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Chris Pincher is the new housing minister
Published on Fri, 14th Feb 2020 07:45
The tenth housing minister in the last ten years and the fourth in the last three years has been announced.
50-year-old Tamworth MP, Chris Pincher was previously minister of state for Europe and the Americas in the Foreign Office and before that in the Whips' Office. However Robert Jenrick has ke...
Living longer: implications of housing tenure in later life
Published on Mon, 10th Feb 2020 10:47
The Office for National Statistics published an examination of the implications of housing tenure for older people's finances, housing quality, health and accessibility. The main points of the article are:
Almost three-quarters of people aged 65 years and over in England own their home outright.
What Duties Do Landlords Have in Relation to Potential Coronavirus Infections in England and Wales?
Published on Fri, 7th Feb 2020 15:23
An article has appeared with a lawyers view on landlords duties in relation to the Coronavirus.
The full article can be seen here - note that you will have to register to read it, but registration is free.
In summary their view is that if a landlord is operating as what they call a 'bare landlord'...
Legal Aid: Law Society survey
Published on Fri, 7th Feb 2020 10:49
the Law Society has published the results of its Legal Needs of Individuals in England and Wales survey. The Law Society said that the survey demonstrated the public’s overwhelmingly support for legal aid.
Public backing was strongest for funding in domestic abuse cases (71 per cent).
For the re...
Local housing allowance
Published on Thu, 6th Feb 2020 10:40
the Local Government Association has published a report – Evidencing the link between the Local Housing Allowance freeze and homelessness – which found that more than 100,000 people would be protected from financial hardship and homelessness across the country if local housing allowance rates were ...
Beautiful homes should become the 'norm'
Published on Sat, 1st Feb 2020 14:32
Well-designed, high quality homes and tree-lined streets should be the ‘norm – not the exception’, Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has said today (30 January 2020), following the launch of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission’s final report.
Living with beauty – the first re...
Modest pick-up in house price growth in January
Published on Thu, 30th Jan 2020 09:43
Nationwide have just released their House Price Index
It can be seen here, but found that annual house price growth across Britain rose to a 14-month high as confidence in the UK market remains high following the Conservative Party´s general election win.
The average property price is currently £2...
Housing Secretary confirms £1 billion of finance to support small and medium sized builders
Published on Wed, 29th Jan 2020 16:59
Millions of pounds in new loans will be paid out to support small and medium sized firms get building, the Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has announced today (29 January 2020).
The £1 billion guarantee scheme set-up by the government ensures enough credit is available to allow smaller h...
All new HMO's in Brighton will need planning permission in the future
Published on Tue, 28th Jan 2020 15:40
Brighton and Hove Council have approved plans to make all new HMO's apply for Planning Permission in the future.
This is in addition to existing requirements for planning in parts of the city, the wards of Hanover & Elm Grove, Hollingdean & Stanmer, Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, Queen’s Park and St Pete...
Amendment to English Housing Survey
Published on Fri, 24th Jan 2020 13:30
There has been a small amendment to the English Housing Survey published just before Christmas.
The new version can be seen here, but in summary is:-
the average length that a private sector tenant lived in their current rental property was 4.4 years, up from 4.1 years in 2017-18.
In 2018-19, ...
Housing Minister gives speech on Modern Methods of Construction
Published on Fri, 24th Jan 2020 13:20
You can see the speech given by the Minister of State for Housing at Legal & General’s modular housing factory.
Published on Thu, 23rd Jan 2020 16:33
The Law Society has published its response to the Government's consultation proposing the removal of the assured short-term tenancy regime and landlords' entitlement to evict tenants before the end of a fixed-term through s21 of Housing Act 1988.
Unfortunately, the Law Society supports the aboliti...
Large Licensing Scheme approved for Waltham Forest
Published on Thu, 23rd Jan 2020 15:33
Plans to introduce a large selective licensing scheme in Waltham Forest have been approved by the government this week.
The scheme, which will cover 18 out of 20 wards in the borough, will come into affect on 1st May 2020. It will run for a period of five years ending on Wednesday 30 April 2025....
Published on Thu, 23rd Jan 2020 13:18
The Housing Ombudsman launched the first in a new series of reports providing insight into the complaints data and individual complaints received. Issue 1 of the Insight report focuses on the first six months of 2019-20, highlighting that complaints about repairs continues to be the biggest category...
Short-term lettings - London
Published on Wed, 22nd Jan 2020 14:31
London Councils have revealed that new research suggests one in every 50 homes in the capital is let on a short-term basis.
London Councils, a cross-party group representing all 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation, found 73,549 listings for London homes on online letting platforms such ...
Rented Homes Bill
Published on Wed, 22nd Jan 2020 13:21
This private member's bill, sponsored by Baroness Grender, would amend the Housing Act 1988 to abolish assured shorthold tenancies; and to extend the grounds upon which landlords of residential housing may recover possession.
It is difficult to know why this is being brought as the Government have...
Frequently asked questions following the ban on combustible materials in external walls.
Published on Tue, 21st Jan 2020 13:34
The government implemented the ban on combustible materials in external walls through the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018.
In response to questions from industry in relation to the ban, they have compiled the most frequently asked questions....
Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors
Published on Mon, 20th Jan 2020 16:39
The Government have today (20/1/20) announced new advice for building owners, with more information on fire doors.
It can be seen here, but in summary covers:_
smoke control systems for blocks of flats;
See also an accompanying assessment of flat en...
Serve eviction notice correctly
Published on Mon, 20th Jan 2020 12:03
There has been a recent case regarding an eviction from an HMO that was challenged.
An overview can be seen here and concerns the nature of how an eviction was served, and the proof used. The landlord only got away with the eviction because the tenant actually left before the required date.
How do you feel about furnished tenancies?
Published on Fri, 17th Jan 2020 11:55
The Chartered Institute of Housing has recently published a blog on the advantages of letting furnished accommodation.
To see the blog click here.
Housing Minister makes a speech on on the updated National Planning Policy Framework
Published on Thu, 16th Jan 2020 16:48
The Housing Minister has made a speech on the updated National Planning Policy Framework: setting out the government’s planning policies for England and how they should be applied.
See the full text here.
Private rental growth indices: October to December 2019
Published on Wed, 15th Jan 2020 11:31
the Office for National Statistics has published an article comparing growth, during October to December 2019, in the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (which measures the change in price of renting residential property from private landlords) with other measures of private rental growth.
Thanet Council publish their proposed Housing Strategy
Published on Mon, 13th Jan 2020 16:38
Thanet District Council have published their draft Housing Strategy
The purpose of the draft Housing Strategy is to guide how the council approaches the housing needs of all Thanet’s residents. It looks at the way existing accommodation is managed and how best to plan the delivery of new homes in t...
Local Housing Allowance increase
Published on Mon, 13th Jan 2020 11:24
The Department for Work and Pensions announced that Local Housing Allowance rates will rise by inflation (ie 1.7 per cent) from April 2020. The DWP estimates that there are around 1.4 million people in the private rental sector receiving Local Housing Allowance, and this change will provide an avera...
Electrical Certificates to be mandatory
Published on Mon, 13th Jan 2020 11:10
Parliament has passed the necessary legislation to allow mandatory electrical certificates to be introduced.
As from July 1st this year all new tenancies will require to have a valid 5 year electrical safety certificate before the let can commence.
Then from April 1st 2021 all tenancies must have ...
Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
Published on Fri, 10th Jan 2020 11:49
This government bill would amend the electronic communications code set out in Schedule 3A to the Communications Act 2003; by doing so, it would address one stated policy barrier: making it easier for telecoms companies to access multi-dwelling buildings (such as blocks of flats) where a tenant has ...
Lords push to increase EPC rating
Published on Fri, 10th Jan 2020 11:45
Lord Foster of Bath has introduced the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill, which would require the Secretary of State to ensure that domestic properties have a minimum energy performance rating of C on an Energy Performance Certificate; to make provision regarding performance and insulatio...
The new EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill
Published on Mon, 6th Jan 2020 16:44
The new EU Withdrawal Bill has just been published.
More details can be seen here. ...
Housing Secretary pledges new funding to crackdown on criminal landlords
Published on Fri, 3rd Jan 2020 12:14
The Housing Secretary has today (3/1/20) announced support for councils to deal with criminal landlords and agents.
Stating 'The majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, but a small minority persist in breaking the law, making tenants’ lives a misery by offering inadequate or u...
Government announces the Renter's Reform Bill
Published on Mon, 23rd Dec 2019 11:31
We are yet to see the actual Bill, but we understand it will contain:-
the controversial scrapping of so called ‘no fault’ evictions by removing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and reforming the grounds for possession;
giving landlords more rights to gain possession of their property thr...
Prime Minister pledges new action to eliminate homelessness and rough sleeping
Published on Mon, 23rd Dec 2019 11:10
Over £260 million has been committed for local authorities to support people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes.
See more information here. ...
Published on Fri, 20th Dec 2019 11:38
The House of Commons Library has prepared an update on Flood RE.
Flood Re helps to manage an affordable market for flood insurance for most householders, but unfortunately doesn't currently extend to rental property, or commercial.
Building better in the next Parliament
Published on Fri, 20th Dec 2019 11:34
As part of their regular updates, the House of Commons Library have just released a briefing on potential changes to building standards.
It can be seen here. ...
Biggest multi-billion pound spending increase for councils in a decade
Published on Fri, 20th Dec 2019 11:15
Local authorities across England will receive a share of £49.1 billion local government funding for the coming financial year to help them deliver essential services for local communities, including an extra £1.5 billion for social care.
See more details here.
Published on Thu, 19th Dec 2019 13:51
The Queens Speech was delivered today (December 19th)
The part on Housing has been released by the Housing Minister, entitled 'Delivering fairer, more affordable homes for buyers and renters'. Details can be seen here, but the matters affecting landlords are:-
confirm the abolition of the Secti...
Housing: Raising quality and supply
Published on Wed, 18th Dec 2019 12:45
See the latest briefing paper from the House of Commons library.
Entitled Housing: Raising quality and supply it can be seen here and covers:-
the Private Rented Sector.
Housing: Raising quality and supply
Published on Wed, 18th Dec 2019 11:49
The House of Commons Library has just released a report on raising the quality and supply in housing....
Published on Wed, 18th Dec 2019 11:19
The Government have just released this document on rentcharges.
Covering what rentcharges are, how to apply to pay only your share of ('apportion') a rentcharge, or apply to buy out ('redeem') your rentchange it can be seen here.
Housing conditions in the private rented sector
Published on Tue, 17th Dec 2019 11:47
The House of Commons Library have just released a briefing paper providing an overview of housing conditions in the private rented sector, explains the legislation regulating standards in the sector and identifies some of the key issues with the current legal framework....
House prices by constituency.
Published on Tue, 17th Dec 2019 11:42
A new report can be seen here providing constituency-level data on house prices in England and Wales. It also shows the latest data for neighbourhoods within each constituency.
The house price figures used are the median price paid for properties over the twelve months to the date shown. The figure...
Private rented sector: learning toolkit for local authorities
Published on Tue, 17th Dec 2019 11:22
The Government have just updated their interactive resource to help Local Authorities to enforce against 'Rogue' Landlords and agents.
It can be seen here. ...
Housing conditions in the private rented sector
Published on Tue, 17th Dec 2019 08:47
The House of Commons Library issues regular briefing papers.
This one can be seen here, and provides an overview of housing conditions in the private rented sector, explains the legislation regulating standards in the sector and identifies some of the key issues with the current legal framework....
Hastings are consulting on a new Selective Licensing scheme.
Published on Mon, 16th Dec 2019 13:25
We have received the following:-
CONSULTATION ON NEW HOUSING SELECTIVE LICENSING SCHEME FOR 2020
What we are consulting on
The current Housing Selective Licensing Scheme was introduced on 26 October 2015. Under the Housing Act 2004 a scheme is only allowed to run for five years. Therefore it ...
Law of Property Act receivers
Published on Mon, 16th Dec 2019 11:55
This Commons briefing paper provides an overview of Law of Property Act receivers. In particular, it looks at how LPA receivers are appointed; their powers; and their role.
The Future Homes Standard: changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for new dwellings
Published on Mon, 16th Dec 2019 11:26
The Government have extended their review of Part L and F of Building Regs.
Part L deals with contains requirements relating to the conservation of fuel and power and is to uplifted. Part F is guidance for ventilation and maintaining indoor air quality.
Details can be seen here, and the actual co...
It’s a do or die moment
Published on Tue, 3rd Dec 2019 12:29
John Perry and Christopher Sinn CIH Blog 2 December 2019 – to read the article, click here
What do the election manifestos mean for local government funding?
Published on Tue, 3rd Dec 2019 12:27
David Phillips Institute for Fiscal Studies 2 December 2019 – to read the article, click here
Après nous le déluge – rents and water resellers
Published on Mon, 2nd Dec 2019 12:24
Giles Peaker Nearly Legal 1 December 2019 – to read the article, click here
Disability and housing: 2019
Published on Mon, 2nd Dec 2019 12:04
The Office for National Statistics has published a series of bulletins exploring the outcomes for disabled people across a number of areas of life, including housing. The housing bulletin states that:
Disabled people in 2019 were less likely to own their own home, with just 42.4 per cent owning t...
Tenants on benefits
Published on Mon, 2nd Dec 2019 11:32
The Guardian has reported that official data obtained by housing charity Shelter found that “Britain’s poorest private tenants are having to find an average of £113 a month to meet a shortfall between their housing benefit payments and their rent”.
London renters on full benefits faced the widest ...
Between structural defects and structural repairs
Published on Sun, 1st Dec 2019 12:12
Giles Peaker Nearly Legal 30 November 2019 – to read the article, click here
Smoke alarm failures
Published on Sun, 1st Dec 2019 11:53
On 30 November 2019 the Local Government Association released figures showing that almost 40 per cent of battery-powered smoke alarms failed to activate in residential fires in England in the past year. One-fifth (21 per cent) of mains-powered smoke alarms failed to operate in residential fires in 2...
Dawn raid finds 17 men living in three-bedroom terrace – Brent
Published on Fri, 29th Nov 2019 12:07
On 27 November 2019 Brent Council reported that enforcement officers had found 17 men sleeping on mattresses during a dawn raid. The tenants were crammed inside a three-bedroom, two-storey terrace house in Coles Green Road, Dollis Hill. The raid followed a tip-off about a suspected unlicensed house ...
Who would be better for the Housing market?
Published on Thu, 28th Nov 2019 16:58
A recent survey has compared the housing market under Labour versus the Conservatives.
Surprisingly it found that house price growth was generally stronger under a Labour Prime Minister vs a Conservative Prime Minister.
See the actual survey here....
Tories set out general election housing pledges
Published on Mon, 25th Nov 2019 16:05
A million more homes will be delivered in the next five years under the Conservative party’s housing pledges, which include a range of measures to encourage home ownership
The policies, revealed last week but confirmed in the manifesto launch yesterday (Sunday 24), did not set a target for affordab...
Labour vows to introduce rent controls and take on 'dodgy' landlords
Published on Mon, 25th Nov 2019 15:06
Labour said it will introduce new controls to help renters take on "dodgy" landlords.
Rents capped at inflation nationally and powers for further controls for areas facing high rent hikes, with local housing allowance increased to cover the cost of renting
The party will announce a new natio...
Boris confirms end to Section 21 evictions and launches ‘Lifetime Deposits’
Published on Thu, 21st Nov 2019 14:14
Boris Johnson has revealed several major shifts in government policy for the private rented sector and, as predicted, has put evictions at the centre of the General Election housing debate.
In an article published by The Sun newspaper early this morning, Johnson has confirmed that the g...
Housing Ombudsman’s consultations
Published on Wed, 20th Nov 2019 16:47
The Housing Ombudsman has launched consultations on two documents aimed at providing a faster, more accessible and more transparent service.
Both the Business Plan for 2020-21 and revised Housing Ombudsman Scheme propose changes to meet the challenges of unprecedented demand for the service and to...
Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme: Towards a more sustainable service
Published on Wed, 20th Nov 2019 16:44
The government is consulting on proposals to change the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme.
The aim of these proposals is to ensure that the Scheme is sustainable into the future, in order to maintain this vital service for those who need it. The key proposals in this consultation are:
Rogue landlord banning order
Published on Mon, 18th Nov 2019 16:36
Camden Council reported that it had obtained London’s first rogue landlord banning order against a man who “repeatedly placed tenants’ lives at risk through letting unsafe housing”.
