Fire Safety Law – What’s Next for Leaseholders?

As the Grenfell Tower Inquiry continues through its second phase of hearings examining the causes of the fire, leaseholders in unsafe homes can take little comfort in the Fire Safety Act 2021 made law last month. In the midst of a crisis in building safety standards, defeat of the McPartland-Smith amendment in the House of Lords 242 votes to 153 which sought to restrict the passing on of remediation costs…

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So Are We Getting Rid of S21 or What?

The Queen’s Speech is a key event in the Parliamentary calendar and in 2021 it fell on 11 May. In it the Government sets out, in broad terms, its legislative plan for the coming Parliamentary session. It is therefore closely observed by those of us who are trying to work out what the Government is planning to do on a range of matters, including private sector residential tenancies. There was…

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Brexit: Right To Rent changes take effect in three weeks’ time

A grace period for Right To Rent changes following Britain’s exit from the EU expires at the end of this month. And now the Home Office has issued new guidance ahead of changes coming into effect in three weeks time. The grace period referred to eligible European Economic Area and Swiss citizens who were residing in the UK to apply for settled status – that opportunity ends on June 30.…

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Hammersmith's Tallest Building Central Housing Group

Record number of Build To Rent planning consents, with big suburban surge

Research by the British Property Federation shows that 6,937 new Build To Rent homes won full planning permission in the first three months of 2021. This is the highest number of planning consents recorded for any quarter in the sector’s history. With 6,321 consents, the third quarter of 2016 follows in second place. The BPF says the BTR sector continues to grow at pace – with a total of 188,456…

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Residential Landlord Central Housing Group

Another Shelter report condemns state of British rental sector

Another report by the campaigning charity Shelter is critical of the quality of Britain’s private rental sector – and indeed the state of most of housing in the country. It claims 34 per cent of adults in Britain are now impacted by what it calls “the housing emergency”. In a survey of 13,000 people it says there are numerous weaknesses in the rental sector in particular but the entire housing landscape in…

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UK Rental Deposits Central Housing Group

Almost a billion pounds invested to improve buy to let sector

Landlords spend an estimated £839m each year upgrading newly purchased rental property before letting it out to tenants, helping to drive-up standards in the sector. The figure comes from a Paragon Bank survey of approximately 900 landlords showing that nearly four in five invest in upgrading property after purchase, spending an average of £8,720 each. Based on the average number of buy to let mortgages granted each year since 2015,…

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Evicted tenants must be given Legal Aid, insists solicitors’ chief

The president of the Law Society of England and Wales says tenants facing eviction as a result of the ban being lifted over the weekend must have legal representation to fight the move. Stephanie Boyce says: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a testing time for landlords and tenants alike. As we mark the end of the eviction ban, we urge the UK government to be cautious of next steps and…

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Possession cases FALLEN during pandemic, not risen – government

Official figures show that far from seeing a rise during the pandemic, there has been what the government calls “a massive drop” in possession cases in recent months. Lord Stephen Greenhalgh – a minister of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – has told a House of Lords debate on the sector that those groups claiming there would be a surge in cases and evictions, and…

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London rubbish at recycling

Labour council warns landlords will be served with ‘anti-social orders’

A Labour council in London is taking the unusual measure of threatening landlords with community protection notices – associated with anti-social behaviour – if their tenants do not comply with recycling rules. The Islington Gazette newspaper reports that the local council has voted to fine letting agents or landlords £47.14 and not empty their bins if their tenants have breached the rules on so-called contamination. With the bins not emptied by council…

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Landlord Left Devastated After Tenant Steals Items From Flat When Evicted

It is very rare that this type of story ever gets media coverage about tenants running off with items not belonging to them from landlords’ properties at the end of a tenancy. However, the Oxford Mail newspaper has just run such a story about a landlord who has been left devastated after a tenant who was “noisy” and “not nice” upon her eviction, took the entire contents from the property’…

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Good Newsweek – Biggest Proportion In Landlords Expansion Plans In 4 Years

