Research lays bare failure to tackle criminal landlords

Two thirds of English councils have prosecuted no landlords for offences related to standards in or the management of private rented housing over the last three years. The National Residential Landlords Association is warning that this failure to take action against the criminal minority brings the sector into disrepute and risks undermining further reform of the sector. The NRLA obtained the data via Freedom of Information Act requests from 283 local…

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Carbon Monoxide Detectors Central Housing Group

Agents Alert: new Carbon Monoxide alarm laws revealed

The government has announced that carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in all private rental properties with fixed appliances such as gas boilers or fires.  The new regulations will also mean that in future carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any home. And landlords, or agents acting on their behalf, must repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide…

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Apartment Properties Central Housing Group

Shelter blasts government for unaffordable homes

Shelter – so often critical of the private rental sector – has instead turned its fire on the government over what the charity claims is inadequate social housing construction levels. It claims that government statistics for March 2020 to April 2021 show that just one social home was built for every 195 households stuck on housing waiting lists. Some 5,955 new social rent homes were delivered last year, a 12 per…

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Block Management Sector Code Central Housing Group

Make malicious non-payment of rent an offence and ‘ground for eviction’ say landlords

Landlords in Scotland have told researchers that ‘malicious non-payment of rent’ should be included within the legal definition of theft and become a specific mandatory ground for eviction. Following months of Covid-related eviction bans and evidence of increasing rent arrears, researchers at Glasgow University’s UK Centre for Housing Evidence polled hundreds of private landlords to find out how they thought the rental sector could be improved. Its ‘CaCHE report‘ concludes…

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Dedicated Court For Housing Central Housing Group

Victory! Landlord challenges council’s £54,000 benefit overpayment bill

A London landlord is celebrating after successfully challenging a £54,500 Housing Benefit overpayment bill from his council. The demand was made in July when a ‘cousin’ of the tenant told both the council and the landlord that the tenant had left the property back in 2017 – and insisted the landlord had been informed at the time. The council then revised the benefit award retrospectively for four years, creating a…

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London Landlord Central Housing Group

Advisory council green-lights pre-action protocols for private evictions

Private landlords should be compelled to use pre-action protocols (PAPs) during eviction cases, a report by the Civil Justice Council (CJC) has said. The influential body, which advises the Lord Chancellor, the judiciary and court administrators on modernising the civil justice system, says PAPs should be rolled out across more areas of litigation including private residential landlord evictions. The report’s authors say that, although PAPs should be extended to apply to claims…

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Career Rent Criminals Central Housing Group

Agent Alert: government survey on documents handed to tenants

A new government survey of private renters is checking whether they received the correct documentation from their agent when they begin a tenancy. The 20 question survey was launched earlier this month and continues until November 17.  It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete and asks tenants whether they found their property via a lettings agent, and then more detailed questions quiz renters on what documentation they were…

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Airbnb Short Lets Central Housing Group

They’re back: Parents are buying buy-to-lets for student offspring

The once-popular idea of parents buying a property for their offspring to use while at university, and then letting it to other students, appears to be making a comeback. The trend was popular until heavy duty buy to let regulation and reduced tax breaks came into effect some years ago, along with the emergence of more  purpose built student accommodation. But now, research from online mortgage broker Trussle suggests that as…

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Green Heat Network Fund Central Housing Group

Industry Body Furious Over Government’s Boiler Plans

An industry body has slated the government’s plan to ‘gently persuade’ landlords to help achieve its climate change campaign in reducing global heating has serious issues for the PRS. The Heat and Buildings Strategy which is available in the public domain says £5,000 grants will help owner occupiers and renter families to switch from old gas boilers to alternative forms of heating such as heat pumps. The government has held talks…

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Buy To Let Tax Central Housing Group

Landlords A Whisker Away From Budget Tax Rise

According to the Daily Telegraph landlords and potential second home owners have got away with a proposed Budget Tax increase. The tabloid has uncovered a report from the Office for Budget Responsibility which suggested that the government should increase the additional homes stamp duty surcharge from 3 to 4 per cent in the latest budget. However the Budget’s recommended stamp duty hike failed to materialise for the time being but…

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Private Rental Trends Central Housing Group

