximum allowable timeframe of 10 years.“We wanted to mention a range for the scheme members so as not to give false precision”ABP spokesperson“We wanted to mention a range for the scheme members though, so as not to give false precision,” the spokesperson said.The 1.5% at the top of the range would occur at a coverage ratio of 80%.Even though the scheme uses the example of a reduction spread out over a 10-year period, ABP has not yet made a final decision on the choice of timeframe, the spokesperson added. A shorter timespan would mean relatively higher cuts.Schemes look to politicians Healthcare scheme PFZW saw its coverage ratio increase from 89.9% to 92.2%, meaning this fund is also below the critical funding ratio – although the difference is smaller than at ABP. The critical coverage ratio for PFZW is 94%. As things stand the pension cut could be a one-off 1.8%.  The schemes are appealing to the government.“To avert cuts, we urgently need the help of The Hague,” PFZW director Peter Borgdorff stated in the pension fund’s quarterly report.ABP said its “hope is based on a rapid implementation of the pension deal” and on “measures that prevent unnecessary, multi-year reductions during the transition period”.In addition to possible reductions next year, ABP and PFZW also risk having to make cuts linked to the minimum required own funds measure from 2021. These would happen if funds are not able to reach 100% by the end of 2020.Metal industry fundsThe metal funds PMT and PME are already heading for such a reduction at the end of this year. Both schemes are still well below the required funding level, despite improvements in September. PMT stood at 94.6%, precisely two percentage points more than at the end of August. PME’s last position was 93.4% compared with 91.5% a month earlier. Based on current levels, a reduction of 5-7% would be required for the metal industry funds.It would “almost take a miracle” to avert these cuts next year, PME director Erik Uijen said.“We’ve been preparing members as much as we can, yet this will come as a big blow to everyone”PME director Erik Uijen“We’ve been preparing members as much as we can, yet this will come as a big blow to everyone,” he added.PMT reported that it is in talks with social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees and that it insists on a “smooth and stable transition to a new system.”A spokesperson said that PMT would, simply put, prefer to not apply any cuts next year. Together with other funds a plan is being studied for different calculation rules in the new system. These are “certainly not just about the discount rate,” the spokesperson said.ABP and PFZW do not want to elaborate on their talks with the minister or with other funds: “All kinds of negotiations are taking place at the moment, it’s best not to interfere with this now,” said the ABP spokeswoman.PME reported in September that it did not want to spread out the cuts across the full span of 10 years, partly due to the cost. The scheme prefers to apply a reduction of less than 4% in one go and further cuts of 7% in two steps. PMT has similar plans, the fund said at the time.The reductions in these cases are unconditional, as opposed to the recovery plan cuts at PFZW and ABP, as these can still be reversed if the funding ratio improves. Large Dutch pension funds’ coverage ratios improved somewhat in September, but not enough to eliminate the prospect of pension cuts, according to the quarterly reports from industry-wide schemes ABP, PFZW, PMT and PME. The threat of reductions looms despite good investment performance, the reports indicate. In the third quarter ABP posted a return of 3.8%, PFZW 5.5%, 5.7%, PME 5.7%, and PMT 7.2%. ABP reached a current coverage ratio of 91% at the end of September. This is an improvement on the 88.6% in late August, but still well below the critical coverage ratio, which for ABP must be around 95% at the end of 2019. Chair Corien Wortmann-Kool said: “In all likelihood, we will have to reduce pensions next year, and it does not look good for the coming years either.”last_img read more