Call for agents to speak out over council licensing schemes

A leading PropTech entrepreneur says lettings agents should be more vocal in providing the government with feedback on council rental licensing schemes. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is assembling a panel of independent commissioners which will be responsible for gathering evidence on existing selective licensing schemes from key stakeholders. The review is set to determine whether the current schemes have achieved the aim of keeping tenants safe…

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Licenses concept. Folder Register on Background of Computer Keyboard

More big fines handed out in latest licensing legal actions

More big fines have been handed out in recent legal action regarding buy to let investors who have not stuck by local council licensing rules. In Flintshire, Wales, a landlord who let a disused pub to up to 40 people has been fined over £15,000. Hayden Rogers was prosecuted by Flintshire council for letting the Old Quay House in Connah’s Quay as an HMO without a licence; a council report…

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Mandatory electrical checks Central Housing Group

Mandatory checks get predictable support from electrical trade body

The government’s announcement that it will bring in mandatory electrical checks in the private rented sector has been welcomed – perhaps predictably – by the Electrical Safety Roundtable, which has been campaigning for the change for several years. Housing Secretary James Brokenshire last week gave notice of the forthcoming changes in a speech which also detailed a number of measures designed to strengthen building safety, based on recommendations made in…

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Massive fines at converted property

Five-figure fine for breaching conditions of London lettings licence

A London landlord has been ordered to pay over £13,000 for breaching the conditions of his licence as a result of overcrowding and anti-social behaviour. Nazmul Haq, who owned a property in Barking, failed to declare it to Barking and Dagenham council as a house in multiple occupation and claimed there was only one family living there. When council enforcement officers visited the property, they quickly discovered this was not…

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London Skyline

These Are London’s Most Gentrified Boroughs… But Are They Really?

                          Another day, another ‘Most XXX Borough’ finding. This time it’s ‘Most Gentrified Borough’, a report from everyone’s favourite seriously-if-that-big-bloke-with-the-moustache-starts-singing-again-I’ll-throttle-someone insurance company, GoCompare. Gentrification is, of course, a spectrum of things: for some it’s being alienated — possibly priced out of — an area you’ve lived in for decades. For others, it’s cocktail bars to drink in, and a…

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British paper currency on clothesline

‘75% of industry supports tougher laws on foreign ownership of UK property’

Claim is made by government as it lays down new laws in parliament to force owners of foreign shell companies to reveal their true identities, and prevent money laundering. The government has claimed that three quarters of the property industry agree that new measures announced this week to clamp down on shady foreign companies who own property in the UK will increase transparency and reduce money laundering. The measures contained…

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Three-year tenancies could be announced next week

Trade body wants government to fund private blocks fire safety improvement

A trade body is backing a call by a parliamentary committee for the government to fund certain fire safety improvements in privately owned residential blocks. In its report responding to the Hackitt Review into building and fire safety, the Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee recommends that the government should pay for the replacement of any cladding on existing buildings which had been permitted, but has been subsequently banned…

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Bill for property condition

More red tape? Labour gives top-level support for ‘mandatory register’

Shadow housing minister John Healey has given his backing to a Labour MP’s attempt to introduce a mandatory national register for buy to let landlords. Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has introduced a Private Members Bill into Parliament calling for a mandatory landlord register. Healey, on a visit to Wilson’s constituency, told the local press: “The council, local housing associations and police are working together to try and crack deep-seated problems…

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gavel and money

Fine of £2,525 after four year licensing and overcrowding saga

An investor has been fined £2,525 after failing to licence her property and allegedly providing inadequate living conditions for her tenants. Adeola Makinde was found guilty of failing to licence her property in Chafford Hundred as a house in multiple occupation following a trial at Basildon Magistrate’s Court. The court heard that Thurrock council had been requesting a HMO licence application from Makinde since 2014, but no application was made.…

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Housing Secretary James Brokenshire

Five year mandatory electrical checks for all private rental homes

All privately-let homes must have electrical installations checked every five years under new rules announced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Housing Secretary James Brokenshire says there will also be a comprehensive review of guidelines covering fire safety, beginning this autumn. “There’s nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their own homes. That is why I am announcing a package of measures focused on improving…

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Bidding on a home, gavel and house concept for home ownership, buying, selling or foreclosure

