selective licensing plans are illegal Central Housing Group

RLA threatens Great Yarmouth Council with judicial review over ‘unlawful’ licensing plan

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. 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 be…

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New warning to agents to fit and check carbon monoxide alarms

A warning has gone out to the lettings sector to check that rental properties are ‘Gas Safe’ 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…

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Council rental licensing schemes Central Housing Group

Shocking claim that councils ‘interview landlords under caution’

The heavy-handed administration of selective 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 selective scheme 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 then…

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Airbnb planning consent – could it cross the water and happen here?

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 consent, and owner occupiers will face no further restrictions in letting individual rooms. However, even…

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Huge fine for property firms over “serious fire safety issues”

Two property companies which failed to follow a local council’s lettings sector licensing scheme 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 Croydon. The council…

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Thumbs up from agents for safety review of rental sector

Industry bodies have given their support to a wide ranging review of safety regulations governing the private rental sector. The government announced the review 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. “We need to…

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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 issued – £4,000 in rent to be handed back

A landlord had been ordered 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. Earlier this…

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London lettings licence Central Housing Group

£261,750 – one council’s buy to let fines issued in just six months

Havering council in London has issued £261,750 in penalty notices to what it calls ‘criminals’ operating in the private rental sector. Between March and September of this year, the council has handed out: – 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. The council’s licensing scheme, which started in…

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Tenant Fees Act Central Housing Group

Tenants to be given access to database of rogue agents and landlords

The Guardian says the government is committed to making a datebase 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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See you in court! Right To Rent judicial review to be heard today 18/12/18

The High Court today begins a Judicial Review of the government’s controversial Right to Rent scheme. 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…

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New data shows that reliable tenants are more valuable than ever

The power held by 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 £200…

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40% of BTL properties as limited companies

A high price to pay:is shared-ownership ‘affordable’ for the average Londoner? You must be joking

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 fears fail to dampen positive property market

The latest analysis of the UK housing market from independent estate agent, haart, has revealed 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 the UK property market…

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UNIVERSAL CREDIT RENT ARREARS ROCKET SAYS NEW RESEARCH

Almost two-thirds of private landlords with tenants receiving Universal Credit have experienced them going into 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…

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Council lettings agency loses £53,000 a year managing just 25 homes

A council-run 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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Bill giving tenants the right to sue is on verge of becoming law

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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selective licensing plans are illegal Central Housing Group

“Don’t discriminate against benefit claimants” buy to let lenders told

Urgent action is needed to tackle discrimination against benefit claimants by buy to let mortgage providers 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…

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