Reside5 – Bath’s Festivals

Bath’s place in the arts dates back to the 18th century, when the old Orchard Street Theatre was built and local luminaries included Thomas Gainsborough and Jane Austen.

The city now boasts five theatres and a cultural calendar of events to be proud of.

We’ve put together a list of some of the finest festivals in our area – on right now and coming up in the next few months.

Our Reside 5 festival review covers sports, music and literature. Hopefully something for everyone. If you know of other Bath festivals coming up this year please share your suggestions with us via Facebook or Twitter.


Iford-festival-2013

1. The Iford Arts Music Festival
8th June – 10th August
Twitter: @ifordarts
(Photo courtesy of Iford Arts Festival)

A varied season of opera, jazz proms and classical cloister concerts are performed in the Grade 1 listed Harold Peto gardens of Iford Manor, six miles from Bath. Covered, seated cloister seats are available or you can listen while you picnic.

Coming up: Acis and Galatea by Handel, London Horns and Brazilian jazz from The Minas Project and the festival finale – Soothsayers and Brejeiro.

See www.ifordarts.org.uk for more info.


Bath-Folk-Festival-2013

2. Bath Folk Festival
10th – 18th Aug
Twitter: @BathFolkFest

Bath’s third Folk Festival mixes internationally acclaimed acts and local talent with concerts throughout Bath. This grass roots festival, run by musicians and dancers, for musicians and dancers, is fast becoming a well respected fixture on the folk music scene.

Confirmed acts for this year include Lunasa, James Fagan and Nancy Kerr, Damien O’Kane Trio, and Karen Tweed with Kevin Dempsey and Carolyn Robson.

See http://bathfolkfestival.org/ for more info.


Special-Olympics-Bath-2013

3.  The Special Olympics GB National Summer Games
28th Aug – 1st Sept
Twitter: @SOGreatBritain

Held every 4 years, this is the country’s largest sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This year it comes to Bath where 1,700 athletes will compete in athletics, artistic gymnastics, football, badminton, golf, table tennis, tennis, swimming and more.

See http://www.bath2013.org.uk/ for more info.


Bath Festival of Chilrdren's Literature 2013

4. Festival of Children’s Literature
Sept 27th – 6th Oct
Twitter: @Bathfestivals

This year’s festival lights up the city once more with stories, readings and workshops. Well loved characters and stories rub shoulders with newer arrivals waiting to be discovered.

Michael Rosen brings his stories and poems about everything from a farting fish to chocolate cake, while local resident Mandy Sutcliffe introduces the world of Belle & Boo. Older children can learn to write about ghosts and vampires at a horror writing workshop with Alexander Gordon Smith. Axel Scheffler, Jeremy Strong are also in attendance along with a dramatic adaptation of Lord of the Flies and much, much more.

See http://bathfestivals.org.uk/childrens-literature/ to find out more.


Mozart-Fest-2013

5. Mozartfest
8th - 16th Nov
Twitter: @bathmozartfest
(Photo kindly supplied by Bath Mozartfest)

The 23rd Bath Mozartfest brings a programme of orchestral, chamber, quartet and choral works to fill some of our finest venues with glorious music.

The Assembly Rooms, Bath Abbey, the Guildhall, The Forum and St Mary’s Bathwick will feature performances by the Nash Ensemble, the Takács Quartet, The Halle Orchestra, Lawrence Power, Andras Schiff, Alfred Brendel, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and many more.

As well as music by Mozart, the programme includes the work of Dvořák, Janáček, Haydn, Ravel and Schubert and Beethoven.

See http://www.bathmozartfest.org.uk/ for more info.


With such a busy few months in prospect, we can’t possibly expect you to attend all of our top five festivals… But we would certainly like to see you give it a go! So whether you’ve been swooning to Schubert, spurring on the sports stars or studying Scheffler’s sketches, please do get in touch to tell us about it.

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You spin me right round…

We’re always looking for new ways to show our landlords’ properties, and better ways to help our tenants decide which properties suit them. So when we came across BubblePix, producers of a brand new technology that creates 360° photographic images, we saw an exciting opportunity.

(photo credit: BubblePix)

The BubblePod creates 360° images that will give our prospective tenants an honest view of property interiors – before they decide to visit.

