Lord Best: It’s time to root out ‘rogue landlords’ and empower renters

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill will overhaul the current wildly out-of-date legislation in the private rented sector, writes Lord Best Private renting in England has witnessed phenomenal growth, doubling in size since 2010. Now, belatedly, Parliament is catching up with the consequences. The government is bringing forward a lengthy list of important measures to protect tenants and root out the so-called ‘rogue landlords’ who, so unfairly, give all…

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Improved energy efficiency Central Housing Group

Buy-to-let landlords face energy efficiency bills of £3,500

Rented homes must adhere to new minimum energy standard Landlords may need to pay up to £3,500 to improve the energy efficiency of their rented homes, under regulations set to come into force next year. Since April, properties in the private rented sector have needed to have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E. Landlords are currently able to claim an exemption if they can’t secure government funding…

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Generation Rent attacks S21 evictions Central Housing Group

Agent tells supporter B&Q how Shelter has allowed ‘tenants from hell’ to stay in property

A letting agent has written to B&Q to express her concern at its support of Shelter. Debbie Cooke’s letter follows others warning the chain store of a planned boycott in protest at its backing of a ‘landlord bashing’ organisation. Cooke’s letter, to corporate affairs director Nick Lakin, sets out an example where she claims Shelter’s last-minute intervention on a technicality prevented a landlord from regaining possession of a property from…

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No-Deposit Alternative Central Housing Group

A Squeeze On Housing Benefit Is Driving More People Into Homelessness, Says New Report

Homelessness has more than doubled since 2010. Welfare cutbacks are to blame for the decade-long increase in homelessness from private rented housing, new research says. Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates, introduced in 2008 to calculate housing benefit for poor households, increasingly leave tenants short of the actual rent, according to a report by Manchester Metropolitan University. Homelessness rates have more than doubled since 2010, when LHA was cut to cover…

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Private Rented Sector Landlords Central Housing Group

Good news – under 1% of tenancies end with deposit disputes

Fewer than one per cent of private tenancies end in a dispute over the deposit – and the figure is this low for the eighth successive year. Contrary to some media perceptions of frequent disputes over deposits, data from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme suggests that such arguments are rare. Published every year, TDS’s Statistical Briefings pull together information from a variety of sources including Freedom of Information data and statistics…

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Rat-infested homes let to tenants – owner to face criminal charges

A buy to let investor has been forced to close down two rat infested homes he owns in Rotherham after they were deemed unfit for people to live in. He was ordered to close the properties after they were deemed unfit for occupation based on serious electrical and fire safety issues. They were also riddled with pests as well as having signs of rats – all of which fall foul…

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HMO Licensing Conditions Central Housing Group

Shocking London ‘Beds In Sheds’ case leads to bill for £42,000

A landlord is almost £42,000 worse off after repeatedly ignoring council orders to stop illegally letting so called “beds in sheds” in an outbuilding at one of his rental properties in Southall, west London. The severity of the fine Mubashar Ahmed was given reflected the fact that he had already been prosecuted for the same offence in 2012 and – according to Ealing council – was “well aware that he…

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BTL Portfolios for Central Housing Group

Industry welcomes Universal Credit change to pay landlords directly

The lettings industry has welcomed news that reforms to Universal Credit will include a new online system for private landlords to get rents paid directly to them. The news was one of a number of reforms announced at the end of last week by Work and Pensions Secretary of State Amber Rudd. Chris Town, vice chair of the Residential Landlords Association, says: “Our most recent research has shown that 61…

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Private Landlord Central Housing Group

London property firm to pay back £60,000 in rent after operating unlicensed HMO

Finchley Properties Limited operated the address, which was found by Camden council inspectors to be a ‘house of horrors’. company that owns and rents out properties in London is to pay back over £60,000 of the rent it charged after its tenants were discovered by council inspectors living in ‘house of horrors’ conditions. Finchley Properties Limited, which has offices in West Hampstead, rented out separate flats within the Victorian property…

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private rental sector licensing scheme Central Housing Group

Chaos as thousands of licensing applications rejected by council

Local press reports say that one of the country’s most controversial buy to let licensing schemes has seen thousands of applications rejected for bureaucratic reasons. The scheme is in Nottingham where the council is introducing a new selective licensing regime covering an estimated 32,000 privately rented homes. This is an estimated 91 per cent of all rental properties making it the second scheme in the UK outside of London according…

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London property market and No-Deal Brexit Central Housing Group

16 things buy-to-let landlords need to know in 2019

The key rules for property investors, from letting fees to licensing changes It’s a confusing time to be a landlord, with new regulations on fees and licensing joining the raft of tax changes introduced over the past few years.  Add to that uncertainty over Brexit and the potential for further base rate rises, and you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the amount of flux in the buy-to-let sector. To…

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3 year tenancies Central Housing Group

Longer tenancies – government to reveal more details imminently

The government says it will shortly respond to over 8,700 responses it received about its suggestions for longer standard tenancies in the private rental sector. In a statement over the holiday season, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Our consultation on Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector closed at the end of August. Over 8,700 responses were received, which are being analysed…

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Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill wins Royal Assent – it’s law

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill has achieved Royal Assent, meaning that it will soon become an act of Parliament. Put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck, the Bill amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1984 and gives powers for tenants to sue landlords in cases where a property is deemed to be unfit. The same criteria apply to all common areas of a block of private rental properties.…

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Mystery: What does new ‘global immigration system’ mean for agents

The government has unveiled the spectre of a ‘global immigration system’ to be introduced from the end of 2020 – but with no details as to what it will be or how it will impact on the rental sector. In correspondence to the Residential Landlords’ Association, written on October 31 in response to a letter on August 8, Robin Walker MP, under-secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union,…

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‘More must be done to stop the rogues’ government told

A lettings trade body has welcomed extra government funding for English councils to clamp down on criminal landlords. But the Residential Landlords Association has said the extra resources are not sufficient in themselves to stop the problem of rogue agents and landlords. David Smith, the RLA’s policy director, says: “We welcome news of new funding for enforcement which we have long campaigned for, but believe it must be part of…

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Top of the class:10 of the best London boroughs to move to for good state schools

There are 10 times more applications for good state schools than places available in the capital. Begin your home search now to beat next year’s places bunfight… Finding places at good schools is the major reason to move house for many parents in London. The population of the capital is expected to grow by 12 per cent over the next four years, so the competition to live within the catchment area of a desirable…

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The autumn fall:house prices falling in more than half of London boroughs — with flats worst hit

Property prices are falling in more than half of London’s boroughs with flats seeing the biggest drops, latest official figures show today. The average cost of a home across the capital slipped by 0.3 per cent to £482,000 in the year to September, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, the overall figure masked some much heavier falls in some boroughs, particularly those that have seen the biggest rises over recent years. Average…

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London lettings licence Central Housing Group

Council’s first-ever Civil Penalty Notice over lettings property condition

A council in the north of England has issued its first-ever Civil Penalty Notice on a landlord a over lettings property condition – and it involved a £20,000 fine. The landlord, from St Helens, failed to carry out required improvements to a property she was letting to a family in Burtonwood. The improvements, which fall under the Housing Act 2004, required repairs to the lettings property to rectify a number…

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BTL Landlords Escaping The Sector Central Housing Group

Yet more buy to let expense as EPC rules tightened by government

Buy to let investors in England and Wales who own particularly cold homes are being targeted by new regulations. Since April this year, landlords who own some of the coldest privately rented homes have been required to improve these properties with energy efficiency measures where support is available to cover the costs. But new measures announced by the government will go further requiring landlords to contribute to the cost of…

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