Following a hearing at the first tier tribunal, the decision was subsequently made to ban Cesar De Sousa Melo for fo...
Is an old version of the prescribed section 8 notice still useable?
Published on Thu, 14th Nov 2019 16:54
See an article by Michael Grant Local Government Lawyer 14 November 2019 – to read the article, click here...
Housing supply 2018-2019
Published on Thu, 14th Nov 2019 16:41
MHCLG have published estimates of changes in the size of the dwelling stock in England.
Annual housing supply amounted to 241,130 net additional dwellings in 2018-19, up 9 per cent on 2017-18. The net additions resulted from 213,660 new build homes, 29,260 gains from change of use between non-dome...
Mortgage possession statistics – England and Wales
Published on Thu, 14th Nov 2019 16:39
The Ministry of Justice published quarterly national statistics on possession claim actions in county courts by mortgage lenders and social and private landlords.
The statistics cover the period from July to September 2019. Mortgage possession claims have increased for the fifth consecutive quarte...
Private sector landlord regulation
Published on Mon, 4th Nov 2019 12:30
The Residential Landlords Association published analysis finding that “the number of laws creating an obligation on private landlords has increased by 32 per cent since 2010”. According to the analysis, the total number of regulations affecting landlords has increased to 156, up from 118 when the Co...
Published on Mon, 4th Nov 2019 12:26
The MHCLG announced an additional £4 million of funding for councils to tackle criminal landlords. Councils can bid for a slice of funding to step up enforcement action against landlords who break the law and provide inadequate service to their tenants. This is the second year of this fund. Last yea...
Published on Sun, 3rd Nov 2019 12:25
On 3 November 2019 the Government announced that working-age benefits such as universal credit and jobseeker's allowance will rise by 1.7 per cent from April 2020. A freeze on benefits has been in place since 2015.
For comment by Crisis, click here. For a report by BBC News of the announcement, cl...
Brexit Tax Shocker On The Way For Brits With Property In Europe
Published on Thu, 31st Oct 2019 17:51
British landlords with holiday homes to let in Europe will face extra taxes after Brexit.
Paying more tax is an unforeseen consequence of Brexit that thousands of property owners will have to face.
So far, the worst deal for British taxpayers owning property in Europe looks to be in Spain, which a...
Capital Gains Tax changes: owners advised to seek financial advice
Published on Thu, 31st Oct 2019 17:39
A tax expert is urging owners of second homes, as well as property investors and existing landlords, to seek independent financial advice if they are considering selling their home - particularly if they anticipate the sale process going beyond April 6 next year.
On that data the Capital Gains Tax ...
Tax perks demanded for landlords who use deposit alternatives
Published on Thu, 31st Oct 2019 17:03
One of the leading providers of deposit alternatives in the UK wants the government to embrace the option - even to the point of giving landlords who use it tax incentives.
flatfair, which boasts many lettings agencies amongst its customers, says in a response to the government’s call for evidence ...
Government urged to reform the rental deposit system
Published on Wed, 30th Oct 2019 17:56
When renting a property out, landlords recognise that it is important to take a deposit from the tenant and place it in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme as protection to ensure that any potential damage or unpaid rent at the end of the tenancy is covered.
However, raising enough money fo...
HMO landlord fined
Published on Wed, 30th Oct 2019 17:08
The owner of a house believed to be occupied by multiple tenants has been prosecuted by a Kent council for failing to co-operate with the authority.
Josh Basharart Ahmad was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £650 in legal costs and a victim surcharge of £170 after being found guilty at Canterbury Ma...
Election is chance to woo new landlords into lettings sector
Published on Tue, 29th Oct 2019 17:15
The likely general election is an opportunity for the government to make the lettings sector more appealing for would-be landlords, says ARLA.
“With the possibility of a general election approaching, we hope that the government recognises the importance of increasing supply for tenants and uses it ...
New mortgage encourages students to become first time landlords
Published on Tue, 29th Oct 2019 17:11
A new building society mortgage product is aimed at allowing students to become first time buyers and to simultaneously become first time landlords, too, by letting to other students.
Vernon Building Society has launched the new product, which is a 100 per cent mortgage.
It offers a five-year disc...
Help to Buy extended
Published on Tue, 29th Oct 2019 16:00
The Government has confirmed it will extend its Help to Buy equity loan scheme from 2021 to 2023. However, this extension will be restricted to first-time buyers purchasing newly built homes.
From 2021, there will also be new regional price caps which could reduce the maximum value of homes that ca...
Rent controls & Section 21
Published on Tue, 29th Oct 2019 12:38
In his first appearance before the HCLG Select Committee the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick told them he is 'not in favour of rent controls'.
This was in response to a question from the committee on the Section 21 consultation, and the possibility of rent controls, to which he answered:-
Select Committee takes evidence from the Secretary of State
Published on Tue, 29th Oct 2019 11:47
The HCLG Select Committee examined the Secretary of State about the priorities of the MHCLG and the key issues within the Ministry’s remit.
This included Government plans to address major pressures on housing, including social housing, the private rental sector and wider housebuilding programmes. ...
Three rogue lettings agents expelled by The Property Ombudsman
Published on Thu, 24th Oct 2019 17:20
The Property Ombudsman has expelled three lettings agencies from its scheme because of unpaid awards to landlord clients.
The first is Kingsman Property Limited (trading as Kingsman Property) in Essex, which owes a landlord £14,921.23.
A landlord made a complaint to The Property Ombudsman after cl...
Shock warning that agents could be sued under selective licensing laws
Published on Tue, 22nd Oct 2019 17:25
A long-term legal critic of selective licensing is warning that letting agents could be held jointly accountable with the landlords, - and could be sued if there is a failure to secure a licence.
David Kirwan, from Kirwans law firm, says agents could be prosecuted either alongside or instead of lan...
Electrical safety standards move closer to implementation
Published on Tue, 22nd Oct 2019 16:59
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has provided authorisation to help introduce the regulations required for electrical safety standards— section 122 and 123 – under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The provisions to create regulation will take effect on 25 Octobe...
The European Withdrawal Bill
Published on Tue, 22nd Oct 2019 15:09
The Government has now published the Withdrawal Bill.
It can be seen here....
Labour council warns of “no hiding place” in rental crackdown
Published on Mon, 21st Oct 2019 17:29
A statement from Hackney council in north east London says those who break its licensing provisions for the private rental sector “have nowhere to hide.”
The Labour-dominated authority says that in parts of the borough one in five renters “suffer from issues like cold homes, disrepair, or damp and...
Housing minister calls for a digital revolution in the property sector
Published on Mon, 21st Oct 2019 13:40
Housing Minister, Esther McVey, is today (21 October 2019) announcing plans to release data held by local bodies to enable the UK PropTech sector to thrive and for them to “bring about a digital revolution in the property sector.”
The Housing Minister will announce measures to:
Open up Compuls...
The latest Withdrawal Agreement
Published on Mon, 21st Oct 2019 12:05
The House of Commons have just published an overview of the latest agreement negotiated last week.
It can be seen here.
Three-quarters of UK tenants are happy renting, Landbay research shows
Published on Thu, 17th Oct 2019 16:43
Three-quarters (75%) of UK tenants are happy to rent, according to new research from Landbay, the buy-to-let focussed marketplace lender.
Of this 75%, a third (33%) said that they are happy to rent forever. This study questioned 2,000 private renters in the UK, offering insight to landlords on the ...
Thousands more people to be given step up onto the housing ladder
Published on Thu, 17th Oct 2019 13:43
A package of measures to help people on lower incomes get onto the housing ladder have been confirmed today by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today (17 October 2019).
Plans for a new national model for shared ownership will help thousands of lower earners step onto the housing ...
Generation Rent believe tenants forced to move by Section 21 should get financial support
Published on Tue, 15th Oct 2019 16:55
Tenants should get financial support if they have to move out after a landlord decides to sell their home or move back in themselves, according to a poll commissioned by Generation Rent.
The poll was called for due to the following issues with the private rental sector (PRS) and Section 21 notices:...
Government eviction reforms “risk increasing delays”, warns Osbornes Law
Published on Tue, 15th Oct 2019 16:49
Government plans to change the law on tenant evictions may not improve tenants’ security, warns London law firm Osbornes Law.
The firm believes that such changes could risk being unworkable in practice. This is in response to a Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consultat...
Courts Dish out Thousands in Fines to Rogue HMO Landlords
Published on Mon, 14th Oct 2019 17:33
Courts have handed out fines of tens of thousands of pounds to landlords flouting housing law in recent weeks.
Letting agent Orange Living Ltd, trading as Loc8me, in Loughborough was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £3,690, at Leicester Magistrates Court.
The firm pleaded guilty to renting out fou...
Brent Council agrees to introduce additional and selective licensing
Published on Mon, 14th Oct 2019 16:25
London Borough of Brent has approved the renewal and extension of borough-wide additional licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) for a further five years, as part of a wider effort to drive up housing standards in the local private rented sector.
The decision followed a consultation tha...
Licensing – London
Published on Mon, 14th Oct 2019 12:19
Safeagent, the accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents operating in the private rented sector, have published research finding that there are over 130,000 unlicensed properties in London which should be licensed under either selective, additional or mandatory HMO licensing schemes.
Residential Market Survey predicts rent increases over next five years
Published on Sat, 12th Oct 2019 16:33
The latest report from the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) indicates that tenants face an “acceleration” in rent increases over the next five years. This is thought to be a result of the demand for private rented housing outstripping supply.
This is according to new figures publish...
Government Eviction Reform risks delay
Published on Sat, 12th Oct 2019 14:51
Government plans to end so-called ‘no fault’ evictions – and at the same time expand what amounts to a good reason to evict – may not improve tenants’ security and risk being unworkable in practice, London law firm Osbornes Law has warned.
Responding to a Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local ...
Upad closes to new business
Published on Sat, 12th Oct 2019 12:00
We're sorry to see that Upad has suddenly announced it will not be taking any new business.
On an notice on its web site they have announced that they are no longer accepting new customers, and that they are stopping collecting rents, etc after October 10th (last Thursday). If you are an existing ...
Beware of Ambulance Chasers
Published on Fri, 11th Oct 2019 12:24
Rule changes which have greatly increased the number of HMO properties across the country, are having a number of unintended consequences including an increase in the threat of ‘ambulance chaser’ firms targeting landlords.
The warning came from David Whittaker, CEO of Keystone, who was speaking at ...
Home Office issues new guidance on Right to Rent
Published on Thu, 10th Oct 2019 14:55
New guidance has been issued following a High Court ruling that measures aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from renting properties were “discriminatory” and breached human rights laws.
The “right to rent” scheme requiring landlords to check the immigration status of tenants was introduced in E...
Private rented sector and rents
Published on Thu, 10th Oct 2019 12:29
RICS published its September 2019 UK Residential Market Survey which showed that demand from prospective tenants rose firmly for an eighth month in a row. Alongside this, landlord instructions remained in decline.
With demand still outstripping supply, members expect rent to increase over the next...
HOUSING LAWS IN THE PIPELINE
Published on Tue, 8th Oct 2019 17:19
Parliament was prorogued on 8 October and will open for a new session with the Queen’s Speech on 14 October 2019. Since no carry over motions were passed in respect of the bills below, they have now failed and in order to progress will need to be reintroduced in the next session.Local Housing Author...
Housing benefit freeze: NHF research
Published on Mon, 7th Oct 2019 17:04
The National Housing Federation published research which found that the housing benefit freeze is pushing low income families to the brink, with more than nine in ten homes for private rent (94 per cent) too expensive for those on housing benefit. Two-thirds of these families (65 per cent) are in wo...
Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme
Published on Fri, 4th Oct 2019 17:08
The Ministry of Justice launched a consultation on proposals which, it says, will enhance legal support for those facing eviction or repossession. The Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) offers free ‘on-the-day’ legal advice to anyone in danger of being evicted from their home or having the...
House building: April to June 2019 – England
Published on Thu, 3rd Oct 2019 17:13
MHCLG have published statistics for house building in England between April and June 2019.
In that period new build dwelling starts were estimated at 37,220 (seasonally adjusted), a 2 per cent decrease compared to the previous three months and an 8 per cent decrease on a year earlier. Completions ...
Leasehold and commonhold reform
Published on Wed, 2nd Oct 2019 17:16
The House of Commons held a Westminster Hall debate on progress with leasehold and commonhold reform.
The Housing Minister, Esther McVey, responding on behalf of the Government, said that it was committed to improving consumer fairness for leaseholders. She added: “The Law Commission is analysing ...
Right to reside after Brexit
Published on Wed, 2nd Oct 2019 12:34
The AIRE Centre has published a series of information sheets about the right of EEA nationals to remain in the UK after Brexit under the EU Settlement Scheme.
For the information sheets, click here....
Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales: 2018
Published on Tue, 1st Oct 2019 17:02
The Office for National Statistics have just published statistics of the number of deaths of homeless people in England and Wales. Figures are given for deaths registered in the years 2013 to 2018. The statistical release shows:
There were an estimated 726 deaths of homeless people registered in ...
Houses in multiple occupation – England and Wales
Published on Mon, 30th Sep 2019 17:11
The House of Commons Library published a briefing paper setting out the legal framework in England and Wales for controlling standards in HMOs.
It considers the powers available to local authorities to carry out enforcement work. For the briefing paper, click here....
NRLA names Ben Beadle as new chief executive
Published on Wed, 25th Sep 2019 16:04
The newly formed National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has announced Ben Beadle as its new chief executive.
Beadle will become the organisation’s first chief executive when it officially launches on Wednesday 1st January 2020.
The NRLA, formed from the recent merger of the National L...
Selective licensing review
Published on Mon, 23rd Sep 2019 10:11
A report issued in June has been re-issued with some minor modifications.
Entitled An independent review of the use and effectiveness of selective licensing the summary states:-
The Housing Act 2004 gave local authorities the power to designate areas of selective licensing to help tackle concerns ...
Lib Dems to scrap Section 21
Published on Thu, 19th Sep 2019 20:31
The Liberal Democrats have passed a motion which will scrap Section 21 'No Fault Evictions' in the private rented sector if they come to power at the next general election.
Members voted for the new policy at their party conference in Bournemouth by an overwhelming majority.
The Conference confirm...
Small amendment to Planning Law
Published on Thu, 19th Sep 2019 13:46
The Government have issued a small amendment to Part B (Fire Safety Regs).
You can see the notice of correction here; and the full documents here.
See the previous article containing the Governments intention to make this change.
Base Rate unchanged with inflation below target
Published on Thu, 19th Sep 2019 13:26
The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has today voted unanimously to maintain the Bank Base Rate at 0.75%. This is largely because inflationary pressures have dropped below the medium term target of 2% with August’s CPI at 1.7%, down from 2.1% in July and increased volatility in exchan...
Right to Buy sales in England: April to June 2019
Published on Thu, 19th Sep 2019 10:00
The Government has just released statistics their Right to Buy Scheme.
The Right to Buy scheme allows eligible social housing tenants to buy their house at a reduced price and has been in place since 1980. These statistics relate only to sales by local authorities under the scheme, excluding sales...
Modern methods of construction: government response to the Select Committee report
Published on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 14:02
The Government have responded to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee's report on modern methods of construction.
It can be seen here....
Lowest annual house price growth since September 2012
Published on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 13:34
The ONS have just released the Housing Price Index for July 2019.
The report can be seen here, but in summary is:-
Monthly house price inflation in the UK, calculated using data from HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland, and Land and Property Services Northern Ireland.
Average house prices in ...
RLA & NLA vote to merge
Published on Wed, 18th Sep 2019 13:02
Both the NLA and the RLA voted yesterday to formally merge.
As previously announced the members were given the opportunity to vote on a motion put forward by their boards. That vote has now been positive.
The two Chairs, Alan Ward (RLA) and Adrian Jeakings (NLA), have said in a joint statement: “...
Lib Dems vote to abolish Section 21
Published on Tue, 17th Sep 2019 13:42
The Liberal Democrats have voted to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions by a reform of the Housing Act 1988.
In April, the government announced plans to scrap no-fault evictions in England, with Wales also planning to end no-fault evictions following a consultation in July....
Gavin Barwell to become a Lord
Published on Fri, 13th Sep 2019 13:50
In her resignation honours list, Theresa May has made the former Housing Minister a Lord...
Rogue letting agents
Published on Fri, 13th Sep 2019 13:10
The London Trading Standards revealed that more than 46 per cent of 1,922 agents inspected in the 15 months up to June 2019 by local council trading standards officers were non-compliant with either the Consumer Rights Act and/or the legislation on redress scheme membership.