We’re proud to announce we’ve made a small investment in BubblePix and that inventor Tom Lawton has agreed that Reside will be pioneering this exciting technology.

There are two elements to the technology: the BubblePod and the BubblePix App.

The BubblePod is a clockwork turntable that grips your smartphone and smoothly, silently rotates it by 360º.

Meanwhile the BubblePix App on your phone captures the 360º image. Users can shoot and share images in less than a minute.

Reside has agreed to act as a test bed for the early production versions. This means we’ll be one of the first letting agencies to use these images to present our properties.

Once they go into production, this will create a fantastic tool for letting agents everywhere.

To find out more about the BubblePod, click here.

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Reside5 – Public Sporting Facilities

Every year, the tense tiebreaks and luscious lawns of Wimbledon inspire many of us to turn off the telly, reach for a racquet and indulge in some very rusty but much-needed exercise.

Bath has a wealth of high quality public sports facilities just waiting to be raided by those of us in the grip of Murray-mania, which is why we have decided to share with you five of our favourite Public Sporting Facilities in the city.

There’s something for everyone in our latest Reside5, but be sure to share your own recommendations with us on Twitter or Facebook.


1. Tennis in the Park
Royal Victoria Park, BA1 2NR
Twitter: @ExcelTennis
(photo credit: twitter.com/ExcelTennis)

Anyone can turn up to Tennis in the Park, who offer a membership-free pay and play system. A total of seven courts are hidden away in a sheltered corner of The Royal Victoria Park, four of which are indoors and floodlit during the winter.

Set in such tranquil surroundings, however, grunters of the Sharapova variety may wish to tone down their performance.


2. Odd Down Cycle Circuit
Bloomfield Road, BA2 2NU
Twitter: @OddDownCircuit
(photo credit: nowbath.co.uk)

This brand new 1.5km (that’s 0.93 miles to you and me) cycle track was built by B&NES council with the help of a £600,000 grant from British Cycling and is one of only 17 such closed road cycling circuits in England. The track received a grand opening from the UK’s King of the Pedals, Sir Chris Hoy, and is designed to encourage more people in the area to take up the sport.

Open family sessions run several times a week from as little as £1 per participant, and inhabitants of penthouse apartments with no storage space can always borrow a bicycle from the track.


3. The Sports Training Village, University of Bath
Claverton Down, BA2 7AY
Twitter: @TeamBath
(photo credit: atcinternationallanguages.com)

This round-up would not be complete without mention of the University of Bath’s impressive sporting facilities, many of which can be booked for public use. The Training Village has played host to a variety of international sports stars and teams, and if you’ve ever idly wondered whether bobsleigh could be your calling then look no further.

A state of the art gym is available to members, and virtually every other sport is catered for – from badminton to volleyball. This is truly the place to discover your area of expertise in time for Rio 2016!


4. The Approach Golf Course
Weston Road, BA1 2DS
Twitter: @Aquaterral

Fans of a Reside5 (let’s call you Reside5ers) will recognise Bath Approach Golf Course from our Viewpoints of Bath blog a couple of months ago. Not only can anyone walk in off the street and enjoy a reasonably priced round of golf, but the panoramas over Bath are not to be missed.

Club hire is included in the admission price, so don’t worry if you’re a 5 iron short of a full set – there’s something here for everyone.


5. Bath’s Pétanque Pistes
Various Locations
(photo credit: flickr.com/bathintime)

If you find that golf is rather too much of an adrenaline rush, you may wish to consider the wonderfully social and gentile game of pétanque. Bath has several pétanque pistes, most notably in Queen Square and Alexandra and Alice Parks, all of which can be booked through the council or used for free if you happen upon an empty one.

The Bath pétanque scene is a busy one, with popular Tuesday and Thursday leagues always on the look-out for new teams and players, and several other competitions running throughout the summer. In fact, visitors to Queen Square on a Thursday evening will often be able to spot the low-flying Reside pétanque team in action.


We hope we’ve given you 5 good reasons turn off the telly and explore some of what Bath has to offer, but before you dig out your tennis whites why not tweet us to let us know what sport you’ll be playing today.

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The Brass Tacks and Curious Facts Series: Episode One

We at Reside know Bath inside out, back to front and upside down – down to the last letter box – and we’d like to share our knowledge with you.

