Council lettings agency loses £53,000 a year managing just 25 homes

A council-run lettings agency looks likely to be scrapped after it apparently lost some £53,000 – even though it manages only 25 properties on behalf of landlords. The Leader Live news website says North East Wales Homes – also known as NEW Homes – was set up by Flintshire Council in 2014 and now manages just 25 properties on behalf of landlords. However, at a meeting today the council is expected…

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Bill giving tenants the right to sue is on verge of becoming law

A Private Members’ Bill which will allow private rental sector tenants to sue over the conditions of their properties is just a few days away from completing its passage through Parliament. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill passed its committee stage in the House of Lords earlier this week and on Wednesday of next week, December 19, it goes to its Third Reading in the Lords. This is regarded…

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Nearly two-thirds of PRS tenants claiming Universal Credit in arrears

Increasing numbers of private renters in receipt of Universal Credit are finding themselves in rent arrears, according to new research. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) found that three in every five landlords (61%) with tenants claiming Universal Credit have experienced them going into arrears at some point. In 2016, the proportion of landlords experiencing arrears from Universal Credit claimants was 27%. Furthermore, the average owed by tenants in rent arrears…

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selective licensing plans are illegal Central Housing Group

“Don’t discriminate against benefit claimants” buy to let lenders told

Urgent action is needed to tackle discrimination against benefit claimants by buy to let mortgage providers according to a leading trade body. The Residential Landlords Association is making the call following the revelation that a landlord has had the mortgage on a property revoked because she is renting to a benefit claimant. Helena McAleer, a landlord from Northern Ireland, contacted her bank – NatWest – after she discovered that the…

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buy-to-let investors for guaranteed rent scheme

Over £1bn of tenancy deposits “at risk”

New research has revealed that a possible 1,500,000 renters could be at risk of losing their deposits believing their bond has never been placed in a deposit protection scheme. The survey, carried out by price comparison website, Comparethemarket.com, has suggested that renters in 33% of the UK’s 4.5m rented homes think that their landlord has not placed their money into a compulsory deposit protection scheme (DPS). This equates to in…

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Landlord purchases down 30% in 3 years

During the first half of 2018, landlords spent £12.1bn on new buy-to-let purchases – a £5.2bn or 30% drop in value than the same period during 2015 according to the latest report from Hamptons International. The total value of homes purchased by landlords has reached the lowest level in five years (since H1 2013 – £11.2 billion), having peaked in H1 2016 at £21.2 billion when second homeowners rushed to…

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Universal Credit Arrears Central Housing Group

Shelter under fire for paying ‘derisory’ wages to staff

The charity Shelter, which regularly campaigns against lettings agencies and landlords, is bracing itself for a strike next week – and it’s accused of ‘derisory’ pay levels. Three days of strike action begin on Tuesday by 400 members of the union Unite, who work for the charity. The action follows what the union calls a ‘derisory’ pay offer of a one per cent pay increase plus a one off one…

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Council rental licensing schemes Central Housing Group

Licensing scheme bags £5m in ‘lost’ council tax from buy to let sector

Since one London local authority introduced private rental sector licensing in 2013 an extra £5,002,203 in council tax has been collected from landlords renting out HMOs. Newham’s licensing originally began five years ago but was forced, by government, to re-launch from scratch in March this year; since its restart it has processed and issued over 30,000 new licences. In the same period the team council has taken action against landlords in…

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London lettings licence Central Housing Group

Fine for owner who let ‘dangerous and damp’ property to family

A landlord has been hit with more than £5,500 of fines and costs after he allowed a family with three young children to live in dangerous and damp conditions. The Isle of Wight council prosecuted Daniel Tomlinson, of Ilkeston in Derbyshire, who was found guilty of one count of failing to comply with an improvement notice at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court. The notice was served by the council’s housing…

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Tips for buying at a property auction: What you need to know

Scott Hendry, auction finance expert at specialist lender Together, shares his best tips for property investors heading to an auction. 1. Read the legal pack The legal pack contains documents relating to the property, and is prepared by the seller’s conveyancer. Each one will be unique, so investors should always read the pack no matter how experienced you become. Make sure you’ve read the small print, as it’s often in…