Too much red tape: We reveal over 125 rental laws and regulations

There are now well over 125 pieces of legislation and regulations – most introduced in modern times – governing the private rental sector, according to research undertaken by Letting Agent Today. While almost any activity that has existed for hundreds of years will inevitably have a substantial body of law applying to it (and renting property has certainly been around for centuries in the UK) the sheer number of pieces of…

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Buy-to-let investor Central Housing Group

False gas safety certificates issued for lettings properties

A gas safety engineer has pleaded guilty with a landlord of falsifying gas safety certificates for a string of private rental properties. Thames Magistrates Court and Snaresbrook Crown Court have heard that landlord Tariq Hussain, of Walthamstow, induced engineer Muhammad Waseem, of Manor Park, to falsify four gas safety certificates for four rental flats in a property in Chingford. The certificates would have been presented to prospective tenants as a document…

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Houses of Parliament 2

Fees ban: MPs announce further proposals to protect tenants

MPs have proposed a series of amendments to the Tenant Fees Bill as part of its Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons. Yesterday it was revealed that the Bill will include a new default fee provision which will only allow agents and landlords to recover ‘reasonable incurred costs’ for minor damages. Evidence of these costs will have to be provided to the tenant before agents or…

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3 year tenancies Central Housing Group

Is the government planning to pull the plug on 3 year tenancies?

Reports have emerged this week that the government is planning a U-turn on its proposals to introduce mandatory minimum 3 year tenancies in the private rented sector. This comes not even two weeks after the official consultation period on the measures closed on August 26. The Sun is reporting that the Treasury is opposing long-term tenancies as it could scare off investment in property development. The paper’s political editor, Tom…

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S21 eviction powers Central Housing Group

Top London politicians call for scrapping of S21 eviction powers

Two senior London politicians are backing a campaign for the scrapping of S21 eviction powers of the Housing Act 1998. Sian Berry, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, and Labour assembly member Tom Copley got a motion through the assembly claiming that S21 ‘no fault’ evictions caused insecurity and stress for tenants and could discourage them from complaining about sub-standard conditions. Now the pair want London Mayor Sadiq…

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Three-year tenancies could be announced next week

Blog: Shelter report misses target and offers no solutions

John Stewart, RLA policy manager and landlord, on the real reasons landlords are reluctant to house benefits tenants. Today’s report from Shelter and the National Housing Federation, pointing the finger at agents and private landlords for discriminating against tenants claiming benefits has infuriated many working in the sector. Just like statistics that claim the ending of private tenancies, not the rent arrears that led to serving notice, are the leading cause…

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Private sector tenants Central Housing Group

Majority of private sector tenants satisfied with their homes

A large majority of private sector tenants, 84%, are satisfied with their housing according to the English Housing Survey report for 2016/17, just published. When it comes to social housing, the figure is a slightly lower 81 per cent. The data has come out of an analysis of the survey undertaken by the Residential Landlords Association, which says that, in addition, 72 per cent of private sector tenants are satisfied…

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3 year tenancy Central Housing Group

3 year tenancy – Top London agent is latest to criticise

Well-respected London lettings agent and former ARLA president Lucy Morton is the latest key figure to pour cold water on government plans to make the standard private rental sector 3 year tenancy. “Whilst we welcome the government consulting the lettings sector, the introduction of three-year minimum tenancies is not the right approach to improving the overall rental experience” says Morton, who is head of residential agency at JLL. “We find that most…

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Long term investment Central Housing Group

Property top choice for long term investment

Property is still top choice when it comes to long term investment, according to findings from a survey carried out by Perrys Chartered Accountants. Despite recent tax changes affecting landlords – including the extra 3% stamp duty surcharge and the phasing out of mortgage interest tax relief – the research found that 35% of the UK population are most confident in property compared to any other investment, including pensions and…

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Mandatory electrical checks Central Housing Group

Mandatory electrical checks welcomed by senior lettings agency chief

One of the lettings industry’s senior figures has welcomed the introduction of five yearly mandatory electrical checks in private rental sector properties. Lisa Simon, head of lettings at Carter Jonas – and a critic of some policies aimed at the private rental sector – says: “We’ve certainly witnessed many reforms to the PRS over the last few years. However any regulations that place electrical safety at the front and centre…

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