Housing Court Central Housing Group

Court ruling prompts campaign to keep repossession rights

A trade body says a recent court case threatens the right of buy to let landlords to repossess their properties. The Residential Landlords Association says a recent court case deemed a landlord’s attempt to regain their property as invalid, due to a dispute over a gas safety certificate. After that landlord was initially granted an order to repossess the property using Section 21 powers, the tenant successfully appealed on the…

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Where are the most affordable places to live in London?

Whether you are choosing to buy or rent a property, London is priced substantially higher than much of the UK. Since the outer boroughs of London tend to be cheaper to live in, an increasing number of people have opted to move away from the center to save on costs which has been made easier with new and improved transport links. Here are my recommendations of where’s best to buy…

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Trading Standards launches bid to lift energy standards in rental sector

TrustMark, the government-backed quality kite mark scheme for tradespeople, is launching a pilot with Trading Standards to improve the quality and energy efficiency of rented accommodation. The initiative – called Better Homes for Hastings – is happening just within the Hastings area and has been launched with a meeting of agents, private landlords, housing associations, tenants and businesses in the area. The initiative aims not only to educate tenants about…

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Rogue agents and landlords Central Housing Group

Thumbs up for Zoopla’s ‘No DSS’ listings ban

The Residential Landlords Association has given its backing to Zoopla’s ban on agents and landlords advertising properties to rent as ‘No DSS’. Chris Town, RLA vice chair, says: “Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis. “But with growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector we need to do more to…

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Cash is king for London buy to let as mortgage access tightens

The proportion of landlords purchasing buy to let homes in London with cash rose from 33 per cent in 2017 to 48 per cent in 2018 according to an analysis by Countrywide’s high-end brand Hamptons International. It says harsher stress testing on buy-to-let mortgages, combined with the tapering of mortgage interest tax relief has made it more difficult and less appealing for some landlords to get a mortgage. This is…

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Short let landlords ‘not adequately covered by UK insurers’ – claim

There’s a claim today that around one million amateur and professional landlords in the new short lets sector are not adequately covered by UK insurance companies. A report by insurance firm Pikl makes a string of claims about what it describes as shortcomings in the insurance offer for Airbnb-style hosts: 1. Appropriate cover for short term letting is virtually non-existent – it is not included as standard with any of…

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Zoopla promises to end housing benefit discrimination

People receiving housing benefit can no longer be barred from renting properties advertised on one of the UK’s largest listing sites. Zoopla says it will prohibit landlords posting “No DSS” ads, a commonly-used acronym of the now defunct Department of Social Security. The National Housing Federation and Shelter found that one in 10 agents in England refused to let to DSS tenants. The BBC found the policy was enforced even…

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Rent Reductions Central Housing Group

One in three Brits would be happy to rent for life

A new study claims one in three Britons would be happy renting for the rest of their lives – but the downside is that they expect more tenants’ rights in return. The study, for the Hillarys interiors company, questioned over 2,000 UK tenants. Respondents were asked how long they had been renting for, with 43 per cent saying they had done so for six to 10 years and another 15…

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Young Renters Central Housing Group

Banning ‘No DSS’ in adverts is a waste of time, says leading solicitor

Joanne Young of Ashfords LLP says UK’s millions of risk-averse small-portfolio landlords will sell up rather than face the hassle and risk of renting to tenants on benefits. “Earlier this month the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced a number of measures aimed at further tackling homelessness, including funding to help potential new tenants with rental or first month rent payments. However, it was a different measure that…

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Rogue agents and landlords Central Housing Group

Trade group demands government acts on “scourge of empty homes”

A lettings sector trade body is demanding that the government brings forward tax measures to address what it calls “the scourge of empty homes.” According to new figures, between October 2017 and October 2018 the number of empty homes in England increased by almost 30,000 from some 606,000 to over 634,000. Of these, the number of homes classed as being empty for six months or more increased by over 10,000…

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Government accused of “almost destroying traditional lettings market”

