Over half of all landlords have had to call an emergency contractor to visit one of their properties this year

Floods, fires, pest infestations. It’s the stuff of nightmares for tenants and landlords alike. Household emergencies in the UK private rental sector have hit almost nine million instances in the last five years. According to the latest figures released by Direct Line for Business, emergencies in the home have forced 53% of landlords to call an emergency contractor to visit one of their properties in the last year alone. On…

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Landlord Licensing Charges Central Housing Group

Scrap stamp duty on buy to let! Trade body sets Election demand

One of the leading lettings sector trade bodies has unveiled what it describes as “a positive vision for the private rented sector” ahead of the General Election. The Residential Landlords Association says the sector is regarded too much as a problem which requires management. Instead it urges a positive, ambitious programme which supports tenants and good landlords whilst rooting out the crooks. The RLA’s manifesto for the private rented sector…

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Rogue Landlady Central Housing Group

New law to ban landlord from letting for five years is backed by solicitor firm

A new piece of legislation has been invoked to ban a landlord from any involvement in the private rental sector for the next five years – and the move has been welcomed by a firm of property solicitors. Letting Agent Today has already reported that in a case brought by Telford & Wrekin council, David Beattie has been banned from being a landlord and ordered to pay back housing benefit…

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Election is chance to woo new landlords into lettings sector

The likely general election is an opportunity for the government to make the lettings sector more appealing for would-be landlords, says ARLA. “With the possibility of a general election approaching, we hope that the government recognises the importance of increasing supply for tenants and uses it as an opportunity to make the market more attractive for landlords” says David Cox, the association’s chief excecutive. He comments came in the light…

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Labour’s rent controls: global examples of how they do not work

Rent controls similar to those demanded by Labour in London and other major cities in the UK do not work, and there are many international examples of their failure. That’s the message from the Residential Landlords Association, which says if London Labour mayor Sadiq Khan is successful at winning powers to introduce rent controls, the capital’s private rental sector will be harmed. Labour’s recent party conference also reiterated the party’s…

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Short Lets and Brothels: police force warns agents and landlords

A police force has issued a warning to agents and owners of short-let properties to look for signs of modern slavery or sexual exploitation. The Avon and Somerset Constabulary says over 40 per cent of the intelligence it has on modern slavery is linked to off-street prostitution; some of this may happen in short-let accommodation rented via online platforms in a bid to avoid detection. The issue is common in…

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Outlaw Section 21 Central Housing Group

Section 21: Solicitor urges government not to take knee-jerk action

A solicitor has urged the government not to reform or scrap Section 21 eviction powers simply on the basis of protests from individuals “seeking to present an overly simple view of the complex issues.” Scott Goldstein, an associate at Payne Hicks Beach, has written on the website of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors that it would be preferable for legislators to first assess the effects that the Deregulation Act…

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Habitation Law Central Housing Group

Accept end of S21 or let Build To Rent take over, says agent

A leading agent has repeated his controversial belief that the proposed scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers should be seen as an opportunity and not a threat. The proposal by the UK government has been sharply criticised by almost everyone in the private rental industry, but David Alexander – joint managing director of Scottish-based property management service Apropos – says the experience of the heavily regulated Scottish market provides a…

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Rental Sector Licensing Schemes Central Housing Group

Selective licensing overhaul needed quickly, government told

The government is being urged to speed up the release details of the future it sees for selective licensing following revelations about current high rates of non-compliance. The call comes from Neil Cobbold, the chief operating officer of PayProp UK, an automated transaction and reconciliation platform. Cobbold says recent research from safeagent, conducted by London Property Licensing, reveals over 130,000 unlicensed rental properties in the capital alone that should be…

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Labour tones down Right To Buy proposal for private rental tenants

Labour’s controversial proposal to oblige landlords to sell their buy to let properties to tenants who wished to purchase them, unveiled in September, is being toned down. Two months ago Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the Financial Times that under a future Labour government discounts could be made available to tenants – just like the old Thatcher Right To Buy policy for council house renters. That would allow purchases by private…