During that period lett...
Rogue landlord in Westminster ordered to pay £400,000
Published on Thu, 12th Sep 2019 13:13
Westminster City Council reported that a rogue landlord who divided his three-bedroom home into eight flats, without planning permission, has been fined £90,000 and ordered to pay a confiscation order of £400,000.
The defendant – who had been charging over £1,000 per month in rent for each of the ‘...
What laws have been lost after Parliament's suspension?
Published on Thu, 12th Sep 2019 13:08
Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament means 12 high-profile government bills have been lost, including a law protecting victims of domestic abuse and key pieces of post-Brexit legislation.
See a BBC review of the main bills lost, although the Prime Minister has said that the Domestic Abuse Bill ...
Two 'How to' guides updated
Published on Fri, 6th Sep 2019 14:06
The Government have update two of the Guides in the How to series.
How to sell a Home can be seen here;
How to buy a Home here.
There are now 6 How to guides:-
How to rent – a guide for current and prospective tenants. NOTE THIS IS THE ONE TO ISSUE TO ALL TENANTS.
How to rent a safe home...
Planning Obligations (Section 106 Agreements)
Published on Fri, 6th Sep 2019 10:15
The House of Commons Library have just released a paper on Section 106 obligations.
The paper can be seen here, and the preamble states:-
This briefing looks at recent changes to planning obligations, the appeals process surrounding them and how planning obligations interact with the Community Inf...
Sprinkler review for high-rise homes
Published on Thu, 5th Sep 2019 14:18
Thousands of residents will benefit from safer homes under proposals that would see sprinklers installed in new high-rise blocks of flats, the government announced today (5 September 2019).
The proposals are an important step forward in the government’s commitment to ensuring residents are safe in ...
Labour could force landlord to sell home to tenant.
Published on Tue, 3rd Sep 2019 17:33
A Labour government would look to bring in a radical “right-to-buy” scheme to help millions of private tenants in the UK buy their rented homes for a “reasonable” price, the shadow chancellor has said.
John McDonnell said he wanted to tackle the “burgeoning buy-to-let market” and problem landlords ...
Must planning committees follow officers' advice in reaching decisions?
Published on Fri, 30th Aug 2019 10:30
This briefing examines the relationship between planning officers and councillors and how published guidance deals with the considerations that might arise when planning committees overturn officers’ advice. It applies to England only.
The summary can be seen here. ...
RLA & NLA to merge
Published on Thu, 29th Aug 2019 17:36
It's just been announced that the RLA & NLA are proposing to merge.
See here for more details
Universal Credit landlord newsletter - August
Published on Thu, 29th Aug 2019 17:33
See here for the latest newsletter from Universal Credit.
Published on Wed, 28th Aug 2019 10:10
The Government have just issued a document on getting more people on the owner occupier ladder.
Entitled New national model for shared ownership seeks states:-
The government is reviewing a new national model for shared ownership to make it easier for people to buy more of their own home, includin...
Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour
Published on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 13:07
The House of Commons library have just released a useful briefing paper on dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)
Whilst it is aimed at Social Landlords, there are parts that would be useful for landlords in the PRS as well.
The full report can be seen here, but a summary states:-
Appeal allowed on timing of CP12
Published on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 10:10
There was a case last year where the judge ruled that if a Gas Certificate (CP12) had not been served prior to occupation for a new tenancy, all Sections 21's would be invalid.
See our previous article here.
There has now been a separate case (Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield (B5/2019/0499) ...
The UK PRS is now larger than the GDP of some countries
Published on Tue, 20th Aug 2019 09:32
Research commissioned by PropTech firm Bunk - which markets a rental app handling advertising, tenant referencing and management of properties to let - finds that there are now just over 5.2m private tenants in the UK.
When multiplying the number of tenants in each county of the UK by the average ...
ARLA blasts government threat to end freedom of movement on October 31
Published on Tue, 20th Aug 2019 09:24
The Association of Residential Letting Agents made a short sharp attack on the government last night, over freedom of movement and Brexit.
Yesterday the government appeared to go back on earlier assurances on freedom of movement, saying that the EU's free movement rules would end immediately at th...
Leasehold and commonhold reform
Published on Tue, 20th Aug 2019 09:14
The House of Commons Library have recently released a paper on trends in leasehold ownership and ongoing problems associated with the sector.
The Government has committed to legislate in this area "as soon as Parliamentary time allows".
A summary of the paper can be seen here, which also has a lin...
Labour reveals five point plan to organise tenants against landlords
Published on Mon, 19th Aug 2019 09:35
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted over the weekend about "five ways to take on rogue landlords" - and the video he links to pulls no punches about what he and Labour appear to think about those who operate the private rental sector.
The video then outlines Labour’s five steps to tackling rogue ...
Housing and public attitude: CIH survey
Published on Mon, 12th Aug 2019 16:31
The Chartered Institute of Housing has just reported the results of a survey conducted for it by Ipsos MORI. According to the survey:
73 per cent believe there is a housing crisis in Britain and 67 per cent think that the government can do something about the country’s housing problems.
57 per c...
Once bitten, twice (or thrice) shy
Published on Sun, 11th Aug 2019 17:14
Giles Peaker Nearly Legal 11 August 2019 – to read the article, click here ...
Equality and Homeless Appeals
Published on Sun, 11th Aug 2019 17:12
Giles Peaker Nearly Legal 11 August 2019 – to read the article, click here ...
Mandatory Electrical Safety Checks
Published on Fri, 9th Aug 2019 15:15
MHCLG have just made the following announcement:-
It will soon be the law for private landlords to have their properties’ electrical installations inspected every five years, fix any serious problems and give tenants and the council a copy of the report. This is part of our work to improve ...
Accessibility standards in new homes: new report
Published on Thu, 8th Aug 2019 16:46
Age UK and Habinteg Housing released a new campaigning factsheet which calls for all new homes to be built to higher accessibility standards. The report states that there are 6.5 million people with mobility problems and 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and unless homes become more adaptable, ...
RICS Residential Market Survey - July 2019
Published on Thu, 8th Aug 2019 16:40
RICS has published the July 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey which showed that landlord instructions had fallen once again, extending a run of continuous decline stretching back over the past thirteen quarters.
The survey stated that “given the current imbalance between supply and demand, near ...
Landlord possession statistics – England and Wales
Published on Thu, 8th Aug 2019 16:33
The Ministry of Justice has published quarterly national statistics on possession claim actions in county courts by mortgage lenders and social and private landlords. The statistics cover the period from April to June 2019. Landlord possession claims (26,695) and orders for possession (21,384) decre...
New Section 21
Published on Thu, 8th Aug 2019 15:30
The Government have today released a new version of the Section 21 (form 6a).
The reason for releasing it has not been stated. The new version can be seen here, and the notes here....
Our plan to end rough sleeping – how H&F is bucking a London-wide trend
Published on Wed, 7th Aug 2019 17:11
Hammersmith & Fulham Council website 7 August 2019 – to read the article, click here ...
My three wishes for the comprehensive spending review 2019
Published on Wed, 7th Aug 2019 17:09
Melanie Rees CIH Blog 7 August 2019 – to read the blog, click here ...
Families and households: 2018
Published on Wed, 7th Aug 2019 16:43
The Office for National Statistics published data for 2018 showing trends in living arrangements including families (with and without dependent children), people living alone and people in shared accommodation, broken down by size and type of household. The data show that in 2018:
There were 19.1...
New How To Rent Guide
Published on Wed, 7th Aug 2019 15:30
The Government have just made some minor amendments to the How to Rent Guide.
The new version can be seen here, and should be used for all new AST's from today (7/8/19). Note that it is not considered necessary to re-issue to any existing tenancy, unless a Section 21 is being served, in which case...
Draft Kent & Medway Housing Strategy Consultation
Published on Wed, 7th Aug 2019 12:00
Kent Housing Group has just published its draft Housing Strategy.
Details can be seen here and is structured around 4 main themes:-
Theme 1 – Accelerating Housing Delivery
Theme 2 – Infrastructure and Investment
Theme 3 – Affordability
Theme 4 – Health and Wellbeing
Note that the consultat...
Leasehold reform update – Part 1
Published on Tue, 6th Aug 2019 17:07
Lynn James Trowers & Hamlins 6 August 2019 – to read the article, click here ...
Leasehold and commonhold reform
Published on Tue, 6th Aug 2019 16:38
The House of Commons Library published a briefing paper considering trends in leasehold ownership and ongoing problems associated with the sector. The Government has committed to legislate in this area "as soon as Parliamentary time allows".
For the briefing paper, click here. ...
Service charges: time limits for demands
Published on Mon, 5th Aug 2019 16:49
Landmark Chambers have reported that in West India Quay Ltd v ETAL Ltd, the landlord has been granted permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) to argue that Brent LBC v Shulem B Association Ltd  EWHC 1663 (Ch),  1 WLR 3014, was wrongly decided.
In that case it was hel...
Tenants are happy with their current homes
Published on Mon, 5th Aug 2019 11:02
The recent English House survey has concluded most of private renting tenants are more than happy with their current 'homes'. The full survey can be found here, but in summary:-
84% of tenants stated that they were satisfied with their accommodation.
The majority of renters (71%) stated that the...
National landlord registration scheme for England
Published on Thu, 1st Aug 2019 10:53
The CIEH is demanding a national landlord registration scheme for England.
Tamara Sandoul, Housing Policy Spokesperson at CIEH, said:
“This new national landlord register is absolutely necessary if we are going to properly get a grip on poor housing conditions in the private rented sector.
Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: call for evidence
Published on Wed, 31st Jul 2019 17:03
The Government regards the Homelessness Reduction Act as a key lever for reducing homelessness and helping to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and ending it altogether. This call for evidence seeks to gather evidence on:
the impact the Act has had and the outcomes that are being achieved;...
Airbnb host fined £100,000 for letting council flat
Published on Mon, 29th Jul 2019 15:31
The BBC have recently reported a case of a council tenant letting his rental property on Airbnb and being evicted and fined over £100,000.
The moral is to be very careful with an Airbnb letting if you don't have appropriate permission to let....
Final lineup at the Ministry
Published on Mon, 29th Jul 2019 11:27
Hopefully the shakeup at MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government)
The final lineup is:-
Secretary of State - Robert Jenrick;
Housing Minister - Esther McVey;
Parliamentary Under Secretary - Luke Hall;
Minister for Northern Powerhouse - Jake Berry.
On the old web site fo...
CIH chief executive to retire at the end of November
Published on Mon, 29th Jul 2019 10:52
The Chartered Institute of Housing has announced that its chief executive Terrie Alafat will retire at the end of November. Current deputy chief executive Gavin Smart will then become CIH’s chief executive. For the announcement, click here....
Heather Wheeler moves to the Foreign Office
Published on Mon, 29th Jul 2019 10:00
The stalwart of the Homelessness has been moved to the Foreign Office.
We will publish the full list of misters dealing with housing....
New Housing Ministers
Published on Thu, 25th Jul 2019 08:00
The new Prime Minister has made many much publicised ministerial changes.
Among the changes is that James Brokenshire was removed as the Secretary of State for MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) and replaced by Robert Jenrick.
Mr Jenrick is a solicitor by training, special...
Government starts consultation on ending the Section 21.
Published on Mon, 22nd Jul 2019 13:17
We have made you aware that the Government is proposing to abolish the use of the Section 21 notice.
Previous articles on this can be seen here; here and here. Additionally Jeremy Corbyn; CAB and Shelter have called for abolition of the S21.
iHowz were part of a coalition that wrote to the Mini...
Government launches review of 'Rogues' database
Published on Sun, 21st Jul 2019 12:17
The horribly named 'Rogues' database has not been a success.
Part of the problem is the lack of access for landlords and the like. So if a landlord wanted to appoint a manager who is on the database they have no way of telling, apart from asking the potential manager. The Prime Minister Theresa M...
Mayor of London publishes report on Private Renting Reform.
Published on Fri, 19th Jul 2019 15:59
The Mayor of London has just published a report – Reforming private renting: The Mayor of London’s blueprint – setting out how he considers the private rented sector in London should be changed to give renters open-ended tenancies and to create powers to bring rents down. The Mayor is calling for po...
New report published on Section 21
Published on Fri, 19th Jul 2019 00:15
Earlier this year the RLA started a survey on landlords use of the Section 21.
We urged our members take part in this, and the report has just been issued.
The full report can be seen here, but the Executive Summary is:-
Our findings show clearly that landlords are not litigious – and like to k...
Regulation of Property Agents
Published on Thu, 18th Jul 2019 15:45
The Working Group on the 'Regulation of Property Agents' chaired by Lord Best has just published its final report.
The full report can be seen here and reports on:-
a model for an independent property-agent regulator, including how it will operate and how it will enforce compliance;
a single, m...
Outcomes of report on Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) scoping review
Published on Mon, 15th Jul 2019 10:57
Earlier this year the Government carried out a brief review of HHSRS which iHowz participated in.
The Government have just published their comments on the review, and have announced they are to:-
Review and update the current HHSRS Operating Guidance.
Develop a comprehensive set of Worked Examp...
Ending leasehold ownership: Labour Party proposals
Published on Thu, 11th Jul 2019 11:08
The Labour Party published plans to end leasehold ownership of houses and flats.
It proposes five key changes:1. End the sale of new private leasehold houses with direct effect and the sale of private leasehold flats by the end of the party’s first term in Government.2. End ground rents for new lea...
New Fire regs
Published on Fri, 5th Jul 2019 17:09
The Government have just issued a new version of the Part B fire regs.
The approved documents can be seen here, and statutory guidance here. ...
New stats from Government
Published on Thu, 4th Jul 2019 16:00
MHCLG have just released a series of reports:-
House building: new build dwellings statistics
Live tables on house building: new build dwellings
House building: new build dwellings, England: January to March 2019
Planning guidance: letters to chief planning officers
Leasehold reform: governme...
Potential reforms to Tenancy Deposit schemes
Published on Thu, 4th Jul 2019 15:56
There is a working party considering tenancy deposits.
They are calling for evidence to ' understand the barriers tenants face providing a second deposit when moving from one tenancy to the next. It looks at what can be done to speed up the return of deposits to tenants at the end of the tenancy.' ...
How to complain about a solicitor
Published on Thu, 4th Jul 2019 15:40
The House of Commons library have just issued some new advice.
See it here.
They have also issued advice on how to complain about a charity - see it here.
New 'How to Lease' booklet released
Published on Wed, 3rd Jul 2019 16:09
MHCLG have just released a new version of this guide.
It can be seen here....
Landlord trends in the last quarter
Published on Wed, 3rd Jul 2019 12:13
Paragon have just released their quarterly review of the Private Rented Sector (PRS).
The full report can be seen here, but the headlines are:-
the average number of properties ( and value) is rising slightly;
but it's the larger scale landlords who are driving the change.
Average gearing has ...
Leasehold reform: government response to the Select Committee report
Published on Wed, 3rd Jul 2019 11:29
On 3 July 2019 the MHCLG published its response to the HCLG Select Committee’s report on leasehold reform published on 20 March 2019. The Government agrees with the following measures recommended in that report:
give clearer information to consumers on how to buy and sell leasehold properties;
New reports from the House of Commons Library
Published on Tue, 2nd Jul 2019 15:47
As part of the regular reports from the House of Commons library you can see:-
House prices by constituency
Who regulates estate agents?
Local authority data: housing supply
General Debate on Social Housing
Leaseholders in social housing: paying for...
Government says housing is 'Top Priority'
Published on Tue, 2nd Jul 2019 12:50
In a recent speech the Housing Secretary James Brokenshire “Housing is our top domestic priority – the challenge of a generation”
The full speech can be seen here, but the headlines are:-
Housing is another vital area where local authorities need to strengthen their ability to deliver.
Tenant deemed not to be 'intentionally homeless'' when served with a Section 8
Published on Mon, 1st Jul 2019 12:43
Normally when a tenant is served a Section 8 they are deemed to be intentionally homeless and are the Local Authority are therefore under no obligation to re-house them under the 2002 Homeless Act.
At a recent decision by the Supreme Court Lord Carnwath stated that it was “hard to see on what basis...
All new homes sold to be Freehold
Published on Fri, 28th Jun 2019 14:35
The Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire, has just made a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing where he confirmed plans to abolish the selling of new houses as leasehold properties and reduce ground rents for new leases to zero putting cash back into the pockets of future homeowners.
