‘Pro-lettings sector’ group may be set up by political party

A Liberal Democrat activist is considering establishing a landlords’ group consisting of party members. Tony Harris, writing on the LibDem Voice website, says he feels he is considered an ‘evil landlord’ by both the Conservative government and his own party when they promote some anti-landlord policies. However he insists he is what he calls a “good” landlord who has, amongst other things, had one tenant for 15 years during which…

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Rental Standards Central Housing Group

Corbyn’s latest idea: Ban ‘Permitted Development’ conversion of offices into flats

The Labour leader’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey says too many of these ‘PD’ apartment blocks are sub-standard and often in business parks. Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey (pictured, above) has revealed that a Labour government would sweep aside the Permitted Development (PD) rights that currently enable offices to be converted into residential use without planning permission, or the need to stick to affordable housing quotas. It is estimated that…

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Airbnb backs call for mandatory registration system for short let properties

The Mayor of London is calling on government to introduce a new registration system for anyone wishing to rent out a property for less than 90 days in a calendar year – and perhaps surprisingly it’s got the support of Airbnb. A letter calling for the system has gone from Sadiq Khan to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire; it is co-signed by Airbnb and…

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Phil Spencer launches new podcast for rental sector and buyers

Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer has launched a new podcast aimed at helping listeners through what he calls “the minefield” of the rental market. The podcast, offered via his property advice website Move iQ, also aims to help prospective buyers navigate the sales sector. All eight episodes have been released on iTunes with the first season co-hosted by prominent podcaster Chris Ducker. “Many people struggle to find or struggle…

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Brexit confusion could hit EU tenants in UK, say landlords

Residential Landlords Association blames lack of clarity over settled status scheme EU citizens will face problems renting properties in the UK because of Brexit, private landlords have said. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) said the confusion over Brexit meant some landlords were likely to refuse EU citizens as future tenants because the government had failed to give them clear instructions over the settled status scheme introduced last week. “They do not follow every…

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Millionaire Buy To Let Landlord CHG

Husband and wife must pay £8,000 after 17 beds found in bungalow to let

A husband and wife must pay joint fines, penalties and costs totalling over £8,000 after complaints about a bungalow they owned and let. Magistrates in Bexley, south London, found Abul and Ashram Azad guilty of contravening a Notice of Over-Crowding and a Prohibition Order served on them for a property they own and let in Erith. The court heard that the property had attracted a number of complaints about over-crowding,…

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Sadiq Khan to launch rent cap for London’s PRS homes ‘next week’

Policy bid is rumoured to be given green light next week but has been savaged by Tory mayor candidate Shaun Bailey as ‘disastrous’. Next week Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is to ask central government for powers to introduce rent controls in London, it has been claimed by Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey. Khan has been looking at introducing a ‘stabilisation’ form of rent control that would cap rent rises…

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Right-To-Rent Scheme Central Housing Group

Landlords to have say in Right to Rent case

Landlords will have a major role to play in a court case considering the future of the government’s Right to Rent scheme. The government has decided to appeal against a damning criticism by the High Court earlier this year that the Right to Rent breaches human rights law because it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen. Following a Judicial Review of the policy secured by the JCWI and supported by…

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Residential Landlords Association Central Housing Group

Parliamentary call for tax relief for rental home improvements

A trade body has welcomed calls by a parliamentary committee for tax incentives for the buy to let sector to improve the quality of its property. The recommendation is made by a House of Lords committee looking at the regeneration of seaside towns and communities. Following evidence provided by the Residential Landlords Association, the Committee’s report recommends: “The introduction of stronger incentives for private landlords to improve the quality and…

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Which is London’s most overcrowded borough for property?

