Big rise in energy efficiency of private rented homes says government

The latest English Housing Survey shows a dramatic rise in the energy efficiency of private rental property. Some 38 per cent of homes in the private rented sector and 36 per cent of owner occupied homes were in EPC bands A to C in 2019 – that’s up from 13 per cent and eight per cent respectively in 2009. The English Housing Survey is a national survey of housing conditions…

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Private Rent Controls Central Housing Group

Labour demands powers to control private rents

London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has made a new call for power to cap private rents. He’s claimed that rents in the capital could increase by almost 20 per cent over the next five years, unless he is given powers to control the market. The forecast is based on his team’s analysis of a Savills prediction that London rents could rise 19 per cent by 2025; applying this forecast to…

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London Mayor predicts 20% rent hike unless he gets rent control powers

Sadiq Khan has warned that Londoners could see private rents rise by almost 20% over the next five years unless he gets powers to control the sector, emboldened by his recent re-election. The capital’s mayor cites new analysis by City Hall which shows that, if left unchecked, average asking monthly rents in the capital could rise to almost £2,300 by 2025. Despite the cost of renting falling in some parts…

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Council Licensing Scheme Central Housing Group

Selective licensing compels more landlords to use letting agents, council claims

Peterborough council has claimed that selective licensing schemes compel more landlords to switch from self-managing their properties to using a letting agent. The claim was made this week at the meeting of a scrutiny committee looking at the success of Peterborough’s large selective licensing scheme which is due to end in October. A new scheme is to be submitted to the secretary of state for approval, which may include more…

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Problems loom for ‘rent-to-rent’ as DWP demands Covid cash back

People in receipt of Universal Credit renting in properties via ‘rent-to-rent’ arrangements face being asked to repay back-dated housing payments due to a change in DWP policy. The government suspended full checks after the first lockdown because it could no longer see claimants face-to-face but the department is now revisiting claims it approved during this time and asking for proof of tenancy agreements. Housing charity Safer Renting fears renters in this ‘shadow’…

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Choice of buy-to-let mortgages rises as two new ‘green’ deals are launched – but some landlords say they’d rather quit than meet eco requirements

There are more buy-to-let mortgage deals available now than at any point during the pandemic, including ‘green’ deals – but some landlords are considering leaving the market due to incoming energy efficiency rules. The number of deals on the market has reached more than 2,700, according to Moneyfacts, the highest since March 2020 and an increase of nearly 1,000 annually. It is also 365 more than were available in July…

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Government Intervenes to Support Leaseholders as Report Finds No Systemic Fire Risk in Flats Under 18 Metres

A significant step forward for leaseholders in medium and lower-rise buildings who have faced difficulty in selling, anxiety at the potential cost of remediation and concern at the safety of their homes. Leaseholders in blocks of flats with cladding should be supported to buy, sell or re-mortgage their homes after the government agreed with major lenders to pave the way to ending the need for EWS1 forms. It comes following…

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House Price Forecasts Central Housing Group

UK house prices dip after stamp duty holiday deadline — but the average home is up £21,000 year on year

UK house prices have seen their first fall since January, but homes are still priced £21,000 higher than this time last year. he average UK house price dipped by 0.5 per cent last month as the full stamp duty holiday came to an end, research from Halifax revealed today. After the first monthly price fall since January, the average UK house price hit £260,358 in June. In real terms, however, UK…

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Eviction Policy Central Housing Group

Labour MPs Gang Up On Government Ending Eviction Ban

Two Labour MPs have recently questioned junior housing minister Eddie Hughes regarding what has been the effects of the re-introduction of bailiff evictions. In the latest monthly House of Commons questions to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, Hughes was asked by Labour MP has any form of assessment been carried out by the government to find out how the eviction ban ending has caused numbers of  homelessness cases increasing.…

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Are we heading for a buy-to-let exodus? Older landlords selling up and not being replaced could lead to a shortage of rental homes

The number of homes for rent in Britain could drop dramatically, as landlords leave the market thanks to higher taxes and stricter rules. Almost a million landlords, more than a third of the total, will review their property portfolios in the next year, according to the Nottingham Building Society, and the number planning to sell homes outnumbers those planning to buy new ones. A fifth plan to sell some or…

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Buy-To-Let-Market Central Housing Group

