EU citizens rights Central Housing Group

Clarity over EU citizens rights

The Government has responded to a letter from the RLA which called for clarity over EU citizens rights to rent property both before and after the UK leaves the EU, including under a no deal Brexit. In the letter which we sent in August, we also called for: A commitment from the Government that no changes will be made to EU citizens rights to rent without at least 18 months’…

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selective licensing plans are illegal Central Housing Group

Judicial Review Over Selective Licensing Plans

The RLA has threatened Great Yarmouth Borough Council with a judicial review over serious concerns with its selective licensing plans. “Unlawful” condition Great Yarmouth Borough Council is proposing to bring rented homes in parts of the Nelson electoral ward into the scope of selective licensing plans. In a letter to the Council, which can be read here the RLA has expressed concern that one of the conditions that is set to…

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Carbon Monoxide Alarms Central Housing Group

Fit and Check Carbon Monoxide Alarms

A warning has gone out to the lettings sector to fit and check Carbon Monoxide Alarms as the colder weather approaches, and as part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month which runs throughout November. Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect as it’s odourless, colourless and tasteless. Now Mark Ronald, lead engineer at Hometree, says all properties should be checked. “Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect but can be deadly where there…

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Council rental licensing schemes Central Housing Group

Shocking claim of selected licensing schemes

The heavy-handed administration of selected licensing schemes is driving out buy to let investors. That’s the claim from David Kirwan of Kirwans law firm; he says he’s been contacted by landlords in selected licensing schemes areas who are “utterly devastated” to find themselves hauled before the courts, simply for failing to apply for a licence. He says that some local authorities – he names Liverpool as one example – are…

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Secure planning consent Central Housing Group

Airbnb Require Secure Planning Consent

The Republic of Ireland has adopted new policies requiring owners in ‘high housing demand areas’ to secure planning consent if they want to let them via Airbnb and similar platforms for three months or more in a year. Only owners of second properties – buy to lets or holiday homes – will have to apply for secure planning consent, and owner occupiers will face no further restrictions in letting individual…

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Fire safety issues Central Housing Group

Serious Fire Safety Issues

Two property companies which failed to follow a local council’s lettings sector licensing scheme fire safety issues have been fined a combined £32,000. Owners of private rented properties in Croydon must apply to the council for a licence under the borough’s landlord licensing scheme. However, in 2017 AA Homes and its managing agency Anabow Services Ltd did not apply for a licence for 36 flats at a block in central…

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Review of private rental sector Central Housing Group

Review of private rental sector

Industry bodies have given their support to a wide ranging review of private rental sector, governing safety regulations. The government announced the review of private rental sector on Friday afternoon. David Cox, ARLA Propertymark’s chief executive calls it “excellent news”. “The government will review the existing Housing Health and Safety Rating System which we have long said is too complicated and poorly understood by tenants, landlords, agents and enforcement officers.…

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private rentals central housing group

Tenants one step closer to being able to sue landlords over conditions

Tenants are now a step closer to being able to sue landlords if they do not properly maintain their properties. The Commons has passed a measure requiring homes in the private and social rented sector to be fit for human habitation and enabling tenants to take legal action if basic standards are not met. Labour MP Karen Buck’s Private Members Bill – the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill –…

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Rent Repayment Order Central Housing Group

Rent Repayment Order issued

A landlord had Rent Repayment Order issued to give back almost £4,000 that was paid to him while operating without a licence. The case is the first of its kind under the strict rules of Rent Smart Wales. Having to repay is Lee Jones after the Residential Property Tribunal (Wales) awarded the full sum that had been applied for by Rent Smart Wales in its application for a Rent Repayment Order.…

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Buy to let fines Central Housing Group

Buy to let fines issued

Havering council in London has issued £261,750 in buy to let fines to what it calls ‘criminals’ operating in the private rental sector. Between March and September of this year, the council has handed out in buy to let fines: – 81 financial penalty notices; – nine housing-related notices served to address poor housing standards; – 143 licence applications served; – £124,191 licensing fees collected; – £261,750 total penalty notices.…