Government will ban sale of new-build houses as leasehold
Published on Fri, 28th Jun 2019 14:33
The government will outlaw the sale of new-build houses as leasehold, a form of ownership that has saddled thousands of homeowners with extortionate fees and, in the worst cases, unsellable properties.
All new houses will be sold on a freehold basis and ground rents on new leases will be reduced to...
Outgoing PM makes a speech on Housing
Published on Thu, 27th Jun 2019 14:33
Theresa May has made a speech on housing.
The full speech can be seen here; the highlights are:-
she has claimed in an increase in additional homes all across the UK, apart from 'The notable exception is London – where housing policy is in the hands of the Mayor, and the number of new homes bein...
Citizens Advice calling for National Housing Body
Published on Wed, 26th Jun 2019 14:41
The Citizens Advice have conducted a survey into the PRS and have concluded that renters do not enjoy the same level of consumer protection as other markets.
In a new report they call for a national body that 'would be able to take steps such as improving communications around rules and their in...
Government propose to raise EPC standard to C
Published on Thu, 6th Jun 2019 14:48
Landlords are being invited to attend energy efficiency workshops that are being run by the Department for Business, Energy, Industry and Strategy (BEIS) this summer.
The workshops will be held ahead of a formal consultation, and they are taking place in the following locations.
London – Thursda...
Coalition of associations fight Section 21 abolition.
Published on Tue, 4th Jun 2019 00:15
iHowz are part of a coalition of landlord groups formed as a pressure group.
For the first time in many years, 18 landlord group met to agree the next way to fight the proposed abolition of the Section 21.
In a press release they make the point that the Section 21 is frequently used because of the...
New Section 21
Published on Fri, 31st May 2019 16:59
Note that because of the Tenant Fees Ban there will be a new Section 21 for any AST issued June 1st onwards.
The actual S21 (form 6a) hasn't been released yet, but will look like this.
It cannot be used in the first 4 months of a new AST, so won't be required until October ast - this being the fi...
Government updates How to booklets
Published on Fri, 31st May 2019 15:25
The Government have today (31/5/19) released new versions in their 'How to' series.
The required 'How to Rent, a checklist ...' and 'How to let' have both just been released with the amendments required for the Tenants Fee Act commencing tomorrow (June 1st 2019).
It is important to ensure the cor...
New data on Housing released
Published on Wed, 29th May 2019 14:39
The House of Commons has just released data tables on housing supply by Local Authority.
Called an Interactive Tool for providing data on housing supply for Local Authorities in England, it can be sen here.
Sharp rise in disputes handled by the Property Redress Scheme
Published on Mon, 27th May 2019 17:54
There was a significant increase in the number of disputes under the Property Redress Scheme last year, according to the organisation’s newly released annual report for the year 2018....
Planning red tape is axed
Published on Sat, 25th May 2019 14:52
The Housing Minister announces boost for families and high streets as planning red tape is axed
Thousands of homeowners will be able to extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application.
See the details here.
Published on Fri, 24th May 2019 14:55
MHCLG announces new table of homelessness.
It brings together all documents relating to homelessness and rough sleeping statistics and can be seen here.
Tribunal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2019
Published on Wed, 22nd May 2019 10:37
New Rules for Tribunal Procedure come into force on 3 June 2019, make miscellaneous changes.
Of particular note to housing professionals is Rule 5 which amends the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013 in respect of new appeal routes introduced by the Tenant Fees A...
Court reforms: Justice Select Committee inquiry
Published on Tue, 21st May 2019 10:23
On 21 May 2019 representatives of Shelter and the Housing Law Practitioners Association, amongst other organisations, appeared before the Commons Justice Select Committee which was hearing evidence in relation to Court and Tribunal reforms. To watch the evidence session, click here....
RICS warn Further landlords likely to leave the market
Published on Mon, 20th May 2019 13:45
A recent survey by RICS finds that new instructions for house purchase have dropped recently, and that rents are projected to rise by around 2% at the national level over the coming twelve months, with growth seen accelerating to average 3% per annum over the next five years.
The complete report...
iHowz launches new web site
Published on Sun, 19th May 2019 08:28
iHowz have today launched their new web site.
It is full of useful facts, and easy to use, click here to view it....
Dominic Raab has called for Capital Gains Tax for landlords to be scrapped
Published on Sat, 18th May 2019 14:02
Former Housing Minister, Dominic Raab has called for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for landlords to be scrapped on properties up to £35,000 where they have sold the property on to a sitting tenant.
Conservative thinktank, Onward, wrote a report in 2018 which suggested the money saved from Capital Gains T...
Permitted Development Rights
Published on Sat, 18th May 2019 12:46
The House of Commons Library has just published a report on Permitted Development Rights.
Permitted development rights allow changes to be made to buildings and use of land without needing planning permission. This briefing outlines changes to PDRs already made and others that have recently been an...
Government’s rent reforms will punish private and institutional landlords
Published on Thu, 16th May 2019 14:07
A leading London based law firm has waded into the furore surrounding the Governments intention to scrap the Section 21.
Paul Henson, a Partner in the Real Estate litigation team at Collyer Bristow said: “The Government has a Dickensian view of private landlords offering substandard homes for extor...
HOUSING LAW NEWS & POLICY ISSUES
Published on Thu, 16th May 2019 10:17
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has welcomed the commitment by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the mis-selling of leasehold properties
The CMA has also said that it will examine whether the most onerous leasehold terms, such as permission fees and do...
‘Housing benefit freeze will push more people into homelessness’: Crisis
Published on Wed, 15th May 2019 10:47
Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published The Homelessness Monitor: England which includes a national survey of councils, statistical analysis, and in-depth interviews with council and national government representatives and charities working with homeless people.
According to the report...
Benefit cap: Supreme Court ruling
Published on Wed, 15th May 2019 10:41
The Supreme Court have dismissed appeals by campaigners who argued that the benefit cap discriminated against single parents with young children. The majority held that the government’s decision not to exempt single parents with young children was “not manifestly without reasonable foundation” and d...
Trespass to land
Published on Wed, 15th May 2019 10:34
On 15 May 2019 the House of Commons Library published a research briefing providing some background information about issues relating to trespass to land.
Trespass is not generally a criminal offence; however, there are certain statutory provisions which make particular forms of trespass offences....
Published on Wed, 15th May 2019 10:25
On 15 May 2019, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Under-Secretary of State at the MHCLG, answered Lords’ questions concerning the Government’s recently announced proposal to remove Section 21 no-fault evictions.
Baroness Thornhill (Liberal Democrat) yesterday asked Her Majesty’s Government 'what is the ...
New form 6a (Section 21) to be issued
Published on Tue, 14th May 2019 13:52
The Government have announced that there will be a new form 6a to be used from June 1st 2019
This will take into account the Tenants Fee Ban also coming into force that day. Note that the form hasn't been issued yet, but we will make it available as soon as it is.
Although there has been no annou...
Landlord possession statistics – England and Wales
Published on Thu, 9th May 2019 19:40
The Ministry of Justice published quarterly national statistics on possession claim actions in county courts by mortgage lenders and social and private landlords.
The statistics cover the period from January to March 2019. Landlord possession claims (30,351) and orders for possession (23,694) decr...
Planning practice guidance
Published on Thu, 9th May 2019 12:54
Government have recently issued updated planning guidance.
Planning Practice guidance can be seen here and update the guidance first issued in March 2012, and regularly revised since.
Viability, which sets out key principles in understanding viability in plan making and decision taking ca...
Mandatory client money protection
Published on Thu, 9th May 2019 12:30
New guidance has been issued for Local Authorities to deal with Mandatory client money protection
Housing costs in Universal Credit
Published on Wed, 8th May 2019 19:33
The House of Commons Library have just published a research briefing paper explaining the key differences between assistance with housing costs under the Housing Benefit regime and under Universal Credit. The paper considers evidence of the impact of claiming housing costs under UC to date and the G...
Universal Credit to be extended
Published on Wed, 8th May 2019 13:42
The has announced an extension to Universal Credit (UC).
Details can be seen here, but in summary are
up to now UC claimants arise claimants go on to UC by a process known as 'Natural Migration', where:-
They chose to make a claim for Universal Credit
There has been a change in their circ...
Cladding update to be speeded up
Published on Wed, 8th May 2019 13:10
In an attempt to speed up the replacement of combustible cladding, the Ministry of Housing have just made some announcements
The 18th monthly data release from the government’s Building Safety Programme can be seen here
Information and advice for building owners, landlords and leaseholders where...
Universal Credit and claimants’ rent losses
Published on Tue, 7th May 2019 19:26
The Commons Work and Pensions Committee published correspondence between the Committee and the Secretary of State of Work and Pensions, local government and other housing bodies concerning the particular financial consequences, for UC claimants and social landlords, of the method by which DWP calcul...
Housing 'how to' guides
Published on Tue, 7th May 2019 13:17
The Ministry of Housing has just released two new guides
This is in the 'How to' series and covers how to buy, and how to sell a home.
The complete set can be seen here.
Note that it is important to issue the guide ' How to rent; the checklist for renting in England' NOT the 'How to rent a safe...
Brokenshire confirms over £25 million to help vulnerable rough sleepers
Published on Fri, 3rd May 2019 13:31
Thousands of vulnerable people sleeping rough will get specialist support to recover from life on the streets.
See here for more details.
Leaseholders’ right to manage: Law Society response to Law Commission consultation
Published on Wed, 1st May 2019 19:35
The Law Society have published its response to the Law Commission’s consultation on 'Leasehold home ownership: exercising the right to manage'. The consultation closed on 30 April 2019 and the Law Commission is now considering all the responses. The Government asked the Law Commission to review the ...
Help to Buy (equity loan scheme) statistics: April 2013 to 31 December 2018
Published on Tue, 30th Apr 2019 13:36
Cumulative sales since the launch of the Help to Buy (equity loan) scheme can be seen here.
Two recent podcast
Published on Thu, 25th Apr 2019 10:21
I urge you to listen to a recent podcast by the House of Commons, and to David Smiths podcast both recently broadcast. ...
New All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) looking into short term lets.
Published on Tue, 23rd Apr 2019 18:45
Karen Buck, the author of the recent Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 has set up a new APPG to look into short term lets.
This follows a report last year (September 2018). The full report can be seen here and looks at growth of ‘sharing economy’ or ’peer-to-peer’ accommodation service...
Amendment to Part B Building regulations
Published on Tue, 16th Apr 2019 10:16
Note that there has been a small amendment to Building Regs.
This only applies to volume 2 of the Fire regs (Part B) for buildings other than dwelling houses.
The amendments can be seen here, and the full here
Note that the regulations to dwelling houses remains the same and can be seen here.
Listen to the House of Commons view of the PRS
Published on Mon, 15th Apr 2019 17:30
The House of Parliament Library frequently publishes report and advice on matters for MP's.
This is available to members of the public, and provides useful information.
Additionally they also run podcasts, and they have just released one of an interview with Wendy Wilson, the housing policy specia...
Is the 'Rogues' database a waste of time?
Published on Mon, 15th Apr 2019 11:04
A new law came into being 12 months ago.
The horribly named 'Rogues' database gave Local Authorities the powers to ban criminal landlords and put them onto the database for all to see.
The only problem is that no landlord has been banned; and anyway no-one can view the database!
The Guardian have...
Longer term tenancies
Published on Mon, 15th Apr 2019 11:00
Last July the Government announced a consultation into the possibility of compulsory longer term tenancies.
The initial consultation can be seen here, and here.
They have today (15/4/19) announced the results of this consultation.
The details can be seen here, but in summary are:-
The end of the Section 21?
Published on Mon, 15th Apr 2019 08:00
The Government have announced a review of the use of Section 21.
James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, has announced that he would consult on new legislation to abolish “no-fault” evictions, which enable landlords to throw out their tenants with 2 months’ notice without explaining why.
Government publishes new guide for landlords and tenants
Published on Tue, 9th Apr 2019 16:47
The Ministry of Housing has today published a new guide.
Entitled 'Landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in the private rented sector' a copy can be found here.
It commences with help for tenants, but stressing their obligations, especially to pay the rent. It then goes on to their righ...
Housing Minister unveils new guidance for local authorities to crack down on rogue landlords
Published on Tue, 9th Apr 2019 10:11
The Government have today (5/4/19) published new guidance for Local Authorities
It can be seen here, but actually doesn't offer anything new; instead regurgitating previous announcements on the publishing of different guides....
Short-term lets should be regulated: CIH
Published on Fri, 5th Apr 2019 11:19
On 4 April 2019 CIH published a report stating that the rapid growth of short-term lets, such as Airbnb, could lead to the loss of private rented homes to the short-term lets market and displacement of long-term residents from their communities if left unregulated. According to the UK Housing Review...
Housing Under Secretary forecasts lots of new legislation
Published on Wed, 3rd Apr 2019 18:28
Government have previously indicated that 2019 was the year of legislation against agents, with 2020 having landlords in the target.
Heather Wheeler, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, addressing the annual conference of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, told delegates...
Tenant Fees Act 2019: guidance
Published on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 16:38
The Government have today (1/4/19) released the guidance for the forthcoming Tenants Fee Ban
There are 4 separate guides:-
landlords and letting agents;
glossary of terms;
and guidance for enforcing agents.
They can all be seen here.
We strongly recommend you look at the lettin...
House Prices remain soft
Published on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 11:20
The latest Nationwide House price index has just been released.
It can been seen here, but shows :-
Annual house price growth remained subdued at 0.7% in March
Modest 0.2% price rise during the month, after taking account of seasonal factors
Annual price falls in London and the South East
Stamp Duty Surcharge on a derelict building
Published on Tue, 26th Mar 2019 11:23
The First Tier Tribunal (Tax) recently heard a case regarding the 3% SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) surcharge.
The details of the case can be seen here, but in summary are:-
Mr & Mrs Bewley bought an old property with a view to demolishing for redevelopment;
critically the property was deemed to be...
Published on Sat, 23rd Mar 2019 08:27
The House of Parliament library have just provided information about planning appeals in England; what can be appealed, who can appeal and other routes of address for people unhappy with planning decisions.
See here for more information. ...
New advice from Government
Published on Wed, 20th Mar 2019 12:32
Note that the Ministry of Housing has issued some guidance recently:-
EEA nationals in the UK: access to social housing and homelessness assistance in a no deal scenario
Rental prices - Feb 2019
Published on Wed, 20th Mar 2019 12:18
The Office for National Statistics published data on the prices paid for renting property from private landlords in the United Kingdom.
Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.1 per cent in the twelve months to February 2019, up from 1.0 per cent in January 2019.
In England and...
New Act starts today
Published on Wed, 20th Mar 2019 09:35
The new Fitness for Habitation Act commences today (20/3/19)
See here for a Government announcement, and here for more details.
Also see here for the views of a lawyer.
Leasehold reform: report from Select Committee
Published on Tue, 19th Mar 2019 12:14
The House of Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee have published a report calling for “wide ranging reforms to the leasehold system”. The Committee found that the balance of power in existing leases, legislation and public policy is too heavily weighted against leaseholders. T...
Universal Credit and landlords
Published on Tue, 19th Mar 2019 12:11
The Department for Work and Pensions have published updated guides explaining what Universal Credit means for landlords.
The guides have been amended to include information for social landlords about April 2019 rent changes. For the guides, click here.
Security of tenants and landlords in the private rented sector
Published on Sat, 16th Mar 2019 12:41
The Centre for Social Justice published Putting down roots – improving security for renting families and private landlords. The report states: “The rules governing the sector have simply not adapted to the seismic demographic changes it has experienced. And the prevailing culture of insecurity has h...
New guidance on planning
Published on Fri, 15th Mar 2019 16:00
The Government has today (15/3/19) announced a series of documents on planning.
When is permission required? Sets out when planning permission is required and different types of planning permission which may be granted.
Permission in principle This guidance provides information about permi...
Further High Court ruling on Right to Rent Scheme.
Published on Fri, 15th Mar 2019 16:00
Two weeks ago the High ruled that the current Right to Rent checks were unlawful.
See our news item on this.
Today (15/3/19) the High has also ruled that when a tenant loses their Right to Remain the notice issued to inform them (a Notice of Letting to Disqualified Persons (NLDP)) failed many publ...
Brokenshire hails package to build homes and opportunities in communities
Published on Thu, 14th Mar 2019 11:00
The Ministry of Housing have released more details of the housing package announced by the Chancellor in his recent Spring Statement.
In it they state that the next wave of building will be:-
Old Oak North - £250 million to build nearly 13,000 new homes can be built close to the new HS2 railw...
Selective licensing of private landlords (England & Wales)
Published on Thu, 14th Mar 2019 08:27
The House of Commons has just published a briefing paper on Selective Licensing.