Newham is London’s most crowded borough with a population of just under 350,000 people reliant on just 112,628 homes. New research has identified which London boroughs are home to the highest and lowest percentage of homes in London, as well as which has the highest and lowest ratio when it comes to homes per capita. The research, by flatshare platform Ideal Flatmate, found that the City of London has the…

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A third of private renters have no home insurance

Housing association tenants are more likely to have home insurance than private renters, according to new research from the AA. Its figures show that a third of private renters do not have any home insurance, compared to a quarter of housing association tenants. Additionally, just 54% of private renters have contents insurance compared to 64% of housing association tenants. The AA says housing association tenants may be more likely to…

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Private Rented Market Law Central Housing Group

Could future rental properties just be empty shells for tenants to fit out?

A senior lettings agent has raised the spectre of rental properties in future being German-style ‘empty shells’ – without even white furniture – and left to tenants to fit out completely. Josh Sagal, from the lettings division of London agency Glentree Estates, says this could ultimately be the kind of rental accommodation if landlords and agents continue to be hit by costly tax and regulation changes, including the proposed scrapping…

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Sourcing Properties Central Housing Group

Fees Ban: deposits still over £4,000 in high-rent hotspots, despite cap

Figures calculated by Rightmove suggest that even when the Fees Ban and Deposit Caps kick in on June 1, some deposits in high-rent areas will be in excess of £4,000. Based on a five-week deposit cap, Rightmove has calculated that the cheapest deposits outside of London will be in the North East, at £630 per property on average. The most expensive will be in London at £2,415 per property. But…

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Scrapping S21 isn’t enough – cap rent rises too, say London politicians

The scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers has been welcomed by the London Assembly – but apparently it doesn’t go far enough at curbing what some politicians see as the excesses of the private rental sector. Sian Berry – chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee and a national co-leader of the Green Party – describes the ban as “great news for tenants who are in constant fear of losing…

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Furnished v Unfurnished Property Central Housing Group

Banning Orders Flop: not even one issued after 12 months

A Freedom of Information request by The Guardian newspaper has produced the startling admission from government that not even one landlord has been issued with a banning order in the first year the measure was in existence. Last April the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government said landlords convicted of a range of housing, immigration and other criminal offences risked being banned. In addition, they would be put on…

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Section 21: Government accused of “Dickensian” view of buy to let

The scrapping of Section 21, as proposed by the government, shows that Whitehall has “a Dickensian view” of the buy to let sector according to a top lawyer. Paul Henson, a partner in the real estate litigation team at Collyer Bristow LLP, says: “The government has a Dickensian view of private landlords offering sub-standard homes for extortionate rents. Whilst the market is far from perfect, this view is outdated. Private landlords want…

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Residential Landlords Association Central Housing Group

Alternative to Section 21 “not fit for purpose” says lettings group

The government’s wish to use a modified Section 8 as an alternative to Section 21 for landlords seeking possession of their property just won’t work according to a leading lettings sector trade group. The Residential Landlords Association has written to its members to say that the government plan to scrap S21 – announced yesterday – is the latest in a series of changes that have “hammered” landlords. “This could be…

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Housing Sector Redress Scheme Central Housing Group

Rightmove bans ‘No DSS’ from listings and falls in line with Zoopla

Rightmove has fallen in line with Zoopla and is banning the term ‘No DSS’ from its lettings agents’ listings from the end of April, while from next month it will have software that will automatically strip the term from any property details. The portal is writing to all its letting agent advertisers asking them to remove the term by the end of this month, prior to the installation of the new…

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Peers call for tax relief for rental home improvements

RLA welcomes recognition of support for landlords to invest in raising standard of housing for tenants. Landlords are welcoming calls today by a parliamentary committee for tax incentives for private landlords to improve the quality of their property. The recommendation is made by a House of Lords committee looking at the regeneration of seaside towns and communities. Following evidence provided by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), the Committee’s report published…

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Improved energy efficiency Central Housing Group

One in three landlords cannot afford to meet new energy laws

One in three landlords cannot afford to upgrade their properties’ energy efficiency to meet tough new laws coming in today. All new tenancies with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of F or G must have upgraded to at least band E from April 1. The law is meant to cut tenants’ energy bills by up to £180 a year, lower the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase landlords’ property prices.…

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