100,000 Landlord Properties Illegal

A Prop Tech company claims that there are more than 100,000 private rental properties are being let out illegally as they fall far below the current EPC ‘dictates’. The firm states that 106,337 PRS properties fail to meet the necessary minimum standards. The company is highly critical of the government’s latest scheme to fund 59 councils in their ‘fight’ to improve PRS housing standards but it claims there are 281 councils that have 78% – 83,208…

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Career Rent Criminals Central Housing Group

Landlords, Agents And Tenants Contacted By Council For Views On Tenancy Strategy

Enfield council has recently contacted tenants, agents and landlords to give their thoughts on its tenancy strategy. Enfield’s outlines its proposed strategy which it hopes encourages landlords and letting agencies to back its plans in its efforts to ensure that higher standards are reached for all tenancies within the authority’s borders, so tenants can live safely, healthily and securely in their rented homes. The council’s draft strategy attempts to help…

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Rental sector already cleaning up its act on EPCs, suggests bank

The private rental sector is already attempting to improve its EPC results according to research from Shawbrook Bank.  From 2025 new rules mean rental properties with an EPC rating of D, or below, will not be able to take on new tenants. The bank’s study found that 17 per cent of landlords had made efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their property, rising to 22 per cent of portfolio…

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Letting Agents Trade Body Central Housing Group

New tax system for Airbnbs and holiday lets being finalised by government

The government says it’s finalising plans for a new tax regime to apply to additional homes, and in particular those used for holiday and short lets.  There has been widespread criticism of some holiday home owners who have registered their additional properties as businesses, thus making them entitled to rate relief for small businesses. Lord Greenhalgh, speaking at a House of Lords debate on second homes, has said: “The government…

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Bailiff Enforced Eviction Ban Central Housing Group

Bailiff-enforced evictions suspended over Christmas season

It’s understood there will be a Christmas truce with tenants not enduring bailiff-enforced evictions between December 13 and January 10. HM Courts and Tribunal has confirmed that this will follow the pattern of previous years. In line with formal protocol the Lord Chancellor will inform the High Court Enforcement Officers’ Association – this association, in turn, will instruct its bailiff members not to enforce evictions during the truce period. An…

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Lettings and Estate Agent CHG

Why Scrap Section 21? Possession cases are plummeting anyway…

New figures from the Ministry of Justice show a dramatic long-term decline in the number of possessions in the private rental sector – and take the wind out of the sales of calls for S21 eviction powers to be scrapped. The MoJ data says: “When compared to the same quarter in 2019, landlord possession claims, orders, warrants and repossessions by county court bailiffs have decreased by 64, 75, 69 and…

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London Landlord Central Housing Group

Repossession limits lifted in courts

‘Overall arrangements’ limiting landlords’ ability to take back possession of their homes have come to end it has been announced. Different levels of restrictions have been in place throughout the pandemic, with the courts closed completely for six months from March 2020. A number of new procedures were introduced when they reopened in September last year which, combined with the backlog of cases that had built, led to significant delays…

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New EPC Regulations: Rental sector’s uphill struggle to meet targets

Just as COP26 is drawing to a close, so one of the lettings industry’s leading legal voices is warning that the next change proposed to EPC requirements will affect almost half of the UK’s entire buy to let sector. Since April last year landlords can no longer let a property with an EPC rating of F and G, unless they have a valid exemption in place.  The government propose to raise this…

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EPC Law Change Central Housing Group

EPC change could be ‘catastrophic’ for property investors, experts warn

Investors could be ‘severely impacted’ by government plans to raise the required Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for buy-to-let properties in Britain. Some experts have warned that the plans could lead to some homes becoming ‘unmortgageable’. EPC ratings rank properties from ‘A’, the most efficient, to ‘G’, the least efficient – with new proposals on the table to change the minimum rating from ‘E’ to ‘C’ by 2025.  Critics, though,…

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Dedicated Court For Housing Central Housing Group

Tenancy Disputes: Resolution system could avoid court last resort

ARLA Propertymark has thrown its weight behind a new dispute resolution service as a quicker and less expensive alternative to court action to resolve tenancy disputes. In a statement Propertymark praised the work of its letting agent members to prevent and resolve disputes by setting out clear expectations and information as well as holding all parties to account.  But the trade body said it was clear, after speaking with its…

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