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Universal Credit Claimants Central Housing Group

Warning of rocketing rents as buy to let investors quit the sector

A trade body says the private rental sector is facing a major crisis – more landlords are selling properties than buying them, while all the time demand is rising. According to research by the Residential Landlords Association based on a survey of over 2,700 landlords, almost 25 per cent have seen the demand for private rented property increase over the last three months. Some 41 per cent say there has…

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Rental Growth Central Housing Group

“Crippling” delays in returning deposits slammed by trade group

The typical delay in tenants receiving their returned deposits is “crippling” for many. That’s the view of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, which cites government figures saying the average time  to return deposits is between 29 and 37 days regardless of whether the money is due back to the landlord or tenant. The AIIC says such long delays continue despite the various tenancy reforms that have been designed to…

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Huge 20% jump in number of Build To Rent units in just one year

Research by the British Property Federation shows that there are now 148,046 build-to-rent homes complete, under construction or in planning across the UK. This represents a jump of some 20 per cent against the same period last year. The number of completed units rose by 31 per cent over the same period, to 34,840. A statement from the BPF says: “The sector continues to go from strength to strength, with…

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We’re Happy! Vast majority of tenants perfectly content to rent

Contrary to the impressions given in some quarters, no fewer than 75 per cent of tenants are happy to rent, and a third of those are happy to rent forever. The figures come from specialist lender Landbay which has questioned 2,000 private tenants. Men are more likely to be happy renting forever – 36 per cent against 31 per cent for women – while for those in the 55-plus age…

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Four Year Tenancy Central Housing Group

It’s a drag: agency’s advice on tackling tenants who smoke

Government data suggests that almost 54 per cent of the UK’s remaining smokers are tenants – and against that backdrop, an online property management firm has set out a strategy to minimise the problem for landlords and other tenants. Howsy says smoking can devalue a landlord’s property, as nicotine and chemicals can build up in walls, floors, surfaces and the furniture, in addition to being a major fire risk. Howsy’s…

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Rental Sector Licensing Schemes Central Housing Group

Shock warning that agents could be sued under selective licensing laws

A long-term legal critic of selective licensing is warning that letting agents could be held jointly accountable with the landlords, – and could be sued if there is a failure to secure a licence. David Kirwan, from Kirwans law firm, says agents could be prosecuted either alongside or instead of landlords for failing to license properties on their books, and warns that a conviction could result in crippling fines and…

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Buy-to-let Clampdown Central Housing Group

Tories – you have been warned, says lettings trade group

One of the industry’s leading trade groups has repeated a warning to the Conservatives that they cannot rely on the votes of landlords. Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, says that while many in the wider public may welcome the December 12 General Election after years of political instability, landlords are not rejoicing. “All the major political parties in the running have supported the abolition of Section…

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Rental standards at centre of Corbyn’s Labour Election campaign

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has launched his party’s General Election campaign with an attack on what he describes as “dodgy landlords.” He did not define how landlords became “dodgy” in his eyes, but in one passage in the launch speech of the campaign, he said: “We’re going after the tax dodgers. We’re going after the dodgy landlords. We’re going after the bad bosses. We’re going after the big polluters. Because…

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Rogue Landlady Central Housing Group

Labour council warns of “no hiding place” in rental crackdown

A statement from Hackney council in north east London says those who break its licensing provisions for the private rental sector “have nowhere to hide.” The Labour-dominated authority says that in parts of the borough one in five renters “suffer from issues like cold homes, disrepair, or damp and mould” and that as a result of extensions to its licensing regimes no fewer than 10,000 homes in Hackney now require…

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Government proposals could lead to unfair evictions

Government proposals on replacing Section 21 rules could lead to more tenants being unfairly evicted, Citizens Advice has claimed. Proposals being considered by the government include a six-month break clause and enabling landlords to evict tenants even though they have not broken any contract terms. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Tenants in private rented accommodation come from all walks of life and they need to feel secure…

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