Universal Credit

FREE Universal Credit CPD Training For Landlords

Universal Credit is by far the largest ‘shake-up’ of the benefits’ system that the whole of the UK has ever known and will affect over 12 million people and has already had a major impact on the private rented sector due to rent arrears. The majority of press coverage on Universal Credit has focused on jobseekers but according to government figures there are under 2 million people claiming this allowance.…

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Buy-To-Let Being Considered By More Future Retirees For Their Later Years

An income and equity release specialist’s recent research claims that over 10% of the 50 + age bracket, are seriously considering entering into the private rented sector by purchasing a buy-to-let property to fund their retirement. If this is the case then it could mean that upon hitting retirement there could be 1.3 million new landlords. From the survey 50% of those who said they could become landlords that what…

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Landlord Tarred As Gone ‘Rogue’ Intends To Sue Council

Brent Council may be sued by a landlord for defamation of character by being publicly denounced as a Rogue Landlord through no apparent fault of his own, when his three bedroomed property was discovered to be housing thirty five men. The residents were living in appalling conditions in the property as every room was full crammed of mattresses and bedding, except for the bathrooms. Even a mattress was discovered in…

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‘In a year, not one payment correct’: a council tenant on the misery of universal credit

The government has been warned by councils, charities and now even its own backbenchers that universal credit is a social policy disaster. But how does it feel to be on the receiving end of this controversial benefits overhaul? In the video, visually impaired council tenant Jo King, who lives on Newcastle’s Newbiggin Hall Estate, talks about dealing with delays and miscalculations ever since she was moved on to universal credit over…

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Get in quick:where to buy in west London near Crossrail stations set to halve journey times and double house prices by 2020

Head west from anywhere in central London and you are pretty likely to hit Ealing. A vast, 13,590-acre expanse covering three postcodes, it is one of the capital’s best-known bookend boroughs, second only to Hillingdon as an outermost city boundary. The Ealing border starts just north of Chiswick, runs up past Hammersmith, skims Willesden Junction in the north east, snakes across beyond Northolt then down to Norwood Green in the south west. But despite the borough’s size,…

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House of Parliament and Westminster Bridge in London.

Stop Press: Tory Party Conference Announcement On Tackling Rogue Landlords, Fees And New Housing Court For Private Renters

Sajid Javid the Communities Secretary released details of the party’s new plans to give private renters greater protection against rip off fees from Agents and Landlords, prior to his speech yesterday at the Conservative party annual conference. As part of the plans he disclosed that that the party will be undertaking discussions with the judiciary about introducing a new Housing Court where tenants can challenge their landlords for a ‘faster,…

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Residential Landlords Association rental payments

Corbyn Promises Rent Control

In the last day of the Labour Conference (Wednesday 27th) Jeremy Corbyn has pledged that when in No.10 Downing Street he will give cities their own powers to introduce rent controls across their boundaries. At the Brighton conference Jeremy Corby gave his figurehead speech as Labour’s party leader in which he pledged when he becomes Prime Minister there would be “no jacking up rents. On the subject he addressed the…

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Universal Credit

MPs to debate impact of Universal Credit on private rental sector

MPs today discuss the impact of Universal Credit on the private rented sector, in a debate prompted by the Liberal Democrat’s Work and Pensions spokesperson, Stephen Lloyd. To mark the debate the Residential Landlords Association has released research finding that 73 per cent of landlords still lack confidence in renting to tenants on the Credit due to uncertainty that they will be able to recover rent arrears. In one example…

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Over A Third Of Universal Credit Tenants In Arrears

Over a third of landlords that ‘house’ tenants who are claiming Universal Credit, when replying to a survey, said that they are experiencing rent arrears, which has risen by 10% from the previous year. The survey was carried out by a trade body and 3,000 private landlords respondents who have ‘Universal Credit tenants’, nearly four out of ten (38%) said that they had to cope with rent arrears, an increase…

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Major buy to let lender extends tenancies policy to 36 months

One of the lettings sector’s biggest lenders, Santander, is allowing its buy to let landlord borrowers to offer assured shorthold tenancies of 36 months, up from 12 months. This is in line with increasing pressure from government and other institutions to encourage more flexibility in the sector. The bank’s announcement is intended to give tenants added security by allowing rents to stay at the agreed level for longer, enabling them…