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Reside5 – Viewpoints of Bath

From secret alleyways below street level, up to the top of the grandest boulevards – we here at Reside spend a lot of time pounding the pavements of Bath.

We also spend a lot of time taking photographs. From the properties themselves, to the neighbourhoods and surrounding areas in which they sit, it’s our job to notice the details while not losing sight of the bigger picture.

We’ve decided to assemble some of our favourite Viewpoints of Bath for this week’s Reside5.

From cityscapes to the natural world, most of these photos are ours, while some we recommend…all are lovely.

We hope you enjoy! If you want to share one of your own – just give us a Tweet or find us on Facebook.


1. Bath Approach Golf Course
Weston road, BA1 2DS
Twitter: @aquaterral

Golf courses are generally known for their well-manicured greens. Yet ‘The Approach’ also happens to be situated within the boundaries of pretty Victoria Park. Not only that, but a majority of the play is both up and down hill. Therein lies the challenge but also the beauty, as you’ll be privy to some sweeping views of the city.

Don’t consider yourself a golfer? Well, this council owned pitch and putt is completely public and perfect for beginners and experts alike. There’s no need to book either, just turn up. Don’t forget the camera!


2. Bathwick Hill, BA2
Twitter: @bathwickhill

Bathwick Hill captures the spirit of gentility that is synonymous with Bath. This picture was taken looking down its steep slope towards the city centre in the distance.

But beyond the views sit special details too. Many of the buildings on Bathwick Hill are listed. Tuscan columns lurk behind Neo-Grecian gates, while wrought iron verandas are married with Rococo flourishes.

A short detour down Golf Course Road, and you’ll be rewarded with a view of the impressive Sham Castle.


3. Thermae Bath Spa
The Hetling Pump Room, Hot Bath St, BA1 1SJ
Twitter: @thermaebathspa
(photo credit: thermaebathspa.com)

A surprising number of long-time Bath residents have yet to visit the ‘only natural spa in Britain.’ If you are one of them, isn’t it high time you took the plunge?

The Open-Air Rooftop Pool is not to be missed. Open day and night, we think it’s best viewed at twilight with the sun casting colours across the face of nearby Bath Abbey. You can book a ‘Twilight Package’ for just yourself or for two. It includes a 3hr spa session, grazing menu and complimentary robes.

While photographs are not permitted, some would argue there is no better camera than your mind’s eye (and in this case, we can’t help but agree).


4. Alexandra Park
Shakespeare Ave, BA2
Twitter: @AlexandraPark3

Situated atop Beechen Cliff, the panoramic views from Alexandra Park are simply magnificent. We love the juxtaposition of its surrounding wooded vales with the cream coloured city below.

Thanks to a team of volunteers who planted hundreds of bulbs back in December, you can be sure to find blossoms of colour greeting you throughout the spring.

This Saturday 13 April from 2 – 4pm is the park’s annual Spring Event. Representatives of activities held in the park such as Bowls, Petanque/Boule and Boot Camp Fitness will be on hand to answer questions and encourage participation. Meanwhile, the Royal Horticultural Society will be busy planting edibles. Teas and cakes will also be on offer. Entrance to the event is free and open to all.


5. Bath Abbey
12 Kingston Buildings, Bath BA1 1LT
Twitter: @bathabbey
(photo credit: theworldaheadandhomebehind.wordpress.com)

You’ve probably passed it a million times, but have you ever trudged your way up Bath Abbey’s 212 steps all the way to the top?

A friendly guide helps you along, offering historical facts enroute with a glimpse behind the clock face and inside the workings of the bells.

Once at the top, you can linger as long as you like – snapping pics in every direction. There’s the cricket ground and pavilion on one side, a great view up High Street, and even a chance to see the Roman Baths without paying the entrance fee or having to wait in line.

Tours depart every hour. We’re putting a reminder in the diary to visit during the Christmas Market, as it’s the only time of year tower tours take place after dark.


So what do you think? Any secret viewpoints we should know about? Let us know and we’ll share it on Twitter or Facebook.

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Reside5 – Bath Comedy Festival

This installment of Reside5 was chosen by Reside’s own comedy connoisseur, Toby Martin.

