Section 21 Abolition – Labour offers to work with Tories

Labour housing spokesperson Thangam Debbonaire has released details of a letter seeking further clarity and commitments on the rental sector eviction process – she sent it to the Housing Secretary before Christmas but has yet to receive a reply. The letter, which Debbonaire has put on Twitter, was dated December 22 and demands information on a range of housing issues. With regard to evictions, she writes: Evictions of People in the…

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Long Term Homes Central Housing Group

Rents begin 2021 on a high almost everywhere…except London

The average rent in the UK, measured just before the turn of the year, is £979, showing a 2.7 per cent increase on December 2019. When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £838, showing an increase of 5.7 per cent on last year. The single largest regional increase in the past 12 months has been the south west of England – up 10.0 per cent –…

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Agents back new Mediation scheme between landlords and tenants

Propertymark has thrown its weight behind an idea from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to create a mediation service to arbitrate in disputes between tenants and landlords. The concept of mediation – to be tested out in a pilot project next month – came up in the government announcement of an extension of the bailiff-enforced eviction ban. Details are light at the moment but a statement from Jenrick’s Ministry of Housing,…

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Government to make sweeping changes to leasehold including extension costs

Landlords with leasehold properties will soon enjoy both substantially lower costs and bureaucracy when seeking to extend their leases, the government has announced today. The new measures include that owners of leasehold houses will be able to extend their leaseholds by 990 years at a zero ground rent, removing the much-publicised attempts by some freeholders and developers to sell properties with escalating ground rents and restricting extensions to 50 years.…

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Industry welcomes Government’s sweeping reforms to leasehold home ownership

Government has revealed radical changes to many aspects of leaseholds including ground rents, extensions and retirement properties. Estate agents have welcomed this morning’s announcement by the government that it is to reform leaseholds and release 4.5 million home owners from its ‘bureaucratic, burdensome and expensive’ clutches. Owners of leasehold houses will soon be able to extend their leaseholds by 990 years at a zero ground rent, removing the much-publicised attempts…

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NRLA welcomes changes to Green Homes Grants

Landlords are welcoming news the Government has changed the Green Homes Grant Scheme installer terms and conditions for subcontractors, to overcome the challenges landlords and homeowners are facing finding an installer. Amongst the key changes announced, while installers must still have TrustMark status, subcontractors are no longer required to be TrustMark registered and PAS or MCS certified. However, any subcontracted work must still be carried out in accordance with the relevant PAS or MCS requirements. The changes came into effect yesterday (Monday 4th…

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Government Flagship Universal Credit Central Housing Group

Government fails to tackle Covid rent debt crisis

The eviction ban in England has been extended for six weeks, in a move described as a ‘sticking plaster’ by landlords. Current restrictions were due to end on Monday, following a month-long ban on bailiffs serving notices and enforcement in England over the Christmas period, a move which Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said would ‘help protect the most vulnerable renters’. The NRLA says the move will do nothing to support…

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Possession Orders Central Housing Group

Scrapping of S21 and new transferable deposits likely “very soon”

The long-awaited Renters’ Reform Bill, promised 14 months ago, is likely to be introduced to the House of Commons “very soon.” The Bill is set to include the scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers and the start of the concept of lifetime deposits transferable from one property to another when a tenant moves. It was announced in the Queen’s Speech in December 2019 and had been a prominent pledge for…

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A third of landlords say they’ll sell-up due to pandemic

Newly released research from the National Residential Landlords Association has revealed that over half of private landlords have lost rental income as a result of the pandemic with a third also indicating that they were now more likely to either leave the market entirely, or sell some of their properties. Interim findings from a new NRLA survey for the fourth quarter of 2020 have found that 56% had lost rental…

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Deposit Replacement Providers Central Housing Group

Small number of tenancies end with deposit disputes, says government

Only 0.3 per cent of all tenancies in England and Wales ended with a dispute over the deposit in the six months to the end of September. This covers the height of the spring Coronavirus crisis and suggests the problem of tenancy deposit disputes is smaller than some would have thought. A Parliamentary written reply from housing minister Chris Pincher, published just before Christmas, said that in the six months…

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Right To Rent Regulations Central Housing Group