One of Britain’s most experienced lettings experts has condemned the government for “almost singlehandedly destroying the traditional lettings market.” Lisa Simon – now the head of sales and rentals at Carter Jonas but until recently the company’s long-standing head of lettings – says today’s Spring Statement mini-Budget is an opportunity for Chancellor Phillip Hammond to breathe new life into the troubled sector. “His short-sighted, ‘one size fits all’ lettings legislation,…

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Accreditation bid to boost standards of Airbnb and other short lets

An accreditation scheme has been launched for the fast-growing sector of short lets and home sharing. The UK Short Term Accommodation Association, which was set up two years ago, describes itself as the sector’s trade body “promoting and driving best practice among its members across the UK.” It says it ran a pilot accreditation programme last year devised and delivered by an independent organisation called Quality in Tourism handling tourism…

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Buy to let properties Central Housing Group

Inventories ‘could be integral part of rental redress reform’ claim

Independent inventory reporting is the perfect complement to the government’s proposed housing reforms. That’s the view of the UK’s largest provider of inventory services, No Letting Go. It says a clearer, single-route complaints system as proposed in the government’s Housing Complaints Resolution Service, can be supported by impartial, evidence-based documents such as independent inventories. At the end of January, James Brokenshire, secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities…

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Rogue agents and landlords Central Housing Group

Stop the excuses! Lack of enforcement by councils blasted by trade body

A leading trade body says the argument that councils have insufficient powers to tackle rogue operators isn’t supported by the facts – or the figures. In an article in the latest issue of the Local Government Chronicle, John Stewart – policy manager of the Residential Landlords Association – says that over two-thirds of councils across England and Wales undertook no prosecutions against private landlords last year. Even amongst those councils…

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Reliable Tenants Central Housing Group

What do tenants want? Parking and pets top the list of ‘must haves’

New research from Zoopla suggests that parking sits firmly at the top of requirements for renters – but with pet-friendly facilities a growing expectation. The portal analysed search data from its keyword property search tool to reveal the most sought-after features of a rental home. Parking was consistently ranked as the most frequently searched feature of rental homes across all regions of Great Britain except the North East of England, Scotland…

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Where are the top London boroughs for FTBs?

The debate has raged for years. North of the river or South? Well, according to the latest data and analysis from digital mortgage broker, Habito, first time buyers consistently opted for South London over North London during 2018. The data comes from a sample of more than 7,000 mortgage adviser consultations and completed applications in the Greater London area in 2018. Southwark and Lambeth top the list, while Lewisham and…

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Having a tenant from hell – it can make or break you as a landlord

Last month, during filming for the next series of ‘Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords’ (due to air on Channel 5 later this year), we carried out an eviction in Cardiff. Although Landlord Action features in a programme with the term ‘rogue landlord’ in the title, I’m a little tired of the phrase being bandied about so freely in the press that the adjective ‘rogue’ seems to permanently precede the word ‘landlord’. There are…

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Beds In Sheds Central Housing Group

Buy to let investor has £20,000 bill after failing to apply for council licence

A buy to let investor has been landed with a fine and costs of over £20,000 because he failed to apply for a licence from his local council. Southwark’s Labour council prosecuted Omo Ayoade from Croydon for his failure to apply for the licence and respond to communications concerning two properties in Camberwell. The council introduced landlord licensing for all Southwark landlords in January 2016, saying it was a measure…

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Deposit-free renting Central Housing Group

What do renters really want?

The latest data released from Zoopla reveals the property types in the highest demand across the lettings and sales markets in Great Britain. According to the findings, parking is the most coveted feature of rental homes across England, Wales and Scotland; whilst three-bedroom houses are the most viewed property type on the portal by house hunters. Parking was consistently ranked as the most frequently searched feature of rental homes across…

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‘No DSS’ – momentum building to end bias against benefit tenants

Momentum is building in the campaign to end ‘No DSS’ discrimination against private rental sector tenants in receipt of housing benefit. Late last week the government revealed that it was clamping down on any apparent bias by agents and landlords against tenants receiving benefits. Now one of the largest buy to let lenders, NatWest, says it’s responding to lobbying by – amongst others – Shelter and the Residential Landlords Association…

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