Toby’s a big fan of the Bath Comedy Festival, which is kicking off it’s 5th year this Friday 29 March – Saturday 13 April 2013.

Founded by true comedy fanatics, this festival’s particularly great because it’s particularly diverse. Showcasing acts from all different backgrounds – whether it’s a local performer, a rising star or a well-known name – there’s even a competition for new acts. The Bath Comedy Festival is also known for its careful curation of its events, focusing on intelligent and witty comedy rather than simply laddish, rude one-liners.

What’s more, with so many types of comedic performance represented – from traditional stand-up and caricature – to theatre and street performance, there really is something on offer for everyone. This year there are more acts at more venues than ever before (120 to be exact). So, we thought we’d lend a helping hand by sharing a few of our favourites this time around.

We hope you enjoy them! Do let us know via Twitter or Facebook which comedic act received your loudest laugh this year?


1. Gary Delaney
Thurs 4 April
Burdall’s Yard, 8pm
Twitter: @GaryDelaney
(photo credit: garydelaney.com)

If you could throw Milton Jones, Tim Vine and Jimmy Carr into a metaphorical blender in your mind, what you’d get would very much resemble Gary Delaney. Widely regarded as one of the best writers of one-liners in the UK, its no wonder he’s had so many successful appearances on Mock The Week.

A star on the ascent, Gary Delaney looks set to become one of the better known names in comedy in the near future. Catch him now, while you can…


2. Henning Wehn
Thurs 4 April
Bath Rugby Clubhouse, 8pm
Twitter: @henningwehn
(photo credit: henningwehn.de)

Germany’s ‘Comedy Ambassador’ is certainly one of a kind. A big fan of Bath, we are equally happy to have him gracing our stages once again. His recent claim that pub jokes in Germany and Blighty are virtually identical in their satirical value, might be why he’s built such a substantial following here in the UK.

We think his unique twists on everything from politics to headlines are hilarious and we aren’t the only ones. His Wednesday show has already sold-out, but a Thursday date was recently added. Better book quickly though!


3. Tiffany Stevenson
Sun 7 April
Chapel Arts Centre, 7.30pm
Twitter: @tiffstevenson
(photo credit: tiffanystevenson.co.uk)

We’re really chuffed that Tiffany Stevenson is coming to town. Curator of Old Rope, one of the finest stand-up nights in London, Stevenson and is also a favourite at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Performing as part of the ‘Show Me The Funny’ reunion show, she’s one of three finalists from ITV’s Comedy X Factor show on the bill. A night not to be missed, we thinks.


4. Pete Firman
Thurs 4 April
Komedia, 8pm
Twitter: @petefirman
(photo credit: petefirman.co.uk)

If you are lucky enough to catch Pete Firman’s show this year, don’t be deceived by his seemingly charming, laid-back banter. You can bet that just around the corner lurks a genuinely jaw-dropping illusion! Most of the audience is sure to be left scratching their heads for days afterwards, as how he pulls off his tricks is nothing sort of amazing.

He’s one of the best in the business, that’s one thing (at least) we are sure of.


5. Bizarre Bath
Daily: Fri 29 March – Sun 9 April
Meet outside The Huntsman, 8pm
(photo credit: bizarrebath.co.uk)

Looking for an original and hilarious way to get to know Bath a bit better? Then be sure to reserve one evening in the diary for Bizarre Bath. Created by Noel Britten, who has himself supported the likes of Tim Vine with his own stand-up show, you’ll laugh yourself silly on this stroll around town.

Mysteries, thrills, and surprises abound…it all sounds good to us!


Well folks, we hope you’ll be able to make it to the Bath Comedy Festival this year. And if none of our picks tickle your fancy, then take a look at the full comedy line-up for 2013.

If you are out of town or have no hope of making the festival at all this year for whatever reason, all is not lost. Remember, the Bath Fringe is also just around the corner, taking place 24 May – 9 June.

Have fun! Do Tweet or Facebook us & let us know which comedic act got the most laughs from you this year…!

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Reside welcomes transparency in Agency Fees

Last week, the property press feeds were all aflutter with news of a landmark ruling affecting how letting agents disclose their fees.

Property agent Your Move found itself falling foul of the Advertising Standards Agency for failing to disclose its fees. The ruling also echoed the findings of a recent Which? report that revealed many letting agents are neglecting to provide their fees to potential tenants upfront. Shockingly, the report also found that some agents were not providing details of their fees even when asked, or they gave incomplete information.