Right To Rent checks “under review” by Home Office

The government says it’s reviewing the checking process that agents and landlords have to follow under Right To Rent. The revelation has come to light in a Home Office response to Propertymark, which has previously complained about one element of the checks – that is, the suggestion that agents can conduct checks via video call during the pandemic, but then must go back and conduct retrospective checks within eight weeks of…

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Revealed – the biggest cause of claims by landlords against deposits

Just over half the claims made by landlords against tenancy deposits in 2020 cited a need to clean or make repairs to the property or its contents, The Deposit Protection Service has revealed. Costs for damage made up 27 per cent of claims, while cleaning was cited in 25 per cent and outstanding bills in just two per cent. DPS managing director Matt Trevett says: “It can be very frustrating for…

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Long Term Homes Central Housing Group

Rental growth ‘slightly positive’ for 2021 say surveyors

Rental growth expectations remain “slightly positive” across most of the UK according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors market snapshot. The assessment is based on surveyor sentiment rather than hard data, but RICS says its lettings sector members in most parts of the country anticipate an increase in volumes and rent from early in 2021. However in December – for the third consecutive month – a net balance…

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Property Ombudsman Central Housing Group

Agents breaking ‘No DSS’ listings rule will face sanctions, warns Zoopla

The debate over rental properties listed on portals with ‘No DSS’ statements has reignited over the weekend. This follows a BBC investigation into the issue; this was aimed primarily at landlord-only websites such as SpareRoom and OpenRent, where the probe found as many as 80 per cent of listings carrying some form of overt anti-benefits statement. However, the BBC also found that there were some ‘No DSS’ statements on properties…

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Cost Of A Rental Home Central Housing Group

Rental market open for business in new Tier 4 areas

Weekend statements from the government and Housing Secretary have made it clear that the rental market remains open for business even in new English Tier 4 areas. London, parts of the South East and East Anglia have been put into new and stricter Coronavirus control measures, but the lettings market is still functioning. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says: “You can still move home. People outside your…

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Prospective Tenants Central Housing Group

Would you put up your rent at the moment? Fewer landlords are doing it, says report

Most landlords have continued supporting tenants during the pandemic by keeping rent increases at a minimum, according to ARLA Propertymark. Its November Private Rented Sector report reveals that the number of tenants experiencing a rent increase fell for the third month in a row, with less than one in three (28%) agents seeing landlords increasing rents compared with 37% in October and 40% in September. Its survey of 209 letting…

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£30m fund established to pay for fire alarms within at-risk cladded towers

The government has intervened once more in the cladding scandal and has established a £30 million fund to pay for the costs of ‘waking watches’ in at-risk tower blocks. This will be welcome news for the thousands of landlords who own apartments within Grenfell-type towers fitted with the now infamous ACM cladding, and who have been paying for ‘waking watches’ along with other leaseholders. Waking watches are round-the-clock regular security…

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Official: There will be no Stamp Duty holiday extension

Ministers have delivered the body blow to agents and buyers via its response to an online parliamentary petition. Home » News » Official: There will be no Stamp Duty holiday extension The Government has dashed estate agents’ hopes of an extension or tapering of the Stamp Duty holiday. This body blow for both the industry and thousands of home movers likely to miss Rishi Sunak’s 31st March deadline has been delivered in the Government’s response…

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Government launches EPC consultation Central Housing Group

EPCs should last just five years and not 10 – property group

A collective of government appointed accreditation schemes has called on the government to do more to improve energy efficiency in the country’s homes. The Property Energy Professionals Association – whose members are those schemes producing Energy Performance Certificates – has called for new policies across government departments to help improve the energy efficiency of homes. Andrew Parkin, chair of PEPA, says: “Incredibly we are building flats in some parts of…

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Eviction Ban Central Housing Group

Extension to bailiff and eviction ban “extremely likely” warns trade body

It is “extremely likely” there will be an extension to the current ban on bailiffs conducting evictions even after court orders have been made. That’s the view of the National Residential Landlords Association, which says on its website that although courts remain open and – for now at least – possession orders can still be granted on paper, bailiffs cannot enforce warrants under a deal which runs until January 11. However, that deal was…

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