For the first time since 2017 the numbers of BTL investors planning to increase their portfolios is higher than those who are either selling up or reducing their properties. A BTL specialist lender’s researchers polled around 900 landlords asking them about whether they were planning to reduce or increase their portfolios in the next 12 months, with 19% stating they were going to buy more properties. Those landlords who have…

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Buy-To-Let-Market Central Housing Group

Tory MP Wants Private Landlord Property MOTs

A Tory MP demands that landlords have a considerable upper hand in their relationship with tenants and there must be a seismic reform to readdress the imbalance, which will stop tenants being ‘left out on a limb’ because of substandard private rental accommodation. The Conservative MP  for Stoke-on-Trent Central, Jo Gideon, states that within the UK Onward think tank’s report there are three areas for urgent improvements to be brought in for…

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Massive Surge In Landlords Opting For Ltd Status

Nearly a quarter more of landlords (23%) have opted to become a limited company to ‘evade’ the tax increases levied on the private rented sector. Official data reveals a huge surge in activity of landlords applying for limited company status as the mortgage interest relief has been and will be reduced year on year. Large numbers of landlords are doing so to avoid having to pay the government’s ever increasing punishing taxes for…

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Majority Of Tenants Central Housing Group

Renters leaving the capital as rent continues to fall

Private sector tenants are leaving London in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new research, landlords renting properties in London were the only ones in the country to report that tenant demand had fallen more than it increased. A survey of National Residential Landlords Association members, conducted by the research consultancy BVA-BDRC, found that 56 per of landlords with properties in Central London saw tenant demand fall in the first quarter of…

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Rent Evictions And Maintenance Central Housing Group

Fraud Frenzy: One in 20 tenancy applications may be fake

There’s been a huge 263 per cent increase in the value of fraudulent tenant applications in just three months, it’s been claimed. Homeppl, a tenant due diligence and guarantee firm, says agents have to be on high alert; the firm’s detection tests suggests two per cent of all tenant applications are fraudulent. In some areas it’s five per cent. While professional fraud remains a problem, it’s amateur fraud that has seen the biggest…

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Government revises Mediation guidelines for ‘life after eviction ban’

The government has revised its guidelines for its new mediation scheme, which it says will avoid some possessions now that the eviction ban has finally been lifted. The mediation system is free to use for landlords or their agents, and tenants, and will involve as a third party an independent trained neutral mediator to help identify issues and work to resolve them. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says…

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Stamp Duty Deadline Central Housing Group

Stamp Duty slashes size of buy to let sector claims agency

The five years since the introduction of the three per cent stamp duty surcharge on additional homes has led to a sharp fall in the size of the private rental sector. Research by lettings agency Hamptons shows that the surcharge – coupled with the tapering of mortgage interest tax relief on buy to lets beginning in 2017 – has meant that landlords have bought fewer homes and the private rental…

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Bailiff-Enforced Evictions Central Housing Group

New secure tenancy and assured tenancy forms MUST be used now

The government has released new forms for secure and assured tenancies – and agents who fail to use them risk having their possession and other processes deemed invalid. The new forms reflect the reduced notice period, which this week dropped from six months to four months. However, as before the notice periods are shorter for serious cases – – anti-social behaviour (immediate to four weeks’ notice); – domestic abuse in…

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Hammersmith Rental Price Central Housing Group

Rent Stock Drought Worsens – half of Britain sees 50% supply fall

Lettings agency Hamptons says there’s been “an unprecedented fall” in the number of rental homes on the market, leading to double-digit rent rises in the past year. There were 45 per cent fewer homes available to let in April 2021 than in April 2019, with half of regions across Britain recording falls of 50 per cent or more. The South West topped the stock shortage league with 62 per cent…

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Bailiff Evictions Central Housing Group

Agent Alert: Change to eviction notice periods from today (01/06/21)

The ban on bailiff-enforced evictions is now finally at an end and from today there is a change to the notice period for private tenants. The government introduced the ban back at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and it has remained, in varying forms, until yesterday, with bailiffs asked not to carry out an eviction. From today, eviction notice periods – previously extended to six months during…

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