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3 year tenancies Central Housing Group

Make Tenants’ Fees Bill even tougher, demands consumer charity

A call has been made for the Tenants’ Fees Bill to be made even stricter following a claim that over a third of tenants are only told about additional fees that could be charged during their tenancy after putting down money. Citizens Advice claims tenants can easily be “trapped” into unfair contracts by agents and landlords, and then face hefty penalties when terms are breached. It says the unfair tenancy…

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EU nationals risk losing UK rental homes Central Housing Group

Brexit warning issued by HomeLet chief executive

Brexit is causing concern among landlords, according to HomeLet. The initial results of HomeLet’s annual landlord survey says nine out of 10 landlords intend to either keep or expand their property portfolio in the next year. However, HomeLet says the potential impacts of Brexit rate highly among landlords’ main concerns, along with the possibility of increased regulation through legislation and changes to house prices. HomeLet chief executive Martin Totty says: “While more…

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Buy to let proprietor Central Housing Group

Huge 30% fall in buy to let purchases in just three years

Countrywide says landlords spent £12.1 billion buying rental properties in the first half of this year – a full 30 per cent less than three years ago. Research from the agency group’s Hamptons International brand says the value of homes purchased by landlords is now at its lowest level in five years. Purchasing peaked in early 2016 in the rush to beat the government’s three per cent stamp duty surcharge.…

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Government cuts tenant deposit cap from six weeks to five weeks

The government has this afternoon confirmed that the amount tenants have to pay up front to secure a home will be cut from six weeks’ rent to five for annual rentals of under £50,000. A deposit of six weeks’ rent will continue to apply where the annual rent is £50,000 or more. The move, announced as part of the Tenant Fees Bill, was anticipated by landlord groups yesterday. Both the…

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private rentals central housing group

Government Not Going Ahead With 3 Year Tenancies – Hopefully Not Fake News

It seems that the government may have decided not to ‘enforce’ its proposed three year tenancy agreements onto the privates rented sector. According to a major broadsheet this week the government’s plan may have been stopped by the Treasury, because it believes that it could put people off of investing in the sector. The government was hoping by offering private renters a longer term tenancy it would give them greater…

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Power shifts to tenants as rent reductions hit record high

The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions hit a record high last month, say letting agents. ARLA Propertymark’s October Private Rented Sector (PRS) Report showed that the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions jumped from 2% in September to 3.7% in October. This is the highest figure since the trade body started recording the data in 2015. The number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell for the second month…

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HMRC Landlords Tax Checks . Central Housing Group

Lodger dodgers and Airbnb landlords may be targeted in Budget

A newspaper claims landlords who ‘game’ the current tax regime for short term lets and lodging may be in the firing line in the Budget on October 29. Currently amateur landlords can claim up to £7,500 tax free per year through the Rent A Room allowance system by letting their spare rooms in properties where they live. But the Sunday Times says the government suspects some landlords using Airbnb and…

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Landlords Ordered To Pay Over £10k For Illegal Eviction

A private tenant was at his wits end when returning to his rental property and finding he was locked out, as the landlord had fitted new locks and removed his belongings. The unfortunate tenant along with another person who rented rooms in the Bridlington property were both handed a notice to vacate the house with just one week’s notice. East Riding of Yorkshire Council warned the landlord, Fiddlers Investment Ltd,…

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Landlords with portfolios Central Housing Group

Housing Market Will Not Cope With Lifetime Renters

An independent letting agency has called on the government to take necessary action in the housing market which will be unable to cope with the explosion of lifetime renters. The agency which manages more than 5,000 properties, lays the blame of the ongoing crisis on three main factors. The decline in numbers of new-build properties, in many cases overpriced, the declining social housing supply and the static rental sector due…

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London lettings licence Central Housing Group

Landlords Fined For Shoehorning 35 Tenants Into One Property

Islington council has recently prosecuted two private landlords who were found guilty of renting out houses in dangerous and sub-standard conditions, after the council discovered 35 tenants living in squalor in one “appalling” property. The council’s officers found tenants living in four two-bedroom flats in a semi-detached Victorian property in Highbury. There were as many as six people who had to sleep in each bedroom; the officers also found that…

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