Their announcement said:-
This briefing paper explains the history and operation of selective licensing schemes for private rented properties since local authorities in England and Wales acquired the power to introduc...
TENANCY (DEPOSITS AND ARBITRATION) BILL
Published on Wed, 13th Mar 2019 15:54
Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton MP) was today given permission to bring forward a new bill regarding tenancy deposits.
The motion he proposed was:-
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to establish a single custodial tenancy deposit scheme; to provide for that scheme to invest deposits; to require...
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018: guidance
Published on Fri, 8th Mar 2019 12:04
On 6 March 2019 the MHCLG published three separate guides to help, respectively, tenants, landlords and local authorities understand the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which comes into force on 20 March 2019.
For all three guides, click here. For the Act itself, click here.
New rules to better protect renters' money
Published on Thu, 7th Mar 2019 17:15
The Government have today (7/3/19) announced confirmation that all agents will have to belong to a Client Money Protection Scheme from April 1st.
Details can be seen here, stating:-
New regulations will protect tenants’ and landlords’ money from theft or misuse while being held by property ag...
Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?
Published on Thu, 7th Mar 2019 12:06
On 6 March 2019 the House of Commons Library published a briefing on the debate as to who is responsible for paying for fire safety works on blocks of flats in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.
For the briefing, click here.
Right to rent: ministerial response to judicial review judgment
Published on Tue, 5th Mar 2019 12:09
A Minister of State at the Home Office has released a written statement regarding the recent ruling of the High Court regarding the Right to Rent Checks.
The minister’s statement said (in part):“We disagree with this finding and the Home Office has been granted permission to appeal all aspects of t...
High Court rules “Right to Rent” breaches human rights!
Published on Fri, 1st Mar 2019 12:50
The High Court have today ruled the requirement for landlords to conduct a Right to Rent on all potential occupants as unlawful.
Since 2016 it has been the responsibility of a landlord or agent to check the immigration status of their tenants with the prospect of prosecution if they know or have “r...
The SRA Introduces New Laws to Provide Greater Transparency in Conveyancing Pricing
Published on Fri, 1st Mar 2019 11:26
Due to a law change that came into effect at the end of 2018, estate agents and licensed conveyancing firms are now required by law to provide much greater transparency with regards to the fees being charged for conveyancing services. The laws that were introduced came into being on December 6th and...
Improving the home buying and selling process in England
Published on Wed, 27th Feb 2019 13:27
The Commons Library have provided a briefing paper giving an overview of the home buying and selling process in England, stakeholder concerns with the current process, and Government proposals to improve the process and make it "quicker, cheaper and less stressful".
The paper also provides a compa...
Social Housing statistics
Published on Wed, 27th Feb 2019 13:18
See the latest statistics released by the Government:-
Direction on rent standard from 2015. This direction will apply to standards set by the social housing regulator in relation to rent for registered providers from 1 April 2015.
Direction on rent standard from 2020. This direction wi...
Government planning application table
Published on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 13:16
See the latest data from the Government on planning applications received. ...
New report on housing infrastructure
Published on Fri, 22nd Feb 2019 18:10
The Houses of Parliament have recently put out a short report on the impact of housing infrastructure. We reprint it below:-
When new housing is built, can communities get the infrastructure to go with it?
New housing often creates a need for more infrastructure – schools, GP surgeries and so on...
Brighton councillor Anne Meadows quits Labour over 'anti-Semitism'
Published on Wed, 20th Feb 2019 19:15
Councillor Anne Meadows today (20/2/19) quit the Labour Party over the recent antisemitism row.
Councillor Meadows was the chair of the Housing Committee, and has already been removed from that position on the council website.
This move means that the Labour party now lose their majority to the Co...
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Published on Tue, 19th Feb 2019 13:32
The House of Commons have produced a report on the HHSRS.
This is part of the Government review into the HHSRS, which iHowz are participating in....
Private rented housing: the rent control debate
Published on Sat, 16th Feb 2019 09:30
The House of Commons Research Library has produced a report on the impact of regulating tenancies.
A summary can be seen here, and the full report here.
See also the Mayor of London's plans to develop ‘rent control’...
Social Housing - a new report
Published on Fri, 15th Feb 2019 13:31
The Local Government Association reported that new analysis commissioned by the association revealed that “building 100,000 government-funded social rent homes a year over the past two decades would have cut billions from the housing benefit bill, provided higher disposable income for tenants and ge...
Published on Fri, 15th Feb 2019 09:30
The Civil Procedure Rule Committee (CPRC) have examined the two different routes to possession. The two routes are County Court route and the High Court route to possession. The government is holding a consultation on aligning the two routes which will include detail such as the following:
Fire Door investigation
Published on Thu, 14th Feb 2019 17:45
The government is undertaking an investigation into the fire door industry following concerns about the consistency of flat front entrance fire doors against the required performance standards.
More information can be seen here.
They have also issued summary test results from the government’s inve...
Various announcements from the Government on new homes
Published on Thu, 14th Feb 2019 16:30
The Government has today (14/2/19) announced to build over 10,000 properties on Ministry of Defence land on 7 military bases across the country.
In London, more than 1,500 new homes will be built at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park thanks to a £78 million loan helping to fund the development.
National non-domestic rates collected by councils
Published on Wed, 13th Feb 2019 17:15
This collection brings together all documents relating to national non-domestic rates collected by councils.
Tenant Fees Act (2019) - more details
Published on Wed, 13th Feb 2019 10:56
The Tenants Fees Act has got Royal Assent, and will become law from June 1st 2019
Any AST from June 1st will be severely limited on the fees that can be charged to tenants. Note that this applies to landlords and agents, and will also apply to all existing AST's after June 1st 2020 meaning any pre...
Tenant Fees Bill becomes an Act
Published on Tue, 12th Feb 2019 16:45
The Tenant Fees Bill has now received Royal Assent. A statement from the Government says that 'from 1 June the Act will improve security for tenants, including:
capping security deposits at no more than 5 weeks’ rent and holding deposits at no more than 1 week’s rent. It also sets out the propo...
HMRC publish help for small businesses
Published on Tue, 5th Feb 2019 09:27
You might want to see some helpful videos and webinars from HMRC.
They have said:-
Our live webinars are free and interactive – you can ask questions using the on-screen text box. Book your place now.
Record keeping for the self-employed: This webinar covers the basic principles of keeping good b...
Making it easier for leaseholders to manage their properties: Law Commission
Published on Fri, 1st Feb 2019 12:17
Making it easier for leaseholders to manage their properties: Law Commission The Law Commission has released a consultation paper comprising proposals designed to make it quicker and easier for leaseholders to take control of the day-to-day management of their building. The proposals include...
English Housing Survey 2017 to 2018
Published on Fri, 1st Feb 2019 09:48
On 31 January 2019 the MHCLG published the English Housing Survey 2017 to 2018. The main findings are:
Owner occupation rates remain unchanged for the fifth year in a row: Of the estimated 23.2 million households in England, 14.8 million or 64 per cent were owner occupiers.
In 2017-18, 34 per ce...
English Private Landlord Survey
Published on Fri, 1st Feb 2019 09:46
On 31 January 2019 the MHCLG published the English Private Landlord Survey. The main report states that since the last survey in 2010, the private rented sector has undergone substantial growth and change. The number of households in the sector rose by 25 per cent between 2010-11 and 2017-18, from 3...
Government announces extra budget for affordable home
Published on Wed, 30th Jan 2019 20:18
The Government has today (30/1/19) announced a £500k budget for affordable housing.
This includes a proposed 11,000 new properties, including social rent across the country, and they are backing the building of rooftop properties in London.
It is intended the first tranche will be completed by thi...
Private Rented Sector Electrical Safety
Published on Tue, 29th Jan 2019 13:10
The Government have today (29/1/19) issued the findings of the working group on Electrical Safety in the PRS.
The Housing Minister also announced they propose to 'tighten up the rules on Electrical safety to better protect renters.'
However this is not the first time they have made this annou...
Management of leasehold properties: Law Commission proposals
Published on Tue, 29th Jan 2019 10:10
Law Commission have released a consultation paper comprising proposals that are designed to make it quicker and
easier for leaseholders to take control of the day-to-day management of their building. The proposals include:
Extending the qualifying criteria so that leasehold houses, not just fla...
Thanet warned about their local plan
Published on Mon, 28th Jan 2019 15:23
The Secretary of State for Housing has recently (28/1/19) written to Thanet Council about their Local Plan.
The details can be seen here, which has told Thanet:-
I am also directing Thanet District Council to, within eight weeks of the date of this letter, amend its Local Development Scheme (da...
Landlords will have to join a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service
Published on Thu, 24th Jan 2019 12:00
The Secretary of State has today (24/1/19) announced the intention for all landlords to have to belong to a Housing Complaints Procedure.
More details can be found here, but in summary is:-
a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service will be developed with a new Redress Reform Working Group made...
Report analysing the impact of selective licensing schemes
Published on Thu, 24th Jan 2019 10:18
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) published a report analysing the impact of selective licensing schemes run by 20 councils across England. It finds that selective licensing schemes help to tackle poor standards in the private rented ...
Buy to Let bubble has burst
Published on Wed, 23rd Jan 2019 14:48
A recent article in the Mail has revealed the extent of problems for small landlords.
Entitled 'How Britain's £239bn buy-to-let bubble burst: Our devastating report reveals landlords ruined by tax penalties - and their pension plans hit' it goes on to list:-
A tax crackdown on rental income has ...
Housing market on hold for now
Published on Fri, 18th Jan 2019 14:39
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have just released data warning that whilst demand for rented housing from tenants “held more or less steady for the third month running”, the number of landlord instructions “declined once again, rounding off a year in which they have fallen in all ...
Consultation on specialist Housing Courts ends soon
Published on Thu, 17th Jan 2019 11:13
Considering the case for a Housing Court: call for evidence
The Government consultation on the possibility of Housing Courts ends soon, and we urge you to take part. Details can be found here, and the actual questionnaire here.
Tenant Fees Ban comes into force from 1 June 2019
Published on Tue, 15th Jan 2019 17:58
Today the government announced that the Tenant Fees Bill will come into force in England on 1 June 2019. Following today’s Third Reading in the House of Lords, the Bill is likely to receive Royal Assent in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the Lords, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said:
“We need to enable...
Housing Minister announces funding for councils to crack down on rogue landlords
Published on Mon, 14th Jan 2019 10:40
The Government has announced the release of £2.4m to help Councils tackle 'Rogue' landlords, or as we prefer to call them, Criminals.
Details can be seen here, but in summary:-
More than 50 councils to benefit from nearly £2.4 million to ramp up action against the minority of irresponsible lan...
Move On Fund
Published on Sun, 13th Jan 2019 10:47
The Government has announced a fund of £50M to be used to help reduce Rough Sleeping.
Details can been seen here, note that the fund does not cover London. ...
Changes to Universal Credit
Published on Fri, 11th Jan 2019 11:22
The Secretary of State (Amber Rudd) has today (Jan 11th) made a speech on some small amendments to Universal Credit.
The speech can be seen here, but in summary covered:-
reviewing the way claimants are migrated from benefits to UC;
introducing a new system to allow direct payments to landlord...
The end of the Section 21?
Published on Wed, 9th Jan 2019 18:26
In a recent Report, Shelter has called for all private renters to be given permanent tenancies as a legal minimum. The calls come in Building for our future: A vision for social housing which makes 23 recommendations designed to shake up the social and private rented sectors.
The report says: “...
The Tenants Fees Bill
Published on Wed, 9th Jan 2019 17:57
To bring you up to date with this Bill. It is proposed to cover:-
Permitted payments would include:
Rent. Additionally there will be a ban on setting rent at a higher level for the first portion of the tenancy and then dropping it down afterwards. This is to prevent landlords or agents trying ...
HOMES (FITNESS FOR HUMAN HABITATION) ACT
Published on Thu, 20th Dec 2018 15:14
This act has passed into law on December 20th
It is scheduled to come into force from 20th March 2019 and will affect new and renewed fixed-term tenancies in England from this date. New and renewed periodic and secure tenancies will be brought under the scope 12 months’ from today (December 20th 2...
Section 21 evictions: parliamentary debate
Published on Sat, 8th Dec 2018 21:13
On 6 December the House of Commons held a debate on the use of section 21 evictions in the private rented sector.
Opening the debate, Karen Buck MP (Labour, Westminster North – Vice Chair of the APPG for the Private Rented Sector) said the PRS has changed ‘beyond recognition’, citing the ‘shadow ...
Tenant Fees Bill: security deposit cap reduced
Published on Thu, 6th Dec 2018 21:02
On 4 December 2018 the MHCLG announced that the Tenant Fees Bill, which was due to have its report stage in the House of Lords on 11 December 2018, will be amended so that the maximum amount tenants have to pay as a security deposit will be reduced from six weeks’ rent to five in respect of properti...
Landlords now waiting 5 months for possesion
Published on Fri, 23rd Nov 2018 11:20
Kevin Hollinrake MP tabled a question requesting information on the average waiting time for landlord re-possessions.
The Government has clarified that the average time taken for a landlord to repossess a property was 22 weeks in 2017, up from the 16.1 weeks. Note that this figure is nearly 6 mon...
Draft Brexit agreement
Published on Fri, 16th Nov 2018 09:41
For anyone suffering from insomnia we have attached the Brexit draft agreement here for you to see, all 585 pages....
Statistics on net additional dwellings released
Published on Thu, 15th Nov 2018 11:14
The MHCLG have just released a report in net additional dwellings.
The report can be seen here, but in summary is:-
Annual housing supply in England amounted to 222,190 net additional dwellings in 2017-18, up 2 per cent on 2016- 17.
The 222,190 net additions in 2017-18 resulted from 195,290 new...
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill: Briefing for Lords Stage
Published on Wed, 14th Nov 2018 15:24
A House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill on 23 November 2018.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill is a private member’s bill introduced in the House of Commons by Karen Buck ...
James Brokenshire unveils Housing Court proposals
Published on Tue, 13th Nov 2018 17:59
Landlords and tenants to receive faster and more effective justice in the event of property disputes.
A press release from the Ministry of Housing has announced:-
Communities Secretary sets out proposals to provide greater access to justice for both landlords and tenants in the event of disputes...
James Brokenshire appoints new Homes England board member
Published on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 18:07
Communities Secretary appoints Duncan Sutherland to the board of Homes England.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has appointed Duncan Sutherland to the board of Homes England, as the agency continues its key role in making the housing market work for everyone.
Since its launch in ...
Landlords accused of ‘illegally’ withholding deposits
Published on Mon, 12th Nov 2018 17:24
In an article in the Mail on Sunday it was reported that many landlords have been accused of “routinely and illegally” withholding deposits from tenants and subjecting many people living in private rented accommodation to “surprise evictions”.
The article pointed to “evidence from multiple sources”...
Published on Fri, 9th Nov 2018 17:32
The release of the UK Finance (CML) Arrears and Possessions quarterly statistics show that home owner mortgage arrears remain at historic lows. However, the number of buy to let mortgages with significant arrears (10 per cent or more of the outstanding balance) is up 3 per cent on last year....
LA's given grant to update 'Rogues database'
Published on Thu, 8th Nov 2018 18:14
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has a small amount of grant funding available to local authorities. The fund is to develop best practice amongst local authorities as they undertake enforcement activities to raise standards in the private rented sector.
They want to encoura...
Landlord possession statistics – England and Wales
Published on Thu, 8th Nov 2018 15:30
The Ministry of Justice has today (Nov 8th) published quarterly national statistics on possession claim actions in county courts by mortgage lenders and social and private landlords.
The statistics cover the period from July to September 2018. Landlord possession claims (31,658) and orders for pos...
iHowz gives interview
Published on Wed, 7th Nov 2018 18:28
Peter Littlewood participated in an interview with Property Tribes about Brighton licensing.
See the interview here ...
Selective Licensing put back in Brighton
Published on Fri, 2nd Nov 2018 08:27
After representation from iHowz the Secretary of State for Housing has today (Nov 2nd) withdrawn his support for the Selective Licensing Scheme in Brighton
See more details in the iHowz press release
Note that the existing HMO Licensing schemes are not affected by this decision...
Published on Tue, 30th Oct 2018 09:00
The main matters affecting UK landlords are:-
Capital Gains Tax - people who rent out a property which was previously their main residence were eligible for lettings relief. This meant accidental landlords, who own a property but no longer reside there, are given a tax break when they come to sel...
iHowz newsletter just published
Published on Mon, 29th Oct 2018 09:09
The latest version of the iHowz newsletter has just been published.
