Boris Johnson told: You’ve kicked the rental sector in the teeth

A leading trade body has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that some landlords face receiving no rent for two years. In a letter to Johnson, the National Residential Landlords Association accuses the government of expecting landlords to subsidise struggling renters and reward those who are wilfully refusing to pay their rent. It is also accused of causing continuing hardship to communities and families suffering anti-social behaviour and domestic violence perpetrated by…

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Evictions ban: agents set out wishlist as landlord costs top £530m

Ahead of the evictions ban being lifted on Sunday, ARLA Propertymark has written to Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, setting out a range of points on behalf of letting agents. The letter, penned by ARLA’s policy and campaigns manager Timothy Douglas, urges the government to stick to its timetable for courts reopening to hear evictions cases from September 21. It is vital that courts hear cases as soon as possible so…

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Landlords slam London Mayor’s call for ‘disaster’ two-year rent freeze

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s call for a rent freeze in the capital. Yesterday, ahead of the eviction ban being lifted from Monday, Khan called on the government to freeze rents in London to prevent evictions caused by Covid-19. The NRLA says rent controls in the capital would be ‘a disaster for tenants’. Khan is requesting that new powers are introduced to prevent…

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Co-Living Rental Central Housing Group

Coronavirus break clauses being demanded by student tenants

Student renters want break clauses automatically included in tenancy agreements to protect them financially in the event of a second wave of Coronavirus. That’s the result of a new survey conducted by websites Money Magpie and Save The Student. The break clause would lapse the rental contract, meaning students required to return home if their university was to close would not be liable for any remaining rent under the tenancy agreement,…

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UK Buy-To-Let Market Central Housing Group

Rental sector relatively strong despite Covid and eviction issues

The latest survey of buy to let landlords suggests a relatively healthy private rental sector notwithstanding the challenges of the Coronavirus and the evictions ban. The survey – by Vesta and Property Tribes – was conducted amongst 157 landlords between June 23 and August 21 and showed that 35 per cent received a request from a tenant for a rent reduction or payment holiday because of Covid-19. Just over three…

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Charity demands grants for tenants with Coronavirus arrears

The Citizens Advice charity is calling for tenants with arrears directly created by the Coronavirus to be offered government grants to help them out of debt. Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says this should be the principle goal of government in the four week breathing space created by the eviction ban U-turn announced on Friday. “We’re really pleased the government has stepped in to keep its promise that…

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EVICTIONS ban extension: How has it come to this?

Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the PRS, looks at how the private rental sector got to today’s decision to extend the evictions ban. The past six months have felt like a re-running of Dante’s Inferno, with each day or week seeing a deeper descent into the abyss. This chaos will be with us for the foreseeable future and will be endlessly analysed and questioned for even longer, but nothing…

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Landlords Votes Central Housing Group

“Devastating” – fears for industry after government U-turn

One of the leading figures in the lettings industry has described the government’s eviction ban U-turn as “devastating.” Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, says: “This is absolutely devastating news for those landlords who already had possession cases ongoing prior to the pandemic. “It means those landlords with problem tenants who have been causing anti-social behaviour or withholding rent for reasons unrelated to Covid-19 face a further delay in regaining…

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Exactly what the ban extension means to agents and tenants

The Law Society has set out exactly what the extension of the eviction ban, announced on Friday, means to agents, landlords and tenants. The society says: – Courts are neither hearing nor progressing applications for possession orders made by landlords before March 24; – This applies to all private or social housing tenancies as well as licenses falling under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977; – The stay applies to…

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Special Housing Court Central Housing Group

Blow for Airbnb and short lets in landmark appeal ruling

A council has won a planning appeal banning the use of a property for short lets – considered a landmark case which may lead to widespread curbs on Airbnb-style lettings. In July 2019 Oxford council issued a planning enforcement notice against the owner of a property being used as a short let. This followed a complaint from a local resident that they were experiencing anti-social behaviour and nuisance from the…

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Tenants in arrears should have alternative homes by now – top agent

A vocal London lettings agent says it isn’t the responsibility of agents or their landlord clients to take the financial hit for arrears caused by the pandemic. The director of London agency Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, says: “There’s no doubt this is a terrible situation to be in. Unfortunately, it isn’t the responsibility of UK landlords to take this financial hit on behalf of their tenants and to…

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Agency group wants loans scheme for tenants with Covid arrears

Belvoir is backing a call for a loans scheme in England – similar to one in Wales – to protect tenants with arrears run up during the Coronavirus crisis. “With confirmation that the UK has officially fallen into recession we believe it is more important than ever for the government to introduce a loan scheme similar to that in Wales, which will ensure all tenants are able to pay their…

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Evictions banned over Christmas, but courts will re-open as planned

Courts will reopen on September 21, although a further eviction ban will be put in place over Christmas, the government has confirmed. In a statement the government said that – except in cases of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse – there will be a pause on evictions over the festive period, with bailiffs unable to evict. If an area is in a local lockdown that includes a restriction on gathering…

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Almost a quarter of landlords surveyed lose rent due to Covid-19

Almost a quarter (22 per cent) of private landlords with properties in England surveyed have lost rental income as a result of COVID-19 according to new polling. The research, conducted online by YouGov for the National Residential Landlords Association, found that whilst 19 per cent of those questioned had lost up to half of their usual rental income as a result of COVID-19, three per cent had lost more than…

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Latest eviction change: Six months notice and no Christmas evictions

The latest announcement from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick suggests the eviction ban WILL end at last on September 20. However, more concessions have been made with a commitment from the government not to stage evictions over the Christmas period in England, while in parts of the country undergoing local lockdowns there will be no enforcement of evictions by bailiffs. In addition the government has changed the law to increase notice…

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Mandatory electrical checks in overdrive as tenant demand surges

Letting agents are being warned they are likely to face a higher number of mandatory electrical checks as the sector expands and tenant demand rises. PropCert, a national provider of property certificates, says the surge in demand following the reopening of the market looks set to continue into autumn. The most recent regulation change affecting new tenancies is the introduction of The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England)…

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Labour likens evictions ban ending to Tories’ exams fiasco

Labour’s housing spokeswoman says “after the incompetent handling of the exams fiasco, the government must act now to avoid more chaos of its own making” in the shape of private rental evictions. Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire has written to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to say that with the furlough scheme coming to an end and Coronavirus infections rising, the government should set out how it would prevent a “self-made homelessness…

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Most rental completions use virtual viewings ‘without tenant going in’

A property management firm says there’s been a big surge in rentals with the majority of deals being completed using virtual viewings, without the tenant even entering the property. DJ Alexander, which operates mostly in Edinburgh and Glasgow, says completed rentals were up by 30 per cent in July, with the company recording 235 new rentals during the month. A statement from the firm says: “Virtual viewings are undoubtedly the…

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This is why the eviction ban should be lifted, explains trade body

A leading lettings sector trade body has set out reasons why the eviction ban should be lifted – which may help agents explaining to customers, too. From next Monday the courts will begin to hear cases related to the repossession of properties. This will come following a five month suspensions of such cases due to COVID-19. And the National Residential Landlords Association has set out facts and figures to debunk…

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Lib Dems Plot For Government To Fast Track Scrapping Of Section 21

The government put forward its Renters’ Rights Bill which will change the repossession process, introduce a ‘lifetime’s rental deposit’ and the biggest pledge of all scrapping the Section 21 notice. But the latest housing minister Christopher Pincher has just recently intimated that the Bill may not be introduced into the House of Commons for debate until 2021. As a ‘stop gap’ the government has introduced a number of temporary changes to the eviction…

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