This behavior makes it difficult for consumers to weigh-up their options and compare overall costs across letting agents.

We at Reside have always believed in full disclosure of fees. Since our inception, we have provided complete terms & conditions at the first viewing of every property, with every potential tenant – whether this is requested or not.

For our landlords, we also provide a completely transparent service through our web-based system, Reside Remote. Reside Remote enables us to provide 24/7 access to statements, contractor invoices, maintenance logs and detailed tenancy information. There are absolutely no hidden charges. What’s more, unlike many of our competitors, we do not mark-up the fees from any of our contractors.

Reside Remote – our bespoke tool for landlords

The complete picture from the ASA’s verdict has yet to be fully realised, particularly in terms of how online adverts will be affected. For example, the property portal Rightmove is now one of the UK’s most popular online destinations full-stop, recently reporting revenues up by 23% to £119.4m.

But rest assured, the team here at Reside will be keeping an eye on this one and will report back as things develop…

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Introducing…Reside 5

As you might imagine, the life of a letting agent is largely lived outside of the office.

We are constantly exploring the unknown alcoves, little lanes and surprising sights of Bath’s surrounds. Add to this the fact that many of the team here are life-long residents of the area and what do you have? A fountain of knowledge just waiting to be tapped.

So, we thought we’d share some of our most loved places, secret spots and hidden gems of this fair city of ours – beyond the typical tourist drop-off points.

This is our first in a series of Reside 5. In this post we’ll be exploring something close to our hearts and I’m sure yours too…Cafés!

Like Reside, our 5 Cafés are each locally owned and independent, adding to the unique character and identity of Bath. But what’s your favourite spot for a cuppa? Feel free to give us a shout on Twitter or Facebook. We’d love to hear from you…


Reside 5: Cafés

1. Boston Tea Party

19 Kingsmead Square
BA1 2AE

Twitter: @BTPcafes
(Photo credit: bostonteaparty.co.uk)

We know what you are thinking – why is a chain on your list of ‘independent’ cafés? Well, it turns out Boston Tea Party is a family-run operation founded right here in the West Country. What’s more – all their shops are unique, as furniture and fittings are chosen specifically for each shop based on its location and environment. What’s not to like about that?

Their Bath location is bijou and you’ll rarely find a seat inside. But it’s corner location on Bath Square and ample outdoor seating makes up for this fact.

The hint of what Boston Tea Party does best is in the name, and their loose-leaf tea menu has all your favourites as well as a few for the more adventurous like Yunnan Rose, which compliments cake and all things sweet. Unlike the bigger coffee chains, they also do delicious food that’s either homemade or locally sourced. A breakfast Kedgeree or Eggs Benedict is sure to hit the spot, while we wouldn’t say no to a Pulled-Pork Sandwich or their El Dorado Wrap complete with chorizo, Somerset brie and tomato salsa.

Boston Tea Party have obviously found the key to success, and it warms the heart to see a local business doing so well.


2. Coral Quay
8 – 9 New Bond Street Place
BA1 1BH

Twitter: @coral_quay

Perched above a shop selling crafts and homeware from around the world is Coral Quay Café, a hidden oasis of calm right in the centre of Bath’s bustling shopping district.

Though it can get busy on Saturdays around lunchtime, this café might just be your salvation after a day spent among the crowds below.

It was the owner’s dream to run her own café and it shows in the menu. Specialising in gluten-free food, all her cakes were chosen by her customers through a tea-party tasting test. Couple it with a hot cocoa such as Maharaja’s Tea Leaf Treat or a World Kitchen toastie or salad like the Jamacian Rumba with reggae reggae jerk chicken and pineapple and you’re good to go!


3. The Whole Bagel
8 Upper Borough Walls
BA1 1RG

Twitter: @WholeBagel

This bagel shop just moved into a bigger location 6 months ago, prompted by the queues that used to form out the door of their previous premises. They’ve now got inside seating and a courtyard, all done-up with black and white chequered tiles and bright orange chairs.

“Bath’s first (and only) bagel shop” really does lunch well. Choose your bagel (we like cheese and jalapeño or sundried tomato and olive), add your fillings, and enjoy!