Email us if you didn't get yours...
The Prime Minister agrees that rogues database needs to be open
Published on Sat, 27th Oct 2018 16:03
It has been reported that the Prime Minister intends to allow tenants access to the 'Rogues Database'
It has always been a problem that the database is only available to Local Authority staff. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, but still doesn't allow landlords and agents access.
Government releases funding to replace unsafe cladding
Published on Wed, 17th Oct 2018 15:00
The government has today (October 17th 2018) released the first tranche of an estimated £400 million to remove and replace unsafe cladding on social sector high-rise housing.
See here for more details.
Empty Homes Week
Published on Mon, 15th Oct 2018 14:21
This week is Empty Homes Week (15 to 21 October).
To coincide Empty Homes has published its 2018 edition of Empty Homes in England which analyses and explains the latest official data available on long-term empty homes in England.
There are still over 200,000 long-term (more than six months) empt...
Allowing Residents Associations to request information about tenants
Published on Mon, 15th Oct 2018 09:00
The MHCLG have today (15 October 2018) published their response to the consultation related to proposed secondary legislation under section 29A Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 - Tenants’ Associations: power to request information about tenants.
The government considers that new means by whi...
Universal Credit: landlord request for a managed payment or rent arrears deduction
Published on Fri, 12th Oct 2018 14:15
The DWP have today (12 October 2018) published an updated version of the landlord application for a managed payment or rent arrears deduction.
Recent updates have amended the link to 'Personal Budgeting Support and Alternative Payment Arrangements' guidance and added new versions of the English UC4...
Plans to raise standards for agents
Published on Fri, 12th Oct 2018 14:11
The Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has today (12 October 2018) announced plans to raise standards across the property agent sector.
Lord Best will chair the working group, looking tol make recommendations to better support homebuyers, sellers, landlords, leaseholders and tenants.
The options wil...
New fund for homeless announced
Published on Wed, 10th Oct 2018 14:06
The MHCLG today (10 October 2018) launched a £20 million fund – the Private Rented Sector Access Fund – which will allow councils to put in place new schemes so that those at risk of homelessness will have support to secure their own tenancy.
The fund is designed to help up to 9,000 people who are,...
Many councils don't understand new HMO rules
Published on Tue, 9th Oct 2018 15:13
It would appear that only a minority of Local Authorities are ready for the new HMO regulations.
Touchstone , a Doncaster-based property investment firm have carried out a Freedom of Information request to all Local Authorities about their readiness for the changes to Mandatory Licensing, and have ...
Prime Minister 'answers' question about 3 year tenancies
Published on Fri, 5th Oct 2018 20:41
There have been rumours of the Treasury and Number 10 killing off the proposed (minimum) 3 year tenancies.
This was raised at PMQ’s (Prime Minister Questions) today (Oct 5th) by Labour MP Helen Hayes – Dulwich and West Norwood, who asked:- “It has been reported this morning that the Treasury and Nu...
Party conferences - Conservatives
Published on Thu, 4th Oct 2018 09:00
The Conservative Party - 1-3 October in Birmingham
Foreign NationalsThe Government wants to make it harder for foreign nationals to buy homes in Britain.
Mrs May announced plans for a stamp duty surcharge of between 1 per cent and 3 per cent to be imposed on sales of property to foreign nationals ...
Mandatory Licensing changes today
Published on Mon, 1st Oct 2018 09:00
Don't forget the new rule for mandatory licensing commence today (Oct 1st)
The background can be seen here, but please note that the rules covering an HMO have not changed, just the rules regarding Mandatory Licensing.
An HMO is a unit being occupied by 3 or more people who are not r...
Party conferences - Labour
Published on Thu, 27th Sep 2018 09:00
Labour 23-26 September in Liverpool1) Renter’s Unions
The Labour government would back new unions for renters and fund them in every part of the country2) Levy on holiday homes
Holiday home owners would face a new £560 million tax to tackle homelessness and address rising wealth inequality under t...
Lib Dems rattle the rental cage.
Published on Wed, 19th Sep 2018 13:03
The Lib Dems have recently held their annual conference and have passed a motion calling for many changes to be made in the PRS.
Their concerns were stated: “Too many people have been forced into the private rented sector which now provides one fifth of all homes in the UK, a third of which fail to...
Party conferences - Lib Dems
Published on Wed, 19th Sep 2018 09:00
15-18 September in Brightonthe main headings for property are:-
1) Build targets & land use
The conference called for the Government to deliver its commitment to building 300,000 homes a year by, firstly, ensuring the workforce in the construction industry is sufficient to buil...
Could houses prices fall by a third?
Published on Mon, 17th Sep 2018 10:23
Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England has warned that houses prices could fall by over a third in the event of a no deal Brexit.
He addressed the cabinet meeting last week called specifically to discuss Brexit and warned that he believed house prices would fall by 35%, he also repeated t...
Brighton and Hove given permission to license all properties
Published on Fri, 14th Sep 2018 10:14
A new ‘Selective Licensing Scheme’ for private rented homes in 12 central and coastal wards in the city has been given the go ahead by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The Selective Licensing Scheme will be introduced early next year for all private rented homes...
Rumours of three year tenancies killed off
Published on Sat, 8th Sep 2018 12:55
The Secretary of State for Housing (SoS) had recently concluded a consultation on three year tenancies.
The Sun (September 4th) reported that the Treasury and Downing Street had killed the plan off.
The Treasury opposed the measure because it feared it will scare off the larger investors. Downing...
Benefit freeze puts private renting out of reach for low-income tenants and risks fuelling homelessness
Published on Fri, 7th Sep 2018 16:52
Last week the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) published a report showing benefit tenants are now increasingly unable to afford to rent.
It gives the background to the benefits freeze, and states ‘Research from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) showed that more than 90 per cent of Local ...
Government ‘plans a fundamental review' of Help to Buy
Published on Mon, 3rd Sep 2018 17:24
Today (3 September) several news media reported that the government is planning a fundamental review of the Help to Buy scheme.
This reportedly follows concerns that the scheme has contributed to a rise in house prices and has helped “wealthy people upgrade their homes”. For coverage in The Indepe...
CAB calls for longer tenancies
Published on Thu, 30th Aug 2018 17:03
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has recently (August 24th) published a report.
Entitled Touch and go: How to protect private renters from retaliatory eviction in England it concludes that tenants who have received a section 21 notice, when compared those who have not, are:
Over twice as likely...
Right to Rent review
Published on Wed, 29th Aug 2018 17:18
The House of Commons Library has today (Aug 29th) published a research briefing providing an overview of Right to Rent checks which must be carried out by private landlords/agents in England.
It reviews the current situation reminding landlords of their obligations to ensure their occupiers are all...
Some Local Authorities able to borrow more
Published on Thu, 23rd Aug 2018 17:14
The Housing Ministry (MHCLG) have recently updated its rules regarding borrowing criteria.
Local Authorities in an area of high rents have been invited to bid for additional borrowing to build new council housing. The Ministry has added the document Housing revenue account additional borrowing prog...
Court form N5B: England
Published on Fri, 17th Aug 2018 12:08
The MoJ have today (17/8/18) published a new N5B England: Claim possession of a property located wholly in England (accelerated procedure) was updated.
For the updated form, click here ...
You are running out of time
Published on Thu, 16th Aug 2018 16:22
Time is running out for you to take part in the consultation of mandatory 3 year lets.
The Governments consultation on mandatory 3 year lets is finishing soon.
You can see more in our last news item, and the consultation can be seen here – your opportunity to take part in the consultation ends ve...
iHowz member wins at High Court
Published on Wed, 15th Aug 2018 17:54
The High Court recently reversed a prosecution against our member, Mr Gaskin.
Mr Gaskin objected to giving a full list of information to Richmond Council, such as names of current tenants and the terms of their tenancy agreements as he considered this to be excessive.
The High Court agreed with M...
Index of Private Housing Rental Prices
Published on Wed, 15th Aug 2018 16:10
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report on rents just released.
The ONS has just (August 15th) released its monthly Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, Great Britain: July 2018.
The main points are:-
Private rental prices paid by tenants in Great Britain rose by 0.9% in the 12 ...
Social Housing Green Paper announced
Published on Tue, 14th Aug 2018 15:51
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, has today (August 14th) launched the Social Housing Green Paper heralded in his Department’s press release as a “new deal for social housing residents”. The Paper comes some 18 months after the Housin...
Unemployment benefits by constituency
Published on Tue, 14th Aug 2018 15:41
The Government issues benefit figures by constituency
This report was published August 14th, and provides figures for the number of people claiming unemployment benefits by parliamentary constituency, as well as a summary of the latest labour market statistics for the UK as a whole.
A summary can ...
Published on Tue, 14th Aug 2018 15:19
Are rents 'soaring'?
Last week saw the release of a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) report on how the sales of rental property are affecting rents.
Entitled Landlord instructions fall as rent forecasts edge up it highlights the fact that instructions to RICS surveyors by landlords pu...
Court decides that property licensing fees must be charged in two stages and the names of occupants cannot be demanded on a licence renewal application
Published on Fri, 10th Aug 2018 19:19
As a result of two cases, a recent one Peter Gaskin vs Richmond upon Thames, and Hemmings vs Westminster City Council (Nov 2017) when a Local Authority starts a Licensing scheme:-
they must charge the fees in two tranches:-
an initial application fee, just to cover the cost of processing, an...
Rental Deposits vs Insurance
Published on Sun, 5th Aug 2018 14:57
The Centre For Policy Studies has today (Aug 5th) published a new report on the taking of deposits.
Entitled Down with deposits: the case for rental insurance it proposes that the Government should promote an insurance scheme to avoid the need to take a deposit.
It argues that this would save the ...
New advice on fire doors
Published on Tue, 31st Jul 2018 17:12
Government advice for building owners.
The Government has published an updated version of its advice note for those responsible for the fire safety of residential flats in respect of the fire and smoke resistance performance of flat entrance front doors.
It has been developed to support those ...
Which issues a report on tenants view of the PRS
Published on Fri, 20th Jul 2018 14:30
Reform of the private rental sector: the consumer view
Which has just issued a report on their findings of tenants views of rental.
The report can be seen here, but the key recommendations are:
The government must introduce a legal requirement for all landlords to be registered with the relev...
Review of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 - Government response
Published on Fri, 20th Jul 2018 14:12
The Government has today (July 20th) has issued a response to an earlier review of the regulations covering Carbon Monoxide, and Smoke alarms.
The review can be seen here, but in summary:-
the Government is considering extending the requirements so CO alarms have to be fitted for all fuel burn...
Major ruling for HMO letting agent
Published on Tue, 17th Jul 2018 12:18
Two agencies have been fined over £42,000 when they were found to have been managing HMO's - even though they only took the first month's rent and the deposit.
In a case heard Friday July 13th Camden Council successfully took the managing agent Leycam and the letting agent Citydeal Estates (London)...
Rent a room relief
Published on Mon, 16th Jul 2018 20:00
At the end of last year the Treasury consulted on 'Rent a Room Relief'.
They have just published the summary, which can be seen here. Note that it calls for comments on a proposal for a new occupancy clause - see the last para below.
The Executive summary is:-
The government published a call for...
Universal Credit and landlords: guides
Published on Sat, 14th Jul 2018 11:57
The Department for Work and Pensions has made minor amendments to certain of the guides explaining what Universal Credit means for landlords. The amendments are as follows:
10 July 2018 – added information about Universal Credit claimants transferring to full service declaring and re-verifying th...
English Housing Survey 2016 to 2017
Published on Thu, 12th Jul 2018 11:44
The English Housing Survey was published today (July 12th)
The report can be seen here, but in summary:-
private rented sector In 2016-17, 4.7 million households were renting in the private sector. This represents 20% of all households in England. The sector has more than doubled in size since 19...
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s annual report
Published on Thu, 12th Jul 2018 11:40
Today (12 July) the Ombudsman published its annual report. It shows that in 2017-18 19,215 complaints and enquiries were received. Of these, 12% related to housing issues in which the Ombudsman made 778 decisions. During the year the Ombudsman published 42 public interest reports of which seven rela...
Universal Credit, tenants and landlords
Published on Wed, 11th Jul 2018 11:55
On 11 July 2018 the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) and the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) published a joint report highlighting the increasing burden of debt that Universal Credit is causing for tenants and landlords, and calling for Government to slow down the roll-out and fix t...
How to ... guides updated
Published on Tue, 10th Jul 2018 11:30
The Government have made some minor amendments to the How to Rent Guide issued June 26th.
We have updated the version on our web site. Make sure you issue the correct version.
Note that you are also now unable to issue by sending the link to your tenant(s), you must now send the actual guide eith...
Kit Malthouse named as new housing minister
Published on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 15:45
A new housing minister has been announced as Kit Malthouse, Tory MP for North West Hampshire.
Previously he was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance at the Department of Work and Pensions, with particular emphasis on the implementation of Univ...
Housing Minister moved
Published on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 08:30
Dominic Raab has been moved from his role as housing minister after just six months in the post.
He has been promoted to the role of Brexit Secretary following the resignation of David Davies last night (8/7/18).
To date no new Housing Minister has been announced, but who ever it is will mean the ...
Potential mandatory long term tenancies
Published on Fri, 6th Jul 2018 14:44
Since the introduction of assured shorthold tenancies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988, tenancies of 6 to 12 months have become the norm.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has just launched a consultation on “Overcoming the Barriers to Longer Tenancies in the Private Ren...
Longer term tenancies being proposed.
Published on Mon, 2nd Jul 2018 16:51
The new Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire has today (June 2nd) published a consultation on longer term tenancies.
Brokenshire said: “It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their ren...
New How To Rent Guide
Published on Tue, 26th Jun 2018 11:52
The Government has today (June 26th) announced a new 'How to Rent Guide'. After this date this is the guide that must be issued to all new tenants.
Note that a Section 21 will fail at court if the correct 'How To Rent' hasn't been iussed. It is not necessary to re-issue this guide if you have alr...
New series of fact sheets from the Government
Published on Tue, 26th Jun 2018 11:30
In addition to the new ‘How To Rent Guide’ that must be issued to all new tenants, the Minister of Housing has also released 3 other guides:-
How to let
This new guide will help private landlords learn more about their key legal responsibilities and best practice when letting a property, including...
Government confirms new licensing rules
Published on Wed, 20th Jun 2018 11:55
The Government has today (June 20th) has published the changes for licensing,
They have confirmed the changes to Mandatory Licensing:-
from 1 October 2018 any landlord who lets a property to 5 or more people – from 2 or more separate households – must be licensed by their local housing authori...
Government announces review of Selective Licensing
Published on Wed, 20th Jun 2018 11:13
Government is today (20 June 2018) announcing a review to look at how selective licensing is used and find out how well it is working.
In areas where selective licensing applies, landlords must apply for a licence if they want to rent out a property. This means the council can check whether they ar...
Government publishes key licensing changes to further protect tenants
Published on Wed, 20th Jun 2018 11:10
New guidance for landlords to further protect tenants from poor living conditions has been published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government today (20 June 2018).
Following legislation introduced last month, from 1 October 2018 any landlord who lets a property to 5 or more peop...
Judicial Review granted on Right to Rent policy
Published on Wed, 13th Jun 2018 15:36
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has led a bid for a review of the legality of the Right to Rent checks, arguing that the scheme has prevented some disadvantaged British citizens, those lacking passports and driving licences, have been prevented from obtaining a tenancy, while ...
London’s Landlord and Agent Checker Goes Live
Published on Fri, 8th Jun 2018 16:10
London mayor Sadiq Khan has vowed bad landlords have no hiding place in the capital now every borough council has signed up to his ‘Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker’.
All 33 London Boroughs have agreed to send their prosecution records for inclusion. Unlike the Governments ‘Rogue Database’ the Lon...
English Housing Survey 2016-17
Published on Fri, 8th Jun 2018 16:09
The latest English Housing Survey has just (June 8th) has just been published.
Owner occupation rates remain unchanged for the fourth year in a row.
Of the estimated 23.1 million households in England, 14.4 million or 63% were owner occupiers. The proportion of households in owner o...
Client Money Protection for Agents Set to be Mandatory
Published on Wed, 6th Jun 2018 15:14
It has been announced that all property agents will need to belong to a recognised scheme that protects their clients money.
Details can be seen here, but in summary:-
Client money means money received by a property agent in the course of English letting agency work within the meaning of secti...
