Court of Appeal rules on tenancy deposit case

December 19th, 2014

Long-standing tenancies could be impacted by a new Court of Appeal decision. Although tenancy deposit regulations do not require landlords to protect deposits taken before April 2007 the court ruled that the Housing Act states that a Section 21 notice cannot be issued if the “deposit is not being held in accordance with an approved scheme”. This implies that if a landlord who is holding a deposit taken before April 2007 wishes to issue a Section 21 notice, s/he should either first protect the deposit in an approved scheme or return the deposit to the tenant.

Full story available from Property Industry Eye:  http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/new-court-appeal-decision-tenancy-deposit-case/

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Parliament to see return of anti-evictions measure

December 5th, 2014

Four members of the House of Lords plan to re-introduce a bill to ban revenge evictions that was defeated in the Commons last week. The defeat was procedural, with two Tory MPs talking out the time available in a filibustering process. Landlord bodies that opposed the original bill are likely to restate their opposition when the new amendment goes to the Lords.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today: http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/1257-it-s-back-anti-revenge-evictions-measure-back-in-parliament

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Scotland: Flexibility is key for tenancy reform

December 4th, 2014

The consultation period for the Scottish Government’s proposals for a new tenancy for the private rented sector ends on 28 December.

Peter Robson, non-executive chair of Weslo Housing Management, views the proposal for a new list of grounds of possession as the most contentious of the new proposals as it doesn’t spell out the mandatory grounds in enough detail.

Read the full story on Scotsman

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Pilot scheme on immigration checks starts today

December 1st, 2014

The pilot scheme where letting agents and landlords must check if prospective tenants have the legal right to seek residency in the UK starts today in the regions of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall and Dudley. Under the Act, agents will be required to make ID checks to establish the immigration status of all prospective adult occupiers before a residential tenancy agreement is granted. Records will need to be kept for 12 months after the end of the tenancy.

ARLA is monitoring the progress of the pilot scheme in the West Midlands and is working with the Home Office to submit information for government evaluation. It wants agent and landlord feedback, to be sent to Rachel Hartley at rachelhartley@nfopp.co.uk.

Read the full article on LettingAgentToday

A useful read for more detail on what is involved for the immigration checks is the following document from Property118:

The Immigration Act 2014 and checking a tenant’s right to rent

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Britain experiencing surge of ‘part-time’ landlords

November 27th, 2014

According to the latest research from LV= landlord insurance, over 7% of adults in Britain rent out a property to help supplement their income and receive on average £678 per month.   The driving force behind the trend is people moving to a new home and then renting out their old one, with one in twenty having ended up renting out a property because they moved in with a partner and did not want to sell or couldn’t sell their own.

Whatever the reason may be, all landlords must comply with current regulations on rented homes.

Read the full story on Property Reporter

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Winter is setting in but no freeze on rent or tenant demand

November 26th, 2014

This month there have been many stories in the press about the positivity of the private rented sector.  At the beginning of the month it was reported that tenants have rebuilt their financial position, with the total number facing serious rental arrears falling by a significant 9% over the last 12 months.  The average tenant deposit has also increased by 11% over the last year, and with deposits usually reflecting rental values, the figures appear to imply that demand for rental properties is outstripping supply causing pressure on the rental market.

Two reports out this month also predicted the long term growth of the private rented sector.  The forecast from Savills predicts that there will be an additional 1.2 million households in England & Wales in the private rented sector by 2019, and the report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, predicts that by 2040 one in five people will live in private rented homes.

Brandon Lewis, Housing Minister, rejected calls earlier in the month from SAGEagent to make Client Money Protection compulsory.  However, he seems to have had somewhat of a change of mind, as just this week the Government amended the Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection, a move that was welcomed by SAFEagent.


Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection (CMP)

November 25th, 2014

In a surprise move yesterday the Government amended the Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection (CMP).  This amendment has been welcomed by SAFEagent, who had wrote to housing minister Brandon Lewis recently requesting that CMP be made mandatory.

Chair of the SAFEagent steering group, John Midgley said: “We are delighted that the Government has made this common sense move and listened to our concerns on the need for financial protection for landlords and tenants.  This is the first step in ensuring that being part of a CMP scheme is made a mandatory requirement.”

Read the full story on Letting Agent Today

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


99.5% of people have no knowledge of tenant protection scheme

November 21st, 2014

Research from sales and lettings firm KIS shows that just 1 person in 200 is aware of the existence of a government scheme designed to protect tenants. As of October, letting agents have been required to sign up to one of three redress schemes designed to give tenants a recognised independent place to take their complaints. The schemes are run by the Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property and the Property Redress Scheme. Each scheme can assess tenant complaints and award compensation where appropriate.

Full story available from Property Reporter: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/view.asp?ID=15703

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


New online Section 21 eviction service launched

November 13th, 2014

The government has launched a new service enabling landlords to use the Section 21 accelerated possession procedure online. With many landlords often making mistakes in court applications the online process is designed to ask questions in plain English and check the eligibility of the landlord for making such a claim.

Full story available from Property Reporter: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/view.asp?ID=14661

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.

 


Trading Standards authorities actively searching for non-compliant letting agents

October 13th, 2014

Letting agents are being warned that they face possible prosecution if they have not joined one of the compulsory redress schemes. Fines of up to £5,000 can be imposed on non-compliant letting agents. The Property Redress Scheme said that it is being actively contacted by local authorities questioning whether lettings and property management agents have joined one of the three approved schemes.

Property Industry Eye: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/trading-standards-authorities-prowl-letting-agents-breaking-law/

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.