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Database of rogue letting agents Central Housing Group

Access to database of rogue letting agents

The Guardian says the government is committed to making a database of rogue letting agents and landlords available to tenants. The newspaper quotes a source from the Prime Minister’s office saying Theresa May has personally backed the move, which may be formally announced in Monday’s Budget. ARLA Propertymark and some other bodies, including Shelter, have campaigned for this, saying the database will be pointless unless tenants, employers and professional bodies can check…

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Right To Rent Judicial Review Central Housing Group

Right To Rent judicial review begins

The government’s controversial Right To Rent judicial review begins in the High Court today. The scheme began operating nationwide in 2016 as part of the ‘hostile environment’ strategy for illegal immigrants introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. Under it, landlords or their agents are responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants with the prospect of prosecution if they know or have “reasonable cause to believe”…

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Reliable Tenants Central Housing Group

Reliable tenants more valuable than ever

The power held by reliable tenants is growing across the UK, as new research indicated 61% of landlords are willing to postpone rent rises or offer properties below market value in a bid to secure reliable renters. Of the landlords surveyed, 66% of those renting at below market rate were prepared to accept up to £100 a month reduction on market value, with 16% willing to sacrifice between £100 and…

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Shared Ownership Central Housing Group

Is shared ownership affordable

Has shared ownership lost its way? What was once hailed a potential solution to London’s housing shortage, helping key workers buy a stake in a new home, is now seen by many as a subsidy allowing high-salaried professionals to get a foothold in the capital’s overpriced housing market. Even lower-paid people who do succeed in buying a share of a new home can find themselves crippled by service charges and the high cost…

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Brexit fails to dampen positive property market

The latest analysis of the UK housing market from independent estate agent, haart, has revealed a positive property market that British buyers and sellers appear undeterred by warnings from the Treasury, IMF and the Bank of England about the impact of the vote to leave. The research compares the Treasury’s “cautious” economic forecast for the two years following the vote to leave published in May 2016, to the realities of…

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Universal Credit Rent Arrears Central Housing Group

UNIVERSAL CREDIT RENT ARREARS ROCKET

Almost two-thirds of private landlords with tenants on benefits have experienced Universal Credit rent arrears according to new research. Based on responses from over 2,200 landlords, the Residential Landlord Association’s research lab, PEARL, has found that 61 per cent of landlords with tenants on Universal Credit have experienced them going into rent arrears. This is up from 27 per cent in 2016. The research found that on average Universal Credit…

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Council lettings agency Central Housing Group

Council lettings agency loses £53,000

A council lettings agency looks likely to be scrapped after it apparently lost some £53,000 – even though it manages only 25 properties on behalf of landlords. The Leader Live news website says North East Wales Homes – also known as NEW Homes – was set up by Flintshire Council in 2014 and now manages just 25 properties on behalf of landlords. However, at a meeting today the council is expected…

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private rental sector tenants central housing group

Bill gives private rental sector tenants right to sue

A Private Members’ Bill which will allow private rental sector tenants to sue over the conditions of their properties is just a few days away from completing its passage through Parliament. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill passed its committee stage in the House of Lords earlier this week and on Wednesday of next week, December 19, it goes to its Third Reading in the Lords. This is regarded…

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Nearly two-thirds of PRS tenants claiming Universal Credit in arrears

Increasing numbers of private renters in receipt of Universal Credit are finding themselves in rent arrears, according to new research. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) found that three in every five landlords (61%) with tenants claiming Universal Credit have experienced them going into arrears at some point. In 2016, the proportion of landlords experiencing arrears from Universal Credit claimants was 27%. Furthermore, the average owed by tenants in rent arrears…

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Buy-to-let Lenders Central Housing Group

Buy-to-let lenders told don’t discriminate

Urgent action is needed to tackle discrimination against benefit claimants by buy-to-let lenders according to a leading trade body. The Residential Landlords Association is making the call following the revelation that a landlord has had the mortgage on a property revoked because she is renting to a benefit claimant. Helena McAleer, a landlord from Northern Ireland, contacted her bank – NatWest – after she discovered that the value of her…

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