But beyond the bagel, they’ve also got salads, soup and some tempting New York-style milkshakes. This is a café that’s doing it right.


4. Roscoff Deli
18 Northumberland Place
BA1 5AR

Twitter: @Roscoffdelibath

Roscoff’s Sicilian owner has been making her own blend of coffee since 1983, so it’s no wonder that this café has a drinks menu larger than what you’ll find at any Starbucks or Costa.

You’d also be hard-pressed to find a more ethical brew around. They’ve been working with small cooperatives and abiding by the rules of ‘fair trade’ before it was even a known concept.

But more than just good coffee, Roscoff also has impressive black and green tea menus. We are enticed to try Kenya Tinderet for its ‘fine flavour, bright colour and excellent blend with milk’ while China Dragon Well also sounds like a fine pick-me-up.

And if it’s Italian food you’re after, you couldn’t do better than their homemade lasagne, prosciutto and mozzarella panini, or a simple plate of bread and olives. Roscoff is definitely worth a visit!


5. Jacobs Coffee House
6 Abbey Churchyard
BA1 1LY

Twitter: @jacobscoffeehse
(Photo credit: tripadvisor.co.uk)

Jacobs Coffee House has officially debunked the long-held belief that any place near a tourist destination will be overpriced and mediocre. In fact, it’s the opposite. The staff are friendly. Many proclaim its got ‘the best coffee in Bath’. Plus they serve the flakiest homemade pastries we’ve ever had.

Alongside café staples, they’ve also got proper pies courtesy of Pieminister (founded in nearby Bristol). Not overlooking the fact that tea is a necessary accompaniment, they also offer over 20 loose leaf teas.

And of course, their location is to die for. Smack dab in the middle of tourist central, the café sits between Bath Abbey and the Pump Rooms, in the courtyard with the Roman columns (yes, you know the one). Not only does this make it the perfect place for people watching – but also affords the opportunity to truly admire our ‘Heritage City’ whilst a chocolate muffin slowly melts in the mouth.

Just one word of caution, watch out for the pigeons!


So that’s it for our first Reside 5.

But what’s your favourite spot for a cuppa? Give us a shout on Twitter or Facebook, let us know what you think…

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Video tours – The future of property marketing?

We have recently trialled a fantastic new way of marketing our rental properties – video tours. Working with a local multimedia company we have produced this high quality, visually stunning tour of a two bedroom apartment in Bath.

Our brand new YouTube channel can be found here.

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Private rents set to outstrip house prices over next 8 years

Private rents in the South West are set to increase significantly faster than house prices over the next eight years, with average rents set to swell by 48%. According to the National Housing Federation’s ‘Home Truths 2012’ report, Bath and North East Somerset could see a £409 rise in average monthly rents between 2013 and 2020, by far the most significant increase in the South West region. Whilst the average rent for the region as a whole is forecast to stand at £981 per month in 2020, Bath and North East Somerset would see average rents grow to £1,253 per month.

These projected rent rises follow on the heels of 37% increases in national rents over the past five years and are caused by years of not building enough affordable homes. In 2011, 390,000 new families were formed, but only 111,250 new homes were built; as this trend seems set to continue, rents look set to be forced upwards at a higher rate than house prices as more and more families turn to private rented accommodation.

Jenny Allen, South West lead manager for the National Housing Federation, commented: “The housing market is at the point of no return; with house prices and rents set to rise and thousands of families in the South West already really struggling to afford their home… Thousands of South West families are priced out of the market and are struggling to keep on top of their rents. As Home Truths shows, even working families are increasingly reliant on housing benefit to help pay their private rent.”

However, whilst the Home Truths report is forecasting dramatic rent increases, the government is painting a very different picture of the housing market by claiming that private rents are in fact going down. New housing minister Mark Prisk told the Commons that rents have fallen in real terms, because they have risen less than the rate of inflation: “The most recent official statistics published by the Valuation Office Agency in August 2012 show that median private sector rents across England rose by 0.9% in the year to June 2012, compared to a rise in RPI inflation of 2.8% over the same period. Rents have thus fallen in real terms, although there are local variations.”

Regardless of the discrepancies between the Home Truth’s predictions and Mr. Prisk’s comments, there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on: rents will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.

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