Council loses maisonette HMO licence appeal

March 31st, 2014

A High Court ruling that changes the definition of a mandatory house in multiple occupation (HMO) has left the door open for landlords to tackle councils over repaying thousands of pounds in wrongly collected licence fees.

For years, councils have treated shared houses over three floors as HMOs requiring mandatory licencing under the Housing Act.

But a landmark case relating to a Bristol maisonette has excluded the property from the statutory definition of an HMO. Continue reading »

Rents up, Voids Down and Green is Good

March 28th, 2014

Build to Rent

At the beginning of the month a report from non-profit company Million Homes, Million Lives, claimed that ‘Half of Britain could be renting within 30 years’, and called for changes to encourage institutional investors to invest in long-term property portfolios.  The Government also continued its push for a bigger private rented sector as it published a short-list of developments in areas including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Kirklees, which could benefit from a share of the £1 billion Build to Rent fund to deliver homes specifically for private rent. Continue reading »

Go green to get a good deal

March 24th, 2014

It’s not surprising that the news that the government is extending Green Deal finance to landlords and tenants in England, Wales and Scotland has been welcomed by lettings bodies.

With just four years to go until the Energy Act 2011 comes into force, I’m sure that many landlords were sweating on how to fund costly energy efficiency improvements to ensure their properties meet EU environmental standards which require accommodation to be rated E or higher on Energy Performance Certificates. Continue reading »

Greater mobility needed in housing market, say NAEA and ARLA

March 11th, 2014

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to use next week’s 2014 Budget announcement to focus on increasing the supply of much needed new homes in this country as well as improve mobility in the housing market. Continue reading »

Over half of landlords buy local property

March 10th, 2014

More than half of buy-to-let landlords and property investors live within 10 miles of their rental properties, according to analysis from Countrywide Residential Lettings.

The UK’s largest lettings agency said over two thirds of landlords in the North East and North West live within 10 miles of their rental property. The number of landlords living within 25 miles of their properties is highest in the North East at 83%, followed by the North West at 81%, East Midlands at 71% and London at 60% of landlords.

The vast majority of landlords own just one property, with just 6% of property investors owning more than one property, dropping to 4% in London. Continue reading »

Govt seeks views on how it can drive out rogue landlords

February 25th, 2014

The Government has called for suggestions on how it can drive out rogue landlords and improve the quality of the private rented sector for tenants.

In October the Government launched a package of measures to ensure tenants get a good deal when they rent a home and committed to undertake a review of property conditions in the sector. Continue reading »

NLA launches social media campaign against Selective Licensing

February 20th, 2014

A social media campaign against the introduction of Selective Licensing in certain parts of England has been launched by the National Landlords Association.

The NLA said more councils were bringing forward Selective Licensing schemes where there was little substantial evidence to justify them.
Continue reading »

Ruling brings clarity for landlords

January 22nd, 2014

Brokers say a recent Court of Appeal ruling on standard rental agreements provides clarity and will help avoid costly legal battles.

The case related to tenant Miss Taylor, who took out an assured shorthold tenancy agreement in February 2006 for a property in Chesterfield with landlord Mr Spencer.

Spencer served notice on Taylor in October 2011, but Taylor challenged whether she had been given proper notice. Continue reading »

Legal ruling cuts tenant eviction time to 8 weeks

January 9th, 2014

A Court of Appeal decision, which ruled that two calendar months were required to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancy after the end of a fixed term, could save landlords thousands, according to landlord solicitors Property Reclaim. Continue reading »

2013 – Moving towards regulation in a growing market

December 19th, 2013

Looking back on the newsletter that I wrote this time last year, many of the topics are still being discussed such as regulation of the industry.  Predictions of rents rising and increased demand have both been realised and predicted again for next year.  This year though has seen some movement in regards to regulation albeit only small steps.

Continue reading »