Government updates Covid guidance for private rental sector

The government has updated its guidance for agents, landlords and tenants to explain the possession action process in the county courts in England and Wales has been updated. This brings the guidance into line with broader government lockdown relaxation policies following the move to ‘Step 4’ of the roadmap on Monday of this week. The information coincides with Propertymark’s best practice guidance, and the key government changes concern ventilation and…

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Green Homes Grant Scheme Central Housing Group

New drive to make all rental properties improve energy efficiency

A Bill is being introduced into both Houses of Parliament this week which will ramp up the pressure on the private rented sector to become even more energy efficient. The Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill is described by its supporters as being vital for the achievement of net zero – a buzzword term which means that the amount of carbon dioxide added by the country is no more than…

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Private Registered Providers Central Housing Group

Universal Credit: Government criticised in new housing report

‘Good, professional landlords’ are being put off renting to benefits claimants as a direct result of problems around the government’s administration of Universal Credit, according to a new report. Some landlords are deterred by long delays to initial housing benefit payments and with managing Universal Credit, in particular where tenants fall into arrears, according to the report, by housing policy expert Dr Julie Rugg for the University of York’s Centre…

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Fire Safety Central Housing Group

Fire Safety: What you can expect

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 there is renewed vigour to improve standards, particularly relating to fire safety. While initially focused on high-rise blocks, increasing attention is moving to other types of properties – and it’s important landlords are aware of the changes coming down the line. Public Affairs Officer James Harvie takes a closer look at what landlords can expect in relation to fire safety. Cladding crisis continues  A ban on ACM (aluminium composite material) cladding in 2018 required many high-rise buildings – over…

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Bailiff Evictions Central Housing Group

New NRLA report shows continued fall in pandemic possession claims

A continued fall in landlord possession claims took place between April 2020 and March 2021, according to new research produced by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). This latest NRLA research, ‘The Wait of Justice 2021: how Covid legislation affected possession’, shows that possession claims have dropped significantly since the initial court closures. During the ongoing pandemic landlords made fewer total claims across twelve months (April 2020-March 2021) than they…

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Nightingale Courts Central Housing Group

REPORT: Landlords face a ‘dysfunctional’ court system when evicting tenants, warns NRLA

Court wait times must be reduced urgently to avoid further disruption in the post-Covid PRS, says the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). Its research shows an 80% drop in possession claims between April 2020 and March 2021 – down to 22,700 – compared with 2019. Landlords made fewer total claims across those 12 months than they did in any three-month period prior to April 2020. The Wait of Justice 2021: how…

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Bailiff Evictions Central Housing Group

EVICTIONS LATEST: EPC and gas safety certificates are NOT needed if AST began prior to October 1st, 2015

The Court of Appeal has ruled that landlords are able to evict a tenant whose Assured Shorthold Tenancy commenced before 1st October 2015 even if the prescribed paperwork such an EPC or gas safety certificate have not been served. Most solicitors and landlords have until now assumed this was the case because the relevant pieces of legislation covering this aspect of housing law were interpreted as not being retrospective. But tenant George…

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Breathing Space Initiative Central Housing Group

Government launches online checker for private rental repairs

The government has launched an online checker in a bid to avoid disputes between landlords and tenants over the entitlement for repairs. A joint exercise by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and  the Ministry of Justice, the tool will take individuals through a guided pathway to establish what the issue is and offer them tailored information, guidance and signposting. The government says this aims to help both…

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Lettings Trade Body Central Housing Group

Discrimination against tenants on benefits is fault of government – new report

A leading trade body says the rental sector must not discriminate against tenants on benefits – and has told government it has a part to play, too. The National Residential Landlords Association says: “No landlord should discriminate against tenants because they are in receipt of benefits. “Every tenant’s circumstance is different and so they should be treated on a case-by-case basis based on their ability to sustain a tenancy. “More broadly,…

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London Rents Central Housing Group

London sees surge in international tenants as market picks up

High profile London lettings agency Chestertons says there’s been an increase in Hong Kong residents looking to rent a home in the UK capital. Sales enquiries from Hong Kong buyers have also risen by 20 per cent over the past 18 months whilst demand for rental properties is expected to increase ahead of September, when students head to London’s universities. Chestertons also experienced a 115 per cent increase in website…

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