Number of rented homes drops for the first time in 18 years
Published on Fri, 1st Jun 2018 20:35
A recent report from the Ministry of Housing shows that the number of privately rented homes fell by 46,000 to 4.79 million last year.
This represents the largest drop since 1988, and is blamed on the far reaching tax reforms over the last two years.
David Cox, chief executive of letting agent tra...
iHowz announce the Ashford Landlords Forum
Published on Fri, 1st Jun 2018 09:07
iHowz are proud to present the new Ashford Landlords Forum on Monday June 18th - free entry.
With a good mix of speakers and stands, see the web site for more details...
Landlords property could be consficated
Published on Thu, 19th Apr 2018 07:49
The Government are proposing even more laws for landlords and current ones reviewed.
A report has been issued today (April 19th) by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, which over recent months has held a series of meetings to hear evidence regarding the PRS.
Update from the Information Commissioners Office
Published on Thu, 12th Apr 2018 13:32
From the regular update from the ICO:-
Updates to the Guide to the GDPR
We have made further updates to our Guide to the GDPR. As well as detailed guidance on legitimate interests, we have also expanded the pages on Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs), data protection officers, the right to...
Published on Fri, 6th Apr 2018 21:30
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into force on May 25th 2018.
If you hold information about anyone on a computer, and they can be recognised from that data you will need to:-
Register with the Information Commissioner’s Office. It is very quick and easy and cost £40 per an...
We've been warning you for some time
Published on Fri, 6th Apr 2018 20:43
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force April 1st.
For more details see here, and here but in essence is that if you have a property with an energy rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’ it will not be possible to issue a new AST; note that this also covers any AST going from a Fixed Term to S...
Latest news from HMRC
Published on Wed, 4th Apr 2018 09:30
We've just recieved the latest help from the HMRC:-
HMRC’s online course, 'Letting out property' provides guidance on property lettings which you can refer to at any time. It explains the changes which introduced cash basis for landlords, the use of the mileage rate method for claiming motoring exp...
At last, some good news
Published on Wed, 4th Apr 2018 08:44
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have changed the legislation for Gas Safety Checks.
Gas checks for rental property (CP12’s) will now be allowed to be done 2 months ahead of time whilst retaining the existing renewal date, like the rules of a car MOT.
This will come into force in two days...
New rules for agents announced
Published on Tue, 3rd Apr 2018 08:42
The Government published the results of its consultation on ‘protecting customers in the letting and managing agent market’.
They propose to:-
Introduce a new mandatory code of practice for all letting and managing agents;
Require all agents to obtain a nationally recognised qualificatio...
Homelessness Reduction Act
Published on Sun, 1st Apr 2018 10:00
This Act comes into force on April 3rd. see a summary here.
Whilst you might think it affects you it will. All Local Authorities (LA) will have to deal with anyone coming to them threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days.
This will apply to valid Section 21’s (s21) only, and 56 days is a...
Young people can now claim Universal Credit
Published on Thu, 29th Mar 2018 10:21
In a statement to the House of Commons the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (Esther McVey) announced that the Government would be reversing the policy of not allowing 19-21 year olds to claim Universal Credit.
Full details can be seen here....
B&H licensing - the SLA applies to court
Published on Tue, 20th Mar 2018 11:21
The SLA have filed an application at the High Court seeking permission to file a complete Judicial Review against the Brighton and Hove decision for borough wide Selective Licensing.
Additionally we have also written to the Secretary of State stating our position on this. See the letter here.
Published on Fri, 16th Mar 2018 18:41
The current on-going consolations are:-
Electrical safety in the private rented sector: Closes on 16 April
Commonhold call for evidence: Closes on 19 AprilNational Planning Policy Framework: Closes on 10 MayNational Planning Policy Guidance: Closes on 10 MaySupporting housing delivery through de...
The Government announces changes to Licensing
Published on Fri, 16th Mar 2018 18:14
In addition to the recent extension of Mandatory Licensing, the Government has just announced proposals for further amendments to HMO licensing.
A draft proposal is to be put before Parliament to propose:-
Prescribe a mandatory licence condition for HMOs that clarifies the minimum sizes for be...
Crackdown on private landlords renting overcrowded and dangerous homes
Published on Thu, 15th Mar 2018 18:35
The Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced new plans to stop overcrowding.
Details can be seen here, but in summary are:-
Councils to be given new powers to fine landlords renting overcrowded properties;
limiting bedroom sizes;
landlords will have to supply appropriate ru...
Enveloped Dwellings tax returns must be digital from April
Published on Tue, 13th Mar 2018 09:00
From 1 April 2018, all online Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings returns must be filed using the ATED digital service. Agents and their customers should register with HMRC now to use this service from 1 April 2018 (unless they have already done so).
The old-style online forms will be withdrawn on 31...
Mayor of London publishes draft plan.
Published on Mon, 5th Mar 2018 18:49
The draft plan for London can be seen here, and the BPF response can be seen here.
The highlights of the plan are:-
1. Housing - With London’s population expected to increase by 70,000 every year, reaching 10.8 million in 2041, good planning is vital for growth. The Mayor has ripped up existing pl...
You might NEVER be able to use a Section 21
Published on Thu, 1st Mar 2018 15:47
The new Section 21 (form 6A) was published in the Deregulation Act 2015.
It was intended that the courts would be able to use this S21 to monitor some of the mandatory requirements, thus the court would check that the following had been served correctly:-
Gas safety certificate (CP12) – where ...
Extension of Mandatory Licensing
Published on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 15:37
The Government has announced the expected extension to mandatory licensing.
In a recent statutory Instrument (No 221) it was announced that mandatory licensing would apply to all HMO’s with 5 or more non-related occupants, sharing vital facilities. This will come into place on October 1st 2018.
Additional Powers ruled illegal
Published on Thu, 22nd Feb 2018 16:22
There have been many comments that some of the requirements brought in by Statutory Licensing are unnecessary, because Local Authorities already have powers to deal with problems.
This has now been put to test. In a recent court case (Brown v Hynburn) ruled that a Hynburn Council could not require...
Stop Loan Sharks Newsletter - Winter Issue
Published on Mon, 12th Feb 2018 16:45
Stop Loan Sharks is part of Trading Standards, operating as the Illigal Monry Lending Team.
They seek to investigate and prosecute liiegal money lending, and their work can be seen in their latest newsletter here.
Proceeds of Crime Act used against criminal landlord.
Published on Fri, 2nd Feb 2018 16:25
Brent Council have become the first to use the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) against a criminal landlord.
Harrow Crown Court heard how a property was rented for cash over a five-year period by the tenants who resided in filthy and dangerous living conditions.
The Court heard how tenants were made t...
Right to Rent Scheme being challenged
Published on Fri, 2nd Feb 2018 14:15
There are currently two legal challenges to the Governments controversial Right to Rent checks, whereby a landlord has to ensure all occupants of the their properties have the right to be in this country, and to rent property.
There is a judicial review of the policy being sought by the Joint Coun...
Banning Orders confirmed
Published on Thu, 1st Feb 2018 15:02
The Government have announced that the database of banned landlords and agents will become law in April.
The updated legislation will result in landlords and agents who are convicted of a banning order offence being prohibited from working in the lettings market, whether as a landlord, letting agen...
Date for new rules on HMO confirmed.
Published on Wed, 31st Jan 2018 15:14
In one of first announcements as the new Housing Minister, Dominic Raab has confirmed that the new rules on HMO’s are proposed to come into place in October this year.
In summary it is proposed that all HMO’s with 5 or more occupiers will be subject to mandatory licensing, thus doing away with the ...
Corbyn reacts to ‘Rogue landlords’
Published on Tue, 30th Jan 2018 16:31
Following a report in the Guardian on Sunday which claimed that more than half a million people aged under 35 are estimated to be living in rented properties so hazardous they are likely to lead to residents needing medical attention, Corbyn said that the government is allowing people to live in ha...
The Government has just released the latest English Housing Survey (2016/17)
Published on Sun, 28th Jan 2018 16:15
he headlines are:-
Owner occupation rates remain unchanged for the fourth year in a row.
While the overall rate of owner occupation has not changed in recent years, the composition of the group has: there are more outright owners while the proportion of those buying with a mortgage is down...
URGENT - New version of How to Rent Guide
Published on Thu, 18th Jan 2018 11:15
Please note that the Government have released a new version of the How to Rent Guide.
It removes reference to the now abandoned London Rental Standard.
It is important that you use this version for any new AST’s after this date (January 18th) else any future Section 21 might be invalid at court.
AAT asks Government to leave the Rent a Room Relief alone
Published on Wed, 17th Jan 2018 19:16
During the last budget the Government invited comments the Rent a Room Relief, and how it could be better targeted towards long term lets.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has responded with a public report in which they have urged the Government not make the existing scheme any more...
Electronic payment charges
Published on Tue, 16th Jan 2018 16:21
If a landlord or agent takes rent or deposit (or any other sums) via debit cards, credit cards, mobile phone-based based payments or other electronic payments such as PayPal, they must not add a surcharge for that means of payment.
See more information here....
New bill will allow tenants to sue their landlord
Published on Mon, 15th Jan 2018 10:45
Karen Buck MP has tabled a private members bill aimed at improving rental conditions, which now has the full support of the Government, so is likely to become law.
Entitled ‘Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill’ it aims to bolster both the 1985 and the 2004 ...
Letting Agent fee ban put back to 2019
Published on Sun, 14th Jan 2018 15:07
Following a consultation the Government has decided to put back the proposed ban to next year.
We previously reported two days ago on this - see here
HMRC Business Help and Support
Published on Fri, 12th Jan 2018 11:01
HMRC have issued a series of helpful vidoes on completing your self assesment.
See them here
Oh NO. Not ANOTHER housing minister
Published on Tue, 9th Jan 2018 16:42
Only 6 months ago we reported on a new Housing Minister, Alok Sharma. To quote Monty Python, he is now an ex Housing Minister.
This afternoon (Jan 9th) Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new housing minister, the fifteenth politician to hold this role in 17 years.
Again the Prime Minister has...
Ban on tenant fees WILL raise rents
Published on Tue, 9th Jan 2018 15:24
The DCLG Select Committee is hearing expert opinion on the proposed ban on agent fees.
The committee yesterday (Jan 8th) heard evidence from Shelter’s Head of Policy Kate Webb, the University of York’s Centre for Housing Policy Dr Julie Rugg and Professor Ian Loveland from the City Law School.
Ex Housing Minister becomes Tory chairman
Published on Mon, 8th Jan 2018 15:00
Downing Street has announced that Brandon Lewis is to become the new Conservative Party chairman.
Mr Lewis was the Housing Minister for two years under David Cameron. He was actually well suited for this position as he was a RICS surveyor before becoming an MP, so understood housing.
Mrs May repl...
Over 11,000 homes have stood empty for at least 10 years, data shows
Published on Mon, 1st Jan 2018 12:00
The Lib Dems have conducted research that shows just 1 in 13 councils have used their powers to take over empty properties.
The data was collected through a Freedom of Information request and showed that more than 11,000 homes have been empty for longer than 10 years.
The fact that so many council...
Banning order consultation announced
Published on Thu, 28th Dec 2017 17:03
The Government has today (Dec 28th 2017) announced the results of a consultation for Banning Orders.
Banning Orders were introduced via the 2016 Housing Act, but have not as yet been enacted. It is intended that they will come into force April 6th 2018, and have suggested they will apply to the fo...
Government announces response to consultation on HMO reforms
Published on Thu, 28th Dec 2017 12:34
The Government has today published its response to its consultation paper on HMO reforms, which can be found at:
In short, it is proposed in England – subject to parliamentary appr...
Jeremy Corbyn pledges to scrap the Section 21 notice
Published on Wed, 27th Dec 2017 12:09
The end of 'No Fault Evictions?
Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to include an end to the Section 21 evictions in the next Labour manifesto.
The Labour leader believes the current rules can lead to the breakup of communities, children having to move schools or travel long distances to stay at the same s...
Landlord jailed for ‘blatant disregard for fire safety’
Published on Fri, 22nd Dec 2017 15:44
A landlord in Ilford, Essex, has been sentenced to four months in jail for continuing to rent out his property despite being told that it was “too dangerous to live in”.
The landlord, Manmohan Sahib, 60, of Ilford, had been warned earlier on in the year about the poor state of his property, especia...
Families being priced out of some London Boroughs
Published on Thu, 21st Dec 2017 15:27
An independent, London based, estate agent James Pendleton, has conducted an investigation on the success, or not, of a Government’s Help to Buy scheme.
The Help to Buy London scheme is an equity loan provided by the Government that covers up to 40% of the cost of a new build home worth up to £600,...
Government Proposes Cap of £2,500 for Landlords to Invest in New MEES
Published on Wed, 20th Dec 2017 15:02
In October we updated you on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
This legislation has been on the statute book for some time, and comes into place this April. Under this scheme landlords will not be allowed to let a property out if it unless it has an energy efficiency of E or above.
London launches 'Rogue' database
Published on Wed, 20th Dec 2017 14:49
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched the Greater London Authority’s (GLA’s) Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker
The GLA has become the first authority to launch a database of ‘rogue’ landlords and agents, this is ahead of the expected national database announced in the 2016 Housing and Planni...
Building regulations unfit for purpose, Grenfell review finds
Published on Mon, 18th Dec 2017 12:00
A review of building regulations ordered after the Grenfell Tower fire has found the system is “not fit for purpose” and open to abuse by those trying to save money.
Dame Judith Hackitt’s interim report into building safety called for an overhaul of the construction industry to put safety above cu...
Recent BBC landlord and tenant programme.
Published on Wed, 13th Dec 2017 21:00
BBC 4 recently aired a programme showing the difference in views between a benefit tenant, and an experienced landlord.
Click here to listen to it.
Eva tells of the problems of being a benefit tenant, and the concern about a lack of security of tenure leading to uncertainty of the future.
Published on Mon, 11th Dec 2017 17:00
Please see the latest update from the HMRC....
Private rented sector inquiry
Published on Tue, 5th Dec 2017 19:37
The SLA contributed to the recent inquiry by the Government Inquiry into the Private Rented Sector – see recent news article.
We gave evidence as part of the Residential Property Group, and directly. For all the published evidence see here.
Database of rogue landlords and agents to be introduced next April
Published on Fri, 1st Dec 2017 09:00
It has been confirmed that a database of rogue landlords and letting agents as well as new banning orders will be introduced on April 6, 2018.
The database, which was initially announced last year as part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HA16) to root out rogue landlords, is expected to come i...
Radical changes to Universal Credit
Published on Thu, 23rd Nov 2017 12:00
Yesterday (Wed Nov 22nd) the chancellor announced that initial 7 day waiting period for Universal Credit was to be abolished, which brings the wait time down from 7 weeks to 6.
Today (Thursday 23rd) the Works and Pensions Secretary, David Gauke, has announced that any tenant who has opted to have t...
2017 Autumn Budget
Published on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 13:45
The Chancellor is unveiling his budget.
Matters known so far are:-
longer tenancies in the private rental sector with (yet another) consultation on the objective
Stamp duty abolished for first-time buyers for homes worth up to £300,000
New homes along the Cambridge – Milton Keynes ...
Change in EPC's
Published on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 09:30
There will be a change in the way EPC's are worked out.
From next Monday (November 30th) there will be a change in the way EPC's are worked out. The most important things to note are:-
any property with solid walls will get a better rating than previously, but
any property with cavity wa...
Sajid Javid's speech on the housing market
Published on Thu, 16th Nov 2017 16:51
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid used a speech to warn that unless the Government succeeds, the UK risks creating a “rootless generation” who never stay in one place and become part of a community.
In a measure which ministers hope will indicate the direction of travel for the Budget next week, he...
Brighton & Hove Licensing scheme
Published on Thu, 16th Nov 2017 09:00
Brighton & Hove Councillors voted on Wednesday 15th November 2017 to approve both Additional and Selective Licensing.
The Housing & New Homes Committee ratified the report put to them with very little discussion, with two amendments, one for Additional Licencing and one for Selective Licensing, pro...
Private Rented Sector Electrical Safety Standards Working Group Report
Published on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 18:39
The DCLG have published the report of the Private Rented Sector Electrical Safety Working Group.
An enabling power was included in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 allowing requirements for electrical safety standards in the private rented sector, and their enforcement, to be set through second...
Consultation to review the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
Published on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 18:36
The DCLG have launched a consultation to review the PRS Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.
In 2015, the Government introduced the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations to protect private sector tenants from death or injury in the home caused by smoke and ...