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DWP update Universal Credit guide for landlords

Landlords with benefits tenants can access a new, updated guide to Universal Credit. The Department for Work and Pensions has reviewed the guide with more information on Universal Credit full service and live service areas and a Frequently Asked Questions section. Other sections of the guide that have been updated include the section about notifying landlords that tenants are claiming Universal Credit, and the section detailing support and alternative payment arrangements. The RLA is calling…

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Scrap MIR changes – RLA budget submission pulls no punches

Axing its controversial cuts to mortgage interest relief would be the best way for the government to support the country’s small-scale landlords, says the RLA. In its submission, ahead of the 2017 budget on November 22nd the association said the government should follow the lead of Ireland by scrapping the changes. It is calling for action on the mortgage lenders who prevent landlords from offering the ‘family-friendly’ longer tenancies that some…

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London Houses of Parliament

Trade body wary of government ‘rebranding’ of housing department

At least one trade body has expressed an apparent scepticism about whether the rebranding of the Department of Communities and Local Government will actually achieve anything to help issues in the rental and sales markets. Yesterday the government revealed that the DCLG would become the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government; although the department already had housing within its portfolio of responsibilities, the subtle change appears to show greater…

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Private Rental Sector house to let

Corbyn rent control plan ‘an attack on landlords’

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would introduce rent controls across UK cities were the party to come into power – a move the RLA described as an attack on landlords. The announcement, made at the Labour Party Conference today, was described as ‘disappointing’ by RLA policy director David Smith. He said: “Rent controls would be a disaster for tenants. History has proved that they stifle investment and reduce supply; making it much more difficult…

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Almost 40% of tenants in blocks have seen fire doors left open

A survey of 1,000 tenants in blocks of flats conducted on behalf of London Fire Brigade reveals that almost 40 per cent have seen fire doors left open. In addition, a fifth say they have noticed damage to their building’s fire doors. “It is extremely concerning that the lives of the public and our firefighters are still being put at risk by poorly maintained fire doors and people acting irresponsibly…

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Letting agency fined after student property breached HMO rules

Letting agency Spicerhaart has been fined £2,670 after pleading guilty to operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation. A prosecution was brought by Colchester council after housing officers undertook inspection visits at a three-storey property in the town, which was being let to six students. It fell within the mandatory requirement for HMO licensing as required by the Housing Act 2004 but neither Spicerhaart, operating as the management company, nor the…

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Rental sector unprepared for tax changes, accountancy firm warns

A leading accounting and advisory service says key tax changes that could damage the buy to let sector are still not being adequately prepared for. Bishop Fleming’s head of tax, Andrew Browne, says that the gradual phasing out of mortgage tax relief, introduced in April 2017, is causing the greatest fear amongst the buy to let sector, as it results in affected landlords who take no action renting at a…

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Pensioners should ‘think twice’ before committing to property investment

A leading figure in the buy to let broker industry has called for would-be ‘pension pot’ landlords to seek advice before committing pension funds to property. Andrew Turner, chief executive of Commercial Trust Limited, says: “I firmly believe that, despite a lot of recent change in the industry, buy to let remains a sound investment option. Further investment in BTL properties is excellent news for the industry, the housing market…

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Private tenants to have their rents returned after council intervenes

A landlord has been prosecuted and ordered to repay over £5,000 to his tenants for letting an unlicensed House of Multiple Occupancy. Mohammed Shah Kamal Ahmed was last November found guilty of renting the property at Leytonstone to multiple tenants without a license; following the prosecution two tenants were assisted by Waltham Forest council’s tenants advocacy service to claim back £3,755.16 and £1,741.66 respectively. The council now says that landlords…

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Treasury told: ‘Reform Capital Gains Tax to help lettings sector’

The National Landlords’ Association appears to be first off the starting blocks with its submission to government ahead of the next Budget, scheduled for November 22. A statement from the association says its focus has been to ensure that fiscal and economic policy better supports investment in private rented property and that sufficient funding is allocated to facilitate the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act. The 11 recommendations submitted to…

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