Government publishes electrical safety report
Published on Wed, 8th Nov 2017 13:36
The full report can be found here; the recommendations are:-
5 yearly mandatory electrical installation checks should be set out in secondary legislation.
Visual checks of the safety of the electrical installation by landlords at a change of tenancy should be encourag...
Published on Mon, 6th Nov 2017 09:36
Please see the latest help from Inland Revenue, and attached document:-
I am forwarding detail of some of the information available to landlords this month. See e mail weblinks below and word document attached
The documents include the link to our live webinars on
Draft Tenant Fees Bill
Published on Fri, 3rd Nov 2017 09:44
The Government has today published its Draft Tenants Fees Bill.
Under the legislation, letting agents would be prohibited from charging tenants a fee to rent a property.
Currently, the fees charged to tenants are ‘often not clearly or consistently explained’, the government said in a statement....
UK interest rates rise for first time in 10 years
Published on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 09:49
The official bank rate has been lifted from 0.25% to 0.5%, the first increase since July 2007.
It is likely to rise twice more over the next three years, according to Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
The move reverses the cut in August of last year, which was made in the wake of the vote to l...
Consultation on Mandatory Client Money Protection Schemes for Property Agents
Published on Wed, 1st Nov 2017 09:00
Following a review of the suggestion that all agents should operate some kind of Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme the Government has launched (another) consultation on how this should be implementd.
This followed a working party that made the following recomendations:-
The Government uses ...
Published on Mon, 23rd Oct 2017 08:00
The BPF have advised us that rumours are swirling that ministers are considering ‘radical’ proposals to ease the housing crisis by releasing green belt land. On proposal, the government would use the increase in the value of the land when designated for new housing and supporting infrastructure. ...
Protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market: call for evidence
Published on Wed, 18th Oct 2017 11:48
On the 1 October 2017 Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, announced proposals to address the imbalance of power in the private rented market by regulating letting agents.
This call for evidence seeks views on whether a new regulatory model is needed for agents ...
Newham Council's additional licensing scheme set to continue until December 2022
Published on Wed, 18th Oct 2017 10:48
Newham Council’s additional landlord licensing scheme has been renewed for a further five years and will continue operating until 31 December 2022.
The decision was made by Newham Council’s Mayor and Cabinet at a meeting on 15 June 2017. The scheme boundary has also changed slightly. Rather than a ...
Delivering the renaissance in council-built homes: the rise of local housing companies
Published on Mon, 16th Oct 2017 11:52
Local Housing Companies:
The Smith Institute published a report recently, stating that since local authorities face various constraints on building homes via their housing revenue accounts, many are turning to Local Housing Companies, as a way of delivering more housing, often PRS and for sale hou...
Cost of housing for low-income renters
Published on Fri, 13th Oct 2017 08:00
The Institute of Fiscal Studies issued a report on the growing disparity between rents and housing benefit, concluding that it is the squeeze on real incomes, rather than rises in real rents, that has been putting upwards pressure on rent-to-income ratios since the recession....
Energy Efficiency - Clean Growth
Published on Thu, 12th Oct 2017 08:00
BEIS last week published the long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy which (as part of the wider Industrial Strategy) sets out how the government intends to meet the aims in the Fifth Carbon Budget of limiting the UK’s annual emissions to 57% below 1990 levels by the year 2032.
Government announced as p...
Will you be allowed to let your property after next April?
Published on Mon, 9th Oct 2017 12:00
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
We have been warning you that it might be impossible for you to rent your property after April next year (2018).
The Government have now published a guide regarding the minimum energy efficiency of rental property – it can be found here.
Combatting 'rogue landlords' inquiry announced
Published on Mon, 9th Oct 2017 10:34
The Communities and Local Government Committee launches inquiry into whether councils have adequate powers to tackle 'rogue landlords'.
The details can be found here.
They are inviting written evidence with reference to:-
Do local authorities have the powers and capacity required to enforce s...
You might never be able to use a Section 21
Published on Tue, 3rd Oct 2017 13:48
It is a legal requirement to have a valid Gas Safety Inspection Report (CP12) before a tenancy commences; it is then a requirement to ensure it is kept valid, i.e. renewed when necessary.
As a mechanism of policing that, the new Section 21 (form 6a) has to have a valid CP12 to be allowed at court. ...
Conservative Party conference: Planned crackdown on rogue landlords to let private renters challenge rip-off fees
Published on Sun, 1st Oct 2017 16:00
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid unveils plans to offer greater protections for private sector tenants ahead of Conservative Party conference speech
Private tenants will be given greater rights under new plans to crack down on rogue landlords, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has said.
Report on Homelessness
Published on Tue, 19th Sep 2017 09:00
The National Audit Office have published a report on homelessness, and the Government don't come out too well.
The report can be found here, but in summary:-
The ending of private sector tenancies has overtaken all other causes to become the biggest single driver of statutory homelessness in En...
Housing Minister speech
Published on Thu, 14th Sep 2017 20:00
The new Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, has made his first speech as minister.
He gave gave a talk at the RESI conference, which can be seen here.
In it he acknowledges there have been a lot of Housing Ministers in the past few years, and hopes that he is given enough time to do his job.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19
Published on Wed, 19th Jul 2017 17:47
Summary of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19
To amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation; to amend the Building Act 1984 to ma...
House of Commons Briefing Paper on HMO's
Published on Sat, 1st Jul 2017 09:00
The House of Commons often put out briefing papers for MP's.
They are generally available for members of the public, and I have come across one on HMO’s which is an excellent summary.
It can be found at:-
Deposits to be capped
Published on Sat, 24th Jun 2017 10:00
In the Queens Speech on Wednesday (21/6/17) there was a small mention of tenant’s fees:-
'Proposals will be brought forward to ban unfair tenant fees, promote fairness and transparency in the housing market, and help ensure more homes are built' is what the Queen actually read out.
Buy to Let mortgages shrinking
Published on Fri, 23rd Jun 2017 17:08
The Council of Mortgage Lenders have revised their estimates for Buy-to-Let borrowings
Last December it had originally forecasted that £38bn would be loaned in 2017 and 2018; this is against the high of £40.6bn in 2016.
It has now revised 2017 to be £35bn, and 2018 to be lower at £33bn.
This is a...
Urgent DCLG appeal
Published on Wed, 21st Jun 2017 20:00
Please see an urgent appeal from the DCLG below
Melanie Dawes CB Permanent Secretary Department for Communities and LocalGovernment2 Marsham StreetLondon SW1P 4DF20 June 2017Safety checks on private residential blocks This letter is intended for owners, landlords and managers of private...
Finally we have a Housing Minister
Published on Tue, 13th Jun 2017 07:30
Alok Sharma, Reading West MP, will replace Gavin Barwell who was made Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister after losing his Croydon seat.
Sharma, 49, was previously a minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is a qualified accountant.
He is the 15th housing minister since 1997 and the s...
More retired renters now
Published on Mon, 12th Jun 2017 12:00
Retired tenants are becoming a larger part of the rental market, according to the UK's largest letting agency.
Countrywide reports that pensioners paid a total of £3.7 billion in rent over the last 12 months.
This represents a rise of over 200% in the last decade when compared to the £1.2 billion ...
Gavin Barwell appointed Theresa May's chief of staff
Published on Mon, 12th Jun 2017 09:00
Former housing minister who lost his London seat on Thursday will replace Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill as Theresa May’s new chief of staff
In a statement, May said that Barwell “has been a first class minister and is widely respected”.
She added: “He will bring considerable experience of the party...
Housing Minister loses his seat
Published on Fri, 9th Jun 2017 06:00
The Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, has lost his seat in the General Election.
The (ex) minister was defending a small majority of just 165 lsot his seat by 5,652. This will mean that we are to have the 15th Housing Minister since 2000 - noi wonder we have no continuity in housing
Interim Housing Ombudsman appointed
Published on Mon, 5th Jun 2017 09:00
David Connolly will act as the interim Housing Ombudsman whilst recruitment for a permanent post-holder takes place. This will be effective from 5 June 2017 when the current Housing Ombudsman, Denise Fowler, leaves to take up her new role.
First build to rent REITS start to trade
Published on Wed, 31st May 2017 19:13
The UK's first Government backed fund of build-to-rent homes started trading on the Stock Exchange today (31/5/17).
The PRS REIT (real estate investmenmt trust) raised £250M from investors at its launch; showing that the industry is coming of age....
Tax reforms deter buy-to-let landlords
Published on Mon, 22nd May 2017 13:49
There are less landlords according to Connells Agents.
Connells have noticed a decrease in the valuations carried out on Buy-To-Let property They have dropped to 7% in April, versus the 5 year average of 13%.
See here for the full report. This is line with the survey carried out by us two months...
Mike Stimpson on the radio
Published on Fri, 19th May 2017 20:00
Mike Stimpson was on Radio 5 Live last Friday - May 19th.
To hear the interview click here, click the play symbol, drag the bar to 1:06:15 to listen to the start of the piece on problems in housing in Brighton. Mike appears from 1:16:20 onwards Note that this will only stay on the web site for 1 ...
Published on Thu, 18th May 2017 17:00
The three main parties have now announced their manifestos. They can be seen here:-
We wrote to the current Government with our wish list....
Rate revaluation for development properties
Published on Thu, 18th May 2017 13:14
There has been a recent court case regarding the rateable value of a property being re-developed.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that a Sunderland property should not have been charged business rates as if it were fully usable when it was undergoing refurbishment. Instead, the court ruled, the p...
Minimum Room Sizes
Published on Tue, 2nd May 2017 19:02
The Government have recently carried out a consultation on the minimum allowed size of bedrooms for licensed properties.
Whilst it is almost certain that this will become law, currently (May 2017) it is not law. However that seems not to have stopped some councils from trying to impose it on land...
Labour announces rental policy
Published on Mon, 1st May 2017 10:12
Labour has today (May 1st) announced its policy on renting.
And guess what, it proposes more crack down on landlords, with the Shadow Minister (John Healey) saying renters “.. have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge freezer.” He further stated “There are currently no m...
The SLA's wish list for the election
Published on Tue, 25th Apr 2017 09:15
The SLA have recently written to the Government outling their suggestions for the PRS.
See a copy of the letter here.
Published on Sun, 9th Apr 2017 09:33
The DCLG announced some amendments to the law as a consequence of the 2016 Housing and Planning Act.
The main one is that Local Authorities now have the ability to choose whether to prosecute a landlord through the court, or issue a Civil Penalty for certain offences. The difference is that the Lo...
Open consultation Banning letting agent fees paid by tenants
Published on Fri, 7th Apr 2017 10:03
The Government are consulting on banning the fees paid by tenants to letting agents.
Full details can be seen here, the actual survey closes 11.45 on June 2nd and can be found here.
Fixed Penalty Notices and Rent Repayment Orders
Published on Wed, 5th Apr 2017 14:00
Under the 2016 Housing and Planning Act (HA16) Local Authorities have been given the abolity to issue Fixed Penalty Notices, and Rent Repayment Orders for certain offences.
Details can be seen here.
Fixed Penalty Notices
These new rules allow Local Authorities (LA) to levy a financial penalty...
Results of SLA survey
Published on Tue, 28th Mar 2017 18:31
The SLA have recently conducted a survey recently.
The full survey can be found here, but 10% of the landlords surveyed responded confirming that recent Government actikons are forcing landlords from the industry....
More proposed licensing schemes
Published on Fri, 10th Feb 2017 15:45
Both Woking and Brighton and Hove have announced a consultation on a proposed licensing scheme.
Woking is proposing in the Town Centre and the Maybury area. To take part in this consulatation click on the link here.
Brighton are talking about a city wide sceheme. See the details here.
Long Term Tenancies exempt for Buy to Let landlords
Published on Thu, 9th Feb 2017 10:00
The Housing Minister has confirmed that the longer tenancy proposals in the Housing White Paper will not apply to buy-to-let landlords.
He has told Inside Housing that his hope is that getting greater numbers of institutional investors in the market, providing longer tenancies “will disrupt the ma...
Summary of the Housing White Paper
Published on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 22:00
The Government have today (7/2/17) released
their long awaited Housing White Paper
The SLA are to mount a series of meetings to present this White Paper, and give time for discussion to allow us formulate our response. Note that we are planning new venues to enable to discuss t...
Long awaited Housing White Paper released
Published on Tue, 7th Feb 2017 15:30
The Government has published it's long awaited White Paper on Housing with the following message:-
Today the Government published its Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our broken housing market’. The link to the Housing White Paper is here:
New Section 8 form
Published on Thu, 1st Dec 2016 08:15
Please note that there is a new Section 8 form to be used for all applications after December 1st 2016. It is possible that a court might reject a claim if made on on an old form.
Please use the correct one, it can be found in the members section....
Published on Wed, 23rd Nov 2016 09:16
The Government is due to announce the banning of agent fees in England, to bring it in line with Scotland.
ARLA have released the following press release:-
David Cox, Managing Director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), comments on news that the Chancellor is set to announce a ban ...
Extending mandatory licensing in England and Wales
Published on Tue, 18th Oct 2016 13:16
The Government has released a consultation about extending mandatory licensing. The consultation can been seen here.
It is recommending:-
1) extending mandatory licensing to
a) all properties having 5 (or more) occupants not related; sharing vital facilties;
b) all fla...
Housing and Planning Act 2016
Published on Fri, 13th May 2016 09:10
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 received Royal Assent on May 12th 2016.
No timetable of implementation has yet been announced.
There will be a summary of the Act in tne next newsletter due mid-June...
Kumarasamy V Edwards
Published on Fri, 6th May 2016 12:43
English Justice at its best.
On Thursday May 6th I attended a hearing at the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court. I have been to court before, including the High Court, but this is a different process again, where 2 sides debate a matter in front of a panel of law lords, who then re...
Changes to Notices
Published on Sat, 2nd Apr 2016 11:37
Further to this old new piece, both these notices were again changed April 1st 2016
There have been changes to the Section 8 and Section 13 notices from April 6th 2015. Note that you must only use the new format.
All the new formas are in the members section, and a brief overview is in the ...
Hastings License decision
Published on Mon, 30th Mar 2015 18:30
Hastings Borough Council have voted to bring in Selective Licensing.
The public notice can be seen here
The SLA are seeking legal opion on this matter, on behalf of local landlords, and the first draft of the opinion will be announced at the NLA public meeting, on April 16th - all details for th...
Hastings Proposed Selective Licensing
Published on Fri, 16th Jan 2015 17:18
The SLA held a meeting to discuss the Selective Licensing Scheme. The summary can been seen here.
Local Landlord wins High Court JR against Enfield Council proposed Licensing Scheme.
Published on Thu, 11th Dec 2014 15:37
The Southern Landlords Association (SLA) is delighted to learn that Constantinos Regas, a private landlord in Enfield, has been successful in his bid to challenge Enfield Council in their proposal to introduce licensing in the entire Borough of Enfield.
As the only landlords’ association that h...
The new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund opened today (10/12/14)
Published on Wed, 10th Dec 2014 16:16
The new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund opened today (10/12/14) at 9am. Below you can find a summary of the key information relevant to assessors. £30 million in vouchers will be available and further releases of the GDHIF will be announced quarterly with the next release in February 2015. The £30...
Don't get your tax wrong.
Published on Fri, 10th Oct 2014 15:35
The Inland Revenue have published an e-learning site to help landlords to get their tax correct.
Make sure you don't get caught out by getting your tax wrong.
Published on Sat, 15th Mar 2014 19:50
Following recent changes to the rules, all rental properties are legally obliged to carry out a risk assessment for Legionnaires' disease.
Whilst there is a suggested checklist on our web site, members section, it is recommended that you seek professional advice where necessary.
Note that this law...
Published on Sat, 15th Mar 2014 19:49
Most landlords issue an AST for a fixed term - normally 6 months. At the end of the term the AST remains in place, but becomes a Statutory Periodic - unless the AST is renewed.
This has never been an issue, but as aresult of two separate court cases last year, this now means:-
If a deposit has b...
Published on Sat, 15th Mar 2014 19:44
The Government are bringing in tighter controls on illegal immigrants, and as part of this are expecting all landlords to ensure their tenants have the right to reside in the UK, and that this right remains during the whole period they are in rental property.
It is the second point that caught out ...
LANDLORD AND LETTING AWARDS
Published on Sat, 15th Mar 2014 19:42
Members will be pleased to know that the Alan Boswell Group, whom we have worked in partnership with for many years, has been awarded the winner of Supplier Services at the Landlord and Letting Awards.
As a landlord who has used the services of Boswells for very many years, I would like to congratu...